Is This God's Work or Mine?

By: Larry Leiser

John 6:28-29

Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?” Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”

As a teenager, I fell in love with the Lord and wanted to do his work. I prayed for grace to help me decide what to do with my life. But I thought as a teenager and had the emotions of a teenager. I was young and enthusiastic and believed I could make the world a better place. What better way to do “God’s work” than by dedicating my life? So, I entered a seminary after high school.

In many ways it was the best and worst year of my life. I was still in love with the Lord, but having serious second thoughts. At the end of the year, there were two things of which I was certain: First, that I was not where God wanted me; second, that he still loved me. I did not know what work he had in mind for me, but I knew I would figure it out as long as I remained open to him, prayed for guidance and grace, and believed in the one he sent, Jesus Christ.

At first, I defined “the work of God” through my career. At one point, I majored in political science. Then, I thought about being a sociologist and switched my major again. I was accepted into the Peace Corps, graduate school, and law school. I was still thinking in my terms, not God’s. I rejected the Peace Corps (After all, what kind of job or career could that lead to?) and went to law school.

I continued to pray for the grace to know and the courage to do “the work of God.” I began to sense that he was calling me to be a prosecutor. It took a few years, but for 35 years as a prosecutor, I have been doing what God called me to do with my life. That is, to believe in the one he sent and to ensure the innocent were protected, victims were cared for, and the guilty were treated justly.

Jesus, in an answer to the Pharisees, summed up the necessary tools for doing God’s work in any workplace: Love the lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind . . . [and] you must love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22: 37-30). For me, the best way to use those tools in the workplace was by being a prosecutor.

I have finally realized that, regardless of education, career or wealth, each of us is called to do the real “work of God” by believing in the one he has sent. That real work is to be Christ everywhere, including our workplaces. Everything that has real value and worth comes from the life and teaching of Jesus Christ.

TAKE THE CHALLENGE: What does God’s real work require of me?