I Don't Need God
Why Do You Need God?
“I am always so impressed with John and his relationship with God. He meets with God first thing every morning. He reads the Bible and prays every day. I am trying to get there, but I am having trouble,” said Mike, an insightful entrepreneur.
We were in the Thursday Grace@Work Bible study at the Atlanta Tech Village discussing the story of Joseph in Genesis 41. What struck all of us was how much Joseph trusted God with his life.
I said, “Your issue is not about setting aside time to be with God. Your issue, and my issue is a question of need. Do you need God?”
What Should I Say?
Mike had invited me to speak about my most recent experience in Uganda. I was in Uganda to teach people how to be Kingdom Minded Entrepreneurs. This was a one week conference called Youth Ablaze. We had 10,000 delegates attend. Most of them were poor and looking for hope and a better future.
When I am asked to speak to this group of young people, I am immediately brought to my knees with questions. Who are these people? How can I possibly connect with them? What can I say to a young man or woman who grew up with nothing, has nothing, and now is looking for something? They are 22 years old, and their family has endured multiple generations of poverty. What can I say? What should I say?
I Have No Answers
Good questions. I have no good answers. This creates the need for God. There is nowhere else for me to go to get answers which I know will be right. So I go to God and to Pastor Elijah. This is a conference intended to transform Uganda from a nation requiring aid to a nation of donors. That’s the big vision. That’s transformation.
When I Feel Inadequate
During my preparation, I can tell you I feel small and inadequate. Give me an audience of prospective entrepreneurs in Atlanta, and I am big and confident. I get these people. They are men and women who are well educated and well resourced. They are surrounded by an environment that encourages big dreams and rewards them with mentors and money.
Not so in Uganda. So what do I say? What would you say? You have to put together seven presentations which will take them from knowing nothing to starting their own business. That’s the challenge!
I believe only God can do this. Pastor Elijah says it best: “These people and the presenting speakers were called to this conference before the world began.” That’s a big thought from a very big God. Nothing is an accident. We are all here, all there, for a purpose.
This Creates Big Need
When I come home to Atlanta, I backslide in my relationship with God. I am capable here. I have resources. I have connections. I know my market. I have relevant experience. I know what I need to do. I don’t need God.
Mike said, “When I get up in the morning, I’m thinking about selling. What doors do I need to knock on today so I can make sales and meet payroll? This thought dominates my thinking, not time with God.”
I asked, “Did you ever find yourself the night before payroll is due and you didn’t have the money? Nothing left to do. No time to do it. Not enough money to make payroll. Did that ever happen to you?”
“No,” he said. “My efforts have always got me there.”
I understand this completely. And, too often, I am that way. But God wants a relationship with us in good times and bad. I need Him even (or especially) when I don’t think I do. Why is it we want a relationship with Him only after we come to the end of ourselves?
Charlie Paparelli is president of High Tech Ministries, angel investor and blogger. Twice each week email subscribers to his blog receive his thoughts on being a successful entrepreneur and Christian leader.