Sunday, 22nd July 2018
Pastor Kathy Poon
“Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.” But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.” So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. That is why it was called Babel—because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth.“ (Genesis 11:4-9)
Nowadays, there have been more and more cases of depression. In the civilization of human race, somehow we created more pressure on ourselves. In Genesis, everyone in the world spoke the same language, therefore they decided to build a tower to reach to heaven. So what’s wrong with it? It says in the scripture that the people wanted to ‘make a name for ourselves’. God created us to make His Name great, but when the people wanted to make their names great, then we are not walking in God’s will.
1. Opposing God, work becomes a curse
When we work for ourselves, our own pride and our ambitions, then we are opposing God. We are aligning our values with the world, not with God. It was not God’s purpose for work, as a result, our work becomes a curse.
“They will sow wheat but reap thorns; they will wear themselves out but gain nothing. They will bear the shame of their harvest because of the Lord’s fierce anger.” (Jeremiah 12:13)
After Adam and Eve ate the fruit, they were cursed. The women were cursed by suffering from giving birth, and men were cursed to work hard. Often we feel that we work so hard but we don’t reap harvest, therefore we will have to reflect on ourselves, is our work aligning with God’s will?
“I struck all the work of your hands with blight, mildew and hail, yet you did not return to me,’ declares the Lord.” (Haggai 2:17)
Sometimes we need to be pushed to the end in order to remember God. Sometimes God will stir our environment so we can turn back Him. Faith can become a great support for our family and friends, when others are in distress, we should remind them about God, and about aligning our life with God.
2. Aligning with God, work becomes a blessing
a. Aligned in schedule, there is rhythm
“Six days you shall labor and do all your work” (Exodus 20:9)
“Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.” (Genesis 2:2)
Firstly we need to be aligned in schedule. Even God rested on the seventh day, and as Christians, we also need to rest like He does, the Sabbath Day is very important for us. On the Sabbath Day, we should reflect on our week and see if we have been aligned with God? When we do it, our work will become blessings.
b. Aligned in purposes, watchful for the warfare
“God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” (Genesis 1:28)
“The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” (Genesis 2:15)
What is our purpose of working? Retire at the age of 50? Pay off mortgage? What is actually the purpose God has given to us? In the scriptures, we are clearly told that God wants us to be fruitful and increase in number, to fill the earth and subdue it. God wants His people to extend our land and keep the darkness away from the land.
Furthermore, God wants us to work, to manage, to take care and to protect of the everything He has created! This is a mission for us in our workplace and also our family. There will be challenges, when we are aligning our purpose with God, there will be a battle between darkness and light, and our job is to ensure we keep our workplace, our family and our church in God’s light.
c. Aligned in methods, full of strength
So he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty. (Zechariah 4:6)
In order to align ourselves with God, we need to use God’s methods, not by our own ways. Through God’s Spirit, nothing will be impossible, it’s not something we can do by our own power, but by His supernatural power.
“I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13)
“Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:25)
When we have this heart to magnify God in our work, then God will give us strength. The Holy Spirit gave us life, so we need to work with the Holy Spirit and our lives will be different. We will be able to influence our workplace and our society.
3. Work model under the Tree of Life
“Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers.” (Psalm 1:1-3)
Do not walk in the step with the wicked – the earthly trend and worldly methods, but as Christians, we carry the transgressions of others. Do not stand in the way that sinners take – don’t get involved in the things that are wrong in God’s eyes. Do not sit in the company of mockers – don’t gossip around! A lot of times our intentions are good, but we need to carry it out in the Godly methods!
So we need to delight in the law of the Lord, meditate on His law day and night. Every problem we have at work is about our spiritual life, and our spiritual life is to do with our faith, and our faith is to do with God. So we need to come back to God, to know His Words, and to walk in His Way!
King David was being persecuted by his enemies, but he was still able to write all the psalms to praise God and to bring his problems to God. He held onto God closely, he was aligned with God, and at the end of the day, he became a great king in the history.
Therefore let us align with God, and magnify Jesus in our workplace!