So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31 NIV)
QUESTION: I am in government service and deeply dislike my work. I feel that I am not accomplishing anything worthwhile. Is it right for me to pray to be led into a different kind of work?
It is always right to take our problems to God in prayer. He has promised to bring the blind by a way that they knew not (Isa. 42:16), and He assures us that if we keep Him in our thoughts our path will be directed (Prov. 3:5,6). We should not, however, allow ourselves to get wrought up about anything. It is the consensus among superior souls (as revealed in their books of devotion) that the Spirit leads without agitation, while the enemy, when he tries to imitate the Spirit, usually whips us up to a state of confusion and mental distress. The best rule is to pray, trust God fully and then follow His providences. Do not insist upon an earthquake or a whirlwind as the only evidences of divine guidance. God may lead you by a still small voice or by quietly arranging a set of circumstances so ordinary as to seem commonplace. Faith accepts quiet guidance; only unbelief demands a miracle.
QUESTION: I am a university student and my problem is this: If I study enough to pass my tests I have a feeling of guilt for having neglected my prayer life. If I pray enough to satisfy my heart I neglect my studies. What shall I do?
I think you are creating a problem where none exists. You have fallen into the common error of living a divided life, counting prayer as sacred and study as secular. God's will never contradicts itself; neither does He lay upon us duties that conflict with one another.
Here is my advice: Consecrate your studies to God as a living sacrifice. Ask Him to accept your intellectual labors as an offering of love. To the spiritual man everything is sacred; nothing is secular. William Law says, "Miranda does not divide her duty between God, her neighbor and herself; but she considers all as due to God, and so does everything . . for His sake."
Begin to think of your college work as intellectual worship acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. This will make the dullest subject enjoyable and, incidentally, it will sharpen your brain so you can grasp difficult ideas a lot more easily.
The notion that prayer is to be made in retirement only is erroneous. That prayer which consists of an address to the Deity (which the Pharisees made on the street corner and which our Lord said should be made in the closet) is only one kind of prayer. A well-lived life is a prayer if it is lived in the faith of Christ. The hands may pray by doing honest work, the feet by carrying us to that work; sleep can be prayer when it refreshes us to serve our fellow men and eating may be prayer if it is done with thanksgiving.
There is no reason to doubt that your college studies are an acceptable form of spiritual service. Of course, you should spend as much time as possible in prayerful retirement; only don¨ªt get under bondage to it. "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God" (1 Cor. 10:31).
Forgive me, Lord, for grumbling about the tiresome, menial tasks assigned to me. Teach me to do them all for Your glory.
Doing all for the glory of God is the essence of Spirit-filled living. What is included in all may require drastic revision on our part. But the most menial tasks may be done as an offering to God.
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