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« Your Leadership Relationship: Jesus as Lord | Main | Your Career Should Express Your God-Given Talents and Abilities »

Your Career Must Complement the Mission of the Church  

(This is the final segment in chapter eighteen of the book “Hand in Hand: Deepening Your Relationship with Jesus Christ.”)


Your Career Must Complement the Mission of the Church 

The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, and He delights in his way. Psalm 37:23. Based on this verse, your career path should be squarely in the will of God.  If God has blessed you with a good job, understand that He did not act aimlessly or frivolously.  Purpose guides every divine act. When God struck Saul of Tarsus down on the Damascus Road, He said, “But rise and stand on your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to make you a minister and a witness both of the things which you have seen and of the things which I will yet reveal to you.” Acts 26:16. God did not arrest Saul on his way to persecute Christians merely to flex His muscles against an enemy.  He had an overarching purpose in mind.  He intended to transform the church’s greatest enemy into her greatest advocate. 

Embrace the fact that God did not give you your job simply because He felt generous that day.  He did not have your personal welfare and kingdom in mind.  He positioned you in a strategic place for His glory.  In your world, you are an Esther of whom Mordecai said, “Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14. You have been given a voice, an opportunity and a mandate to speak the hope of salvation to someone. 

As mentioned earlier, the fledgling band of disciples returned to Jerusalem after Christ’s ascension with specific instructions to await the advent of the Holy Spirit.  He was to come, not just for the spectacular display recorded in Acts 2:1-4, but to empower the church for her daunting mission ahead.  “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8. Your job gives you with an income with which you can provide for your family, pay your tithes and give offerings to the church.  But it is also a means by which God can accomplish His will in the world through you.  Notwithstanding your preparation for the job, He opened doors for you that He could have allowed to remain shut.  He gave you favor with decision-makers who selected you for the job over others who may have been more qualified.  He orchestrated the position to be created and timed it so it would become available to you.  Now, He wants you to use your position to shine His light in a dark place.  You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:13-16.

You Are a Full-Time Christian and a Part-Time Everything Else 

Everything that happens to you, every advantage you enjoy, every blessing you receive and opportunity that comes your way are not coincidental to your relationship with Jesus Christ. They define your existence as a Christian.  You are not an executive who happens to be a Christian; you are a Christian who happens to be an executive.  You are not a nurse who happens to be a Christian; you are a Christian who happens to be a nurse.  This establishes two salient points. 

First, it identifies your real employer.  It is natural to feel some allegiance and loyalty towards the individual who hired you.  You have a sense of gratitude for your job, and you demonstrate a willingness to please the one who has the power to let you go if he or she so desires.  By realizing that you are a full-time Christian, you direct that gratitude and obedient spirit to God.  If you are beholden to anyone, it is to Him, not to a temporal boss.  This does not mean that you show any disrespect to an earthly leader, but that your primary allegiance goes to your Heavenly Father. This deference is based on the fact that God holds your eternal destiny in His hand.  And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Matthew 10:28. To state this principle in a positive way, remember that you are never unemployed.  If you lose your job, change your job, get demoted or get promoted, it doesn’t matter.  You’ll always have a full-time position.  You don’t get wages, but the gifts make up for it, and the benefits are out of this world! 

Second, it imposes a uniform standard and evaluation on every believer.  Every soul is worth the same in the church.  There may be a system of eldership, and church governance means some anointed leaders provide oversight to the body, yet no one is more important than anyone else in the kingdom.   Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, “Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You?  Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?” And the King will answer and say to them, “Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.” Matthew 25:37-40.  In God’s economy, no one is more valuable than you.  You are not expendable, you cannot be terminated, you are not subject to downsizing, and your position will never be phased out.  You will undergo performance reviews, but these are designed to help you get better.  Training is always available, and you may have as close a relationship to the Owner as you desire. 

Your ultimate success in the pursuit of your career has nothing to do with six or seven figures in your salary.  The name placard on your office door, the position you occupy on the organizational chart, the accolades you receive or the awards you achieve do not measure your real success.  Some people may earn all of these temporal honors and yet fail miserably.  You will always define your success by your relationship with your Lord Jesus Christ.  If you do become successful in terms of this world’s standards, it is only the blessing of God, and it is only because God has put you where you could provide the best benefit to His kingdom.  Joseph represents the classic example of this truth.  And Joseph said to his brothers, “Please come near to me.” So they came near. Then he said: “I am Joseph your brother, whom you sold into Egypt. But now, do not therefore be grieved or angry with yourselves because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life … And God sent me before you to preserve a posterity for you in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So now it was not you who sent me here, but God; and He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.” Genesis 45:4-8.

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