Read His Words Before Ours!
As treasures of God, created by and for Him,
we have been given the gift of work.
Whether leading a corporation or a family, God has given each of us unique talents and opportunities to glorify Him and draw others to Himself. He has also provided guidelines to protect us and to help us learn to trust Him. As our Creator, God invites us into a working partnership, one in which He is both guide and co-laborer.
Psalm 127:1 explains,
“Unless the Lord builds the house,
the workers labor in vain who build the house;
Unless the Lord watches the city,
the watchmen watch in vain.”
Our work should begin with God in mind.
Colossians 3:23 reminds us to do everything for the Lord. We are to seek Him first, allowing Him to guide our decisions and processes. When we do this, our priorities line up with His and we make decisions based on the principles He’s given His followers. Then, He can bless the work of our hands and we can step back and celebrate His work through us!
However, our identities can get tangled up in the work we do, instead of who God says we are. When this happens, we become greedy, prideful, critical, and absent from those we love.
When we don’t view our work as God’s purposes through us, we begin micromanaging and hovering over every project instead of trusting those assigned to the work. Rather than working as a team, allowing all members to learn and thrive, decisions are made to feed the ego of the leader.
As we continue to find identity in our work,
we are consumed with busy-ness,
eventually neglecting regular meetings with our Father,
and further becoming enslaved to the success of the job to prove our worth.
We were made for work, but not for constant work.
Our bodies were made for a balance of work and rest. How kind of our Creator to model this for us! He spent six days creating, then spent the seventh day resting.
As God, He doesn’t need rest, but He showed us the importance of stepping back, seeing all we’ve done, and resting. As we practice regular Sabbath, lovingly given for our good, we demonstrate the trustworthiness of our God, who designs our work and holds all things together.
In addition, as Jesus modeled, we need to take time away daily to connect with the Lord, He who loves us best and in Whom we find our true identity. When we allow ourselves to be filled with Him first, the work we do is fueled with His purpose and energy.
As we consistently abide in Him, our work bears fruit as God intended, glorifying Him. He also reminds us how deeply He loves those we lead, and we learn how to lead them well.
Perhaps the greatest obstacle to getting time away from work is our devices. Our phones are no longer connected to the wall, but accompany us wherever we go, making us constantly, immediately accessible. With the ease of remote work comes the double-edged sword of always being “on” and consumed by work.
In addition, our devices make it all too easy to trade quietness and reflection in favor of unceasing preoccupation with social media or even games. Peeking at the screen “just this once” becomes an entire vacation lost, or a day with the family plunged into electronic isolation.
Be assured, sister, if you identify with any of this, you are not alone.
I am currently working to build limits for my own cell phone use and lack of true rest. Though I don’t work outside the home, I can get lost in the search for dinner ideas, recipes, or ways to more effectively manage my home.
The too-high cost is precious time with my family. I end up feeling more frustrated about my lack of productivity, lack of time to pursue creative outlets, or inability to rest and connect with Jesus. If you find yourself there as well, take heart and be reminded of Jesus’ words in Matthew 11:28-30,
“Come to me all you who are weak and weary,
and I will give you rest.
For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Our Savior knows we need rest.
The Holy Spirit gently reminds us true rest, like our true identity, is found in Him.
When we seek Him first, trusting Him with the details of the job, He is faithful to provide restoration to our weary souls as He blesses the work of our hands.
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!