Have you ever been sitting in your cube at work, or been in the middle of a boring meeting and wondered, “Is this really where God wants me spending my days?” Or perhaps you’ve been looking for a new job and thought, “Does God really care about which of these companies I work for?”
God’s will is a difficult thing for us to get our heads around. I’ve met people who think that God only cares about the condition of our hearts, not whom we marry or where we work. I’ve met others who think that God is trying to lead them in almost every daily decision. So what does the Bible have to say about God’s will for our jobs? Here’s a few of the big ideas:
God wants us to work. God had Adam and Eve working before “the fall” in the Garden of Eden, so we know it’s in his original plans for us. Revelation 21 tells us that we’ll work in heaven as well, and as I mentioned in our first post, the Bible tells us to work as though we are working for the Lord… because we are!
God will lead us. In Proverbs 3, we find this,
Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will direct your paths.”
It says seek his will in all we do. Ask God for counsel and he’ll give it. If you’re looking for a new job, ask him to direct you to it. If you’re feeling discontented at work, ask him for guidance (I do this often and I usually sense him telling me to stay put and get my priorities right). God tells us that he’s our heavenly father, and as a father I can tell you that if one of my kids asked me for some job advice, I’d certainly give it freely.
Put your trust in God’s leading, not yours. James, who led the first Christian church in Jerusalem told his followers in the book of James,
Look here, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.’ How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. What you ought to say is, ‘If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.’ Otherwise you are boasting about your own plans, and all such boasting is evil.”
So James doesn’t say that going off and trying to earn a buck somewher is evil. Rather, he says that we shouldn’t assume that our plans take priority. Implicit in what James wrote is that sometimes we won’t be able to feel a strong conviction about God’s will for our work plans, but it does confirm that he has a will. The key is in being willing to follow him where we believe he’s directing us, and time will tell if that choice bears fruit.
Are you bearing fruit in your current job? Have you been able to invest in the lives of others, to be productive, and feel satisfied? If not, pray for guidance, and consider reading the book of James in the New Testament. It’s first chapter tells us that if we seek wisdom from God, he won’t withold it.