Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it. John 14:12-14
Recently the news has been full of stories of government employees that acted like they were entitled to the resources and prerogatives of the positions they held. They forgot that the authority and resources of the government are not theirs, but that they belong to the government, and they are available to the employees as long as the employees are doing the work of, and properly representing the agencies for which they work. When a government official properly comes in their role, they come with the full authority and backing of the government for the purpose for which they are sent. If they are discovered to have misappropriated those resources and authority they lose their authority and lose access to the resources. The resources weren’t theirs, but were available for the work they were appointed to do.
“In the name of Jesus” is not a magical incantation, it is an appointment, a calling. Jesus is saying (in the greater context of this passage) something like “I came from the Father, and all that I have done I did at the Fathers bidding, in the Father’s authority, with the Father living in me doing His work. Now I appoint you likewise. Do my work, in my name, as I have done the work of the Father in His name.”
We are His servants, His children, and when we come doing His work we come representing Him. We do not represent our own interests or agenda, but the interests and agenda of our Master. All of His resources are available for His work. His resources do not become our resources. They are still His resources for His work. When we are fully committed and aligned with His work and His will then all of His resources are available and provided generously for that end. A key part of that is His Spirit, living in us in all power and as His holy dwelling place.
What does this mean as a practical matter, in our day to day lives? For one thing, it means we need to understand who we are. We are His children, His servants, His representatives. It means we are not to have our own agenda, but His. And it means that when we do that, we don’t stand on our own resources and ability, but His. He has promised to provide all we need to do His work.
We fail in this when we view it as our work, when we start to see His resources as ours. This is idolatry. We also fail when we try to do His work with “our” resources, when we forget that all of the resources and power of God are engaged in His work. We are not our own. We have been bought with a price beyond our imagining. How will He who paid such a price for us, in fact did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also graciously provide us with all things?
If we belong to God, then all that we have is his. Our home, our car, our family, our career, our bank account, our selves. They are not ours any more. They belong to Him, for Him to use for His purpose and according to His will. When we understand that, and live that, then all of His resources come into play for His work.
Are we His? Are we called according to His purpose, to His work? Then go in His name, with all the authority and power and backing of the Creator and King. None of His promises ever fail, His work never fails, and His resources are never exhausted.
But do not forget for a moment that all that you have, including your own self, belong to Him.