Work done God’s way goes beyond coworkers and customers, beyond profit and production. God designed all human work to have a spiritual connection in him. In God’s eyes your work is much more than mere secular labor.
Both the Old and New Testaments speak to this spiritual connection between God and your everyday labor.
The Hebrew word avodah
Avodah is used in the beginning chapters of Genesis where it is the Hebrew word for “work.” Genesis 2:5 reads, “There was no man to work the ground,” and a few verses later 2:15 says, “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it.” Avodah is used again in Genesis 4:2 when God says, “Cain worked the soil.”
Here are two examples of avodah being used to describe not work but worship: Exodus 8:1 says, “This is what the Lord says: Let my people go, so that they may worship me.” Psalm 100:2 says, “Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.”
By using the single word avodah for both work and worship, God is connecting the realm of work with the realm of worship.
When done God’s way, your work and your worship share the same spiritual DNA. Both are God-pleasing acts of divine service. To God avodah is avodah whether in the context of your workplace, your church, or somewhere else.
Colossians 3:23–24 speaks of working “with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.”
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
Your heart is what connects you to God and it is what sanctifies your work. All work is designed to be God-connected.
Your work is as much about your connection with God as it is the physical or intellectual activity at the time. For example, you can be just as connected to God when working for a wage in a restaurant as when working as a volunteer in a street kitchen. Your heart and the Person whom you are ultimately serving, i.e., God, are the keys.
You are already God’s employee, and can serve him every day at your place of employment—no matter where that is or what you are doing.
Stay connected to God in whatever vocation you have chosen. The Latin root of vocation means to call or summon. Your daily labor is a calling and you have been summoned by God to honor him with your work-life.
Have you ever considered quitting your job to be free to serve God full time? The truth is you do not have to quit your job because your everyday work is already God’s work.