Numerous people have asked me why I am so obsessed about business and the economy. Well, the economy is the platform that we use to fulfil the first instructions we were given by God – ‘And God blessed them and said to them, Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it (using all its vast resources in the service of God and man); and have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and every other living creature that moves upon the earth (Genesis 1:28 AMP)’.
God’s mandate was supposed to be fulfilled using His wisdom and ways but unfortunately the entrance of sin at the fall resulted in mankind following the ways of the devil and humanistic wisdom instead, and is the reason why we see a world and a South Africa that is filled with poverty, inequality, rape, murder, etc. If we had stuck to following God’s ways every person on earth today would be living the life of abundance that God intended for us.
So does this mean that we are now doomed? – absolutely not, because the Bible clearly tells us that Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8) and when He said ‘it is finished’ on the cross I believe that signalled that he had paid the price for economic restoration (including our lives of course) and that what we now need to do as the children of God is to appropriate into the here and now what He has already done for us. I get great encouragement from the words Jesus taught us to pray when he said ‘Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven’ (Matthew 6:10) because this is further evidence to me that He has empowered us and given us the mandate to bring about economic transformation and restoration so that we can reflect heaven here on earth.
The next big question is therefore, where do we go from here – what do we actually do to make this happen? It would take a few days to try and cover all the issues that we need to consider to bring about Kingdom economic transformation, but I would like to focus on 3 in this article – ownership versus stewardship, vision and unity.
1. Ownership versus Stewardship
The starting point has to be the reestablishment of the Lord’s ways which means a return to the ancient paths (Jeremiah 6:16) of what the Lord says in His word about how economies and businesses should be managed and operated. The very foundational principle of His ways is to understand that God is the creator and owner of everything and therefore we are stewards and not owners. (Psalm 24:1 – The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness of it, the world and they who dwell in it (AMP)). The failure to uphold this simple principle has resulted in two world wars and thousands of other wars and conflicts across the world as mankind tries to take ownership of what is actually God’s. The systems of communism and capitalism that are practised in the world have brought about poverty and inequality because of the greed and materialistic nature of fallen mankind trying to horde and accumulate for him-/herself and elevate him- /herself to the status of owner. For as long as mankind sees him-/herself as occupying the position of owner, he/she will do business to satisfy his/her own desires independently from God and hence create economic systems that will serve his/her selfish interests.
As the body of Christ – those who are called to do the same works that Jesus did and even greater (John 14:12) we need to decide if we believe that economic transformation and restoration is possible or not. If we believe it’s possible, then we need to get up and do something about it. The Bible tells us that ‘where there is no vision the people perish’ (Proverbs 29:18). So we need to come up with a vision for Kingdom economic transformation and write it down so that all can ‘run with it’ (Habakkuk 2:2). The awesome reality though is that God already has the blueprint strategy for this – we just need to humble ourselves, pray and turn from our wicked ways so that we can get the download of His plan. I believe it’s a plan that will use the gifts, talents and skills of all people (poor and rich, all races and ethnic groups, male and female) to create multiplication based economic cycles in communities that will bring about upliftment to all. God wants all His children to use the gifts, talents and skills He has given them productively to generate a return as we see in Matthew 25:14-23 in the parable of the talents. When this happens an environment of increase is established as the power of God flows through it as each of us fulfils our divine purpose (Ephesians 2:10).
The bible has much to say about unity. From Psalm 133 we see that where there is unity the Lord commands a blessing and also Jesus prays for this oneness in John 17:20-23. The statistics show that Christians make up 68% to 78% of the South African population; and therefore a majority like this coming into unity to implement a Kingdom economic framework should be very doable. (I visit countries like Malaysia that only have a 9% population of Christians and yet those Christians believe that God will use them to establish His Kingdom economy in Asia – just imagine what we could do with just 50% of our population carrying that belief!!). Coming together in unity would mean that we would have the power in numbers to establish new financing channels to fund Kingdom projects, these funding channels would operate according to biblical funding principles, projects would be evaluated by Biblical profitability principles, and the stewards of the projects would clearly understand that they are not owners and therefore do business according the rules and guidelines of the owner (God) and that profits would be used for the purposes of the owner (God).
Sounding a bit farfetched? — Absolutely not – I was in Kenya a few weeks ago and was ‘blown away’ by what I saw and experienced. Kenya already has most of the elements in place – an advanced level of unity and collaboration in the body of Christ, Kingdom focused micro-financing and Kingdom banking/Fund focused organisations, co-operative based development initiatives, Christian NGO’s changing strategy to focus on economic trade rather than aid provision, access to international donor community to fund projects, a highly entrepreneurial driven economy that is focused on productivity and a sustainability focused mindset. I truly believe they will soon become a testimony of Kingdom economy that other nations will learn from.
Arise and shine
I believe systemic poverty is the single biggest weapon that the devil is using to stop billions of people from seeing and experiencing the goodness of ‘Daddy’ God. When we break this weapon by setting up Kingdom economic structures and channels that can carry the abundant resources of God to all people we will see the outbreak of economic revival and through that all will be drawn into the ‘nets’ for that final end time harvest. So why is the economy so important? Because it is our Lord’s will that none should perish but that all should have everlasting life – the economy is one of the major channels He will use to achieve this. Arise and shine!!