9/19/14

Wonder and Our Work



Our wonder over God is intimately tied to our work for Him.

As a young believer, I mistakenly believed the only work that glorified God was “ministry”—meaning, the Christian service (missions, evangelism, witnessing for Christ, the pastorate, working in a church, etc.). I didn’t understand how all our work, from washing dishes to writing corporate reports, is to be done to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31; Colossians 3:17).

I remember the day another truth broke through. I was reading in Ephesians 2, and verse 10 says, "...we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." 

Before the foundation of the world, the Lord chose work and acts of service that would be my responsibility. 


Jesus told His disciples the Father was working, and that He, Jesus, also came to work (John 5:17).

He said, “The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. For the Father loves the Son and shows Hi all things that He Himself does” (John 5:19). So, our Savior watched what His Father was doing, and then—as an act of obedience and desiring to please Him—Jesus simply joined in. 

And Jesus is a model for us. 

We are to seek God, try to understand what He is doing in the world and in our lives – and get with the program!

Where does the wonder come in? Wonder opens us to new possibilities. We begin to see God more fully, and out of gratitude, we'll want to serve Him.

As we get to know the heart of God in greater intimacy, we will be more attuned to His will, and we will sense when He has a task for us to do.

As we walk with Him—listening for direction, sensitive to how He is moving—the Lord will begin to open up to us His purposes for each circumstance. He is at work in each one, and it is our privilege to join with Him in accomplishing those purposes and plans.

But we don’t get God's will by osmosis. We discover God’s purposes in His Word, and through prayer. And sometimes, as we rub shoulders with godly Christian brothers and sisters.

John D. Beckett wrote about discovering and learning to love our work in his book, Loving Monday. After Beckett’s conversion, he discovered the Christian worldview and how it differed from much of the secular things he’d been brought up to believe. This greatly affected the businessman’s view of work.

“In stark contrast to my prior thinking,” he wrote, “the Bible enabled me to view my work as having great worth to God, provided I would bring it into harmony with Him in every way possible. As a believer and a business person, I was no longer a second-class citizen. Nor did I need to leave my Christian convictions and biblical values outside the office entrance when I headed into work on Monday mornings.”*

An understanding of God’s purposes, as expressed in the scriptures
 gives value to every calling, from the pastorate to motherhood. 

It's not just business or career choices that are valuable in God's program. 

For example, in a culture that devalues the work of women in the home, especially motherhood, Nancy Leigh DeMoss and Jill Savage discussed motherhood as a high calling and blessed work. **

Jill said, "... moms begin to lose vision for what they do because it is so mundane at times. ... so much of what we do isn't missed until we don't do it. But it is so very valuable. ... We need to have a sense of why we're doing what we're doing."

Nancy said, "... in this area (as in every other area of life) it is so important that we go back to the Scripture to find our instructions, our goals, our purpose in life, our missions statement."

Exactly. 

The world may not give value to our work, but the Word of God does. And that is where we need to go to find our marching orders, no matter our calling or tasks.

Someday, when Christians stand before the Bema (Judgment) Seat of Christ, we will give an account of all the work we did for God and His Kingdom (2 Corinthians 5:10). We won’t be judged on the quantity of our works, but the quality will be tested. God will judge our motives and the source of our power in working for Him (1 Corinthians 3:13-15); it will be clear on that Day—some work just won’t stand the test.

The more I cultivate true wonder over God and remember that Jesus is going to return with His “reward” (or "recompense," Revelation 22:12), the purer my works become. And that’s as it should be: "... everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure" (1 John 3:3).

God has ordained work for us; it’s a wonder-filled, life-time adventure in following and serving Him!

Think about your life a moment. How can cultivating greater wonder give you greater understanding of God’s purposes and motivate your work for Him?
- Dawn
Check out all the "Wonder" articles under the sidebar label WONDER. 


* John D. Beckett, Loving Monday: Succeeding in Business without Selling Your Soul, (IVP Books, 2006), p. 74
** "Professionalizing Motherhood: The Value of Motherhood" - Revive Our Hearts broadcast and transcript, 10-15-02
Graphic adapted: Image courtesy of stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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