Ignite Your Career

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Paula White

God’s plans for your life are far greater than you could have ever imagined!
May and June are special months for students. It’s a time when they get promoted from one grade level to the next and eventually enter high school.

As they graduate college and transition into financial independence and their vocations, we inspire them with practical insights into the world of work. But if the truth were told, many of us wish we could heed our own advice and reactivate our careers and dreams.

Perhaps you can’t move forward because you’re experiencing “career blues”—having lost your passion, you feel your occupation will never take you where you want to go in life.

I believe people find themselves in unsatisfying jobs or trapped in the “I’m in it for the paycheck” mentality because they haven’t discovered their true purpose. But God’s destiny for your life is far greater than you could have ever imagined!

Nehemiah, an Old Testament prophet, provides an excellent example of how God promotes His people so they can fulfill their purpose. The Bible says he went from being the king’s cupbearer to a governor and great leader of Israel, who rebuilt the wall in Jerusalem.

Nehemiah knew his beloved country was in ruins, and the Jews were in captivity because of their disobedience. He had developed a plan of action to help his country, but he needed divine inspiration to carry it out.

He said: “‘O Lord, I pray, please let Your ear be attentive to the prayer of Your servant, and to the prayer of Your servants who desire to fear Your name; and let Your servant prosper this day, I pray, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man.’ For I was the king’s cupbearer” (Neh. 1:11, NKJV).

I’ve found what I call “principles of promotion” in the book of Nehemiah. There are three that I believe can immediately jump-start your future success.

Seek God first. When Nehemiah heard about the devastation that had befallen his beloved Israel, he “sat down and wept, and mourned for many days … fasting and praying before the God of heaven” (Neh. 1:4).

When assessing an area in your life where God’s promises have not come to pass, including your career, let Him know how desperately you need Him. Ask Him to bless you, your work and the outcome.

Assess the problem. Good decisions are based on quality information and research. When Hanani told Nehemiah about the state of Jerusalem, the prophet questioned him about everything pertaining to the situation. “I asked them concerning the Jews who had escaped, who had survived the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem” (Neh. 1:2).

Do your homework! Get your facts straight before moving forward with any plans, and keep abreast of problems and changes in your profession, ministry or whatever you feel called to do.

Have integrity. It’s important to be a model employee, no matter what position you hold, because it will benefit you in the future.

When the king asked Nehemiah his request, Nehemiah said: “So I prayed to the God of heaven. And I said to the king, ‘If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favor in your sight, I ask that you send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers’ tombs, that I may rebuild it.’ … So it pleased the king to send me” (Neh. 2:1-8).

Nehemiah was a faithful and loyal subject. He found favor with the king when the time came for the prophet to fulfill his purpose.

I believe that if you incorporate these three principles into your daily life, and instruct your children to do the same, your career and problems will change for the better—and your children will also be armed with important principles for the future.

Paula White co-pastors Without Walls International Church in Tampa, Florida, with her husband, Randy, and preaches extensively throughout the United States and other countries. She is the author of He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not (Charisma House) and Deal With It! (Thomas Nelson). For more ministry information, visit www.paulawhite.org. To read past columns in Charisma by Paula White, log on at charismamag.com/white.

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