By Vivian Bricker, Crosswalk.com
Our careers are an important part of our lives, so it is only normal for Christians to seek God's will for their job fields. Sometimes, choosing a career can be quite difficult, but God can help us in our search for a purposeful, fulfilling career that serves Him.
Here's the good news: no matter your career, you can serve God. The Bible tells us, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving” (Colossians 3:23-24).
Here are five practical ways to determine God’s will for your career:
The first practical way to determine God’s will for your career is to pray. This might sound basic, but we mustn't overlook the importance of prayer. Talking with God in prayer is the best way to determine God’s will for your career because you can talk through your different options with God. You can pour out your heart to Him and tell Him how you want to serve Him in whatever career you pursue.
When you pray to God, don’t stop after just one time. Make the dedicated effort to pray consistently. In fact, Paul tells us to pray continually (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). The Lord cares about your career and He wants you to bring your concerns, worries, and desires about your future career to Him. Ask the Lord to direct you to the career He wants you to have.
The Lord is faithful, and He will direct you in all your steps if you acknowledge Him (Proverbs 3:5-6). Praying to God displays your dependence upon the Lord. Thus, it is vital to pray to God and include Him in your plans to determine His will for your career.
2. Read the Word
A second practical way to determine God’s will for your career is to read the Bible. Reading God’s Word is essential to hear from God, not only in the way of career decisions but also in every area of our lives. God speaks to us through His Word today. Therefore, it is critical that we are actively reading the Bible to hear from Him and discern His will.
The Bible contains everything we need to live to the glory of God, including our career life. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 tells us, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” The Word of God will equip us with everything we need, including helping us discern God’s will for our careers.
3. Consult Trusted Christians
Consulting trusted Christians is a third practical way to determine God’s will for your career. Talking with true, trusted Christians can help you better determine where God is leading you in your career. Christian advisors, pastors, and mentors can help point you in the right direction for your career in service to God.
The trusted Christians in your life would know you better than most people, and they could help talk you through different options for your career. Trusted Christians could also help you narrow down your career search after you have consulted God in prayer and have meditated on the Word. These trustworthy friends could also be a great source for networking and recommendations. Lastly, trusted Christians can also pray for you and pray for God’s guidance to be given to you.
4. Be Patient
Being patient is a fourth practical way to determine God’s will for your career. When we are job searching, it is easy to become impatient with the process of resumes, applications, and waiting to hear back from potential employers. Even though these things can be difficult, ask God to help you be patient in determining His will for your career.
Sometimes, God will close a door on a career we wanted, a career that seemed to make financial sense or fulfill a certain desire. If God does this, we need to trust that He knows best. Even if you do not obtain your dream career, you can serve God in whatever career God opens. In fact, prioritizing God's plan for your life will ensure that whatever career you land, you will find fulfillment in your soul. So maybe a dream job is never out of the equation when our priorities are right!
More often than not, we think the only jobs that serve God are those in the church, such as pastor, youth leader, or missionary. The truth is that we can serve God in all of our jobs, including working at the grocery store, the bookstore, or at a school.
5. Discern Your Spiritual Gifts
A fifth practical way to determine God’s will for your career is to discern your spiritual gifts. By discerning spiritual gifts, it will be easier to determine God’s will for your career. When you know what your spiritual gifts are, you will better be able to know how you can serve God in your career.
The Holy Spirit gifts all believers with at least one spiritual gift. The spiritual gifts include serving, teaching, giving, encouragement, discernment, leadership, mercy, words of wisdom, words of knowledge, healing, faith, and the gift of helps, to name a few (Romans 12:6-8; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11; 1 Corinthians 12:28). We can discern our spiritual gifts by praying to God to reveal them to us and volunteering within the church to see which gifts we have been given.
God also gave us natural gifts. For some, this looks like painting, writing poetry, or playing a musical instrument. Others might find mathematics, chemistry, and engineering fields come with both ease and enjoyment.
When you have discerned your spiritual gifts, you can determine which career God is more likely to lead you into because He has blessed you with the spiritual gifts to do the job successfully. Perhaps God will even blend your spiritual and natural gifts for your career field. But remember, spiritual gifts can take some time to be discovered, yet the more involved you are with your church, prayer, and Bible reading, the better you will become at discerning your spiritual gifts.
Serving God in Our Careers
In every career that we may have in our lives, we need to be faithful to serve God. Any job that we have can be done to the glory of God and bring glory to His Name. God wants to be a part of your career search, and He will be overjoyed to give you guidance in your career.
An important aspect we need to remember when we are job searching is that just because we get hired for a job does not mean we have to stay in the same career for our entire lives. If you love the career you are in now and are faithfully serving the Lord, that’s great, and you should continue to do so. However, if you are feeling discouraged with your current career situation, know that you don’t have to stay in the same career for your entire life—especially if the work culture is manipulative and unhealthy.
You can serve God in your career by obeying Him, loving Him, and loving others. God will reveal His will for your life and your career if you consult Him in prayer, actively read the Word, consult trusted Christians, remain patient, and discern your spiritual gifts. If you do these things, it will be easier to determine God’s will for your career. Careers are always scary and stressful to talk about because it feels that a career will become our whole life, yet we have to remember that our life is found in Christ and not in our career.
Be faithful in prayer, read the Word, and keep searching for God’s answer to your career decision. The Lord will always be there with you, and He will answer prayers according to His will. God is our good, good Father, and He will walk with us through every decision, including our career decisions, leading us to what is best for both His kingdom and us.
Related: Listen to our FREE Podcast on Stress! The Stress Less Podcast with Bonnie Gray. In this episode, Bonnie tackles new year stress and starting the year off right. To listen, click the play button below! And for more episodes, visit LifeAudio.com!
Photo Credit: ©Getty/WestEnd61
Vivian Bricker loves Jesus, studying the Word of God, and helping others in their walk with Christ. She has earned a Bachelor of Arts and Master's degree in Christian Ministry with a deep academic emphasis in theology. Her favorite things to do are spending time with her family and friends, reading, and spending time outside. When she is not writing, she is embarking on other adventures.