Trusting God to Work at Work

coin“For not from the east or from the west and not from the wilderness comes lifting up, but it is God who executes judgment, putting down one and lifting up another.” Psalm 75:6-7

The lines of these two verses clearly identify God as the proponent for promotion and not Karma or chance or personal effort or any other method of advancement. It is God alone who builds up and tears down. That said, it is difficult to sit and watch ungodly people advance up the rungs of success and confusing for the dedicated Christian to understand why or how one gets promoted over another. Time and again the Bible addresses these very observances and informs us to not be distracted by them. Here are just a few verses you can look up later to see what I mean:

Job 21:7

Psalm 10:1-18

Psalm 37:7

Psalm 73:3

Psalm 94:3

Jeremiah 12:1

For us as Christians, it is beyond important that we be wiser than systems we find ourselves operating within. Reason being? We are Children of the Most High God, His workmanship, His pottery, His Creation, made in His image, we are of and from royalty. Our promotion is not of this world but during our time on this world if God sees fit to promote us, we must ask who the promotion is for and to what purpose?

change of commandRecently, I had the privilege of performing the invocation (Opening Prayer) for a Change of Command between two Majors. The departing Major had been in command for over 2 years and had a vast amount of experience. The incoming Major had much less experience both combat related, educationally and professionally. After praying for both men and their respective families as they take on their new missions, the outgoing commander spoke followed by the incoming commander. All of these things are typical functions of a Change of Command. The outgoing commander thanked God first and foremost and made no apologies for acknowledging who made it possible for him to complete his command time without even a hint of negative incidents. The incoming commander introduced himself to his new Soldiers and then said these words, “I want to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who made it possible for me to be here taking command today.” Both of these men are a great example of two leaders who understand who made it possible for them to serve in the capacities in which they did and do.

However, the fact that God is the proprietor of everyone’s advancement does not mean we are exempt from our Christian responsibilities. For example, from time to time I have soldiers come to me with work related issues. Undoubtedly, many of them are struggling with leaders over them who are perceived as either toxic, vindictive, selfish, and careless or many other descriptive words. The recent observations by the media of the hostilities people endure who work for Amazon.com comes to mind. When I speak with these soldiers, at some point I ask them about their faith or beliefs. Specifically, I ask how does their faith inform their everyday life and how do they observe their faith. Most of the Soldiers talk about falling away and being as faithful or praying every day and nothing happening or admitting that they need to look into faith a little more.

I have found, that when we Christians pray for our leaders in very specific terms and by name that God hears those prayers. One of the issues we Christians face today is a watered down approach to prayer that is much generalized in application. Seldom are we specific and rarely could one say overly specific. Unfortunately, expedience in this case is not a sign of efficient prayer warriors. Biblically, those men and women of God who came before us were specific in prayer and even a little long winded and repetitive. We could learn a lot from their methods. Although James is referencing confessing one’s sins, the second part of James 5:16 is equally applicable here: “The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.”

Literally, lifting your leaders up in prayer specifically and oftentimes has the potential to bring about changes in your work environment and in the area of work related promotion that right now may seem utterly impossible. Godly men and women are to serve God through their day to day work and do so with consistency and humility.

Christians-At-WorkSomeone reading this may be thinking or expressing, “Yes, I agree but Chaplain you don’t know my work environment!” And, that person would be correct. However, God does! Not only does He know your work environment but He knows everything about it to include each person. Remember, all things are moving toward God and I am here to testify that God can and will use you to move you’re the organization you work within (regardless of size) toward Him. Others may be reading this and thinking, “There is no way on earth the company or business I work within every day could be moved toward God.” And, you may be correct. If this is the case, it may be time to look for work elsewhere and in a position where God can be glorified. I would make those changes wisely. In other words, do not take my comments here to mean you need to up and quit your job without planning ahead. Seek wise council and make sure you have explored every option first. Be sure to give God permission and time to work not only within your organization but within you and your coworkers. Some of us have a complex where we think we are the savior of our organization or our coworkers or ourselves. Such a complex is beyond dangerous and incredibly destructive. God’s will is not ours. It is us that are to conform to His will. We must get the direction right. If your day to day activities are all about how you can get ahead, that is not God’s will. Rather, we should be focused on how God can be glorified and if promotion comes as a result of our work and our effort then praise the Lord.

In today’s economy and America’s commerce it is easy to think that God wants me to be rich and successful while leading from the front. If this were the case, as powerful as God is, all Christians would be independently wealthy, Fortune 500 worthy, and New Times Bestsellers regarding leadership. The truth is we are not while on this earth. Granted a few of us are but I would wager we are talking about less than a tenth of a percent of Christians match the characteristics mentioned above.

Who and what we are in Eternity is another matter. For example, Ephesians 1:3 reads, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places…” All of which points back to my first paragraph. To think otherwise, sets us up for failure and not true success according to God. Real success only comes when God is glorified and made the goal of our aspirations.

eyeongodHow you apply your faith in your work environment is going to look different for each person and is as unique as each individual. The variables that are play in any given organization far outpace our ability to predict outcomes and probability is nowhere near our frame of reference as Christians. All the systems you and I work and live within are manmade but that does not mean they cannot be pointed in the right direction or revamped altogether.

A practical starting point is to imagine you organization as God centered as it is right now. By thinking through what that implies, the deficiencies of how they are not surface rather quickly. Those deficiencies have now become your specific prayer list for your organization, coworkers and self. Pray specifically over each of the things you discovered and you may want to bring others in on the prayer team. Bounce your prayer list off of others who you know to be people who pray and see what they think. They may bring new insight to your reality that you have not thought of individually or privately. Now you are practicing intercessory prayer which is more powerful than any of us realize.

Next, watch God do great things in you, your coworkers, and your organization that you never thought possible. As God changes and challenges your work environment, feel free to share the testimonies with us here at VTC that come from your “Fervent Prayer”. After all, Promotion is from the Lord!

Mijikai Mason
Disclaimer: The thoughts and views published on the Veterans to Christ blog are those of Mijikai Mason and in no way are meant to represent the United States Army or the Armed Forces.

Bio: Mijikai Mason is an Ordained Southern Baptist minister and Chaplain in the United States Army. He has been in the Army for 26 years both as an enlisted Soldier and now as an Officer. He has been stationed at various bases in the United States and in United States Army Garrison Schweinfurt, Germany. He holds an undergraduate degree in Religion from the University of Mobile, a Master of Divinity degree from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in Theology and Evangelism and a Master of Arts degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Webster University. Chaplain (MAJ) Mijikai Mason was selected by the Army in 2013, to become a Family Life Chaplain and began his service in this field starting 15 May 2015. He is the Deputy ESC Chaplain and Family Life Chaplain for the 593 Expeditionary Support Command at Joint Base Lewis McCord. He has deployed four times: Desert Storm (1991), Iraq twice (2005-2006; 2007-2008), and Afghanistan (2012-2013). He has a total of 42 months deployed in combat and logistics operations. Mijikai and his wife, Ashley, have been married for 17 years this May and live near Joint Base Lewis McChord, Washington with their four daughters.