Over the last year as we’ve been working to launch RELEVANT magazine, Relevant Books and all the other stuff we’re doing, I’ve learned a lot. I’ve learned that turning vision into reality isn’t as easy as it looks. I’ve learned that having the right team is essential. I’ve learned that it’s important to pay taxes.

But the most important lesson I’ve learned is really the simplest: This is God’s, and I have to stay close to Him. I know it seems obvious, but it’s a lesson that has taken me a long time to truly grasp.

In the midst of starting this magazine, I’ve had to learn to not let anything distract me from my relationship with the Lord. If I’m not fervently seeking Him, serving Him, loving Him, why would I expect Him to bless this stuff I’m trying to do?

When God entrusts you with a call or mission or opportunity, you have the responsibility to remain a clear vessel for Him to use. I know my heart has to remain pure so this company’s mission stays pure. I have to operate in integrity so my team will operate in integrity. How my life goes, so goes this company.

It’s the trickle-down theory: As God pours into the top, it will invariably spill down to everyone and everything else underneath. It doesn’t matter how godly the team is, if the leader clogs the pipe with his own junk-sin, ambition, pride, distrust, whatever-the whole group will never corporately walk in the realm God wants it to. It will fail if the leader personally is not fully reliant on the Lord.

Over the last year, I’ve seen that whenever I’d try to make things happen in my own way or timing, business got hard. Nearly impossible.

Instead of moving forward, the company would invariably regress. But when I got my eyes back on the Lord, the opposite was true. The more of my personal time I’d spend praying or worshiping or reading the Word, the more blessing and opportunity would come up at the office. God would answer prayers I hadn’t even prayed yet. He’d provide people, finances and opportunities. When I’d seek Him first, He’d take care of everything else.

I guess it’s true: "Seek ye first the kingdom …"

Whether you’re a student, entrepreneur, corporate ladder climber, or anything else, keep God first. The dreams He puts in you will not happen the way you think they will. If they’re truly His, they’ll happen His way, in His timing. You’re just a vessel he uses, so don’t bother trying to do it yourself (or even figuring out the plan).

Seek the Lord. Never waiver from that. Sit at His feet and spend time with Him. Grow close. Let Him mold you, change you, pour into you. Then when you’re ready, when the time is right, He’ll release you to walk in the fullness of the call of your life. Things that once were hard will be easy. Doors will be open left and right. He will bless you and the work of your hand.

But when you’re in that season of His blessing, the key is to never leave His side. Never rely on your own strength. Never open the door to distractions. Always keep your eyes on God, instead of what you’re doing for Him.

Don’t seek the Lord because of what He’ll do for you; just seek Him to be with Him. Love Him because He loves you extravagantly. Because when God is the first and only thing in your life, everything else just takes care of itself.

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