At the end of June I attended a 2-1/2 day conference in Bloomington, Minnesota called The Americas Congress, put on by ICCC — the International Christian Chamber of Commerce.
It was amazing to hear and meet this group of dedicated, international business men and women — some at high levels in their business — who also are strong, outspoken Christians. Their maturity, professionalism and honesty were inspiring.
One of the topics that grabbed my attention the most was “Release Your Donkey.” The phrase was taken from the book Business Unlimited by J. Gunnar Olson, the founder of ICCC.
You may remember this story from the Bible: Jesus tells his disciples to go into the village where they’ll find a donkey tied up. He instructs them to untie it and bring it to Him. Jesus says,
“If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ you shall say, ‘The Lord has need of it.’ ” (Luke 19:31, NASV)
The donkey was a beast of burden in those times (and in some countries yet today) and represents the work life.
The gist of it? Untie your work life from its stake and bring it to Jesus. He has need of it. He wants to use it.
Many of us have lived our lives with an imaginary line dividing what we consider our work life and our faith life. But God says — no, they’re not divided.
Why is this exciting?
It gives God freedom to move within the context of business…to be invited into our work lives just as He’s invited into our church and personal lives.
Gunnar Olson’s book gives personal testimony to several miraculous interventions in the various companies he ran in Sweden.
I have friends who also have stories of God’s interventions in their own work world.
Tracy David Peterson is a Performance Coach, author, speaker, and owner of Designed4Freedom. She shared her story with me a few months ago. I asked her to summarize it for you in her own words:
“Having been an entrepreneur most of my life, I was always seeking new ways to grow and expand my business. Always striving for more money and more influence, hoping that I would become more confident and successful.
“I went to countless conferences and seminars, and it was one powerful weekend that changed my entire life. An international entrepreneur and trainer introduced me to the the love of a Heavenly Father and the power of the Holy Spirit right there at her business seminar.
“Everything I had been striving for changed in that moment when I learned how to allow Jesus a predominant place in my heart and business.
“I am so grateful for God meeting me where I was. In the midst of building my own kingdom, He rescued me and set me on a firm foundation of truth and love.
“Now I live to serve God in business, to build His Kingdom and seek His approval and promotion. There is nothing like having Jesus as your CEO. His leadership is perfect.
“I would not have found God any other way, as business had become my god. God is moving in the marketplace!”
Louann Cherrier works in real estate with Greater Midwest Realty. She’s constantly amazed at the ways God has intervened in her work. Here’s one example:
“I received a call from a seller living two blocks from a home I had sold in one day. She was inquiring how I did that.
“I explained it was the home of my pastor and his wife. The Lord had told them it would sell to the first party that previewed the home. And indeed it did!
“In telling my caller this, she was very interested in working with me. So I listed their home.
“Three weeks went by and no offer, or even much activity.
“Mrs. Seller told me she buried a St. Joseph statue in the yard upside down. She was told it would sell her home. I felt I should tell her the statue was an idol and it would not sell the home — they needed to trust in the Lord.
“So the seller removed the statue from the yard. The next day we received an offer and the home closed in 30 days!
“After their home sold, the sellers told me that due to my praying with them and telling them about the idol, they have returned to church and are wanting to serve the Lord. Our God is so faithful!”
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Whether you’re a business owner or an employee, you can “release your donkey” to God. You won’t know until you do what uses He may have for it. Or whom He wants to touch through you and your work.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this! Please leave your comments below.