Turning The Rat Race Into A Spiritual Pilgrimage Part 1

Dear Visionary Leader:

I write today about How To Turn The Rat Race Into A Spiritual Pilgrimage.
There are three insights that I want to provide about what we call “the daily grind.” In Ephesians 6:5, we read, “Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ.” The closest thing that we would have to that is, be obedient to our boss or superintendent.
To your masters, according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ. You’re to obey your boss as if he were Jesus. You say, “I don’t believe it.” Well, read that verse again, and see if you can get anything else out of it. Yet, this is what it says. “And in fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ.”

You may say, that two-legged devil? That’s right. You’re to serve him or her that way. Not with eye service, as men pleasers, but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God, from the heart with good will, doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men. That knowing that whatsoever good thing, any man doeth, the same shall have received of the Lord whether he be bond or whether he be free.
Now, having said this above, let me talk to you about Monday Morning Religion. Let me talk to you about your job, what I call “Daily Work.”

We Have The Drudgery of Work

You know, your work is not always supposed to be exciting. It’s not always supposed to be thrilling. It’s not always supposed to be fun. There’s a certain amount of work-to-work. God has engineered it that way. God has put some drudgery into all our lives. God ordained it in the Garden of Eden after man fell. God said, by the sweat of his face, he’s going to earn his bread.However, there’s a sense in which we can turn that boredom to blessing. We can turn that monotony to meaning. We can turn that drudgery to dignity. We can turn that grind to glory. We can turn the rat race to a pilgrimage.

You know, the problem with a lot of folks is that they feel insignificant. They say, “You know, if I were a minister of music, or a pastor, or a missionary, or if I were maybe wealthy, or if I were maybe a politician, or if I were one of the shakers and movers, but I’m a I’m an insignificant person. I don’t have a lot of gifts; I don’t have a lot of ability. And my job, very frankly, is an insignificant job. I trudge to work every day and then I come back home. I really don’t make a lot of difference. I am locked in to a job that I don’t like, and I despise it. But, I have to do it. It’s the only job that I can get. And so, my life is very unromantic and very unfulfilling. There’s no dignity to it. There’s no real rhyme or reason to it. I do it simply because I have to do it. It is my secular work and very frankly I don’t enjoy it at all.”

I want us to think about that drudgery. I want you to see again how you can turn that to a delight, and that monotony to something that has great, great meaning. You may say, “But, it’s secular work.” Not if you understand the Bible. In the Bible, there is no such thing as the secular and the sacred; not in the New Testament.

If you are not carefully, you may misunderstand what I am saying. The Bible tells us how we can take what some people call, “the secular,” and we can transform it and make it a sacred task. Your job can be your ministry. Your place of employment can be the lamp stand from which you let your light shine.

You say, “But, I’m only an ordinary person.” Do you know why you’re an ordinary person? Because God made mostly ordinary people. God uses mostly ordinary people. Why does God choose ordinary people? God chooses ordinary people that He might give ordinary people, extraordinary power. Therefore, the doing of their work is a miracle and God is the one who gets the glory. You say, “But, I’m in an insignificant place.” Yes, but God wants to take ordinary people, and put ordinary people in an insignificant place, and then for all the more reason, God wants to get glory to Himself.
Maybe you never made “Who’s Who?” But, I want to tell you that you are a very important person to the Kingdom of God and you have been called to the place, where you serve, to glorify the Lord.

Do you know the problem with so many of us who are members of churches today? We’ve divided our lives up into what we call the “secular” and the “sacred.” That is, we kind of live split-level lives. We have the idea that we serve God part of the time and we serve our boss part of the time. So, a guy is waiting till he can get off work. When he gets off work, then he can go down to the churchand he can begin to serve God. So, he’s got a master over here, that’s the guy he works for, and then he’s got a master over here, that’s God. And so, he’s trying to serve two masters. No person can serve two masters.

You need to understand that when you’re on your job, you’re not serving your boss, even though he or she is your boss. You serve him as if he or she were Jesus. On the job, you’re not serving him or her. You’re not just simply in an assembly line, you’re not just simply checking out groceries. You’re not just simply typing letters. You are doing a sacred task for the Lord Jesus Christ.
I have seen so many men, especially men who are in about their thirties and forties, who really get a good dose of old fashioned salvation. Then they come to the place where they make a full surrender to the Lord. They say, “God I want you to have me, every inch, every ounce, every nerve, every fiber, take control of my life.” And, almost invariably when a man does that, he wonders, “Does God want me to be a pastor? Or does God want me to be a missionary? Or does God want me to be an Evangelist?”
God may call this person into the ministry. He called me into the ministry. Sometimes, when I’m witnessing, I try to hide the fact that I’m a preacher. You know, I sit on an airplane and read a Bible and somebody will say, “Hey, are you a preacher?” I mean, like nobody else has any business reading a Bible on an airplane but a preacher. I say, “Well, no, I’m not a preacher, I’ve just been sick.” You know, I try to hide it sometimes. And, when some of these people who are in the business world say, “God’s calling me into the ministry,” in my heart sometimes I say, “I hope not.”
I’d love to have a man like you on fire for the Lord Jesus Christ, out there somewhere, not in the ministry. Now, if God calls you into the ministry, fine, that’s wonderful. However, don’t get the idea that some people are in full time Christian service and other people are not. There’s no such thing as a Christian who’s not in full-time Christian service.
We Have Dignity In Our Work
Your life cannot be divided into the secular and the sacred. You just can’t do it. You see, if you’re a child of God, every day is a holy day. Every place is a hallowed place and every deed is spiritual service.
Now, if that’s not true, you think of the problems that we’re in. For example, if you work more than a forty-hour week (most people work more than a forty-hour week) if they earn their living by work. Well, if you work more than a forty-hour week, and you’re not serving the Lord in your work, did you realize that one third of your time is given to an occupation and the prime hours of your time is given to an occupation that God is not honoring and God cannot bless, if you don’t see God in what you are doing?
Are those forty hours that you are working, fifty hours that you’re working, evil? Is that wasted hours? Are we just simply working eight to five for some sort of an earthly master? Then, when we get off at five we begin to serve God and serve God on the weekends? No. Being a Christian is a full-time occupation.
God doesn’t have a duplex for a throne. You don’t serve God when you get off work. You serve God when you go to work, when you get off work, when you wake up in the morning.
Don’t get the idea that your life is like a pie and you take the financial part and you take one tenth of that pie and you give it to God, and then you eat nine-tenths. Or, that your life somehow is-your time is like a pie and you take one seventh of that pie and give it to God and then whatever else you do, that God doesn’t have anything to do with that.
That is what is wrong with modern day Christianity. Every Christian works for God full time. You may say, “But, I work for a secular company.” Well my dear friend, God owns the company you work for. You see, the earth is the Lords and the fullness thereof.

I want to ask you a question. Who was the first farmer? Adam was not the first farmer. In Genesis 2:8, we read, “And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.” God was the first farmer, not Adam. And, after God made the farm, and planted the farm, He gave it to Adam to take care of. God delegated that work to Adam. Now, if Adam was taking care of that farm for God, he was doing the work of the Lord. And, I want to tell you today, if you’re a farmer, you’re still doing God’s work.
In Ephesians 6:7-8, we read, “With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and
not to men: Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.
You don’t work for your boss; you work for Jesus Christ. And, knowing that what so ever anyone does he will receive the same from the Lord whether he be a slave or free. If you can’t do it as unto the Lord, you’ve got no business doing it. “Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ” (Colossians 3:24).

If you’re in a factory that puts caps on toothpaste, everyone is for Jesus. This one’s for you, Lord. This one’s for you. This one’s for you. Whatever you do, you serve the Lord Christ. Don’t think you have to be playing the piano in church or preaching a sermon in order to be serving God.

Until The Last Person Has Heard,
Dr. James. O. Davis
Global Church Network
Cochair / Global Networking