It is great to be young. At that stage of life, we have considerable energy, strength and stamina. Yes, we have our own limitations, but we enjoy finding out what our physical limitations are through exertion, so we exert ourselves, rest up and bounce back ready for more. Rarely does our own mortality enter our thinking — that is something we dwell on more as we age. But regardless of our age, no one knows when our final day will come. “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit’; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away” (James 4:13-14). A vapor is an elusive thing, it can linger only a little while and then it is gone. Life and death were both designed by God.
God wants us, however, to live life to the full. He didn’t design us to just let life happen — He designed us to make things happen. Solomon said, “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going “(Ecclesiastes 9:10). We realize that age will limit how much we can do physically, though not spiritually, but the principle is a living one – written for all. Christ said, “My Father has been working until now, and I have been working” (John 5:17). Working and accomplishing are a part of God’s spiritual DNA.
We get a very clear look at the value (and lack thereof) of doing whatever we do with our might in Israel’s initial failure to enter into Canaan. Ten of the twelve men sent to spy out the land agreed with Joshua and Caleb that it was indeed a land flowing with milk and honey, but they did not want any part of it. “And they gave the children of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, ‘The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature’” (Numbers 13:32). Contrast that with what Caleb had just said, “Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, ‘Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it’” (Numbers 13:30). Caleb and Joshua wanted to work with their might, knowing it was God’s will for all of Israel. The other spies, however, were just as zealous to work to accomplish their own will, despite God’s. They were ready to select a leader of their own to lead them back to Egypt and to stone the leader God gave them.
The lesson in it is, that to be blessed, we must work with our might to do those things that are pleasing to God. Paul sums it up well in his letter to the Church in Colossae. “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ” (Colossians 3:23–24). The reward goes to those who work with their might to accomplish God’s will in their lives.