Happy Thursday, friends! All things Esther study are exploding here, and I can’t wait to introduce you to “her” in the coming weeks.
Until then, I’d like to introduce you to two of my friends, writers and speakers who are godly women who are speaking up in godly ways. We have a lot to learn from them! I’ve chosen them because I love their hearts, and they are using their voice in very distinct areas of service.
Please join me this week welcoming Cassie Downs of Everyday Jesus ministry! This is an excerpt from her new book, Unrivaled: A 60-Day Devotional.
When they had eaten breakfast, Jesus asked Simon Peter,“Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these? ” “Yes, Lord,” he said to him, “you know that I love you.” “Feed my lambs,” he told him. —John 21:15 (CSB)
I grew up with parents who are workers. I come from a split family and was raised by a single momma with a shoe full of kids. She worked hard so my brothers and I could have nice clothes and food on the table.
I’m grateful for her work ethic. I see it in all my brothers and myself. My dad is also one of the hardest working people I’ve ever met, and I married a man just like him. I’m grateful for the men in my life who work hard for their girl. My sister and I both married men who spoil us rotten but blame our father for it. Work is important, and I believe you should work hard. And it helps that this is my job. Loving on and encouraging people in Jesus name. I love what I do for the kingdom. I enjoy speaking, writing, and hosting Jesus events. When I sit down to work, it can be stressful, sure. But it’s always fulfilling. But with passion for work comes an all too familiar issue. Because what I do is so fulfilling, it’s not unusual for me to become a workaholic. Well, fulfilling, and I think it’s built into my DNA.
Please hear me. Hard work is essential in any profession. And all work is ministry.
In his book, The Circle Maker, Mark Batterson says to work like it depends on you and pray like it depends on God. It, being whatever you do. Maybe you own a business or write books. Perhaps you’re a teacher or a banker: a janitor or a manager. Whatever you do or whatever God is compelling you to do, work like it depends on you and pray like it depends on Him.
Work hard. But be careful what you’re hustling for. Maybe you’re seeing it too, but I’m beginning to see a trend in our culture. We’ve gotten this hustle mentality. But sadly, somewhere along the way, to worship God through our work, we begin to worship our work. We’ve hustled right past the worship and are consumed by the work itself. We’ve bought the lie that says if you hustle more, work harder, then you will have the life you always dreamed of.
God has undoubtedly called you to work hard, but the way to a fulfilled life won’t happen on hard work and hustle alone, but through worshiping our unrivaled God. Following Him.
Some days are a struggle for me to balance my worship of Jesus and my work for Him. More times than I want to admit, I found myself worshiping the work over Him.
Hard work and hustle alone won’t bring lasting blessing, but worship will. The worship of hard work and hustle will leave you feeling the opposite of what you’re searching for. Worshiping work will leave you drained, overwhelmed, and burned out. Worship through your work, and you be filled, joyful, at peace, and blessed beyond measure.
When I began praying for a word from the Lord this year, I heard Him whisper—MORE.
Side note, when I ask the Lord for a word, it’s generally a word that I can cling to throughout the year. A word to remind me of where God’s leading me and who He’s molding me into.
I have to admit the word, more, made me pretty excited. I thought, Yes! God’s calling me to more! That’s true in a sense, but He was quick to correct my thinking.
He said to me, Cassie, I want you to seek MORE of ME.
More isn’t about how much more I can work, hustle, or accumulate. It’s about more of Christ in me.
Don’t let the culture pressure you into working harder, hustling more, or living the dream mentality. By all means, work hard. Work joyfully and with heart. But more than that, chase Jesus, worship Him, seek Him, and more will be added to you (Matthew 6:33).
Cassie Downs is a lover of Jesus, her family, books, and travel. She is also the author of two books and the founder of Everyday Jesus Ministry. Cassie grew up in the hills of Southeast Missouri and now resides in Stockton, Mo with her husband, Dustin, and their three teenagers. To learn more about Cassie or to read more devotions like this one, visit cassiedowns.com.