We get up, to go to work, to earn the money, to buy the food, to have the energy to go to work. “I owe, I owe, so off to work I go.” Work can seem pointless at times. We see this around us, as we identify a blue Monday, and celebrate Friday (TGIF) as the end of a workweek. People generally don’t find satisfaction at work.
God designed work.
He gave work to Adam in the garden to tend it and take care of it (Genesis 2). However, a serpent and sin destroyed the nature of work, and the beauty of work was lost to us, but not the work. Now all of mankind still works. Even Jesus worked, stating “It is finished,” when His work on earth was done.
For many of us the joy, the meaning, the blessings, the sense of fulfilment that ensues from work, is missing. Instead, work is viewed as something to be endured, not enjoyed. It is almost viewed as a necessary part to be alive. We work to live. We live to work.
God also works, and reveals Himself to us through His work. Romans 1:20 says: “From the time the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky and all that God made. They can clearly see his invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse whatsoever for not knowing God.” Romans 1:20 (NLT).
His work, brings Him satisfaction (Gen 1:31) “It is good.”
I think work is meant to bring us satisfaction too, since we are created in His image. Jesus redeems work and makes it possible to enjoy our work again. Paul explains how in Col 3:23(NLT) :
“Work hard and cheerfully at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.”
Work is all about worshiping God in our work.
Martin Luther understood this when he wrote, “The maid who sweeps her kitchen is doing the will of God just as much as the monk who prays—not because she may sing a Christian hymn as she sweeps but because God loves clean floors. The Christian shoemaker does his Christian duty not by putting little crosses on the shoes, but by making good shoes, because God is interested in good craftsmanship.”
When we do our work well, and with excellence, for God’s glory, that is when work becomes worship and it finds value in eternity. Work should be done with excellence. “You are to render service, as to the Lord, and not to men.” (Eph. 6:6-7)
Work is not a punishment.
God did not create work as drudgery, bat as a gift to bring about the fulfilment to life. A human being “…can do nothing better than…find satisfaction in his work. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, for without Him, who can eat or find enjoyment.” (Ecc. 2:24-25)?
All professions and all kinds of work, assuming they are legal and biblically ethical, are honorable before the Lord. There is no difference between sacred and secular work. All work brings glory to God and fulfillment to us, if it is done to God’s glory. (1 Cor. 10:31).
We may put ourselves under pressure to do the “Lord’s work,” but God considers ALL the work we do: the Lord’s work, if it is done in worship and excellence. God does not differentiate when it comes to work, he understands that all work needs to get done by someone.
For Moses, the chief evidence of God’s favor, was what God did with the work of their hands on a daily basis. Did He take what you did and establish it, make it last, make it count? This should be our prayer everyday:
Lord, may the work of my hands bring You glory today. May I do it well and with excellence for you and not for men. May my attitude to work be that this is how I worship You, with work done for You. Establish my work Lord, make it last that I may know that Your favor rests on me.
1 Thes 4:11 “…make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: you should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you…”
There is value in good, honest work.