As ambassadors of the kingdom of Heaven, Marketplace Leaders are commissioned to “make disciples of all the nations”. This begins in the home, extends to neighborhoods and church fellowships, and may include a mission trip or two. It also includes the place where Marketplace Leaders spend most of their waking hours – in the Marketplace.

There are no coincidences for God’s children. He has given His ambassadors spheres of influence for His kingdom – a kingdom that is suffering violence, waiting on the violent to take it by force (Matthew 11:12). The Lord has invested much into the lives of His Marketplace Leaders – much more than we can think or imagine (Ephesians 3:20). The times are growing desperate and the “the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God” (Romans 8:19).

To this end, God is encouraging, edifying and equipping Marketplace Leaders to accept the challenges of making disciples and transforming their spheres of influence. In this series, we have previously discussed two challenges: The Systems of Man and The Deception and Oppression of the enemy. In this installment, we will consider the trust and obedience that is required to walk in the mysterious ways of God.

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts.”                                                Isaiah 55:8-9

How high are His ways are above the ways of man? As high as the heavens are above the earth. That would be 13 billion light years – the furthest star system visible from the Hubble Telescope. That’s right: Billion (with a “b”). A little hard to comprehend? Try this:

Draw a rectangle. That rectangle represents all there is to know about the ways and thoughts of God. Now, as best as you can imagine, draw a square inside the rectangle that represents the relative knowledge of mankind about this “higher than” God. Your square would contain: All the doctrines of man; the Books of Discipline from every denomination; every Bible commentary; and every Bible reference book. And it would only be a very small dot on the page.

Now that we have established a context (and humbled ourselves a bit), let’s label the space outside the square as “The Mystery of God”; and consider these verses:

And He (Jesus) said to them, “To you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God…”  Mark 4:11

Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.  1Corinthians 4:1

To be found faithful with the mysteries of God, we must be willing to leave our comfortable “square” and adventure into the unknown (and many times uncomfortable). In fact, God invites us to join Him in the adventure of discovering the mysteries of His ways and thoughts – and to walk in them in every area of our lives.

And here we find the challenge for Marketplace Leaders.

Exposed

By definition, Marketplace Leaders are exposed. Every decision, every action and every statement affects every subordinate and most of their peers; and draws the attention of supervisors, customers, the press… you get the idea. The world and their flesh scream, “Danger, danger! Don’t go out there! Stay in the square. Stay in control!”

Let’s face it – literally. Fear has a way of creeping in. What if He commands me to witness to the boss? Or our best customer? What if He sends me over the “World’s Boundary“? What if He tells me to do something stupid? What if? What if? What if?

Fear can keep the most devout Marketplace Leader from even considering the adventure. It is important to recognize where those “What if’s” are coming from, and how ridiculous they sound. Do you honestly believe God would do anything to negatively impact His investment in you? Of course not. When has He ever left His leader hanging out to dry?

Behind every fear, there is a lie. Deal with the lie and the fear will fly!

Doing Things His Way

God is going to have His “way” by doing things His way. His way may be unique (couldn’t we use some of that). His way will be more ethical and compassionate. His way will be supernatural!

Assuming you have given your life (and sphere of influence) to Him – meaning, He is truly your Lord – obedience will not be a chore, but a joy. The joy of an adventure with Him! It is His intention that your joy be full – including the joy of your obedience.

So where does a faithful Marketplace Leader start this walk? Psalm 37:3 makes the most sense to me:

Trust in the LORD, and do good;
Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.

NOTE: The land represents the promises of God, many of which are found in the remainder of this wonderful Psalm. Check them out – they will greatly encourage you.

Trusting in the LORD assumes faith. If it’s faith you require:

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.  Romans 10:17

It is imperative that you spend time study the Scriptures and listening to His word. I pray that He gives you sensitive ears to hear, and a courageous heart to respond in obedience to His word for you.

If it’s courage you need:

For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.  Luke 11:10

And lastly, if you need wisdom:

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding have all those who do His commandments. His praise endures forever.  Psalm 111:10

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of many great promises: Wisdom, confidence, protection. The list goes on and on. I pray that the LORD will give you the grace to fear Him in the way that guarantees His promises.

In closing I encourage you that there is no excuse for shirking your responsibility as God’s disciple making transformation agent. Yes, it is challenging. But what worthwhile thing is not.

Remember: Don’t assume too much. Wait on the LORD. He loves you. He is sovereign. He has a plan for you. It is His desire to transform you. Transformation is a process. He will not forsake you. Go when He says, “Go and…”

Surrender to His purpose and you will enjoy an awesome adventure – and only God is awesome!

Your servant and His,

Rob