By nature, I'm optimistic. I see the good in everything and everyone. I believe this makes me as opportunistic as an entrepreneur could be. I see a new venture opportunity in so many areas.
I've come to realize this is both a blessing and a curse. Let me explain. Being opportunistic is a blessing because my antennas are up, and I'm alert to new partnerships, new products and services, and new ways to solve problems in the marketplace. However, my optimistic side makes me vulnerable to not seeing ways the enemy can attack me through a seemingly good idea to pursue.
As Christian entrepreneurs, God wants to use us tremendously in the marketplace. However, the enemy knows this and will constantly attack our minds to distract us - sometimes without knowing it's happening.
How do we discern a Good-opportunity from a situation where the enemy is in control of our minds? How can we be in a constant state of service to God, alone?
One technique I've shared is needing to get better at separating ourselves from the enemy's control over our minds. In this post, I want to share another technique to adopt: active waiting.
Actively waiting is a special kind of waiting for the state, like when you’re aware that something important or serious could happen at any moment. This is called situational alertness. Another type of waiting is opportunity alertness. This is when your antenna is up for any opportunity that may present itself where God wants us to do something. I like to call opportunistic alertness the lifeblood of Godpreneurship because it's all about tuning in to where God wants you to go with your business.
In both the situational and opportunistic state of alertness, all of our attention is focused on the present now because, at any moment, the enemy can pounce on our mindset, or God can act or speak through our spirit, the environment, or someone else's spirit.
When we get into a state of active waiting, there’s no time for daydreaming, planning, or remembering that usually distracts us from the present. For example, while doing a consulting session with a client, we should waste no time worrying about the results but instead remain fully present and pay very close attention to the person in front of us that God wants us to guide. We are entering a state of active waiting (prayer and meditation) shortly before the session can help us achieve that.
Another example of active waiting is an entrepreneur's ability to immediately see an opportunity to solve a problem, do something better, or sense a change in the marketplace. This is vital for identifying opportunities God wants us to pursue (or leave). It could be a new venture, a partnership, or an opportunistic way to structure a contract. Our present Holy Spirit led alertness can have an impact on the mindset needed for exploiting the opportunities.
While in this state, we also pay attention to our body because this is where our Spirit dwells, and it has to be ready for anything to occur. As we’ve already seen, this focus on the body is also crucial to living in the present and hearing from God's direction. For example, when I feel goosebumps in a conversation, I know it's something God wants me to pay closer attention to.
The Bible teaches us about this state of alertness as the Christian way of life. In these two verses, we see both situational alertness and opportunistic alertness.
1 Peter 5:8 ESV says
"Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour."
In this alertness, you are supposed to guard yourself from the enemy retaking control of your thoughts. Mark and Matthew also have stories of Jesus sharing more examples of situational alertness.
Luke 12:35-48 ESV says
“Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning, and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the wedding feast, so that they may open the door to him at once when he comes and knocks. Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes."
In this alertness, God wants you to be ready for opportunities He wants to bring you. If you're "awake" when He comes, you get to participate in that venture.
Since we don't know when God will speak or when the enemy will attack our minds, we MUST stay in a permanently alert state. We must avoid making grand plans for the future and being taken into the past. Instead, entrepreneurship in the spirit means we're constantly aware of our bodies and surroundings to ensure we don't miss God's directing in our present moment.