I am yet to meet a Christian who has not complained about his work? I wonder why? Perhaps one reason is that they forget that God is glorified when they do their work well. Another reason could be that they forget that each job has got difficulties attached to it. Work is toil and sweat; yet God wants us to do it cheerfully. If you’re skilled in your work, you’re going to be promoted for sure says God’s Word.
Joseph was so good at his work that his master never even bothered to check on him (Genesis 39:6). Daniel was so good at his work that the only fault others could find in him was that he prayed to his God three times a day (Daniel 6:4, 5)! Paul earned the bread he ate by making tents (Acts 18:3; 20:34, 35). Remember this was even when he went through difficult missionary journeys. Ruth was willing to do honest work and she was blessed as a result (Ruth 2:7). What about you?
Now let us look at David. He is first introduced to us as a young boy tending the sheep. His father thought that he was no ideal candidate to be anointed king. Therefore when Samuel asked him whether he had any more sons left, he replied: “There is still the youngest, . . . but he is tending the sheep (1 Samuel 16:11b).” But God had different plans. He looks at the heart. But also at the way one does one’s work. See how when David has to go to meet his brothers at the war front, he leaves the sheep with someone to take care of (1 Samuel 17:20). God therefore exalted the young boy to become the shepherd of his people, Israel. This was because David had the caring heart of a shepherd (Psalm 78:70-72).
Again, the Bible records that when a need arose for Saul they wanted to find out someone who could play the harp well. The choice was David. Note this point well. David had kept his musical skills tuned well (1 Samuel 16:17-19) even when he was “with the sheep.” Therefore he got an entry into Saul’s court through it. Why is this important? God might not give you an entry to a particular job or your life’s vocation directly. First of all God will give you chances to get acquainted with what you might be doing in future (this is not a rule but one of the ways in which God generally deals with us). The shepherd boy David had no formal training at court. So God used one of David’s skills to gain him an entry to the court so that he could be familiar with it before he became king of Israel.
Again, think about what gave David the courage to face Goliath? Definitely it was his trust in God Almighty! But was that all? No. There was something more. David was looking to his past experiences with the lion and the bear. Both the lion and the bear were killed by David because he trusted in God (1 Samuel 17:34-37). Therefore he is described as a fine young man and a warrior. His previous fighting experiences with the lion and the bear gave him the courage to step forward and meet a big challenge when it came his way. So also do not consider small opportunities as insignificant. Who knows! God might be training you for bigger things!
And if you’re a person who is dividing life into spiritual and secular compartments, read the life of Nehemiah. What a great leader this man was! But what a practical man! He prayed often. At the same time he took action.When there was danger he and the people held a weapon in one hand and built the wall with the other (Nehemiah 4:17). For Nehemiah, work and worship were not two different things. Neither was work worship for him. That is a sad mistake many Christians and Christian Institutions make today. Work is not worship. But honest hard work makes you a good worshipper.
So do not neglect your work. So also do no neglect your skills. They’re God-given. So keep it sharpened; that’ll give you success and promotion (Ecclesiastes 10:10, Proverbs 22:29). If you have a doubt whether it is God who has gifted you with the talent you have, listen to what John the Baptist said, “A man can receive only what is given him from heaven.” So value what God has given you. And utilize it for God’s glory for “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights” (James 1:17). Remember Paul’s advice to young Timothy not neglect his gift, but to fan into flame the gift of God given to him (1 Timothy 4:14, 2 Timothy 1:6). You also, do not neglect your gift; it is God-given!