Does the dog wag the tail, or the tail wag the dog? The answer should be obvious. However, for many of us, how often do other components of life begin to control our life? For example, when we’re young, we’re often asked what we want to be when we grow up, rather than who we want to be – and isn’t that a much different question? Thankfully, life doesn’t have to be defined by what we do, or what we have. Instead, when Christ is properly prioritized first, these things resume their place as tools and platforms He can use to compliment the more abundant life He has called each of us to:
Career: I was once faced with a major career decision. I could stay with a company and pursue a job that required more travel and stress. Or, I could start with a new company and move my family to a new town, away from loved ones, friends and deep relationships. Or, there were a variety of jobs that didn’t require a move, but also didn’t inspire, or empower me to invest the skills God gave me. Now don’t misunderstand, we have to work, and no job can always be perfect, but should a career be the primary driver to our major life decisions? Consider how often someone has sacrificed their family, fellowships, health and/or their dreams for jobs that went away, or laid them off? Then, after the job is gone, they look around and have nothing to show for it. This doesn’t have to be the case. For Christians, our calling is from God and He will direct us in all our ways – even in our careers, as we seek and wait for His guidance (Psalm 90:17). He did it for me. Granted, my career transition was a struggle against pride, flesh and worldly desires; but as I sought God’s direction for my life, He created a career that allowed my family to stay in the town we love, utilize my skills and passions like never before, enjoy opportunities to serve my community more, and work with people I respect and adore. Sounds too good to be true? I have thankfully realized that when God is my lead, and not my career, He gets to integrate what I do with who He designed me to be.
Cash: Another obvious need we have in life is money. However, how often do we allow the size of a paycheck to drive our decisions rather than God? As mentioned earlier, I am grateful for the career God led me to, but it came with a smaller paycheck than the other opportunities offered. This is part of the reason my struggle was so great. Afterall, who doesn’t want more money – but more than money, I wanted God’s direction. His way, not my way. For much money can also lead to much misery, when it is allowed to be the primary driver in one’s life (Proverbs 23:4).
Concerns: If allowed, distractions and worries can begin to redirect our divine direction in life. For example, during my transition, my intellect reminded me to the benefits more money offers, as well as how staying with a larger company presents greater promotional opportunities. Yet, if I had allowed these concerns, although valid, to persuade my decision more than my prayers, I would have ignored a clear conviction I knew God was speaking to my heart. For me, it came down to obeying selfish logic, or faith (1 Corinthians 2:5).
Application: “A Kingdom Calling” – Luke 5:11
Christ is calling and when we head His call, we gain our greater calling. As a result, He reprioritizes our careers, cash and concerns so that they no longer rule our life, but become a tool He can use through our life. Jobs, money and worries come and go; but Christ is rock solid, and so is our Kingdom calling, when directed by Him.