After High School: Finding God's Will - Bro. Tim Dodd
What is the best way to determine God's chosen path for our lives in the way of a career or job? While there is no easy answer to this question, there are some guidelines that a young person can follow to eliminate the jobs which are obviously not the Lord's will, while praying about His perfect will. These are scriptural principles which, when relied upon, can guide us around a lot of the potential pitfalls that lay before all of us in the work force. We need to realize that the children of God are different than the children of the world, even when it comes to earning money. The scripture in Luke 16:8 says "And the Lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light." Also in Matthew 13:38 we read "The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;" Though we are in the world, we are not of the world and God does not want us to conduct ourselves like the world. The way they approach work is not the way the child of God does, the things the world does for income are not always good things for us.
Next we need to realize that we are living in an age of great impersonation. "It's matching time" Brother Branham said. There is no greater example of this than education. Colleges, Universities and Vocational Schools will make you whatever you want to be, if you are willing to study. But is it what they want you to be or what God made you to be? Romans 11:29 shows us that "the gifts and calling of God are without repentance." Every son and daughter of God is uniquely gifted. We are predestinated vessels in natural, as well as spiritual ways, and God has a unique place for each of us in His kingdom. No one can take our place.
God has an individual life full of individual experiences for each and everyone of us. By going to university and paying our fees, we can become whatever occupation we choose. So we really need to be careful that the education we receive matches the gifts that God has given us in life to express His purpose in us. One of the great dangers of education is that it can make us something we're not meant to be and then as a child of God we will never be satisfied, no matter how much money we make, for true satisfaction comes in being what God called us to be.
Education can, however, plays a role, if it is handled correctly. For example, in 1962 at the beginning of the message titled "Restoration of the Bride Tree", Bro, Branham is presented with a painting as a gift, it was painted by a young brother. Bro Branham's comments about it were "Brother Jerry Steffy painted that picture. God bless that boy. That's very fine, Jerry, if you're here this morning. It's too bad; I wished I had the means to let that boy go to school for an artist. I believe God is in art. Don't you believe so? God is in music; God is in art; God is in this; and it's too bad to see a talent like that wouldn't be developed." From this we can see that education can play a role in developing a gift that is already within us. But remember, education can never put the gift there.
There are ways to easily see if something is not God's will for your life. As Job said: (Job 1:12) "the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord." If He gives us something we can be fairly certain it won't damage our soul, spirit or body in any unusual way. In Mark 12:28-31 a scribe asked Jesus "Which is the first commandment of all? And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these." So if God gave you something, it won't interfere with you loving the Lord with ALL you soul, mind and body.
Our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. If a job was permanently damaging to the temple of the Holy Spirit, I would question that it was the Lord giving it. Our spirit, which is our mind, also should not be adversely affected. There are jobs which will put you in the wrong company, or have you doing things that are against your conscience. If it is something that we can't "leave at the office" then it is probably not right for us. If it takes us away from church, then it is not likely from the Lord. He would not admonish us concerning the end times "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching." (Hebrews 10:25) and then give us a job that caused us to forsake our gatherings. We need to look carefully at the work schedule for any career we might pursue. If it involves shift work that would cause us to miss a significant portion of services, that type of job or career is not worth pursuing. "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God..."
Now, a short word to the sisters. Brother Branham makes it clear that the best place for a sister to be is at home taking care of her husband and raising her children in the admonition of the Lord. "Them women, they're to have children and raise their children. They're all little preachers, every one of them, but they have their own pastoral at home with their kiddies, bringing up their children." But what about single sisters who have no husband or children to take care of? Sisters, be very careful in the work that you choose to do, satan would love to put you out amongst a bunch of vile ungodly men to spoil your innocence and tarnish your character. Choose a job where you can still be a lady, one that has a good atmosphere for you to be in. Brother Branham says "Now I'm certainly against women working in these offices where all these businessmen, they carry on, tell them dirty jokes."
Also, if it's possible, choose something that will be of benefit to you later in life should God give you a husband and family, something that you won't feel was a complete waste of time and energy. There can be more to a job than just the paycheck and it's a good idea to choose something that will give you skills (or further skills you already have) that you can use later for your family and the benefit of the kingdom of God.
One more thing to be aware of sister; be sure that you don't take a job that requires the authority and position that only a man should have. Brother Branham makes it very clear that a women trying to do a mans job is a disgrace. "Like they got women on the police forces, out on the street. That's a disgrace to the American flag to put them mothers out there on the street and tens of thousands of men without a job."
If the second greatest commandment is to love your neighbour as yourself, then the type of work the Lord would give you also would not be detrimental to the natural of spiritual well being of someone else. While there are obvious occupations that Believers wouldn't think of (IE. making, selling or serving liquor or cigarettes), there are less obvious ones as well. Be wise as a serpent and harmless as a dove. In the work that you choose to do, will it harm someone else? If so, I doubt it is the will of the Lord.
Working full time will mean you will spend over 2000 hours every year in that particular work atmosphere, with your co-workers, in sometimes repetitive and monotonous activities. The place that God desires to place you may not be glamorous but, as David was inspired of the Holy Ghost to say: "I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of God, than dwell in the tents of wickedness." (Psalm 84:10) To find the will of God in this area of life is going to take prayerful consideration accompanied by a real desire to completely surrender yourself to God's will for you. There is no substitute for prayer, but in making these type of decisions the advice of seasoned believers such as your parents or pastor, can be a real help as well.
Having observed the foregoing, then take all promotions, wage increases and bonuses that come your way. But don't take a job just because the money is good, take it because you genuinely believe that it is God's will for your life. If He can use you somewhere where a soul will be own to the Kingdom of God by your testimony, then a soul that is worth ten thousand worlds will generate a much greater reward in heaven than you will ever get here on earth in your paycheck.
Brother Tim Dodd.