Jack Alexander does NOT bring us a prosperity message in his brand new book, The God Guarantee – Finding Freedom from the Fear of Not Having Enough. But he showcases how most all of us have a scarcity mentality, whether we’re barely scraping by or we’re making millions. So how does God provide? How should we approach Him? Jack gives us some steps that he did not create.
[00:00] Welcome to The Ziglar Show. I’m your host, Kevin Miller, and this is episode 478 and I bring you…Jack Alexander. Jack is a fabulously successful businessman and he brings us his brand new book, just released, The God Guarantee” – Finding Freedom from the Fear of Not Having Enough. Two quick things: Jack speaks staunchly against the “prosperity message” of “do this and do that and God will do for you and give to you like Santa Clause in the sky.” However, he showcases how most of us have fallen into a scarcity mentality, and that absolutely…is NOT God-ordained. Jack references four steps to finding God’s provision for us and, as you’ll hear in the interview, it revealed one I am missing! Stay tuned!
[02:23] Quick bio on Jack Alexander…As a businessperson, he likes to solve problems and make things practical. The book we are discussing today, The God Guarantee, was born out of Jack’s desire to help people overcome their fears and understand better how God can provide for them.
[02:38] In Jack’s diverse career, he has built and led companies in real estate, business services, and technology. Two companies that he co-founded made the Inc. 500 list, and another, in which he’s a partner, made the Inc. 5000 list. In 1999, he received the Ernst & Young National Entrepreneur of the Year Award, and in 2005 he received the Family Honors Award as a businessman who made a positive impact on the American family.
[03:02] Currently, Jack is chairman and cofounder of a software firm called ‘OnQ’ (engageonq.com), as well as The Reimagine Group, a content company that makes high-quality media for the church market.
[03:17] Folks, you can buy the book anywhere, but if you go to thegodguarantee.com you can get it for the same price, and you’ll get access to an amazing new movie and other resources.
[03:37] My co-host is CEO of Ziglar Family, Mark Timm. I want to point out how often we have wildly successful businessmen like Mark and Jack, who bring us what they learned about God in their journeys to success. Is success and God’s blessing about making millions of dollars? Of course not. But you ever notice how a majority of the great characters in the Bible were people of vast resources? Zig Ziglar is well-known for this quote, “Money isn’t the most important thing in life, but it’s reasonably close to oxygen on the ‘gotta have it’ scale.”
[04:29] But on a serious note, as you’ll often hear from people of this caliber, you surely can do a lot when you have business and work success that gives you more time and money to serve with.
[04:41] So, if you’re interested in serving more from having more to give, you’re going to want to hear this show. If it brings up questions, ASK us. Go to ask.zigshow.com or email us at [email protected]
[05:00] And if you find value in today’s show, will you tell us? Leave a review on iTunes, it’s the best way you can say thanks, as that helps others find and engage with the Ziglar message. (Though please don’t use it as a place to critique us on audio problems, as two guys in the past couple months have…)
[05:23] OK, folks, here, then, Mark Timm and I talk with Jack Alexander!
[05:29] Jack, I’m excited about the message in your book, and am so honored you are giving us your time today!
[05:35] That’s great to be hear, Kevin.
[05:37] You have been very successful in your business endeavors. Married 37 years, three grown sons and five grandchildren. Why write this book now? Is it more to share your personal experience in overcoming fear, or in response to the growing issues you see people falling to in our culture today?
[05:57] That’s a great question. For the last five years, one of our companies was working with 1200 churches. The issue that keeps coming up, like giving people’s lives away, giving people’s money away, really grabs my interest and I started to dig in.
[06:26] Of course, we could say that this message against fear and scarcity and into drawing deeper with God and living in abundance is relevant for anyone and everyone. In your mind’s eye, who is your target market? Who do you hope to make the biggest impact with?
[06:53] I think it’s really two groups. The Wall Street Journal calls the last twenty years “two empty decades.” So the average family in America has no increase, really, in income in twenty years. And I personally believe there is a connection between the people who were leaving the church and the people who are feeling not provided for by God. The second audience would be well-to-do people who, again, statistically give away, and more people give away. So I think those are the two main audiences.
[07:56] The tagline of your book is “Finding Freedom from the Fear of Not Having Enough,” and right at the beginning in your intro you dive into “scarcity,” defining it as, “the fear that there is too little of something to go around” – that there might be too little for us. You cite Brene Brown, who said, “Worrying about scarcity is our culture’s version of post-traumatic stress when they’ve been through too much.”
[08:30] As we talk, I know most everyone will resonate with your message. But, at face value, it could be a bit hard to reconcile. In America, we’re one of the wealthiest countries, even the seemingly poor have the latest Smart Phone model, and people spend an exorbitant amount of time and money on entertainment. Stats today say five hours and four minutes on TV per day alone. And yet we fear having lack.
[09:01] So regarding our scarcity…is the problem
- We really don’t have enough
- We do have enough but we fear we’ll still run out
- We are bad stewards of what we have and are consuming far too much
- Or something else?
[09:15] You know, scarcity is really an economic term because a number of people will always be greater than the number of resources.
[10:21 ] You titled your book The God Guarantee In talking about God and His provision,. You right off take to task the “prosperity theology” and message of “If we do things ‘right,’ then health, wealth and power will be ours. And if we don’t receive those things, we must be doing something wrong.” Will you embellish on this issue for us?
[10:58] What we do in this work is to run over 1000 churches and, again, we saw what we call in the book, churches are caught between two lies. There is a lie of prosperity, which basically says “I am gonna make a positive confession, God orbits around me,” and then certain scarcity comes that I am not enough experienced. So, basically, this whole idea is of how we access God’s provision.
[17:30] You next hone in on our perspective of God, and whether we truly believe He is paying close attention to us. Yes, we may believe He’ll show up for the catastrophic emergency, but is the vast God and Creator of the universe really concerned about my petty worries regarding my job, my ailing car, and the fight I had with my spouse? Seems petty, but if I hear correctly, you are saying that if we don’t believe in His attention to the details of our lives, we are by proxy then believing it’s all on us, and how could we not worry? That leaves us on the precipice of faith and doctrine, doesn’t it?
[18:50] Yes, it actually does, and it also costs us our closeness to him. He says that “if you search for Me with all your heart, you will surely find me.” So, what we are trying to show in the book is the four steps. Sometimes God conceal things and He wants us, and that creates intimacy when we draw near to Him, when we seek Him.
[23:52] You retell the story that is shared in all four gospels, of Jesus feeding the crowd of many thousands with fives loaves of bread and two fish. And after they were fed there were 12 baskets left over. What caught my attention in your writing was you stating the testimony that God cares not only for our eternal provision in heaven, but also for our practical provision on earth. And it brought me to His first miracle, turning water into wine at the wedding. You really got me to thinking here, Jack. God parting the Red Sea to save the Israelites from death feels legit. Raising someone from the dead makes sense. But if I am God of the universe, no way I’m wasting time on food and drink. But you are really showing us a paradigm change here. Maybe primarily…that God’s economy of provision is just radically different than ours.
[25:04] You see Jesus healing blind people and, again, that’s why I am so excited about this concept of capacity, which is the first of the four steps in the pattern of provision. Because when Jesus looked at the bread and fish, He saw something different from what anybody else would have seen.
[25:52] Something that piqued my interest, and I’m not sure I’ve ever heard this before, is that fear is selfish. Tell us more about this.
[28:56] I think pride was a sin and insecurity was a good thing. I am more humble when I am insecure. Pride and insecurity are the same thing; you know, it is a kind of obsession about yourself. And fear is fundamentally something like “God is not orbiting around me.”
[29:33] From the story of the fishes and loaves, you lead us into your four areas of focus. I want to ask about each one:
- Capacity – Jesus saw capacity in the loaves and fishes no one else saw. They saw five loaves of bread and two fish, apparently all small enough a young boy could carry them, so the fish weren’t Moby Dick. So, in this you are talking potential and possibility, not just face value, yes?
[30:08] Yeah. I think the beauty of this concept is that the capacity is the ability to look at every person and see more than you think they are. And science basically proves that.
[36:25] Four–step process – not a magic formula to make God give you what you want, but a way to orient yourself to be the right person and do the right things so you can have what God has for you.
2. Consecration – Jesus blessed the food. Ok, let me get literal. Most people listening are employed, making ok money, have a home and a mortgage, most every amenity expected, married, maybe a kid or two. Many have an aspect of faith to their lives. And they are living…going about the day-to-day, making ends meet. They have enough they don’t feel they can complain, but they feel…stuck. Struggling with hope, maybe. They see what simply seems to…be. What does it look like to consecrate that reality?
[37:50] Consecrate yourself today, tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things. So there is an incredible power in inviting God into not just your strengths, but also your weaknesses, your addiction, your problem. Because, again, once you see the capacity of what could be, you basically see God: I am gonna invite you in.
3. Challenges – Jesus broke the bread and fish after blessing them, and from that you say he often breaks us, but you say being broken can reorient us and help us gain perspective. So, back to my analogy before…in that life that is going ok, We get laid off. Or a marriage relationship is in jeopardy. A challenge comes up. Now, before we look at how we can overcome and grow, it seems we also have to reconcile, let’s say in the instance of a marriage in jeopardy, it’s hard to accept God intentionally doing it, as Jesus did when He broke the bread. Will you address that first?
[41:14] I think there is a saw in which God orders and provides. Like, in one way we invite Him in, there is a new sheriff in town. And He might see something in that marriage that is not healthy. He might see a pride that met the unemployment. He sees things that we don’t see, and so part of His provision is to reorient things, to restructure things.
[45:41] Mark, you just said it. My next question for Jack was exactly what you said a second ago. In this aspect of challenge, here is Jack. You seem to be calling us to two things, 1) to expect them, and 2) to seek how we can grow, what we can gain, yes?
[46:10] I think that is right. In the book I talk about making friends with the wilderness. So I think wilderness is the thing where we go one-on-one with God.
4. Community – You cite the crowd Jesus fed and say, “Authentic provision happens when we form communities that represent the body of Christ through serving one another. Jesus meets us as we let go of our own desires and selfishness, and instead focus on how to love the people in our lives, even those who seem unlovable.” And you land on the necessity of seeing our role as God sees it. Back to my analogy. So, in my life, my family, my challenge, you are calling me to look not just at the issue and circumstances and myself, but elevate my role and responsibility in regards to those around me? Family, friends, coworkers?
[48:22] Yes, exactly. I mean, sometimes when you go for the challenges, something is broken. The whole issue…I say, “What is left in your eyes through the challenges.” When I wrote the book, I saw in the research that everything you see in the stars, things are orbiting around a thing in central. Planet is a part of orbit. You look — molecules and objects orbiting. Everything is orbiting around the central object except people. Human beings orbit around them.
[49:55] We are created to be a moon, not a sun, but we are the sun which feels very natural. And I think this whole idea of orbiting around others in our lives, that sometimes when we are hurt, when we are broken deeply, we wanna isolate. This pattern is a war against isolation.
[50:28] How would you, Jack, when you were putting this book together and you were talking about the community, how would you help people kind of define who their community is?
[50:38] I think it’s a community like, if all of us cause the tendency to think about my church, my neighbors. But I would encourage people to take a blank sheet of paper and say “Who knows my heart.” Who do you trust?
[54:44] At the end of your book you conclude with a discussion on Proverbs 25:2, where it says, “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings is to search out a matter.”
[55:20] Glory is the word that made Christian sit up, and so I was fascinated with this — first that this is God’s glory to conceal things and hide things. People have hidden things when you ask them questions and you draw them out. And you love them and show interest. That creates an incredible bond, and that’s what God wants from us. “If you seek Me with all your hearts, you will find Me.”
[57:30] Thank you so much. I think spiritual formation is the key to the Christian life, and I think God gives us this pattern for reasons. God is great, and I really enjoyed this.