“I believe God made me for a purpose, but He also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure,” said Eric Liddell to his sister Jenny in the movie Chariots of Fire. Eric was a famous Scottish Olympic champion in short distance and a missionary to China. Although his sister was urging him to return to China as soon as possible, he knew God had given him a gift. By choosing to delay his return and run in the 1924 Paris Olympics, Eric was convinced he was honoring God by pursuing his calling as a world-class runner.

It can be hard to feel such passion and calling if we need to work in a less than exciting job. But Paul reminds us that no matter what we do, when it’s for God’s kingdom, we can “work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord” (Ephesians 6:7). He was writing to slaves in Ephesus, yet the principles he shared can be applied to any work environment. Paul addressed things that come naturally to employees—like not choosing the type of work they’re doing and wanting to pursue something else.

However reasonable their struggle, Paul reminded his readers of their new identity. As believers in Jesus, they were to “do the will of God with all [their] heart[s]” (Ephesians 6:6). The fulfillment they would get in their work would come not because they were happy all the time, but because their real leader was Jesus. He’s the One who loved them so much that He “took the humble position of a slave . . . and died a criminal’s death on the cross” (Philippians 2:7-8).

Our work matters to God, and we can find fulfillment in it if we remember whom it is we’re really serving. His promise is that “the Lord will reward each one of us for the good we do” (Ephesians 6:8).

NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: 1 Kings 12:1-24