How to Know God's Will for Your Career
Excerpt: Does God want you to move to Alaska to work in the fishing industry or enroll in Bible college in Chicago? Maybe His plan for you is a little less complicated.
This morning a girl wrote me that she’s struggling with “how to know God’s will for my career.” I figure she’s not alone, so I’m sharing my response here in hopes that it will help you, too, as you face this daunting decision.
First, a little history.
We’re living in a super unique time. Choices abound. Schooling, military service, full-time ministry, an apprenticeship, an internship, a job directly out of high school . . . these are just a few of your options.
But it wasn’t always like this.
“During Bible times,” Gary Friesen writes in Decision Making and the Will of God, “sons usually took up the occupations of their fathers . . . daughters became wives. Asking a young Israelite if he had discovered God’s will for his life’s work would probably elicit a blank stare.”
Yet somehow we’ve come to believe that we have to discover God’s specific will for exactly where we work.
I just don’t think it works that way.
Scripture shows that God is not concerned with what career you choose (unless, of course, it’s in direct disobedience to His revealed will in Scripture, such as prostitution) as He is about how you work at your career.
As Gary Friesen shares in his book, your work is to be characterized by:
-- Sincerity of heart (Ephesians 6:5; Colossians 3:22-23).
-- Enthusiasm and diligence (Ephesians 6:6; Colossians 3:23; 2 Thessalonians 3:8; Ecclesiastes 9:10).
-- Reverence and devotion to Christ (Ephesians 6:5-6; Colossians 3:22-23).
-- Good will (Ephesians 6:7).
-- Discipline (2 Thessalonians 3:11).
-- Quietness (2 Thessalonians 3:12).
-- Cooperation (Titus 2:9).
-- Honesty (Titus 2:10).
-- Integrity (Ephesians 6:6).
-- Efficiency (Ephesians 5:16).
-- Gratitude (Ephesians 3:17).
-- Generosity (Ephesians 4:28).
In your relationship with your employer, you:
-- Must be submissive and obedient, as unto the Lord (Ephesians 6:5; Colossians 3:22; Titus 2:9; 1 Peter 2:18).
-- Must be diligent in your work, with the idea that your ultimate superior is the Lord (Ephesians 6:6-8; Colossians 3:23).
-- Must work as hard when no one is watching as you do under direct supervision (Ephesians 6:6).
-- Must regard your employer as worthy of all honor (1 Timothy 6:1) and show respect even to those supervisors
who are unreasonable (1 Peter 2:18).
-- Must not take advantage of an employer who is also a believer, but rather serve him all the more out of love (1 Timothy 6:2).
So can we tweak the question? Rather than asking “What is God’s will for my career?” can we ask “How can I best serve God through my work?”
Don’t fret when you don’t hear a voice from heaven telling you that you should move to Alaska to work in the fishing industry or that you should enroll in Bible college in Chicago. You have great freedom in choosing your work.
Instead, listen to His clear voice through Scripture and learn how to please Him in the way that you work. How can you best serve God with the gifts He has given you?
I’d love to hear from you. Have you been more focused on finding exactly where God wants you to work, or have you been obeying His moral will regarding how you work? What specific step will you commit to take after reading this post to glorify God in the way that you work?
By Paula Marsteller