You have probably heard the centuries-old story of a traveler who came across three stonemasons busily at work and asked each what they were doing. The first said, “I’m sanding down this block of marble.” The second responded, “I’m laying a foundation.” The third worker announced, “I’m building a cathedral.” The moral of this story is that the third worker had vision – vision that enlarged his perspective of what he was doing.
What if they have been asked who they were working for? What do you suppose their answers would have been then?
How would you respond if you were asked, “Who are you working for”? Your answer matters more than you might think.
An occupation is the principal business of one’s life. Nearly all of us have an occupation of some kind whether we are working in the marketplace or ministry, are self-employed, a “company-man,” an entrepreneur, student, retiree, or a stay-at-home mom. We are working at something for some reason.
Who we are working for matters because we usually believe that the “who” we are working for will someday, in some way, reward us for our effort. We will work for, or serve, whomever or whatever we have put our faith in. If we are working for the wrong “who” we are setting ourselves up for disappointment, discouragement or defeat, especially when they fail to reciprocate as we think they should.
We may find ourselves working for a variety of people or things: a boss, a company, success, material things, notoriety, a bigger house, and so on. None of these deserve of our faith and service. They are fickle. Companies close, markets dry up, customers disappear, accolades cease, stuff breaks. You may be left with nothing more than questions about the future and regrets about the past. Why? These are the wrong “who”s.
The good news is that there is Someone Who is faithful and worthy of our faith and service, no matter what our occupation is. The Bible tells us who in Colossians 3:23-24: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving” (NIV).
When Jesus is who we are working for, we can live in peace regardless of what we may face in our occupational circumstances. What we are doing is important, but much less important than Who we are working for. When we are working for Jesus He makes all His resources available to us. He enables us to live purposeful and prosperous lives. He doesn’t promise us a six-figure income when we seek to honor Him through our life’s work, but He promises that His blessing will be upon your life, family, health, and finances. We are secure, knowing that our “career path” has not been a series of seemingly unrelated positions, but is guided by the God of the Universe. He assures us that we when we go through difficulties we will not be defeated. We sense that He is with us in all things.
The Bible says we should work diligently, behave wisely, and make well-advised plans for the future. But the victory is in knowing that the promise for our future doesn’t stem from us, our boss, our company, our church, our country, or the global economy. We are working for God.
Someone once said, “God is willing to take full responsibility for the life fully devoted to Him.” The apostle Paul had unwavering peace regardless of his circumstances because he believed this truth, as reflected in Philippians 4:11-13: “For I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me” (ESV). When your external circumstances, including the highs or lows of your occupation, cannot shake your confident faith in Who you are working for, you have victory.
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