A couple of weeks ago, we explored how a Christian deals with losing his job. But what if you're actually looking for work? Are there biblical guidelines for how a Christians should approach this pursuit?
For many Christians, exploring the possibility of a new job, often triggers questions about how to find "God's will". At times, discovering the will of God can appear to be a mysterious, mystical experience. Yet, is this the right approach to important life decisions? As I've considered new career opportunities that have come my way, I've found tremendous help from the book, Finding God's Will: A Pagan Notion? by Bruce Waltke.
In the book, Waltke questions the wisdom of "finding God's will". In fact, he asserts that many of our attempts to do so can be rooted in unbiblical practices. Instead of finding God's will, we should be actively pursuing God's help in making the critical life decisions.
Waltke also outlines a six step approach to gaining God's guidance. Although I generally look skeptically upon the simplistic, methodological approaches, I believe his proposed steps actually bring clarity to the potentially confusing decision making process. Here are the six steps, outlined in his book -
1. Read the Bible - God has actively revealed His will to us in the Bible . All that we need for life and godliness are available to us in scripture. "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work." (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
2. Develop a heart for God - "Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart." (Psalm 37:4). God often leads us by working through our desires but it starts by getting our hearts aligned with His.
3. Seek wise counsel - Getting help and advice from other godly men and women is part of God's plan for guidance.
4. Look for God's providence - God is at work in the circumstances of our lives, orchestrating events for our good and His glory.
5. Use good judgment - God isn't expecting us to mysteriously sense His will but rather, He expects us to use our minds and exercise good judgment. Does the opportunity or decision make sense to you?
6. Miraculous divine intervention - This is the last consideration and in Waltke's opinion, should be viewed as exceptionally unusual. In fact, he says that there is no New Testament evidence of God intervening miraculously as a response to seeking His will. However, I presume Waltke includes this as a possibility, since God may do as He wishes and has certainly intervened miraculously for other reasons.
One key point he makes is that these steps should be viewed sequentially in order of priority. In other words, you shouldn't seek counsel from others (step 3), if you haven't first spent time reading your Bible (step 1) and developing a heart for God (step 2).
What do you think of Waltke's approach? Also, Waltke's book doesn't speak directly to the challenges facing a job search but rather addresses the general issue of obtaining guidance in any decision making process. What would you add that might be helpful for a Christian to know when he/she is seeking a new job?