Unpacking Ephesians 2:10

NOTE: This is part 2 of a two part blog. Be sure to read Part 1 How to find your unique work in this world before reading part 2.

Unpacking Ephesians 2:10

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

I found these four action phrases in the verse:

We are his workmanship.

Created in Christ Jesus.

God prepared good works beforehand.

We should walk in them.

Now if I rearrange them in chronological order through out time, I thought about it like this…

We are created in Christ Jesus first.

We are His workmanship.

We should walk in the good works He prepared.

So far so good. But there is one phrase left. God prepared good work beforehand.

Emphasis on “beforehand.” God prepared good works beforehand. Before what? Before He created us and made us His workmanship. So it is actually…

God prepared good works beforehand.

Then we are created in Christ Jesus.

Then He works on us and makes us His workmanship.

We walk in the good works He prepared.

I was startled by this the first time I did the exercise. My natural way of thinking is that God created me and then thought about what I could do in this world. That is not what this verse says.

Let’s imagine it together… Before God created you in Christ Jesus, he prepared good works for you.

Ephesians 1:3-4 helps us get a clearer picture of when things happened.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.

We were chosen in Christ Jesus before the foundation of the world. So God prepared good works before that. Before the foundation of the world!

Before the foundation of the world, God looked forward into time. He looked into this year from wayyyyyy back. He looked into all the years of your life. And He envisioned certain good works to be done.

Because He wanted those works to be completed, He created a person to do them. You. He created you in Christ Jesus. He worked on you and made you His workmanship. In the original language, the word workmanship means something like “masterpiece.”

You. He made you His masterpiece to do the works that He dreamed up for you. And His hope is that you will walk in those works He created you for.

He did not create you and then think, what should I do with you. He dreamed up good works and then uniquely created you to do them.

Here is the key question, Would God design you to fit the work He envisioned for you? Or would He make you ill-fitted for the work?

I don’t believe God would envision the works and then create a person with a mismatched to do the work. I believe God envisioned the good works and then uniquely created a masterpiece to complete the works.

I believe He created you to uniquely fit the good works that He envisioned for you.

In short, your work in this world should fit your uniqueness!

I pray this truth from God gives you hope that you can find your unique work in this world and not settle as an interchangeable cog in some corporate machine. So many people are ill-fitted for the work they are doing. It does not match the way God made them. And they don’t know what do to.

So how do you find the work you were uniquely created to do? Where do you start?

By looking at yourself.

This is different from where we normally start. We normally start by looking at the opportunities around us. Then we pray asking God for guidance in those options. That ignores the order that God revealed to us in Ephesians 2:10.

What if we didn’t start by looking outward, what if we started by looking inward? Instead of starting by looking at the options in your world, start by looking at you.

Since God uniquely created you for certain work, look at your uniqueness for clues as to the work He envisioned for you.

Your God-given uniqueness is your guide. Your uniqueness is your compass. It will direct you to what fits and show you when you are off track.

It is egotistical to start with yourself? Not at all. It honors God the creator and maker of you.

So how well do you know yourself?

I bet there is still a lot to learn. Let’s start with three questions…

What skills and abilities has God given you?

What kind of activities put you in a state of flow?

What purposes in the world are you passionate about?

Of course there is a lot more to discover about your uniqueness, and I will certainly be providing more help and direction in this area. But these three questions are a great starting point.

There is no road map for to your unique work, because no one has been there before. God gives us a compass not a map.

When you answer these questions, you will get some direction for you compass.