I have never been a good employee. I admit it. I sell myself wonderfully on the resume (sales comes naturally to me), but once I get the job, I know that I don't measure up to the qualities I list on my resume. Qualities like: hardworking, diligent, responsible, etc. Am I really owning up to this? I guess so! I have never practiced too much discipline in my life, and it continued into my adult years. Since I was a hairdresser on commission for years, I could pretty much come and go as I please into the shop. If I didn't have a customer, I could leave. Except, at other jobs, I expected that I could leave early whenever I wanted to. I also tended to place more importance on my social life than on my work, therefore, leaving early just because I felt like it, or because I made plans with a friend, when I should have stayed at work. Very immature of me, I know. But in a way, I didn't know better. When I read verses 5-9, I realized that this text applies to me now, although I am not a "slave", I am an employee, and although my boss can't treat me the way slaves were, I am under their authority while working for them. Looking back at my past jobs, I really have never had respect for my employers. I set the rules, and if they didn't abide by my rules, I just quit- it was as simple as that. I did my best at the parts of the job I liked, but cut corners on the things I didn't like. When I read verse 5, I was immediately struck with conviction about my irresponsibility- not to my employers (although that too) but to God. I was not to go to work for the person that employed me, but for God. He saw everything I did- my best and my worst- and He saw my heart in it all. That for me is shameful, because I know I didn't have a sincere heart, but did things to benefit myself and not necessarily to benefit my work or the people I worked with. Infact, many times I put out my coworkers by leaving early. At the time, I didn't care- but looking back, I really was not an imitator of God. I was not reflecting Jesus. What negative impact did I make among my coworkers, my employers or even the customers I served? When I speak about being a follower of Jesus, then not acting like He would- wasn't a very good example.
Lord, I am sorry for not reflecting you at my places of work. You see all things- things done in public and in secret. You know the condition of my heart and I am sorry that my heart did not reflect humility, sincerity and integrity. Lord, I pray that if anyone I worked with reads this blog, that they would have it in them to forgive my foolishness and immaturity. May YOU forgive it also. Amen.
"We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil..." There IS a spiritual battle going on all around us- whether we choose to think about it or not. I think so many people would rather not think about the darkness and just pretend everything is okay. The only way to be protected against these battles, is to get ready for battle. Put on the full armor of God. Imagine a war where the bad guys creep up on the good guys without their knowledge-maybe in the middle of the night while they were asleep. What do you suppose happens? They weren't ready for battle. They probably get defeated. Imagine a war where the bad guys creep up on the good guys- so they think- but the good guys are prepared for day or night battle and once attacked, have their swords and sheilds ready to go. They have a much better chance of survival. Even better- what if the good guys sought out the plan of the bad guys- knowing their very moves, their plans...completely ready for attack. It's a pretty good chance that the good guys are a step ahead.
Spiritual battle works the same way. Except we have to be ready all the more, because the devil and his helpers are constantly aware of our weaknesses... they spend large amounts of time planning the attacks. WE need to be ready. Jesus already defeated Satan when He died on the cross, but we have to put on His armor to withstand attack. Remember when Jesus was tempted in the desert- it was 3 times that Satan tried to tempt Him before he left Jesus. That was JESUS! How many times will Satan tempt us before he leaves us alone in that moment? Be prepared- know the places that Satan attacks- and avoid them! Put on the belt of TRUTH, the breastplate of RIGHTEOUSNESS, the shoes of the GOSPEL, the shield of FAITH, the helmet of SALVATION and the sword of the SPIRIT- being the Word of God. Let's get dressed!