Do YOUR Job!

Imagine this scenario:The Chairman of the board of one of the huge automotive manufacturers is visiting an assembly line as an observer. As the Plant Manager is showing him all of the new technology in use, a young man works on the line. The young man’s job is a seemingly menial one. He is supposed to put a particular bolt through a particular hole, put a washer and nut on it, and tighten them—and then do it again and again and again (the sort of job that would kill me in less than a day). The young worker spots the men across the room, recognizes the Chairman, stops what he is doing, walks across the room to the pair and introduces himself. He asks the chairman about the corporation’s long-term plans for future product lines, suggesting that there is room for yet another major car line in the company, and also suggests a way that they could manipulate the corporation’s stocks to put a lot of extra money in their pockets. Meanwhile, the production line has come to a halt.

What do you think the Chairman will say to the young worker? I picture it something like this:

“Young man, it’s none of your business what our company’s long term strategies are. Setting those long term goals is the job of the Board of Directors, of which I am the Chairman. Your job is to put that bolt in the right hole, put the right washer and nut on it, and tighten it the right way, every time. While you’re over here trying to do my job for me, Your job isn’t being done, and as a result, the line has stopped, and we’re losing money and productivity. You get over there and DO YOUR JOB. and let ME do MINE!”

So, do you think that this scenario would ever happen in real life? It did, once. It was a different situation with different people, and a much different time, but it was pretty much the same situation:

(Acts 1:6-8 NCV) When the apostles were all together, they asked Jesus, “Lord, are you now going to give the kingdom back to Israel?” {7} Jesus said to them, “The Father is the only One who has the authority to decide dates and times. These things are not for you to know. {8} But when the Holy Spirit comes to you, you will receive power. You will be my witnesses—in Jerusalem, in all of Judea, in Samaria, and in every part of the world.”

Take a close look at the Apostles’ question. They were thinking of “the kingdom” in earthly, political terms, not of the Kingdom of God. They demonstrated once again that really hadn’t “gotten it” yet. Jesus’ response was pretty straightforward. To me, it looks a lot like “that’s none of your business, guys.” But, he didn’t stop there. He went on to spell out for them exactly what their job is. A few verses before this he told the guys to wait for the Holy Spirit, which would be given them in a few days.

Here, he tells them that “when the Holy Spirit comes, you will receive Power”. I’ve always thought of that as “You’ll know what to do.” Jesus had referred to the Holy Spirit in previous times with terms like “helper and “comforter.” Basically, until the Holy Spirit comes, these guys didn’t have a clue, and Jesus knew it. In fact, I suspect that the apostles reply to Jesus’ statements was “Huh?”

Jesus used the word “power.” The Greek work here is “dunamis,” and it speaks of “supernatural” or “miracle” empowerment. Throughout the Gospels, it refers to the supernatural power that Jesus demonstrated. Jesus had said at least once before (John 14:12) that those who followed him would do the same works that they had seen Jesus do—and even greater works, in fact. They were just a few days away from receiving the “dunamis“—the “power“—to do those works.And the disciples replied, “Huh?”

And then, Jesus told them what their job was to be. He told them that, after they had been empowered, they were to take the Gospel that Jesus had preached, and go proclaim it, offering the free gift of God’s grace to all who would accept it. They were to start where they were, and then branch out to other nearby cities, and eventually to the ends of the earth. I suspect that the apostles response was “We don’t know how do that!”And they were right. That is why they were told to wait for the Holy Spirit to empower them. If you read on in the book of Acts, once the Holy Spirit came, they knew what to do!

I’m convinced that the church has grown weak and ineffective in many areas because, like the pre-Pentecost apostles, we’re pursuing our own agenda instead of God’s. Rather than fighting our common enemy, we draw battle lines over fine points of theology and even finer points of taste and style, and we waste our energy and ammunition fighting within the ranks, while our enemy laughs at us and gains ground. We fuss about buildings and facilities and programs and publicity and philosophy and musical style and which version of the Bible Paul read, and other useless stuff, ad nauseum. Jesus told the apostles, and He’s trying to tell us, “that’s none of your business. Don’t waste time trying to figure out who the antichrist is or when the rapture will be. Go get empowered, spread the Gospel, and work together to bring people into the Kingdom of God!

That’s YOUR JOB, Church. Go do YOUR job—and let GOD do His.

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