"Give Me a Work" :: Gospel Fellowship Association Missions

"Give Me a Work"

Tim Berrey
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Biblical consecration sets us apart to God for a special purpose. But “being set apart” can take on different forms. On the one hand, it could be like my wife’s wedding dishes—so set apart they rarely get used. Conversely, it could be like a special pen that I “set apart” to write in my Bible—I use it for nothing else, but I use it. Biblical consecration should make us useful, not uselessly decorative. Dedication of oneself to God must result in action for God.

Consider, for example, the life of godly King Hezekiah. When 2 Chronicles summarizes Hezekiah’s reforms, it does so in the following words: “Thus Hezekiah did throughout all Judah, and he did what was good and right and true before the Lord his God. And in every work that he began in the service of the house of God, in the law and in the commandment, to seek his God, he did it with all his heart. So he prospered.” (31:20–21, NKJV1, emphasis added). Hezekiah had dedicated himself to seek his God. That dedication led to works on behalf of the house of his God, which he then did with all his heart. His consecration to God led him to work for God. Consecrated people ask God for a work to do.

On the Damascus Road, Saul’s first question was, “Who are you, Lord?” (Acts 9:5) That question squarely settled, he then asked, “Lord, what do you want me to do?” (Acts 9:6). Such a question is the instinctive response of a consecrated heart, much like what the leg does when a doctor’s hammer hits the knee’s patellar reflex. It worked this way for African-American slave George Liele. After his conversion in the 1770s, Liele’s consecration to the Lord was so evident that his master freed him to minister. Liele’s preaching led to the founding of churches in Georgia and South Carolina. He then immigrated to Jamaica, where God mightily used him to evangelize, start churches, and train ministers. Thousands of Baptist believers in Jamaica today owe a great debt to the work of George Liele. But it all started with Liele’s prayer in which he asked God to give him a work to do:

“I fully well recollect, I requested of my Lord and Master to give me a work, I did not care how mean it was, only to try and see how good I would do it.”2

George Liele dreamed kingdom dreams. Do we?

Far too often, it seems, our dreams become an idol list—all the things we want God to do for us. These desires encroach on and take over our prayer list, and we find ourselves asking God for all kinds of things except a work to do.

Consecration should lead us to dream kingdom dreams. We should ask as George Liele did to be given a work to do.

While dreaming kingdom dreams, we must foil the temptation to project such dreams into the murky future. We must focus these dreams into “the now.” What is your kingdom dream to accomplish today? What is your kingdom dream to accomplish tomorrow? Set before yourself a lofty kingdom goal to accomplish this week. Keep doing that, and before long, you will look back on a lifelong string of kingdom goals accomplished in ever-expanding concentric circles of God-glorifying usefulness.

Dreaming kingdom dreams will lead some into a life of mission work or ministry. For others, life may look deceptively mundane. My mother, for example, gave several years of her life to caring for her aging parents at home. Her kingdom dream was to care for her parents until the Lord took them to Himself. The Lord answered her prayer and gave all of us children a front-row seat into the self-deprecating consecration that kind of caretaking requires.

Whether your consecration involves crossing the ocean or taking your aging parent to the emergency room, God has a kingdom work for you to do.

I urge you to commit yourself to the following five action points:

First, consecrate yourself entirely to the Lord. Be His in every way. Even believers need to be warned to keep themselves from idols (see 1 John 5:21). Second, ask yourself, “If I could do anything for the Lord, what would I do?” Factor in your gifting, background, experience, and circumstances. Third, based on what you would like to do for the Lord, dream kingdom dreams. Build, if you will, spiritual “castles in the sky.” Fourth, submit your desires—your dreams—to the Lord. Allow Him to sift those desires until they reflect His will for you. Fifth, pray your kingdom dreams into reality. Ask your Lord and Master, as Liele did: “Lord, give me a work!”

1 All Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
2 George Liele in "Letters Showing the Rise and Progress of the Early Negro Churches of Georgia and the West Indies," The Journal of Negro History 1, no. 1 (January 1916: 70).