So shall My word be which goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.— Isaiah 55:11
We must stamp the efforts of this day with a competence that is worthy of the God we serve.
“I believe God made me for a purpose–for China. But He also made me fast! And when I run, I feel His pleasure. To give that up would be to hold Him in contempt. …to win is to honor Him…” –Eric Liddell, film dialogue, “Chariots of Fire.”
Eric Liddell never saw winning the Olympic medal as the purpose of His life. His purpose, his life service, would be serving as a missionary, and ultimately a martyr, for the cause of Christ in China. But he understood what few of us in the workplace choose to believe…honoring God is about doing our best in today’s work, not waiting for tomorrow’s promise. Being competent in the place God has us right now is how we honor Him. Whatever we’re doing this day –driving a truck, managing a company, plowing a field, punching a keyboard, tending children– now is the moment God calls us to honor Him.
If a first key step in shaping our workplace is forming a bond with other believers, then the second must surely be competence in the task before us now. Developing ourselves into effective and valued workers is a vital building block for influencing our work culture. God may indeed choose to use someone who is not competent to bring glory to Himself, but more often the most effective impact for Christ comes from workers who seek to do their work responsibly and competently, and to honor the time and resources of their employer. We often fail in our efforts to honor God precisely because we fail in honoring our employers.
When an employer, coworker or customer trusts your daily efforts, they are more likely to trust your spiritual efforts also.
Just as we must be competent in the job, though, we must be equally competent in our handling of the Scriptures on the job. It is essential we find ways to steep ourselves in the truths of the Bible. Life at work seldom offers us time to run find a passage of Scripture that applies to the task before us. Rather we must work to commit the truths of the Bible to our mind so they are accessible in the heat of workplace moments. Even in the most boring of our quiet times, God is at work making His Word come alive in us, as our Scripture passage at the head of this page notes.
We see in these passages that as we read His word—the Bible, He begins to work revealing truth to us. He is also faithful to bring those truths forward as we go about the routine tasks of life. His word will not return empty! Now our decisions at work can be guided by those truths, and our culture begins to be influenced by them through us.
Eric Liddell won a gold medal in the Olympics, then slipped into the tiny villages of China to serve Christ daily there. “He made me fast!” was but a scene in his life, and he played his role well in many other unseen scenes. He didn’t wait to reach China to serve God, but served Him in the circumstance, and with the skills, God gave Him each moment.
“He also made me ______?”
How we complete that sentence defines where we serve Him next. Tomorrow is not the time to be competent. We must do it now.
Written by Randy Kilgore, Senior Writer and Workplace Chaplain for Desired Haven Ministries. Used by permission. Content distributed by WorkLife.org > Used for non-profit teaching purposes only.