Greater contentment and purpose in careers and jobs,
through God’s guidance and assistance.
Open it all to God in trust.
You can read the introductory article to this section of the website, “God’s presence in our lives” before going on, if you have not already. It explains the various methods, available to us, that we can use to engage with God in our lives. And how our lives can be positively transformed as a result! It also tries to put those available methods, and our overall relationship with God, in perspective.
The majority of this website is the result of my own long term analysis and evaluation of Christianity in action, within life and the Church. (To read about the ‘who’, ‘how’ and ‘why’ of this website please click here.) Also please read the article, “Too good to be true?” for a summary of how I did eventually come to be a ‘rock-solid believer’ myself.
Within that ‘long term’ project of mine I certainly recognised God ready and willing to guide and assist me there in the workplace, as in any other area of my life. And I must add, past the accepted ‘gauge’ of ‘beyond reasonable doubt’. This article then discusses how each of us can positively engage, or connect, with God in the workplace.
2. GOD’S BASIC EXPECTATIONS
Importantly, I must first explain God’s expectations with regards to our jobs (in addition to engaging with him there of course). The Bible’s New Testament (e.g. Colossians 3:23), explains that we should ‘do our best’ in our jobs. We should, in short, do what we are paid to do and do it to the best of our ability. Now I fully realise we don’t all have employment that we enjoy, but we are still expected to do our best. There can be satisfaction in that alone, as I well know from boring jobs that I held in the past!
Of course our actual ‘choice of employment’ is also important to the Lord. We cannot expect him to assist us in a career where we are involved with ‘harmful’ goods or services being delivered to the community.
Bear in mind too, Bible-based ethics should play a role in all of our work actions and decisions. This ‘kind of stuff’ relates to how each of us should be ‘faithful‘ to our Lord during all facets of life. That in turn leads to rewards from him that can come our way.
And … AND … one final piece of advice here. It is very important that none of us becomes absolutely ‘obsessed’ with our careers or jobs. We must keep all this stuff in perspective with the rest of our lives. There are things that are more important, e.g. God himself PLUS our close relationships, our families and other people doing it tough as examples.
If anything in life actually becomes an obsession, then it becomes more important to us than God. It simply is then a ‘false idol’. We can thereby separate ourselves from the Lord and all of his loving ‘grace‘.
3. OPEN OUR CAREER AND JOBS TO HIM
Now let’s get into that subject of ‘engaging with God’ in the workplace.
3.1 God is there and can help us
Now, I know you the reader may have entered directly into this article. Also, you may well be wondering how could anyone even ‘dream’ that God’s presence could be recognised in their workplace, and indeed help them there? I mean how do we even come to believe in God at all? Well, if you do at least have an open mind on the subject, then the article, “Can I really believe in God?” is available to guide you in that regard. There really are some serious ‘belief building’ options offered in that article!
In my case as that believer I had personally become, and once I twigged to God’s readiness to interact with me in the workplace … well … I totally accepted what was on offer there. I was not disappointed! And trust me, I am absolutely not on my own there. I have heard it again and again from fellow Christians.
So please read on.
3.2 God’s plan for each of us
Each of us do have our own ‘strengths and weaknesses’. These have been ‘shaped’ by factors such as our genetics, life experiences and education. We are simply ‘who we are’ as a result. Now God knows all this stuff about us, and in turn knows exactly what we are capable of. And what we are suited to, in the workplace. He can, as a result, effectively ‘guide us‘ in our jobs, careers and maybe even before that in our education (so as to gain qualifications needed for our future career).
So yes, he does have a ‘plan’ for each of us, within our work lives, as a result. I am talking about helping us to: bring about best results for our fellow humans; reach our own full potential with regards to job satisfaction and sense of purpose. Of course again all this relates to our ‘real needs’ and those of our clients, customers, fellow workers etc.
Please do not forget we can also ask him for advice, on any issue facing us in life. As far as our careers or jobs are concerned, he will respond to our requests for guidance or assistance there. Please read the article, “God’s guidance”.
And when we do follow God’s guidance as Christians, again in any area of life, then his providence (‘God’s helping hand’) can often be recognised there in varying degrees. Note that there are also other issues important to him, affecting his guidance and help towards us, such as our ‘faithfulness’ to him. (Previously mentioned under Heading 2.) Also please see info under sub heading 3.2 in the article, “Building sound faith“.
3.3 God’s ‘guiding hand’ in our career/ job
I can say with confidence that God eventually led me away from a career direction of safe and secure boredom, with little job satisfaction. And, he ‘steered me’ towards a path where my abilities were actually of ‘value to the community’. Not surprisingly I guess, I came to gain real job satisfaction through that process. Now I am an analytical character. Yes, I love to investigate and analyse! Not surprisingly those abilities were necessary on that new ‘path’. Mind you I do have some serious failings too. I really am just a pretty ordinary dude. But those failings just didn’t get in the way of my new profession. God even knew beforehand they wouldn’t of course.
After many years in that ‘profession’ (that God had guided me to) I was eventually tempted to apply for a ‘cushier’ job with less responsibility but a much bigger ‘pay packet’. I was certainly qualified for the job. However, ‘God’s leadings‘ made it clear to me that I should NOT apply. So as the faithful Christian that I was by then, I stuck with my job and ‘put my head down’. Did my best. A few months later I became second in charge of our specialised team. Within another couple of years I was the head of the branch, reporting directly to the CEO of our large complex organisation. In fact, as a result, I came to hold the most senior position for the profession in my state’s public/ civil service. But … I certainly knew this was not just about me (and more about that later).
Yes, finding the ‘right way’ forward in my career – that would also deliver positive outcomes for my public/ civil service organisations and their often vulnerable clients – became much more obvious to me as a result. And of course I specifically ‘prayed for guidance‘ when I needed it.
So I came to find the Lord had been setting me up. He knew where my abilities lay and how they could best help others in need. Yes, he ‘knew me inside out’ after all.
3.4 God’s ‘helping hand’ with our career/ job
As I wrote in the “Conclusion” to a previous article, “God’s helping hand“: one of the best examples of it in my life was actually experienced within my career.
And as my career had progressed further, into senior management within large government agencies, I came to know that I could genuinely count on his assistance. And that happened both on a day-to-day and long term basis. I really knew that I was never alone! I completely trusted the Lord and he lovingly assisted me in meeting my well-intentioned commitments, that were based on his guidance after-all.
But do I hear you saying, “Oh yeah really!” as you read this stuff? To me though, the chance of new well-intentioned work methods and indeed day-to-day challenges just continually succeeding under my leadership, were just so ‘against the odds’.
3.5 An example of his ‘helping hand’ with one of my work projects
One very memorable example, for me, related to a major project that some of my team were ‘rolling out’ under my leadership. They were doing so through that entire large and complex statewide organisation. The programme was ‘cutting edge’ stuff, just beginning to be used throughout the world. So my team and I certainly had a few loose ends to deal with along the way. But again I definitely knew I wasn’t on my own. Thanks Lord! After all, ‘I trusted him with my whole life‘.
As an example, some helpful advice that we needed began to arrive through what appeared to be a chance meeting. That is between me and an ‘international’ guest speaker at an ‘interstate’ training session I had attended. The training session related directly to our project. I found myself seated beside the guest speaker as we ate dinner, after the session finished. (There were very high odds against us ever getting together that way of course!)
During the conversation with him, I was able to help with a small problem (‘as I saw it’) that he had within his own work responsibilities back home on the other side of the world. As well as a lecturer, he was also an executive manager within a huge country-wide public/ civil service organisation. And he let me know shortly afterwards that my advice had solved his problem. We were long-distance friends from that time onwards.
I also came to receive advice from him, when I needed it for that major project. And vice versa as my own knowledge and experience also grew. Again and again, this stuff continued until our local programme was an ongoing success. YES, I trusted the Lord 100%. And he hadn’t let me down!
That programme was successfully rolled out right through my organisation, absolutely thanks to God’s helping hand. Indeed I ended up being invited to lecture about our effective local programme, at a national conference for professionals, in that ‘international’ guest speaker’s own country. While I was there, I was also able to ‘compare notes’ with a number of organisations, similar to my own, through that country. So, some more improvements for our own programme back home. I must add, this all related to ‘healthy’ risk free service delivery for my organisation’s very needy clients.
3.6 How you can engage with him there
Most importantly, in this article, I hope I have highlighted that if you deliberately ‘engage with God’ in your career/ job/ workplace then he will also help you too. And do so in a pretty obvious way in the long term. I offer other articles on this website that will support you during that process. Just click the links through this article ‘for starters’. Maybe also have a quick read of the article, “Trusting God day to day“.
I will also add, based on my experiences, that you should be ready to faithfully follow his lead ‘during your whole life‘, recognising the Bible-based ‘it’s not all about me’ approach. Please have a look at the article “What does faith offer us?”
All I can finally add is, please apply this stuff to all of your life’s endeavours. I will be ‘awfully surprised’ if it does not work for you as well as it did for me. How do you recognise the Lord doing his stuff though? Well, I have copied in a couple of paragraphs below from the article, “God’s presence in our lives“. (I mentioned the article in the intro.) They may help answer the question for you:
- When engaging or connecting with the Lord like this, it’s usually more like recognising positive things happening, ‘against the odds’, as a result of that relationship with him. And on occasions ‘strongly’ against the odds! When following his advice, that is.
- In the case of those positive faith-based events, it is generally a case of ‘more of the same’, ‘more of the same’, ‘more of the same’ and the possibilities/ probabilities that eventually arise from that. And remember my analysis and evaluation-based career. Trust me. Like you, I can think!
Firstly, I want to make it very clear that I am absolutely not trying to present myself as special in this article. Indeed, as I highlighted earlier, I am NOT special at all. The Lord assisted me in my career, because of my faithfulness to him AND the needs of vulnerable clients belonging to the various organisations that I had worked for over time.
Overall, I was hoping to show you how God can lead a very ordinary person (like me) to truly do better than they assume is their human potential. With regards to our careers, I emphasise that it does not matter what our job might be, as long as it adds some value to the community, God will assist in it.
I offer a number of other articles, related to this faith and trust stuff, on this website. In short, it really does amaze ‘analytical old me‘ just how willing God is to lovingly involve himself with us faithful Christians. He sure can make our lives that much more contented and purposeful, when we are ready to fully engage with him there. And TRUST him.
That applies to the unavoidable ‘hard times’ in life, as well as the good times. Continue to the next article, “God during hard times”.