“There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience.” (Hebrews 4:9-11).
“What do people get for all the toil and anxious striving with which they labor under the sun? All their days their work is grief and pain; even at night their minds do not rest. This too is meaningless.” – (Ecclesiastes 2:22-23)
The Pressures of This Life
There has got to be more to this life than how it is described in Ecclesiastes, and yet too many Christians feel that this is true. The last post looked at whether work had to be hard. If work is no longer under the curse, then the natural question is how do we come under the blessing?
We still have to live life. There are deadlines and to do lists. We have goals and expectations put upon us. We have to hit quota or risk losing our job. I understand the pressure; I have responsibilities and a family. Bills need to be paid and work brings in the money.
God is Our Provider
Jesus tells us not to worry because our Heavenly Father knows what we need (Matthew 6:31-34). What does Jesus mean by this? He means that it is not your responsibility to provide for your needs. That is your Father’s job. Our responsibility is to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and He will take care of our needs.
Mary and Martha
Jesus reveals this further through Mary and Martha (Luke 10:38-42). Martha gets upset with Mary because she wouldn’t help in the kitchen and orders Jesus to help. Jesus doesn’t, but instead compliments Mary. Mary had chosen to take advantage of the opportunity to sit at Jesus feet. Martha was distracted, worried and upset.
Work was not Martha’s problem; she had a bad attitude. She saw the preparations and took responsibility for them to get done. It all sounds good until we realize that was God’s responsibility. She didn’t need to worry. She needed time with Jesus to get a proper perspective. Jesus had kept a whole countryside of people captivated by His words all day, and when it came to the end of the day he provided food for them all (John 6:1-14).
For a more in-depth study on Mary and Martha, check out the popular Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World Study Guide: Finding Intimacy with God in the Busyness of Life (A 10-session Series for Personal or Group Study).
We Need to Change Our Perspective
Martha wasn’t corrected for working; Mary wasn’t commended for not working. Work was not the issue. Work is a gift from God, but we need to change our perspective. It is not all about us. God is the one who provides for us, and the only way we will teach our hearts that He will come through is to spend time with Him. Sit at the feet of Jesus. Work from an awareness of His presence. If you make it all about you, you will at best only come up with natural results. If you follow His lead, He will change your perspective and you will see time extended, resources multiplied, and supernatural results.
What Does Working Out of Rest Look Like?
I like the picture above because there appears to be no effort in throwing the frisbee, and even when it is caught the thrower appears to be out for a stroll. He did his job and put the frisbee at just the right place. No worries. No stress.
Work can be exactly the same. You will send emails at the exact time to create favorable change. You will say words that surprise you and impresses your boss. You will have ideas form that revolutionizes your workplace. You meet the right people and the right time to help you in the right season. You have the Spirit of the living God within You and He wants to see you succeed.
“The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the LORD.”
– Proverbs 21:31
What Does This Look Like For You?
I would love to hear from you on this topic. Please leave a comment below about some ways where God has come through for you at work?
Original photos by Robert Maxton
Kevin Shorter is the founder of this prayer-coach site and have served for several years in ministry and churches teaching on a variety of Biblical topics. Go to the contact page to request him to speak at your conferences and seminars.