Last Sunday in church was a particularly special time and there were some key phrases that caught my attention and imagination. Firstly from the worship time. We sang a song that is a declaration over New Zealand with three two-word statements.
Then we heard from a lovely, gentle preacher from Texas who told us a story about a young man named William Borden whose heart was set aflame with the great need of man during a round-the-world trip that his wealthy parents sent him on. Before his return. he wrote to his parents to tell them that he was becoming a missionary. The part of the story that struck me the most was the three two-word statements that were found written in his Bible at different times of his life.
He penned the first statement when a friend said that being a missionary would be a waste of his life. He wrote in his Bible, No Reserve. During his time at Yale he rose up to be a great influence amongst his classmates.
He wrote the next statement when he left with a one-way ticket to China, stopping in Egypt to learn more about the Muslims whom he felt called to serve. No Retreat, it read.
While in Egypt he contracted spinal meningitis. Within a month, the 25-year-old man who seemed to have a very promising future was dead. When all his things were returned to his family, in the midst of their search for answers they found the last statement written weakly in his Bible. Under the words “No Reserves” and “No Retreats”, it said: No Regrets.
As I jotted the words in my journal I looked at the ones we had sung earlier in the service, which I had also written down, and something stirred in me as I put the three statements next to each other in columns. I couldn’t wait to get home to write this blog…
So what does this mean to me as a Biblical Entrepreneur?
Be strong – No reserve
Where there is no vision [no redemptive revelation of God], the people perish; but he who keeps the law [of God, which includes that of man]—blessed (happy, fortunate, and enviable) is he.
Once we understand our calling and purpose, it will cause us to become clear on what we have in our hand and heart to do. It gives us the resolve to start the journey; it gives us the courage when we count up the cost and there is a big gap that requires faith to leap over. It causes us to be clear on the fact that it is not in our strength, but only through Christ in us, the hope of glory, that we can do what He has placed in our hearts to do. Business is tough and it will take a tough breed of Biblical Entrepreneurs who are willing to do whatever it takes to honour God in the marketplace, to be skillful and diligent in business, and to arise and shine in places of influence so that we can be salt and light to this nation and world.
Be steadfast – No retreat
Therefore put on God’s complete armour, that you may be able to resist and stand your ground on the evil day [of danger], and, having done all [the crisis demands], to stand [firmly in your place].
Along each of our journeys we will all come to a wilderness of some kind. Joseph did, Moses did and even Jesus did. We live in a world that is marked by sin and the consequences thereof, and sometimes the wilderness will be the result of something we did; sometimes it will be through no fault of our own. God is a good God and doesn’t put pain and suffering on us, but He will walk with us through it and turn it for good if we will cooperate with him. We can choose to consider it with joy and allow it to produce endurance, steadfastness and patience in us – which the Word says will make us people perfectly and fully developed, lacking in nothing. As a human race we are so ‘pain averse’ that we often miss out and avoid growth because it is painful. If we are to be people of substance and character, we have to arise and face our wildernesses and our giants. Again, we are not alone in this; we have a comforter and helper to get us through.
Close the exit plans and back doors, step up and into your calling, and don’t be afraid to be steadfast. Sometimes it is just about standing your ground when you don’t have any fight left, and that is why we need a community who understands. We are not supposed to be doing this on our own. When one is down we need to protect and get them up as soon as possible, or surround them and allow them to rest.
Be willing – No regrets
I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]
If we are willing to answer the call, to arise and shine and to be the salt and light for Jesus in the marketplace, I believe we are in for the adventure of a lifetime. This adventure requires us to leave our ‘land of familiar’ sometimes. Maybe you are doing the same thing year after year hoping for a different result and Jesus is calling you to set your net on the other side; maybe it is time to take your business to the next level and for you to upskill or even bring in that new skill. Whatever the case, it’s going to require a brave move and decision on your part. A sailor will never become skilled if he never leaves the shore and never experiences some storms. We need to set sail; we need to be willing to do whatever God is whispering into our hearts (and sometimes even shouting). We need to be willing to say, “Yes Lord!”
We can trust Him, for He is trustworthy. It doesn’t always mean we will be tiptoeing through the daisies and it doesn’t always mean it has to be hard, but we need to be willing to trust Him to grow us onto the other side of obedience. When we give our all and put our trust in Him, I believe we will never have regrets. It is never too late. “If you ain’t dead, you ain’t done.”
Ask Him today what He wants you to do this week, then do it! I have asked Him and this is what I have been getting. Let’s see where it goes…..