I work as an institutional stock trader in the Indonesian capital market for the past 10 years and still counting. I’m trained to do something that very few people can do in Indonesia. But I have a secret: I’m actually not qualified for this job and I didn’t get myself here. God did! How and why did God gave me a job in something I’m actually not qualified to do?!
Firstly, I hate numbers. I fell out of love with numbers somewhere during high school and ended up with very terrible math scores. I just felt numbers are dry, color-less and empty. I liked people better. People are more interesting than numbers in my opinion back then and even until today.
But the capital market is a world made out of numbers. It’s where some of the world’s math geniuses work, making deep analysis of numbers about the economy and companies. I’m in this world, the kid who hated math.
Quickly on how it started. When I received Jesus into my life in 2002, I was working in a foreign bank in Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia. Banking was always my thing, but not the stock market. I didn’t know anyone who works there or what exactly they’re doing there. I knew what stocks were, but I didn’t own or even know how to buy one!
How God gave me a job there started with a magazine. Yes, a magazine, not even a Christian magazine, but a secular investment magazine called The Bloomberg Magazine. I was reading one of the article in the magazine when suddenly in my heart I felt a very strong voice which told me to “go to the capital market”. It was so strong I remember until this day the words on the magazine paper felt like they jumped to my face, an experience many Christians call as “Rhema” and normally only happens when we’re reading the Bible.
It’s a valuable lesson that God can use anything for his purpose, including worldly tools, to fulfill His purpose. The thought God only speaks through “Christian Channels” is naively mistaken.
A rhema from a magazine about money, telling me to go to the one place many see as Mamon’s home address, the stock market. Could this be true??! That’s what I thought.
But it was so strong and clear, so I followed through and let the impression proved itself.
Because I had absolutely no guidance into that world, I browsed to check the top 30 brokerage companies, printed 30 CVs and sent them to all 30 addresses! I thought if God really did speak to me, He would confirm Himself and I have done my part out of faith from the rhema.
What happened next was simply miraculous and hard to believe even until today. In just 2 weeks after I sent the 30 CVs, only ONE company called for an interview and in 2 weeks time I signed the work agreement!
It was one of the craziest experience in my life. First, normally it would take MONTHS for a CV to get a call, especially a blank CV asking for any open role in a company that wasn’t looking! Second, out of 30 addresses exactly only 1 responded and it was the jackpot. Third, later I discovered that the person who hired me was also a strong believer in the Lord! It was an amazing divine connection, no human can make this stuff up!
But WHY? Why God gave me a job I’m not qualified to do? Was He setting me up for failure?
At first I didn’t understand, all I know it was a crazy miracle and I was determined to give it my best. After a few good years and also tough ones, I finally learned that God did this on purpose.
On purpose He put me in a field where my skills are inferior, so I would depend more on Him. You guessed it, in my early years I struggled and everyday I had to rely on His grace to work with numbers, interpret what the numbers mean and also to find my own unique strength at work. I finally understood that He gavea job here so I could get to know Him more and to experience His promises and greatness which surpasses every human wisdom.
Later in my senior years, God taught me an even more valuable lesson: PEOPLE ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN NUMBERS.
God showed me through many experiences that people are more important and more interesting than numbers. In fact, it’s a sign of danger when we start to see people as numbers, when we see customers as numbers or when we prioritize numbers such as sales numbers, market share, profits, margins, ahead of people.
Success comes when you focus on people, not numbers, even in a place like the stock market. Leadership is also another key lesson about people, not concepts, numbers or statistics. People.
And God is all about people, not numbers. If God is about numbers, He would count your sin and mistakes…but He didn’t. I think this is the most precious lesson of all, it’s a success lesson for both heavenly goals and also worldly. This I only learned in recent years.
But don’t focus on me and what happened to me. Focus on God who can make such things happen in your life if you fully trust Him.
Don’t focus on me or how it happened to me. Don’t. Focus on how God can put you in the right vocational calling if you really put everything in His hands. Don’t be surprised as well if He put you in a place of weakness. Daniel was put in the place of weakness and He was later exalted high because he trusted God.
But also don’t take it the wrong way. The right vocational calling will still be the work that suits your hidden talents, your character, capabilities and experiences. It’s a work that brings you overall joy from both skill and spiritual, although not every moment you can feel it. It’s a job that suits your original design by God.
He will allow you to be put in a position of weakness at work, because it’s God wanting to show you what He’s capable of and to trust Him going forward. He wants you to take that workplace experience and apply it to every other areas of your life.
And after almost 20 years of working with God’s guidance, I see that if God gave you a job and allows you to be good in a particular skill, it means He wants you to use it for the good of others. Find a way to use it to help others. That’s what He wants in the end. Let your skills glorify the Lord in every way possible!