Friday, October 16, 2009

God: Venture Capitalist

"For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. 15 "And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey. 16 "Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. 17 "And likewise he who had received two gained two more also. 18 "But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord's money. 19 "After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20 "So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, 'Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.' 21 "His lord said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.' 22 "He also who had received two talents came and said, 'Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.' 23 "His lord said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.' 24 "Then he who had received the one talent came and said, 'Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 'And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.' 26 "But his lord answered and said to him, 'You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. 27 'So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. 28 'Therefore take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents. 29 'For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. 30 'And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.' Matthew 25:14-30

Jesus: The Nice-Machine?

I have never been able to understand the preachers who paint Jesus as a one dimensional ‘nice-machine.’ In fact, there is not even a hint of warmth or forgiveness offered to the unprofitable servant in this parable. This guy is not going to be depicted by an artist as a lamb nestled in Jesus’ arms by the cool water anytime soon. Some might even accuse Jesus of coming across as harsh here.

God: The Original Venture Capitalist

I think the contemporary job title best describing God’s role as the lord in this parable is venture capitalist, or ‘one who invests funds for start-up firms with exceptional growth potential.’ God is the original venture capitalist and He invests in His servants as part of a business plan designed to grow His Son’s company, the Church. Jesus Christ set up a proven model to recruit and compensate workers for the purpose of the profitable expansion of His trans-dimensional company. His eventual goal is global market domination, and he makes no bones about it. The Father has invested 6,000 years, the blood of His Son, innumerable angels, the lives of the martyrs, the written Word and the Holy Spirit—and now He expects full participation and profit from every servant.

In the parable, the unprofitable servant tries to be so smooth when he patronizes his lord with empty words and false respect. In modern Christian vernacular, the words might sound more like this: “Gee whiz, Lord, I know how scary and awesome you are but every group had a different teaching about what I was supposed to do for you… How could I really know? In fact, some say I do not have to work at all, just believe… and besides, I’m not smart enough to understand what you really want from me… Everyone has their own interpretation… I’m afraid I might do something wrong… I could never do anything good enough for you… who can really understand the mind of God, anyway? You harvest where you want even where you haven’t scattered seed so I know you don’t need me… That is why I hid salvation in my heart so I wouldn’t lose it… besides; faith is such a personal thing.”

On top of that, I’m sure the unprofitable servant had many other wicked and lazy people agreeing with him so he planned on hiding in the crowd and maybe the lord would forget to call on him. This guy loved democracy… the power of the people to decide for themselves. “Look lord, I didn’t lose my salvation…. I have believed in you for years and they said all you have to do is have faith and, see, Jesus is in my heart. I have my ticket to Heaven. I just kept it safe to myself!”

But the lord is onto him. He says, “Wrong—you are lying. That is not why you didn’t make a profit for me. You did not make a profit for me because you are both wicked and lazy and refused to act on my behalf. You loved the world but you didn’t love Me and you don’t love your neighbors” People commonly cite all kinds of rhetorical excuses to use God in order to secure their own salvation and spend their lives making a profit for themselves but never do make a profit for the Lord. Many believers just do not really care that much about Him.

College Degree and Ordination Ceremonies are Not Necessary

When I washed up on God’s shores at 26 years old in 1982, on one hand, I was walking pretty ugly because I was saved from a very bad place. On the other hand however, I was like an on-fire missile for God, and just crazy enough to start working the crowd for Jesus without a formal education or some impressive pedigree. I obtained some basic coaching from TV preachers, prayed hours each day and began telling family, friends and co-workers what I knew of the Gospel from the day I was born again and filled with the Holy Spirit. I did not wait for someone to ordain me to begin ministering. I became a minister the moment I got saved.

Education and ordination are not necessary to make a profit for God. Both of those things can be helpful but lack of them should never be offered as an excuse for lack of personal investment in God’s business. Nobody should stall in a fantasy, waiting for a ceremony with apostles and prophets to start working for God. A ceremony may or may not ever happen but I guarantee if a person is not producing for the Kingdom before ordination, they will not after. Don’t forget our parable—God is a venture capitalist coming back soon and expecting a profit from every servant.

Simply Holding Your Own is Not Enough

God didn’t give the life of his Son because any of us are that much of a prize on our own. I’m sorry, is that harsh? I’m probably not talking about you; I’m talking to the other people reading this. I know you’re probably truly a prize. Kidding aside, the truth is, He does want you… and more.

Let me illustrate: Bill Brown is a venture capitalist and Mary Smith comes to him with an idea for a web design business needing $100,000 to get started. Bill agrees to back her after looking at her education, experience, credit-history, business plan and then negotiating terms of interest and repayment. He then transfers $100,000 of his personal money to Mary. There is only one reason Bill is investing this money—profit. He is not going to be happy if she only gives him his investment money back.

Imagine five years later, Mary thanking Bill as she gives him $100,000 payment in full saying, “Boy, wasn’t that a great investment. See, you got all you money back, I didn’t lose a dime!” I’m sure Bill’s response would be similar to the lord of the unprofitable servant. He would be outraged lamenting, “I could have made more profit if my money was in the bank.” So, the Father says to His Church—I’ve given you the life of my Son and I’ve invested in you and I’ve given you everything you need; every spiritual blessing in heavenly places has been given into your hands. Now go make me a profit. Just giving God back the salvation He gave you is not profit!

We Have All the Investment Capital We Need

Jesus Himself promised adequate available investment capital to pray mountains into the sea and He set up an account of power and grace with a potentially unlimited balance; with more becoming available as needed to the faithful servant. That’s how much spiritual capital God has put up for this venture. But make no mistake: God wants a profit. God is looking for a profit.

The Unprofitable Servant’s Dilemma

So often Christians mope around like, “Oh well, nobody is giving me a ministry so I guess I’ll just wait here and try my best to resist sin until Jesus comes back.” Resisting sin out of will power alone is like a little boy trying to see if he can stay awake all night. Sooner or later, no matter how hard he tries, sleep takes over and he succumbs to the inevitable. There is no stopping nature for long.
Sin is the same. If a believer is not busy actively handling grace, then sooner or later he is going to get into trouble because only contact with fresh grace relieves the sin urge. Without fresh grace the growing impulse becomes too great and the sin virus inside will battle with the mind until the sin manifests. Human willpower is no long-term match for sin and Adam’s children always get themselves into trouble apart from fresh blood-bought grace. Profitable servants are actively investing so when they do sin they are quick to repent. The unprofitable servant keeps his faith mainly inside his heart so when he sins he does not repent and, like mushrooms, sin is free to grow in the darkness. God is looking for a profit.

Kingdom Profit

Under the direction of Apostle John Kelly, in 1991 my wife Nancy and I took a church plant here in rural Margaretville. The area had been, since frontier days, famous for being godless. In fact, a popular slogan from the old days still remembered by locals is: “There is no law west of Woodstock and no God west of Shandaken” (Margaretville is the town to the west of Woodstock and Shandaken). Suffice it to say, there was no Spirit-filled church in the tiny town.

We arrived fully secure in the Kingdom business plan and went to work with hearts full of faith. I had long understood that God provides adequate resources, both seen and unseen, and expects profit. Over the years our startup investment package consisting of our faith, 15 people and an abandoned gas station refitted as a church, has produced a profit for the Lord in the form of Catskill Mountain Christian Center.

Eighteen years later CMCC has become a veritable power plant of life and Kingdom productivity, providing hundreds of people the opportunity to invest their own talents for the benefit of the Master. Thousands of lives have been positively affected and Jesus Christ has become a living member of hundreds of homes through the influence of CMCC. Every life that has been affected, every good work rendered, every radio show broadcast, every soul converted, every cup of water given in His name; Every Bible study, Sunday service, marriage saved, child protected, book sold, conference held, missions dollar spent, minister supported, and church encouraged represent profit to the Kingdom through CMCC.

Profit Defined

In Luke chapter four, Jesus reads the scroll in the temple: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because he has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor and he sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captive and recovery of sight to the blind and to set in liberty those who are oppressed.” So, ostensibly, this is where Christians come from. We are adopted by God through coming to terms with our malfunction and weakness, admittedly extracted from the poor, the brokenhearted, the captive, the blind, and the oppressed.

Now contrast this with 1 Peter 2:9 where Peter writes by the Holy Spirit: “You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, called forth that you may proclaim the praise of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light….”
The question is which group do we belong to now? Which one are you? Are you the poor, brokenhearted, captive, blind and oppressed or are you chosen, royal, holy and special? Which one? Are you sometimes both or maybe just confused?

Should I Stay or Should I Go

Some believers seem to want to stay poor, brokenhearted, captive, blind and oppressed. They learn to be comfortable in that identity. “I’m so poor, brokenhearted, oppressed, and blind,” they say, and ten years later they are still in the same church and they are still poor, brokenhearted, captive and blind. “I need mercy, God, I need your mercy,” and yet there is no growth and no profit. These people have gained no profit.

If you are a believer and God has said His people are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people called forth to proclaim His praises, that is who you are now. You’ve received your adoption papers. You are a new thing even though you sometimes feel like the old thing. That is the way of it. You still contain a lot of the old but you are supposed to be becoming new. You were the poor, the brokenhearted the captive, the blind and the oppressed and you are actually becoming chosen, royal, holy and special. This positive movement is profit on its own and increases the servant’s ability to gain more profit.

Profit begets profit; so as you become chosen, royal, holy and special you are becoming like Jesus because he is the perfect model of these qualities. You see, you have to believe you are chosen, royal, holy and special, and become used to living in that mindset; convinced that God has made you to be His favored child and nothing can take that away from you. Why… because He said so and He is God, and He expects profit from you.

The Other You – The Unprofitable Voice

Right about now, you’re unprofitable, deceitful and self-righteous voice is going to say, “But I don’t feel chosen, royal, holy or special and I do not want to be a hypocrite.” And on a deeper and even more devious level, the inner voice whispers, “If you blab all over the place about being God’s favored child, you know deep down inside that you are going to have to act like a full blown holy Christian all the time.” This is significant because like the wicked, lazy servant, we all know that there are some benefits in being less committed, especially if you do not want to get stuck with too much work or have to keep company with ‘uncomfortable’ people. There are advantages to having people keep their distance, such as lower expectations and fewer demands to perform. It takes a lot of faith-effort to produce a profit for the Kingdom.

But if you are sure about being chosen, royal, holy and special and you position yourself as God’s favored child there is a lot expected of you. So sometimes we’re a little unsure of exactly what we want. We like to sing songs in the sold-out camp but when the expectations of overcoming, victory, sacrifice and profit come on us, we’re like “whoa, slow down, I’m just a leper—a sinner saved by grace.”

The Joseph Connection – Profit Personified

The story of Joseph starting in Genesis 37 is a great example of someone who had a chosen, royal, holy and special mindset and created profit for each of his masters. He was raised as a favored child of his father, Jacob, and is considered, in many ways, a prophetic foreshadowing of Jesus. Joseph, therefore, makes a perfect case study of a person who possessed the mindset of a profitable servant.

When someone is raised by parents who focus love, admiration, time and attention on him/her it creates a good self image. You feel valuable because you are valued by your parents. You know you can do things because you have been treated as a valuable treasure. When, like Joseph, you are raised by parents who love and train you in a biblical way, and your parents carry the blessing of God, you end up being an optimistic, well balanced person—a candidate for a dream and one who has a sense of destiny. Profitable people are creative people.

“Now Jacob dwelt in the land where his father was a stranger, in the land of Canaan. 2 This is the history of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brothers. And the lad was with the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, his father's wives; and Joseph brought a bad report of them to his father. 3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age. Also he made him a tunic of many colors." (Gen 37:1-3)

Two things to note in this passage. Number one: Righteous Joseph was a snitch—an unpardonable sin in many respectable human institutions like prison and the mafia. He ran straight to his father when his brothers did wrong. A profitable servant is loyal to his leader even above his own brothers. Lazy and wicked servants always travel in packs and use group influence to corrupt others and restrain excellence. In order to bring profit to the Master, we must have His good in mind above all things.

Number two: Joseph’s daddy made him a special coat—he just loved that boy and it is very safe to say that Joseph grew confident underneath that love. In the same way, a recently adopted child of God transitions from a person who was in captivity and is now expected to wear a new cover identifying him/her as favored child of God. A child of God’s coat separates him/her from the pack. Jesus Christ is the beautiful coat of the Christian.

This new coat feels strange at first but soon becomes comfortable giving a sense of confidence, and the child of God grows more and more secure as the love and admiration shines from the Father. Your Father loves seeing the new coat He made for you on your shoulders. The coat declares, “I am chosen, royal, holy and special. My coat was made by my Father’s own hand… I believe it because He said it.” I become very confident in my self-image to the degree that I believe it true. I become comfortable in this new coat because my Father made it for me.

One Thousand Years of God’s Love Today

When I think about how great the Father’s love is toward me, I’m reminded of the Scripture, “But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” (2 Peter 3:8). Because God is not constrained by time and space He has one thousand years (or more) of His God-time to invest in my day today. One thousand years of His love, one thousand years of His concentration and one thousand years of His concern for me all concentrated in each single day I live. He really loves me… He has every hair numbered… He knows every detail.

Like Jacob loved Joseph, my Father loves me and dotes on me watching my every move with admiration as I grow up in his love. When he looks at me he sees two things that make Him smile: 1. He sees the coat which He, himself made for me. 2. He sees me joyfully and publicly wearing my new coat and He sees the great desire I have to please Him.

“Now Joseph had a dream…” Genesis 37:5

When I openly wear Jesus, I feel very special and important, growing confident under the adoring eye of my Father. Soon, this faith and love creates the perfect spiritual environment for receiving a dream from God. When a person is secure in the knowledge that God absolutely adores them, they are given the gift of a dream.

Today many Christians are doing circles. These are people without God-dreams because they are not sure if they are poor, brokenhearted, captive, blind and oppressed or chosen, royal, holy and special. As long as there is ambivalence in terms of identity, people will be devoid of God-inspired vision. Many confuse God-dreams with natural goals and end up with a product of their self-life. But when someone is content in the Father’s love, like Joseph, they’ll get a dream from God—a dream connected with destiny. The accomplishment of this dream is purest Kingdom profit!

So, first, one must believe in the Father’s love above all things. Jesus said this in Mark 16, “in that day you will ask my name and I do not say that I shall pray to the Father for you for the Father himself loves you.” This is truth we can embrace with complete confidence because the Word of God says it—feelings aside—if the Word of God says it, you have to believe it. God has the power to make a person into what He says… but believing in His love and present day power is mandatory—that’s faith.

God Creates Profit through Faith Words

Genesis chapter one, the beginning, sets forth some of the most important precedents in the Bible. In this chapter of Scripture the words ‘God said’ occurs ten times and everything He says happens within the respective day. The heavens and earth are created by God speaking things into existence in time and space. When God’s Word says something it indicates His will to do it. He now partners with faith-filled human servants to vocalize His words in time and space, thus releasing His power on earth to create and arrange Kingdom profit.

Visible and Invisible Profit

The Father himself loves you. Relax; you are a child of God. Remember the paralyzed man in Luke 5 who was lowered down before Jesus? His friends carry him to the house where Jesus is healing people and it is too crowded to get in the door. They finally hoist him up onto the roof of the house, remove the tiles and lower him down into the room where Jesus looks up and says to him, “Man, you’re sins are forgiven.”

This begs the question, why would Jesus accuse a poor paralyzed man of being a sinner without even meeting the guy? What has he done wrong? His friends did not bring him to Jesus for absolution of sins but healing. Why would Jesus hurt his feelings by calling him a sinner? Didn’t He have compassion on the poor guy?

“Your sins are forgiven,” – one, two, three… I think Jesus was counting in His head as the Pharisees were starting to fume in anger… “How dare he say your sins are forgiven.” Jesus finally confronts their dilemma with a question, “Which is easier to do, say your sins are forgiven or to say rise up and walk?” This is the question for all of us. Which is easier to do, say your sins are forgiven or rise up and walk? They are both equally impossible. Natural men cannot do either one of them, however, Jesus says, “Just so you know that I have power to forgive sins, rise up and walk.” Jesus performed visible miracles to validate His power to forgive man’s invisible sin debt to God.

No Profit in Pirates

If you have received your Jesus coat, your sins are forgiven. Many Christians walk around with a negative self image, feeling like a stowaway pirate hiding out in a church; always grappling with a haunting feeling of being an outsider. Some dear folks actually think they are the only real Christians and everyone else is a pirate so they begin to secretly organize a mutiny. A child of God is not a rebel pirate. The old pirate nature has been amputated in Christ and all that remains are phantom pains.

God’s Investment – Your Security

A child of God is a child of God: chosen, royal, holy and special. Faith in that premise must be the first and foremost building block of the new life. Even in your paralysis “Your sins are forgiven.” But, your inner voice argues, “I have not done anything good to earn God’s love and favor.” BINGO. He did it all for you and you get it like the gift of a new coat from a loving father. This coat of God’s favor is His investment in you, akin to the talents left with the three servants in our original Scripture.

Likewise the Bible does not indicate that Joseph did anything to earn the favor of his father or merit Jacob’s special love. He was chosen, royal, holy and special… just like the Word of God says you are. In fact, you today have more love being lavished on you right at this very moment from God than Joseph ever had in his life from Jacob. Joseph would go on in his life to be reduced to nothing, several times, but his dream and the favor of God kept him earning profit for every master he served.

The Price of Profit: Rejection

But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and could not speak peaceably to him. Genesis 37:4

When you’re confident in the love of God that you are chosen, royal, holy and special, some people will hate you for it. The people closest to you are often first to resent God’s favor on you and be offended by your confidence. They will try to pull you back down into the small and competitive place where people are measured by their physical characteristics and accomplishments. The day you decide you’re going to believe God with all your heart, as in Joseph’s story, some people are going to react badly.

Not infrequently the most troublesome are the closest. Parents, siblings, spouse, children, long time friends, church members and co-workers… certain people will hate you when you hide your old self underneath the coat your Father made for you and start boldly wearing Jesus Christ.

Very often the closest have their feathers ruffled most because your holiness and commitment reveals the spirit of compromise in them. They do not want to go where you are going. Remember Job’s wife couldn’t stand his righteous commitment when things got hard. She said to him, “Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!" Job 2:9

There is a quality about someone who is holy that makes someone who isn’t holy really upset. Sometimes it is people in your church or family members. Honestly, Joseph’s father wasn’t too crazy about his son’s big dreams of family domination. Sometimes maybe even your pastor or home group leader will not think much of your dream; but it’s not for them to think much of—it’s for you to believe your dream.

Human Nature at its Worst

Next, the brothers are out in the field and Joseph comes looking for them with his beautiful new coat on his shoulders. By this time, these guys are just ripping mad: Then they said to one another, "Look, this dreamer is coming!” Come therefore, let us now kill him and cast him into some pit; and we shall say, 'Some wild beast has devoured him.' We shall see what will become of his dreams!" (Genesis 37:19-20)

When you walk with God’s favor covering you and start boldly talking about your big dream, a desire to strike you down rises up in people. This is a strange and mixed-up fallen world that we live in where someone else’s dream threatens us. How dare you have a dream? How dare you become more successful than me? How dare you elevate yourself above our collective wisdom?
When you are walking in your God-dream, certain people around you will purposely try to block your way in order to break your spirit. They want to snuff it out because your success makes them feel bad. Like the unprofitable servant, your profit coming from God reveals their laziness and wickedness. They want there to be no higher level of righteousness than what they are living. They want to believe that goodness and holiness do not matter in the real world.

This phenomenon happens very commonly in Christian circles. Somebody will turn over a new leaf and say, “today is the day that I’m going to renew my spiritual disciplines.” And, the people around them literally work against them. A husband wants to reclaim his prayer life and his wife works against him or vice versa. Be prepared for resistance in implementing your God-dream.

The hard heart in some people demands that others only achieve success within approved and accepted humanly controlled systems. If you work, fight, save, study, or invest your way to success the world will love you because the world loves its own. If you are chosen by God for his own reasons however, and He dotes on you and gives you a dream and coat, people hate you for it because you have special advantage they are not willing to pursue. It is why Cain killed Abel. People hate you when you have been accepted by God and are not a puppet of the prevailing political sway, leaving their corruption with no influence over you.

Joseph the Profiteer

In every situation where Joseph found himself, he brought a profit to his master. You see, no employer wants to pay you $10 an hour and get $10 revenue in return. If I pay you $10 an hour and don’t get $20 an hour return, I’m not a very good businessman. That’s the point of doing business—making a profit. Every time Joseph worked for someone, he took his little measure of influence and he made a veritable garden out of a desert. Joseph profited his father by bringing him happiness. He profited his father’s business by sharing a bad report about his brothers’ care of the flocks. He was completely rejected, thrown into a pit by his brothers and sold into slavery, bringing financial profit to his brothers… even when he was being rejected he was bringing a profit! Joseph was profit waiting to happen.

In today’s modern church world a person who is that badly rejected by his own brothers in his youth would many times end up in counseling and deliverance sessions for forty years and still feel powerless. But not Joseph; every circumstance he found himself in resulted in profit for each respective human leader and finally for God. Potiphar bought Joseph as a slave and over time, gave his whole household into Joseph’s hands and Joseph served him and God blessed his household for Joseph’s sake (see Genesis 39 1-6). Joseph brought profit to his master.

As a leader, it’s one thing when you see someone really working hard under you and is committed to doing his job with excellence, but it is another thing when you see ambition in his heart because he’s just waiting for you to stumble so he can jump you and take your position. Why is it that every time Joseph had any position the people who were over him loved him and trusted him? Universally, his superiors, both human and God, wanted to give him more authority and power, because he was bringing a profit in every place he served. He was making a profit; a garden in the desert.

What kind of self-image does one possess to get falsely accused, thrown in jail and over time become the number one inmate, responsible for the whole prison? (Genesis 39; 20-23) Joseph had a dream from God… he was chosen, royal, holy and special… he made a profit everywhere he served. He was never a rebel. He served every master profitably, fulfilled his destiny, saved his family and found a home for God’s people for the next four hundred years.
Joseph was betrayed by his brothers and sold for a profit. He served and made a profit for Potiphar and was betrayed by Potiphar’s wife. He was thrown in prison and served and profited the jailer. He used his spiritual gifts to profit some inmates and was forgotten by them. He was discovered by Pharaoh and served and profited him and all of Egypt. Finally, he served God and fulfilled his original God-dream by rescuing and delivering his father and brothers and finding a home for God’s people.

God the Venture Capitalist Seeks Profitable Servants

The same destiny is offered to the child of God today. The one with the spirit of Joseph says, “I’m going through some hard times, but I’ve got a dream. “I am determined to turn this desert into a garden—give me any desert and I’m going to make a garden.” At which point most people come back to the leader (after whining and complaining behind his back) and say, “well, you didn’t give me any seeds… how can I be expected to make a garden?” Remember, even the wicked and lazy servant knew his lord is the one who, “reaps where you have not sown.”

The great sign of a child of God walking in faith is his ability to create profit: more results than natural resources invested. We serve the God who reaps where He has not sown; who feeds the multitudes with five loaves and two fish. “For the LORD will comfort Zion, He will comfort all her wasted places; He will make her wilderness like Eden, And her desert like the garden of the LORD; Joy and gladness will be found in it, Thanksgiving and the voice of melody.” (Isaiah 51:3)

We’re not talking about a dollar invested and a dollar returned. We’re talking about working for God. We’re talking about coming to a community of 600 people and having an expansive ministry far beyond anyone’s expectations (except mine). It is about having a dream of becoming something that’s righteous, holy and pure and raising up people to be world changers and conquerors representing Jesus in this generation.

It is about taking a desert and making a garden by the power of God. Listen, child of God – every boss, every employer – ought to love you. Everywhere you go you should bring a Joseph spirit with you, into every area of your life. Don’t tell me you work for a heathen so you can’t be profitable. All Joseph ever worked for were heathens – except for his dad – and he made every heathen he ever worked for wealthier, more effective and more successful.

Children of God ought to be in government. We ought to be in business. We ought to be in every place bringing excellence – a Joseph spirit to everything. Why? Because God is looking for a profit. And here’s the whammy… Joseph starts out as just one of the brothers but by the time he’s transformed by all of the trials, work and ever increasing success they don’t even recognize him anymore! Like Jesus, Joseph was thrown into a pit and was transformed. The pathway to fulfilling your God-dream will have the same effect.