God’s Guidance to Particular Work
At this point, we are now able to delve into the possibility of God’s guidance to a particular task, job, career or type of work. We have seen that:
- Everyone is called to belong to Christ and to participate in his creative and redemptive work.
- Everyone is commanded to work to the degree they are able.
- God calls us to a whole life, not just to a job.
Putting these together leads us to conclude that your profession is probably not God’s highest concern for you. God is much more concerned that you come under the saving grace of Christ and participate in his work of creation and redemption, whatever your job may be. Exactly what kind of work you do is a lower-level concern.
Although getting us into the right job or career is not God’s highest concern, that doesn’t mean it is of no concern. In fact, the distinctive work of the Holy Spirit is to guide and empower people for the life and work to which God leads them. In the Old Testament, God gave people the skills needed for their work on occasion, as we have seen with Bezalel and Oholiab in the building of the tabernacle. But now the Spirit routinely guides believers to particular work and gives them the skills they need (1 Corinthians 12:7-10). He provides guidance for both what kind of work people do and how to do that work.
The Steering Committee of the Theology of Work Project regards all gifts, skills and talents as coming from God. The gifts of the Spirit discussed in the New Testament (e.g., 1 Corinthians chapters 12-14, Romans chapter 12, Ephesians 4:11-16, and 1 Peter 4:10-12) are not limited to the particular abilities listed in those passages. Nor are they limited only to uses in the church. This article does not attempt to prove this position, but merely to acknowledge it. For more, see the discussion of 1 Corinthians chapters 12-14 in 1 Corinthians and Work at www.theologyofwork.org.