October 5, 2017 • Life for Leaders
I am the LORD, and there is no other;
apart from me there is no God.
I will strengthen you,
though you have not acknowledged me.
Several times throughout Isaiah 45, the Lord asserts that he alone is God and that there is no other. The false gods of the nations, the idols people have made with their own hands, cannot compare to the Lord, the creator of all things, the sovereign over all history.
The Lord has the ability to work in history for his purposes and glory, even raising up Cyrus, a Persian king, to do his will. To Cyrus, God says, “I will strengthen you, though you have not acknowledged me.” God is not limited to using those who recognize him to do his bidding. In the majesty and mystery of his sovereignty, God even works in and through those who are ignorant of him and his plans. Such is the unique greatness of our God!
How much more would God want to use those of us who do know him and are committed to him! Whether we’re in a meeting at work, or teaching a class, or coaching a soccer team, or driving our grandchildren around town, or talking with friends on the patio after a worship service, God seeks to use us for his purposes. When we’re immersed in his Word and attentive to his Spirit, we’ll be ready to do God’s bidding.
In my work at the De Pree Center, I talk with many leaders in the marketplace. Some see their workplace as separate from their faith. But, increasingly, Christians in business are recognizing their work as a context for God’s own work. They become available in a new way to the Lord, not only to do new things at work, but also to do the ordinary things with excellence for God’s glory. They understand that even as God could use a pagan king for his purposes, so God can act in our supposedly “secular” workplaces. They are eager to glorify God in all they do at work.
QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER:
When have you been used by God for his purposes? How did this happen?
Are you available to him in all times and places? In your place of work? In your neighborhood? When you’re hanging out with friends?
What might God want to do through you today?
Gracious God, your ways are truly amazing. You work out your will in this world according to your plans, even using the likes of Cyrus, a man who didn’t even know you.
Yet, in many ways, I am more amazed by the fact that you want to use me, in spite of my limitations, my doubts, my sins. How blessed I am to be called into your service. And how doubly blessed I am to know you because you have made yourself known to me through Christ.
O Lord, may I be available to you today, to do your will. Help me especially to be ready for service in places I don’t think of as “religious.” May I attend to the still, small voice of your Spirit, so that I might do your bidding, for your kingdom and glory. Use me this very day, Lord! Amen.
Explore more at the Theology of Work Project online commentary: Can Someone Else Be in Charge?
Dr. Mark D. Roberts is a Senior Strategist for Fuller’s Max De Pree Center for Leadership, where he focuses on the spiritual development and thriving of leaders. He is the principal writer of the daily devotional, Life for Leaders, and the founder of the De Pree Center’s Flourishing in the Third Third of Life Initiative. Previously, Mark was the Executive Director of the De Pree Center, the lead pastor of a church in Southern California, and the Senior Director of Laity Lodge in Texas. He has written eight books, dozens of articles, and over 2,500 devotions that help people discover the difference God makes in their daily life and leadership. With a Ph.D. in New Testament from Harvard, Mark teaches at Fuller Seminary, most recently in his D.Min. cohort on “Faith, Work, Economics, and Vocation.” Mark is married to Linda, a marriage and family counselor, spiritual director, and executive coach. Their two grown children are educators on the high school and college level.