Have you ever struggled between knowing if what you are doing comes primarily from your own efforts or from God working in and through you, and how best to balance that? This has been a challenge for me as I have explored stepping into more of heaven in the marketplace.
It seems like I’ve gone back and forth from using my own experience and effort, and then thinking that I should let God do the work and waiting for Him to act. I’d just hold on and rely on God’s promises, and people’s words over my life, waiting for promises to be fulfilled. However, this did not always work well either. What seemed to work best was finding the right balance between pushing hard using my own skills and abilities, and letting God do what only He can do. The result of this balance was usually pretty good.
However, somewhere, deep in my spirit I knew that there must be something that wasn’t just good, but was better – or even best – and I wanted that. Here is what I learned.
The Bible frequently addresses partnering with God, and I’d like to highlight two instances here. At the end of the first chapter of Ephesians, there is an incredible truth that tells us that we have the fullness of Jesus in us. Wow! That’s hard for my mind to fully grasp, but it’s transformative. The other truth is found in John 15:4. Jesus says that as we remain in Him, He remains in us. Neither of these scriptures sounds like the balance that I was searching for, but something much more profound and life-altering.
I believe that the application of these Biblical truths is key. I am a results-oriented business person and need real answers, not just happy sounding spiritual advice. So that’s what I’ll give here – a radical statement and then two applications.
First, the radical statement. We can’t balance our abilities and efforts and God’s supernatural work in our life. It doesn’t work, so don’t even try.
What actually works is so much better. We put 100% of God’s supernatural work in our life right along-side 100% of us. There is no balance between the two. It’s the fullness of Christ along with the fullness of us. He has created us to be His representation in the unique way that only we can be. Notice that I did not say 100% of our experience, hard work, and wisdom, but us – exactly who we are created to be. It’s a powerful combination. The result is becoming fully our true self, not just an improved version of our current self.
Now the practical applications.
First, we need to discover who we are. I don’t believe we can partner with heaven well unless we know who we really are. To know this, it’s helpful to spend a lot of time with Jesus. This is not about asking Him for wisdom, worshipping Him, or doing a Bible study (all good things), but spending lots of time simply asking Him what’s on His mind, instead of telling Him what’s on ours. In my experience, whenever I did that He started talking to me about me. I was on His mind and I’m sure you are too. It can be hard to fathom, but the King of the universe wants you to know how much He loves you and values both who you are and what you do, and that He has created you for a purpose. That purpose is the best thing ever – to hang out with him all the time
Second, every morning before your day starts, make a list of the three most important things you need to do that day. Then tell Jesus what they are, and ask Him what His heart is for those things – not what you are supposed to do, but for His heart, and what He wants to do. Once you understand His heart for what is in front of you, the rest is easy. You will find yourself naturally operating in a new and powerful place, and partnering with the peace, presence
So how do we balance our own initiatives with God’s on a day-to-day basis? It’s not a question of balance, it’s all of us and all of Jesus. Will you join me in going all-in?
Gary Klopfenstein is Chairman of GK Investment Management, a private asset management company established as a family office. In previous roles, Gary has served as Chief Executive Officer and member of the Board of Directors of Berenberg Asset Management, the U.S. asset management arm of a 400-year-old German financial institution, and as Senior Managing Director, member of the Board of Directors and Head of Direct Alternative Investment Strategies for Mesirow Financial, a Chicago based diversified financial services firm. At Mesirow Financial he was responsible for business growth from $1 billion to over $50 billion in less than ten years. Gary has a wealth of global expertise including successful client relationships in the U.S., Canada, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Australia.
Gary has written one book, Trading Currency Cross Rates, and edited two others, FX: Managing Global Currency Risk and Strategic Trading in the Foreign Exchange Markets. He is a frequent speaker at leading conferences and a regular publisher of thought leading papers for global publications. He is considered to be one of the industry founders in the specialist management of global currency risk.
Gary and his wife Candice live in Chicago, have been married for over thirty years and have two adult children. (Find more info at http://www.gkinvestmentmanagement.us/index.html)