Do we serve God with the same zeal during the week as we do on Sundays? Whether we are at work, studying, spending time with people, or in the Sunday service, we are servants of God. We are His witnesses at all times, and in all places. Are our hearts prepared to worship and declare God’s glory at every opportunity?
I know and have been greatly encouraged that God is working in my workplace. I am thankful for all the opportunities He provides, and for the testimonies He gives me there. I am stirred up to serve Him faithfully at work. Yet, if asked to work more, I find I hesitate. I have a battle within me; I wonder what opportunities to show God love could arise, I think about the inconvenience of time I could spend doing other things, I look at work-life balance and how much rest I will get. Interesting, if asked to serve more at church, my thoughts are not the same. I am more likely to just say yes and go for it.
Realising this, I thought about the attitudes of my heart towards service at work and church – how is it that I feel differently when asked to do extra at work, compared to church?
We serve God in every arena.
Whether at church or in the workplace, I want to serve my God. I want to be aware of every opportunity to show His love; to listen to people share their stories, to encourage them, to pray for them. It has been interested to see things I learn from work, and things I learn from church filter into the way I interact with people in both places. I learn grace, and it increases my patience at work. I learn to worship God as I take blood pressures and listen to beating hearts, and I am glad to use these skills to support my church family, even just through knowing a doctor’s viewpoint on things. I pray for my church, and I pray for my workplace. I learn to work hard, and as I commit to excellence in serving God at church, I commit to excellence in serving Him as a doctor.
Serving at church has encouraged me to work harder, more purposefully, and more patiently at work. It reminds me that I have a calling to tell the nations about the good news of Jesus, and that God has given me tools to do this through my work – not just in diagnosis and treating a patient, but in the way I might listen or speak with them, and in how I interact with my colleagues at work.
God has also given me so many testimonies to encourage me in serving Him at the workplace. Some of these are my own – times when God transformed a person’s life, or when I was able to comfort or encourage. Some of these are also the testimonies of others – their opportunities to glorify God at work which have subsequently encouraged me to keep persevering in bringing God’s light into the workplace. God used people in every life circumstance to build His kingdom – kings, queens, slaves, prisoners, tax-collectors, shepherds, tent-makers, fishermen. The stories of these people serving God at work encourage me also, and I am reminded that He has placed me here, with these skills for such a time as this.
[Colossians 3:17] – “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”
Worship as a choice.
The music plays, and my soul is compelled to worship God. I love worshipping God through music, and I love singing to Him. Yet, there is also a beauty in worshipping Him at work through navigating difficult situations, and choosing to praise Him in those times. The Bible tells us to put on Christ, and clothe ourselves with the newness of character He gives us.
[Colossians 3:12-15] – “Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which you were called in one body; and be thankful.”
I have practiced doing this at work – putting on kindness, choosing to replacing complaining with thanksgiving instead. As I have determined to do this with my mind, it has become more natural and much easier to stop complaining. Instead, I can travel to my workplace each day with a thankful heart, ready to fight for Christ through the work I do. Worship transforms our heart, and it gives me a joy and peace that helps me overcome any challenge I might face both in and out the workplace. It gives me energy to work for Christ in my workplace because I am excited to see what He might do, and how He might transform lives there.
As my eyes, through worship, are transformed to see God’s kingdom in my workplace, I find my heart stirred up more to praise Him and give Him thanks. So, what started as choosing to worship begins a transformation of my mindset so that in whatever I do, worship might rise up.
Rest is important.
Sometimes, it seems easier to just say yes. However, rest is important; having a Sabbath is important. It is much easier for me to see this at work and to ensure that I am getting adequate rest to do my job at work effectively. I know how many nursing home patients I can have in order to effectively care for their health needs and I have learnt to prioritise, triage and ask for help at work to make sure my patients are well looked after, and I get the work-life balance I need to keep up that level of care.
When it comes to serving at church, however, I don’t always think in the same way. My husband has helped me protect my time of resting in God and over time, I have become more intentional in putting aside “prayer room” and rest time. Our pastor has spoken many times of rest, that sometimes, “the most spiritual thing you can do is just get some sleep”. A soldier that does not rest will not fight as effectively. Likewise, when I am worn out and tired, my self control and patience wear thinner. I can plan in rest so I can serve without burning out. I can plan in rest so that my relationship with God, being strengthened, can sustain the service I do at work and at church.
The most important thing I see when I reflect on my attitude towards serving God in life, is where this attitude comes from. At the heart of my service must be love for God. The purpose of my service must come from a desire to glorify Him. The sustenance of my serving is the Spirit of God at work within me, showing me the desires of God and leading me to walk in it. So, my priority must always be to seek God first, and service will flow out of this. It is the Spirit of God in us that gives us life in Christ. As Romans 8 says, “those who are in the flesh cannot please God” (v.8), but
“…if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.” – [Romans 8:11]
May our service to God be always rooted in and sustained by our love for Him.