“The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.” Proverbs 18:10
Let’s start with a story about Noah.
“The Lord said to Noah, “Where is the ark I commanded thee to build?”
Noah said unto the Lord, “Verily I have had three carpenters off ill. The gopher wood supplier hath let me down. Yea, even though the gopher wood hath been on order for nigh upon twelve months. What can I do Lord?”
And God said to Noah, “I want that ark finished. Even after seven days and seven nights.”
And Noah said, “It will be so.”
And it was NOT so.
The Lord said unto Noah, “What seemeth to be the trouble this time?”
Noah said unto the Lord, “Mine subcontractor hath gone bankrupt. The pitch which Thou commandest me put on the outside and inside of the ark hath not arrived. The plumber hath gone on strike. Shim, my son who helped me on the Ark side of the business, hath formed a rock group with his brother Ham and Chapel. Lord, I am undone.”
The Lord grew angry and said, “What about the animals? What about the male and the female of every sort that I ordered to come unto thee to keep their seed alive upon the face of this earth?”
Noah said, “O Lord, they have been delivered to the wrong address. They should arrive on Friday.”
And the Lord said, “How about the unicorns and the fowls of the air in sevens?”
Noah wrung his hands and wept, saying, “Lord, unicorns are a discontinued line and thou cannot getst them for love nor money. And fowls of the air are only sold in half-dozens. Lord, Lord, Thou knowest how it is.”
And the Lord in God’s wisdom said, “My son, I knowest how it is. That’s why I have caused a flood to descend upon the earth.”
Many of us are in pain because our retirement years, our career, our job, or our business is not going exactly the way we have wanted it. We had great plans. We had great dreams and visions about where we wanted to see it and us go, but something’s wrong. Noah’s story above is another example.
It’s like a woman who has been with child, and in labor for years and years, but still the baby has not yet come through to birth. Many are hurting. Things seem slow. Maybe business is not doing as well as it should or our career is not going where we had dreamed it would, or our retirement years are not the joy we anticipated.
You ask a question, “Why? Why, God? I work so hard. Why isn’t it going the way I want it to go?”
One woman said, “I am getting nowhere fast!”
Your love and your passion for what you are doing may have slipped away.
You know that you have worked hard. Many times you may feel like you have just been spinning your wheels.
So, let’s stop and think a minute……….
With God’s help you will get where you want to go.
A man went to an outdoor store and bought a canoe, and he said, “I had never been in a canoe in my life. I went out on the lake in the canoe. It was like a balancing act. If you put the oar too far to one side, the whole canoe tips. If you breathe, the pulsations of your breath cause the canoe to rock. (This actually happened to us. Paul, Morgen, and I took a canoe trip down a lazy river. As soon as we got in the canoe and in the river, we tipped over. We could not stop laughing as we chased our canoe down the river.)
Many times in our lives, we go the way of that man. We become frozen, afraid to even breathe, because we are afraid some action might cost us our security, our jobs, our financial security. So, we just exist. We go in and we ride, like in the middle of the canoe, and we forget to have fun. We forget to bring joy into our lives.
We often talk about living our life like Jesus Christ would. We have to ask the question whether Jesus Christ was ever tired of His labors.
First of all, was He like an employer who owned a business? Yes, He was. He had twelve people working for Him. Was He ever disgusted with the disciples? Yes. Many times He could not convey the idea of what He desired for them, which was to take over the business.
Was He ever disgusted with His labors? Was He ever in great pain in these labors? Yes, He was. But in every case, (and this is the important thing), He was able to transcend that.
Often times we are not. We go in and get in the pit of our own despair and then we’re not able to lift ourselves out of that pit.
And yet God is always willing, and ready, to help.
Jesus Christ was able to transcend it and therefore create a great work with His life. His whole message to His disciples who took over the ministry, and to you who, hopefully, will take over after the disciples in your family retire, is that YOU CAN transcend everything that is against you in your career, or your job situation, your spiritual labors, and you can do it now.
You can transcend it because you are NOT ALONE in your endeavors. God is there with you. That is an important thing to realize. You are not alone.
So often we feel like we are alone. We feel like we’ve been abandoned. We feel like we are in the grind of life without any purpose. But you do have a great purpose.
Matthew 11:28-30. says, “Come to me all who labor and are heavy laden.”
You labor every day. Even if you are in retirement, you labor at something every day.
But are you heavy laden? Are you feeling the burdens of the world? Do you feel as if you are strapped to an immovable object and that immovable object is your life right now?
Is God doing this to you, or is it you doing this to you?
It’s not God. Jesus says, “I will give you rest.”
Rest: We are not talking about going to sleep at night and sleeping eight hours. No. We’re talking about a rest that is spiritual, deep and so profound for your soul renewal, that you will go on with a new vigor and vitality. Your life will transcend its self.
You’ll have new talents coming through you, new ideas that can transform any difficulty. Jesus says, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me for I am gentle and lowly of heart.”
What does that mean? Jesus wants you to be gentle and lowly of heart too. It means that INSTEAD of waking up each morning in a fighting mood and saying, “They are not going to do anything to me. I am strong. I am going to be here and I’m not going to let them do anything to me. I am ready for a fight;” you wake up in the joy of a new day brought to you by the love of God. You bask in the glory of the day.
It means to consent to God’s activity coming through you, and to be of service to others.
..because – you are going to do it differently. You are going to transcend. You are going to walk into the day, wherever it is, with God’s love flowing through you. You are going to cause the whole space around you to transcend. You are going to radiate Christ. Christ will come through you like a broadcasting station, and it will draw all men and women to you. It will be like a magnet in your ever-rising spiritual path attracting others to you in Christ.
It says you will find rest for your soul.
Why? Because you are not working alone. You know that God is going to do work through you. You are spiritually showing up and allowing God to do His work through you.
This is the Truth of what can transform your whole life. It doesn’t matter what you do. The Truth is the same. The activity is the same. The transformation is the same.
Jesus said, “For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
That yoke is the thing that you may have around your neck right now. It is attached to something may seem immovable.
If you want to see it move – ask God to move it. You will find a flurry of activity in your career, your retirement, in your job that is not stagnant.
God’s good will come your way.
Here is what it says in Galatians 5:1: “For freedom, Christ has set us free. Stand fast, therefore, and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.”
Many of us may feel that we are slaves in our jobs/our lives, that we are doing the work and someone else is benefiting. We are very resentful because we are giving the majority of our lives to this. What are we getting out of it?
I Timothy gives us a surprising teaching.
“Let all who are under the yoke of slavery regard their masters as worthy of all honor so that the name of God and the teaching will not be defamed. Those who have believing masters must not be disrespectful on the ground that they are brethren. Rather they must serve all the better since those who benefit by their service are believers and beloved.”
Here is a teaching that is telling you to strive to be a better server, to allow God to flow through you so you can serve others better.
If there are ever personnel problems it is because people think they are working for some man or woman, and they forget they are working for God.
You, however, are not working for whom you think. You are working for the living God. It is your purpose to be where you are today. Today you are here to serve the Lord with everything inside of you. You will make a difference when you carry forth that attitude. You work for God and you serve.
Be faithful here and even greater things will come to you.
Here is a positive prayer affirmation that you can use daily to remind yourself:
I WORK DIRECTLY WITH GOD, AND GOD WORKS DIRECTLY THROUGH ME.
This is a positive prayer that reminds you that no matter how insignificant your human mind tells you your work is, God is working in you, as you work, to accomplish what is yours to do for God.
Some people have no idea how what they are doing will benefit others. But know that it is God there working through you. When you have that attitude, you become a shining light in your service, your work, a shining light that will be like a beacon. Others will sense exactly what it is.
You will be a gold mine to your church, your organization because you’re going to have God’s ideas, God’s enthusiastic energy, and God’s creativity flowing through you. You’re going to be very important to whomever you touch. You’re going to make a difference in their lives, in your work environment, wherever you are.
Let me give you an example. Let’s say that we went into a Wendy’s restaurant and we asked this question, “Who is best representing God in Wendy’s?”
Is it the person who owns the franchise and has a thousand restaurants?
Or would it be the person who comes in that Wendy’s serves?
Or would it be the waitress or the waiter who hands you your order?
Listen to what Jesus Christ says in Luke 22:27:
“For which is greater? One who sits at the table or one who serves? Is it not the one who sits at the table? But, I am among you as one who serves.”
Jesus knew the Truth—you become all you can become in and through God, and then you serve others, and in so doing that, you serve God.
If you have some project that is scaring you, make that a prayer project.
Know that no matter what it is or what obstacle is there, it is a project of God’s and that this is an activity of prayer that is going to come through you. You are going to make discoveries about this project and about you that are going to turn around your life, increase your effectiveness as a person. Remember, you’re becoming a magnet of all that God is.
In I Chronicles 28:9 it says, “For the Lord searches all hearts and understands every plan.” You don’t understand the plan. You don’t know how in the world this project is going to come to pass.
But God knows.
And if you consent, God will work through you and you will be the one that transforms your workplace, your career, and your life.
If you seek God, God will be found by you. Realize you have a clean sheet of paper on your life. You and God are writing the history book of what you are going to become.
Page by page, day by day, you’re going to carry over that which is good and true, and you’re going to learn and live from the Christ of your being. The story of your service and work is going to develop, because every day you are giving expression to those Christ-like qualities.
I’m going to close with II Corinthians 3:18. It says, “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being changed into God’s likeness from one degree of glory to another.”
What does that mean? It means we are no longer veiled. We are looking directly into the ideas and into the Divine guidance of God. What’s being changed? Your whole life has been changed; your career is being changed; your retirement is being changed; your job is being changed from something you may dislike to something you can love and for which you have a passion.
Let us pray.
God, I ask You to change my life in what I do, day by day. I ask You to change my reflections on what I do, by changing it right where I am by changing me. I turn to You and I consent to You coming through. I know that as You come through, I will manifest Your perfection wherever I am and in whatever service I do. Amen