As Christians, we have been bought out of this world – rescued. We belong to Another; and to His Kingdom:

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.  1Peter 2:9-10

With this new found position comes great privilege and responsibility. This is particularly true for leaders; and particularly challenging for leaders in the Marketplace. In this our last post in the Marketplace Challenges series, we will discuss the challenges of following our diverse and dynamic Creator.

As we’ve discussed, the systems of the world are very often at odds with the mysterious ways of God. There is no better example of this than in the area of control. The Marketplace is filled with control. In fact, one might argue that every business, educational institution, government office – every portion of the Marketplace – is run on the concepts and practices of control: Control systems, control mechanisms, control structures and control personnel to manage them all. Mankind is determined to be in control… of everything.

In contrast, Christians know that it is foolishness to imagine that we are in control. We know that we should not aspire for control. We know that it is better to surrender control to the Master of Creation. We know that He knows best. We know that He is sovereign, that He loves us, and that He has a plan for us. This is the Good News of the Kingdom: Our God reigns!!

Therefore, we give control to the King. We determine to be in the world but not of the world. We commit ourselves to dependence on Him for our security and prosperity, rather than on the world’s systems and controls. We exercise our faith in the One whose ways and thoughts are above your own.

This is one of the most significant and empowering decisions a Marketplace Leader can make for our life and vocation. With it comes one of the greatest challenges we will face in the Marketplace: Submitting to the One that is simply and profoundly unpredictable – our diverse and dynamic God.

The Diversity of God

God seldom does the same thing twice. One situation may require months – even years – of waiting on God to move what seems to be the smallest impediment; while another requires our practical and decisive response to move the biggest of mountains. Some problems are resolved through the gift of wisdom; others with perseverance and a supernatural measure of elbow grease. God gives us rest in one season and more to do than we can think or imagine in the next.

Additionally, the people of God’s creation are incredibly diverse; and so are its leaders. Books on leadership are great. It seems like every great leader (and some not so great) has written one. These books offer wonderful principles and encouragement. But they cannot create the next great Marketplace Leader.

The problem (so to speak) is God’s creativeness. No matter how hard we try, we cannot make ourselves into the next great leader of our field. That’s the LORD’s decision and responsibility. God does not use a cookie cutter to make His leaders in the Marketplace. In fact, not only is each cookie a different shape, it is created with a holy different recipe and aroma (2Corinthians 2:15).

By-the-way, did you know that all three of the Persons of the Godhead are involved in our making?

  1. Christ said, follow me and I will make you… (Matthew 4:19)
  2. … for it is God working in you to will and do to His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13)
  3. But we all… are being transformed… just as by the Spirit of the Lord (2Corinthians 3:18)

Anyway, this also means that every person – lost or saved; boss, peer or subordinate; customer or partner – is different. All created in God’s image. But all created with different personalities, gifts, desires and purpose.

For the Marketplace Leader, it can be quite an adventure just keeping up with all the diversity God has put into our sphere of influence. I hope and pray this doesn’t discouraged you. Keep reading. There is a solution. But first, let’s look at God’s dynamic nature.

The Dynamic Nature of God

Not only does God seldom do the same thing twice, the things He does are, potentially, more than we can think or imagine. His ways and thoughts are FAR above our own. It follows then that we are limited in our ability to predict His next move. Once we surrender to His control (and He only knows enthronement), He can and will do anything – literally.

Additionally, it is His nature to do what He does to mature us – to process us and our sphere of influence – into something that will manifest the likeness of Christ in more impactful ways. We are being transformed from glory to glory. We are called to more dependency on Him, more power from Him and more impact through Him.

If we walk in the good work that glorifies our Father in heaven, we will be walking in supernatural work. In other words, it will be beyond our natural abilities. It will be beyond our control. But let’s be honest with ourselves. Do we really think it should be any other way? If you were God, how much responsibility would you give to your child for accomplishing your master plan? I don’t know about you, but I’m surprised that He trusts me with the next 10 minutes, much less the rest of this week.

Most Marketplace Leaders have been indoctrinated into the control and predictability of the carnal workplace. The paradigm shift that we are required to make in order to function in the Kingdom’s economy is an incredible challenge. Thankfully, God is standing by with solution.

A Surprising Solution

Just so you know, I had more trouble writing this post than the other three combined. I think I have finally discovered why. It is because this greatest of the four challenges – following a diverse and dynamic God – is also our greatest hope. It is the solution… no, He is the solution to this and all the challenges we may face in the Marketplace.

Yes, it is a challenge to lead in a world that thrives on control, all the while trying to follow a God that not only will not be controlled, but Who insists on being dynamically creative in everything He does. It requires a great deal of faith and trust. It requires our losing our lives… for His.

Living out of His life is the only way to be a faithful steward and ambassador for our King. Being on His side is the only way to be successful and safe. As Jesus said:

But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you. Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.  Luke 12:32

As an encouragement, I suggest to you that Joshua’s adventures in receiving the Promised Land had as many moving parts and more battles than any of us will face in a lifetime. God promised to give the land to Israel and He kept His promise. At the end of Joshua’s life, God said:

Then you went over the Jordan and came to Jericho. And the men of Jericho fought against you—also the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Girgashites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. But I delivered them into your hand. I sent the hornet before you which drove them out from before you, also the two kings of the Amorites, but not with your sword or with your bow. I have given you a land for which you did not labor, and cities which you did not build, and you dwell in them; you eat of the vineyards and olive groves which you did not plant.  Joshua 24:11-13

As with Joshua, there is a work for every Marketplace Leader to walk in, but it is God’s work. If we will embrace His diversity and surrender to His dynamic nature, we will find this to be true of us as well:

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.  Ephesians 3:20-21

God give you grace to reckon these things as truth in your vocation, and the grace to lay hold of all that which He has laid hold of you; for His name sake, glory and Kingdom.

Your servant and His,

Rob