Prepared Unto Every Good Work
By Andrew Murray
“If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified, and meet for the Master’s use, and prepared unto every good work” (2 Tim. 2:21).
“If a man therefore purge himself from these” . . . Every one who would be truly prepared unto every good work must see this first of all, that he cleanse himself from all that is sin. Ere Isaiah could say, “Here am I; send me” (Isa. 6:8), the fire of heaven had touched his lips, and he heard the voice, “Thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged” (6:7). An intense desire to be cleansed from every sin lies at the root of fitness for true service.
“He shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified” . . . Cleansing is the negative side, the emptying out and removal of all that is impure. “Sanctified” is the positive side, the refilling and being possessed of the Spirit of Holiness, through whom the soul becomes God-possessed, and so partakes of His holiness. “Let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit” – this first, then, and so “perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Cor. 7:1).
In the temple, the vessels were not only to be clean, but holy, devoted to God’s service alone. He that would truly work for God must follow after holiness – “hearts unblameable in holiness before God” (1 Thes. 3:13), a holy habit of mind and disposition, yielded up to God and marked by a sense of His presence, fit for God’s work. The cleansing from sin secures the filling with the Spirit.
“Meet for the Master’s use” . . .We are vessels for our Lord to use. In every work we do, it is to be Christ using us and working through us. The sense of being a servant, dependent on the Master’s guidance, working under the Master’s eye, instruments used by Him and His mighty power, lies at the root of effectual service. It maintains that unbroken dependence, that quiet faith, through which the Lord can do His work. It keeps up that blessed consciousness of the work being all His, which leads the worker to become the humbler the more he is used. His one desire is – meet for the Master’s use.
“Prepared unto every good work” . . . Prepared. The word not only means equipment, fitness, but also the disposition, the alacrity which keeps a man on the outlook, and makes him earnestly desire and joyfully avail himself of every opportunity of doing his Master’s work.
Let the beginning of your work be a giving yourself into the hands of the Master, as your living, loving Lord.