Working for God

Monday morning. Micro-managed. Emails in the in-box. Voice mail. If you are like me, sometimes you wonder if it is all worth it. Am I really accomplishing anything except a paycheque at the end of the week? Satan’s roadblocks happen at the best of times.

At the end of the day, work is still a four letter word. In Gen 3:17-19, we read that Adam was to toil,”in the sweat of your face”, as Adam ate the “fruit” from the tree of life. We are to toil for our bread for all of the days of our lives. Was God’s directive here intent on punishing Adam for eating the forbidden fruit ? Is work evil?

Biblically, what do we know about God and work?

  • God himself is a worker. Since God cannot do evil, work cannot be evil.
  • God established work before the fall. In Gen 2:15 God places the first humans in the garden to “tend and keep” it. Obviously work cannot be due to the fall since it existed before the fall.
  • Work was not cursed, the ground was. Work would now be difficult and frustrating because of the cursed ground.
  • God commanded Noah, Moses and others to work. If work were a curse, or evil, God wound not encourage people to do it.

Scripture leads us through wonderful tales of what toil brings to man. Sure it is a paycheck, but it becomes more. It becomes a way for a man (or woman) to identify themselves as “working for the Lord.” This is what we are told to do. It is scriptural and we can find peace in the most tiresome toils of our lives.

Christians are to be like God, and one of the first things that we learn about God, is that He is a worker. In Genesis 1:1-6 and Gen 2:1 we read that God created the Heavens, the Earth, all life and on the seventh day, God ended His work (NKJV) and He rested on the seventh day. Why did the Lord work? What lesson can we learn from Genesis?

He worked because He wanted to create something. He worked to please Himself. He worked to create something better for others. He began work for us by making us stewards of the Earth. We work to provide for our families, but do we also work in the way that the Lord worked to make things better for others?

Some people devote their entire lives working this way. Others, like me, tithe regularly and leave that work to the Church. Wrong! We are to get up and work, for God, ourselves and for the betterment of others.

What does Jesus say? Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working.” John 5:17 (NIV) Jesus was working day and night, preaching the good news of salvation for two reasons. Not His own comfort or glory, but to glorify the Lord and for the betterment of man. Again, He is working to make things better for others.

Jesus healed the sick, the lame, the blind and the deaf. He rose the dead from the grave in order to glorify God, so that all might believe and as such, others would be made better. Working should be a form of servitude that we each bring and glorify the Lord each and every day.

God promises rewards to people in everyday jobs, based on their attitudes and conduct (Eph 6:7-9, Col 3:23-4:1) but the reward is not the reason we work to glorify God. It is because our spirit is lined up with His, we will want to do it. Our spirit led lives should lead us to a place of daily glorification, of daily loving our neighbors as ourselves and our enemies.

As you face each day and go through the motions of “work”, remember who your ultimate boss is. Pray, realign your spirit and glorify God in everything you do—from the most mundane email response and face-to-face conversation, to the most high-end strategic analysis. Be bold in your faith, stand strong, work hard and know that the Lord is with you.