What is Your True Occupation
Our trade is something we readily identify with because it occupies a decent amount of our energy and time. Acts 18:3 (ESV) says that the apostle Paul lived with Aquila and Priscilla because they were tentmakers as well. Wait, if Paul was a tent maker, then why is he famously known as an apostle instead of a tent maker? Acts 18:5 tells us that, “his mind was occupied with the word.” Paul saw himself as a scriptural teacher first and a tent maker second.
All children of God should cast off their old worldly ways and identities after baptism (Eph. 4:22-24). Paul in Philippians 3:7-8 says, “But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.” Paul counted the spiritual worth and eternal hope that he had as an apostle of Christ as greater in value than all the physical pleasures he had while being a Pharisee. As children of God today, we should be imitating the same sentiment Paul had and fully embrace our spiritual occupation in our hearts.
While we are choosing to embrace our spiritual occupation, we will find not everyone is going to do the same. Paul was faced with what many would consider to be their evangelical nightmare. In Corinth, the apostle was fiercely rejected by those who disagreed with the teachings of Jesus. They rejected Christ so much that he decided to stop preaching in the synagogue, saying “Your blood be on your own heads!” (Acts 18:6). Paul was frustrated, but the Lord was with Him. God told the apostle, “Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, for I am with you.” (Acts 18:9).
Paul ended up in the house of Titius Justus because he and his household were worshippers of God. Titius’ house was next to the synagogue, whose leader (named Crispus) also believed. Due to this, Acts 18:8 records, “And many of the Corinthians hearing Paul were baptized and believed.” He stayed in Corinth for another year and six months. At first glance, Paul would have never imagined being in Corinth that long, but he trusted in the Lord. While we are fulfilling our occupation by glorifying God and spreading His truth, we can become disheartened. Yet like Paul, the Lord is with us! He will not abandon us and there will be people we come across who will listen, so long as we shake off the worldly things that are weighing us down. Paul encouraged Titius, Crispus, and many other Corinthians by trusting in the Lord’s understanding. The Lord’s kingdom needs your unique voice in the world because there are people that only you will be able to reach! The question is, will boldly take on your true occupation?