Much has been written about nursing being both a profession and a ministry and the fact is reiterated over and over again that our profession is our ministry.

I recently read a book written by one of my favourite authors, Eugene Peterson, called "Leap over a Wall"  It is the story of David retold in Mr Peterson's unique style. In it there is a chapter about how God's anointed people took over the responsibility of God's sovereignty and did things their own way.   Saul started off beautifully, being chosen by and anointed by the Lord, but pretty soon proved that he was not all that interested in doing God's work God's way.  He became more and more absorbed in doing God's work God's way.  He became more and more absorbed in doing, whether it was defeating the enemy, sacrificing to God, distributing the plunder etc.  He did not do anything wrong in itself but  Saul was treating God as a means and resource for what he wanted to accomplish and forgot that this was not the work God had chosen for him to do.  Saul offered sacrifices to the Lord when it was not his place to do so.   He let the people keep the best animals back from the Amelekites in order to give them to the Lord instead of destroying them completely as the Lord had told him to do. He wanted to worship God on his terms rather than on God's terms.  Somewhere along the line God's anointed work became Saul's responsibility. In other words worship was under-taken so that his work would prosper and this had severe consequences. 

He wanted to worship God on his terms rather than on God's terms.  Somewhere along the line God's anointed work became Saul's responsibility. In other words worship was under-taken so that his work would prosper and this had severe consequences.  Similarly if we work so that our worship would look good and prosper it will have the same results.

Worship and work
should never become two
different things


We worship when we work and we work when we worship, especially when our work is derived from God.   We are told in Genesis that in the beginning God went to work and what he made was for his purpose and glory.  In the second scene we see that man and woman were placed in the garden as workers and were responsible to God for both fellowship and work.   In Luke 4:18, Jesus announced in the synagogue, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because he has anointed me". In the Biblical texts the word anointed means being given a job by God. It means he has employed us for a certain task, we are assigned to do it ,and his Spirit enables us to do it.  Because anointing connects our work with God's work, he does his work through us.  In and through our work people know who we are.    Eugene Peterson says, "When we are working well and doing good work, we are truly God-like.  The problem is that it isn't much of a stretch to think that we are truly in control and we start thinking of ourselves as 'gods' of our little universe.  But if we are gods then we don't need God, or at least we

don't seem to need him very much in our everyday work world.  And that's where the lines begin to be drawn in what is secular  and what is sacred.  Having a job doesn't mean we will do it well.  Having the right role in life doesn't mean we will be righteous people.  The key to living as anointed people is doing it God's way whatever the circumstances.

Work can reveal something about us, express our values, articulate our morals, our convictions.  By the same token work can conceal our identity and can be used as a front to advertise what we want people to see or believe about us.

At the beginning of each new year I attempt to make a New Year's resolution before the Lord.  Some of them I have broken before January 10!  Others last longer, but when I take stock of myself in December I am sometimes a very disappointed and dejected person.   I'm so grateful that God does not judge us the way we so often judge ourselves
.   

Last year my desire was to truly get to know God better than I've ever done before.  I found this could be accomplished in a number of ways - intellectual knowledge (study and thinking), emotional knowledge (meditating on God's goodness and love towards me), and spiritual knowledge (praying and reading his Word).  But the thought struck me over and over again that these are all private areas

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