In 1994, Deepak Chopra released the book "The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success". This is NOT about his book.
In my early days as an Entrepreneur, I searched for any kind of help I could find to build a powerful, profitable business. What I discovered were a lot of books that would fall into the "New Age Spirituality" realm. Unfortunately, there were very few books written from a Christian perspective.
Seems like many business people are more vocal about their Christian faith and how it informs their business. Yet there are still few written "laws of success" for the Christian entrepreneur. In this post, I'm going to take a riff from Chopra's list. I present to you:
The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success for Christian Entrepreneurs
The Law of Favor
Surely, LORD, You bless the righteous; You surround them with Your favor as with a shield. Psalm 5:12, NIV
I ran across an interesting definition for FAVOR in the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. It says:
a) to prefer (someone) especially in an unfair way; to show that you like or approve of (someone) more than others
b) to approve of or support (something)
c) to regard (someone or something) as likely to succeed or win.
A more simple way to say it is, "Favor isn't fair."
When we operate our businesses under the hand of the Lord's favor, we don't have to wonder about what or who we know or don't know. It isn't about our potential. It is about the power of God working for our benefit.
Another scripture says, to effect, the Lord opens and closes doors. And what He opens (or closes) for you, no one else can close (or open).
Consequently, we don't operate in the realm of luck or maybe so. We aren't dependent on our skill alone. As a matter of fact, we have the favor of the Lord surrounding us on all sides. He is the One who "makes a road in the wilderness and a path in the desert." (Isaiah 43:9)
Yet simply because we can call on the Favor of God, we do not have an excuse for shoddy workmanship, poor customer care, or haphazard service. We have a higher responsibility.
"Favor isn't fair. And I'm okay with that."
The Law of Exchange
Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." Luke 6:38 NIV
Christians - in business or not - are called to a life of giving to others. We are givers of service, of love, and of goods. We give our finances and other forms of trade.
These words of Jesus tell us that when we give, the Lord gives back to us through others.
Spiritual truth is spiritual truth, and the law of giving is one of the most dominant ones in every form of teaching.
The promise of God is that the more we give - the more we receive back. Do we give just to get? Of course not. We give as an act of worship. Much like a fountain, we pour out what has been poured into us.
The Law of Choice
I call on heaven and earth as witnesses today that I have offered you life or death, blessings or curses. Choose life so that you and your descendants will live.
Deuteronomy 30:19 GWT
There are some that believe Christians have no choice - or don't believe in choice. But the Scripture above shows we do.
In entrepreneurship, we are faced with choices every day. In fact, the choices are unlimited. We decide how we will represent ourselves, our industry, and our God by the choices we make.
Isaac Newton expressed it in the Third Law of Motion: "For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. "
In what I call the Law of Choice, my will and God's will meet each other in the middle. I can propose my arguments for my will, and the Lord proposes His. I get to decide. You get to decide. And our decisions do have ramifications for the future.
Where Christians depart from Buddhism or Hinduism is we don't believe we are paying for our past lives in our present existence. Yet we must realize that there may well be a price to pay in the future, if we don't make the right choices today.
"If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD." Joshua 24:15
The Law of Worship
You may be a bit confused by my fourth choice of my Seven Spiritual Laws of Success.
Worship comes from root words meaning "worthy of acknowledgement of worth".
Because entrepreneurs are in the business of creating something out of nothing, we can develop a bit of a god complex. Our creativity, our hard work, our long days hidden away from the rest of the world, can make us believe that we are supernatural.
Consequently, the Law of Worship keeps us in the right position. That is, under the shadow of the Lord's wings.
When we begin to walk out from under the Law of Worship, we are prone to rash decisions. We can choose alliances with the wrong people. And furthermore, we can disconnect from the true source of our creativity.
And since it is so applicable, I'll quote one of my favorite business scriptures here - again...
You shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may confirm his covenant that He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.
Deuteronomy 8:18 ESV
The Law of Co-Labor
"Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5 NLT
For we are labourers together with God: 1 Corinthians 3:9a
I don't know about you, but to me, this fact of laboring with God is a big deal. Because we understand we aren't in this alone, we can be more bold. Especially relevant, we know our work is of greater purpose.
While we work at home, or in our small office or garage space, the realization that our work is also a holy work can give us more fire to press through the hard times. Maintaining passion and purpose can be tough when you wonder if there's any point to what you are doing.
The Law of Co-Labor is our antidote to depression and disappointment. Probably, it is one of the most important of the Seven Laws of Spiritual Success.
The Law of Faith
Chopra says we must have an attitude of detachment from the outcome. However, as Christian we know this truth:
Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. Hebrews 11:1 NLT
Therefore, we don't detach - we attach. We throw out our anchor of hope, and draw ourselves toward the very thing we desire. In nautical terms it's called kedging - throw the anchor to the front of the boat and draw the boat forward.
What is your vision? Have you "made the vision plain so you can run with it?" (Habakkuk 2:2) Are you spiritually attached to the mission of your life? Almost certainly if you are not, you are struggling.
The Law of Rest
Finally we come to the last of the Seven Spiritual Laws of Success for the Christian Entrepreneur. And now, we rest.
Ultimately, we acknowledge that all we are and all we do is in the hands of our God. The hardest "work" we do is REST.
God's promise of entering His rest still stands, so we ought to tremble with fear that some of you might fail to experience it. Hebrews 4:1 NLT
It doesn't always look like what we thought. I mean really, I never thought my life would look like it does today. And we have so many examples of this kind of faith in the Bible that I'll only list a few.
- Abraham and Sarah were promised a son. He showed up when Abraham was 100.
- David was promised a kingdom - and then went back out to take care of the sheep.
- Joseph was told he would rule, and then found himself in a pit, slavery and prison first.
- Jesus came as our Saviour, but first was beaten, crucified, killed and buried.
Wherever you are today in your entrepreneurial journey, I know that you've had some ups and downs. And, if you're in an upswing right now, you are liable to hit another desert.
Paul said it best in Philippians 4:11 - "for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances."
In conclusion, let me finish by saying that what I truly believe, is this. The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success for Christians is about learning to live by the Law of Grace.
From His fullness we have all received grace upon grace. 1 John 1:16
So, go on out there and be your awesome self. The world is waiting and God is on your side.