Joy and the Christian Life, Pt. 7 – Work and The Will of God.
Bondservants, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. 23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. – Colossians 3:22-24
Many years ago I had become a very irritable and frustrated person. I felt like I was being treated unfairly and soon i had the beginnings of my very own victim mentality. What was the terribly unfair situation which brought me to this state? Two things, but try not to laugh; evangelism and washing dishes.
First evangelism. It was the custom of the Bible College to go to the streets on Friday nights in Okinawa to play worship songs and hand out gospel tracts. What became frustrating was that I was continually on bass guitar duty each Friday. I wanted to be handing out gospel tracts and speaking to people about Jesus, but instead I was playing the bass guitar… But the Lord gave me a realisation.
‘Tom, you don’t want to play the Bass do you.’ – ‘No, I don’t.’ – ‘You didn’t ask to play the bass did you.’ – ‘No, I DIDN’T!’ – ‘Tom, I asked you to play the bass. There is no one else here and this is exactly what I want you to be doing right now.’
Needless to say my jaw dropped. Suddenly playing the bass guitar became the most joyful thing in the world because I knew it was what the Lord wanted me to do at that time. If I had abandoned the bass to hand out gospel tracts I would have been out of God’s will for me at that time.
Second washing dishes. At the Bible College there was a schedule for clean-up. Different people were in charge of either washing and cleaning or cooking on different days. One semester I had been assigned washing lunch dishes Monday to Friday each week. Oh, it was so unfair! Was the head intern, or the director out to get me?! (I can laugh at this now, but this is how I felt) Once again the Lord gave me a realisation.
‘Tom, you don’t want to wash dishes do you.’ – ‘No, I don’t.’ – ‘You didn’t ask to wash dishes did you.’ – ‘No, I DIDN’T’ – ‘Tom, I asked you to wash dishes. This is the job I have given you to do right now.’
Once again my jaw dropped and washing dishes became a very joyful thing. It didn’t matter if the people over me were treating me unfairly because this is the job which the Lord had given me to do right now.
Perhaps my experiences may seem rather simple, but, more commonly it is the very ‘simple’ every day things which eat away at ourselves.
Colossians 3:23 says ‘Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men’. When we understand that the work we are doing is from the Lord it changes the way we receive it. What we are doing and who gave it to us no longer matters. All those things can disappear. It is from the Lord, it is what He wants us to do, so we can do it for him whole heartedly.
What work has the Lord given you today?