From the very beginning of creation, all the way through the Bible to today, God established work, and by extension, business, as the primary occupation of mankind and the fundamental place where he would interact with man and develop a relationship with him.
If you are a Christian, and own or run a business or a significant portion of that business, and you want to create a relationship with God, look for him in your work.
I realize that position conflicts with that often proclaimed by the religious establishment, which generally holds that you create a relationship with God through the services of the institution. For many of them, a business is a necessary evil which only exists to provide money for their institutions. Unfortunately, a great many Christian business people have accepted that teaching, resulting in millions of Christian businesses and Christian business people never attaining the spiritual potential and Kingdom impact that God wants for them.
Let’s see what scripture has to say about it.
For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
This is one of the fundamental ways in which God works with his people. He has prepared ‘good works’ for them to do and expects them to do them. Not only does he expect them to do them, but he works with them to accomplish the ‘good work.”
There are numerous examples of him working with mankind in this way in the Bible. Here are a few:
- Noah was given the task to build the ark and save the animals within it. God then worked with him to accomplish it.
- Moses was given the charge to lead the people out of Egypt, and then God worked with him to do it.
- Joshua was given the charge to take the promised land from the inhabitants, and God worked with him to do it.
- David was given the charge to unite Israel into a unified kingdom, and God worked with him to do it.
- John was given the charge to prepare the way for Christ and enabled by the Spirit of God to do so.
- Jesus himself was given the charge to usher in the Kingdom of God and was enabled to do so by the power of his Father.
- Paul was given the charge to take the Kingdom to the Gentiles and provided with the power of the Holy Spirit to do it.
While these examples illustrate the grand movements of God as he unfolds his plan on the universe, they uncover a precedent in how God works with all of his people: He gives them a task and then works with them to do that task. And in the working together, we come to know God and develop a relationship with him.
One of the primary ways he tasks mankind is to give them businesses. Every business is a ‘good work,’ created by God in advance. As such, he wants to work with us in that business, just like he has since the first days of creation.
Those of us who own or run businesses know this, of course, from our personal experience. The process of building and running a business presents us with a virtual obstacle course of challenges, defeats, victories, and decisions that keep us constantly asking for God’s advice and intervention. If we had never read about it in scripture, we would still acknowledge if from our own lives.
It is in business that we are challenged with tasks that seem bigger than our abilities, and dealt with adversity that often threatens to derail us. It is in business that we accept the responsibility to support and care for employees, to find and satisfy customers, and to bless investors and vendors. And it is in business that God wants to work with us in all of these decisions, challenges, and relationships.
He set that precedent in some of the first words he said to Adam. Remember the first ‘job’ he gave to Adam?
Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. (Gen. 2:19)
God gave Adam the job of naming the animals and brought them to him so he could. There it is, for the first time. God gives man a task, (a good work) and then works with him to accomplish that task.
In working together, man comes to know God and have a relationship with him. That which was true at the time of creation, which was modeled throughout the Bible and then confirmed in the Philippians passage quoted above – God gives you a task—and to many of us that task is the business responsibilities he have – and then works with us to accomplish that.
If you want to come to know God and have a relationship with him, look no further than your business.
Want to dig deeper into this concept? Read The Good Book on Business by Dave Kahle