So you think God has called you to start a business? Or maybe God called you to himself after you were already a business owner. Either way, you actually want to run a business in a way that honors God.
Good for you! Strap yourself in, because you are about to go on the ride of a lifetime!
Being a business owner myself and helping others run and improve their businesses, I can tell you that it’s daunting enough to run a business, but running a business God’s way is a whole other world.
This first in a series on Doing Business God’s Way we look at being called to run a business by God, for God. You want to honor God, you want to obey Him, you sincerely sense that this is what God is calling you to do. What do you do now?
Let’s look at 5 essential elements to get you started down the path of doing business God’s way:
1. Be sure of your Calling
I know you sense that God is calling you to run a business for Him and by Him, but are your sure? You need to be sure now, from the start. Don’t start the business and then ask God to bless it. Ask God first if this is what He is calling you to do. Then ask again, and again. Seek the scripture, pray, fast, get others to pray and fast with you. This first step is crucial to your success. Why?
“Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble;”
Because there will be days when you second guess yourself. There will be times when you wonder if you heard God correctly. There will be moments when you think that maybe you just made it all up and God didn’t really call you. There will even be thoughts that maybe satan actually got you to do this so he could destroy you.
That is why it is so important to be sure of your calling. Write it down, tell the story to others of how God led you to this. If you want to hear the story of how God led me to start my business, listen to this interview. If you want to hear how God led me to start Working Women of Faith, listen to this one. You’ll notice from the interviews that it wasn’t necessarily easy or quick, but it was certain.
Because if your aren’t sure of your calling, you will crumble and quit when times get tough. And trust me, they will get tough.
Be sure of your calling to run a business God’s way and you’ll stand firm when the tough times come.
2. Decide Who Owns your Business
This is paramount and something that you will need to remind yourself of constantly. Either the business belongs to God or it belongs to you, but it can;t belong to both of you at the same time.
You are about to embark on (or already have) the most amazing adventure, the most rewarding calling, the most fulfilling purpose. Owning a business. But the truth is that if God calls you to run a business, it’s because He wants to run the business through you. God can use your business as a tool in His hand. An instrument for Him to use to build His Kingdom and bring Honor and glory to himself. Is there a more noble reason for a business than God’s kingdom? Or a more perfect person to own it than God?
“The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.
The world and all its people belong to him.”
The truth is that God already owns the whole world and everything in it, including your business.
[Tweet “Don’t play tug of war with God, you won’t win.”]
God is a Gentleman, He gives you free will and won’t force you, but it will be easier for you if you just surrender your business to God from the beginning.
Decide that God is the owner of your business from the start and avoid the power struggle later on down the road.
3. Give First Fruits
What do I mean by first fruits? Money. No one likes to talk about it, because money is overvalued in this world. But money is a tool that God can use to build His kingdom.
God doesn’t ask us to give to Him because he needs it. God’s not broke. He’s not standing in heaven with His hand held out waiting for you to give so he can keep the lights on in heaven.
God commands us to give to Him so that we can keep our treasure where our heart is. If we say we treasure God more than anything, but keep all of our business money to ourselves, then we are telling God we really treasure our business more than we treasure Him.
Should you give from the gross or the net? Do you give a tithe of 10% or an offering? If you have to ask then you’re too focused on the money. Pray about it and give what and where God leads you, just give.
[Tweet “Giving money from your business to God is the best investment planning you can have.”]
Don’t just give when you can afford it, give all the time. Trust me on this one. I purposed to give to God from my business and my personal life and I could regale to you miracle after miracle of how God provided financially in abundant ways.
It is the only subject in scripture where God asks us to test Him:
“Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple.If you do,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test!”
That’s a pretty incredible promise. God blesses our giving. We can’t out-give God.
We don’t give so that God will give back to us. God is not a piggy bank or a genie in a bottle, He is Holy, and Awesome and has given you and your business every cent taken in.
Give God the “first fruits” of your business income, because He deserves it, and it all came from Him anyway.
4. Expect a Battle
You can’t expect to decide to run a business God’s way and not expect a little flack from the devil. The devil hates you, he hates God, and is bent to kill, steal and destroy. satan loses in the end game and he knows it. satan is a sore loser. (and no, I will NOT capitalize his name, because I don’t think he deserves the honor)
satan may not be hanging around your business every day, but he certainly doesn’t want to see a business run to honor God and build His Kingdom.
If you decide to do business God’s way, you can expect a battle. The day I went public with my faith and business on LinkedIn, we had a huge snowstorm, my car broke down and my front porch caught on fire. And that was all before 9 am! I knew what was going on because I expected a battle.
[Tweet “If you expect the battle ahead of time, you won’t be overtaken by a sneak attack. “]
Expect opposition when you run a business God’s way. That opposition may come from people or circumstances, but recognize the true source and arm yourself and your business.
“A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.”
Make no mistake, the battle is real, but so is God. And only God can help you fight those battles and win!
Expect the battles that will come from running your business God’s way. Stay close to your Commander and you will emerge victorious.
This one cannot be stressed enough. Pray before you start your business, pray after you start it, pray every day before you open the doors, pray for your employees, customers, vendors. Pray.
[Tweet “You cannot pray enough for your business and the people involved with it.”]
Pray when you feel like it, pray when you don’t feel like it. Pray when things are tough, and pray when things are good. Pray regularly and pray sporadically. Pray for wisdom, and pray for ability. Pray for compassion and pray for truth in love. Just pray.
In order to run a business God’s way, your communication lines with God need to be on their full bandwidth. That means, nothing between. Keep your sin constantly confessed, so that nothing hinders your prayers. Keep your ears open, because prayer is more about listening than it is about speaking. Whatever you do, just pray.
There is a reason why God’s word says.
“Pray without ceasing.”
God knows how much we need prayer, so He told us to never stop praying. You and the business will need this line line of prayer more than you can imagine right now. Learn to pray.
Learn to make prayer an ongoing mindset of open communication with an Almighty God. That is doing business God’s way.
Wow, that’s a lot to take in, isn’t it?
This is just the start, the foundation, the fundamentals of doing business God’s way.
What do you think?
Have you sensed the call from God to start a business?
Will these steps help you do business God’ s way?
What would you add to the list?