My friend, Mike insists my presence made a noticeable, "spiritual" difference in my former workplace, a hardware store.
“When I go there during your shift, I can tell the difference just by walking in,” Mike recently shared. “That store is blessed due to you.”
I've enjoyed this job the most of all the jobs I’ve had in the last nine years. In seven months there as a sales associate, I slowly learned the store layout, how to cut keys and mix paint and grew more confident and comfortable greeting, helping and relating to our customers. I credit the people-focused culture to the owner, Tim and his hiring practices. He employs people like me - with some to considerable hardware know-how and good with people.
To affirm Mike’s claim would seem immodest but I mention it to explore a perspective in Scripture that seems ignored or overlooked in Christian circles - that God can and does work through certain "chosen" people to bless the places they occupy. Let me be clear though that the source of blessing is God, not me or you.
I desire to be engaged with God and I faithfully observe certain routines to develop and maintain a relationship with him. On good days, I am tuned into God's channel while at work, alert to bringing him into encounters with other people when an opening to do so occurs.
Likewise with the jobs I've sought and secured. I can make a case for God having something to do with me landing each one of them. Would that be the same as God "choosing" me for these positions?
As to God blessing my workplaces through me, well I can only say that Mike’s view merits consideration due to plenty of Biblical evidence of blessing attributed to God working through one person. The Bible also offers warnings of peril and vulnerability for people and places due to the apparent ABSENCE of “righteous” people, according to God.
Notable examples of God blessing others or nations due a person chosen by God are Abraham, Daniel, Joseph, and David.
- Abraham - Through him, God established the Messianic line to bless all the families of earth (see Genesis 12:1-20)
- Daniel - Able, due to God, to interpret the king’s dreams, exile Daniel was elevated to leadership in the government of his captor, Babylon (see Daniel 2: 46-49)
- Joseph - Like Daniel, God granted Joseph interpretations to Pharaoh’s dreams that resulted in Joseph becoming one of Egypt’s highest officials. (See Genesis 39: 2-5)
- David - Through David, God established an everlasting kingdom (See 2 Samuel 7: 12-17)
Conversely, Biblical places imperiled due to the lack of righteous people according to God include Sodom and, possibly, Canaan.
- Sodom - But for the presence of just ten righteous people, the Lord would have spared Sodom from destruction. (See Genesis 18: 16-33)
- Canaan - Israel was ordered to completely destroy the nations occupying their “promised lands” due to longstanding societal patterns that were detestable in God’s eyes (see Deuteronomy 18: 9, 12)
Mike isn’t the only person who claims I’ve made a noticeable difference in a place I worked. Furthermore, even though I’ve not been part of any workplace longer than 18 months during the last nine years, many of the companies have thrived during my time there. Also, I’m aware that some faltered a bit after I left.
Did God "choose" me for any of these workplaces? Is any of this supposed blessing or prosperity due to God dwelling in me as I dwelt in the work I did there? Was my leaving in any way associated with God withdrawing blessing?
Given God’s nature and manner and the evidence of Scripture, all of the above are certainly possible even if logically far-fetched. So imagine with me for a moment that little old you and me are conduits for Godly goodness in the workplaces we occupy, whether big or small. Author Samuel Williamson says God is always speaking and acting through his creation and people and wants to speak to and through us in every moment.
“God invites us to walk with him even in--maybe especially in--our ordinary moments.” (from “Hearing God in Conversation,” page 33)
Even at work or, if you are retired, whatever you are doing wherever you are doing it.
I pray that what Mike claims is true, that God blessed that store because I brought my relationship with the Lord to work with me. Ditto with my new job, a manufacturing company.
How about you?
- Canaanites: Genocide or Judgment?
- Trailer for movie, War Room (2015)
- Image source: Jill Heyer via Unsplash