Is your Enterprise Fire Proof? A Spotlight on Business and Christianity

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Christianity and business

A useful point of departure for the subject of business and religion or business and Christianity is to debunk the notion that the two are dichotomous (exist as parallels). We tend to view business as something far removed from the spirit of religion, a jungle governed by the laws of the rabid street grind where only the fittest survive… and religion as that cloistered environ far removed from the madding hustle and bustle of life. However, inspiration has a different view altogether:

“Religion and business are not two separate things: they are one.” Ellen G. White, Christ’s Object Lessons (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Pub. Assn., 1900), p. 349.

There is something profound about what God did when He had crowned His creation with humanity (Genesis Chapter 1). An all knowing God, who finishes before He starts, An all knowing God who knows things comprehensively before they are: turned around and looked at what He had created (particularly humanity) and declared it was very good.

And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. (Genesis 1:31)

Why did an all knowing God review and pronounce the appraisal of His own work. There are many reasons He did this but for the scope of this message I would like us to zero in on these three take aways. Good reviewed His creation of Humanity and declared that it was good very good because:

a) God had just tailored a garment He would be proud to wear:

And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)

b) God had just designed a curriculum He would be proud to enroll Himself for:

And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.(Luke 2:52)

c) God had just manufactured a product He would be proud to buy even at the cost of himself.

Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. (1 Peter 1:18) The foregoing is a mouthful but there is more to chew on.

In exploring the subject of fire proofing our enterprises I would like us to employ the building motif so as to draw out some timeless and universal lessons. In doing so we will compare and contrast the building of the ark (Genesis 6 and the building of the tower of babel Genesis 11 1-9)

1. The construction of Noah’s Ark work was directed by God while the construction of the tower of babel was a human (Nimrod’s) directive

Build with God. God always completes what He begins, He is the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2) and He will complete the good work he has started (Philippians 1: 6). In Gen 11:3 the rebellious community in Shinar took an initiative to build. They said one to another “Come let us” but the object of their enterprise was never accomplished. In verse 7 God’s employed the same phrase “Come let us…” and took an initiative to curtail the work of the rebels and He achieved the object of His move as the work of the builders was surely thwarted. (Gen 11:8)

2. The ark was built in obedience and the tower was built in defiance

Noah built the ark in obedience to God’s directive while Nimrod masterminded the building of the tower in defiance to the order from God to scatter around the and repopulate the earth.

3. The ark was built on the basis of trust while the tower was built on the basis of distrust

Noah trusted the word of God that a flood (a completely alien concept and phenomenon to him at that time) would come. The tower was built on the basis of distrusting the promise God had made of not destroying the world with water (flood) again.

4. The ark was built with God-made materials, the tower was built with man-made materials

“They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar” Gen 11: 3. Disengaged from God the agitators did not know what was coming hence their architecture was miscalculated.

5. The ark was built for a noble purpose while the tower was built to make a name

The rebels desired to make a great name and create a great legacy for themselves but their quest for fame precipitated disgrace. The name they made for themselves and the name they have come to be known by through the ages is “babel”, a name for confused noise. When they started the project, this is certainly not the great name they had in mind. The take home: Aim to be purposeful and not to be famous or great. Greatness is God’s prerogative. God said to Abraham, “And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing.” Gen 12:2 God promised greatness to Abraham and it materialized, Abraham did not pursue greatness.

6. The ark was built in, and for dependence on God while the tower was built for independence

Sometimes as humans we can work so hard not because we are diligent and obedient stewards but just to ensure that we do not have to need God in our lives. Nothing could be more disingenuous than this mode of thinking. God is the source of everything including life and prosperity.

7. The Ark Was Danger-Proof, The Tower was not

The ark survived the violent storm because the originator of the storm and the architect of the ark were the same person. Only God knows the intensity of the storm that is coming and only He can accurately determine how strong the house you are building must be. He knows the materials that will stand the impending storms. Without the master builder you can build but you are building in the dark and building with the wrong materials, you are building on sand. You may have an idea of the looming storms but you have nor expertise nor the accuracy to build a house that will withstand the intensity of the storm. When the storms come the house will fall and great will be the fall. It is time now to involve the master architect in building the house. Noah would testify that this way you are building on the rock and when (not If) the storms comes, for they will surely come, your house will stand. Even the architecture of the ark was directed by God and was thus built with strong and appropriate materials, ultimately the ark was preserved by God through angels that excel is strength not the cypress or gopher wood it was built with. The take Home: God can only protect and sustain that which is His. We are not fighting flesh and blood but supernatural principalities hence we need a mighty God as our ever-present anchor.

The tower was perhaps water proof but certainly not fire proof – they did not know what was coming.

“The builders were wholly unable to account for the strange misunderstandings among them, and in their rage and disappointment they reproached one another. Their confederacy ended in strife and bloodshed. Lightnings from heaven, as an evidence of God’s displeasure, broke off the upper portion of the tower and cast it to the ground. Men were made to feel that there is a God who ruleth in the heavens.” Patriarchs and Prophets (Chapter 10)

 They had built with water in mind but two things came and out maneuvered their scheme, language barrier and lightning. The project was not confusion-proof nor fire proof just like all Godless enterprises.  

Integrity is Trust in God

Ultimately, Christianity only works when an ecosystem of trust has actualized between God and man. You see it is great that we can trust God. God is faithful and there is no shadow of turning with Him. However, it is greater for us, When God can trust us. And the ecosystem of godliness is that God can only trust those who trust Him. God is the only reliable integrity insurer or insurance for all humanity, human beings outside God are as reliable as a locomotive disengaged from the rail. A human being is as reliable as he/she relies on God. A human being is as trustworthy as much as he/she can trust God. God can only trust you when your collateral is Himself. God can only trust you when your net worth is His steadfastness. It is only in this context that we can have meaningful prosperity in all our God assigned purposes.

But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua: 24:15)

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A multidisciplinary thinker, speaker, writer, software engineer and ICT entrepreneur. Most important of all, a seeker of God and truth, keenly expectant of the second coming of Christ.

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Published by Gugulethu Nyoni

A multidisciplinary thinker, speaker, writer, software engineer and ICT entrepreneur. Most important of all, a seeker of God and truth, keenly expectant of the second coming of Christ.

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