Luke 5:13 “Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. ‘I am willing,’ he said. ‘Be clean!’ And immediately the leprosy left him.”
It is interesting to see when Jesus healed the man He did not pray, but just spoke the Word and this leper was made clean. Jesus said that when the Holy Spirit comes upon us we would do the works that He did.
Doing the work of the Lord like Jesus we need to keep in mind what Jesus told His disciples when He spoke with the woman at the well. He said: “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.” John 4:34 (NKJV)
Jesus had a particular work outlined for Him by the Father. He was to go to the cross and give His life for our ransom. This was His work outlined for Him by the Father and His last words on the cross were: “It is finished.” In the process of fulfilling the work that He had been called to do there were many other things that He did: He healed, He preached, He comforted many, He debated and He lived a life that was beyond reproach.
What is our work? This was a question that the crowd asked Jesus and He responded by saying: ‘The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.’ Secondly, we read what Paul had to say about the work in Philippians 2:12: “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” We even see with Jesus that as a man “he learned obedience from what he suffered.” (Hebrews 5:8) And so we are to do the same.
However, we know that “we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10) What is the work that God has in advance prepared for us to do? This is something that is of utmost importance and that is making sure that we are doing the work the Lord prepared for us. Jesus said “I have come to do your will” and this should be what we pray as well. When we pray that prayer with all honesty He will show us step by step the direction we are to go so that at the end of our life we too might say: “It is finished!” and we would hear the Lord say “Well done, good and faithful servant!” Matthew 25:21
The key to know and do His work will be outlined for us in prayer. We read in our text “He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed.” (vs.16) It is no coincidence that we read in verse 17 that “the power of the Lord was present to heal them.”
The enemy tries to get us distracted and again this is where prayer comes in to keep our focus on the work that the Lord has for us. Jesus was preaching in Galilee and a great work was being done. Early in the morning Jesus goes to a place of prayer and later everyone is looking for Him. What is His response? ‘He said to them, “Let us go on to the next towns that I may preach there also, for that is why I came out.” This is focus and this is what we need in order to do what He has ordained for us.
In doing what the Lord has outlined for us to do there will be many questions, doubts, uncertainties that will arise and wisdom will be needed. James tells us that “if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” James 1:5-6
Without a habit of prayer – we are lost. Just like Jesus went to a place of prayer or in the wilderness where He could be alone with His Heavenly Father, so it is with us. Find that place of prayer and visit it daily – otherwise you will find that your work is in the flesh. And in the last days when it is being tested it may be found to be hay, wood and stubble that will be burned up. Let us build on a solid foundation – a foundation of prayer.