I was listening to my favorite Bible teacher the other day speaking about the people of Israel and their complaint against the daily supply of manna; requesting of God meat to satisfy them. All the while, grumbling about how tired they were of wandering in the wilderness and eating the same food. Can you imagine they even suggested they’d be better off back in Egypt?
It struck me that all that complaining about God’s perfect provision resulted in a swarm of quail. Quail in the morning, quail in the afternoon and quail at night. Quail coming out of their nostrils. Then He struck them down with a plague due to their obsession.
So what’s that got to do with our behavior as Christians? Think about it. God knows what’s best for us yet we continue to ask for what we believe is better. The crazy thing is, He’ll actually give us what we want. Then we realize just how destructive our choices can be when deciding to ignore God’s perfect plan for our lives. Be careful what you ask for. You actually may get it. Then what happens when it virtually destroys us?
We’ve all asked it. Why God? Why have I been stricken by these circumstances, this grief, this loss, etc. An interesting question indeed from the clay directed at the potter. Without labeling it wrong or immature, I think it’s prudent to ask the question: Is it productive? Is it fruitful? That is, asking “Why” when it relates to a life challenge or obstacle. I’m certain that if we looked at our lives on a time continuum, the question of Why? that we had posed in the past probably contains much more of a “because…” now, in hindsight. Although not necessarily incorrect or petty, I do not think that asking the question Why? is productive or fruitful, for two basic reasons:
1. God’s ways are not our ways, and to question the potter on matters of purpose, plan, meaning or substance can essentially be spinning your spiritual wheels, and can even signify a lack of understanding or faith, and I mean that in a very non-condemning way.
2. Sin has affected our world – amplifying our dependence upon Faith. Faith is the very substance of things hoped for and for us to be set apart or sanctified in His name, should we not be required to hold fast to our faith in the face of a rough season or tough day? The effects of sin are not good and the world hosts these effects everyday, but until the day of complete atonement (the one that’s eternal), we’ve made our homes in the world, and it requires faith in Jesus to dwell in the present.
“…(Christ) has given us the ministry of reconciliation… we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us, we entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God [back to the Father]. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2nd CORINTHIANS 5:18-21
– I found this in my bible! It’s the gospel summed up in three verses. Notice the language- ‘God is making his appeal through US.’ – so that in Him WE might become the righteousness of God. We (the church) are His appeal, and when we receive Christ and know him and act in accordance with his power and influence, we are stepping into righteousness; the same righteousness that is characteristic of God.
We need to start believing that we (the church) are in fact, a spotless bride. To believe otherwise is to fall into the trap of false humility and faulty thinking about ‘worthiness.’ When we do this we create space for sin and its effects, skewing our perspective, distorting our worldview and delivering a punishing blow to the collective ability of the Church. Essentially, we aren’t seeing clearly when we subscribe to this. If we believe that after allowing Christ to reside in us we are still sinners (that is sinful in our nature), then we are defining our identity through our ability to fail rather than His work and victory on the cross! By living with self-imposed permission to sin we are practicing false humility, which is a tactic advantaged by the spirit of religion (rampant among Pharisees and Sadducees in Jesus’ time).
Church, with its narrow American definition, essentially translates to ‘Sunday Mornings,’ and although Church in a greater context means the ‘Body of Christ,’ we still corporately gather once a week. If we observe this definition, we’re tasked with the question of “what are we to do with our Sunday mornings?” What does scripture denote? How does a spiritually healthy church do Sunday mornings? I think these are all valid questions and would like to point out scriptural facts and characteristics of what I believe is the biblical model for how we spend our Sunday mornings.
What are you doing during the week?
The answer to this question will likely shape our answer to the Sunday Morning question.In a recent blog where we prefaced KAIO, an innovative, obedience-centered small group model, we found that we should be hearing and acting on God’s word Monday-Sunday. That includes worship, intercession, reading your bible, making Godly decisions, etc. It’s my hope that we are not waiting on something or reserving these things for Sunday mornings.
What is your biggest motivation for running your business? Who or what matters most to you? What are you looking to provide for and protect?
This post will help you connect with the reason behind these questions. The answers link to something that I call “Your Why Network.” They become the people, forces, and deep-seeded reasons that fuel your entrepreneurial vision.
For those who will answer these questions, it’s my hope that they will become better prepared for a future of deeper purpose and see their future as brighter than any season in their past.
Furthermore, the person who seeks to answer these questions through intentional meditation, prayer and reflection, will find that God will help them to hear His heart as it relates to their why network, and His plan and direction for both their personal and professional lives. He has divine purposes and missions for each person and desires for each of us to partner with Him to be become all He fashioned us to be.
What if you could blend how you were created to do business and how you were created to do ministry? What if there is no real distinction between the two, but rather one continuous line that simply defines ‘how you were created?’ In our area of work we see plenty of Entrepreneurs, and likewise plenty of Apostles; and it seems the spiritual office of the Apostle (see the 5 fold ministry) will often match the office of the entrepreneur.
Characteristics of Apostles and Entrepreneurs
- The Church Planter & The Idea Planter
Paul’s life and ministry is probably the best possible case study in light of clarifying the office of the Apostle. As the Father of the Acts church, Paul essentially traveled and planted church bodies, equipping and training other leaders to lead in his absence. To do this, Paul didn’t follow established precepts, but rather created something new each time he planted a church! Much like the entrepreneur, who plants ideas and then moves to something new, the Apostle and Entrepreneur alike tend to be very mobile, adaptable and comfortable with change.