“Life is about learning to experience how much God loves us, not proving how much we love him”. – A good friend of mine, Doug Hignell says this frequently. Doug is like the Yoda of demonstrating the love of the Father through a company. He has structured much of his company to practically put on display God’s love and at the same time run a very profitable and successful company (The Hignell Companies in Chico, CA). As business people we are in a culture where the phrase “it’s just business” is the norm and the behavior that follows is divorced of relationship and somehow because you said “it’s just business” first it makes it ok. My point is that in business results are what you are measured by not relationship. Because many of us have historically found so much value in our success and status in business we then take that same approach with our relationship with God and it just flat doesn’t work. In fact, calling it a relationship with God, really isn’t true either, “it’s just business” where we are trying to achieve a relationship with God instead of taking Him up on His offer and just having one.
Everyone wants to have a successful relationship with God and no one wants to suck at being a Christian. Applying the performance principles that have led to previous success in business seem so logical to apply to our relationship with God. If we are honest, it just doesn’t work, and we are left with a bipolar relationship in a Christian culture that won’t allow you to be real and admit it isn’t the good news you originally signed up for. So, what do you do? The funny thing about this thought process is that is exactly what we had to say when we entered into relationship with Papa, Jesus, and Holy Spirit. We had to admit that what we were doing was not working and we needed Him to come and restore us. What changed? Where did we start thinking that we had to please God through performance when He is already pleased with us? Ephesians 3:20 says, “Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us,”. The way I read this is that he will go way beyond any definition of success my brain can come up with, according to His power that is resident inside us. Earlier in vs. 16 Paul says that we would be strengthened through the power of the Holy Spirit in our inner man. Essentially, we already possess what we are looking externally for and we just need to partner with what God has already given us. It is an inside job.
One of the practical steps is to recognize where you have a lack of peace on the inside. This looks like where I do not have freedom or peace and manage myself to perform appropriately either for God or others. This tension comes from my self-management of places in my inner man instead of firing myself as the boss and appointing Papa, Jesus and the Holy Spirit as the new management team. My reliance on myself void of Jesus produces all kinds of problems and destructive beliefs like, “I’m not good enough, I don’t have what it takes, or He is not happy with me and He loves others more than me because I keep screwing up.”
Here is a simple prayer to invite God to come be in charge of the places I am managing without Him:
Papa, Jesus, Holy Spirit, I fire myself as the manager and I invite you to come be in charge of these areas in my inner man and my heart. I break the lie that I could do this better than you and I can manage these parts of me on the inside without you and your involvement. I give you that lie, and will you tell me the truth? Just agree with what you are hearing and sensing and then verbally speak what you heard from God over yourself. Bottomline – start agreeing with God and stop working so hard without Him.
I hope you have fun with your new position after you fired yourself and have moved yourself to experience more peace, freedom, and how He loves you and He wants you to experience His love all the way! – Blake Schellenberg – Co-Labor Ministries