In Genesis 2, we see that God himself worked and expected man, who was created in His image to work as well. “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” The work was good, just like everything else that God created. But, something was not good: the fact that man was alone. God makes a woman to be the man’s helpmate; to help the man in his work (her primary purpose). Man and woman worked together in harmony and work was good.
In Genesis 1-3 we note one interesting truth about God: He is a working God. He is creator; a Potter; a Planter; A Commander; An Evaluator and Rectifier; a Builder. Notice Jesus’ words: “But Jesus answered them, “My Father has been working until now, and I have been working.” John5:17
Just like Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, your work means fulfilling your God-given design to make an impact on the world around you. In the beginning, God gave us work and it was a good thing. But an event occurred that destroyed all good work.
Man sinned. God revealed to the man that his sin had affected his relationship to God, his relationship to his wife, and even his work.
“Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are, and to dust you will return.” Genesis 3:17-19 (NIV)
Because of sin, rebellion against God, the purpose of work was altered. Rather than work as a means of self-expression and to bring satisfaction our labor, it now meant providing food and other necessities to live. In the Garden of Eden, food and shelter was provided. Clothing was optional. Adam and Even worked for the pleasure of it. That all ended with the Fall.
Let me state, right up front, that God has uniquely shaped you for your particular vocation. He never intended that we finish up the work week and say “Thank God it’s Friday!” As believers we get to take God to work with us to that we can actually say “Thank God it’s Monday!”
All work is a call from God.
Whatever you do, as work, is what you are called to do, by God, as God calls us to work. If we do not enjoy our work, we can work with God to refocus our work better, examine what our work is, change our attitude etc. But work, we do need to do.
God does not differentiate the type of work we do.
Some people believe working for God, like a priest, is better than normal work. We are not raised in estimation if we are a priest vs being a laborer. In God’s eyes, all work is God’s work because that is what we are called to do. Not everyone can be a priest, someone has to do the other work on earth and make the world go round.
According to the Puritans, “All professions are spiritual to the Christian, not because of the nature of the work but because of the presence of God.” When we as believers, are the temple of the Holy Spirit, when we walk into an office at … that becomes a spiritual place. That doesn’t mean that God expects us to preach to all our co-workers or pass out tracts or start up religious activities. We do however, begin to ask ourselves how we can do God’s will where we work, with what we our equipped to do.
God is just as present in our office or car or shop or store as he is in this church building.
“Whatever work you do, do it with all your heart. Do it for the Lord and not for men.” Colossians 3:23 New Life Version.
- Hard work helps supply basic needs. (Proverbs 28:19)
- All work should be done as though for God. (Ephesians 6:5-9)
- Our work for God is never wasted. (1 Corinthians 15:58)
- Hard work is honored by God. (Genesis 31:38-42)
- Hard work brings rewards. (Proverbs 12:14)
- We should use our skills, which are from God, to honor God. (Exodus 36:1)
Not only do these scriptures help us see the heart of God regarding work, but they should change our attitudes about work given to us.
Work is good. It is meant to be good. We are called to work.
Thank you Lord for my work. Forgive me for all the times I have complained about having to work. I realise now, that just as You work, we are designed to work. Help me to refocus my work so that it is a joy to go to work, so that my heart longs to glorify You in my workplace. Help me to remember, that the moment I enter the work place, You enter the workplace with me.