May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us Ė yes, establish the work of our hands. (Psalm 90:17 NIV)
Who do you work for? It might not be as simple a question as it seems. I work at a university; but do I work for the university? I think for many years I have, and Iím not proud of it. Confused? Let me explain.
For years, I have been totally involved in advancing and maintaining my career. My focus was on how others on campus viewed me. Was I doing a good job? Were people noticing me? Was I respected?
I have spent many hours of overtime and working from home, trying to be impressive in my job. Yet no matter how much I put into the job, it could not give me anything back. While I could get positive feedback from others or from myself, generally the return on my investment of hard work was more hard work.
Iím seeking a new career opportunity. One that multiplies the investment I make in it. One that energizes me. One that gives me purpose. One that is pleasing to the highest authority: God. Iím not changing jobs, but I am realizing that I should report to a different boss. God has placed me in my position at the university for a purpose, one I am still trying to discover. Do you know why God has placed you in your current position? He has a reason.
There is a mailman at the university who delivers interoffice and U.S. mail around the campus. He has worked in the same position for over 15 years. Each day, he comes into our office and picks up the daily Bible passage calendar. He makes sure we all take a moment to listen, and he reads the message to us. Each day, he leaves wishing us a blessed day. I am sure he repeats this or something similar at each department he serves. He proclaims God and touches many people throughout his day. While his job will never earn any worldly acclaim, Iím sure God has ranked him among the most effective of his employees.
Some of us, like the university mailman, might be in a position that lets us interact with many people. Others might have opportunities to interact with individuals going through tough times and open to hearing of Godís love. Still others are able to influence younger generations through jobs as teachers or coaches. For others, our jobs might financially support our other endeavors or the work of missionaries. We each have a purpose in God's kingdom; let's be sure that we are seeking His guidance to get the job done.
In prayer, over the next few days, ask God how you can work for Him while at work.
God, please help us to understand Your purposes for us. We can become so easily influenced by worldly praise and achievements. Help us to maintain a focus that is constantly seeking to please You. Place us where we will be best used. In Jesusí name. Amen.
Each day for the next week during prayer time, ask God to reveal to you how He wishes you to work for Him. Spend several minutes in meditative silence to listen for Godís response.