As marketplace entrepreneurs and leaders, God has wired us to make things happen. So, like all great businesspeople, we make our plans and go after them with a vengeance – all for Kingdom impact.
Yet too often we madly rush into something that sounds, looks, or smells good just knowing that, as faithful believers with a purpose to prosper the Kingdom, our plans are destined to work and will be greatly blessed.
Well, not necessarily. What we often overlook are four little words that will ultimately transform your business.
Our Typical Approach
“Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit’.” James 4:13
I raise my hand in guilt – but also for forgiveness – for the many, many times I have shared with others of MY plans, of MY great ideas, of MY new wheelings and dealings, of all the money and impact I will make (for the Kingdom’s good of course).
And I sense I am not alone in this.
So what is wrong with making plans to expand your business, to reach new customers, to be more prosperous? Nothing, unless you first heed this warning.
“Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” James 4:14
Sobering! James’ blunt, bottom-line style wastes no words and tells it like it is.
We have no (zero) guarantee that we will even be on this earth tomorrow or even into next year. On our own power, we have no idea what tomorrow may bring. Therefore, most anything we plan on our own is ultimately a waste of time not only for us and but for our entire organization.
The Four Key Words
“Instead you ought to say, “ If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” James 4:15
“If the Lord wills.” Without this, our plans are very likely to fail.
But we must go beyond just saying these words to embracing them. We fully embrace them by embedding them deep into our heart, soul and spirit until they become the very foundation of all we do in our business.
Think about this: If we are doing something outside of the Lord’s will for our business, why should He bless us? He shouldn’t and He won’t.
Furthermore, here is a very sobering reality if we chose not to fully embrace these four words in our business.
“As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” James 4:16-17
Wow! James cuts no slack.
Without the will of the Lord in our businesses, we are doomed to nothing more than our own boasting and hoping rather than His blessing and prosperity!
A New Business Covenant
These four words can indeed transform your business. So here is my charge. From this day forward, make a new business covenant with the Lord that you will:
- First and only seek His will in everything you do, and
- Begin every conversation about your plans with, “If the Lord wills…”
This simple covenant will help you focus on His will, gain a positive witness from Holy Spirit, and ultimately lead toward you fulfilling your destiny in your marketplace.