This is an excerpt from my upcoming book that will be release this spring “Passion @ Work: 40 Day Devotional Guide to a Prosperous Purpose-Drive Work Life.”
It’s called the “Sunday Night Slog.” You know that period of time between when the glow from the Sunday service has long since worn off and the creeping dread of Monday morning has not yet completely arrived. You get that knot in your stomach, slight throb in your temple, and irritation in your attitude. The weekend is 98% over and the reality of another unfulfilling, frustrating, life-zapping week at your job is about to begin. It’s the precursor to the “Monday Blues.”
With all my heart I do not believe that God meant for your work life to look like or stay like this. As your Father’s child, you were created to thrive in the work that would bring you fulfillment and glory to God. Unfortunately, to most employed and unemployed Christians the concept of workplace bliss is completely foreign.
Of all the messages that you have heard preached, how many have focused on God using your career or business to change the world? I have heard very few if any. The truth is that most Christians have not been taught how significant their work life is as it relates to growing in their walk with Christ or being the platform to transform lives including yours.
Well this is a new day that the Lord has made and it’s time to be transformed and renewed in our thinking so we can maximize this incredible opportunity to live on purpose, impact people, and enjoy His blessings that come through working in the marketplace!
The First Employee
When we look in Genesis chapters 1 and 2 we see the first example of how God expected humanity to operate as it relates to operating in purpose in the workplace. In Genesis 1:18 He gave Adam and Eve their goals: Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.”
Then in Genesis 2, verses 15 and 19-20, we see the job description that was assigned to them: “The Lord God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over it… So the Lord God formed from the ground all the wild animals and all the birds of the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would call them, and the man chose a name for each one. He gave names to all the livestock, all the birds of the sky, and all the wild animals. But still there was no helper just right for him.”
“For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do
what pleases Him.” – Philippians 2:13
Let’s look at three Biblical workplace principles that were established in these few versus. These are the principles of Place, Position, and Purpose.
- Place: God calls each of us to a distinct place and time, because He wants something accomplished there. He specifically placed Adam and Eve in the Garden because He wanted His purposes accomplished there, primarily fellowship with Him. Further, throughout the Bible we see God sending His servants to different places, because there was an assignment with people attached to it in those places. As it relates to your work life, God has called you to a specific city, community, industry, or people group because there are some significant things He wants accomplished there. Missionary fields don’t only exist in remote foreign countries. Ask God to reveal or confirm that right place for you to be in to accomplish His goals.
- Position: God gave Adam the authority and power to name all the animals. In essence he was given the permission and ability to shape the character, nature, and destiny of the wild kingdom. Position in God has nothing to do with a title, but everything to do with God-given authority. Most people chase after titles because they think it will give them something they don’t realize they already have. As Christians we must understand we are His prized possession and have been positioned with Christ in heavenly places. We have been given every spiritual blessing and access to the most incredible power source in the universe. You don’t need a title to operate in the authority and power that God has already given to you.
- Purpose: Isaiah 55 tells us that God’s purposes will never fail to be accomplished. His ultimate desire is to see every person in the world accept His son Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. This is going to happen through the preaching of the Word and discipleship (Matthew 28:18-20). What better place to demonstrate God’s love, represent Truth, and draw people to Jesus than in the place you spend the majority of your time? You have the opportunity to spend more time with people than most pastors. The harvest is ripe, but the laborers are often unaware, unwilling, or unfocused. Ask yourself are you more concerned about accomplishing God’s purposes in your work life or achieving your career goals.
Blessings and Benefits
“May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us –yes, establish the work of our hands.” – Psalm 90:17
When Christians finally “get it” we will be unstoppable when it comes to leveraging our employment and entrepreneurship as platforms to fulfill His desires for humanity. And guess what, there are major blessings and benefits for you when you exchange your perspective of your work life for God’s. Here are four of them:
- Presence: Matthew 18:20 and other scriptures tell us that where two or three Believers are gathered on one accord in Jesus’ name he is with us. God’s presence needs to come to your workplace in you. His grace will come there through you. His power will come there through you. His love will come there through you. People need the real, tangible presence of God to change their lives. If you are submitting to His will, the atmosphere will change when you show up – not because of you, but because Christ in you is the hope of glory!
- Problem solving: In John 16 and 1 John 1 we learn that the Holy Spirit is a comforter and counselor who will teach us everything we need to know to function successfully in this world – spiritually and naturally. This means you are positioned, equipped, and empowered to use godly wisdom to discover solutions problems that confuse everyone else, aka Joseph, Daniel, and Nehemiah. God has assigned you to the workplace to solve problems. And you have been given access to infinite ideas and insights that will produce tangible benefits for your employer. Regardless of what your job description says problem solvers are always in demand and hard to fire.
- Pleasure: Delight yourself in Him and He will give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4). God receives worship when you are flowing in your purpose at work. When you take care of God’s business He takes care of yours. You should be enjoying what you do for a living, not angry, frustrated, and unfulfilled. You will only flourish in the work where you have found meaning, purpose, and fulfillment. If you’re not enjoying your work life either you are out of purpose or you have the wrong perspective. Ask God where you are off target. He will give you the wisdom, ability, and opportunity to change you or your job/business.
- Prosperity: God takes pleasure in the prosperity of His children (Psalm 35:27), but unfortunately when it comes to money, many Christians sing a remix of a classic Disney tune, “I owe, I owe, so it’s off to work I go!” They have the wrong perspective and motivation for their work. Money is a great servant, but a terrible master; therefore it shouldn’t be your primary work motivation. When you pursue God’s will, He creates opportunities for you to flow in abundance. Your employer may determine your wages, but He determines your income. Don’t be so W-2 dependent that you ignore opportunities for multiple streams of income.
Your workplace is a place God wants to occupy and get glory. He wants to work in you and through to bless people and transform their lives. I believe a great move of God is going to sweep through the marketplace with amazing signs and wonders, but it will only happen when Christians are positioned in the right places with the right focus on God’s purposes. As you seek His will in your work life, get ready to receive the promise from Psalm 128:2, “You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours.”