Wednesday, December 05, 2012

The Glory of God in Secular Work

"Nor will that old serpent the devil take all this lying down. He will be there in the cab or at the desk or in the field to remind the Christian that he giving the better part of his day to the things of this world and allotting to his religious duties only a trifling portion of his time." -A. W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God

Do you ever feel like you're wasting your time? Do you sit at your desk at work watching the clock tick by until you can call it a day and go home? Do you ever go home with the weight of the world on your shoulders wondering if it is all worth it?

I calculated not too long ago that I've spent more than 20,000 hours at my job and have commuted 200,000 miles in the past ten years at my job. Meanwhile, at best I've spent 3650 hours in prayer and 1040 hours sitting in church.

We can read about missionary heroes, or bold preachers, or successful authors and then ask ourselves, "why can't I do that?" Then we look at our jobs and the responsibilities of life and answer back, "oh yeah, that's why."

But that is only Satan talking. God created this world and called it good. Before the fall, Adam and Eve tended to the garden- worked, if you will- together with God. And it was a good thing. After the fall, God promised that mankind would toil in labor- yet God's creation and God's design is still good.

My evangelist here once preached (paraphrasing), "of course work is hard- it's called work! If it was easy and pleasant they'd call it something else. Like, I don't know, Disneyland!"

Work is hard. It is tedious. It is toil. But that does not mean it is not good. And the best part is, we don't have to work alone.

A friend of mine related it to apple orchards: if you allow an apple tree to grow up all on its own, it will bear fruit but it will likely be sour. But when you take the branches of another tree, even for another kind of apple, and graft it in with the tree then the fruit will be sweet. This is an example of God and man working together to gain a better result. God's creation plus man's innovation leads to the delicious fruit I pack in my lunch bag.

Maybe you view your work as too secular, that there's no way for you and God to work together in that environment. Going back to the illustration of sweet fruit, you can exhibit the fruits of the spirit in your workplace: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. Of course, you cannot bear those fruits without the Holy Spirit- so there are the two of you working together.

"Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." (1 Corinthians 10:31)

This isn't impossible. Don't listen to Satan's lies trying to convince you that your labor is in vain. Smile. Be generous. Work honestly. Pray. And your work will be a fragrant offering to God.

This blog is part of a book club reading The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer. Please join the discussion here and at our hosts, Jason Stasyszen and Sarah Salter. Need a copy of the book? You can get it for free on Kindle.


Jay Cookingham said...

"Work is hard. It is tedious. It is toil. But that does not mean it is not good. And the best part is, we don't have to work alone."

Pure gold right there bro'...good words!

Fatha Frank said...

Boy you were quick! I think I just hit submit. Thanks for the kind words, Jay

jasonS said...

What a great reality to live in. We don't work alone and it's all for His glory... Makes those tougher days worthwhile. Thanks Frank.