Once upon a time I was a runner, and I loved it. Completed two half marathons and despite those long training runs, there was a point in the run that it suddenly didn’t seem so hard or so far. That “runner’s high” kicked in I guess. During one of the races, perhaps in the runner’s high delirium, I recalled my 9th grade civics teacher, Doc Blandford, saying something to a classmate like “you’re so far behind, you think you’re in first!” It made me laugh thinking about the situation – like I’m running and running, and yet, I can’t see anyone else running ahead or behind me, so hey, I must be leading this race! At that moment, I came back to reality, looked around and remembered where I was amongst the pack and knew I was far from placing. But placing wasn’t my goal – I was just trying to finish!
As God-centered entrepreneurs, it can sometimes feel like we’re running in the direction God calls us to, then we get distracted by the world and decide we must not be moving fast enough. So we run out ahead of where God has us because, darn it, all this work is not making as much progress as it should be! (at least not as much as we think it should, especially compared to other people). And while we have the free will to do so, the dangerous thing about going outside of God’s will to get what you want is that you’ll have to stay outside of his will to keep it. As Dr. Charles Stanley puts it in his Life Principles Bible NKJV, whatever you acquire outside of God’s will eventually turns to ashes. Scary thought, right?
Dr. Stanley states, “Some people think that God’s refusal will some wish would be the worst think that could every happen to them. They believe there’ll be truly disappointed and devastated if that deep desire continues unmet.” (Reference verses: Ezekiel 25:6-7) So they run out ahead of God, pursuing those desires, and end up disappointed. Been there, done that, and I’m paying those lessons forward now! We think, “well God’s not moving fast enough so I’m going to go do this one little thing – I’m good at it, I can do it in my sleep, so it’ll be easy.” When you think about it, we’re not so different than the Israelites of the Old Testament who wanted freedom, yet wanted it their way. When the road to freedom seemed too hard, they actually cried out to go back to their life of slavery in Egypt (their comfort zone they’d known their whole life to that point). Is following and obedience to God so hard that we hold onto our old ways, our comfort zone of striving and driving, instead of letting He who created us and laid out our path before us lead us along it? How do we stop picking up what we previously surrendered and laid at the foot of the cross (or maybe we thought we did), thinking, “let me take it back up and run with it to keep it moving and be sure it doesn’t shrink or disappear.” God’s greatest desire is an intimate relationship with us – He desires to bless our obedience. He loves us so much He gave his Son to die for our sins! I believe His intention is “if you surrender this to Me, you can’t even imagine the things I can do with it…even if it looks different than you thought!”
When we run out ahead of Him, we limit Him to our human definition of strength and power. We put human boundaries around Him, as if He works like we do (clearly the Creator of all that is works and thinks on a completely different level than us…remember Isaiah 55:8-9)! His relationship with us requires surrender in every part of our life. And friends, I promise you that, while putting Him in charge of your business may feel like it slows down your journey, in the end, you will have so much more fulfillment, peace and joy! The work you do will be exponentially multiplied for greater impact! He will bring the most amazing people into your path for you to lock arms and partner with. He is able to bless our business and results beyond what we could ever think or imagine (Ephesians 3:20). If we’ll slow down and keep pace in His race, not our own.