This is a tough one. Political correctness has made it difficult to even say the name of Jesus in the workplace. We’re often required to shut down certain aspects of our lives while at work resulting in a deafening quiet regarding spiritual matters.
This has always bothered me.
A dear friend and co-worker several years ago set it straight when he told me that he was a Christian first, and oh by the way, he also worked for our company. This shift in perspective forced me to stop identifying myself primarily by the work that I do or who my employer is, but by my true identify in Christ first and foremost.
However, this isn’t the heart of what I want to talk about today. Yes it’s important for us to identify ourselves as Christians first, and then sprinkle that with a little bit of what it is that we do for a living. But what I want to focus on is more about what we do with a foundation such as this.
Inwe’re told, “In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” As I studied this verse and it’s workplace implications, I was stunned. There is much more than what’s on the surface here…
First I want to touch briefly on the statement of, “In all your ways acknowledge him” (emphasis mine). Here are some of the commentary and study notes that I found regarding this statement with some of my personal notes about the workplace implications…
- Believe that there is an over-ruling hand of God
Before anything else, we must remember that God is in control over our workplaces as well. It may not always seem like it, but recognizing His presence is the foundation to the rest of this whole thing.
- Address ourselves accordingly
Once you recognize His presence, then we must also act like it. When Moses recognized that he was walking on Holy Ground, he took off his sandals. In other words, he acted differently, and treated that place differently. God is present, act like it.
- By seeking his wise aid (ask His advice)
When you need to come up with some creative ideas, do you rely on your own wisdom? Or do you pray and seek the wisdom of the Lord?
- We must ask success of Him
In recognizing that our strength and power comes from Him, and our desire to see Him glorified, then we must ask for and expect Him to accomplish great things through us.
- Acknowledge God with thankfulness
Each day is a precious gift, and we should recognize that. Our jobs are gifts as well, and we should be thankful to Him for allowing us the opportunity to serve Him through our jobs.
- Acknowledge God with submission
Sometimes we have to walk through the fire. Sometimes it isn’t easy. But every time we must remain in submission to our God, and the authority that He has placed over us. By honoring your authority, you are honoring God.
I know that seems like a lot to consider, but that’s exactly what “in all ways” is.
It is everything.
There is no exception. We’re called to let God rule in our lives, and not hold anything back… including our jobs. Let me be clear about this. This doesn’t mean that we have to run around our offices preaching at people, and using religious jargon in the workplace. I think that sometimes that can push people away and hurt the cause of evangelism.
It also doesn’t mean that we can’t think for ourselves. We’re called more to make use of the brain that God gave us than we are to wait for Him to tell us to complete that sales report that we have to get done. It’s okay to pray and ask God for guidance at work, but then we need to use what He’s blessed us with.
So what’s the promise that we receive in return?
The verse continues by telling us that “he will make straight (our) paths.” If you think about the heart of this idea, then the first thing that should be obvious is that straight paths are easier to travel on. I’m not trying to say that you’ll never run into any problems at work ever again, but from experience I do know that the roads are easier. Problems won’t be as difficult to deal with. You will be more relaxed, and level-headed. You will easily be able to rise above the drama.
And I think that working with God at your side, you’ll find that your relationship with Him will grow in ways that you never expected.
So, if I have to sum this whole thing up, then I’d say simply, “give it to God… all of it… and enjoy the ride!” You’ll never regret taking the opportunity to talk to God while you’re at work! It’s amazing how quickly you can work through challenges when you ask God for the wisdom to deal with them.
God is interested in your work, no matter what it is that you do.
Rather than a question or two to make you think here, I’d like to hear what you think. Take a moment to think of ways that you can (or already do) bring God into your work, and share them in the comments below. For example, if you pray for guidance in certain situations, then tell us about how you do it. Or maybe you have a “secret signal” that you give God whenever you have a success and want to acknowledge him (like football player pointing to the sky). Whatever it is, please share…
The 9 to 5 Window: How Faith Can Transform the Workplace
By Os Hillman
What happens when Christian believers take the Word of God literally and begin to apply it where they spend 60 to 70 percent of their waking hours? What happens when Christians move in a spiritual dimension in their work lives as few have endeavored to do before now? Lives, workplaces, cities and nations become transformed by the power of Jesus Christ!
Called the “next great movement of God,” ministry in the workplace is like a sleeping giant that is starting to take the nation by storm. In The 9 to 5 Window, Os Hillman, one of the leading authorities on “faith at work” today, introduces you to the new breed of worker who has gone beyond the status quo to become a transformer. Learn the facts on the current movement, how to bring God’s presence into your workplace, how to develop an intercessory prayer team at work, how to transform your workplace, city and nation for Christ, and much more. Includes a Bible study guide suitable for either individual or small group use.
See more from the management by God series!