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Chapter 4 of Francis Schaeffer’s No Little People is entitled “The Lord’s Work in the Lord’s Way.” The thesis is that “The Lord’s work in the Lord’s way is the Lord’s work in the power of the Holy Spirit and not in the power of the flesh.”

Schaeffer argues that “the central problem of our age” is that “the church of the Lord Jesus Christ, individually or corporately, tending to do do the Lord’s work in the power of the flesh rather than of the Spirit. The central problem is always in the midst of the people of God, not in the circumstances surrounding them” (p. 66).

In one section, he combats the false ideas that doing the Lord’s work in this way is a passive endeavor, meaning that we’ll do less or that things will go better for us from an earthly perspective.

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. (p. 73).


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4 thoughts on “Doing the Lord’s Work in the Lord’s Way Will Mean More Accomplishments and More Scars”

  1. a. says:

    amen, will the Son of Man find (this) faith when He comes

  2. Ryan Parish says:

    This reminded me of an article I read a little while back that asked the question, “Do we really want revival?” The author reminds us that when we pray for revival, we’re praying for God to disrupt our church’s world so that something new can occur. This line of thinking from Schaeffer emphasizes the same thing: when God moves, our lives can hardly be left unaltered and our fleshly comfort can hardly be left undisturbed. Thanks for the reminder that God’s way works and it is worth it!

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Justin Taylor, PhD

Justin Taylor is executive vice president of book publishing and book publisher for Crossway and blogs at Between Two Worlds. You can follow him on Twitter.

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