Whether you realize it or not, there is a spiritual war over your mind. It’s the classic good versus evil match-up. Who wins is determined by you. Your mind doesn’t care who wins, but it reveals who wins.
Every day is a new battle in the war. Your incremental preparation, training and execution determines the daily outcome. There will be an ebb and flow. The enemy is a formidable opponent and you’re human, so mistakes will be made. You won’t win every battle, however you must win more than you lose to make progress in the war.
So the question is, how can you ensure that happens? There is only one way. It involves establishing a work ethic proven effective against the enemy.
To go any further, we must establish what is meant by the word work. Work implies purpose. It entails the mental and physical effort done to achieve that purpose. In the end, our whole life is actually a single work, i.e. a life’s work. Awareness of that gives us a calling. Therefore, in this context, work and calling are synonymous. Our work ethic embodies the meaning of success, which is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal. This work ethic also implies life is more than work and allows for periods of rest, retreat and sleep.
To ensure the likelihood of success for the battle of your mind, your work ethic must serve to get to know and love God. When you establish the rhythms, patterns and habits to know the mind of God, then your career transforms into a ministry, which is simply any career whereby you’re serving others in God’s name. Ministries come in all shapes, sizes and flavors, both for-profit and not-for-profit, but their common denominator is helping others to glorify God.
When employing this work ethic, your ministry will be one of energy and industry, not laziness and lethargy. You won’t think of your work as your own, but of your Father’s. You’ll expend energy God gives you, day in and day out, to carry out your calling. You’ll be in great demand. Your days will be long, but you’ll never feel anxious or frenzied. Your life will be busy, but not hurried. You will know your calling and be “all in,” but not without sleep or leisure. You’ll live in a calm, assertive, empathetic manner.
There’s a lot at stake in the spiritual war over our minds. By winning more daily battles than we lose, we’re called to expend energy and effort for the good of others. This is what makes our life’s work good: that it is good for others, not just ourselves. We work for this good because God is at work in us.