Kingdom Principle: Your Work is to be an expression of Worship.
For a long time I have lived by the saying, “Work to Live, rather than Live to Work” which implied the basic truth that working is a means to an end and that the end is to Live your life to the full. Over the last few of years I ask many people the question – “If money was not object what would you do with your life?” Often I have to clarify and simplify the question to– “If you had all the money you needed and could do anything you wanted with your time – what would you do? The answers usually begin with: I would quit my job and travel or spend time with family or help those in need how might you fill in the blank____. I used to answer this way but no longer, and it is not because I changed my profession or work for a better “company”. I have discovered a very important secret, that very few know and the I believe the “western modern day” church has even attempted to cover up – My work is one of my greatest forms of worship. Therefore – If I was to quit my job because I could – I would be cutting out the most consistent and regular aspect of worship in my life.
This raises many questions for most people like: What if I don’t like my job, what if I don’t work in for Christian company or location, what if I don’t like the people I work with or they even make me want to sin, what if? what if? what if… What about changing the questions –How can my work be a form of worship? How does this change what I do on Sunday that I currently call worship? If my work is supposed to be worship and its not, then what am I doing wrong?
In this short post I am not going to do a Biblical Defense of this idea or really answer the questions above, (It begins with Cain & Able and is traces through Revelation) but what I am going to do is encourage you to look at what you give your life to (most of our waking hours) and ask you, “what would have to change for you to consider your work as an offering of worship as unto the Lord. So that everything you do is done your best and unto the Lord. I’m not talking about one’s perspective or attitude- rather the actual labor of your day, being an act of worship.
Here is why – God had called you and designed you for a specific purpose – It is the favor of God in our lives for us to discover that purpose and give our lives to it. May people end up doing jobs they hate, but remain there for fear of the outcome of losing that job. This prevents us from truly living in the Kingdom of God where God provides and protects, and it is His peace which is our refuge. The Scriptures this week point out that if we are not working with God, we are working against God. God has called us into his family and He desires us to serve alongside his efforts in the world. If we resist and want to do things our own way – It will take 10 times (or more) the effort to reach the same outcome – that is a foolish investment of your time. As King, David was not foolish with his time-prior to the text of this week – His hands had not been idle, and now we discover why “idle hands are the devils playhouse”. He choose to delegated his work – in a sense he had the option to “quit” and do what he wanted – which cost him more than we can summarize or simply see on the surface here.
Work as Worship rather than Worship as Work, is now how I choose to live my life. It is not that I worship my work, or that because I am employed as a part time pastor that this is easier, rather it is in discovering God’s design in me – my life becomes an act of worship. So I don’t have to worship at set times or in specific ways (such as singing), overall worship is not to be work, rather it is a joy to be in worship. As I take this to heart I find myself asking God, are there other ways that I can worship, and in doing so my work is increasing with things I have not imagined… (taking is one step farther – Jesus is clear that this applies to food as well – (John 4:34)
The disciples learned over and over – doing it their way is a lot of work, doing it the Lord’s way is an act of worship. Let us not be fools and give ourselves to folly – Let us seek God and to understand his righteous ways for our life.
1. What makes Sunday morning a worship time for you? What prevents you from seeing work as a worship experience? Do you set aside Sunday morning as a time of worship (or other time)? What is your pattern of worship?
2. What has the Lord asked you to do…. To which your response has simply been – that will cost too much? (Phillip’s answer to the Lord was right on – he did not exaggerate or misunderstand the Lord’s direction, he simply looked through his lens and with his power rather than the Lord’s.)
3. Is there anything you have been working toward or hoping to achieve that has been a long time in coming, longer than you anticipated or what is normally expected? Are you willing to ask the Lord if this is preventing you from a purer form of worship? (Think about unmet expectations – things you longed for our expected but have yet to have met …ex. relationships, financial freedom, family matters, promotions, acknowledgements etc…