Why am I here? Ever asked yourself that? Usually we just keep running, running, running, without ever stopping to ask that question.
But sometimes, like during the recent lockdowns, when we’ve been forced to stop, step back, and sit still, we begin to wonder, “What’s this life all about? What am I doing? Why am I here? Am I just here to work every hour in the day to earn as many dollars as I can to spend as many dollars as I can? Is that it? Why am I working? What does my work mean? My work seems so pointless.”
Many Christians also feel their work is godless; it has no connection with God or his kingdom. They see their work for the church or their evangelism as part of God’s calling on them, but the rest of their working lives, the vast majority of their lives, that’s not connected with God at all. Little surprise then that Christians feel frustrated and demotivated about their daily work.
But work is such a large part of our lives. What if we could connect it to God and his purposes? Would that not make it much more purposeful and fulfilling? To do that, we don’t need to change our work; we need to change our view of work, how we frame it. Let’s do that by going back to the beginning of work in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:8-9, 15-17).
GOD CALLS US TO PRODUCE FOR HIM (15)
There are two key words in Genesis 2:15. The first one is translated “work,” but it means cultivate, build, nurture, or produce.
- God started production: He planted a garden and made it to spring up with beautiful and useful trees (8-9).
- We are to continue production: God could have continued to produce all by himself, but, instead, he called humanity to cooperate and participate with him in this productivity (15).
Can you try to view your work like this? Whether you are raising children, writing code, building houses, or writing emails, you are producing something beautiful and useful for God.
Beautiful and useful work can be beautiful and useful worship.
But is this sustainable? Do we just keep filling our world with new people and new stuff?
GOD CALLS US TO PROTECT FOR HIM (15)
The second key word in verse 15 is “keep.” We are not only to produce but protect.
- God started protection: Again, God was the initiator and leader in this work.
- We are to continue protection: We are to join God in protecting what has been produced, in ruling it, caring for it, guarding it.
Whether it’s our family, our home, our yard, our desk, our kitchen, our factory, our store, or our marriage, one of our tasks is to protect and keep it.
What about the senior in a nursing home? How does this work for them? They can still produce the fruits of patience, obedience, joy, and witness. They can still keep and protect their room.
When we produce and protect for God, we are worshipping and serving God.
God calls all of us to join him in producing and protecting, filling and ruling, cultivating and caring, growing and guarding. When we frame our work in this way, it connects our work with God to worship of God. It connects our service of others with service of God.
LIVING THE BIBLE
Find and fulfill your personal purpose by producing and protecting wherever God has placed you.
This episode of Living the Bible lines up with Expedition 1: Day 5 in Exploring the Bible Together: A 52 Week Family Worship Plan and Exploring the Bible: A Bible Reading Plan for Kids. You can catch up with previous episodes of the Living the Bible podcast here or subscribe on iTunes, Spotify, and Google Podcast.