God created the world for humanity, and He created us to work within that world. Work is not part of the curse. It is part of our very design for we are made in His image, and God is a worker! For that reason,work is a perfect arena to see God and allow Him to be seen. It is also an arena the devil loves to play in. American Christians, resting on centuries of acceptance of Christianity as the dominant belief system, increasingly find the workplace a hostile environment. We must not fear but press in to see God at work in us in this new experience–and allow others to see Him working in us!
Daniel (in the Old Testament) makes a great role model. Virtually kidnapped from his family as a teen, he focused on making choices to honor God in the midst of the crisis. God never missed a beat and the development of a mighty man of God–a leader for others–pressed forward. As the decades past, Daniel was overlooked and even put in danger by the lacks of others. Yet, He never faltered in his press to bring glory to God. That is to be our focus as well: making choices in every circumstance that align with the ways of God. We are not responsible for the unfair actions of others. We are not responsible for the failures of others. We are responsible to receive all of life as an opportunity to see and reveal our King. The secret to this approach of life was seen in Daniel; the pagan King Nebuchadnezzer saw it: ‘The spirit of God is in that man.’
Our natural tendency is to take matters in our own hands. We do need to know the laws; God tells us to be in submission to the government because He put it there. We do not want to disobey; we want to seek the face of God in the midst of doing right. Along those lines, here is a great resource for avoiding breaking the law:
A focus on fighting for our rights derails us from the path to victory. Like Daniel, passion for the glory of God must remain our focus. Like Jesus setting His face as flint on the path to Jerusalem, our gaze must not waver from the face of God. Isaiah offered guidance to the nation of Israel that still works great.
(Isaiah 30:15) For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not.
The really exciting thing is this: we compartmentalize work. We establish boundaries that do not concern God. He works in us, through and around us all the time. We must learn to live with the view of a “God at Work” sign in every moment of our days. Truly our rest is in that continual work of God. He will not do what we can do; we can not do what He will do. Confidence in the reality of His ongoing work evidences faith in His power and wisdom. It quiets our souls and allows others to see Him us–whether we are at work, home, play or in the midst of a tragic crisis. God has not left us to do the impossible; He saved us so that through our frail bodies, He can do the impossible! We are vessels carrying His glory, pouring out faith as others witness Him in us! There is no law against that.
Practically speaking, what does this look like? It looks like my friend who continually saw and praised God for provision in the year her husband was unemployed. It looks like a couple facing the ravages of cancer one-day-at-time and praising God for opportunities to speak hope to others. It looks like a man with Parkinson’s celebrating the privilege of focusing all he has to give to a ministry. It looks like the parent who seeks the face of God for a child in rebellion. It looks like a grieving spouse walking forward in faith. It looks like a child playing in the ocean waves with confidence because they are in the hands of their loving daddy. Witness God. Speak of Him. And see the work that only He can do!
We do not always know the work that is happening as we walk through details. We only need to know the One we long to see and please. We only need to remember: God is at work!