Unleash Your Inner Warrior
“We try, when we wake, to lay the new day at God’s feet; before we have finished shaving, it becomes our day and God’s share in it is felt as a tribute which we must pay out of ‘our own’ pocket, a deduction from the time which ought, we feel, to be ‘our own’. A man starts a new job with a sense of vocation and, perhaps, for the first week still keeps the discharge of the vocation as his end, taking the pleasures and pains from God’s hand, as they came, as ‘accidents’. But in the second week he is beginning to ‘know the ropes’: by the third, he has quarried out of the total job his own plan for himself within that job, and when he can pursue this he feels that he is getting no more than his rights, and when he cannot, that he is being interfered with.”
My dear warrior,
Over the last year I have often found myself struggling with the idea of job satisfaction. In jobs like mine, it seems to come with the territory to ‘live for the weekend.’ Working 8-5, having weekends and major holidays off, accruing vacation days for a few days off here and here or a proper vacation if you so desire. People spend their weekends either drinking and partying, or working on their houses and spending it with their families—depending on their goals and priorities. Me? I spend my free time with family, writing blogs and books, training martial sciences, bodybuilding, making art and being creative. But somehow (particularly with the long, dark days in which I saw no sunlight during my days in a windowless office), life seemed to become dimmer. That feeling of being ‘stuck’ in a job began to overwhelm me. That is, until a single conversation changed my perspective.
Many of us struggle with job satisfaction, with feeling like we are stuck in a dead-end job, or that we are unable to live up to our calling or potential because we are being forced to take a ‘menial job’ to make ends meet. I must admit I have often felt the ticking of the clock getting louder in my head and heavier in my heart, feeling like I am not living up to my potential or fulfilling my purpose in life. I feel like I am missing some greater call. What foolishness! All thoughts like that do is suck the marrow of our bones dry and empty life of its current glory.
There are some people who see my love of writing and have been rather insistent that I quit my job to write full-time. Noble though their sentiments may be, I allowed their insistence to cause me anxiety. I allowed the idea to take hold of me and I began to feel as though I could never write enough, and that I really did need to get to a place where I could do nothing but write. But I know myself. If I did not work, if I were not in an environment in which I am disciplined and engaged with work, if I were not surrounded by people who have problems, if I did not get an insider’s perspective or feel connected to anyone, I would cease to write. I would lack the discipline and structure in my life to write. I would lack the inspiration. I would lack the real-world scenarios and real-life situations that others face all the time. I would be cut off from all social interaction. (Though I can be quite outgoing, I can be perfectly content to stay in and avoid social interactions. I rather love silence and solitude. It provides me with a blank canvas on which to paint with the words of my inner thoughts). I know what I am like without work: and I would end up sleeping until I finally decided to get up and would end up not writing at all. But I understood another thing those who try to counsel me do not, and that is that I truly enjoy work.
I opened up to one of my mentors, and shared my frustrations with him—about work, about writing, my lack of fulfillment and all these things. He simply looked at me and said “Then you haven’t had the revelation of Christ’s work on the cross for work. All of the covenant promises are there for all of us, but many of us don’t walk in them. Why is that? Are they not automatic? Apparently not.”
He shared with me that there were 3 curses we were put under at the fall. When Christ suffered and died for us, He lifted each of those curses for us. Christ took 39 lashes, and it is by His stripes that we are healed. He died on the cross for our sins. The third one surprised me: it was when Christ was in the Garden of Gethsemane that He reversed the curse that was put on our work. You might think that Adam never had to work before the fall, and that it was just blissful exotic paradise in the way that rich housewives and lazy college students dream of—endless days at the beach, lounging around doing nothing but enjoying a carefree life. Those are nonsense dreams, and are counter to what God intended for us when He created us. We were indeed created to work. But we were made to enjoy work. It was made for pleasure and enjoyment! Just go back to the book of Genesis.
Lance Wallnau writes, “Before the fall, Adam was placed in a garden that was the perfect merger of communion with God and perfect work. The Garden was the territory of man’s dominion, and in this garden he walked with God in the cool of the day. Everything that Adam put his hand to became productive in his assigned territory. The environment recognized his authority and cooperated with him. He was given dominion over all forces within the sphere of this assignment. It appears that the garden was an expanding project that was meant to fill the earth with God’s glory and dominion. There were adversaries, as we know, because of the existence of a serpent. Adam was to rule over all that militated against his work.
When man fell, the ground was no longer cooperating. Part of the curse was “sweat” related to work, “thorns and thistles” instead of a garden of lush productivity … and death in the dust of the earth.
“Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you; And you will eat the plants of the field; By the sweat of your face you will eat bread, Till you return to the ground, Because from it you were taken; For you are dust, And to dust you shall return.”—Genesis 3:18-19
When Adam fell, the curses were laid upon him. When Jesus (whom the Bible calls the “Second Adam”) wrestled in the Garden of Gethsemane (a second garden, to parallel the Garden of Eden), He was in such great distress over the pain, suffering and death He knew He would face the next day that the blood vessels in His head ruptured, and He physically sweated blood. The blood-sweat drops fell to the ground.
“And being in agony He prayed more earnestly: and His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground,”—Luke 22:44
When His sweat and blood mixed together and hit the ground, it lifted the curse of Adam on our lives.
So as my mentor shared, though we all live under the blessings of Christ’s sacrifice (of all 3 curses being lifted), not everyone taps into that part of the covenant. They live under the blessings without every opening their hands to receive, because they simply do not know what it available to them or how to take it for themselves. They do not know how to live in the new life that Christ died to give us. (No, it is not simply reserved for after we die and go heaven. We have access to that now!)
He challenged me: since I accessed the blessing for my healing, since I was healed by His stripes, why not do the same thing for my work? Why not tap into that portion of the covenant and apportion that blessing over that part of my life? So I did. Every day I have chosen to give the day up to Him, and I intentionally choose to tell Him that I want my work to be as unto Him. I do not want it to be for my own glory, or simply to please men—I want it to be pleasing to Him (and then I know the blessing will flow from there to all the rest). The question is this: God, did I do my work well? Did I do it as if unto You?
Go back and read the C.S. Lewis quote at the top of the page. I have been reading The Problem of Pain as of late, and one particular passage struck me, as I recognized myself in it. You will probably recognize yourself in it, too.
If we are truly under the new covenant, and the curse has been reversed, does it not stand to reason that just as we can be healed of sickness, and just as we are brought into new life through His death and resurrection, that we should also be able to apportion the blessings of the covenant to our work life? Of course it does!
Beloved, you cannot be effective if you hate the work you are doing. You cannot be effective in the ‘garden’ in which God has placed you if you are constantly wishing you were elsewhere. You cannot be effective as a warrior on the battleground if you hate where you are. Do your work as unto the Lord, no matter what you are doing. Look to Joseph’s story (Joseph was sold into slavery and ended up in Potiphar’s house where God so blessed his work that the plants in his garden produced 100 times the fruit of everyone else’s. Rather than grumbling over being a slave, he did his work as unto the Lord, and God blessed him—and he was put in charge of everything!).
My current workplace is my garden. I have only been apportioning that blessing for myself over the last week, but I’ve already found myself feeling joy over work, and have felt the weight of the curse lift off my shoulders! Already I have seen a change in the atmosphere of my office and have found favor where I did not have it before. Each morning I give my day and my work up to Him, and I ask Him to bless it. I tell Him that I want my work to be as unto Him and not unto man, and I pray that my work will be pleasing to him. And so for the last week each day, instead of simply trying to get through the day or being miserable, feeling unfilled, and not enjoying my work, I have felt absolutely enraptured! I have loved my work, I have felt fulfilled, I feel like I am exactly where God wants me right now, and my work has become excellent. The quality of the things that I do has increased – and at the end of each thing I do, I can feel God's pleasure! Feeling the approval of my Lord and Creator? Oh that is glorious! I feel absolutely fulfilled in my work and I come home and I am at ease, and I am full of love and life and filled with the spirit and just feel His glory and His presence around me!
Dear warriors, this is my challenge to you this week: draw upon His blessing over your life in the workplace. Recognize your place of work as the garden in which He has placed you. You are not there by accident. Live under that blessing, and let God bless the entire company through your obedience to Him there. Do it without grumbling or complaining. Do your work as unto Him. See what happens!
©Michèle Aimée, 2016
About the Author
Michèle is a warrior with a passion for God, a deep love of writing, and a fire for combat training. As a warrior, she understands that when she is given orders, she must follow through.