Accessing Heavenly Strategies For Earthly Problems
The boardroom is not typically thought of as a place for divine guidance. Corporate decisions are traditionally made based on facts, research, statistics, and analyses, not on ‘Thus saith the Lord.’ Yet, as sons and daughters of God, we have access to the wisest and most innovative mind in the universe. A mind that is also eager to display His glory through us. As ambassadors of Christ in the workplace how do we bridge these two worlds? How do we make compelling arguments and recommendations that are divinely inspired but convincing to an audience that may not put much stock in God?
Well, first of all, it is good to underscore that God is not against facts and figures. Daniel and Joseph provide powerful examples of men of God who operated under divine guidance while also excelling in secular knowledge and managing the affairs of the world with superior business acumen. They modeled lives that brought the strategies of heaven to earth.
A useful way to understand how Daniel and Joseph straddled the Babylonian and heavenly realms so effectively is to follow the process they employed:
Step 1 - Listen: They listened well to the perspectives of the people they served. They understood the dynamics at play in the palace (office). They knew who had the power to do what and, therefore, who to approach for information and assistance. They were also attentive to the dreams of their leaders.
Step 2 - Pray: Having well understood the situation on the ground, they were able to go before God with the right questions and requests, and make the right decrees in the spirit realm. Their effectiveness in prayer was due in large part to the clarity they had of the situation on the ground and their role in it. Most importantly, these men of God practiced two-way prayer. They heard the voice of God. They came out of the prayer closet armed with wisdom from heaven to solve the problems facing their organization!
Step 3 - Implement: Next, they took the wisdom from heaven and, using their business/technical expertise, were able to offer practical solutions that prospered those whom they served and brought glory to God. They didn’t just have God-talk. They had real solutions to offer.
Following this biblical model can be a very practical way for us to live out the mandate to make kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven in our workplace. Firstly, we need to be good listeners. This is often the step that we overlook. Too often we operate from a position of superiority that prevents us from accessing God’s favour and grace. God resists the proud. We should approach our leaders, coworkers, employees, business partners and clients with a heart of service and empathy. Daniel was so good at serving with humility and excellence that he won the favour of three generations of kings.
Secondly, let us not be separate our faith from our work by not giving God the opportunity to speak into our situations. God is interested in being a part of everything we do. We must always be on guard for that tendency that we all have to separate the spiritual from the secular. Everything is spiritual if we invite God into it! God has inventions and strategies and solutions to complex human problems just waiting for us to access it. He knows IT, economics and marketing.
A potential barrier here is that some of us may think that we don’t or can’t hear from God (at least not in such specificity). It’s a lie of the enemy. Include your business problems in your prayer time. Pull away regularly for some quiet unhurried alone time with God and brainstorm with Him. Carry a notepad and write down any ideas that come to you. You may well be surprised at what comes out of a habit of faithfully seeking God about your work issues.
Finally, take bold action knowing that God will bring the increase! Our confidence of success is not only because we have a good Father but because we have done step #2. The repeated lesson of the many Old Testament battles is; if you follow God’s plan, success is assured. Simple. So, let’s step out in faith. It may not be appropriate to say, “God told me we should buy shares in company X now.” but God will guide us how to communicate with wisdom and diplomacy as well as how to use our training and experience to support our recommendations.
So, let’s serve our work community well by bringing heaven to earth right where we spend most of our time every day. The marketplace is where we ordinary yet extraordinary kingdom people have been called to let our light shine in this present darkness. Let us set it ablaze!