Staff Corner – Greg Spires – Teaching Pastor
Not My Job
Maybe you have heard it said at work, “But that’s not my job!” Usually, this is said (or muttered!) when workers are assigned a menial task they don’t like. For example, an office worker is told to empty the trash. Or a manager is instructed to clean up a restroom. Maybe a chef is told to do the dishes in the back. In all these cases, the employee feels the task is below them. Plus, it is a task they don’t want to do. It might not be said out loud, but they are all thinking, “That’s not my job!”
Of course, when the situation is reversed, complaints are less frequent (or non-existent). For example, consider a mailroom worker in Alaska being told a particular document needs to be hand-delivered to an executive. However, the executive is on vacation in Florida, so the worker will need to fly on the company jet to deliver the document!
The likelihood that the mailroom worker will complain is very low. It is doubtful he will sulk out with the envelope in hand, muttering, “This isn’t on my job description.” More likely is he will leave thinking, “Finally, someone in this place realizes how great I am!”
Even before David took the throne as king in Israel, he had a lot of responsibilities. He had hundreds of men who traveled with him, along with their families, to care for. On top of that, he had been anointed as king by Samuel, yet Saul was still the king in Israel. He had difficulty trying to understand how to live as the anointed king while the prior king God had chosen was still on the throne. To make matters more complicated, King Saul was pursuing David to kill him.
In 1 Samuel 24, David had an unobstructed opportunity to kill King Saul. He didn’t; however, he did cut off the corner of Saul’s robe to send a message to the king that David spared his life.
What happened next is what is so strange.
1 Samuel 24:5-7 says, “And afterward David’s heart struck him, because he had cut off a corner of Saul’s robe. He said to his men, ‘The Lord forbid that I should do this thing to my lord, the Lord’s anointed, to put out my hand against him, seeing he is the Lord’s anointed.’ So David persuaded his men with these words and did not permit them to attack Saul. And Saul rose up and left the cave and went on his way.”
What is strange is that David had the opportunity to exalt himself. His men even argued that God had put this situation in front of David so that David could take the throne. And what was David’s response?
That’s not my job.
David understood that God had anointed Saul as king, so it was God’s job to decide when Saul’s reign would end, and David’s would begin.
While David struggled to grasp this idea of trusting God to do His job, Jesus did not. Jesus, God in the flesh, trusted the Father and did not step out of His assigned duties. When Pilate implored Jesus to defend Himself, since Pilate had the authority to release Him or crucify Him, Jesus, in essence, said, “That’s not my job!” Here is Jesus’ reply in John 19:11, “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above.”
Jesus understood that it wasn’t His job to try and get out of a dangerous situation. Instead, His responsibility was to be faithful to the Father, which He was.
The question we should be willing to ask ourselves is, “Am I trying to do God’s job for Him?” A couple of things tend to show up when we are trying to do God’s job. The first is worry. When we spend an excessive amount of time worrying about things in our life, it can be a symptom of not trusting God to do His job. The second is control. When we must be in charge of every situation in our life, it might reveal that we don’t trust that God is in control and He knows what He is doing.
When we notice worry or control are dominating our thinking, we can come to God in repentance and prayer. He will give us the strength by His indwelling Spirit to rest in Him.
I look forward to being with you this Sunday as we celebrate the work of God in Jesus Christ together! This Sunday, we will be seeking God through His Word in 1 Samuel 24.
Praying with you,