It occurred to me this morning, while I was brushing my teeth, that if I applied for a job God would not hire me. I’m not beating up on myself, He wouldn’t hire you either. God isn’t really looking for employees.
Jesus told a story about a man who had two sons. The youngest of the two sons decided to ask his dad for his share of the inheritance. So the dad gave his boy the cash and he ran off and blew it all on wild living. The youngest son in Jesus’ story ended up living a pretty horrible existence until it occurs to him that it might be a good idea to go back to his dad and apply for a job.
So he got up and headed back to his dad to apply for a job, but when he got there his dad refused to hire him. He didn’t even let him finish his application speech. The father in Jesus’ story wasn’t looking for employees, he wanted his son back. So before his boy finished his application for a position as servant the father was already going over the top with honouring him as a son.
A while ago I was channel surfing on the TV and I ended up watching 5 minutes of a documentary based on a dairy farm in England. The farm was owned by two elderly men who had no children and was worked by their nephew. I have no idea what the point of the show was, but during the 5 minutes that I watched the man who worked the farm was showing a group of people from the city around. This group were staggered at how hard the farmer worked and how little he was paid by his uncles. As I was watching I thought that this was a little bit strange. This man was the only heir to the farm, it was his own inheritance. He wasn’t really an employee, he was working in the family business. Everything that he poured into the dairy would one day belong to him. What he received for his work in the mean time didn’t really matter compared to what he would inherit in the future.
Remember the man in Jesus story had two sons. So, the older son came back to the house to find that a party has been thrown in honour of his younger brother having returned. He got pretty ticked off because the whole time that the younger brother had been away living it up he had been working. It turns out that the older brother was pretty dissatisfied with how much he had been paid in return for his hard work. He saw himself as an employee of his father. The dad in Jesus story responded by telling the younger son that all that he owned really belonged to his son. He wasn’t getting paid for service, he was working in the family business, and every investment he made into it increased the value of his own inheritance.
Sometimes my attitude towards God is that I work for Him. So if times are tough I start to feel like I am not getting paid well enough for how hard I am working or if things are going great and I am being really blessed I think it is because I have earned it myself. When I think like this I have my relationship with God all messed up. God isn’t my boss He is my Father. Just like the dad in the story Jesus told, He wants me to be a son.
God wouldn’t hire me, or you, because He is not looking for employees. He is looking for sons and daughters. He is looking for sons and daughters who will work and serve in his kingdom, but not as employees who work for pay. He is looking for sons and daughters who will co-labour with him in the family business of redeeming the world. It doesn’t matter how much we get paid now, we are heirs of the glorious riches of the Kingdom of Heaven.