It has become conventional for modern Christians to think that God somehow wants us to serve Him without gaining anything in return.
The Bible is clear that God’s intent is to reward us for even the smallest things we do if we do it for Him. Our life on the plains can feel mundane and humdrum. But if we adopt the perspective from this verse, it becomes clear that every single thing we do can be done “as unto the Lord.” That means God cares about everything we do. He cares how we care for our home. How we treat one another. How we drive. How we manage our time. How we care for our bodies and possessions. “Whatever you do” is a comprehensive description of life.
Humans naturally seek self-interest. We are designed that way. The Bible doesn’t tell us not to seek our self-interest. It tells us to believe that God’s way is in our self-interest, while following our flesh, or the world, is self-destructive. We often think our choice is between serving God and serving ourselves. But that is an untrue perspective. The choice is actually between serving God and serving the flesh and the worldly system to which it is connected. If we serve God, we gain life now and the “reward of the inheritance” later. If we serve the flesh, we get destruction now, and can lose all or part of the reward of the inheritance later.
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”
– Colossians 3:23-24