Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. Genesis 2:15
When God created Adam, He placed him in the garden. This speaks of God’s presence. Adam was also made in God’s image – this speaks of identity. Before Eve came into his life, God gave Adam a job. It was to take care of the garden and name the animals. It was not a very high paying job, but it provided him with a place to live and food to eat, and it kept him busy. Maybe that’s why he did not feel alone, because he was not idle. God had to tell him to look for a wife. That’s God’s way of doing relationships – if you want a spouse, get a job. It does not have to be your dream job, but something that occupies your mind, keeps you productive, and puts money in your bank account.
Work came before the fall of man. Work did not come as a result of a curse. Having a job keeps you occupied, which helps you with overcoming temptation. An idle mind is the devil’s workshop. There was a big difference between Joseph and David. One of the reasons one fell into sexual sin and the other one overcame it, was this issue of idleness. Joseph went to the house to do his work; he was not idle. He did not have time for flirting with Potiphar’s wife. David, instead of going to battle, stayed home and slept all day. He had a difficult time resisting the temptation to look at a naked woman and ended up committing sin. That’s why God wants you to grind, work hard, and hustle. It helps you with your holiness, develops your maturity, and prepares you to pay for your wedding and to lead your marriage.
When you read the Bible, you will see that God never called lazy and idle people into the kingdom work. Moses was working for his father-in-law when he got called. Elisha was also working while being called. Peter and John were fixing nets when they were called. If you want to get ready for marriage, get a job – get a calling.
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Career and Calling
So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him. Genesis 2:20
Adam not only had a job which provided him a place to live and food to eat, but he was also naked, so he didn’t need to worry about what to wear. Adam was also called by God to name the animals and given specific instructions about not eating from the forbidden tree.
One of the most asked questions from single people is about what they should do with their life. Many are confused about their calling; others are eager to know what God wants them to do concerning their career. For Adam, his career was simple, “tend to the garden.” It provided for his needs and gave him a place to sleep and food to eat. His calling, on the other hand, was to be in God’s presence, name the animals, and stay away from the forbidden tree.
But what about us?
Before we talk about our career and calling, let’s clarify the difference between the two.
I like how Brian Houston, the senior pastor of Hillsong, put it, “Career is what you’re paid to do, calling is what you are made to do.”
When it comes to your career, it’s really up to you. If you would ask Apostle Paul what God wanted you to do when it comes to a career, he would tell you, “Whatever you do, do as unto the Lord.” (Colossians 3:23) You don’t need to go on a long fast to figure that out. Whatever means whatever; don’t sweat over it. Your career will change many times throughout your life. It’s something you decide based on:
Whatever you love.
Whatever you are good at.
Whatever matches your gifting.
Whatever is not illegal or immoral.
Whatever helps others and can bring glory to God.
If you think you know what you want to do with your career, investigate it first. Don’t just go to college and get into financial debt, only to get a job in that field and later figure out that you hate it. Joshua sent spies to investigate the land they were about to occupy. Investigate your promised land. Spy on it before you occupy it. Meet with people who have that same job or career. Shadow them for a few days to see if you actually like it. Test drive that career first before getting a specific degree or certificate that you may not use fully.
One more thing, think about the financial benefits of that career. Your career is not something you do for fun, it’s what you do for finances. Your career should not be for charity, as in working for free – it has to pay well. Some people choose careers that don’t pay at all, but they like that job a lot. I am not an advocate for doing what we hate just because it pays well, but you can do what you love and get paid well for it. Remember, David did not go against Goliath until he found out what the reward was going to be. In fact, one of the reasons he did not fight his brothers was because there was no spoil in that battle. David was very wise. He only fought battles that had a reward. Some people think it’s not spiritual to inquire about the reward before attacking “the Goliath” of a college degree. Find out the pay before you slay.
Many people get their career and their calling confused. As mentioned before, your calling is something that cannot change and is the driving force behind everything you do in life. Every natural decision you make for your life will be influenced by your calling. Your career is one of those natural decisions you will need to make and it can actually serve as a platform for your calling.
I like how Bill Johnson answered the question about career and calling. “People often come to me and ask me to pray for them, that they would discover God’s will for their life. I already know God’s will for their life ” heal the sick, raise the dead, cast out devils, cleanse lepers. They say, “Yes, but I need to know if I should be a schoolteacher or a missionary.” I say, “Well, just pick one, and then heal the sick, raise the dead, cast out devils, cleanse lepers.” Or they will say, “I just don’t know whether I should be married or should be single.” I reply, “What do you want to be?” “I really want to be married.” ” Then get married…and heal the sick, raise the dead, cast out devils, cleanse lepers.”
Career is something you decide; it can change and it’s natural, as long as you do it for God’s glory, with all your heart. Now, what about your calling? I want to clarify some things about the calling of God as well. We all have a general calling from God, which is to be with Him, stay away from sin, and win souls and make disciples. That calling is to heal the sick, cast out devils, and demonstrate God’s kingdom on earth. That calling is for every Christian, not just for clergy.Click To Tweet
Start by fulfilling the general calling and your specific calling will become evident in no time. I encourage single people not to seek their calling but to seek God, stay away from sin, and serve at their local church in every capacity that they can. You will be surprised how you will stumble into your specific calling. Saul and David were not looking for a kingdom; in fact, both were running errands for their fathers and the kingdom found them. Many people are chasing their destiny, instead of pursuing what God has already revealed in His Word. If you seek God’s kingdom, everything else will be added to you – including the specific calling He has on your life. Even our Savior wanted to start His calling at the age of 12, but submitted Himself to His earthly parents, who were not doing anything life-changing. Jesus entered into His ministry at the age of 30, and even Moses was 80-years-old when his ministry took off, but both fulfilled God’s will for their lives. Be faithful in what you know you must do now and, in time, God will make His will clear.
Everyone has a calling from God, but not everyone will have a full-time ministry. Unless you feel called to a full-time ministry, don’t pursue it. Pursue God, flee sin, and reach the lost on the level you are on right now. If you are called to a full-time ministry, remember that it will take time for you to step into the fullness of that calling. David was anointed for the throne, but he did not receive a crown for long time. In fact, his first job at the palace was as a musician, not as a king. Joseph had a dream to be a ruler, but he started as a slave and then was upgraded to a prisoner with a terrible reputation. The road to the fullness of your calling will likely not be as you are expecting. And even after you reach it, it will probably not feel the way you thought it would feel. Even Jesus, who is the King of kings, started as a baby in a manger and then the Lamb of God who died on the Cross. If you know that God called you to be in full-time ministry, be patient. God will develop you and you will grow into it. Seek a towel, not a title. Look for opportunities to serve, not stages to shine on.
Find a garden to tend and animals to name. Decide your career. Discover your calling.
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Manage Your Miracle
When Jesus multiplied the bread, everyone ate as much as they wanted and people were filled. The overflow of bread and fish was so much that Jesus instructed His disciples to gather the remains into baskets. The lesson Jesus wants us to learn is when He is blessing us there will be an overflow. He is expecting us not to waste the extra, or squander the overflow, but manage it well. No matter what, or even how much, God blesses us with, we must learn to manage our miracles. That means you need to manage your money, even if it seems like small loaves of bread and fish. If God’s blessing is accompanied by poor management, you will always be broke. Not because your job doesn’t pay enough, but because you are a poor steward of the little that you have.
Many people excuse their poor money management upon the fact that they are not working at their dream job and making big money. Making a lot of money will not fix your poor habits. The Prodigal Son had a lot of money, but he had poor and ungodly habits; therefore, he lost it all. Many athletes who make millions of dollars while playing professional sports go broke a few years after they stop playing. Being good at sports does not make you good at money management.
Most people go to school to get a degree so that they can have a career. They become excellent in that career and that career brings them money. But because they are not educated on how to manage that blessing, many end up just maxing out their credit cards, increasing their living expenses and living paycheck to paycheck. They make a lot of money, but they are poor. Why? Because you need to get educated in the area of money management just as much as you need education to jump start your career.
I’m reminded about the story of Shaquille O’Neal. After he was drafted into the NBA, he spent the first million that he earned within 30 minutes. O’Neal then received a phone call from his banker, who rebuked him, and told him that he would end up joining the list of former athletes who ended up broke if the current trend continued. So, this basketball player went to college and sharpened his education on business and finance. He finished his Bachelor’s degree, followed by his M.B.A, and lastly, his Ed.D. That’s right, he is now Dr. Shaquille O’Neal. As of today, Shaq is the joint owner of Five Guys Burgers restaurants, Auntie Anne’s Pretzels restaurants, many car washes, many 24-hour fitness centers, a shopping center, and a movie theater. That’s not including his endorsements and the work he does as an analyst. In Shaq’s own words, “It is not about how much money you make. The question is are you educated enough to KEEP it?” You must be educated to maintain what you get. The key is management. It has to start now. Don’t wait until you get paid more, or finish college, to start developing the habits of a good steward.
For some people, money management comes naturally because their parents were good examples in that area. For others, they must nurture that habit by educating themselves. Pick up a book about financial management instead of watching the latest series on Netflix. Download an audiobook on budgeting, investments, and other topics that will help you to manage your blessings. There is a reason why most CEOs read 3-4 books per month, while those working for them usually read one book per year. Many people stop learning after they finish school which is often reflected in their income.
Seek enlightenment; don’t settle for entertainment. I am not saying that you should spend every minute of your free time learning, studying, and growing in your career and calling, but if you spend most of your time on social media or watching movies and playing video games, you are not going to learn how to manage your finances better, even if you are making a lot of money.
Gentlemen: know your mission before you seek a mate. Remember, God sent Adam a helpmate, not just a soulmate. God wants your spouse to be your partner in ministry and business, not just your lover in bed. She is not there to make food and have kids, but to be your helpmate in your calling.
Ladies: don’t wait for a sugar-daddy. It’s exciting to see young women today pursue God and their purpose, instead of seeking a man. Your life should not be wrapped up in becoming a house maid for a man. You are first and foremost, a daughter of the Most High God. He has created you, empowered you, and called you to His purpose. Like Ruth, find a field to work on and you will be surprised how you will find a good man on that field. Don’t make finding a man the point of your single life – make sure you fulfill your mission.