The principle of serving God with your work is demonstrated in Joshua 24, the last chapter of the book of Joshua.
In this chapter, the Israelites had just completed their conquest of the Promised Land, and they were ready to possess and use the land which God had given them.
It is at this juncture where Joshua assembles Israel and reminds them to “serve the Lord” with their forthcoming labors.
His complete words are recorded in Joshua 24:14-15 in which he uses the word serve or its variations six times in just two verses. The Hebrew root of the verb serve means to work, to till, or to execute. To “serve the Lord” is to work and till for the Lord.
Joshua 24:14-15 reads:
“Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshiped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” (Emphasis added)
Joshua’s message in this passage is for Israel to honor God with the work of making a home for themselves in the Promised Land. He instructs Israel to “serve” their one true God “with all faithfulness” in their forthcoming labors.
You are a New Testament Christian and not an Old Testament Israelite, but the spirit of this message of staying focused on God and honoring him with your work still applies today.
Joshua’s declaration at the end of the Joshua 24:14-15 passage continues to ring true for every Christian—“But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
Serve God with your work while building a better life for yourself and your family. Serve him “with all faithfulness” and not the gods “in whose land you are living.”
Finally, consider the following New Testament passages written by Paul:
Ephesians 6:7: Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men.
Colossians 3:23-24: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart … It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”
Serve the Lord with your daily labors.