When I was 17-19 yrs. old and a zealous new believer who loved to pray, read the Word, and share the gospel downtown, I knew what I was called to do…BUT…I asked my friend who also knew the Lord and was my mentor. My spirit didn’t feel right regarding his counsel. It didn’t fit with what I had heard in my prayer times. Nor did it match my passion. But godly counsel is good right? Plus my parents agreed with him. My parents went to church but didn’t know the Lord. Anyway, that’s when it all began. Depression, distraction, frustration, fear of man, confusion, temptation, loss of direction and the downward spiral. Yes, it was “getting a job” SAY WHAT! Aren’t we called by God to work? YES we are. The important question is, “what work has God called me to?” You see, if you are a son or daughter of the King of the universe, and are born of another kingdom. And are a servant of the Son or Prince of the Kingdom, who then is your boss? Well, we have two choices. One, we can work for the enemy, who is from the opposing kingdom. Or we can work for our DAD, who secretly, though the enemy does not know this, has authority over both kingdoms.
For many years I struggled and struggle to keep my focus on the Lord through prayer and worship throughout the day and though it was very uncomfortable and awkward many times, I opened my bible in the lunch rooms, and during the breaks, and wore my faith on my sleeve. literally at times. Yes, over the years it became more and more difficult to be an outspoken Christian in the secular workplace. And finally I was removed. But, enough about that story for now. I have a question for you. Whether you’re in the secular workplace or full time ministry:
WHO do you work for? The Bible says, “The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe” (Prov. 29:25)
Many pastors who are supposed to be working for God have instead, exchanged that call for working for man.
How many decisions have we made as followers of Christ without true wisdom because we sought the wisdom of man rather than the wisdom of God. Or we let fear lead instead of faith?
“When we have God’s heart toward individuals and God’s mind toward ideas, we have a responsibility to be God’s mouth in culture” (Benham, 2016, Living Among Lions, p. 173).
Just as the prophets of old bore this responsibility so do we. And like those of old, God is calling his children to have “soft hearts and a hard head”. Having “a soft heart means that the motive behind our courage is not self-righteous frustration, but love– genuine love for God and love for people [and having a hard head means, standing firm, refusing to move to the right or to the left, but walking straight ahead. And yet, on the other hand]…Our hearts become hard when we disobey God and continue in rebellion. Deliberate sin hardens the heart, blocks the ears, and then dims the eyes. We can’t hear as God hears or see as God sees” (Benham, 2016, Living Among Lions, pg. 174-175,181). Therefore, we must use our head and our heart.
Let’s look at how those of old viewed the authority of the Word of the LORD:
“And now, O Lord GOD, you are God, and your words are true,…” (2 Sam. 7:28a)….”Give me understanding, that I may keep your law and observe it with my whole heart…Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain! Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways….for I trust in your word. And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth,…” (Ps. 119:34-43)
“The fear of the LORD is instruction in wisdom, and humility comes before honor” (Prov. 15:33).
We know Proverbs 15:22 says, “Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed” and other similar passages. HOWEVER, if that company of counsel is not, and has not been, “listening” to the Holy Spirit in their normal daily lives, then we must ask who has the wisdom from God? Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you…Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him…If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me…. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you” (John 14:15-26). So, the key that unlocks wisdom is found in the Spirit of truth, who cannot lie.
Now, as a side note, because at times this question can come up and though it is a different subject it has some things in common. And so, I think it is important here to address how the Body-of-Christ (NOT the world) is to respond regarding those who are capable and able to work vs those who are incapable and unable to work due to some physical, psychological, or mental illness/handicap. Regarding this I have written a few things below:
Those who are “healthy”, who are capable to work, because the Lord has graced them so, ought to share their goods with those who are incapable, because for one reason or another they are unable to work. Maybe it’s mental illness, physical illness, etc. This is the Body-of-Christ in action. One example of this is, “then David came to the two hundred men who had been too exhausted to follow David, and who had been left at the brook Besor. And they went out to meet David and to meet the people who were with him. And when David came near to the people he greeted them. Then all the wicked and worthless fellows among the men who had gone with David said, “Because they did not go with us, we will not give them any of the spoil that we have recovered, except that each man may lead away his wife and children, and depart.” But David said, “You shall not do so, my brothers, with what the Lord has given us. He has preserved us and given into our hand the band that came against us. Who would listen to you in this matter? For as his share is who goes down into the battle, so shall his share be who stays by the baggage. They shall share alike.” And he made it a statute and a rule for Israel from that day forward to this day” (1 Sam. 30:21-25).
So, If you have material goods to share, share. If you have spiritual goods to share, share. It’s as simple as that within the Body-of-Christ. Paul uses this teaching here when he says, “for I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened, but that as a matter of fairness your abundance at the present time should supply their need, so that their abundance may supply your need, that there may be fairness. As it is written, “Whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack.” (2 Cor. 8:13-15). This is NOT an excuse for idleness or laziness, as God’s Word is clear on that subject also! How it should work is that we hold all things regarding this life “lightly”. All people are to give. Some give spiritual “food” to others, while some give physical “food” to others. All are called to “work” whatever form that takes and all are called to share/give cheerfully, and thankfully.
Finally, know this:
Because everyone has an opinion and is freely expressing it everyday in our interconnected community of social media, so that all opinions on truth and what it is exactly, or does it even matter, is in every house whether it’s the house of God or the White House or yours and my house. Therefore, cling to the Lord daily. Ask Him for the willingness and humility to hear the truth (if that is an issue for you) and courage to speak the truth and to stand up for what honors His Word of truth. Meaning, be willing to dig into the Word of God for the answers to your questions and be quick to question all those who do not recognize Christ as Lord. Why? Because the hour is late and the days are evil!