In the classic movie The Blues Brothers, Joliet Jake and Elwood Blues insist throughout the movie, “We’re on a mission from God.” Watching the movie, it is easy to laugh at Elwood when he says this over and over. He has such a great Chicago-area accent when he says “God.” He always sounds like he’s saying “gaaad.”
How did you get here?
In the first book of the Bible, one of the key characters in biblical history said it first, but in a different language. Joseph explained to his brothers why he was not bitter even though they sold him into slavery over 20 years earlier. He endured bad and good. He was given a good job, then wrongfully accused, and imprisoned. Then God arranged Joseph’s rescue and the king made him the number 2 person in the kingdom. His brothers, who had sold him into slavery thought he would be angry. He was powerful enough to get even. But he answered with a profound understanding.
“It was not you who sent me here, but God.” Genesis 45:8
Do you tend to think of your career as your own success or your own mess? Or do you blame God (or the Force) for your situation? I can ping back and forth between those two different errors. When I’m not happy, I want to blame God. And when I am happy, I want to take credit.
Joseph clearly sees God’s mission and gives him credit. He had been in Egypt 22 years when he said this. Joseph understood God was behind everything that happened and he was not bitter. If God sent Joseph to Egypt, isn’t he capable of sending you wherever you are?
Why did God send you?
And if God placed you, what attitude should you have? Will you blame God for his poor judgment? I blamed God and was frustrated with his will for my life for several years. I made little progress and missed out on the great things God had planned for my life. Only in the last few years have I made any progress. Now I try to trust God with his choices and his purposes. Now I want to ask, “OK, God. You brought me here. What would you have me do?”
Want to make an eternal difference? Be aware of God’s call. Our first job is to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Prayer enables us to hear God as he guides our response to everything. We take our thoughts captive (1 Corinthians 10:5) to stay aware of God, searching for his purpose in everything that happens. And while I know this, I don’t always do it. I study to know God and work to join him every day.
What about you? How do you approach your job? Are you willing to ask God what he would like you to do each day? What about today?
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