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Genesis 2:15

“The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.”

Understanding how to discern God’s will with respect to our vocation requires us to view work as an area in which we can pursue our sanctification. God’s basic will for all of His people is that we be sanctified (1 Thess. 4:3), and so we must look for a vocation that is lawful. We are to be guided by the principles of God’s revealed will in looking for the vocation that suits us while paying attention to the internal and external call of God. We must also examine ourselves soberly to figure out our gifts and where we can best use them.

But in considering the vocation to which the Lord has called us, we must also have the right approach to labor in general. A vocation is not only something to occupy our time or a way to support ourselves, although the latter is an important consideration. Also, we should not expect our work to be sheer drudgery. Regrettably, that is how too many people in our culture view their work, as something they just have to get through in order to make it to the weekend.

Scripture, on the other hand, tells us that work is a good gift from God. It is given by the Lord in order to help us have meaning in our lives, to assist us in personal growth, and to be an avenue through which we can love our neighbors. By producing goods and services that others need and want, we are actually loving those around us.

God ordained lawful work for human beings in creation, tasking us to work before the fall into sin (Gen. 2:15; 3). Labor, in itself, is a good thing, and we find it arduous and troublesome at times only because thorns and thistles have infected our efforts as a result of Adam’s fall. In the new heavens and earth, we will continue to work, for we will worship the Lord on into eternity (Rev. 22:1–5).

Yes, our work can be difficult at times even if we are in a vocation that we love. That is the result of God’s curse on creation that will not be fully removed until Christ returns (Gen. 3:17–19; Rom. 8:18–25). It does not follow, however, that we must take up work that we hate. There are times, of course, when we will have duties that we might not have otherwise chosen. Sometimes we may have to spend time in a job that we find boring because quitting it without having a new position would mean not supporting our families (1 Tim. 5:8). But we need not think that this is the norm. We should not be afraid to look for a vocation we enjoy and in which we can use our gifts.

Coram Deo Living before the face of God

Ultimately, finding a vocation that is right for us is quite simple. We only need to find work that would be sanctioned by God’s Word and for which we are gifted. We do not need to peer into the hidden mysteries of God, which is impossible anyway. We only have to ask ourselves what we like to do and how we can provide for ourselves and our families while doing it.

For Further Study
  • Psalm 100
  • Ecclesiastes 2:24–25
  • Ephesians 4:1
  • Colossians 3:23–24

Discerning Vocation

God’s Will and Your Spouse

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From the November 2017 Issue
Nov 2017 Issue