Oh friends, it’s about to get real here. If this headline caught your eye, I’m hoping I am not alone in what I’m about to share.
This is the question that has dogged me throughout my life. Like the mean girl in school it feeds on my worst fears and insecurities to keep me small. To keep me striving. To make me afraid to be bold.
But rather than recognize it for the demon it is, because I know fear is not from God, I let it stay, mistakenly thinking I could keep it at bay, telling myself it was an instrument of humility, protecting me from pride. But what I failed to see was just how insidious and even more sinful this one could be.
Defining Value in God’s Economy
This question pops up most often in my life at work.
As much as I’ve surrendered to the Lord I realized this week that I haven’t given God sovereignty over my earthly work. Not because I don’t think God should rule it, but because I told myself he wouldn’t want to. God doesn’t care about marketing, as long as I do my work with integrity and “as if doing it for him.”
Do your best. Work from the heart for your real Master, for God, confident that you’ll get paid in full when you come into your inheritance. Keep in mind always that the ultimate Master you’re serving is Christ.Colossians 3: 23-25 (MSG)
But God showed me what I’ve been missing. It’s why he placed me in this role at this time, working for a brother in Christ who is willing to speak of what we do in terms of God’s economy.
I thought I’d been doing pretty well. I’ve been praying for my coworkers. I’ve been conscious to shine Christ’s light in our workplace…until my work wasn’t succeeding.
Planting Seeds, Not Seeing Fruit
I have been giving my all lately without seeing fruit. And slowly, the volume on that familiar old whisper has been creeping up the dial in my mind:
“Am I worthy?”
Last week I was frustrated enough to express the thought that had now taken root as fear: “What if my best isn’t good enough?”
And that’s when God spoke truth through my manager by asking if I was giving my best or leaning on the Lord to equip me in my work.
At first I responded too quickly, as if answering the nuns in grade school when the obvious right answer always is the one with God in it.
But the seed was planted. And God was about to pour on some Miracle-Gro.
Facing My Identity Crisis
Over the next 12 hours God went into “Verizon guy” mode, speaking the same truths over and over to my heart and then pausing to ask,
“Can you hear me now?”
Has that ever happened to you? I heard the same message “coincidentally” from at least three different sources. And here is what he said:
- It’s not about you.
- If what you’re doing you can do in the flesh, without me, it’s not worth doing. (And this includes your work.)
- My desire is to draw my children to myself. When you give me dominion over your work, I will do the unimaginable, the otherwise unachievable.
- And then, when people ask how in the world you accomplished such a thing, you can simply and honestly point to Me.
- But remember, my success doesn’t always look like your success.
Surely, as I have planned, so it will be,Isaiah 14:24 (NIV)
and as I have purposed, so it will happen.
I saw it clearly for the first time. How that big little lie had taken root in my heart feeding all kinds of sin. Fear. Striving. Anxiety. And inevitably, I would look to those around me, my coworkers, fellow humans, fellow sinners, for approval, hoping my best would make me worthy in their eyes.
My identity is not in this world. It is in Jesus. I am his and he is mine. I am a beloved daughter of the King. He gave me this work to do right now for his divine purpose, and all of my striving should be to glorify him, not myself.
This refinement by my Father has brought an immediate, sturdy new peace to my work day. I am seeing my work through spiritual eyes, with an eternal range of vision, rather than stopping at my own reflection.
Think about this. Wrap your minds around it.Isaiah 46:8-11 (MSG)
This is serious business, rebels. Take it to heart….
I am God, the only God you’ve had or ever will have—
From the very beginning
telling you what the ending will be,
All along letting you in
on what is going to happen,
Assuring you, ‘I’m in this for the long haul,
I’ll do exactly what I set out to do,’
Calling that eagle, Cyrus, out of the east,
from a far country the man I chose to help me.
I’ve said it, and I’ll most certainly do it.
I’ve planned it, so it’s as good as done.