Not from the east or from the west and not from the wilderness comes lifting up, but it is God who executes judgment, putting down one and lifting up another (Psalm 75:6–7, esv).
How do you feel about your job? Love it? Hate it? Wish you could quit? Terrified of being fired?
Listen: it doesn’t really matter whether you like it or not, because the things happening there are shaping you into the person God is going to use.
Our culture has tried convincing us that chasing our dreams is what life’s all about. The work we do, the opportunities we pursue—we think they should be fulfilling this burning passion we carry around inside us. We think they should exhilarate us and pop us out of bed every morning, thrilled to spend one more day experiencing the constant satisfaction of doing-what-we-love-and-loving-what-we-do.
But have you noticed that most of the people we meet in the Bible don’t square with that experience? Think of Moses, for example. He was a fairly important guy, right? But do you think leading the children of Israel was his dream job? Do you think there were parts of his duties he didn’t particularly like, or that he might have wanted a little more time off? Or any time off? Moses spent most of his days listening to the people groaning and complaining rather than feeling any love or appreciation from them.
But Moses had a calling. Like you have a calling. And he was determined to stay faithful to that calling, even if it didn’t come with the option of chasing his dreams.
You are a follower of Jesus Christ, currently assigned to whatever task is before you today. You are a minister of His gospel, employed at your work site (or unemployed with no work site). And your job description today is to embrace what may be an obscure, unpleasant, or menial task, and to treat it as God’s preparation for something that’s way more important than any old work position.
Jesus said, “Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (Matthew 10:39). This tells me not everyone is owed a job that turns their crank and lights their fancy. This tells me our lives are hard work, and our jobs are not always thrilling. The Scripture says of our time on the earth, “This is no place to rest” (Micah 2:10), and that we are “sojourners and exiles” (1 Peter 2:11). We are not in heaven yet. Our everyday lives simply will not delight us at every turn.
Your job and career may seem to have you stuck in the middle of nowhere, where no one is likely to discover or notice you, where any movement up the ladder appears unlikely, and where you simply don’t see a lot of good things happening. And yet “promotion” doesn’t come “from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south” (75:6, kjv). It comes from God alone. He decides what brings Him glory. He decides where you’re best suited to serve Him right now. He is the one who “puts down one and exalts another” (75:7, nasb).
Going to that factory, phone bank, or office park may be the last thing you feel like doing today. But doing your job—even if it’s a job you don’t love—is a task worthy of respect and esteem. Your dreams may not come calling today, but your God will. And His calling is able to take you places that no dream ever could.
Lord God, You are the source of my skills and talents. You’ve also ignited interests within me that I long to see developed, used, and perfected. Help me entrust these dreams and passions to You, Lord, not demand their fulfillment—not in some prescribed way I’ve created in my mind for how they should come about. Make my chief desire, above all else, to be loving You and remaining faithful to You. By Your grace I will do that today, and I will do it for Your glory. In Jesus’ name, amen.