For Vs Unto
Do you know the feeling of being introduced to Jesus, accepting Him as your saviour and then being set on fire, as a new believer? There’s so much that a heart like that wants to do, to learn, to say, to be in places, to wait and many more things.
With the same enthusiasm, once upon a time, this new Jesus-lover happened to get in a conversation with a man of God. Someone who stood by her side when she needed prayer and encouragement the most. He was a mentor, a prophet, a voice for a particular season God had placed her in.
This girl happened to say, “There’s so much I want to do for Jesus!”, to which the man of God replied, “Beta (daughter), there’s not much you can do ‘for’ the Lord. But, whatever you do, you can do it ‘unto’ Him!”
This stumped the little girl. Whatever could that mean? What was the difference between doing something ‘for’ the Lord, versus doing something ‘unto’ Him.
I guess this enthusiast was not ready to understand what the sentence meant, till she kept pondering on the statement and, a revelation about it after three years from the scripture hit her pretty hard.
To dive deeper, let’s checkout the synonyms for the words For and Unto.
For: (to get)
example: What can I do (for) you?
Unto: An archaic term for ‘to’.
example: What can I do (unto) you?
These words are prepositions and can be used based on context.
There’s a song written by Jennifer Louise Johnson aka [(Jenn Johnson), part of the Senior Team at Bethel, Redding] named – A Little Longer.
The lyrics go this way:
What can I do for You?
What can I bring to You?
What kind of song would You like me to sing?
’cause I’ll dance a dance for You
Pour out my love to You
What can I do for You beautiful King?
’cause I can’t thank You enough..
Well, if you see technically, there’s nothing you can do (for) the Lord!
Look at the instance where you picture Luke 10:38-42, a story about Jesus visiting Martha and Mary while He was heading to Jerusalem. Martha welcomed Jesus into her home.
Verse 39 says, Mary sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught.
Verse 40 says, Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing, and not having received any help from Mary, resorted to asking Jesus, “Lord doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.”
Verses 41 & 42 say, ‘But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”‘
This story drew a picture about Martha trying to do much (for) Jesus but Mary chose to do it (unto) Him, to be at His feet.
Many times, we get into a zone of doing a lot of things, and our response to that would be doing it ‘for’ the Lord. But all what you can really do is ‘unto’ Him!
The song continues this way:
Then I hear You say,
You don’t have to do a thing.
Simply be with me and let those things go
they can wait another minute.
Wait, this moment is too sweet
Please stay here with me and love on me a little longer.
I’m not trying to play with the wires in your brain, but if only we can reach a place of understanding, we would realize there’s nothing we can do for Him but all that we do, we do it unto Him. Because, at the end of the day, we need to know, if there’s anyone who has done anything FOR us, it’s Jesus! The greatest work of “FOR” was done on the cross of Calvary (John 3:16).
I love the African praise song that says – What shall I say unto the Lord? All I have to say is THANK YOU Lord!
A friend of mine quotes, “You cannot do things ‘for’ God but only ‘unto’ God because we are not authority figures or equals.”
And that’s what’s beautiful about ‘Unto’, in that it is used in a submissive setting that shows more subjection and submission.
As a final thought let me leave you with a quote from Prophet Shyju – “If I can find His feet, I don’t need a seat at His table.”
May you find yourself, while in the pursuit of the next thing, in a posture of submission, a posture of rest, because your ‘next thing’ is when you are at His feet!
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