God and the Workplace

God and the Workplace from Refreshing Hope Ministries on Vimeo.

Today I want to talk about the importance of learning to serve God right where you are, doing exactly what you are doing. Get to know Him there, for if you will not serve Him there, you will not serve Him anywhere else. Wherever you find yourself, and whatever you are doing, begin to involve God in it every day.

Many feel that they visit God at church, but that they are alone in the work place, that He may not even know what they do for a living. Yes, He is the God of church, but He is also with you at work on Monday, and He delights to be a part of your life.

I want you to know this because it changed my life when I learned it. For a couple of years when I was younger, I worked polishing brass during the day, and I attended Bible College at night.

Polishing brass is a dirty job. We stood all day at a huge buffing wheel. You add some compound on the buffing wheel, pick a part up with your right hand, like say a bath tub faucet, and polish the faucet removing all the pits and scratches, then lay it down with your left hand. Later the polished parts were dipped in chrome or some other finish. It was mind-numbing work, and sometimes I performed the same repetitive task 7,500 times a day.

This is the closest picture that I could find of what it is like polishing brass, but the place looks a lot nicer than where I worked. We didn’t get to sit down, and we didn’t have any masks. At the end of the day your skin and face was black as smut from the buffing compounds, and when you washed, it remained green from the brass dust. The green skin was perpetual because you refreshed it every day. Sometimes the machine would snatch the part away from you and then fire it back at you like a canon. I have been knocked down after being hit in the chest by a heavy tub faucet the machine fired at me. It was rough work and it paid very little.

During this time, I knew that God moved in the lives of the Pastor and others in the church, but I felt that I didn’t spiritually matter, like He didn’t really know me. I just polished the brass all day, and daydreamed about working in a Christian bookstore. I could just picture myself, in the air conditioning, talking with others about Jesus all day. That is where God hangs out, I thought.

Wearable CD players were just coming out, the Sony walkman was going away (that will give you an idea of how long this has been), so I purchased the Bible on 55 compact disks and I listened to it all day while working. The machines were so loud that no one could hear me, so I would sing in tongues a lot of the day.

It was also a very dark place literally and spiritually. People openly did drugs and cussed all day. Everyone was angry. I stayed to myself and ate lunch in my car. It was skid row, but I had to pay the bills. Then one day I was at the machine buffing away when I suddenly felt the sensation of oil being poured over my head. I thought someone was pranking me, so I spun around, but there was no one there. After that, things began happening. God began showing up at my workplace.

Seemingly for no reason at all, people began borrowing my Bible CDs, then scriptures replaced the centerfolds in the bathroom and were taped on the machines. People began going to church with me, and soon I would fill my whole row with visitors. One by one, everyone there was saved. We would join hands and pray together before we started to work, and the Bible played over the intercom all day. After a short time, the owners made me the manager. God changed the environment around me, and He can do the same for you. The Lord takes pleasure in His people (Psalm 149:4) and He rewards those who seek Him (Hebrews 11:6). God will come to your workplace.

In Exodus 28:3, God told Moses to call the gifted artisans whom He had filled with the Spirit of Wisdom. Wisdom is an interesting word, it is defined as: “The quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgment; the quality of being wise.” Wisdom is not only having knowledge, but also the proper way to use it in life. God has given many people wisdom throughout scripture.

Some were the crafters who had the skills to create the Ark of the Covenant, the tabernacle, and all the furnishings. We take our work for granted sometimes, but the Lord takes pleasure in equipping us to do our job better, to be the best at what we do. This is our life that we are living. Don’t think that your work doesn’t matter. Consider Bezalel in Exodus 31:

Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: “See, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, to design artistic works, to work in gold, in silver, in bronze, in cutting jewels for setting, in carving wood, and to work in all manner of workmanship. (Exodus 31:1–5 NKJV). 

Bezalel was not the prophet Moses, nor a Levite priest; he was an anointed craftsman of the Lord and God called him by name. The work that God had ordained him to do was not preaching. He worked with his hands, crafting things out of metal and wood. That was how he served God. It was what he was born to do, it was what he was called to do, and he was really good at it. In fact, he was the best of the best.

Some of us feel like God is too distant, or too holy, or too important to be concerned with our little lives, especially our work. We don’t want to bother Him, or sometimes we are just too prideful to admit that we need His help, but He delights in us asking Him for advice, just as we do our children.

For example, when Solomon was a young man, his father David passed away and he suddenly became king. Solomon asked God for help, for an understanding heart, for wisdom to rule the people. God was so pleased that He gave Solomon the wisdom that he asked for, and then included things that he didn’t ask for, like riches and honor. Being a king was Solomon’s job, so in essence He asked God for help in doing his job better, and it greatly pleased God to give him the gifts to do so (1 Kings 3:5–13).

I challenge you today to invite God to be a part of Your work. You will never regret it. Solomon said it best with this:

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In ALL your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths." (Proverbs 3:5–6 NKJV)

You can pray this with me if you like:

Prayer: Heavenly Father, please come be with me today. Give me the grace, the gifts, the wisdom, the anointing, to do my job better. Help me shine Your light into the dark places and speak to me, and through me. Let me know that You are by my side. I invite You to come and be a part of my life today, in the name of Jesus Christ I pray. Amen.

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