It depends on who you ask. Some people think that:
"Being a slave in God's kingdom is far better than being the president of the largest earthly corporation" – quote from a Christian leader
If Joseph or Daniel had listened to that quote, Israel may not exist today.
It sounds humble, devotional, and even sacrificial and it is probably well intended. However, it wrongly decreases service to God to low places, and devalues positions of influence in the world. It sets up the concept: That success in the world is in direct in opposition to serving God.
In other words, in an attempt to magnify God’s greatness and Kingdom in our minds, this quote undermines our place in His plan. As a result of concepts like this, many believers today have little to no understanding of their place in God’s plan and almost no practical insight in how to fulfill it.
This is a serious problem.
Without a vision of a life serving God IN THE WORLD, many believers are adrift, floundering in their faith, and feel disconnected from Him. Some have no hope that their professional life could ever be a product of their faith.
The world therefore suffers loss as a direct result of our faulty understanding. We fail to realize the God-given nobility that is derived from succeeding in the world. When, in fact, our success is a service to humanity and God.
You might want to read that again.
God’s purpose for your life is that you discover, develop and succeed in the gifts He has placed within you. Your success and growth in the world are key parts of God’s plan for your life to serve humanity and further His purposes on the planet.
The dichotomy that many see between serving God and succeeding in the world is false. Some believe that success & influence in the world are hindrances to serving God fully. In fact, in some places they believe if you are focused on success in the marketplace then you are selling out to the world.
I could not disagree more.
If you are a believer, gifted in business, finance, education, engineering, health care, etc. (yes those are gifts from God) and you are exceling in your career, you have not sold out to the world, you were sent out into the world!
Use all that God has given you to make the world a better place through your success. Your success, accomplished righteously, serves humanity, honors God and extends His kingdom on the earth. God is not honored, nor people helped through your shrinking back. Move confidently forward to use your gifts so that people are served and God is glorified through your success in the marketplace. That is why you are here.
The truth is that Joseph and Daniel were both slaves in God’s kingdom AND their place of service was as CEO or COO of the most powerful nation-states of their day. They were called and gifted by God in business, leadership, organization and administration. God sent them into those places FOR HIS PURPOSES to serve and provide for many.
Like many marketplace professionals and business leaders today they endured misunderstanding, rejection and great stress in doing their jobs. They brought deliverance, salvation and transformation because they were sent out into the world and served pagan leaders with their gifts at GOD’S direction.
So here is my question – have we been wrongly influenced by concepts that elevate supposed holiness and supplication, at the expense of our place in His plan?
And if so, how much transformation of society has not occurred because of the resulting artificial divide created between serving God and succeeding in the marketplace?
Furthermore, how can we truly embrace, and act on, the understanding that there is nobility in our personal success- and, that our success results in the betterment of humanity?