Divine ideas are quite something. The story of Noah, the Ark and the flood is a common one in Christian circles. I’ve seen it discussed in the context of our personal lives and pulpit ministry. But I started to think about it from the context of kingdom business.
What does it look like to build an Ark in and for the marketplace?
How does one do business differently from everyone else?
What distinguishes a kingdom business from all others out there?
God gives and sustains the vision.
Anyone who considers themselves a disciple of Christ has the Great Commission as their divine assignment. But this takes different shapes, forms and expressions depending on how and where God wants to move through you.
It’s enough for the world to have a good idea. But as believers in the marketplace, we need to have a God idea or else we’ll just be replicating what the world is doing and tagging the Christian label on it with not much of Christ to show for it.
God knew the scope of the problem (the flood) and the magnitude of the solution required (the Ark). Without God, Noah wouldn’t have known to build a boat much less to the specifications of the Ark. He didn’t even know there was a flood coming until God revealed it.
When you look at the work you do in the marketplace, are you functioning to the specifications of God or humanity? Where do your business standards come from? You can be successful in the eyes of the world but doing terribly by kingdom standards.
One area many of us as believers really struggle with is rest. We tumble into the rat race with the world when we should be moving at kingdom pace with the Lord. Particularly since the magnitude of divine vision is matched by divine grace. That which you strive to gain you must strive to keep and further strive to multiply. But when you allow God to entrust you with His vision, you can count on Him to sustain you and everything He requires you to do.
Even after you’re gone or in the event that you move on to other things, God remains to steward over that which He started in you and through you. It extends beyond just being your personal legacy and becomes something much bigger – God’s purpose for the nations.
The vision is eternal.
Consider that the work God is doing on earth began long before you were born and will continue on long after you die. Your contribution doesn’t stand on its own but fits into a bigger, profound picture as painted in Hebrews 11.
Anything eternal is not bound by the limitation of circumstances – it can stand the test of time. The Ark was built in a way that ensured those in it were not adversely affected by the flood and that life continued once the flood waters receded.
Businesses often have to scramble to innovate; at worst, keep up with the times, and at best, be ahead of them. But this ragged rush isn’t necessary when you’re working with the Author of the times and seasons.
God can give you specific details and plans for businesses that will meet needs that are futuristic in nature. This is double edged because on the one hand, you’re positioned to provide solutions when the time comes. But on the other hand, you have to contend building something that may not fully make sense in the present even if it will be perfectly suited for the future.
Everything stands on covenant.
When God gave Noah the assignment to build the Ark, He instituted a covenant with him. In simple terms, a covenant is a binding agreement between God and a person/people/nation.
Covenant is a very powerful spiritual reality. There are promises God holds Himself accountable to on condition that we too follow through on certain things. If you study Scripture, you’ll observe times when covenant has been invoked and radically changed the outcome of a situation. From when God wanted to do away with the Israelites and Moses reminded Him of His covenant with Noah to the way King David honoured Mephibosheth, Jonathan’s crippled son, because of the covenant between the two friends.
As believers in the marketplace, we need to learn how to make covenants with God concerning our divine assignments. Not just for our own sake, but all the more for those who come after us who can inherit the benefits of the covenants we’ve made and get a head start even as they play their role in the kingdom.
Obedience is critical.
The Bible notes that Noah did “just as God commanded”. God’s commands are parameters for our prosperity. They’re an outline for the conditions in which we can best access and enjoy what He has for us. It’s unfortunate when we fall for the lie that He only wants to control us and keep us from that which is good for us; the same lie that led to the fall of Adam and Eve.
There should be no room in our hearts and lives for cutting corners to get things done. If you struggle to obey God in a particular area, you need to check whether you really trust Him in that area and if not, why so.
Your obedience will always be better than any sacrifice you may want to make in its place.
It’s not for everyone.
Separation is inevitable. It’s human to want to hold onto the people, the things and the ways that are familiar. But to journey with God is to sign up for a lifetime of walking by faith into unfamiliar territories.
Noah was mandated to do something that had never been done before. It’s not a far stretch to infer that not everyone in his life was supportive of him building the Ark.
Not everyone will understand what God is calling you to do or why. Not everyone will support it. Some may even mock it.
But we must have the resolve of the man in parable of hidden treasure; who sells everything he has to buy an empty field others have disregarded but whose value he has discerned.
It takes God to prepare a person for their purpose. But what we often overlook is that it also takes God to prepare the people who will surround and partner with that person. If you’re prepared but they’re not, they’re going to struggle handling you and the vision you carry.
So we must be keen to discern who God is preparing to partner alongside us for the vision He has entrusted us with and open to Him using those He deems fit for the task not those we’d much prefer.
Building businesses with eternity in mind will never be easy. But it will always be worth it. When God comes knocking, may He find a people willing to pay the price to ensure His glory covers the earth as the waters cover the seas.
Make time to read Hebrew 11. Can you see the co-relation between what God has you currently doing in the marketplace, the work done by those that have gone ahead of you and the work to be done by those that are to come after you?
Ask God for wisdom to work with eternity in mind.