I’ll never forget a principle I first heard from Francis Schaeffer while attending one of his lectures. There he stood in knickers and a turtleneck sweater, delivering a message to a group of young, idealistic listeners—many of us struggling to find our way. I heard him say this again and again: “The Lord’s work must be done the Lord’s way. The Lord’s work must be done the Lord’s way. The Lord’s work must be done the Lord’s way.”
If you’re in a hurry, you can make it work your way. It may have a pure motive and all the marks of spirituality, but it won’t be the Lord’s way. Stop and realize that.
John Pollock, in his splendid book The Apostle, states,
The irony was not lost on him that the mighty Paul, who had originally approached Damascus with all the panoply of the high priest’s representative, should make his last exit in a fish basket, helped by the very people he had come to hurt.1
That about says it all, doesn’t it?
Just to set the record straight, our lives and ministries are not caught “in the fell clutch of circumstance.” Our heads are not to be “bloodied, but unbowed.” You and I are neither the “masters of our fate” nor the “captains of our souls.” We are to be wholly, continually, and completely dependent on the mercy of God, if we want to do the Lord’s work the Lord’s way. Paul had to learn that. So must we.
My question is: Are you learning that? If not, today would be a good day to start.
1. John Pollock, The Apostle: A Life of Paul (Wheaton, Ill.: Victor, 1985), 45.