30.2 Yahweh Vs. Your Way?

30.2

Section Three: The Lifestyle Characteristics of a Godly Life.

Our current theme: Characteristic Two: Serving Christ in the Workplace.                      

Our reading for today: 1st John 2: 15-17 (MsgB)

Don’t love the world’s ways. Don’t love the world’s goods. Love of the world squeezes out love for the Father. Practically everything that goes on in the world—wanting your own way, wanting everything for yourself, wanting to appear important—has nothing to do with the Father. It just isolates you from Him. The world and all its wanting, wanting, wanting is on the way out—but whoever does what God wants is set for eternity.

Those in the know (i.e. career counselors, job researchers, etc.) tell us that the typical American worker will have, on average, five to seven different careers throughout their working life. Those same experts go on to say that with the ever-increasing number of career choices available to us, combined with the growing unpredictability found in the job market, about one-third of the total workforce will now change jobs every twelve months. One recent report states that by the age of forty-two, most Americans will already have had about ten jobs! Combine that with approximately ten million layoffs each year in the American work force, and we have one very volatile work environment.

Hmm.

Throughout my lifetime, as best as I can figure, I’ve had four different careers (music educator, bookstore manager, parachurch ministry worker, and local church pastor), with dozens of varying jobs within those four major careers. And that, of course, doesn’t count the odds-n-ends kind of stuff that has supplemented my income along the way! Oh…and don’t forget the three or four times I was either fired or laid-off from a job!

Whew…after 40+ years in the American workforce, I’m getting’ kinda tired just thinking about it!

Yet, for those of us who see our jobs as assignments from God, it can be very difficult, at times, to keep our perspective on how we might best serve the Master even though our actual career or job might change more rapidly than we were expecting. Back in the day, when I attended the University of Iowa (1969-1973) I was expecting music to be my bread-n-butter career for life. But, in actuality, I only had five years as a band director before God started meddling, directing me (through being unexpectedly fired/laid off) to look at a different career path than I was first trained for.

How about you? Has God suddenly pulled the rug out from beneath you in the workplace? Sometimes, just the opposite can happen, and without warning, a new job opportunity opens up without you ever searching for it! That’s happened to me as well, as recently as the last few years, as Sandy & I have now become part-time trainers in spiritual direction with Sustainable Faith.

In truth, you just can’t predict the future when it comes to your job. Which brings me to today’s Scripture. Look again at John’s words of encouragement to his friends…

Don’t love the world’s ways. Don’t love the world’s goods. Love of the world squeezes out love for the Father. Practically everything that goes on in the world—wanting your own way, wanting everything for yourself, wanting to appear important—has nothing to do with the Father. It just isolates you from Him. The world and all its wanting, wanting, wanting is on the way out—but whoever does what God wants is set for eternity.

As I see it, the key to being truly fruitful in this ever-changing work environment is to remove, as best we can, that fleshly desire of wanting, wanting, wanting; and replace it with desiring God and His Kingdom more than we want the stuff the world offers us. Yes, it’s certainly true that a paycheck is vitally important in putting food on the table and clothes on our bodies, but I’ve found, over my years of ups and downs in my work experience, that it’s even truer that God’s favor is much more valuable than the best job ever offered me by man.

One good friend of mine once spelled it out for me by asking this good question…

“Marty, which ‘way’ do you really want your life to go…Yah-weh or your way?”

You know, when my friend put it that way; I say…

My prayer: Jesus, despite all the ups and downs on my career path; I’m here to follow You. Whether I have a lot of success in my job, or little success at all, I choose to want You and Your way in my life vs. trying to find my way! Fill me Holy Spirit and give me strength this day to follow Jesus, wherever He may lead. Lead on, Master…lead on! For Your name’s sake. Amen.

My questions to ponder: I’ve often been told there is a major difference between wanting trivial things in life versus desiring things that really matter. So am I willing today to lay down my fleshly wanting, wanting, wanting in order to desire God’s best for me?

So what is God speaking to you today as we attempt to live the Christ-centered life?

Over a thirty-six week period, you and I will take a deeper look into twelve key characteristics of a godly life. In other words, we’ll take A Journey into Christian Discipleship. In order to keep all the blog sessions organized, we suggest you bookmark our Journey home page for ease of use. ENJOY!

If you like what you’re reading, might we suggest you share this page with others!

Click here to go onto the next session in the series…

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