Written by Mike Henry Sr. — Follower of One
As I write this article, I just read a devotional on Psalms 16:11 which says, “in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalms 16:11b
I hope you agree. I hope you experience God’s joy when you’re in his presence. For many of us, we experience his joy when we worship, or when we’re around his people. We may see God’s glory in our family, or in nature, and experience his joy. We may find his joy in reading his word and prayer when we’re by ourselves or when we’re alone.
Do you often experience God’s joy at work? I think many of this magazine’s readers would say they do. But how often? More than once or twice a day? More than a few times a week? Once a month? Less?
I used to think my faith was a part of my life: the others being work, family, health and hobbies. But the more I chased after God, the more I learned my faith was the place where my life, work, family and hobbies existed. When I’m with God, being directed by God, I experience his joy. At work, my desires and fears called the shots. I avoided getting chewed out, or I worked to earn money or appreciation for my job. I wanted my career to matter, but I left God out of the equation.
But fullness of joy exists in God’s presence.
How can we manage ourselves into the presence of God full-time, even while we’re at work doing things we don’t like or working with people we don’t like?
“But Jesus answered them, My Father is working until now, and I am working.”John 5:17
“And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment:”John 16:8
“But when the Spirit of Truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth.”John 16:13a
The entire Trinity works right now. When you can’t be at church, or in a quiet time, you can join God in His work. Years ago, Henry Blackaby and Claude King wrote a popular workbook (and a series of other books based on it) called Experiencing God. Their workbook prompted me to see God is active in every life. We just look for God working in others and join Him.
In every circumstance and any project, we can be present with God. In Psalm 139 we learn we can’t get away from God. “If I ascend to Heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!” Psalm 139:8.
God is actively working in the lives of everyone you know and see every day. That includes the person who serves you coffee and the people who clean your workplace; the people you call on today and the person at the tire shop or the irate customer. God is actively working in your boss and your direct reports, peers, and vendors, too.
In the book Rare Leadership by Marcus Warner and James Wilder, they suggest that our brains only run on 2 fuels. Either our brains run on fear, or joy. When you can’t wait to leave work or get to the weekend, you’re operating on fear. When you look for God in everything you do, you experience His joy in every work. The work isn’t joyful but God gives us His joy in His presence. Some work is ugly. He knows. His mercies are new every morning. He has the joy we desperately need to live and work in a fallen world, in a fallen body, among other fallen people.
At Follower of One, we suggest 5 categories of activities we can do to be present with God at work. We call these the 5 daily activities:
- Pray—Ask God to put you to work in the lives of others.
- Appreciate others—Make God’s treasure our treasure. He died for everyone we meet.
- Know what you believe—Prepare to answer the question, “Why are you doing this?” or “Why do you follow Jesus?”
- Serve others—Go beyond what others expect of you.
- Speak for yourself—When someone asks, answer in the 1st person.
We have found that when people practice these 5 activities daily, they experience God’s joy moment-by-moment at work. Even in miserable jobs or difficult situations, we hear how God brings joy. His presence brings joy, and he’s at work.
God’s joy is available to us when we can pray, worship, study and share time with other believers. But that’s not all. God is a worker. If you want more of God’s joy, join him at work, and watch what happens.
Mike Henry Sr. is the CEO of Follower of One, an online community to equip marketplace Christ-followers in any line of work. Check out their website, podcast and videos at https://follower ofone.org.