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God's Job, Our Job: Knowing The Difference Makes All The Difference

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“I have made two important discoveries: first, there is a God; second, I’m not Him.” This quip, while humorous in its delivery, is amazingly profound in its essence. With a culture that increasingly encourages self-absorption, it’s not surprising that many people act like “little gods” who are confused about their role in life versus God’s role over all of life.

While many well-meaning men and women may believe in God, there is a tendency to usurp His function. People try to act like God all the time, attempting in their own power to achieve that which only God alone can accomplish.

We try to control circumstances, manipulate situations, prevent mishaps, redefine morality, exalt ourselves or avoid the inevitable. In the end, we must face reality: we are mere mortals who are limited, finite, and powerless. We do a lousy job of playing God, and the sooner we realize this, the better.

It is not my intention to write about God’s attributes, as there are already many great classics that brilliantly address the nature and character of God by looking at who God is. Instead, I want to focus on what God does and what we are to do accordingly.

Our society glorifies self-sufficiency, intellectual prowess, personal achievement, creative genius, and survivor instincts. We are told to “just do it,” but do what? And for what purpose?

In the 1980s movie “Chariots of Fire,” Eric Liddell, on his journey to participate in the 1924 Olympics, shares a key observation about his call to missionary service and his passion for running.

He told his sister: “God made me for a purpose – for China – but He also made me fast. And when I run, I feel His pleasure.” I believe there can be pleasure in doing what God made us to do, but we must remember God’s priorities for His kingdom, as well as his provisions for His people.

A monk once overhead St. Francis of Assisi repeatedly praying, “O God, who are You, and who am I?” In a similar fashion, we might do well to pray, “O God, what are You doing in the world, and what am I supposed to do?” Or, more precisely, “What is Your Job, and what is my job?”
I would be naïve and arrogant to think I could even scratch the surface of the infinite activities of God in His universe.

But I do believe the Scriptures give us an exciting glimpse into what He’s working on as He unfolds His divine plan for His most-prized creation, His image bearers—people just like you.

Consider one reflection on the difference between one of God’s “jobs”— to reveal, and one of our corresponding “jobs”—to discover.
One of the traditions of Easter Sunday is the egg hunt whereby excited and energetic children scurry about in search of brightly colored eggs hidden by the grown-ups.

Some are placed in easy-to-find locations, and others require the help of a mom or dad giving the kiddies a hint on where they might be. (Some eggs still haven’t been found to this day.)

Life is like the ultimate hunt. God has many hidden mysteries, and yet He also intends for mankind to constantly make new discoveries. Did man invent gravity, electricity, relativity, thermodynamics or even cures to polio and other diseases? No, humans merely uncovered them. God revealed them to the seeker.

As much as we’d like to take credit for our diligent searches, the Almighty always has a hand in helping us discover all kinds of truths. We can be glad that He shares the joy when men and women uncover amazing new facts and artifacts. It’s all a part of His plan to use human ingenuity to benefit mankind.

Consider other pairings of God’s “job” and our “job”:
Let’s explore ways to diligently pursue our jobs while humbly remembering we are not God!

Michael William Schick

Michael William Schick, CSLI Fellow, was a member of the first C.S. Lewis Fellows class in 1999. An honors graduate of the University of South Carolina, he is a strategic communications consultant in Washington, DC. He has been a spokesman for the President Pro Tempore of the United States Senate, a television producer/director and a senior executive at a global public relations firm. Michael enjoys serving as a guest teacher at the men’s Community Bible Study at McLean Bible Church. He is married to Diana Schick, author of 25 Creative Living Bible Study books (which Michael edits).


Recommended Reading:
Michael Wm. Schick, God’s Job, Our Job: Knowing the Difference Makes All the Difference (Credo House Publishers, 2012)

A practical compilation of thirty-one insights that focus on some of the most important roles God plays in our world and what we are to do in light of these truths. This book provides powerful and thought-provoking insights that help to see God and oneself in a new light.


COPYRIGHT: This publication is published by C.S. Lewis Institute; 8001 Braddock Road, Suite 301; Springfield, VA 22151. Portions of the publication may be reproduced for noncommercial, local church or ministry use without prior permission. Electronic copies of the PDF files may be duplicated and transmitted via e-mail for personal and church use. Articles may not be modified without prior written permission of the Institute. For questions, contact the Institute: 703.914.5602 or email us.

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