Hi friends, brothers and sisters. I woke up around 1:30 last night to go to the restroom. When I got there and switched on the light, I realized I had a fairly strong nosebleed. After I cleared it up (not knowing what caused it) and went back to bed, I had a hard time falling asleep. The Lord kept putting on my mind this idea which the title describes coupled with the thought of needing capital to begin a business, but already being “in the red.” G-d often uses something in the physical to relate to something spiritual (Hosea 1:2, Jeremiah 1:13-14, Ezekiel 4:4, etc.), and maybe that’s where the nosebleed fits in; red blood and being in the red. I don’t know.
But He wasn’t talking about me. He was using this allegory to reveal spiritual truth. I suppose that there is one or more specific people who need to hear this and benefit from it. It is quite interesting and has caught me by surprise. I understand some of it, yet He is going to have to illuminate the rest. As I get it, I will try to articulate it without messing it up. I just perceive the need to do this now and to be obedient in that regard. If I procrastinate or let something else take priority, the one who needs this may not get to read it. I hope it makes sense.
What G-d is conveying is for us to see our unregenerate souls and our need for salvation through the lens of beginning a new business, and what is necessary before that can happen. When I got up this morning at three o’clock as I always do before getting ready for work, the Holy Spirit immediately started having me to write some things down- literally, as fast as He was telling me. Later- now– is when I’m going back to expound upon it.
The first point He spoke to me was that, when starting up, you need capital. Spiritually speaking, we all come into this world with a sinful nature. We’re already “in the red.” We start out with a deficit and, with each sinful act we commit as sinful creatures, we only go deeper and deeper into spiritual debt; more and more into the red. Who will get us out? Can anyone get us out? Anyone in this world also has a sinful nature. They start out in the red too and, like us, only increase their indebtedness with each passing day. We cannot look to others who are in the red to help us get into the black, that place of having our slates wiped clean of what we owe, let alone of enjoying any abundance or surplus. Since we are in the red and everyone we may reach out to is in the red, we lack the capital to start our business. So we are doomed to failure before we even begin.
He continued teaching me. If you go to a bank or other financial institution, they will require a business plan—a sound one that they deem a worthy investment to fund. In the book of First Timothy 3:4-5 (speaking here of the qualifications a man of G-d must possess and live out if he is to be in the position of an overseer; in this case, a church and, in yours, a business or your very own life) it says, “He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for G-d’s church?” As I mentioned, this is written for the man of G-d who hopes or feels called to be a deacon, pastor or elder of the Lord’s people. But the principle is equally sound for one who wants to branch out into a business venture.
Further application, and the heart of what G-d is saying, translates into the fact that we cannot get a loan from the bank if our business plan and accounting practices are not sound. If our own lives are not in order and we are in personal debt, how or why would they deem us worthy to take on such a risk with their money with nothing to gain in interest or property? The only thing left of any possible value to them to enter into a transaction with you would be collateral; some tangible asset such as your house or car(s). But again, if you are in the red—in debt—you don’t own them. Either they won’t take them because they don’t want to assume the debt or they will take them and sell them, but you will have lost everything you have paid into them so far, leaving you with nothing.
So it is with our lives. We come into this world entirely indebted because of sin, our human inheritance from Adam and Eve. But our lives are no better, so we pass on this same indebtedness to our children. Everyone born into this world shares the same problem. Is there a way out? Is there any hope? Do we look to our own reason, skill, intelligence, power, money, imagination, strength, fame, or something else? Remember, the Lord is likening how you would start up and run a business to how you look after and care for your own eternal soul. Even if you were to have some physical, temporal capital to operate a business and believe you are successful—in the black—you can’t take it with you. In that sense, even while enjoying it for a season, it stays here or fold,s and so it is in vain. You must look to, plan for, invest in and nurture your everlasting soul–ultimately by looking to the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior!
Getting back to business, but bearing in mind your soul. One is temporal and one is eternal. One is of some importance and one is of great significance. One matters to men and the other to G-d. The bank, if still somehow but doubtfully interested, will ask you what product or service you have to offer and what is the likelihood people will buy or use it? If you want to get your soul in the black, is there anything you can do or offer to erase your indebtedness, your sin? Many think so. They try to be “good” (by whose standard?) from time to time, thinking that they are basically “good” people. They are mistaken because they deceive themselves into thinking they were born “in the black” when, in fact, they were born “in the red.” They have no spiritual capital, savings or collateral to offer that will somehow counteract that state. Besides, that is not how the kingdom of G-d works. Speaking of deeds or works as they pertain to both your soul plan and your business plan, how will you ensure you will be able to turn and maintain a profit? And will that be enough for you to have the preferred lifestyle for which you decided to go into business for yourself in the first place? And will it be enough to satisfy your creditors? The Word of G-d says in Proverbs 16:9, “The heart of a man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” And Proverbs 14:12 warns, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.” And even if you seem, in your own eyes, to be doing well, the truth again speaks to us directly and sharpens our focus in Mark 8:36 saying, “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?”
Who will be on your Board of Directors? The Bible exhorts, “Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisors they succeed” (Proverbs 15:22). And another proverb urges (11:14), “Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.” The Word of G-d is most certainly true, but if these advisors and counselors are bankrupt or in the red, how will either of you get out? So the Holy Spirit has a way of getting through to us, “speaking our language” individually and allowing, in His great love, the Truth to confront us. THE BOTTOM LINE in the corporate world is all that matters at the end of the quarter or the fiscal year: You will never be able to do anything to get out of the red and into the black. Nor are there any hopeful investors capable of rendering you the assistance you require. The blood and forgiveness of JESUS CHRIST, the Lord and SAVIOR of the universe, is the only bailout plan: “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under Heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
G-d bless you and give you eyes to see, ears to hear, a mind to understand, and a will to heed. Amen.