One of the most essential resources in the workplace is a clear job description. It’s crucial that employees know what’s expected of them and which tasks fall within their scope of responsibility. On the other hand, frustration builds and productivity decreases when roles aren’t well-defined or when workers spend the majority of their time laboring outside of their assigned positions.
This issue isn’t limited to the professional world. In fact, many Christians spend their lives striving to fill posts God already occupies. We want to be in charge, call the shots, and run the show. God’s job isn’t up for grabs, though, and we’re delusional in thinking we’d be better at it than He is. When we become preoccupied with what we think God should be doing, or when we try to do it for Him, we create intolerable internal chaos. Additionally, when we attempt to micromanage God’s responsibilities, it’s likely we’re overlooking our own.
The prophet Jeremiah spoke to this when he wrote, “I know, O Lord, that the way of man is not in himself, that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps” (Jeremiah 10:23). Jeremiah’s statement distinguishes God’s role from man’s, namely that our responsibility is to yield to His sovereignty.
Scripture repeatedly reiterates the reality that we don’t have nearly as much control over our lives as we’d like to think: “The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; he frustrates the plans of the peoples. The counsel of the Lord stands firm forever, the plans of his heart to all generations.” (Psalm 33:10-11); “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9); “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.” (19:21); “A man’s steps are from the Lord; how then can man understand his way?” (20:24); “For the Lord of hosts has purposed, and who will annul it? His hand is stretched out, and who will turn it back?” (Isaiah 14:27); “The God in whose hand is your breath, and whose are all your ways, you have not honored” (Daniel 5:23).
The Bible clearly teaches God’s sovereignty over the universe, but it also consistently emphasizes His faithful character. God can be trusted to wield unlimited power for His glory and our good.
In his commentary on Jeremiah, Joseph Benson wrote, “We are not at our own disposal, nor able to direct our own way by our own wisdom, either in matters temporal or spiritual. Nor are we at liberty to choose what line of life we please, or to ensure to ourselves the success and prosperity we may desire. We are under God’s government, and at his disposal, and have continual need of his direction, and of the influence of his grace, without which we shall certainly err from the right way, and shall neither choose nor perform what is truly and lastingly good, and for our happiness.”
In other words, it’s not your job to keep the earth spinning or to earn and provide salvation or to figure out the details of God’s plans or to predict the future or to find your own way.
It’s your job to walk in response to His grace and by His power. Walk in faith, walk in obedience, walk by the Spirit, walk worthy of your calling, and walk in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
Having a well-defined understanding of God’s role in the world will guard us against the inevitable frustration of trying to do His job and will protect us from being crushed by the weight of unbearable responsibility.
Dr. Cooper defined faith as “taking God at His Word and acting accordingly”, and it is a full-time, grace-sustained job that will keep us busy for the rest of our lives. It’s as we embrace our calling to walk by faith that we’ll be eyewitnesses of God’s incomparable ability to direct our steps.