Girlfriends in God Daily Devotional for Women

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Girlfriends in God - Apr. 27, 2010

April 27, 2010 

Take This Job and Love It! 

Mary Southerland

Today's Truth 
John 3:27 (NLT)"God in heaven appoints each person's work."

Friend To Friend 
Our son graduated from college with a business degree and the plan to build his own company from the ground up. Jered has been a gifted carpenter since childhood when he built his first "house" in our garage. A 10 x 10 foot clubhouse was the envy of every kid in the neighborhood. When I asked him how he had known what to do, he said, "I just saw it in my mind." I knew then that his life work was to build. Today, he is a master carpenter who recently said, "It is so awesome to get up every morning and love to go to work!"

Do you love to go to work? Many people never experience satisfaction or success in their work because they are in the wrong work. God is the source of all our skills, gifts, abilities and talents and He wants us to use them to the best of our ability. Proverbs 22:6 encourages parents to "train a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not turn from it" (NIV). "The way he should go" means in the ways of God and in the direction or bent the child was created to go. In other words, we are designed with a natural inclination that naturally draws us toward God and the plan He has for us to live out.

My husband, Dan, has served as a youth pastor in several churches over the years. As I served beside him, I gained a wealth of knowledge as I watched teenagers try on different identities like they tried on new clothes. I will never forget the lesson I learned from Laura, a beautiful, talented girl who had trouble finding work and rarely succeeded at any job she actually landed. I could not understand how such a beautiful girl could be so clueless about herself - until I met her parents. 

It was painfully obvious that Laura's negative opinion of herself was firmly rooted in her parent's negative opinion of their daughter. Her room was a disaster because a clean room was important to her mother. Her grades were disgraceful because good grades were important to her father. She only dated guys who treated her like dirt because ... well, she believed that she was dirt. Laura confided in me that she wanted to graduate from high school, attend a local beauty school to become a hair stylist and maybe one day, open her own beauty shop. I could see her doing just that! Girls flocked to Laura for help with their hair and make-up because she was so good at it. When I asked her what was keeping her from following that dream, tears streamed down her face as she explained, "My Parents think that being a hair stylist is a ridiculous idea. If I choose to attend a beauty school instead of a four-year-college, I have to move out and do it all on my own." When I offered to talk to her parents, she shook her head and said, "It won't do any good." She was right. I did talk with them and nothing changed. But Laura did.

Laura moved out of her home and in with a man who introduced her to drugs and alcohol. Years later, I heard that she was living on the streets to support her habits. I have often wondered what would have happened if Laura's parents had supported the gifts and abilities God had given their daughter instead of holding her hostage until she paid the ransom of bowing to their plan for her life. 

In John 3:27 we find a simple but powerful truth, "God in heaven appoints each person's work" (NLT). John explained that because God had given him his work, he had to continue it until God called him to do something else. Amos raised sheep until God called him to be a prophet proclaiming God's message to others. If you are following God's blueprint for your life, your job is part of your life plan and you are successful. God can and will work through you to do extraordinary things, no matter how "ordinary" your occupation may be in the eyes of man. 

Over the years, we often talked with our children about a life plan. We encouraged them to discover what they love to do and then find a way to be paid doing it. Life here is short. Do not waste it doing something you were not created to do. Choose your work carefully.     

I know there are days when the will of God seems completely wrong and we do not understand. We are treading water, desperately longing to see Him walking on the treacherous waves toward us, rescue in His hand. It is in those shadowed moments that we must choose to trust the Plan Maker because His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts. One day, every one of our question marks will be yanked into exclamation points as we see that high plan as He sees it - perfect!

Today, my friend set aside your inadequate agenda. Lay down your limited life arrangement and look for God to meet you at the point of surrender - power and victory in His hands. Now that is a great plan!

Let's Pray 
Father, thank You for the gifts and abilities that You have given me. I pray that I will learn to use each one according to Your plan for my life. Please give me discernment as I make career choices. I trust You to guide every step and empower every decision because I am seeking You and just want to do what You want me to do.

In Jesus' name, 

Now It's Your Turn 
The One who knows us best and loves us most created us. God had a plan in mind and lovingly, purposefully created us in response to that plan. Take a brutally honest inventory of your natural gifts, talents and abilities, knowing that they are from God and are all part of your life plan. Ask those who know you best for their opinions and perspectives. Make career choices based on persistent prayer and daily obedience to God.

More From The Girlfriends 
I know we are living in tough economic times and that many people who have lost their job are working wherever they can to put food on the table and pay the bills. God will use every experience in life to refine and define us if we allow Him to.

Need encouragement in your work? Check out my weekly online Bible Study, Light for the Journey. We are beginning a new series, "Take This Job and Love It."  

I know some of you are trying to weather some kind of storm in your life. God is with you! Find new strength for the difficult times in my new DVD, Strength for the Storm.

I would love to connect with you on Facebook or through email.

Need prayer? Email your prayer request to our Prayer Team Director, Ginger Meador.


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