I was speaking with a client recently who questioned if combining our spiritual lives with our work should even be a goal or a priority. Why, she asked, shouldn’t we keep them separate? The obvious responses of serving God at all times, praying unceasingly, evangelizing, and loving our neighbor as ourselves came to mind.
I then recalled one of my favorite scriptures: “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people God claims for his own, so that you may announce the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” 1 Peter 2:9.
I asked my client what she thought it means to be consecrated. After a time of silence I shared the above scripture with her. She allowed the Holy Spirit to begin speaking to her mind and her heart.
We are a people that God claims for his own. We are a people that are set apart from the rest.
We discussed Hebrews 10:10 which tells us: “ . . . it is by this (God’s) will that we have been consecrated.” The word consecrated is mentioned again in verse 14 of that same chapter.
You and I have been consecrated.
Just what does that mean?
“Consecration is the act of continually separating myself from everything except that which God has appointed me to do.” – Oswald Chambers
My client agreed we are separated from everything else to announce the praises of him (Jesus) who called us out of darkness and into his marvelous light. In other words, because we are separated from the rest, our priority, our core value must be to do whatever God has appointed us to do. Our role is to take God – whose very will is to consecrate us – into our secular world, including our world of work. The only separation, then, is to separate ourselves from anything and everything except what God wants us to do.
How do we know what God has appointed us to do at work?
- Daily read and study his word for direction
- Spend quiet time with him every day before going to work
- Pray for specific instructions each day
- Turn the cares of your day – including your work day – over to him
- Ask him how he wants you to handle an unhappy customer or team member
- Ask him for the grace to help you show compassion to anyone suffering through a trial in their life
- Ask him where he wants you to spend his money
- Intentionally do exactly what he tells you
- Stay away from anything that is a barrier to God’s will in your work life
- When you make a mistake, repent and remind yourself that you are consecrated, set apart, claimed by God as his own
We work in a secular world only to do God’s will there.
Discerning what that will is becomes our first priority. Once discerned, we are to separate ourselves from anything that gets in the way and then do it. We walk in the Spirit of God when we do this and there we find love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, and more.
As our conversation continued, my client was developing a new perspective. Where separating her faith and her work had seemed logical earlier, she now imagined how work would be if she combined her faith walk with her professional walk. She began to picture how her business would look with God entwined in every detail. A sense of excitement manifested in her words as her emotions began to experience the portrait she was painting.
God loves us so much he made sure we are consecrated.
He wants us to share him with the world around us. Let’s make sure we live a consecrated life even at work where we can life Faith Positive even in our professional lives.
About Mike Van Vranken
Mike Van Vranken, a lifelong Catholic, is a writer, speaker, retreat leader, and teacher. Following forty years of leading, coaching, and developing business owners, Mike founded Mike Van Vranken Ministries to fulfill his passion to bring Jesus to the world around him. He brings his experiences as a mentor, leader, speaker, coach, and entrepreneur to provide teaching and spiritual leadership to all who are interested. His dream is to deliver the teachings of Jesus to women and men, old and young, poor and rich, people of every background and diversity – to the entire body of Christ.
Mike is co-author of the brand new book: Faith Positive in a Negative World. In paperback and on Kindle now at amazon.com. He and Barbara, his wife of 42 years, live in Shreveport, LA. Discover more about Mike at www.mikevanvrankenministries.org as well as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, and Google.