I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me.
With me are riches and honor, enduring wealth and prosperity.
A conversation with the Believer in Business (BiB)- the Christ-follower called to take the risk to organize, and create value for others.
Does God want you to prosper?
This is a conversation that I wish we needn’t have. I wish the answer was as plain and certain as the sunrise. Unfortunately, the truth has been distorted so that it’s subverted even well-meaning Christians to avoid the notion that their faith can lead to entrepreneurial success and prosperity. They don’t want to be caught spreading the “prosperity gospel” (as we are wont to call it). This American Gospel teaches that if you can perform like a good Christian, you can have the blessings of Jesus. If you pray, fellowship, give right and do enough, you will prosper in health and wealth. The true gospel is more like: since you can’t be good enough, you can turn from striving and trust that Jesus paid the price for you to rejoin His Father’s commonwealth and live the abundant and everlasting life with or without health and wealth.
What about life on earth? Does he want us to enjoy good things?
Of course, He does! The Everlasting Father wants you to have nice things in the same way that you as a parent would want your kids to have not only their needs of food, clothing, and shelter met, but also deserts, toys, and times filled with joy and laugher. Just like you, He is well pleased when He sees His children happy. He really doesn’t mind us having things… But He does hate it when the things have us! To give Him, this pleasure is worship. When the things (careers, accomplishments, possessions) have us, it is idolatry - the opposite.
I could list hundreds of Bible verses to reinforce my assertion of His wanting us to prosper, but since I am talking with BiBs I wouldn’t dare deprive you of the joy of reading that in the Word yourself. Just google “Bible prosperity” and breath in His desires for your heart.
With that settled, let us move on to what are our hopes and desires. You want to win; you want to succeed, right? Even often for truly selfless reasons. Your success will provide for your family, enable your generosity, and maybe even provide jobs and a livelihood for others. There is nothing unholy about these desires. In fact, this Word says in Psalm 37:4 (AMP)
Delight yourself in the LORD,
And He will give you the desires and petitions of your heart.
This means more than the assertion that He will grant them, it also means that he inserted those very desires in your heart in the first place. Right, He caused you to petition or strive for those things. Remember though, we cannot be good by our own strength, so we can be susceptible to selfish desires. We must be vigilant in guarding our hearts, and surrendering to His routine inspections. This will help ensure that we desire His will over our own.
So, how should we count on God for our business success?
God made the earth and put mankind on it. He gave us an owner’s manual and an app that we can download wirelessly that immediately gives us guidance and the distinction between right and wrong. It would be wise to use these divine provisions. Jesus left instructions for his staff to go and teach everyone in the way of life that He had taught them. Do you think Jesus knows how things work on this planet? Sure you do! Good success for the BIB comes not because we have magically been granted success but because we have learned and applied His wisdom to our lives, our business, and all of our endeavors.
“God authorized and commanded me to commission you:
Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near,
in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you.
I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.”
So, what is His part and my part?
Our part is to take instruction, and trust Him. It is to learn and practice keys to the kingdom. Trust in Him for the hope of success, while knowing that practicing does not ensure that you will always win. In fact, we can be absolutely certain that as an entrepreneur, you will most assuredly fail along the way. Entrepreneurship is the passion (suffering) to overcome failures in the relentless pursuit of success. His part is keeping His promise that He will be with you as you strive - failing or succeeding. He will be with you to carry the burdens of life, as you are yoked together with Him - Remember, His yoke is light! Success has a short shelf life, and failure is not fatal.
Partnering with Jesus in your business is more than just praying, worshiping, and quoting bible verses. After all, you must do the work. You must do the learning, sowing, reaping, hunting, and cooking, rowing, and sleeping in order to enjoy the spoils of your work as unto God. He is there, always to give you guidance, direction, and wisdom upon request, and to show you the way to go and give you a confident understanding of what to do next. He will point you to divine connections that forge the relational capital that you can invest to acquire financial capital. He knows everybody, and He will open doors so that the right people know you. When you surrender your dreams for your business over to Him, making Him the CEO of your life and your business, then you can work (and rest) assured that He will succeed and therefore, so will you succeed.
Jesus is the greatest entrepreneurial founder ever!
He’s done what you are hoping to accomplish. You should not only follow His example but consult Him often on your present challenges and business plans.