Contrary to what some people believe, work is not a curse (nor is it to BE cursed!). It's actually an incredible, God-ordained tool – a resource – just like the Internet, TV and radio, a vehicle giving vast multitudes of people who love the Lord a daily opportunity to share and exhibit their faith after they clock-in... AND they get paid by SECULAR entities to do so! Work gives us a daily mission field, a reason for getting out of bed and, if we don't keep that in mind, we will settle-in to trading our precious time for money and find NO SATISFACTION in doing so.
Yet, multitudes get stuck in that rut for decades, many longing for retirement so they can live off a Social Security check. Folks, have you seen how small those checks are? In other words, scores upon scores of people are longing for a lifestyle of POVERTY!
What are we thinking?!!
Most of us think of the act of singing when we hear the word worship. Fact is, singing is only one of a myriad of activities through which we extend worship to our God.
When we read from Isaiah 58, we see what the Lord feels regarding true and false styles of worship. Apparently he's not as impressed that we've memorized our prayers or the words to the hymns as we THOUGHT He was. Our pious deeds and religious routines do nothing for Him. No matter how good an orator the preacher may be, no matter how beautifully the choir may sing, no matter how much pomp and circumstance we exhibit during our gatherings, or how much we spend on our buildings, it's obvious our Father in Heaven is not pleased.
SO why do we persist?
In “The Message,” we read what the Father thinks of our worship: “They're busy, busy, busy at worship, and love studying all about me.”
Not too bad, until He says: "The bottom line on your 'fast days' is profit. You drive your employees much too hard.You fast, but at the same time you bicker and fight. You fast, but you swing a mean fist. The kind of fasting you do won't get your prayers off the ground. Do you think this is the kind of fast day I'm after: a day to show off humility?To put on a pious long face and parade around solemnly in black?Do you call that fasting, a fast day that I, God, would like?”
Then He tells us, "This is the kind of fast day I'm after: to break the chains of injustice, get rid of exploitation in the workplace, free the oppressed, cancel debts.What I'm interested in seeing you do is: sharing your food with the hungry, inviting the homeless poor into your homes, putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad, being available to your own families.Do this and the lights will turn on, and your lives will turn around at once.Your righteousness will pave your way. The God of glory will secure your passage.Then when you pray, God will answer. You'll call out for help and I'll say, 'Here I am.'
He adds: "If you get rid of unfair practices, quit blaming victims, quit gossiping about other people's sins, If you are generous with the hungry and start giving yourselves to the down-and-out, Your lives will begin to glow in the darkness, your shadowed lives will be bathed in sunlight. I will always show you where to go. I'll give you a full life in the emptiest of places - firm muscles, strong bones. You'll be like a well-watered garden, a gurgling spring that never runs dry. You'll use the old rubble of past lives to build anew, rebuild the foundations from out of your past. You'll be known as those who can fix anything, restore old ruins, rebuild and renovate, make the community livable again.”
In other words, we are to worship God, not only with our lips, but also with our daily interactions with others for whom Jesus died. We are to worship Him with our resources, too... our homes, our money, our time.
The words “work” is derived from the same Hebrew root used for “worship.” The word is avodah.
“Work,” in its different forms is mentioned more than 800 times in the Bible; more than all the words used to express “worship”, “music”, “praise”, and “singing” COMBINED! When you work, you worship. It's an attitude of the heart. If everything you do is as unto the Lord, how could you NOT be engaged in worship while you work?
You were created to work and worship. Why not combine the two? If you're looking for satisfaction, real peace an unspeakable joy in your life, you've just been handed the key to unlock that door!
Founder, The Church @ Work (TCAW)