Remember when you told everybody what you wanted to be when you grew up? Eventually your childhood dreams change into a challenge to choose a field of study and a career. Have you ever wondered why there are so many different types of work and different professions to choose from? Did careers just evolve out of necessity? For example, we need food; is that the only reason we study agriculture? Is that the only reason your grandfather became a farmer? Aristotle argued that if something began to exist, something else must have caused its existence. The first book of the Bible says God Himself is Aristotle’s Uncaused Cause; He is the Creator of everything (Gen 1:1), including every kind of work.
God himself planted a garden (Gen. 2:8) and placed our earliest ancestors there to cultivate it (Gen. 1:29). God is the original Communicator (Gen. 1:3), Artist (Exo. 31:3-4), Teacher (Exo. 4:12), Architect and Builder (Heb. 11:10), Law Giver (Exo. 16:34), King (Ps. 24:10), Judge (Heb. 12:23), and Counselor (Isa. 9:6). He is the Good Shepherd (John 10:11,14), Helper (Ps. 118:7), Comforter (Jer. 8:18), Advocate (John 14:16) and the Everlasting Father (Isa. 9:6). There is no field of study in the university that does not originate with God.
When we get to know God, we can find our identity and purpose in Him. Through Him, we can make God known in every sector of society through our field of work. In this way we are invited to participate in God’s good, creative, and wise plan to fill the earth with His glory (Hab. 2:14). We are told to make disciples of every nation, including every people group, and every sphere of influence (Matt. 28:18-20).
So then, why after 2000 years have we failed to fulfill the Great Commission? With an annual growth rate of Evangelical Christians at 2.6% (Operation World 2010) and 11,748 people groups with at least the New Testament available in their primary language, a total of over seven billion individuals, why are there still only 31% Christians in the world? (data from Joshua Project)
Perhaps it is because the gospel message has not included a revelation of God’s ways and work through every profession? Perhaps most Christ followers do not know they can profess their relationship with God in their sphere of influence? God’s plan is to reconcile all things (Col 1:20), including our relationships with our neighbors, with creation, and our relationship with ourselves, our identity and purpose, our life’s work.