“So what do you think has led to this success?” asked the VP, driving back from the Walmart Home Office.
“Well,” my friend said, “we have a great trust relationship and alignment with Walmart. Our strategy has been solid, our promotions strong and we’ve executed really well.”
“But I have to be honest with you,” he continued, “I believe that this is God giving us success. We have been praying for this business every week for the last five years. We’ve done all the right things, but those right things don’t fully explain five year growth at eight percent in a category that’s flat. That is God.”
The VP didn’t necessarily believe this, but that didn’t affect her view of my friend. After all, his team had executed extraordinarily well over a sustained period of time. She didn’t care one way or the other that my friend had prayed and then gave God the credit.
But God cares.
Most of us are quick to pray in times of crisis. Some of us will listen to God in prayer and act in faith. But how many of us return to say “thank you?”
There is an account of an episode like this in Luke 17:11-19 that deals with this.
Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!”
All ten had enough faith to ask Jesus to heal them. They had the faith to pray.
That’s the first step: do we have the faith to give our work to God? To ask Him for direction? To ask Him for wisdom?
When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed.
Jesus didn’t heal them on the spot. He had them take action. All ten had enough faith to take the action and were healed.
That’s the second step: are we listening to God? Do we have the faith to act? To do the things we believe God is leading us to do with the business, regardless of how risky (or boring) they may seem?
One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.
Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”
All ten had the faith to ask. All ten had the faith to respond. But only one came back to praise God and say “thank you.”
This story haunts me. Can you see yourself in it? Here’s what we can learn from this story:
We need to give our work to God in prayer — all of it. We need to ask for wisdom, for direction, for favor, for Him to be glorified. If you are not praying for your business, start doing that now.
We need to have the faith to act. To work with excellence. To trust God’s leadership, whatever we sense that to be. As I’ve written in a previous post, action follows prayer.
We need to give God credit. When we see Him move, we need to be people who return to say, “thank you!”
Sometimes you’ll have an opportunity to thank Him in a public way. Like my friend, I pray that you’ll have the courage to do just that.
Your work matters,
Director of Operations, Workmatters