For the first six years of my business I truly believed that I could work hard enough to earn God’s blessings. I spent night after night working until 2:00 am or 3:00 am in the morning. This was an incredibly stressful way to build my business because it always seemed like there wasn’t enough time in a day. I literally spend the first 6 years of my business walking around in a fog of exhaustion.
Then one Sunday I was reminded that it is impossible to earn God’s blessings. My Pastor, Jeffery Chapman, Sr, weaved it into one of his sermons, “Do you really think that you can ever work hard enough to earn God’s blessings?’
It hit me upside the head like the V-8 commercial where someone bops you in the middle of your forehead because you should have had a V-8.
In order to understand the magnitude of this revelation, you have to understand my background. My father began building his dream business when I was just five years old and in kindergarten. He worked harder than any other human being I knew. He worked with a discipline that was simply superhuman. He was up and gone before I woke up in the morning and returned well after I went to bed each night. And it worked!
At the pinnacle of his business, he had more than 30 employees and had grown his business into a multi-million dollar enterprise. One year at the company gatherings we used to hold annually at our house, I just stopped and looked around at all of his employees, their spouses and their children and realized that my father was responsible for the livelihoods of all of these people.
The food they ate and the roof over their heads were there because of the hard work my father put in. A couple of years into the business my mother joined him and ran a division of the business living her dream of educational consulting and training. Together, they made it work.
The model I grew up with was the harder you worked, the more successful you will be. The longer you worked and the more shifts you added to your day, the more money it would create. Not so when you have a Kingdom business.
A Kingdom business is guided not by the secular rules of the business world, but by an invisible set of principles that God created. One of which is
It is not by works, it is by His grace.
John 1:16 reminds us that “From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another.” Romans 11:6 reminds us that, “And if by grace, then it is no longer by works…”
When we lose site of this, we begin to live off balance. We stopped living under the law and with the sacrifice of Jesus, we now live under grace. I did not understand this and I thought I could literally prove myself worthy of God’s blessings.
I have since learned to work smarter and live a more balanced life. I take better care of myself and play a lot more. I make it a point to laugh more. I spend more time in The Word and meditating. I pray more. I used to belly-laugh on a regular basis and when I was trying to work my way to God’s blessings, my life went without deep, heartfelt laugh-until-you-can’t-laugh-anymore laughter. I work out. I have eliminated the foods that don’t work for my body. I go to more movies. I read more magazines (granted, they are all about business) but I have worked some lighter topics into the mix.
I need to do more of the things that make my soul sing because I get my deepest inspirations during these times. When I unplug, God literally drops new ideas and processes into my spirit. When I try to create them, they don’t work. When I allow God to give them to me, they work every time.
Remember, you live under God’s grace. Yes, faith is paramount to this process and you must add works to your faith always keeping in perspective that you can truly achieve the success you desire by taking time out to convene with God.
I thought I would share this revelation with you as I walk it out so you, too, can benefit from God’s direction and teaching. What a mighty God we serve! Try it! It works! Email your blessings to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With All My Heart, Ericka