Every square inch

This afternoon found me in a series of massive barns praying over chickens. Let no one say a pastor’s job is boring.

And yes, I am serious. My friend Mat raises chickens. A lot of them. In fact, he has eight barns with forty thousand chickens in each barn. They run free and look quite content.

The problem was this. A mysterious bacteria had invaded the barns. In spite of every possible precaution being taken and the vet pronouncing the barns to be in outstanding shape, chickens were dying. And antibiotics are not an option for this business.

I love this quotation from the great theologian Abraham Kuyper: “There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry, Mine!”

I firmly believe those chicken barns are as much a manifestation of the kingdom of God as a church auditorium. Why? Because God puts equal value on all the work we do. Because chickens generate income for a godly family and, beyond that, finances for kingdom expansion because this particular family believes in giving.

I don’t mean to be flippant, but if God can heal people, he can look after chickens too. Not because he places the same value on a chicken that he does on a human being, but because he places the same value on Mat’s work as he does on mine.

So we asked the Lord to clear the bacteria out of the barns and out of the chickens. We’ll see what the Lord does. But I do not underestimate his ability to answer prayer. Years ago, my friend Bob and I stood in the middle of one of his drought-stricken cornfields and asked God for rain. The rain started, as I recall, the next day. It rained on Bob’s fields even when it didn’t rain down the road. And at the end of the season, Bob had terrific yields. That too was a kingdom endeavour.

The Lord cares about your finances. But he requires you to take what Abraham Kuyper said seriously. Christ is crying “Mine!” over all your financial and business affairs. Are your finances under God’s control? Have you yielded him that control? If so, you can expect his management to be better and more productive than yours alone would be.

If you work for a large company, the Lord cares about your place of employment too. The owners may not be Christians, but that does not stop you from praying for kingdom inroads where you work. As a pastor, I often tried to visit people in their place of employment and encourage them in their witness there.

Wherever you are and wherever you work or study, you are an ambassador of Christ and his kingdom.

God’s kingdom is no more or less than his dynamic rule. He wants to express his lordship over every square inch of the creation that rightfully belongs to him and him alone.

And he will do it through you.

So take your work or study as your calling and vocation. Yield all control and direction to him. Pray seriously and with authority. And see how God begins to give you vision for the world and work he has placed you in.

And if you have any, it might do a world of good for your chickens.