Work for ItHow do you usually start your day? No, really. What do you do? What time is it usually? Is it morning, afternoon, evening, or the middle of the night? So for this discussion, consider that time "morning." I say that because there have been many nights I stayed up working until the wee hours of the morning. Other times I've gotten up well before the chickens and hit the ground running. For the purpose of our discussion, I'm not talking about a literal day and night schedule. I'm talking about a mind-set based on the average human body-clock. You can translate the following to fit your normal schedule. Deal? Ok. So, in general, we tend to think of a new day as beginning in the morning when we get started doing things (or choosing to be lazy). In this mindset, the day begins when we get up and get to work. The day begins with us at work or preparing to begin working. It begins with a to-do list staring you in the face as you work your way into alertness with that morning coffee. The day begins with you working. Remember that. It'll be important later. Now, are you ready for the purple fireworks as your mind is blown?
Wait for ItIn the Hebrew mind-set (like during Bible times), the day begins differently. Look at these snippets from Genesis 1.
5 ... And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.
8 ... And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day.13 And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day.
19 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day.
23 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fifth day.31 ... And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.
Did you catch it? Evening first and then morning. The day doesn't start when you get up and start working. The day starts when you are winding down and going to sleep, when you rest and wait.
Maybe you didn't catch the significance here. Look at this again. The day doesn't begin with you getting up and working, trying to conquer that to-do list. The day begins with you sleeping. Yes, you read that right. The day begins with you sleeping. Why is that a big deal? Because you are not working, but God is at work.
"Behold, He who keeps Israel Will neither slumber nor sleep."Psalm 121:4 (NASB)
The day begins with you resting and God at work. When you wake up, your job is simply to join the work God has already begun. It is no longer, "Ok, God. I did what I could do. The rest is up to You." No. This is a complete shift. Now it becomes, "Ok, God. What work do You have for me today? How can I join what You are already doing?"
That means it is not up to you to do everything. Again, it is not up to you to do everything. I need that one more time. It is not up to you (or me) to do everything. Your job is to rest in the Lord and join the work He is already doing. Isn't that freeing?
"I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing."John 15:5 (NASB)
"for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure." Philippians 2:13 (NASB)
You could be a butcher, baker, or candlestick maker; a teacher, doctor, or factory worker; a parent, pastor, or friend... It doesn't matter because your real job is the same. You work is to glorify God in all you do and serve Him our of your love for Him.
"Jesus said to them, 'My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work.'"John 4:34 (NASB)
That brings us to the most important question.
Where's Your Focus?
Where is your focus? Do you begin the day tackling your to-do list with God as an afterthought? Or do you begin by resting in the Lord and asking Him where you can join the work He has already begun? Do you try to work for it or wait for it?
Take some time today to pray. Tell God where you are. Tell God where you want to be. Pray over the scriptures above. Ask God to teach you, to speak to you, to guide and direct you. Then listen and look for where He is already at work.