How Does God Speak In Your Career?
A while back I started a new job at an investment bank in Singapore. I realized very quickly that I did things very differently to my new boss. Just 2 months into my new job, the stress began to really weigh me down. The fatigue and anxiety created a destructive circle. I felt constantly tired and mentally fatigued.
My mind was barraged by a whole number of fears like:
- How are you going to support your wife and child if you lose this job?
- Are you sure you heard God right in taking up this new job?
- What are my colleagues going to think of me if they hear about my failure?
- Will I be able to get another job in the industry?
Even after a whole weekend of relaxing and exercising I was still tired and arrived at work feeling drained on Monday morning. I was filling up with self doubt and my health was waning.
I ended up being let go before my 3 months probation was up, for the first time in my career. This created a breaking point in my career. A point at which I had enough impetus to change the way I had always done things. I was able to do something that I had previously felt unable to do — write a book, start a business and travel.
However, this is not the complete story. For the previous eight years in Singapore I had experienced gradual change every day. It started by joining Joseph Prince’s church in Singapore. I learned about grace and rest in ways that the Western style of Christianity that I had heard since childhood had never talked about. When I went to church growing up there was a tremendous focus on sin and doing good works. Reading the bible again from a truthful perspective changed the way I saw how Jesus’ perfect sacrifice has liberated us as Christians.
After that I found the Engaging God program offered by Pastor Mike Parsons and Freedom Church (https://freedomarc.org/). Suddenly I was able to enter God’s Kingdom in the heavenly realm. I had been told that it existed and now I was experiencing it for myself. Suddenly my Christian experience became real. I was separately experiencing the Holy Spirit, Jesus and God the Father. I was walking in a flow of power that I had never experienced before.
This gradual change over the previous eight years created a strong desire to work with God when my job did not work out like I expected. I knew that God was guiding me. I knew that His hand was on my life. I felt like He was leading me every day in my new journey.
Recently I have been getting some opposition from pockets of Christians who believe it is safer not to listen to God speak in case they are listening to other voices. I have seen this type of Christian since childhood. My grandparents were missionaries and my parents were involved in conservative evangelical churches. However I found there was a constant disconnect between the miraculous God of the Bible and the strong messages preached every Sunday. There was a form of godliness, but no power. There was no real love for God. How can you love someone who is with you if you never speak to them?
It is normally only when these same Christians suddenly experience the breaking points in their lives that they suddenly start asking the truly important question: is God simply an all knowing God or is He also a communicating, loving Father who directs people on earth with His Word?
Throughout my secular career I have worked with brash business people. Perhaps we crave to be independent. Maybe we think power and money will actually save us. Until we get retrenched. Until our business goes bankrupt. Now we look at ourselves in the mirror. Who do we see? Someone who is like a secular business man or woman? Someone simply walking around with a Bible in their hands? Or, have we listened to God speaking every day so that we can have the confidence to change course with God when He asks us to?
The success you have in your career is not determined simply by believing in Jesus. It is whether you trust His leading. This means engaging God through your spirit. His sheep know His voice. It is about working with God in small ways every day until you can trust Him to lead you at your breaking points. Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts. If you aren’t sure whether a message is from God, ask Him “God, is this message from you?”
Michael Dean Thomas BComm Hons CA(SA) CFA has worked on three continents. He has a range of experience, including working for an investment bank in Singapore, advising clients for a Big 4 audit firm and being CFO for a startup. He is the author of Change Business Career with God available on Amazon.
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