God the Father as a Worker (Part 2)

First of all I would like to apologize for not posting in awhile.  The recent weather interrupted my normal routine, but let us continue a conversation we started earlier.

We can work like God works.  This led us to ask the question, “How does God Work?”  About a week ago we were talking about how God the Father works.  The first idea was that the Father creates.  Today we are going to discuss God the Father as a sustainer.  Let’s examine a few specific verses about God the Sustainer.

Act 14:17 Yet he did not leave himself without witness, for he did good by giving you rains from heaven
and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.

Psalms 104:10-30

You make springs gush forth in the valleys; they flow between the hills;
They give drink to every beast of the field; the wild donkeys quench their thirst.
Beside them the birds of the heavens dwell; they sing among the branches.
From your lofty abode you water the mountains; the earth is satisfied with the fruit of your work.
You cause the grass to grow for the livestock and plants for man to cultivate,that he may bring forth food from the earth and wine to gladden the heart of man, oil to make his face shine and bread to strengthen man’s heart.
The trees of the LORD are watered abundantly, the cedars of Lebanon that he planted.
In them the birds build their nests; the stork has her home in the fir trees.
The high mountains are for the wild goats; the rocks are a refuge for the rock badgers.
He made the moon to mark the seasons; the sun knows its time for setting.
You make darkness, and it is night, when all the beasts of the forest creep about.
The young lions roar for their prey, seeking their food from God.
When the sun rises, they steal away and lie down in their dens.
Man goes out to his work and to his labor until the evening.
O LORD, how manifold are your works! In wisdom have you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.
Here is the sea, great and wide, which teems with creatures innumerable, living things both small and great.
There go the ships, and Leviathan, which you formed to play in it.
These all look to you, to give them their food in due season.
When you give it to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are filled with good things.
When you hide your face, they are dismayed; when you take away their breath, they die and return to their dust.
When you send forth your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the ground.

Deu 11:1-7 You shall therefore love the LORD your God and keep his charge, his statutes, his rules, and
his commandments always. And consider today (since I am not speaking to your children who have not
known or seen it), consider the discipline of the LORD your God, his greatness, his mighty hand and his
outstretched arm, his signs and his deeds that he did in Egypt to Pharaoh the king of Egypt and to all his
land, and what he did to the army of Egypt, to their horses and to their chariots, how he made the water of
the Red Sea flow over them as they pursued after you, and how the LORD has destroyed them to this day,
and what he did to you in the wilderness, until you came to this place, and what he did to Dathan and
Abiram the sons of Eliab, son of Reuben, how the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, with
their households, their tents, and every living thing that followed them, in the midst of all Israel. For your
eyes have seen all the great work of the LORD that he did.

God the Father works as the sustainer of all things.  God is intimately involved in every detail of what this world needs to function.  God sustains humanity.  God sustains creation.  God even ordains and organizes the moments of history.  The universe would not work without the ever present God.  When Jesus prayed “Our Father who is in heaven,…”  That word “heaven” means our typical concept of heaven: the far away dwelling place of God, but it means much more than that.  It also means the sky and the atmosphere above us and it means the air around us.  A God who is in “the heavens” is both transcendent but also near.   God’s near presence allows us to sustain us.

What does it mean for God to sustain us?  What are some of the necessary skills that God needs to be sustaining?  He has to have compassion.  He has to care.  He has to be patient.  He has to persevere.  He has to maintain.  He has to be willing to do the same thing repetitively, over and over again.  To us repetitive work can become a drudgery.  It can be mundane.  Both since God is perfect nothing He does ever has a sense of imperfection to it.  Repetitive work to God must be a joy.  He must enjoy sustaining us!

There are many jobs and careers that relate to this aspect of God sustaining power.  Many jobs maintain and sustain things.  Can you think of specific careers that this is the primary focus of their work.  We have an entire category of jobs entitled maintenance.  Have you ever seen maintenance work as necessarily divine, God-like.  When you maintain something, you are working like God works! How could this simple concept change the way you approach your job?  What are some specific steps you can do to work more like God?  Do you see the work you do as requiring the same type of skills and actions that God used when He was sustaining things?
How are you sustaining things within your work environment like God? How is it different? How can you sustaining things within the parameters of your work lead you to worship God?


About Brian Musser

Rev. Brian Musser is the Baptist Campus Minister at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA. View all posts by Brian Musser

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