Monday, August 22, 2011


"So he said to me, "This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: 'Not by
might nor by power, but by My Spirit,' says the Lord Almighty." - Zechariah 4:6

Your greatest obstacle in fulfilling God's purposes in your life is the
skills you have acquired to perform well in your work life. One of the
great paradoxes in Scripture relates to our need to depend on the Lord;
yet at the same time, we're instructed to use the talents and abilities
God gives us to accomplish the work He gives us to do. It has been one
of the most difficult principles to live out. How do we know that what
we achieve is by the power of the Holy Spirit in our life versus our
abilities, and is there a difference? When we reach a level of
excellence and performance in our fields, it actually becomes an
obstacle to seeing God's power manifest in our work. What we naturally
do well becomes the object of our trust. When this happens, God
retreats. You see, God allows us to develop skills, but these must be
continually yielded to God's Spirit. There will be times when God will
use these skills to accomplish His purposes. There will be other times
that God will not use any of our skills just to ensure that we know it
is by His power that we can do anything.
It is the oxymoron of all oxymorons for Christian workplace believers.
Learning not to act until God shows you to act is a sign of maturity in
God. "Do not lean on the natural skill which you have been given. Let
God manifest Himself in what you are doing," said a mentor who has
learned this balance of skill and walking with God. "You must almost
restrain from doing those things you know you are prone to do and
actually go against them."
I was learning this lesson recently when I was asked to participate in
a large event that would give great exposure and much needed financial
increase to my ministry. It made all the sense in the world to
participate. Then I prayed with a friend and asked the Lord His mind on
it. The Lord showed us this was not His plan for me. I declined the
Ask God to teach you what it means to walk according to the power of
the Holy Spirit in your business life. Develop a listening ear to the small
voice inside that wants to direct your efforts by His Spirit.

Monday, August 15, 2011


"You may say to yourself, "My power and the strength of my hands
have produced this wealth for me." - (Deuteronomy 8:17)

We've all heard someone say, "He's a self-made man." What are
they saying in this statement? Are they saying that this
individual achieved success by his hard work and sweat? Many a
person has achieved success through honest hard work. There is a
danger for any of us who may have achieved significance through
our work. That danger is the belief that we achieved it through
our own efforts apart from God's grace and mercy. When we live in
this belief, we assert that we are entitled to certain rights and
privileges because of the position we have earned and feel we
The prodigal son's brother who refused to celebrate the wayward
son's return was a man who felt he was entitled to certain
rights. He saw himself as one who had been faithful to his
responsibilities and deserving of more attention. He could not
appreciate his brother's failure and the pain of falling into a
sinful life because, in his mind, he had never failed. This pride
kept him from experiencing God's real grace. This is how legalism
develops in believers. It grows into a cold heart and an
insensitive attitude toward others who may have stumbled in their
lives. This same brother did not truly understand the love of his
father apart from works; for he felt he gained acceptance only by
doing his job.
Do you feel accepted by God, regardless of what you do? Have you
wrongfully viewed your works as something you alone have
achieved? These are the minefields of which each of us in
business must be aware. God has gifted us to accomplish anything
through His grace, not by our works.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


"The sun rose above him as he passed Peniel, and he was limping because
of his hip." - Genesis 32:31

Jacob was a man who was a controller. He connived and manipulated his
way to get what he wanted. It was a generational stronghold passed down
through his mother, who encouraged her son to play a trick on his
father, Isaac, by pretending to be Esau. This trick led Isaac to give
the family blessing to Jacob, which meant Jacob would eventually inherit
the land God had promised to Abraham's seed. Jacob also learned control
from his uncle Laban who caused Jacob to work for 14 years to take
Rachel as his lifelong mate. One must ask which was more ugly in God's
sight, the self-centered nature and worldliness of Esau, or the control
and manipulation of Jacob?
Control is a problem for men and women. Many women use sex to control
their husbands. Many men use power and force to control their wives.
Control is at the core of that which is opposite the cross-self-rule.
What delivers us from this fleshly nature of control? A crisis. Jacob's
crisis came when he was faced with the prospect of meeting a brother who
said he would kill him the next time he saw him. Esau had built his own
clan and was about to meet Jacob and his clan in the middle of the
desert. Jacob was fearful, so he retreated. There he met a messenger
from God who wrestled with him. Jacob clung to God and refused to let go
of this angel. It is the place where Jacob was given a painful but
necessary spiritual heart transplant. From that point on, Jacob would
walk with a limp, because God had to dislocate his hip in order to
overcome Jacob's strong will.
For workplace believers, God often has to "dislocate our hip" through
failure and disappointment. Sometimes it is the only way He can get our
attention. Our nature to control and manipulate is so strong that it
takes a catastrophic event to wake us up. Yet God did not reject Jacob
for these character traits. In fact, God blessed him greatly because He
saw something in Jacob that pleased Him. He saw a humble and contrite
heart beneath the cold and manipulative exterior of Jacob's life, and it
was that trait that God needed to develop. He did this by bringing about
the crisis in Jacob's life that led to total consecration. This event
was marked by Jacob getting a new name, Israel. For the first time,
Jacob had a nature change, not just a habit change. What will God have
to do in our lives to gain our complete consecration to His will and