by Margaret D. Mitchell
“’O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter does?’ declares the Lord. ‘Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel.’” -Jeremiah 18:6
Whenever God assigns us to a task, a position or a season, He always purposes a triune work: In us, through us and for us. In other words, when we work unto the Lord—where He plants us—He simultaneously does a work in us and on our behalf. He is the ultimate multitasker!
This is good news for people, especially moms, who feel they’re leaving their homes and their children to go to work. You’re not leaving them behind. You’re leaving them in God’s hands. There is a difference when we operate in divine obedience.
When we prayerfully step up and step out into a day of the “unknown,” God does extraordinary works because of the sacrifice and honor our faithfulness offers Him. When we are aligned with God’s directives, He will take care of that which we leave for Him. And He will purpose the challenges of our day to conform us to His liking if we yield to Him.
Recently, the Holy Spirit inspired me to write a prayer to be distributed to our Women’s Expo attendees. We printed several copies of the prayer, laminated them and cut them into small prayer cards. They were purposed to serve as a reminder to women to keep their heart’s eye on God during their workday, to affirm that He is with them and for them.
I placed my prayer card on my desk, and every day, immediately after I sat down, and before I began to work, I picked up the prayer card and prayed the prayer:
“…Thank you that as I work, You are working through me, doing a work in me and working on my behalf.”
Four months after praying this prayer daily, something extraordinary happened: A manager came to me and asked me to step into a new role in a new department. His invitation seemed urgent, and it took me aback. Something didn’t seem right, so I decided to fast and seek God’s will on the matter.
At the end of a week of fasting and praying, when my response was due to the manager, I still hadn’t heard from the Lord. So I prayed, “Lord, I won’t take this position, because I haven’t heard from you. But I’m curious as to why You don’t want me to have it?” Almost immediately, the Holy Spirit led me to Philippians 3:2, “… beware of evil workers…”
Alarmed in my spirit, I returned to work and declined that position.
A few weeks later, the same manager invited me to work in another department. So I prayed again, and the Holy Spirit impressed upon me that I should accept the offer; at the same time, I sensed this new assignment would not be easy.
What ultimately happened was that God used this new position to do a quick and deep work in me.
In this new role, God enabled me to feel intense pressure and great challenge, which caused me to press into Him for help.
One day, after hearing nothing from God, I cried, “What is it?! What do you want me to see in this?”
Immediately, I received a resounding revelation from the Holy Spirit: “You disrespected your father!” In that moment, I instantly understood what He meant and why He was allowing me to experience this.
God used this new position to cause me to feel the level of pressure that my father had felt on his job decades earlier, a level of pressure that caused him to behave in ways for which I judged him. I had walked unaware of my sin judgment towards my father for decades, held captive by this sin.
But God has a way of revealing our sins to us for the purpose of giving us an opportunity to repent, forgive and be forgiven, to be set free from captivity (Isaiah 5:13, Hosea 4:6). This was one of those inner works.
In an instant of revelation understanding, I was able to repent on a deep level and gain compassion for my father in a new area. When I called my dad to ask for his forgiveness, he extended grace to me on a level and in a way that I never knew he had in him. It touched my heart deeply and caused me to feel a deeper love towards my father (Malachi 4:6).
Because I invited Him to do so, God purged decades of sin judgment from me, which, no doubt, had blocked many blessings in my work life and in my relationship with my dad for years. In doing so, God broke the bondage of sin, which positioned me to move into the next season and out of that job.
Like strong medicine, God used these intense circumstances to do me a favor.
Sometimes, God has to set us on the potter’s wheel to conform us into a more beautiful vessel for a more beautiful place. How is He working in, through and for you?
Margaret D. Mitchell is the Founder of God's Love at Work, a marketplace outreach purposed to share God's greatest power source - the love of Christ. This devotional was adapted from Margaret's forthcoming book, Enduring Grace. All rights reserved.