The Spiritual Nature of the Marketplace By Femi Adebayo
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places”. Ephesians 6:12.
Everyone Is a Spiritual Being
People are innately spiritual and (whether or not they recognize it) are involved in a life-long quest for enlightenment and fulfillment. Men and women without God are incomplete.
Spiritual fulfillment occurs through a relationship with God who came to us as a Man, Jesus Christ. There is no higher goal, no deeper satisfaction, than knowing the presence of the Holy Spirit in our daily lives. In the words of a professional tradesman and part-time preacher who lived in the early Christian era, “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me” (Galatians 2:20).
The Spiritual Dimension of The Marketplace
There are spiritual forces at work in our world that want to claim every workplace, home, public service organization, policy think tank, educational institution and entertainment medium and bring the population under their influence and control. They are active across board, impose their own truths and gain stronghold in society – faith systems – such as Islam and occultic organization.
They speak to us through powerful media interests and dominant political and societal systems, which re-construct truth (“spin”) in their own image. In business they use corruption, unethical practices and power struggles to secure indomitable holds over peoples’ lives.
There are strongholds in peoples’ thoughts, lives and work environment; areas where Satan and strong human will are dominant. They are like castles, shut up fast against all invaders, including truth. Those on the inside believe they are prevailing, not realizing that they are prisoners within the gates. The Bible teaches that the whole world (its cultural, monetary, military and political systems) lies under the sway of wickedness (1 John 5:19). Satan is the unseen ruler in the lives of billions. From the Fall of Adam and Eve, it was always this way, until the coming of Jesus.
Jesus and the Devil – The Powerful Clash
When Jesus was still a baby the most powerful man in His country sent soldiers to kill him. While still an infant, he was taken to Egypt by his parents, to avoid Herod’s assassination squads. He only narrowly escaped, when Joseph was warned in a dream to flee Israel. As He grew up, He was tempted in every area in which we all face temptation (Hebrew 4:15; 1 Corinthians 10:13). He had enemies who set out to kill him, and ultimately did so.
When Jesus was baptized, He was led (more like “driven”) by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness, where he had major confrontations with Satan, who tried every trick in the book to divert Him from His course and lead him into sin. Yielding even once to temptation would have terminated His ministry. Jesus called the Devil “the enemy” (Matthew 13:19, 39) and said that he was a murderer from the beginning (John 8:44). Jesus knew what Satan was like – Luke 4:5-8 (NIV)
Time and again, Jesus’ life and ministry were jeopardized by people and spiritual enemies who tried to curtail His existence and purpose. Satan even tried using the disciple Peter to talk Jesus out of going to Jerusalem to fulfill his mission (Matthew 16:23).
What About Our Marketplaces?
What does all this have to do with our marketplace? Precisely this: if the world in which we live is still under the influence of Satan, that reality applies to our workplaces. Demonic beings still take control over peoples’ lives. The world’s economic and political systems remain at loggerheads with God’s Kingdom. Many sections of the marketplace are “behind enemy lines”, so to speak. Only the power of God can defeat him.
Every member of the human race, every nation, every business enterprise, owes allegiance to a higher power, whether God or the Devil. Every element of the marketplace that is not under the Lordship of Jesus Christ is under the lordship of the Devil. This is the reason fine intellect alone will not win the battle for the marketplace.
Power, wealth and positions can be terribly seductive and can prove stumbling blocks to any Christian.
Strategies And Responses
How can we know what is occurring behind the scenes, and protect ourselves, while influencing the marketplace for Christ?
Beware and Discerning
We need spiritual discernment to know what is going on – Acts 13:6-12, 1 Corinthians 2:4-5).
Only Christians have the capacity to discern spiritual strongholds from God’s perspective – James 4:7
If we are living in our victory, we can be passionate about our work, reflect our relationship with God and come across as “normal” in a culture that feels spiritual failure. After all, there is no reason to separate the part of us that loves God and the part of us that physically operates in the marketplace. Integrated faith and work are made possible because this is precisely what Jesus Christ did. He is our model, as well as our strength.
Pastor Femi Adebayo, is an apostle of godly character and spiritual development is the President of Club Abraham International (a nondenominational fellowship of developing man value, character and godliness). Phone/WhatsApp: 08033137585