Walking in Good Works
God has given us unique interests He intends to use for His glory. In June, my church had a free prayer booth set up at the local fair. Everyone wore bright blue shirts that said “May I pray for you?” on the back. The air was sweltering hot, so I sought something to quench my thirst. To my joy, I spied an Indian food place selling mango lassis. The delicious yogurt drink beckoned me. When I returned, my friends asked, “What’s that?” Several from our group went sporadically to buy lassis.
The next morning at church, my pastor’s wife and I prayed for the food truck owner. Who knows how God used that prayer, but obviously God was bringing that man to our attention for prayer. Even if the man didn’t know he needed prayer, God did.
But we never would have prayed for him without the mango lassi. I started a trend. People kept visiting and the man recognized our blue declarations about prayer. Had I not bought the first drink, the whole train of folks probably wouldn’t have walked to his food truck.
Ephesians 2:10 says “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” (NKJV) God gave me a desire for Indian yogurt so we would pray for this man. God paves pathways for us full of all our assorted interests where we can walk out the good works He has prepared for us. We just have to open our eyes and look for those walkways.
Not only does God prepare good works for us, He also enables us to do them. Philippians 2:13 says “for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” (NKJV) Sometimes I get opportunities to do good works, but they are costly, awkward, or difficult. Not all good works taste as delightful as a mango lassi. I recognize them as from the Lord, but honestly, they would be easier to skip. So I ask God to give me the will to do His good pleasure.
My car broke down recently, and I took public transportation home. While waiting at the metro station for my bus, I saw a woman standing in the road asking for money. She was the same woman I often gave to while driving home from church on Sundays in a different area of town. My lunch money for the next day was one dollar, and the bus was due any minute. If I chased her down, I’d have no lunch and might miss my bus.
I prayed for grace to do the right thing. Fortunately, God gave me the courage to give her the money, and I still caught the bus. Proverbs 19:17 says “He who has pity on the poor lends to the Lord, and He will pay back what he has given.” (NKJV) The next day I found a can of soup I’d stashed in my desk. God gave to her, and I even had lunch. What a generous Provider we serve. You can’t out give God. I pray God will flood your path with good works for His glory and enable you to do them, no matter how they taste.
8/20/2018 08:33:37 pm
Thanks for sharing. Definitely need to keep my eyes open for the opportunities God puts in my path!
8/21/2018 11:23:25 am
It continues to amaze me how God works in the most ordinary things. You were thirsty and God sent you somewhere to drink. Perhaps your first step to get mango lassi to quench your thirst was the food truck owner's first step toward "living water." Your story of helping the homeless woman, even when inconvenient for you, reminds us to give--even when it's hard. Thanks for inspiring us.
8/22/2018 07:50:32 pm
I read a chapter of a book by John Piper called "Drinking Orange Juice to the Glory of God." That had a big impact on me because I realized that even the most mundane parts of my day can give praise to God.
8/21/2018 09:21:02 pm
Thanks, this was very timely since I've been thinking about hobbies and where God is in that
8/22/2018 07:48:46 pm
Hi Mark, I believe God gave us hobbies so we can meet people and do things we wouldn't otherwise do. This gives us commonalities to interact with people and point them to Christ in ways they can relate to. My friend likes to care for foster cats and is seeking ways to use that for God's glory. God can use most anything we are interested and find doors for the gospel through them. I pray God shows you the doors He has for your hobbies. :D
8/22/2018 10:32:30 pm
8/23/2018 08:47:31 pm
Your statement about asking God to give you the will to do His good pleasure sticks out to me. We so often ask God to show us, guide, us but I think we often forget to ask God to help actually do what he's shown us to do!
9/2/2018 10:12:17 pm
I want to keep my eyes open too. I've seen God steer me at times in a new direction as well, and it was for a special purpose. Thank you for sharing your stories!
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Joanna Eccles has led Bible studies for over ten years and completed the year-long C. S. Lewis Fellows Program. She is passionate about discipleship and helping people know God better. Joanna enjoys coffee, traveling, and reading, and currently lives in Florida.