Everyone who follows Christ wants to do His work. But how do we do it in a way that lets His Spirit move through us. Sometimes we fall into approaching Christian work where muster up all of our resources and try to get it done ourselves. This surely is not letting the Holy Spirit work through us. Instead it is us trying to accomplish it in our own strength. But when we are moved by the Spirit, does that mean we will be expending no effort on our part. It is always as though God swoops down and does it requiring no cost/effort/initiative of ourselves?
I have often wondered about this dynamic – and been confused by it. A great help has been the wisdom of Francis Schaffer who comes at the issue with his trademark balance and thoughtfulness:
Let us not think that waiting on the Lord will mean getting less done.
The truth is that by doing the Lord’s work in the Lord’s way we will accomplish more, not less.
You need not fear that if you wait for God’s Spirit you will not get as much done as if you charge ahead in the flesh.
After all, who can do the most, you or the God of Heaven and earth?
Nor should we think that our role will be passive. The moving of the Holy Spirit should not be contrasted with either proper self-fulfillment or tiredness.
To the contrary, both the Scriptures and the history of the church teach that if the Holy Spirit is working, the whole man will be involved and there will be much cost to the Christian.
The more the Holy Spirit works, the more Christians will be used in battle, and the more they are used, the more there will be personal cost and tiredness.
It is quite the opposite of what we might first think.
People often cry out for the work of the Holy Spirit and yet forget that when the Holy Spirit works, there is always tremendous cost to the people of God-weariness and tears and battles.
Francis Schaeffer, “No Little People”