“Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain.” Psalm 127:1, NIV
I’ve got big goals. Most of the time I feel a bit sleep-deprived from working to achieve them, but also energized by taking the steps forward to do so—I call it “inspired tired!” And while honest work and accomplishment are good, it is important to always keep in mind who we are working for and ultimately what we are working toward. Psalm 37, 127, several places in Proverbs (ch. 16, 19, 20), and Jeremiah 10 and 29 all echo: “A man’s heart plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps” (Proverbs 16:9).
Recently, I had two “doors” swing wide open for me that represented significant professional opportunities. However, I had to close both doors because walking through them would have been a clear conflict of conscience and a violation of my biblical beliefs. Although low-hanging fruit is tempting, God promises us so much better if we just wait to see what He’s got for us in the top branches.
As Solomon noted in Ecclesiastes, all the work we do all the days of our lives is just meaningless toil…without God. But if we dedicate our work to the Lord (no matter what it might be–even working in a public school), we can rest in the peace that everything will work out: God has a plan, and it is for our good (Jer. 29:11)! And His plans are ALWAYS better than ours! Let’s mimic Jesus by saying, “Not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42), and strive to one day hear the precious words from our savior, “Well done, my good and faithful servant” (Matt. 25:21).
Father God, please help us to discern the choices we are presented with daily through Your Holy Spirit. Please help us to walk in Your ways only and not our own, and to bring glory and honor to You with our work and our interactions with others. Thank you for creating us each with a purpose and a plan. Please enable us to walk out our purpose and faith according to Your will, that we might glorify Your name with our very lives. In Jesus’ name, we pray, Amen.
Copyright Rhapsody Jordan-Parisi.
Rhapsody is a member and high school English teacher from North Carolina. She is passionate about helping struggling teachers strike a balance between success and sanity at her blog, tightropeteaching.com.