Week one: Kingdom entrepreneurs are not immune from business failures.
“Christian Businesspeople have survived and even prospered without the prophet till now. However, since the Holy Spirit has made known that now is the time for the army of the Lord to arise and possess the wealth of the world, the forces of the enemy have been greatly intensified against Christians who have dedicated their businesses to God for the upbuilding of God’s kingdom. Now, we will need greater supernatural assistance to make Christian businesses prosper. New legions of hell have been unleashed to stop the financial and material prosperity of the true church.”
~Dr. Bill Hamon, Author, Prophets & Personal Prophesy
It is important to understand that Christian Entrepreneurs and business people, generally, are not immune from the challenges of business. Almost every entrepreneur we have ever met has failed in business or the other before, and that does not mean that they have low faith.
Failures in business are not uncommon! Both the young and the old fail; even the educated and the uneducated also fail in business. Unfortunately, some entrepreneurs and businesspeople have been taught that once they can pray, decree, fast and bind demonic forces, failure will never come close to their doorsteps. This is a false teaching which has done a disservice to many Christian entrepreneurs and business people over the years. Honestly, this is one of the reasons for publishing this book: to debunk that notion that Christian entrepreneurs are immune from failures in business, and of course to also provide practical guidelines on what to do when their businesses fail. Our Lord Jesus Christ made this clear in John 16:33 that in this life we shall face tribulations.
Obviously, tribulations include some of the challenges believers face in business. It is important to note that Jesus did not say that all would be rosy! But He also ends the sentence by telling us not to be disturbed by those temporal events in business. “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33 KJV
Diligence In Business Leads to Success
There are many reasons why some Christian entrepreneurs fail in business and many of them have been clearly explained in this book. Most times, failure results from an issue of character and competence, including decisions made by the entrepreneur; other times it could be due to attacks by demonic forces seeking to destroy the entire business. This notwithstanding, any entrepreneur who puts in the effort will succeed big time. We must understand that God has set principles in motion regarding the success that works for anyone who applies them. Honestly, if a Christian works diligently, no amount of opposition from the camp of the devil can collapse his or her business. Hard work always pays and that explains why ungodly entrepreneurs who work hard will succeed big time in business and entrepreneurship!
Every Kingdom entrepreneur must be aware of this! If we remain lazy and nonchalant, unbelievers will continue to dominate sectors and industries in business while we lag. The truth is that hard work pays, whether one is a Christian or not! We see this clearly stated in the Holy Scriptures.
According to the Bible, anyone who works hard will prosper.
“He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich,” Proverbs 10: 4, 5 KJV
Relevant knowledge Is an important requirement in business success.
Success and failure are determined by what a person knows and what he is willing to put into practice. To walk in ignorance is to walk in darkness. Darkness impedes progress in every respect. Honestly, ignorant people rarely make any progress in life. To succeed in your business as a believer, you must improve your knowledge of the business you are involved in. Just like any other area of life, relevant knowledge plays a key role in business success. It is not out of nothing that large corporations and multinationals including financial institutions and the likes conduct several interviews just to get the most qualified and experienced Chief Executive to lead their business operations. What you know determines what you can do. As an entrepreneur, the extent of the success of your business depends on your knowledge base.
Therefore sometimes, founders of business step aside for more competent people to run with the vision. Indeed, knowledge is a difference-maker! The book, Why Some Kingdom Entrepreneurs Fail in Business is an important resource material for the church today. It is obvious that God is doing something new today with believers in business. God is initiating a marketplace revival like never. In fact, in the future, many more believers will go into business as a strategy to take over the world for Christ. The marketplace has become a centre for revival! It is against this backdrop that we wrote this book.
The material you now hold in your hand is for Christian business people who desire to understand what it takes to succeed in their businesses. We also see this as a particularly important resource material because there are few like that in the system.
It is also gratifying to note that the book you hold in your hand is not a product from novices. It is a collaborative effort between four authors with different backgrounds who have deep knowledge on the scriptures when it comes to the subject of business and entrepreneurship.
Week two: They don’t operate their businesses on kingdom principles
“Seest thou a man diligent in his business? He shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men,” Proverbs 22:29 KJV
The Kingdom of God has secrets for succeeding in everything from victorious Christian living to marriage. Of course, business is no exception! Therefore, as an entrepreneur, your inability to study, learn and apply these timeless principles can affect your business in a big way. We all expect that any serious Christian Businessperson would dig deep into the scriptures to discover the mind of God on the enterprise he or she is involved in, but many don’t.
Though many of us are Christians, we often run our business by the world’s systems and ideologies. But how can you expect to succeed when you don’t apply kingdom principles in running a Kingdom business. Sadly, many of those worldly philosophies are at variance with kingdom principles. Some Entrepreneurs put God aside when it comes to business. As a Kingdom Entrepreneur, God must be at the centre of your business. You cannot run your business like the people of the world and expect God to bless your work. He must influence every single decision you take in the business.
“Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him, and he shall bring it to pass,” Psalm 37:5 KJV
Let’s face it: how many of us make time to pray seriously for our businesses? The truth is that many of us do not until there is a problem! We cannot overemphasise the need to raise altars at the marketplace. The fact that you know a Christian who used to have morning devotions at his company and ‘went down’ is not an excuse for you not to engage God in prayer for your business. Remember that God would not force Himself into your business; you need to invite Him! Many believers are yet to discover how instrumental God can be when we engage Him as a partner in our enterprises. Sadly, many Christians are yet to learn how to engage God as their number one business partner.
Week three: Some kingdom entrepreneurs are simply lazy!
“I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding; And, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down. Then I saw, and considered it well: I looked upon it, and received instruction. Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth; and thy want as an armed man,”Proverbs 24:30-34 KJV
There is nothing good about laziness. It can make you lose customers. Laziness can collapse a once profitable business. Laziness leads to failure; diligence leads to success and prominence. Unfortunately, there are some Christians who continue to break this simple principle and expect God to prosper the work of their hands. There have been several complaints of lazy Christians in the marketplace.
That’s unfortunate but there is some element of truth in it. In fact, some experts have argued that the reason why some so-called idol worshipping nations have globally celebrated entrepreneurs is a matter of diligence. They opine that though Africa has a larger population of believers, the continent still struggles because of mere laziness. As a Christian Entrepreneur, if you don’t work hard enough failure will show its ugly head in your house. Remember, you can only cast out the demon of poverty with the spirit of diligence! Confessing and praying is not the only key to success in business. After fasting and prayer, you must put your hands to work. Diligence brings success; laziness leads to failure and poverty. As a Christian, you are expected to be diligent in business. If you do, you will succeed!
“And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches. A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength,” Proverbs 24:4, 5 KJV
Business is run on knowledge. It is impossible to succeed at what you have little knowledge about. This is what makes some businesses succeed and others fail. Honestly, it is never a wise thing to invest money in a business you have very little knowledge about. Many have done that and regretted it! Therefore, as a Christian, you are expected to do regular research, attend workshops, and take courses to improve your knowledge on the business you are operating. If you sideline this and spend all the time fasting and praying, you may wake up one day to see your business on its knees. You don’t need to abandon your business because you are on a 21-Day Fast! Your ignorance will not save you! Most Christian business owners got into business because they have a skill or knowledge that the market needs and they saw an opportunity to make some money. But they never anticipated the hiring and firing responsibilities that would ensue from growing a business. Your business is unique. Your field is a specialised area that needs attention.
Wisdom therefore demands that you learn all the trade secrets that will put you ahead of your competitors. Business thrives on business principles and trade secrets. If you are an ignorant Christian Entrepreneur in a field of technology or education and you fail to learn the industry secrets, failure will hit you hard in the face.
Week four: Some kingdom entrepreneurs have wrong motives for doing business
Every genuine Christian entrepreneur must go into business with one main objective: to create wealth to advance the kingdom. God wants His kingdom to expand and He values that more than any other thing!
“Who fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do you good in the end— then you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth.’ “And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you the power to get wealth, that He may [a] establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day,” Deuteronomy 8:16-18 NKJV
As a Christian, you cannot be in business just for yourself. You are a child of a Kingdom and you are expected to serve the interest of the Kingdom first before any other thing. It would be an insult to the King for you to think that you are doing business solely to take care of just your wife and children alone!
God will not bless you with large financial resources just for you, your family and friends. He wants the gospel taken to every corner of the globe. Establishing a business for the purpose of building an empire for yourself and your desires does not bring glory to God. Therefore, God cannot be expected to bless such a venture.
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God,” Romans 8: 14 NKJV
The work of the Holy Spirit is not only limited to delivering us from sin or empowering us to deal with the devil. The Holy Spirit can also plant innovative business ideas into our minds, and he can practically lead us to run our businesses in a profitable way. The Holy Spirit can lead us in hiring and firing. The Holy Spirit can give us business development ideas. The Holy Spirit can give us great marketing ideas. The Holy Spirit can connect us to the strategic networks we need to grow our businesses. There is a lot more that the Holy Spirit can do for us as entrepreneurs. Therefore, we must stay constantly in touch with Him as we go about our business. The challenge with many of us is that we become so complex to the extent that we lose sight of our spirituality in business. We fail to balance our intellectual capacity with our spiritual sensitivity.
Week five: Some kingdom entrepreneurs are financially selfish!
“Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation,” Malachi 3: 8, 9 KJV
“Honour the Lord with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase,” Proverbs 3: 9 KJV
It is unfortunate but there are businesspeople who forget that they are Christians when God starts blessing them financially. Some go to the extent of even using their financial resources to advance satanic agenda. Mercy! Christian Entrepreneurs who fail to give their tithes and offerings should not expect to receive God’s blessings on ‘the work of their hands’.
Come to think of it, why should the King give you financial resources only for you to invest it in another kingdom whose priorities are different from this kingdom? It will surprise you to know that there are Christian businesspeople who will willingly donate large sums of money at funerals, political party campaigns and sponsor friends to drink several bottles of alcohol but will resist every “temptation’ to give their money to the church. Such people will give you several reasons why they cannot pay their tithe or give good offerings!
“Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore, get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding,” Proverbs 4: 7 NKJV
“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.”
~James 1:5, 6 KJV
Some Christian businesspeople also over depend on prophesy and prophetic direction. While there is nothing wrong with holding onto a prophetic word from a servant of God, running your business on a prophetic word is not a wise thing to do. You must do what needs to be done whilst waiting for God to do His part.
Following prophetic direction is not an excuse for hard work! Believe in God and His prophets, but please put your hands to work! Remember, prophetic direction alone cannot make you a globally celebrated entrepreneur. Truth be told, you cannot run a business on personal prophecies alone and expect to do well. That notwithstanding, it must be established that every businessperson needs a Word from God occasionally. As Christians, we are ‘created’ to depend on God. Remember, Jesus said without Him, we can do nothing.
Week six: Some kingdom entrepreneurs sometimes disregard basic business requirements
Then the Lord answered me and said: “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it. 3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time; But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.”
~Habakkuk 2:1-3 NKJV
There are some fundamentals that are required for business success. Any entrepreneur who disregards these may be digging a grave for his business. At the core of these fundamentals is a business plan or a business strategy. Obviously, failure to develop a personal business strategy which captures the financials and financial forecasting, and budget can affect the business negatively!
“I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved. And the Lord answered me, and said, write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.”
Habakkuk 2:1-3 KJV
It is not enough to have your business ideas or strategies in your head, you must articulate your business concept in writing. This is very key to the success of any kind of business. You need to have at your fingertips, how your business runs, inside out. You must clearly define your customers, demand and supply, competition etc. You must understand the cost structure [which includes the fixed and variables] of your business. You’ve got to know the key statistics of the business you are running. You should be able to give an answer to any investor who asks you about the return on investment on your business. Honestly, if you are not familiar with the above, you may have to consult a professional to assist you.
Do not sink daily liquidity requirement into capital projects. This is a common mistake which most entrepreneurs make. Remember that liquidity is the lifeblood of the business, so you need to guard it jealously. Avoid spending money on things you do not need eg. flashy cars, office buildings, hiring personal assistant and the likes. Do not mix up personal finances with business finance. Create different accounts for them. Do not insist on mixing them; it may not help you! One practical way to do this is to put yourself on salary. Pay yourself! Never assume that the funds you see belongs to you. Do not turn the business into your piggy bank! That can be disastrous to say the least!
“Different skill sets, and backgrounds are needed for the different positions you’ll want to fill. When you get started, make sure you have hard-working, all-around generalists who can do everything you need them to [do]. When you begin to grow, look at hiring those who are specialised for the roles that need a specialist. Don’t hire a generalist when you need someone who is specialised, and don’t hire a specialist when you could hire a generalist to do it.”
~Devin Miller Attorney, Managing Partner, Miller IP Law
This is one of the major reasons behind the failure of businesses. Entrepreneurs who hire the wrong people for the jobs they need accomplished within their business must seek to take that decision thoughtfully or they may live to regret it. Employees can be “wrong” for positions when one or more of the following exists:
● Their skills don’t match what is needed to perform the tasks required for the job
● Their passions don’t match what is needed to perform the tasks required for the job
● Their attitudes don’t match the values of the company
● Their compensation doesn’t match the range of market compensation for the job
● Their character doesn’t align with the company’s values and degrades those values
● Their interpersonal skills degrade the culture of the company
“In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”
Proverbs 3: 6 NKJV
Businesses do not just fail. Hiring and firing plays a pivotal role in business success. Just think about a business that you failed. Take a long step back and assess the reasons why that business failed. In the end – at the core – you will find that those businesses failed because the owners were unable to hire well, fire well and resolve the conflicts that surfaced from their lack of employee management skills. Seek God’s Leading. Signing on the wrong person can destroy your business.
Therefore, you must be determined to get it right. As you allow the Holy Spirit to lead you, success is bound to be yours. As Christian business owners, we need to understand that our abilities to hire and fire well must be developed. But developing those skills is paramount to our success in fulfilling the four purposes that God has for business.
Week seven: Some kingdom entrepreneurs are unable to withstand failure and shame
“The difference between average people and achieving people is their perception of and response to failure,” Dr. John C. Maxwell, Global Leadership Consultant.
It is vital to learn how to overcome fear and failure as a Kingdom Entrepreneur because failure is a normal part of life. No matter how smart you are, not all the businesses you start will do well. Again, not all your decisions on the business will succeed. Just as we celebrate success, we must learn to face failure when it arises and learn the necessary lessons.
Most people who lose their businesses often focus on the challenges instead of exploring the promises of God and looking for possible solutions. Focusing on the problems will break you down. After a long run of success, most business owners upgrade their standard of living under the assumption that their income that results from their success will continue indefinitely. And often, these owners live on the edge, spending nearly all their income on pleasures and luxuries of this life. When a business starts to decline, the income of the owner will be declining too.
In this scenario, the owner may experience shame about not being able to keep up their standard of living; shame that their inability to sustain their standard of living will result in public ridicule. This type of shame betrays a belief that one’s worth is tied to their material success. For the Christian Entrepreneur, we can escape this sin by ensuring that we understand our worth comes from who Jesus Christ has made us to be and not from our successes in business.
“But He gives more grace. Therefore, He says: “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble,” James 4: 6, 7 KJV
“Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall,” Proverbs 16:18 KJV
Arrogance or pride can also lead to business failure. Often, before a business will fail, there are evident signs that show up. The problem sometimes is that entrepreneurs at the helm of affairs fail to accept the fact that things are changing and that they need to be humble and make a change. When a business is in decline, most business owners believe that through the power of their own will and action they can pull the business out of decline and get back on the road to profitability and success.
Even more sinister is the business owner who only looks at topline revenue and assumes that as long as the topline revenue is high enough, the business will be profitable and therefore successful. This is an unbelievably bad attitude which ultimately leads to the collapse of the business most times. Staying humble, willing to learn and taking advice can save your business from collapse!
Week eight: Some kingdom entrepreneurs have no strategic plans for their businesses.
“For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it— lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish’?” Luke 14: 28-30 NKJV
Faith and hope cannot be strategies for success. The marketing and business development, human resource and finance divisions of your business will not succeed if you do not sit and plan for their success. Beyond believing that God will prosper the work of our hands, we must be deliberate about charting a path for the success of our business. The problem with some kingdom entrepreneurs is that they mistake hope and faith as strategies for business success. Research has shown that those who plan consistently for the various segments of their businesses are more likely to succeed than those who rely on God to perform miracles for them.
“Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.” Alan Lakein, Author
We must regularly set goals and pursue them aggressively. It is not enough to pride yourself in being a citizen of God’s kingdom. That is not a guarantee for success. Most Christians fail in business because they do not have developed strategic success roadmaps. They have no clear-cut plans on how to make their businesses successful.
“Historical gap is created due to missing written records,” Lailah Gifty Akita
Financial records are the temperature readings of your business. They show the real health of your business. It is vital to note that most times, businesses do not fail without these warning signs and symptoms showing. The unfortunate thing that happens is that most entrepreneurs just decide not to pay attention to these signals. The signs are always clear if we really are observant. We must also note that financial institutions like banks and investors will require adequate financial records to invest in your business. Financial records are important because they help you to know if the business is making profit.
Daniel Desmond Koomson, a manager at the PwC Accra believes that the job of keeping good records must be the responsibility of every entrepreneur. He emphasises that, “You don’t need an accountant to keep good records.” An entrepreneur who has poor record keeping skills may soon get out of business.
Week nine: Some kingdom entrepreneurs are unable to withstand failure and shame
Revenue is the total amount of income generated by the sale of goods or services related to the company’s primary operations. Profit, which is typically called net profit or the bottom line, is the amount of income that remains after accounting for all expenses, debts, additional income streams, and operating costs. A lack of understanding between revenue and profit can affect the success of a business. Most entrepreneurs confuse revenue with profit. They seem to be more passionate about the money coming in instead of asking how much of what is coming in really belongs to them. Revenue is money that flows into the business. It is also important to understand that profit is the difference between money that flows into the business and money that flows out of the business.
“In all labor there is profit, but idle chatter leads only to poverty,” Proverbs 14:23 NKJV
Kingdom businesses must be profitable in every respect. Jesus makes it clear in the story of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30 that He is displeased with unprofitable servants. Every entrepreneur who seeks to please God in his or her business must therefore pursue profitability.
Obviously, sustained profits are the only way to build wealth, and according to Deuteronomy 8:18, wealth is the evidence that confirms God’s covenant. At the same time, the Bible makes it clear that we ought not to labor just to be rich. According to Proverbs 16:8, it is better to have little with righteousness than to have a whole lot with injustice. In other words, we must not seek profit at all costs. The biblical approach to profit is a balanced approach. A double bottom line is what is required: profit that is gained justly and honorably without compromising biblical principles.
Your Revenue Is Not Your Profit!
Lack of understanding between revenue and profit has led entrepreneurs to make wrong financial decisions which end up affecting the business negatively. Profit is the difference between the cost and sales. Unfortunately, some entrepreneurs see their revenue as profit. This is a recipe for disaster!
“Until I came to IBM, I probably would have told you that culture was just one among several important elements in any organisation’s makeup and success — along with vision, strategy, marketing, financials, and the like… I came to see, in my time at IBM, that culture isn’t just one aspect of the game, it is the game. In the end, an organisation is nothing more than the collective capacity of its people to create value,” Louis v. Gerstner, JR., Former CEO of IBM
We cannot underestimate the value our teams bring to bear on business. Unfortunately, some entrepreneurs fail to recognise this contribution and end up treating their team members anyhow. However, as an entrepreneur, people are your most important asset. You should therefore let them know you care. They are not just a means to an end. Your business can not rise above the way your employees treat customers. Customer service must begin from the leadership front. It is your responsibility to set the tone for treating customers with deep respect and honour.
Value customers -if you cannot handle the worst of people, you do not deserve their best either. Of course, we all know that some customers can really be demanding, but you must be ready for their worst. Remember that without them, you are not in business. Satisfied customers naturally grow your business. There is no need to always be on the lookout for new customers. Why? This is because, if you treat your existing customers well enough, they can serve as ambassadors for your brand. Identify the apostle customers within your customers. They can easily make or unmake your business.
Week ten: Some kingdom entrepreneurs do not honour the lord by tithing
“Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings. You are cursed with a curse, for you have robbed Me, Even this whole nation. Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, And try Me now in this,” Says the Lord of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing. That there will not be room enough to receive it. “And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, So that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, Nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,” Says the Lord of hosts; “And all nations will call you blessed, For you will be a delightful land,” Says the Lord of hosts.”
~Malachi 3: 10-12 NKJV
Tithing is a good spiritual exercise, especially when you tithe on your business. Despite all the arguments some people have about tithing, there are testimonies of how entrepreneurs who have had divine interventions in their businesses because of tithing. An entrepreneur who does not honour God with his financial resources may seem to be doing well in the short term, but chances are that he or she may not be able to survive when some misfortunes hit his or her business in the future. Some Kingdom Entrepreneurs struggle to give one tenth of their profits to God. This is another reason why some fail. It is important to understand that tithes provide the only avenue by which God protects our finances from the devourer.
“Honor the Lord with your possessions, And with the firstfruits of all your increase,” Proverbs 3: 9 NKJV
Some problems in business are spiritual and they must be dealt with spiritually. Failure to do this, can lead to the failure of the business. The Bible is very clear about the agenda of the forces of darkness as far as the believer is concerned. It is important to emphasise that the devil does not attack preachers of the gospel but also, Christians in the marketplace.
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places,” Ephesians 6: 10-12 NKJV
Beyond lack of business sense or lack of entrepreneurial skills, sometimes a business can fail when the devil or the combined forces of darkness launch an attack on the enterprise or the entrepreneur. Being ignorant of the devices of the devil can be very destructive in this sense. A business does not always fail necessarily because of lack of poor financial management or poor customer service. At times, you can do everything right and still lose the business. Indeed, some businesses fail due to spiritual reasons!
The devil can attack your business through your employees, regulators, or even a regular customer. The sad news is that many spiritually insensitive entrepreneurs have lost their businesses by not paying heed to warnings of the Holy Spirit. It is important to emphasise that the devil can launch an attack and collapse a Christian enterprise. Sometimes it is not about doing something wrong. You can do everything right and still lose your business when the devil launches an attack.
Week eleven: Some kingdom entrepreneurs have remained consistently prayerless
“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled,” 2 Corinthians 10:3-6 NKJV
Does prayer really matter in business? How does prayer affect the success or failure of a business? How does regular company morning devotion contribute to organisational success and effectiveness? How does prayer affect organisational decisions 98 such as hiring and firing staff, operations, marketing and public relations, financial planning, organisational restructuring, and re-engineering and much more?
Indeed, there are people [including some believers] who argue that one does not need prayer to succeed in business and they premise their argument on the fact that billionaire entrepreneurs like Richard Branson, Mark Zuckerberg, Mike Bloomberg, Mark Cuban, Bill Gates, Carlos Slim, Warren Buffet, do very little prayer (if any at all)….When it comes to business. Some even argue that if prayer really makes a difference, then Christians should have become some of the leading Billionaires in the world. On the other hand, some also think that passion, commitment, hard work and industry knowledge, just to mention a few, are all a person needs to make it in business.
As you should know, this is a complete “half-truth”‘…because these things do not necessarily guarantee business success. If indeed, business knowledge alone and being smart was all that one needs to do well in business, then we wouldn’t see highly successful businesspeople often consulting all kinds of mediums in their quest for business success. There must be something more! Probably, spirituality becomes more crucial as you grow bigger in business! Importantly, prayer is a necessity for business survival!
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places,” Ephesians 6:12 KJV
That notwithstanding, the fact that some people can succeed in business without depending on God (and prayer) does not mean believers should do the same. Indeed, believers must play a different game. Remember that Jesus said “Without me, ye can do nothing …” That includes business! Mark Zuckerberg may not depend on the Holy Ghost through prayer to succeed in business but that does not mean you should also shun prayer. Remember that you are different! You have a kingdom assignment to fulfil and not just to make money!
God wants to be involved in your business.
Does God care about human resources, marketing, public relations and financial issues in your company? Yes, He does! In fact, He has ideas that can transform your entire business. But He needs your invitation through prayer! God would not jump into our business without our invitation! He can’t break the principles He has set Himself! We must invite Him through prayer. It is through prayer that God releases business ideas to us!
In this book, you will discover amazing results of Entrepreneurs who prayed to God and how they got ideas that transformed their businesses. You will also read about others whose business collapsed and how God helped them to rise from failure to success through prayer and dependence on God. You will read about why some Christians fail in business and how others succeeded. Entrepreneurs, Professionals and leaders in the marketplace would continue to be targets of the devil simply because, when they succeed, they can impact positively on the kingdom of God. This also means that the devil may not worry you much if he knows that your success in business would not impact on the Kingdom of God directly or indirectly.
As Christian business people, our success in business is a threat to the kingdom of darkness. Every believer in the marketplace will face opposition from the camp of the enemy. You should therefore not be surprised when the devil attacks your business. This is one of the reasons why you need to sink prayer into your business. We need prayer to make our businesses profitable and sustainable. Another reason why a believer must pray for his business is that the knowledge we get in school is limited. There are several challenges that will confront you in business that you won’t find in textbooks on business or economics! Most of the Harvard-educated businesspeople have failed to rescue organisations including large asset-based financial institutions from crumbling.
There are issues in business that can only be dealt with properly in prayer. Prayer plays an important role in business success. The potency of prayer is not only limited to spiritual matters per se. Indeed, business is a very spiritual activity and Kingdom entrepreneurs must see it as such. Therefore, every Kingdom entrepreneur must be serious about making time to pray for the survival and success of the business.
Week twelve: Some kingdom entrepreneurs sometimes fail in order for god’s purpose to be fulfilled.
“Without God, life has no purpose, and without purpose, life has no meaning. Without meaning, life has no significance or hope” Rick Warren, Author, The Purpose Driven Life
Yes! Sometimes, God may permit the business of a Christian to fail to bring that individual back to His purpose if he (God) realises that the business may most likely frustrate the original purpose of that individual. It is important to note that this can happen whether you are doing things rightly or otherwise.
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose,”Romans 8: 28 NKJV
It is evident that when we do things that are not connected to God’s plan for our lives, we end up disillusioned and more frustrated in the end. Be wise, do not spend your limited time on earth on a venture that takes you away from God’s purpose for your life. Indeed, sometimes, it is good for us to lose so God’s name can be magnified. What is meant to destroy you can bring out God’s glory in you!
Glory through the pain
Do not just be interested in your comfort during difficult seasons of your life. You should also be interested in how you can position yourself for the glory of God to be revealed. Remember, it is not just about your comfort; His glory also matters to Him! God can decide to allow anything to happen to you if that will bring Him glory, and that includes your business! It may not be because of a sin you have committed. It is just that God wants to show forth His glory to the world. Is it not amazing that most of us get to know God better during the most difficult seasons of our lives? It is at those times that most reveal God’s nature, character and power in us! “Life is not about you! It is about God and His glory! So, let Him do what He wants to do with your life!”
One thing that God guards jealously is His glory. Indeed, God looks out for opportunities to manifest His glory in every situation, including difficult times in business and entrepreneurship. He is not only interested in our comfort; He is also interested in showing forth His glory. So, learn to take it easy with Him when life seems to go against you! Be calm when your business seems to be on its knees. It is important to state that, often, some of the situations He uses to manifest His glory may not seem favorable to us, but at the end of the day, He gets the glory. God can use your failures to bring out His glory! God can use your disappointments to bring out His glory. God can do everything and anything with your life! Just allow Him to do His job!
Are you down to nothing? Is your business on the ground? Is your business highly indebted? Is your marriage on the verge of collapse? Are you finding it difficult to get a new job? Have you been laid off from work? Have your most favorite friends forsaken you? Don’t worry, God will use it for His glory! Just trust Him! The point is this: God is not the originator of evil but when the devil strikes hard, he uses that opportunity to manifest His glory! Of course, He can create His own opportunities to manifest His glory in our lives, but He just enjoys taking advantage of opportunities the devil creates, sometimes. Do you get it?
Don’t complain, praise him!
So, don’t complain anytime you get into difficulty, because, He might have allowed that to manifest His glory. Don’t get angry with God because He allowed your business to fail despite all the tithes and offerings you give at church. Remember, that it is not about what you are going through (no matter how inconvenient it may seem), what matters is the GLORY of God being manifested in your life. God is a show man! He likes to exhibit His supremacy during adversity. He may be seeing the frustrations you are going through but if that will bring Him glory (through a miracle), He will permit you to go through it. He may be seeing the embarrassment you are facing but if that would allow his name to be glorified at the end, why not? Often, we miss this point because we are only interested in our own affairs and not what God wants to do! This is a particularly important key to walking with God.
You may ask: Can’t God use good things to show forth His glory? Yes, He can! But often, we don’t yield ourselves to manifest His glory except in hardships and difficult moments. Can you see that in reality? Most of us just forget about God when everything is fine with our businesses and careers! Is it any wonder that most of us forget about God when we prosper and seem to be doing well in every area of our lives? But God will do everything He has to do to manifest His glory. Put it in another way, “God is putting Himself on display!” That’s God for you!
What is glory?
The word glory is derived from the root word KABOD and has the following meanings: “full weight”, “true nature”, “full essence”, and “true reality”. The glory of God is the visible manifestation of God. God had a reputation for greatness, supremacy, and power, and He displays this from time to time through events that happen in the world. The Psalmist declared in chapter nineteen verse one: “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands”. What a mighty God we serve!
We are containers of His glory!
God created us for His glory! We are containers of God’s glory and He uses both positive and negative situations to bring out that glory! We may not like it, we may not enjoy it, but at the end, His name would be glorified. You were created to manifest God’s glory whether you are a medical practitioner, entrepreneur, president or whatever you may be engaged in. Everything on earth was created to manifest the glory of God. Your talents, your beauty and everything about you is supposed to glorify Him. Your marriage was meant to reveal His glory! The children He gave you are for His glory! The political position you hold currently is for His glory! Your state of singleness must be used to glorify Him. Your marriage is for His glory! But if you refuse to give him the glory He deserves, He will squeeze that glory out of you. There is one thing we must all understand, which is this: God does not joke with His glory, and He will do everything He has to do, for His glory to be revealed.
How God reveals His glory in difficult seasons of life
We wish to state that, people don’t often get into problems by their own mistakes, all the time! Sometimes, you can get into a difficult situation by no fault of yours. Suffering and hardship is not often a sign of disobedience and lack of faith in God. We should also stop the habit of condemning people when they seem not to be doing well in life. They may be suffering today, but the table may turn tomorrow. God specialises in using pressure, testing, temptations, and frustrations to sometimes bring His glory out of us, and we should understand this very well. Your failed business or career may soon bring forth His glory! Say, amen! Again, difficult moments are vital in bringing the glory of God in our lives.
Why? Because most of us never bother about giving God glory when everything is fine with us. Most of us misbehave and even insult God by our actions and lifestyles when we seem to be enjoying total prosperity. Is it not amazing that some politicians only remember God during elections? Is it not amazing that some entrepreneurs only recognise the supremacy of God when a business goes down the drain? Do you know some single people lose interest in prayer after marriage?
Do you know some employees never bother about all nights and other church services after they land their dream job? Do you know some poor people maltreat other people after God blesses them? Do you know some people cannot fast and pray until a calamity knocks at the door? Do you know some believers only go on their knees during very frustrating moments in their lives? Do you know some leaders only recognise God when they are on the verge of death? These are the reasons why sometimes; God allows the devil to strike. We lose our sense of praise to God when everything seems alright. But God will not share His glory with anyone!
Let him squeeze it out
Joy might have left your life due to some financial challenges you may be facing, or you may be worried and sad due to some frustrations in your career, business, relationship, or marriage. You may be having sleepless nights due to some challenges at the office. You may have lost a boyfriend or girlfriend recently. You may be struggling to grow a new ministry. Whatever it may be, remember that God can use that situation to do a miracle that will bring Him glory! God is looking for people who have lost hope so He can create a glory story. God wants to turn your situation around so everyone will know that He did it! Will you allow Him?
Nelson Semanu & Elizabeth Boandoh-Korkor are the cofounders of the Financial Evangelism Ministries, a marketplace ministry that is committed to empowering Christian Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders with knowledge resources. Kindly visit www.financialevangelism.org. The authors can be reached on +233549762233 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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