One of the common phrases you might hear if you spend any time around our launch team at Radiant Church is, “God bless our hustle!” It’s a saying that started out as a joke when I happened to see the saying printed in bold colors on a t-shirt in downtown Macon. I thought the saying was bold, slightly tacky, and fun! I went back to my wife that evening and told her (jokingly) that I wanted a shirt just like it and after getting quite a few eye rolls she eventually started in on the joke too.
Over time it has become one of the unofficial themes of Radiant Church. Before I explain why, I would like to first provide a definition of the word “hustle” to give a better context for our motto.
There is a definition of hustle that exists that implies gambling, swindling people out of money, and fraud. Let me be clear in saying that this is not the definition of hustle we are implying.
The definition of hustle that we are taking pertains more to working hard, purposeful movement, and action.
Think about a coach telling his players to hustle on a football field or basketball court and this will give you a better idea of what we mean.
Now that we’ve got the correct definition down, let’s talk about what it means to Radiant Church
This is an interesting verse because it states two clear things. First, there is an emphasis put on work. The writer of this Psalm doesn’t just assume that things will be accomplished through just trusting in God and then sitting back and relaxing. The writer recognizes that God invites people to accomplish His purpose here on the earth through hard work, through effort, and through action. As Christ followers, we can never take the attitude that bringing hope to the hopeless, helping to care for those in need, and turning on a light in our communities is someone else’s job. It is never easy and great effort is always involved, but God asks each and every one of us to play a part and work.
In fact, I would argue that anything worthwhile doing in our lives, both secular and sacred, involves the concept of hard work.
How do you spell ministry? W.O.R.K.
How do you spell planting a church? W.O.R.K.
How do you spell bringing hope to a city? W.O.R.K.
How do you spell family restoration? W.O.R.K.
How do you spell healthy finances? W.O.R.K.
How do you spell great friendships? W.O.R.K.
How do you spell a promotion? W.O.R.K.
How do you spell a great relationship with your kids? W.O.R.K.
How do you spell an effective prayer life? W.O.R.K.
Etc. Etc. Etc. I could go on for hours about how anything that gets accomplished gets done through hard work.
But it’s more than just work that is needed. Going back to Psalm 90:17, the writer also asked God to establish (some translations use the word bless) the work of their hands. I think this is incredibly important as well because what the writer is saying, which is so applicable to us today, is that not only are we to work but we are to always keep in mind who we are working for! Our goal isn’t to just aimlessly work within our own strength and for our own purposes. Our goal is to look at a source bigger than our own, with a cause greater than our own, and ask Him to help lay the foundation of the work we are attempting to accomplish.
For my life, this means that before I make up my mind to work I must look first to the one who knows my talents and abilities and ask for His vision and help. Before I take action I am to spend time in prayer ensuring that my plans are actually God honoring and help accomplish His purposes. Before I exert effort I am to recognize that there is a source available to me that will provide me the strength I need to accomplish the task given to me.
How too often do we set out with plans that seem right but are assignments that we were never meant to undertake? How many times do we fall under the belief that the assignment given to us can be accomplished on our own strength? How many times have we taken action first and sought God’s help after the fact?
For my life? All too often I’ve fallen into this pattern. But God is teaching me the truth that if I will not only work, but will look to Him first to get the plans and strength I need, that I will see prosperous work be accomplished.
I’m realizing that God is calling me to do more than just good deeds, He’s calling me to do good, effective deeds. He desires that my efforts have an impact. He wants my action to hit the mark.
But to have this kind of effectiveness I must be willing to submit to God’s two fold process of looking to Him and committing to work.
With that backdrop, the launch team at Radiant Church has taken Psalm 90:17 and modernized it into an unofficial motto.
We desire to be the church that looks to God first through the avenues of prayer, meditation, and scriptural application and then accomplishes our plans through sweat inducing hard work. No short cuts, just hard work. No easy way outs, just purposeful effort. No slacking, just action.
I sat around a table this week of leaders as we prepared for our first launch team meeting. One of the things that humbled me the most was the willingness of the entire team to commit themselves to the concepts of prayer and work. At that meeting, for every talk we had about activities for kids we would turn right around in the next instant and talk about what we felt God was doing in us and through us. For every mention of food plans there was a heartfelt praise for how God was providing for us. For every discussion about T-shirts, booklets, or people placement there was a recognition that God was with us and fighting for us.
I walked away from that meeting so encouraged because I saw the elements of God given plans combined with hard work. It was a sure sign that something special was forming.
Are we the perfect church? Nope. Through prayer and hard work are we laying the foundation for God to move in a big way? You betcha.
So how about you? What if you took the motto of God Bless My Hustle into your week? How would your everyday life change? How would you grow? How would your family, friends, career, and community be impacted if you set your mind to seeking God’s plans and then working as hard as you can to accomplish them?
Let me make this a little more personal. Which part of the equation are you out of balance on? Do you have a great work ethic but no time to seek God, His vision, and His strength? If so, can I humbly challenge you and say that it’s really only a matter of time before your plans become frustrating and unfulfilling.
Or, do you seek God but are lazy? Or maybe just feel like doing positive things is a job for someone else? My encouragement for you is to begin to think about and list the things that won’t get done if you don’t do them. Often times those are the things God has invited you to do as a part of His redemptive story. God doesn’t need us but still allows us to work for his cause and purposes. An inability to work will eventually cause a deficiency of resources and an unrealized potential. Don’t wait to start working. Start now.
As for my life and Radiant Church, my prayer is that God would establish the work of our hands. May we be effective, hard working, and diligent to bring the good news of Jesus Christ to city of Macon and the surrounding communities.
God Bless Our Hustle,
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