[notice] A fortnightly column by Johannesburg Business Editor, Patrick Kuwana. In today’s Kingdom Business he says that the greed, pride, corruption and materialism that prevail in the South African marketplace today are the fruit of an economic system that serves mammon rather than God.[/notice]
The economy is the lifeblood of any country or society. Culture is shaped by economic decisions. The state of a nation is typically determined by the economy. The forces of good and evil in the world are also being shaped by the economy. No wonder that Jesus made it very clear that we needed to make a choice – “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will stand by and be devoted to the one and despise and be against the other. You cannot serve God and mammon (deceitful riches, money, possessions, or whatever is trusted in)” (Amplified).
We as the Body of Christ need to make this decision, because we cannot tackle the economic challenges that we face until we have clearly decided which side we are on.
“Are we ready to become the ‘Josephs’ who will practically implement Holy Spirit inspired solutions to the economic and financial turmoil that the world is failing to solve?’
“Are we ready to become the ‘Josephs’ who will practically implement Holy Spirit inspired solutions to the economic and financial turmoil that the world is failing to solve?
Only two options
In simple terms the economy is the system where resources are developed and managed. The three major components that make up any economic system are (1) production, (2) distribution and (3) consumption. This system can either be run according to God’s principles or according to the system of the world (which is ultimately controlled by the enemy). Let’s be very clear and not beat about the bush – the economy is either in the hands of God (through God’s people) or under mammon (the god off material wealth and greed); and right now the South African economy is being run and managed according to the rules of mammon. Largely the problems we see in South Africa and other economies are due to the fact that they are still in the hands of mammon and the greed, pride, corruption, materialism, etc that we see are just the fruit of mammon.
So what does this mean for us as the body of Christ?
Either we continue to play church, burying our heads in the sand and occasionally look up and complain without offering a solution – or we take up our calling as God’s chosen ones and go out and fight to bring the economy under the rules and guidelines that we have been given by our Commander in Chief.
Economic mandate from God
I believe that when God said in Deuteronomy 28:13 that ‘we should be the head, and not the tail, and that we should be above only and never below’, he was referring to our position regarding the economy. God gives us dominion over His creation, and hence with that gives us the right to develop an economic system and manage it. In Genesis 1:26-28 we see God giving us charge of the management of the resources of the earth – ‘God said, Let us (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) make mankind in Our image, after Our likeness, and let them have complete authority over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the beasts, and over all of the earth, and over everything that creeps upon the earth. So God created man in His own image, in the image and likeness of God He created them; male and female He created them. 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 over every living creature that moves upon the earth.’ Subsequently a huge part of the rest of the bible is God telling us what we need to do to manage the resources of the earth (in other words the economy).
Unfortunately we have done a terrible stewardship job (managing the resources on behalf of God) and hence the mess we find ourselves in. But interestingly, the biggest opportunity for God to work is in messy situations!
The good news is that this position can change very quickly just as it did when Joseph implemented God’s economic solution during the famine in Egypt. Read Genesis chapter 37, 39-47 for an awesome case study on economic transformation. Genesis 47:13 – 26 is an amazing Kingdom economy lesson of an anointed steward (Joseph) bringing back all the means of production under the Master’s ownership and then controlling the distribution and consumption thereof so that everyone in the system was 100 per cent satisfied. In our case God is looking for Josephs in our generation who will bring the economy back under the ownership of the Kingdom. 100 per cent satisfaction and abundant provision for all is the fruit of an economic system managed according to God’s principles.
I truly believe that the national economic collapses that we will continue to see across the world and even in our own country are opportunities that God is giving us as the Body of Christ to implement His economic models. As we adopt God’s economic principles we will become the head we are supposed to be, and from that position we will be able to fulfil our mandate to be a blessing to the world (as per the instructions given to our spiritual father Abraham). However, the huge question that we need to ask ourselves is: “Are we ready to become the ‘Josephs’ who will practically implement Holy Spirit inspired solutions to the economic and financial turmoil that the world is failing to solve?’
The last few weeks have dished out much debate and discussion on the issue of Halaal trade and how we are funding the ‘other side’. It’s really sad that the 78% Christian majority in this country are being held in economic captivity by 2 per cent minority Muslims. To put it bluntly 78 per cent of the population have become the tail to 2% who have assumed the headship!
In my next article I willll discuss Kingdom business principles that have the potential to quickly transform the economy into one that God will bless.