Do you feel that God is satisfied with your work? When you are working, do you feel God's pleasure?
Right after graduating from the University, I remember asking myself this question, "What should I be doing to be most pleasing to God?" With the question in mind, I went straight to the seminary, because I believed that God will be most pleased with me when I prepare myself with a theological study and become a pastor. Is it really true that God delights more in one being a pastor than taking a job outside the church doors?
When we often talk about the life of Jesus, we talk about Jesus dying on the cross for the sins of the world and coming back to life to give us hope for our future resurrection. For sure, this is an absolutely central and crucial message of the Gospel. If Jesus did not die and come back to life for us, our sins will remain un-forgiven and our faith will be absolutely futile (1 Cor 15:17). So we must proclaim and preach the death and the resurrection of Jesus Christ at all costs.
Jesus was a carpenter
But, what is often missed when we talk about the life of Jesus Christ is the fact that Jesus was a "carpenter." Yes, Jesus was God and everything in this world was made by Jesus and was made for Him (John 1). Yet, we see that for at least 20-30 years of his life, before he started a public ministry, Jesus was a carpenter.
This would mean that, just as everyone else of the time, Jesus must have gone through an apprenticeship to be a carpenter, and must have worked long hours in the shop, carving the woods to produce furniture of all kinds to serve his neighbors. By being a carpenter, Jesus was truly incarnating and revealing his presence to the world which he created for himself. Then, right before Jesus begins his public ministry, Jesus went to be baptized by John. It is at this very moment we hear a voice from heaven, God, saying in Matthew 3:17:
"This is my Son whom I love; with him I am well pleased."
Even before Jesus fulfilled his mission to die for the sinners in the world, God affirms that He is well pleased with Jesus. The life that Jesus lived to please the Father must have included all the years Jesus spent in the carpentry shop, working with his hands to carve the furniture for his neighbors. Eric Liddell, Scottish Olympic gold medalist, who later became a missionary to China, said during his training:
"God made me fast. And when I run, I feel His pleasure."
Indeed, when we are doing the things that God has called us to do, God is pleased with our work.
I do believe that God is pleased with me when I am preaching his word as a pastor on Sundays. But, now, I also believe that God is equally pleased with me when I work as an accountant on weekdays.
So, do you feel that God is satisfied with your work? Just as I did, do you feel that you need to become a pastor to please God? Well, God wants you to be what he has called you to be. Jesus was most pleasing to the Father when he was working as a carpenter during his early years of life. So, the real question is not, "What should I be doing to please God," but the real question we should ask is: "Am I doing what God has called me to do?" Answer the call, then you will feel God's pleasure in your work.