God cares a lot about your work and how you approach it. Have you ever thought much about how to balance your loyalty to God with expectations at the workplace? Do you think first of your earthly master or your heavenly Master?
Let’s look at some great examples of servants in the Bible.
Here’s my favorite example, Joseph…
Genesis 39: 1 When Joseph was taken to Egypt by the Ishmaelite traders, he was purchased by Potiphar, an Egyptian officer. Potiphar was captain of the guard for Pharaoh, the king of Egypt.
2 The LORD was with Joseph, so he succeeded in everything he did as he served in the home of his Egyptian master. 3 Potiphar noticed this and realized that the LORD was with Joseph, giving him success in everything he did. 4 This pleased Potiphar, so he soon made Joseph his personal attendant. He put him in charge of his entire household and everything he owned.
The boss didn’t worry about a thing!
5 From the day Joseph was put in charge of his master’s household and property, the LORD began to bless Potiphar’s household for Joseph’s sake. All his household affairs ran smoothly, and his crops and livestock flourished. 6 So Potiphar gave Joseph complete administrative responsibility over everything he owned. With Joseph there, he didn’t worry about a thing—except what kind of food to eat!
Joseph is a shining example of how God blesses us and blesses our masters in whatever situation we’re facing. From Potiphar’s house to prison, Joseph is stellar.
Joseph helped a cupbearer, Nehemiah was a cupbearer
For our second example, let’s look at another fine servant, Nehemiah…
Nehemiah 1: 1 Early the following spring, in the month of Nisan, during the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes’ reign, I was serving the king his wine. I had never before appeared sad in his presence. 2 So the king asked me, “Why are you looking so sad? You don’t look sick to me. You must be deeply troubled.”
Then I was terrified, 3 but I replied, “Long live the king! How can I not be sad? For the city where my ancestors are buried is in ruins, and the gates have been destroyed by fire.”
4 The king asked, “Well, how can I help you?”
With a prayer to the God of heaven, 5 I replied, “If it please the king, and if you are pleased with me, your servant, send me to Judah to rebuild the city where my ancestors are buried.”
6 The king, with the queen sitting beside him, asked, “How long will you be gone? When will you return?” After I told him how long I would be gone, the king agreed to my request.
How’s that for favor?
I appreciate that Nehemiah admitted that he was afraid to make this request of the king. This was a huge deal and the king could’ve killed him. I also enjoy knowing that Nehemiah prayed up until he made his request in verse 4 (Does this remind you of the last time you asked for a day off?). The best part, of course, is seeing how God caused the king and queen to favor Nehemiah by granting his request.
This clearly illustrates that when we seek to honor God and rely on His help, He will help us with whatever work we have before us. This also demonstrates that we are wherever we are because God put us there and if we are faithful to Him, He will help us succeed.
To summarize, I think the key is to approach all the work we do with the understanding that we are serving Jesus first, and everything else will fall into place.
Colossians 2: 23 Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.
Who are you serving?
“O God in heaven, you are my master. I live to serve you. Thank you for the privilege of working for you. Please use me in whatever I do and help me to look for ways to honor you and serve those you’ve placed in my life. I give you all the praise. In Jesus’ name, amen.”