In Mark 14.1-11, Jesus was dining at a Pharisee’s house when a sinful woman came and broke a alabaster jar over His body that covered him with a very expensive perfume. The religious leaders were indignant. They shamed her by saying that the money could have been spent on other good works.
I imagine the woman kneeling there. God put a passion in her heart, and she obeyed Him even though she was humiliated in the process. She didn’t know that she was anointing the Son of God before His death and resurrection. She just knew that she was being obedient.
She held two broken pieces of alabaster jar in each hand and endured the shame and judgement thrown at her by the religious leaders. They had their agenda of what good works were important, and hers didn’t follow suit of what they expected.
Recently, I experienced a time when I began to question the fruit of what God is doing in my life. I wasn’t breaking my alabaster jar over a certain good work, and I lost confidence in my God-design and purpose. Were the good work fruits that I was producing a harvest from God? Was I being obedient to His will?
I knelt in my closet holding my pieces of alabaster up to God and begged Him to show me what I was doing wrong. For the past several years, God has completely turned my life upside down. I have been obedient (though, not perfect) to the Holy Spirit’s leading. I know that I have changed, but I wasn’t directly achieving a specific good-work fruit, and my trust in God and my obedience to Him faltered. Was I really hearing from God?
After I humbled myself before the Lord, God beautifully brought me to a verse about good works. The crowd was searching for Jesus because He just performed many miracles. And they asked Him, “What must we do to do the works that God requires?”
Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent” (John 6.28-29 NIV).
As I knelt down in my closet, God asked me, “Will you believe Me?”
This belief that God requires of me is not just simply a belief that He exists. Many people believe in God and Jesus. This belief He requires of me is a belief that He is creating amazing fruits in my life, and I daily must believe that His promises will come to pass. Good works come in all forms, and they should be an outward expression of my inward relationship with Christ. He doesn’t judge my works (my good works will never measure up to God’s perfection). He judges my heart. Do I believe that my simple acts of obedience are valuable to Him even if the world claims them as unimportant? Am I being obedient to His will even though I can’t gage or measure the harvest to the world’s standard of success?
There are a lot of Christians out there with many passions. This is an awesome thing. We are all called to be the hands and feet of Jesus, and our fruits will all look differently. If you read through Jesus’ life in the Gospels, you will see that He harvested many fruits in a vast range of areas. I believe that we can appreciate every faith-filled good work, but God will give us specific passions for the “holes” that He wants us to fill. We are all uniquely designed with a purpose to help with certain needs. We can’t all be passionate about the same thing.
My wish is that Christians stop criticizing other Christians for being passionate about different good works. God puts that passion in each of us. We are simply breaking the alabaster jar over our own personal relationship with Christ, and He is directing the flow of perfume, anointing our Kingdom Purposes along the way. The Enemy loves it when Christians fight against each other. A house divided falls.
“Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, ‘Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand’” (Matthew 12.25 NIV).