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Archive for February 28th, 2019

When I Stopped Hiding …

“And let the loveliness of our Lord, our God, rest on us, confirming the work that we do. Oh, yes. Affirm the work that we do!” Psalm 90:17 (The Message)

 

Have you ever held a position in life where you were asked to do something which didn’t seem like a big deal to your employer but to you, as a Christ follower, it was?

I’ve held many jobs in my lifetime in a variety of fields and more than once I’ve been asked to do things, while not illegal or even immoral by the world’s standards, as a Christ follower, I haven’t been comfortable complying.

I was reminded of one such instance recently. I was working for a company and was given an assignment. While legality wasn’t being called into question, I was leery enough to ask questions ahead of time before blindly accepting the task. The answers I was given seemed to line up with my beliefs, so I began.

However, it was quickly apparent that again, while the assignment didn’t contain anything illegal or immoral by society’s standards, as a Christ follower, I wasn’t comfortable. At this point, I chose to seek godly counsel and went to my husband. He agreed that the task wasn’t illegal or immoral and while it wasn’t ideal, I needed to fulfill my job description and complete what was assigned. So that is what I did.

However, as I was working, I started to find myself “hiding from God.” Now I found this response to be confusing. Why was I hiding from God when this assignment wasn’t something I enjoyed … I wasn’t getting any pleasure out of it … and I certainly didn’t choose to participate willingly. I was completing a job for my employer out of obedience, plain and simple.

And it was that truth that changed everything for me. I realized I had nothing to hide. I wasn’t deliberately sinning. I was choosing to honor my employer by doing the best job I could with the assignment I was given, even though it was less than ideal.

I also decided that instead of hiding from God, I was going to deliberately invite Him into this assignment and ask for His help. So right then, I stopped working and had a conversation with my Heavenly Father that went something like this: “Dear Abba: You knew about this assignment before I did. You know that I asked questions ahead of time and did my best to make sure I wouldn’t be put in an uncomfortable situation … and yet, here I sit, uncomfortable. I’ve sought the counsel of my godly husband and I agree with what he said. There is nothing illegal about this task and I need to fulfill it to the best of my ability. It’s a one time job and once it’s over, it’s done. I will have learned to be more discerning from this experience and I will now know what questions to ask ahead of time, more than what I attempted. In the meantime, please enter into this job with me. Guard my heart and my mind if needed and help me to finish quickly, with excellence, as though I’m working for You. Thank You ahead of time for being here with me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

 The whole trajectory changed for me with that prayer. I realized hiding was exactly what the enemy wanted me to do. When I was hiding from God, I felt guilty and as though I was sinning. When I shed light on the situation, my Heavenly Father came alongside me and helped me finish quickly, without guilt, and with excellence. I was able to deliver the task completed in a faster time than I thought possible and I learned many lessons from that experience.

The best lesson, by far, though, was this: I can’t hide from God. He sees everything I do. When I choose to invite Him into each situation – good, bad, or uncomfortable – He can then take each activity and use it for His good.

If you’re wondering how He used this particular assignment for good, I’m happy to share.

 

  • I learned that I don’t have to hide from God, especially when I’m not deliberately choosing a sinful lifestyle. When I invite Him into every situation I’m faced with, He then shows His power and protects me from potential harm.
  • I hope that my willingness to work with excellence despite the less-than-ideal circumstances was a testimony I can use later to share God’s love with those around me, who may not know Him on a personal level, and find themselves in situations that aren’t illegal or immoral by today’s standards but give off red warnings for their personal comfort level.

 

I may never know the full extent of how God used that example, but I know, for me, I have more confidence to go to my Father in all situations, because He cares about all the details of my life. He can (and will) use all instances in my life for His glory if I give Him the chance. Good things happen when I stop hiding.

© Cheri Swalwell 2019

 

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