It’s audio devo day!
Did you know that God never intended your work to be stressful for you? Instead, He has in mind for your daily responsibilities to be a joyful and richly satisfying experience. Jesus paid the full price to set us free from the curse of frustrating, oppressive toil! Be richly blessed as you listen here:
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Did you know that God never intended our work to be stressful for us? Did you know that whenever we experience our daily labors as intensely burdensome, we are living under Adam’s curse? It’s true! Let’s revisit for a moment what God said to Adam immediately following humankind’s first sin:
“But to Adam he said, ‘Because you obeyed your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, “You must not eat from it,” the ground is cursed because of you; in painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you…” (Gen. 3:17-18, NET).
We may think to ourselves, Well, guess that’s life on Planet Earth. Guess we’re destined to it being this way, since Adam and Eve doomed us all to this drudgery. They messed it all up for us permanently. Work will always be stressful.
Not true! For several thousand years, humanity did live under the curses that resulted from their disobedience. But Jesus came to fully pay the price for their sin and ours, and to redeem us from the resulting curse. Here is what Galatians teaches us about that:
“Christ took away the curse… put on us. He changed places with us and put himself under that curse. It is written in the Scriptures, ‘Anyone whose body is displayed on a tree is cursed’” (Gal. 3:13, NCV).
When Jesus hung on that tree at Calvary, He became a curse for us. In doing so, He made provision for us to live fully free of it!
So we don’t have to experience work as stressful, painful toil. We can access the provision Jesus purchased with His blood. As we talked about on the episode, “Deeply Restful Hard Work,” we can learn to operate from a place of inner rest. Instead of living with frustration, thorns, and thistles, we can carry out our daily responsibilities yoked to Jesus and finding rest for our souls. Operating this way, we will discover that our labors in union with Him truly are light and easy.
We have looked at the beautiful Scripture from Matthew about this from multiple translations. Today I want us to marinate our spirits in one more version of it. Here is what the Spirit of Jesus whispers to us when we have been struggling under the affliction of toilsome labor:
“Are you weary, carrying a heavy burden? Come to me. I will refresh your life, for I am your oasis. Simply join your life with mine. Learn my ways and you’ll discover that I’m gentle, humble, easy to please. You will find refreshment and rest in me. For all that I require of you will be pleasant and easy to bear” (Matt. 11:29-30, TPT).
You see that? He doesn’t want our everyday responsibilities to be painful toil. He wants them to be “pleasant and easy to bear.” This is an essential part of the “abundant life” that Jesus sacrificed Himself to provide for us.
Think about this now. What all does that “abundant life” package include?
Well, what do you do when you are lost? You come unto Jesus and He saves you. He bought your salvation with His blood.
What do you do when you are heartbroken or sick? You come unto Jesus and He restores you. He bought your healing and wholeness with His blood.
What do you do when you are bowed down under toilsome labor? You come unto Jesus and He refreshes you. He bought rest and replenishing for you with His blood too.
All of these are gifts that He purchased for you on the cross. You don’t have to do anything but receive them from His heart in simple, childlike faith. Because He became sin for you, you can become His righteousness. Because He took on disease for you, you can live healthy and strong. Because He became a curse for you, you get to live in the free, abundant, unhindered flow of His blessings. This includes the blessing of restful, satisfying, joyful work flowing from your union with Him… the kind of work our Savior described as “pleasant and easy to bear.”
This is the kind of work Jesus experienced during His time here on earth. He joyfully expressed to His disciples, “I have food to eat of which you do not know… My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work” (John 4:32, 34, NKJV).
In that moment, He was overjoyed about His conversation with the Samaritan woman. His soul at rest in perfect union with the Father, He had been engaging in deeply meaningful labor. Partnering with His Abba, He had brought redemption and restoration to a broken life. This was so satisfying to Him that He called it “food.” You see, living and operating this way, free from Adam’s curse, does not leave us depleted and drained. Rather, it is nourishing to our spirits. It enriches our lives.
Another thing about that. Jesus also declared, “My Father is always working, and so am I,” (John 5:17, NLT). When He stated this, He was not describing life as a workaholic. Hard work was not an escape for Him. It was not a prop for His self-esteem and sense of personal worth. Instead, His hard work was the overflow of a joyful, nourished heart.
Partnering with the Father in carrying out His magnificent purposes brought Jesus abounding joy. His spirit brimmed over with so much love, rejoicing, and peace that they needed an outlet. His daily work flowed out spontaneously from His uninterrupted communion with His Abba. His rich prayer life connected Him into a supernatural surplus of energy, empowering Him for joyful, productive, and abundant labor. He was showing us the way. He was leaving His example for us, of how to live free of Adam’s curse.
Oh yes… speaking of Adam, remember this. Adam had work to do before sin brought the curse on the earth. Genesis 2:15 describes it to us: “Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it” (NKJV). In Eden, there were no thorns or thistles. Adam’s work there, tending to the garden, was a delight. Work was, in fact, part of paradise. It was never meant to be a curse. God’s original design for us was to profoundly enjoy our occupation. All along, He intended for our labors to be, as Jesus expressed, “pleasant and easy to bear.”
This is what Jesus died to restore to us. Knowing this, you can pray with confidence that His Kingdom would come in your workplace, “on earth as it is in heaven.” In fact, He has instructed you to pray that way. In heaven, just as in Eden, there is no curse. There is no painful toil. That is His will for the work of your hands. So today, you can ask Him to bring Eden’s delight into your daily labors.
Your Abba Father wants to nourish you as you work in union with Him. He wants to bring a piece of heaven to earth through you. He wants to cause your daily responsibilities to be an overflow of rich communion with Him. So ask, dear one. Ask for this blessing. Ask, and you shall abundantly receive!
Do you enjoy your work? Do you believe you were born for the vocation in which you are currently employed? Can you relate to Jesus calling His work “food?”