Ask yourself this question: How much do you actually include God in your work each day? Our team recently went through a faith-at-work study called The Switch by Doug Spada. There was one question in that book that really stood out to me – “what percentage of the time do you work without God, for God and with God?”
I’m sure I’m working without God more than I’d like to admit. I’ve spent many years working from my own strength, on my own ideas and to my own plans. It’s what I know how to do.
In the last few years, I’ve realized the importance of “working for the Lord, and not for people.” But I now realize the best way to accomplish my work is with God.
When I work for God, it’s easy for me to pile a lot on my plate, try to do it all well and burn out. When I work with God, I’m more likely to seek His direction and lean on Him for strength. But what does that look like? How do I make the shift from working for God to with God?
Studying the lives of the biblical leaders highlighted in our Leadership@Work Studies has really helped me learn what working with God looks like. Here are four strategies you can use to gain direction and strength for your work from God.
- Pray through your workday. Pray about everything you do in your work – even the small things that seem like they would be insignificant to God. Pray before every meeting, for every decision, before moving to the next step in the plan. When Daniel was asked to interpret a dream AND tell the king what the dream was, he didn’t panic – he called his friends to pray with him. God revealed both the dream and its interpretation to Daniel. We need to apply his example to the simplest tasks as well as the most complex problems.
- Wait on God. Have you ever felt like you were spinning your wheels at work and getting nowhere fast? When Nehemiah learned that the Jerusalem wall was destroyed, he didn’t jump into action to save the day. He prayed. For four months. As he waited on God, God made a way for him to take leave of his post, obtain supplies and lead the Israelites to rebuild the wall. Allowing God to show you His timing will help you avoid the rough patches and respond more effectively to your biggest challenges at work.
- Keep Scripture “snacks” handy. I’ll bet you have a drawer in your desk with a couple of snacks to curb that mid-afternoon hunger. But do you have Scriptures handy to refer to when your soul feels empty? Once the Jerusalem wall was rebuilt, Nehemiah and Ezra fed the souls of the Israelites with God’s word. It’s a great way to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus while also gaining much needed encouragement in the midst of a hectic day.
- Give God all of the glory. When we strive after rewards for ourselves, it’s easy to become self-centered, putting relationships and even our true success at risk. Each time Daniel was asked to interpret a mystery, he made sure it was understood that God revealed those secrets to him. He gave God all the glory. Thanking God for our success opens the door for Him to work through us in greater ways and provide the favor and creativity we need to succeed.
What can you do today to be intentional about working with God?