> Marketplace Anointing’
One of the great tragedies among charismatic and Pentecostal Christians is that they are anointed by the Holy Spirit in church meetings, but not in their daily lives. Those who work in the world of business have a unique opportunity to see the power and wisdom of the Spirit applied to every-day situations in the marketplace. Your whole outlook on your job can be transformed as you begin to allow the Holy Spirit to empower you in the business world. The following eight areas will be particularly affected:
1. Day-to-Day Operations
Since God calls us to specific professions and occupations, He also anoints us and gives us spiritual authority to operate in that realm. He prepares us with unique gifts, talents and capabilities which specifically match the business He has called us to.
This means we don’t have to hear from God on every facet of how to do our daily work. If we are a manager, then we manage as we have been trained and gifted to do, applying biblical principles and practices. If we are a specialist, such as a carpenter or bricklayer, we do our work as we have been trained and use whatever experience and knowledge we have. We do not need to ask God continually how to lay the next brick, or if we should lay the next brick.
Although we do need to pray for God’s grace and anointing as we perform our work, we do not need a word from Him or a manifestation of the gifts of the Holy Spirit to perform the normal, routine task of our jobs. It is only when we come to an area or time of uncertainty relative to major decisions or unusual circumstances that we need to seek a further word from God.
However, we should pray daily about our work, asking for God’s insight and wisdom and then listening to the Holy Spirit to see if there are any unique corrections or directions. God may speak to us trough any number of ways about our daily work activities, providing us with innovative ideas or concepts, bringing new opportunities to light, or bringing us into relationship with new people who may be keys to our business success.
The best posture is to “watch and work. “Watching” means listening to the Holy Spirit as you are working. Be constantly attentive to both the inward communications of the Holy Spirit and the outward circumstances. As you do this, be aware that the Lord may use those around you to speak a word from Him. Don’t exclude non-believers from the possibility of being used by God, for we know from Scripture that the Lord can use anyone, even a lost person, to speak to us.
2. People and Relationships Financial Investing
In the business world, we work beside our peers, report to supervisors, oversee those we are responsible for, and deal with customers. We hire and fire, encourage and counsel, usually working side-by-side with the same people on a daily basis.
Some of these people are Christians, but even then they may be from various doctrinal persuasions. Many of those around us are likely to be unsaved, and some will typically be from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds.
There are several key spiritual gifts that are important when dealing with people in this setting. In hiring, it is important that we select the right employees, those that can do the job. When we interview prospective employees, we usually see them at their very best and their faults are often hidden. The gift of discerning of spirits can be vitally important in revealing hidden characteristics which may eventually become major problems.
However, just because we discern hidden wounds or weaknesses, this does not mean we should not employ the person, since God may want us to use this employment opportunity to help them. When in the hiring process, always spend several minutes prior to an interview asking God to open your understanding, and then be open to the Holy Spirit as you conduct the interview.
We can also use the gifts of the Holy Spirit in dealing with people who are already working with us. The revelation gifts and power gifts can be extremely effective in ministering to them in times of need. However, in all work situations we must be tactful and respectful of the others involved, and faithful to give our employer a full day’s work. We should refrain from devoting time to counseling others on company time. Such opportunities for in-depth ministry should be scheduled during lunch or some other convenient time.
When properly used, the gifts of the Holy Spirit can serve as great tools for evangelism in the workplace. The revelation gifts are often wonderful “door openers,” as Jesus showed by His word of knowledge to the woman at the well (see John 4). Supernatural manifestations of the Spirit often lead to more in-depth ministry opportunities.
Spiritual gifts can also be a great benefit in counseling an employee about poor performance and gaining insight into the underlying cause. Immediately after an interview or counseling session with an employee, you should spend several minutes alone going over the meeting and writing down what the Holy Spirit says about it.
We should always rely heavily on God’s mercy when we deal with people. If the Holy Spirit shows us a specific problem or issue in someone’s life, our response should not be one of getting rid of the person but rather pursuing the path of redemption and restoration. We should ask, “What can be done to help this person overcome their problem?” Sometimes we may have to go the extra mile to rescue someone who, in many businesses, would be cast aside.
3. Important and Critical Decisions
Some decisions are critically important, going beyond the normal day-to-day operations. They may involve large expenditures, the relocation of personnel, or major contract decisions. We need to seek the Holy Spirit’s input on such decisions. You may have a job where you are constantly juggling several of these crucial decisions, with varying deadlines to meet. The process I suggest for handling these major decisions is as follows:
It is critical that business people have a time of daily prayer before launching into the busyness of their day-to-day activities. This is the time to briefly write down the major decisions facing us and the specific questions we need answered. As we talk with the Lord about these situations each day and ask the questions we need answers to, we can be confident that the Holy Spirit will direct us. There are a variety of ways the answer may come: in our time of prayer when we are listening to the Lord, or during the day when we are meeting with others, or even in the circumstances that take place. Having prayed, we need to be “watching” for the answer as we go through each day.
Second, you should discuss these types of decisions with those around you who can provide godly counsel and insight. Often this should include your spouse and those who have spiritual authority in your life. A person not involved in the situation can frequently offer better spiritual advice than someone in the middle of it. Present the situation to the other person in a simple form, not confusing them with details unless they ask, and then seek their spiritual insight – not just their business knowledge.
Third, if needed, you should seek prophetic input. The first step in this may be to review the words the Lord has already spoken to you. This often results in a renewed understanding of His direction and purpose for you and your business. In the Old Testament, kings and leaders often sought out a prophet for direction. A business of any size is wise to include a person with prophetic insight on the board, readily accessible to the those in leadership. This prophetic person need not be intimately involved in the business operations, but should be knowledgeable of the general vision and mission of the business.
Fourth, after you have prayed, observe any changes in the circumstances. However, a special word of caution is needed here, because the enemy can also manipulate circumstances. If what you are intending to do is God’s plan, the enemy may cause persecution or roadblocks to hinder your success. Don’t misinterpret these as being a closed door from Cod, or you are liable to head in the wrong direction.
Fifth, if you haven’t already done so, make sure your decision falls within biblical guidelines. This is a criterion through which all decisions should pass before you proceed. If something is a gray area, then don’t take action unless you have received several confirmations from people you know are hearers and doers of the Word of God.
Finally, once you have decided what to do, you must do it in faith, not wavering. A double- minded person is unstable in all of his ways (James 1:8).
4. Preparation for Meeting
Meetings can either be very boring or very exciting. The key to successful meetings is preparation. We should prepare both from our practical business knowledge and from a prayer perspective. We need to know God’s perspective on key areas which we be discussing in the meeting. It is always best to do this as much as possible before the meeting starts Obviously, in most business meetings we will not be able to say, “Please hold on a minute while I pray in tongues to get the mind of the Lord,” or “Wait while I go back to my office and pray for a while.”
Before a critical meeting we need to discern if there are any plans of the enemy to cause disruption or confusion. If we sense this, we need to bind up any attempt of the enemy in these areas. Once in the meeting, we need to be listening simultaneously to what is going on in the natural and to what the Holy Spirit is saying. Then we will be able to respond with God’s course of action. We can get a word of knowledge or wisdom from the Holy Spirit which speaks directly to the situation being discussed.
Once while traveling to a major technical design review for a defense program, I picked up a magazine during my flight. I happened to notice an article about a key technological problem and the solution which was being worked on at a very prominent university. I felt impressed by the Holy Spirit to read the article, but I did not realize how important this would become.
During the technical review meeting the next day, a scientist from a major defense contractor brought up a problem with the program we were working on. It was identical to the one I had read about in the technical publication! He announced that they did not know the answer and feared it would cause a lengthy delay to the program. Not being a technical expert in this area, I hesitantly raised my hand and said I had a comment about this situation. I then described what I had read in the article and the solution which was presented.
The scientist was so excited he almost hugged me. He agreed that what I had said was the answer, and he was sure testing would validate it so the program would be able to proceed. I was grateful he did not ask me any questions, since I had exhausted what I had knowledge about the subject with what I had read in the technical publication. If we are open to His voice, it is amazing how God can work to bring us success in our business endeavors.
5. Response to Pressure-Filled Situations
I once had a friend tell me that he had observed Spirit-filled people respond in life- threatening or dangerous situations alongside unsaved people. He found that a Spirit-filled person almost always responds faster and with the best course of action. In these pressure- filled situations, it is crucial that we rely upon the Holy Spirit to give us His peace and speak to us with His still, small voice.
More than likely, the first response that you sense when you are in a crisis is God speaking to you. Often this will be a simple sensing of caution or calm. I call this the green, yellow or red light word. Green means “go for it,” yellow means caution, and red means stop.
If at all possible, avoid being put under pressure to make snap decisions in matters where you cannot backtrack or change course without major repercussions. There are really very few business decisions which could not be delayed for several hours to give you time to pray, seek counsel, or make a phone call.
Recently a business person I have worked with as a prophetic consultant faced a critical, time-sensitive decision. Because we had an established relation- ship, he was able to call me and ask what I thought the Holy Spirit was saying. As soon as I heard his voice on the phone, without a single explanation of the situation, I sensed the “red light” go on.
As he talked and explained the circumstances, though, it would have appeared in the natural that what he was about to do was the right thing. My natural mind wanted to say to him, “Yes-go for it.” But the Holy Spirit had said, “No – red light.” So I explained to him what I felt God was saying. He then told me that was exactly what he had been sensing inside, but because of the circumstances he couldn’t believe that was the right decision.
Then the businessman disclosed, “I just talked with another friend who hears from the Lord, and he said the same thing you did.”
6. Financial Investing
There are a multitude of options for financial investing, and a library of information on investing is available. The majority of this is good information and should always serve as a basis for investment decisions. The question of where you should invest, and how much, should be determined by your income, the direction you sense from the Lord, and your level of faith.
However, a word of caution is in order: “All that glitters is not God.” This means that just because something looks good, it may not be God’s will for you. Particularly stay away from get rich-quick schemes. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is not true.
Will God sometimes speak to a person about one-time, very lucrative investments? Yes, I believe He will. But these types of “words from God” should be confirmed and verified before you take action. I have known only one or two out of hundreds of these types of words which proved to really be God. Particularly be leery of investments that promise to be extraordinarily lucrative if you are having difficulty meeting your current obligations and don’t even have a plan for giving and saving your revenue. If you cannot manage your current income flow, then it is doubtful God is going to trust you with more.
Ordinarily it is wise to diversify your investments. Include different levels of risk and different types of investments. Pray and listen to the Holy Spirit and He will direct you.
Several years ago I was involved in a retirement fund where you could allocate your money to different types of investments. One day while sitting at work, the Holy Spirit said to me, “Take your money out of the stock market.” After hearing this in my mind several times, I called my money manager and moved my funds into another type of fund. The following Monday turned out to be the infamous “Black Monday,” when the market dropped several hundred points in a very short period of time. Listening to the Holy Spirit resulted in saving thousands of dollars in my investments.
7. Strategic Planning
Planning is critical to business success. As the old adage says, “Those who do not plan are planning to fail.” I have personally seen this to be true. Yet, how does the leading of the Holy Spirit fit into planning, since we often see His moving as rather unpredictable? There is a common misconception that the direction of the Holy Spirit is diametrically opposed to planning. On the contrary, the Lord wants to give us prophetic insight into God’s destiny for us and His divine strategy for attaining it. This kind of prophetic vision is needed both in our personal lives and in our businesses. In the future many businesses will be assisted by “prophetic consulting,” which will result not only in enhanced strategic planning, but also in increased prosperity.
8. Career Decisions and Direction
The prophetic word can often speak to our career direction and give us insight into occupation, education and purpose. Especially for young people seeking direction, the prophetic word can often give clear long-range direction and strategies. During times of transition, the word of God in prophecy or words of knowledge or wisdom can often prove instrumental in giving hope and encouragement.
The gifts of the Holy Spirit are many and varied. Those of us who work in the world of business need an increased awareness that these gifts are available to us, just as we have been graced with natural gifts and talents. The scriptural mandate is to use them or lose them, even as the one who had one talent failed to invest it properly, and as a result had it taken away and given to another (see Matthew 25:14-30).
The Holy Spirit has called Christian business people into the marketplace to impact the kingdoms of the world for the kingdom of God. He has not left us without armaments, but has equipped us with His supernatural power and gifts. Let us go forward and possess the land!
By Rich Worsham