I met a Christian recently who was the struggling owner of a restaurant. I feel a connection with people in the food business, because I was co-owner and part-time Chief Financial Officer of a food factory startup in Singapore for six years.
When you are facing poor demand or high costs, often this is the time where we need to dig deep. To really understand what the motivations are for the business. We come into the arena of “why am I doing this?” In the case of the restaurant owner, I think it would be fair to say that he was in the restaurant business because that was what he had always done. Is this a good reason for staying in the food business?
As a Christian, there is a far deeper question that needs to be answered:
How are you designed to change the world?
The way to discover this uniqueness is in asking God questions. Specific questions. For example, the restaurant owner could ask these questions:
– God, have I developed other skills that are able to be transferred into another industry where I can better express who You made me to be?
Why do people hesitate to ask God such questions? In the case of the restaurant owner, it was because of doubts. He had doubts about whether he was hearing God (see my article on How to hear God’s Voice if this is something that is troubling you).
Perhaps the biggest reason we don’t ask God is because we are scared of what He might tell us to do:
“Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” (Ephesians 3:20 NLT)
What can you ask God for? What can you think about your future? God can accomplish infinitely more than that!
The weird thing about God is that unless you are willing to do whatever He tells you to do, He probably won’t tell you about it:
“So pay attention to how you hear. To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given. But for those who are not listening, even what they think they understand will be taken away from them.” (Luke 8:18 NLT)
In order to find out what God really made you to do you need to approach Him and say “I will do whatever it is that you tell me to do”. God knows better about what we should be doing than we do. Our experience is limited but He created us for a purpose:
“I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5 NLT)
There are ways to engage God. There are ways of getting rid of these other voices. However, the basic desire to stretch our faith to do whatever God tells us to do comes from our own choices. In my own life, it took twenty years of seeing the pointlessness of the secular business system before I came to this place. I was prepared to do anything God asked me to do.
When you have trying times and when you don’t know what to do, you can ask God to deepen your ability to communicate with Him. To be able to hear His voice. When you hear Him speak and implement it, you will activate who you are uniquely designed to be.