1 Corinthians 7:17 , 24(ESV)
17 Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches. … 24 So, brothers, in whatever condition each was called, there let him remain with God.
It’s my observation that many Christians, perhaps even the majority, perceive an unnecessary difference between two categories of vocation: “secular” and “sacred”.
One thought of encouragement from Paul in his first letter to Corinth is that we don’t need to make that distinction. At all. The Lord has “assigned” his people to various vocations in this life. Those assignments are “callings”. Prior to verse 24, Paul makes clear that there are various cultural/ethnic and vocational conditions that people were in when they began to treasure the glory of God in Jesus Christ. It is in those various situations that Paul says “there let him remain with God”.
So it is my understanding that it is very possible – even essential for the purpose of accomplishing God’s whole purpose in the world, for Christians to be involved in all kinds of jobs and workplaces.
“Remaining with God” carries a new perspective on “Going with God”. When Christians remain in a particular vocation that is not directly connected to the church’s organizational structure, they don’t just go to work… they go to work “with God” in that they remained in that line of work even after they believed. You are a “missionary” where you are by virtue of belonging to Jesus.
So, Christian – don’t just do your job. Do your job “with God”. Don’t just go to work. Go to work “with God”. By remaining in your vocation, you are fulfilling your God-given assignment. You are working out your calling. You are “Going with God” just as much as the Christian whose assignment happens to be among the unreached peoples of the world.
One clarification – if your assignment is in a vocation not connected to the church’s organizational structure, God has assigned you there not primarily to work to earn to have more for yourself, but to work to earn to give generously to the causes and individuals who are assigned to making others happy in God around the world. God has designed an awesome partnership between goers and senders. You’re one, the other, or perhaps even both. But no obedient Christian can be neither…