The gun has gone off for the new year and we’re off and running. We’ve made our plans, set our course and know exactly where we will finish at the end…
Well, not exactly.
I mean you probably have plans for where you would like to be…but honestly, for most, we hope and pray that the outcome when the race is over, matches our desires. There are so many moving parts and variables outside our direct reach that it is truly hard to say for certain that we will hit the target. Who hasn’t felt that way, especially in the recent economic climate?
Uncertainty and lack of control are two major sources of stress for most people. We like to feel as though we are in control and we don’t like the tension of not knowing what happens next. These simple traits nearly universal in humans result in extraordinary energy applied to gaining control of our environment and predicting the future. Some people not to be bothered with the extraordinary effort required to gain control or predict the future, just worry, stress and wallow in it.
I trust God more than I trust people, which sends me to find great Godly wisdom in Scripture to help with both managing uncertainty and having faith in the plan…whether it be God’s plan or our business plan. There is strength and peace for our business that flows from having faith.
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen…” – Hebrews 11:1
Our business lives require faith just as our spiritual lives do. I feel blessed when I allow my business life to remain under God’s guidance, where often in the heat of battle I seek to exert too much of my own control. “So, how does a practical-minded business person lean on God’s plan for my work today?” you might ask.
How Do I Practically Have Faith in God’s Plan For My Work Today?
First, it all starts with the plan. We must have a well-conceived, strategic plan that we have prayed over, studied, and prepared in community with wise counsel. Faith in a good plan is a must, therefore build your foundation well.
“The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.” – Proverbs 12:15
“Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.” – Proverbs 16:3
Jesus’ biblical teaching to focus on the tasks at hand is a powerful instruction to stay focused on what you are doing and not stress over those uncertainties outside of your control. Have faith that the outcome will be a product of God’s design and your part today is to participate in such a way that is honoring to His design. Prayerful consideration of our plans with the help of wise counsel gives us the confidence to maintain strength and calm against the trials of our daily battle.
We often write on the importance of a good business plan and how to develop one. But, once we have a well-conceived plan, our energy must go toward execution…not worry.
“…And he said to them, Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm…” – Matthew 8:26
There are several actions, steps, and adjustments that provide plenty of activity to keep our minds/hands busy with just doing our job while we execute our plan. Staying busy with execution provides several benefits that, while maybe obvious upon reading, I’ve seen ignored by many business people over the years.
Therefore, second, make sure you have bridged the gap between your annual business plan and the action steps required to execute! We need specific action plans on which to focus our energy.
“So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead…” – James 2:17
The action plans to support the strategic plan not only make the ship go, but they help the crew stay engaged and energized and are good preventative medicine against anxiety/stress so often arising out of worry over future outcomes. Focus your daily and weekly energy on keeping yourself and your team keying on the task at hand.
Third, have faith in the plan, God’s plan. Occasionally you will need to make adjustments to your well-conceived business plan, but those adjustments don’t affect the divine provision for your life. Relax in knowing that you have a solid foundation built on solid rock. Shift your steps to stay on a good path, but have faith.
“And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?” – Matthew 6:27
Do you see the wonderful parallels of biblical teaching and business in this context?
God has provided a framework, a design with which to work.
You draw your business plans on the principles already provided by Him.
Holy Scripture delivers insight, guidance, tools to focus our actions.
You translate the business strategy to actions for execution.
We are called by Him to remain faithful; hold fast to the blessing of love and joy.
You avoid anxiety by staying faithful to your action plans day by day.
Faith will build your business. Let it.