And more pressingly, what does relying upon God look like, practically? As I have sought Him to teach me how to fully rely upon Him, and also be diligent and responsible steward as well, I feel God has given me a few things to consider:
Bring everything to God first, and keep bringing it back to Him
Ask for His will to be done first of all, and for His will to be the only will that is done. Today's back and forth business environment is almost like tennis -- deals and offers and negotiations being volleyed from one side of the court to the other, back and forth, over and over.
I felt the Lord convict me that even though I submitted my circumstance and need to Him initially -- gave Him the serve as my (infinitely more talented) "doubles partner" so to speak -- I was guilty of handling the volleys on my own. All subsequent decisions to be made must also be submitted to God, like a good pair communicates on the court, rather than just greedily taking all the volleys for myself without any communication with my (again, infinitely more capable) Partner.
God is a really Good Partner, and I do better to listen for Him to say "I got it!" from the back line and refrain from trying to get too fancy at the net. (Apologies to any actual tennis players out there -- I am probably completely mishandling this analogy)
My part -- the diligence of a responsible steward -- needs to always flow from being directed by Him as I bring all of my needs and challenges to Him. Sometimes He might tell me to volley, but I want to wait for His leading before jumping at a situation in my own cleverness.
Do nothing from fear or anxiety
In my present circumstance, and in many past business dealings, there's a real sense of urgency which threatens to rob me of my peace and force me to act or respond from an anxious heart rather than from a contented, trusting heart.
“You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!”
Isaiah 26:3 NLT
I see here that the key to peace which the world cannot take is looking to God rather than to my circumstances or myself. So long as I'm fixated on my email responses and the like, I have peace as long as things are going well. But if I'm focused on the Lord, then my peace can't be disturbed by outward events, and this is my protection from fear and anxiety.
I have it loud and clear to send no notes out of haste, prompted by fear, etc, but rather to submit every anxious thought to Him and wait for His peace to guard my heart (Philipians 4:7) before re-engaging with the world. Nothing is so urgent that I can't wait for God to still my heart before responding.
Make sure my anchor is fast
My joy should not be affected at all by the outcome either way. I have caught myself many times getting a little bit of a thrill when things go my way, or a little disappointed when something I thought was going well takes a turn for the worse.
Philipians 4:4 tells me to "Rejoice in the Lord always." My rejoicing should always be "in the Lord": in Who God is, how wonderful He is, what He has done for me in sending Jesus Christ to live a perfect life and die for my sins and sending His Holy Spirit to come and dwell with me, that we might have fellowship!
I need to be careful not to let my joy be affected by any outward circumstance, positive or negative. If things go well, that outcome is nothing compared to the goodness and hope that is already mine in Christ!
If things don't go well in my business dealings, that has no bearing on my spiritual wellbeing, and so I can praise God for revealing His will in my earthly existence! He knows my needs, and has promised that if I seek Him first, everything I need will be given to me (Matthew 6:33).
So I can fully rely upon God in the circumstances of my life -- even in boring business negotiations -- being diligent to bring everything to Him, seeking for the peace of God to guard my heart from all anxiety, and relishing the joy that cannot be taken. I don't have to devise any plan myself, but can always count on God to come to my rescue as I humble myself before Him.
I can take comfort in the statement which was meant to be a warning given to Asa after he took matters into his own hands: "The eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His."