“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for people” (Col3:23).
This verse has always been a strong motivator for me during athletics. Back when I played football, I would try to use this as a mantra to get me through practice; but if I were honest with myself, the screaming of my coach was typically a stronger motivator.
Likewise, meeting the boss’s expectations, assuring that bonus, getting the book published or making the dean’s list, are often bigger motivators than working for the Lord.
The challenge is that those motivations focus our eyes upon a prize and upon earning a particular “end.” In contrast, “working for the Lord” is this strange way to live. And a way that may not take us in the direction we expect.
If we work for particular ends, then we actually do not care about the means by which we get to those ends. We manipulate things in order to provide the best outcome; we seek self-preservation.
The challenge is that working for the Lord is self-sacrificial. It says that the outcome is actually in God’s hands and not mine; so long as I work with the integrity God has called me to demonstrate, then whatever the outcome is, it is honoring to God.
Yet, that is the risk involved in faith. Rather than managing our work in order to assure the outcome we desire, God is calling us to venture into the unknown and allow us to be lead by Him.
This type of work will be far more adventures, immediate, exhausting and risky, but through this experience we will discover that God is there with us.
Why is it easier to be motivated by the “ends” rather than God? What are ways that we can be working for the Lord?