For more than a while now, I have noticed more and more road signs popping up all over Singapore. The one that never fails to catch my attention is the bright luminous orange sign that declares, WORKS AHEAD. I am not sure if this is a new policy that ample warning must be given to motorists and pedestrians. All I know is that wherever I travel these days, there’s that sign again. And again.
Some years back, the agency responsible for such works was the Public Works Department, or PWD. It became a standing joke amongst locals that PWD stood for Purposely Want to Dig. Jokes aside, allow me to use PWD to share what I believe the WORKS AHEAD sign is saying to us, the Body of Christ.
PROGRESS. As a nation that always prides and positions itself for growth and advancement, works is a constant feature. The same holds true for the Body of Christ. When every part does its share of work, the body grows (Eph 4:16). We are not talking about mindless Christian activity which tires and weakens, but proper and effective work that strengthens and builds up the body. To have progress, there must be purposeful work – kingdom assignments that contribute to the advancement of the kingdom of God! First the natural, then the spiritual: Could the increased number of WORKS AHEAD signs be God’s visible reminder and wake up call for believers to know what the Lord has prepared for them to do?
WORKERS. This may sound like a no-brainer, but works require workers! Each time I see the sign, I don’t always see the workers. These are usually hidden. And yet, work is being done by many who are unknown, nameless, unidentifiable and often unappreciated. We don’t know who these are but they are contributing big-time to the shaping and infra structure of our country. The kingdom-equivalent of these would be the Archippuses that the Lord is awakening for His purpose. No fanfare. No spotlight. No attention needed at all. Just obedient and faithful servants of the Lord, carrying out all that have been assigned to them. On the roads and in construction sites, the workers toil under the sun and in the rain. Nobody wants such roles these days. Similarly, in the body of Christ, many prefer the air-conditioned comfort of the church than the work of the kingdom out in various areas of operation. But there are WORKS AHEAD. And the Lord is calling His workers to be awakened, aligned and assigned. Would you respond?
DISRUPTIONS. When you see these signs, get ready to slow down or to be inconvenienced. Yes, works can cause delays, detours and disruptions. Interestingly, the workers who are purposefully engaged in doing the works are not flustered at all. It’s those who have no idea of what is happening that often get upset. If you are not aware of what the Lord is doing in these times, you can be very frustrated with how your life is being disrupted by all that is taking place. For sure, the institutional church is being disrupted by the things and works of the kingdom of God. It is no longer church or business as usual. God is moving and if you are not moving with Him, get ready to be duly disrupted. But those who have insight of the blueprint understand that the discomfort is only temporary. The work may be tough, but the rewards will be glorious!
The next time you see these signs, may the Holy Spirit prompt you accordingly. We are most certainly not saved by works but by grace through faith. Yet, beyond salvation, we have works prepared for us that we should be faithful to fulfil these for the glory of the One who saved us (Eph 2:8-10). Indeed, there are WORKS AHEAD for each and every believer.
I submit this for your prayerful contemplation. What is the Lord saying to you?