I’M SUPPOSED TO DO WHATEVER…
These passages seem pretty clear about God’s “whatever” approach…
Jeremiah 1:7 But the LORD said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you.”
“Whatever” he commands is what he expects, and to my excuses for anything less he offers nothing but irresistible rebuttals. “I’m too young, too old, too weak, too…” He doesn’t seem to care. Whatever!
Philippians 1:27 Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel.
Paul wrote this was from a jail cell in Rome. He thought he might be released someday, but he couldn’t be sure. I like that he had the same ambiguity that I live with. He didn’t know what was going to happen and preferred to go to heaven sooner rather than later, but guessed he’d be released this time. Be that as it may, he wanted the Philippians to live like Christians. “Whatever happens” do the right thing, regardless of the circumstances – live like Christians!
Philippians 4:11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.
“Contentment” – what a concept! How do we achieve it? When it’s selective about its circumstances is it fitting to call it “Christian Contentment”? Is it really the kind of contentment to which God challenges us when we possess it only when things are peachy? If we should be content in “whatever the circumstances,” and this contentment can be “learned,” then how in the world can we learn this except by going through all kinds of circumstances – good and bad? Any NFL quarterback will tell that he learned how to take a hit, not by watching film in the locker room, but by getting hit!
Titus 3:1 Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good…
How do I get “ready” for “whatever is good” since the word itself implies that it might be something other than what I planned or have assessed as “good”? Because I don’t know the future, the “whatever” might not be something I could possibly anticipate. I’ve missed lots and lots of divine appointments (opportunities concocted by God to glorify himself) by not being ready for them. I guess the best way is to try to just be ready at any moment for “whatever” he presents to me at the time. And by the way, if my life is already so full and so scripted by my own busyness, I’m less likely to be ready for whatever good thing that he might send my way at whatever time.
WHATEVER I DO…
OK, so I’m supposed to do whatever God prescribes. But more than that, the following passages say to me that whatever I’m doing I should be doing it with certain priorities in mind. Check these out…
Proverbs 16:3 Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.
So, while I’m trying to do whatever God wants me to do, I should – in the doing – offer it back to him as something he can get behind. I read somewhere that this word, “Commit” has a root meaning of “to roll onto…” In other words, I’m to roll all that I do over onto the Lord, put it all onto his capable shoulders, and let him carry it. When I do this I’m not nearly as stressed about whatever…
Ecclesiastes 9:10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.
Like Forrest Gump’s mother always said, “Life is like a box of chocolates…” and sometimes you just get whatever you get. You reach into the box and come up with one thing or another, and make the best of it by doing your best with it!
1 Corinthians 10:31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
As a “Whatever Person” I try to engage only in activities that may facilitate his deserved glory being reflected back to him. When I’m involved in something (in thought, attitude or deed) that would most likely detract or distract from his glory, I often sense the Spirit’s conviction and am encouraged to change my course to one more apt to glorify him.
Colossians 3:17 Whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.
As an ambassador of Jesus, whatever I say or do must be in alignment with the personality of the One Whom I represent and emerge from a grateful heart.
Colossians 3:23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.
In their context, these are words for workers. As an employee I must keep in mind that the Big Boss is always watching and anticipating that I will do my best to reflect his ways in all my work. I’m always “punched in,” as they say. I can’t afford to compartmentalize my life into times when I’m working for God and when I’m “off the clock.”
James 2:12 So whatever you say or whatever you do, remember that you will be judged by the law that sets you free.
There’s an assessment coming. We’ll all be reviewed for whatever we’ve said and done here. And while this prospect can be frightening, there’s a potentially liberating component to it. Knowing that God will evaluate my life inspires me to constantly reach to him for the power to pass the ultimate test. In the short run, as well as in the long, “whatever” I do – the way I act and speak and even think – matters.