I started writing a devotional when I was going through unemployment after university in 2014. It was very challenging for me and I still wrestle with my identity being wrapped up in ‘what I do’ at times. I had only written it for seven days, but thought I would share it here to maybe encourage someone going through a tough time regarding work or lack of it.
So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. Galatians 5:16-17
The motives for wanting to find work are important. If we read on from this verse, some of the acts of the flesh include ‘idolatry’, ‘jealousy’, and ‘selfish ambition’. Job hunting can become an idol in itself. If we focus on nothing but getting a job and put this ahead of our relationship with God, it can become a form of idolatry. This can lead to feeling jealous of those that are employed. They may be successful, have more money, a nicer house, opportunity for promotion, well regarded in the field in which they work etc. The desire to attain these attributes is important in the eyes of the world. There is a sense of expectation that achieving this means that you have done ‘well’ in life.
Getting promoted and doing well in work is not a bad thing. However, giving a job or career higher importance and priority in life than God is. In the same way, being unemployed can lead us to spend a lot of time trying to gratify our worldly desires. We can end up thinking about getting work so much that we leave no room for the Spirit to work in us. Let the Spirit work in your life today. That may mean spending less time thinking about work prospects, but it leaves plenty of room for the Lord to shape your heart.
Prayer for today…
Thank you for helping us to realise that You should be paramount in our lives and we are deeply sorry for the times that we place other things at the centre of our day. Please help us to walk by the Spirit daily and to say ‘no’ to the things that seem so appealing to us in our flesh. Thank you that You are patient and understand the desires of our heart. Help us to desire what You want for us and to help us recognise the motives behind every action we consider. Thank you that You know what is best in our life right now and strengthen us by Your Spirit to walk in the way everlasting. Amen.