The Corporate Christian: How to live out your faith in Corporate America
I am fully convinced that corporations are a tool of the devil, who has to compensate for his inability to be everywhere at the same time. He uses “woke corporations” like evil little group-think minions to reflect and perpetuate culture, and straight-up unbiblical, worldly beliefs. He can’t be everywhere at the same time but Google sure can!
Do I have your attention yet?
In this article, we’re going to look at some examples in scripture to see how the LORD has already specially-equipped us to engage the enemy in the corporate world. Yes, the LORD has given us tools and historical testimonies to encourage us to take ground for His glory in these terrible places of work. It is possible to be a Christian in Corporate America, but you better have some grit, get comfortable with conflict, and be prepared for a fight, where victory might not come like you think.
“But I have to support my family, and this job pays the bills!”
If you are anything like me, then you are really good at rationalizing all sorts of things.
Compromise. Concessions. Settling.
As Christian men, why should we have to choose between our values and our God-given responsibility to support our families? We shouldn’t have to make those choices, but for a lot of us, it’s a reality. Fortunately, the Bible gives us wisdom that is both pure and peaceful from above. In James 3:17-18 the Bible says:
“But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.”
Spoiler alert, we don’t have to compromise!
In the Book of Joshua, we are introduced to the Biblical concept of “positional” versus “practical” salvation. Positional salvation is based on us being “in Christ”. Romans 8:1 tells us that, for those that are “in Christ,” there is no condemnation. That’s wonderful news! We don’t have to go to hell even though we were born sinners that are offensive to God. But what exactly is “practical” salvation? Let me explain it like this…
I went to college, and despite my love for the game of football, my athletic ability didn’t quite live up to the expectations for a D1, championship-caliber program. Let’s say though, that I walked on anyway, and they were actually looking for a 12th-string quarterback. (Just go with it… it’s an illustration, lol)
I make the team! I attend every practice and suit up for every game, but never step on the field. Positionally, I am part of the team. Practically, I’m not in the game. Once we accept Christ, we are on the team. Practical salvation is not just about being on the team, but about what are we accomplishing for the team on the field of play. Get it? What kind of “stats” are we putting up for God; not to become Christians, but because The Father equipped us as Christians through the blood of His Son?
Back to the Book of Joshua. This is where it gets awesome…
Every Israelite that crossed over the Jordan River - conceptually speaking - was “positionally in Christ,” as Jews, because they were heirs of God’s covenant with that nation. But didn’t they fight a lot of battles once they got into the Promised Land? Yes – absolutely! Although they were “positionally in Christ,” there were still battles to be fought, ground to be taken, and victories to be had. The first battle they fought was the Battle of Jericho. It was an epic battle, but not because of the military prowess or the physical might of the Israelites. In fact, the strategy the LORD gave to Joshua for this battle, was the exact opposite of traditional military tactics. I can only imagine the looks that Joshua’s generals gave him when he communicated the plan:
The Angel of the LORD (an Old Testament manifestation of Jesus) instructed him to march around the city, without speaking, with the unarmed-priests leading the way. Once a day for seven days. Seven times on the seventh day. Then, yell real loud.
Stop talking and start walking.
That was basically their strategy – the strategy that God gave. God wanted them to walk around the city seven times quietly. On the last lap on the last day, the priests blew the horns and the entire company shouted at the top of their lungs anticipating the LORD to produce the victory they needed. Not exactly standard military doctrine, yet it was effective because the walls of Jericho came crumbling down. They had a victory because they were obedient to what God had told them to do, regardless of how hard it was, or how crazy-backward it seemed.
The Battle of Jericho, and the battles that followed over the seven-year conquest of the Promise Land, are prophetic pictures of living out the Spirit-filled life. Even though as Christians, we have “crossed over the Jordan River (referring to our salvation),” there are still battles to be fought.
Let’s bring this back to life in corporate America - The Corporate Christian life. Even though we are saved from hellfire, there are still things God wants to accomplish in and through our lives. If He didn’t have a plan and purpose for us, then why would God leave us here on Earth all this time? This is the connection to the Book of Joshua. There is ground to be taken, and lives to be saved. Guess what, they might even be inside the company where you work. Think about that…
This is the mindset we need to have when trying to understand how to live out faith in Corporate America. There are real consequences if we’re not fully living a Spirit-filled life in all aspects, including our work life. Looking back at the example of the ancient Israelites, consider this truth. There were two and a half tribes out of the twelve, who decided that they wanted to take their land inheritance on the eastside of the Jordan River. God had called them all to cross the Jordan River into the Promised Land, defining specific boundaries for that region. The problem was that some of the Israelites decided that some of the land outside of God’s borders, looked pretty comfortable. They saw lush pastureland that was great for raising herds, and the dollar signs started flashing before their eyes. The people of the Tribes of Rueben, Gad, and half of the tribe of Manasseh decided they knew better than God did, and asked Moses if they could take their inheritance on the other side of The River. God had a purpose for His people. They wanted to redefine the parameters of that purpose, for their own profit.
If we fast forward in the Bible a handful of books and a couple millennia, we find Jesus crossing over to the Sea of Galilee to the country of the Gadarenes. The Gadarenes were the people who were living in the region of the Tribe of Gad. They were the ones that had elected to take their inheritance on the other side of God’s declared boundaries. The things Jesus saw there were shocking! Jesus was immediately confronted by a demon-possessed man. The demon-possessed man worshipped Jesus and implored Him on behalf of the demons, not to cast them out. After some back and forth, the demons asked Jesus to send them into a herd of swine that was nearby. Jesus gave them permission, and the unclean spirits left the man, entering the herd of swine. The swine immediately ran violently down a hill, into the sea, killing themselves.
It’s important to note that, according to the Torah, the Jews were NOT supposed to eat pork. Swine was supposed to be considered “unclean” to the Jews. So, what was a herd of swine doing in the country of the Gadarenes, who were Jewish?
It all goes back to the original decision where two and a half tribes of Israel wanted to take their inheritance on the other side of the Jordan River. They pursued material prosperity rather than spiritual maturity. Generations later, their descendants were living contrary to the Word of God – some even so far-removed from God, that they were literally demon-possessed!
Each of us are called to make a simple decision: Prioritize spiritual maturity over material prosperity for the benefit of our souls, the souls of our children, grandchildren, and for generations yet to come.
As men, it’s true that we’re supposed to labor to provide for our families. This is a calling that is physically, emotionally, and spiritually focused. Working a job that pays enough money is part of it. The trick is though, if the spiritual part of that calling isn’t the priority, the physical and emotional parts don’t even matter. We are called “the priest” of our homes. As men of God, we are the tools God uses to connect others to Himself in the role of intercessors.
If we’re going to serve the LORD rightly, we need to be personally accountable to the LORD, fighting the good fight of faith, by making the tough decisions to stray from compromise. If we’re going to equip and encourage the next generation – whether they’re our own kids or not doesn’t matter – we need to live by example, holding up the Word and standards of God above ALL things, by faith that only the Word can produce. We, like Joshua, must cross the Jordan River into the Promised Land, which is a picture of the Spirit-filled life. When we cross though, we should expect battles! We MUST fight those battles through obedience, trusting all the wonderful promises in the Bible, such as Romans 8:28 and Jeremiah 29:11.
We can’t run or hide from conflict, trying to preserve a false sense of comfort and prosperity. Remember the Tribes of Reuben, Gad, and half of Manasseh. We must be sensitive to the leading of the Spirit that lives in us, and do our absolute best to reject compromise. This fight is not only for our sake, but the sake of generations to come.
It's often thought that, in order to do the real work of ministry, men need to leave their workplaces and serve the structure of the church in some sort of “full-time” capacity. It’s true that some are called to that sort of service. But for most of us, serving the LORD from our places of work, upholding the righteous standards of God’s Word as best we can while at work, is how we wage the good warfare. That’s our fight. Will you run? Will you try and hide? Will you compromise and conform? Or will you obey the LORD; be quiet and walk by faith, trusting the LORD to bring down strongholds through your obedience, in ways you can’t imagine, like He did for Joshua? Only one of these choices produces real victory. That’s how you live out your faith in ANY part of America, even the corporate part. That's the Biblical attitude of a true Corporate Christian.