This may sound dramatic, but you are in a daily spiritual battle. There are forces of evil in this world that will not leave any facet of our lives un-pursued. Our businesses are such a big part of our lives, it would be foolish to think that forces of evil are not against you there too. As Christian business leaders, we believe that our work is a means by which God can be glorified. If satan is against God’s glory, then he’s against your attempts to honor God in your business.
Evidences of Spiritual Warfare
It would be easy to think that if your business is flourishing then it is a result of God’s blessing. But what if it is really a distraction from God’s presence? When your business is successful, are you leaning on Him? Attentive to His leading? Intentional with seeking His glory?
Or does it look a little more like your own self-confidence? Striving to earn more, gain more, do more. More focused on success than on the Lord. Comfortable with your abilities and status. Maybe a lack of attunement with the Lord in the midst of success is one of satan’s largest weapons.
In success he can distract you and lead you to lesser idols.
Boy, is anxiety rampant in our culture. The natures of our industry are stress-inducing. Our anxiety ridden lives are not what God intended. In fact, scripture is fairly clear that anxiety is not from the Lord (John 14:27, Psalm 34:4, 1 Peter 5:7). God instills peace, perfect peace (Isaiah 26:3).
So when worry, fear and anxiety present themselves in our lives it is of brokenness. This, too, distracts us from the glory of God in our own lives as well as brought forth in our work.
How often have you heard news of scandal, drama, and moral failures of those in the spotlight. Presidents, CEOs, managers, and leaders making decisions that are out of character and detrimental to their businesses and careers. I often think to myself, the stakes of those decisions alone would have made me too fearful to act! Yet here they find themselves, deep in holes of ethical lapses. So I am reminded that satan is deceitful. And as my pastor says, “if you were deceived, you wouldn’t know it.”
This spiritual battle is over the hearts of our leaders, as well as an attack on their influence. Sin effects their own souls as well as their standing in their communities. Of course this is ideal for satan – to stop gospel centered leaders from experiencing Christ for themselves and sharing it with others.
Lack of Sabbath
The least extreme but likely most pervasive evidence of spiritual warfare is a lack of sabbath. Many business leaders do not have a single day each week apart from their work. Not in entirety at least! A day of sabbath is intended for communing with God. This time is critical for protecting against the evil we’ve been discussing and strengthening our heart, soul, mind and body for the work we are called to the rest of the week. There’s a reason it’s a command!
A lack of sabbath also indicates a lapse of priority. Is your striving in your business more powerful than your communion with God? Do you believe God can be glorified in your work if you take one day off? Do you trust Him to provide for your business and your family?
There’s so much to be discussed on the topic of sabbath. If you’re interested in a biblically based teaching on the subject, a recent sermon by Redeemer Community Church is very insightful : https://rccbirmingham.org/sermons/2019/09/22/entering-gods-rest
Victory and Hope
Satan does not want Christians to actively be a light in the world of business. His schemes are evident in the active fight taking place in our leadership, workplace and souls.
But we are not defeated.
Praise God that even in our failing and weakness, He is victorious. He will make all things new (Revelation 21:5). He makes a way in the wilderness (Isaiah 43:19) and straightens our curvy paths toward hope (Psalm 107).
As Christian leaders, we must keep our faces set on Him. This is our greatest role! Not efficiency, profit, recognition or other successes. Those may or may not follow. But our victory is in Christ- the only worthwhile and lasting goal is making His name known and His glorification.
The way we work and function in our work can reflect this hope. Are you being intentional in setting your own sights? As well as the sights of others?