For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them… In Him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit ~Ephesians 2:10, 22
I am his workmanship, His dwelling place, a part of His household, part of his temple in Jesus Christ. Ephesians 2 details all the changes that occur with God’s grace, both personally and corporately between Jews and Gentiles.
What is workmanship? What does it mean to finely craft something, with detail work and refinement, to create something valuable? We live in a time when things are created quickly, and they’re not meant to last forever. But we are God’s workmanship. The only other time this Greek root word is used in scripture is in Romans 1:20 when God’s creation is referenced. And once again here we are talking about a creation, but this time the creating has happened in Christ Jesus, in His death and resurrection that gave me a position change. Ephesians 2:6 shows that my position changed – God seated me at the right hand in Jesus so now all that grows, happens comes from the position of being in Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:17-18 declares it this way, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” The investment in me began at the cross, carried forward at my salvation and continues daily as He works in me to make me more like Him.
And in the beauty that is only God – He has planned good works for me that I may walk in them. Things that one day I will get to lay at His feet in worship. His planning and my opportunity entwine in only a way that He orchestrates and understands. God has a path or course set just for me and for you – our God is a planning, intimate God. Look in Jeremiah 1:5 – “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” Now I’m not Jeremiah, so I cannot claim his specific consecration as a prophet but God is constant and unchanging. What He has done, He will do. He has planned for you and for me kingdom work, and a lot of that work will occur within our homes. Psalm 139 breaks down every way we have been created, personally and intimately, with even our days formed for us.
He made clear to me in 2015 that his path for my life to the world may look like folly, full of brambles, holes, blocked passages, but I could trust Him on it. No one would probably recommend walking it, but my job isn’t to listen to others or look for others walking on it before I set out on it. There have been and will continue to be times in this mothering walk that I don’t enjoy the scenery on this path. What Jeremiah had to walk out was awful for God’s glory and His kingdom work. But God prepared them for Jeremiah, and He prepared my works beforehand – NOT that I would necessarily enjoy them or have a “great life.” He prepared my works for His glory. I have to have a paradigm shift away from this current age of self pleasing, ease seeking perspective. I may not enjoy in the flesh sense the work laid out for me, but eternally with God’s perspective I will rejoice for my work is kingdom work for His glory.
The walk will not be easy – Matthew 7:14 “For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” But He makes clear my posture while walking – and I confess that my posture is really my problem. I easily shift my position from eyes on Him (Hebrews 12:1-2) and heart set on His kingdom (Col. 3:1) to eyes on me, my glory, my goals, my initiatives. Because I am so couched in spiritual language, I can make even my own self believe whatever I desire or want to veer off and do is from Him. But the truth of those times is that what I desire is for my comfort, my self delight.
My willingness to walk and obey grows in proportion to my understanding and remembering the Gospel – what God has done for me and in me through Christ Jesus. When I wander off from the Gospel into the land of performance or apathy, I will be unwilling to walk out His good works.
So my prayer becomes, “Clear the table of everything I have placed there. Set my table as You desire. Let me lead my children to You more and more, teaching them more about Your grace, love, truth, and Your calling on their lives because I recognize and submit to the calling You have placed on my life. These children are Your letters (Letters) to so many to come. Help me to be faithful in the writing.”
“Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” ~2 Cor. 3:4-6