Have you ever wondered what it was like for the twelve disciples to live with Jesus for the three years of his public ministry? Think of the things that they watched him confront; seeming uncertainty, betrayal, opposition, slander, needy people, acclamation, success, apparent failure...the list could go on and on, because it is a list that portrays life. I can envision that each new encounter brought with it a new opportunity for learning and growing for the disciples.
The marketplace holds similar opportunities for learning and growing in Christ. Just as it is to be a place where we are to bless others, it is also to be a place where we experience growth in our relationship with our heavenly Father.
What better place to learn to trust in the certainty of Christ, than in the uncertainty of the workplace?
What better place to learn to rest in the peace of Christ, than in the pressures of the workplace?
What better place to settle the issue of the lordship of Christ, than in an arena where money and power are too often king?
I doubt that I would have an inkling of my own vanity and pride, were it not for the workplace – what about you?
Whatever may be occurring on the surface of our work experiences, there are underlying spiritual issues in which our Lord Jesus desires partner with us. Two questions that I have found helpful over the years are: "Lord, how can I be a blessing in this situation?" and, "How do you desire to mold me into your image through this experience?" Since Christ is with us, we have the same opportunity as the twelve did to learn from him on a daily basis.
Considering the amount of time that most of us spend at work, if we are not enjoying a progressive relationship with God at work, then we have cut Him out of a substantial portion of our lives. We have also lost a wonderful relational opportunity to learn from Him.
Since our heavenly Father already knows every detail of our lives, we can confidently incorporate Him into our careers, assured in His desire for relationship with us, (Psalm 139). Paul writes that, "all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge," are to be found in Christ, (Colossians 2:3). Who wouldn't want to have all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge to assist her or him in negotiating the complexities of the marketplace?
However, I'm not really talking about a resource, I'm talking about a relationship. This is not about pragmatic utility, for there are times when it is our calling to "lose", as our culture defines loss. Life is not to be about ourselves, but about Christ and others. We have a higher destiny and purpose than seeking to acquire the highest position, wealth, or the most toys. Positions and resources are simply things given in trust to the Christian to be used for Christ's glory and the benefit of others.
The Lord Jesus desires us to know Him in the midst of life, including life in the marketplace. He desires us to know the same intimacy that the disciples knew who lived with Him those three years (John 17). The marketplace can be a place of relationship with our God; a place where we are transformed into His image.
Do you think about Jesus Christ being with you in your vocation? What are the challenges you face in centering your vocation in Christ? Do you have a sense of His will and purpose for your vocation?
“Lord Jesus, please give me a sense of your presence at work. Help me to know that you have a purpose for me in my vocation that goes beyond a paycheck and a position. Help me to give my challenges to you and to look to you for wisdom and understanding.”