(Summary of Sunday Sermon, 26 Apr 2015)
FINDING GOD’S WILL IN OUR CAREER
Work was established by God. In Genesis chapter 2, we see God giving man the responsibility to take care of the things that were entrusted to him. God has called each one of us to work.
Therefore, choosing our career is one of the most important choices that we make in life. This decision will influence many other aspects of our lives – the time we spend in our office, the place we make our home, shaping of our character, our ability to deal with people, stress and other values and even our relationship with God.
So we must carefully examine the various aspects of finding God’s will in making a good career choice.
WORLDLY FACTORS OF INFLUENCE
Some of the worldly factors that influence our career are:-
- Climate of a prospective place of work
- Parental pressure
- Educational qualifications
- Degree of stress and pressure
- Job stability
IS GOD INTERESTED IN OUR CAREER CHOICE?
- God is concerned about each of our lives. He loves us with an everlasting love. The Bible says that ‘if God did not spare His own Son, how much will He graciously not give us all things’? God is concerned not only about our eternal destiny but also about our daily lives. Psalm 139 describes how God has fearfully and wonderfully made us. God cares about what we do.
- There are two kinds of choices – moral and non-moral. Moral choices are the ones where the Bible gives explicit instructions. For e.g- The Bible says, ‘Do not steal, kill, or covet. Honor your parents. Love your enemies. Do good to those who persecute you’.
However, there are certain areas in our lives where the Bible does not explicitly prescribe what we should do. Those are the non-moral choices. Decisions like what to wear, where to eat, when to go to work are some of them. God is silent about these choices because He has given us enough freedom to make a choice. We wouldn’t be dishonoring God regarding the non-moral choices that we make.
- We can’t expect God to guide us regarding important life changing decisions without having a relationship with Him. Our priority in life must be to walk intimately with God. Sometimes, we treat God like a genie. We go to Him only when we need something and ignore Him the rest of the time. Our calling in life must be primarily to honor Him in all the situations of our lives. When we do that, God gives us His perspective. The Bible says that there is light in the presence of God. That light enables us to make wise career choices.
- God has shaped each one of us differently. We all have unique talents, abilities and passions. Some of us might be good at relating to people while some others might be better with machines or numbers. Hence our career choices will be different. When we are in a close relationship with God, we will be able to discern our personalities better. That knowledge will assist us in making Godly decisions regarding our career.
UNDERSTANDING OUR PERSONALITIES
In order to make a good career choice, it is essential for us to understand our personalities well. Here are some guidelines to assist us in this.
- There is a course called Shape course which we will be doing in our discipleship groups soon. It will be great for us to attend the course so that we can understand who we are, how we have been built, and how we can be more effective.
- God has promised to give us wisdom. James 1 says that if any of us lack wisdom we can ask God who generously gives. We can’t live well without Godly wisdom. Solomon prayed, ‘God give me discernment so that I may know what to do’. In Proverbs, the Bible admonishes people who don’t seek wisdom. Many of our poor choices in life are because of lack of wisdom.
- We can’t make excellent decisions magically. Another important aspect of decision making is analyzing our options. We must find out if our career option connects with us.
- God does not give us detailed blueprints for our life at one go. For e.g- when a house is being built, the blueprint shows exactly where each thing must be placed. When God called great men of faith in the Bible, He didn’t give every detail. He reveals His direction for us step by step. We should be willing to take a risk in trusting God. God will slowly open doors for us. A torch gives us light only for the next step and not for the entire journey. Sometimes, we might have to take a leap of faith.
- Sometimes, we might get a special revelation that enables us to make a good career choice. That’s excellent. But we shouldn’t expect such clarity always. It’s also important not to second guess God, make assumptions and take foolish decisions. God has given us a mind. Let’s use it to analyze, understand and make a good choice. If somebody shares in church about the way God led them to make a career choice, we shouldn’t immediately think that God will work in the same way for us too. God works differently in different people.
- More than finding the perfect job, our lives must be about fulfilling God’s purposes and glorifying Him in everything. We can be freed from the pressure of making a wrong choice in our career. Our life is not wasted even if we make a mistake. No matter what decision we make, God is able to use us for His glory.
- A typical way that God directs us is by the interest, desire or yearning that He places on our hearts. As we recognize that, He will help us develop a desire to work further on it. One step at a time. When Jesus called the disciples to be fishers of men, they probably didn’t understand the full importance of their calling. But over a period of time, God revealed His calling to them and they turned the world upside down with the Gospel.
REDLIGHTS TO LOOK OUT FOR WHILE DECIDING OUR CAREER
- Work that demands us to do unethical things or cheat people
- Work that goes against scriptural principles. For e.g.- It’s not a great decision to say that we will start a liquor business and give a tithe from those earnings to God. That kind of work goes against God’s principles.
- Work that consumes our time. If 18 hours of our day is spent at the office leaving us no time for God or family, then that is not a good career choice.
- Listening to ungodly advice.
- Living in the delusion that God will provide constant comfort and worldly success. We may have failures in our lives. We should be open to that too.
God’s will is that ultimately we become more Christ like through our work. Jeremiah 29:11 promises us that ‘11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.’ God desires to give us wisdom so that we make good choices. He has given us enough freedom to do that. Let us pay heed to Godly advice and be willing to take risks for God when He directs us. Let us prayerfully make decisions so that God will direct us step by step.