Operation City of Lights

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Is there a personal calling to serve Christ in the Marketplace?  I believe there is.  I  am a believer because of the testimony of others who spoke of Christ from two differing platforms; the ministry and the marketplace.

In San Francisco in 1995 I found myself suddenly the product of a broken relationship 2,000 miles from home.  Much was broken in my life including any relationship to my Father in Heaven.  As I cried out to one I did not yet know He answered me and said, “this does not happen to those who are right with Me”.  Immediately a  vision of my parents came to me and their love which has lasted their lifetime.  The message was clear to me, their heart for God was “right” in his eyes.  There was a way to be right with God.

The marketplace witness came within two weeks in the form of a fellow geologist on a work site at Alameda Naval Air Station.  I let the team know I was moving back to the midwest.  She brought a Bible to me on my last day of work.  Inside she wrote of a love so great that she knew of personally, and one that I could know as well; the Love of Jesus Christ.  A love that could not be broken.

It would take another 10 months for me to hear the gospel, receive His sacrifice for my sins, and begin a love so great just as I witnessed in the marketplace 10 months before.  Yes, people are called to serve The Lord within the marketplace. I know first hand.

For good reason we esteem those in spiritual authority for the watch they have over our souls.  But that does not disqualify evangelism by those outside full-time ministry.  Nor does it excuse the rest of us from our command to make disciples.

We are all laborers for the harvest wherever He calls us, ministry or marketplace.  Paul seems to plead with us to recognize the special place of our calling by saying it twice:

 Let each one remain in the same calling in which he was called (1 Corinthians 7:20);

and again,

Brethren, let each one remain with God in that state in which he was called (1 Corinthian 7:24).

I was called as a geologist.  You are called to your profession.  We each are called to bring light, life, and the name of Jesus Christ to our personal marketplace.

Indeed, what you may devalue as a second-rate calling may be your special deployment.  The “operation faith” to which your life experiences and gifting by the Lord has prepared you.

You are the light of the world.  A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden (Matthew 5:14).   

You are set on a hill called “commerce” to be light.  Can I encourage you today to be that light to someone in need today in your workplace?  Can I prod you to consider a new purpose for your profession, occupation, or business?

But how are we to be light in offices, schools, storefronts, and organizations that are not asking us for the light?

That is simple.  It is by being yourself and not being less than yourself.

In each believer that is connected to and in love with The Lord is a wellspring of life.  The life takes form in prayer, encouragement, hope, faith, and love in the workplace.  More practically Proverbs is filled with practical advice on how we may apply the wisdom of God to nearly every imaginable experience in the workplace.  Consider the following in Proverbs:

  1. Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues without right (16:8)
  2.   The heart of the wise teaches his mouth and adds learning to his lips (16:23)
  3.   Without council plans go awry, but in the multitude of counselors they are established (15:22)
  4. He who is greedy for gain troubles his own house, but he who hates bribes will live (15:27)
  5.   The ear that hears rebuke will abide among the wise (15:31)
  6.   He who disdains instruction despises his own soul, but he who heeds rebuke gets understanding (15:32).
  7. In all labor there is profit but idle chatter will lead to poverty (14:23).
  8. He who oppresses the poor reproaches his Maker, but he who honors Him has mercy on the needy (14:31).
  9. He who guards his mouth preserves his life, but he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction (13:3).
  10. The hand of the diligent will rule, but the lazy man will be put to forced labor (12:25).

How we conduct ourselves in business is important to God.  It is a measure of the purity of our heart.  But none of us has been a light to others everyday.  We often fail to fully release to others what the Lord has placed within us.  I am guilty of missing opportunities to pray, believe, and speak in faith when it was most needed.

We need to form new habits day by day to consistently follow Christ at work:

  • Shine Where You Are:  God suggests that we should remain the “calling” in which we are called.  Make up your mind to fully serve Him where you are and stop waiting for a more holy calling.
  • Be Supernatural Where You Are:  He gives ideas to help and prosper us in our work.  He gives us prayer opportunities and wants to move through us.  Listen to the Holy Spirit to nudge you and wake you up to these opportunities.
  • Live Right in Your Marketplace:  Your decisions, world view, treatment of people, and your servanthood to others speak of who you are.  If you are not connected to him Monday through Friday there will be no light.  But, if you offer your work to Him daily His light will illuminate your marketplace.

Comments

  1. David. Your “city on a hill’ illustration is one that we just can’t hear enough. For me, I just have to open my eyes to the world around me at work. THere are hurting. There are sad. There are broken. I don’t have to really do anything except be compassionate, loving and timely.

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