Surviving The Secular World
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Recently, I was having a cup of coffee with a friend of mine. He has a successful business and loves Jesus, and was lamenting the fact that it is really tough to be a Christian in business today. The business world is filled with people whose primary focus is making the next dollar, and often at the expense of moral and ethical principles, or even just common, decent business dealings. Competition is tough, and while he appreciates the perspective of loving and honoring all people, my friend was pretty frustrated with how this played out in his work world. He was just glad to hang out with me; a listening ear and compassionate friend who could help him recharge to make it through another tough week in the trenches. Have you ever been there? I sure have.
I was sympathizing with his frustration when all of sudden something in my spirit said, “Hold on a second.” I realized that we had fallen into the trap of settling for staying in survival mode, and being shaped by the environment around us, instead of partnering with a loving Father and allowing Him to shape the environment. We had temporarily forgotten what we do, who we are and whose we are.
There is a story in the Bible of a man who was so overwhelmed by the apparent “truth” of what he was seeing around him that he was ready to give up. It can be found in 2 Kings, chapter 6. The King of Syria brings a large army to capture the prophet Elisha, and surrounds the town where he is staying. A whole army is positioned to capture just one man. Elisha’s servant looks out and sees this vast army, and assumes that all is lost. Elisha knows the truth, and asks God to open his servant’s eyes so he can see what is going on from heaven’s perspective. Suddenly, the servant sees the mountain around them full of horses and chariots of God. Elisha and his servant have available resources that were not apparent, ready to come to their aid. Needless to say, Elisha and his servant were not captured.
There are two coexisting realities; what he saw in front of him on earth, and what had been unseen, but was equally as real. The point here is that Elisha’s servant saw the one and not the other, and as a result was superimposing earth’s perspective on heaven. That does not work so well.
I would say that Elisha’s servant was in survival mode, like my friend. He needed a different perspective. While business challenges typically don’t involve being captured by an enemy army, it sure can feel that overwhelming from time to time. But there is a different reality. We can choose to superimpose the reality of heaven on top of our situations here on earth.
What this looks like today in the marketplace is a fearless group of Kingdom revivalists, taking ground through love rather than giving it up, believing that we are bringing righteousness, peace and joy to the workplace and being fully engaged in seeing God’s glory cover the earth – no longer just surviving our work week, but seeing our work world being transformed into the Kingdom of our God. As we step into our identity – who we are created to be as daughters and sons of the King – our dreams, desires, skills and experience will be anointed from heaven and we will be equipped to bring healing and change to our world.
Join me in stepping into our true vocation.
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Gary Klopfenstein is a highly successful business executive with over 30 years’ experience in asset management, strategic consulting and leadership development. His specific areas of expertise are in the design and implementation of investment strategies, across both traditional and alternative investment classes, investment research, client acquisition, business growth and catalytic leadership development. Gary has a wealth of global expertise including successful client relationships in the U.S., Canada, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Australia.
Gary 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. Gary was responsible for growing the business from $1 billion to $60 billion in less than ten years.
He 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. Gary is a frequent speaker at conferences and a regular publisher of thought leading papers for global publications. He is considered to be one of the industry founders of 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.
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