Because we have freewill, we get to choose what we do. We get to choose if we will follow God’s prompting or try to go our own way. We get to choose if we will obey God’s commands or deal with the fallout of the alternative. We get to choose if we will stay under the cover of God’s wing or step out and risk the fiery arrows of the devil who is out to get us. We get to choose if we will stay in alignment which provides protection or get out of alignment and be open to the attacks of the devil. Life is filled with choices! Choose wisely!
I remember when the still quiet voice of God has prompted me to do things, things that were so big, so risky, so challenging that I had to choose to obey or to risk the consequences of disobedience and dealing with the fallout of my own decisions.
There was an early time when He was calling me to step up after having stepped into community involvement. One men’s retreat He called me to get involved in my community which led me to join the homeowners association for my community of about 10,000+ people. During that time, I learned a lot and was able to get involved with the going ons and the decisions that would impact the community: the landscaping, the home values, the protection, the common areas, the links with the surrounding cities, and more. At one point when the board was getting ready to go through some changes (part way through a year several had decided the existing president was going to be removed) and I heard God in a still quiet voice telling me to step up to be president and I resisted, I had so many excuses why that wasn’t a good idea, I was thinking more about what I could do rather than what He could do in and through me. At that time (which wasn’t too far from the end of the year and the next set of board elections) I resisted and became vice president. God kept pushing and telling me I am supposed to step up and I would tell him why I shouldn’t. Eventually while at the gym, God and I came to a point where I was given the ultimatum, “You will be president or you will be nothing, you choose!” Well, that was quite a shock and surprise. I remember my heart racing and looking around, but there was nobody in the room. I knew I didn’t want to be nothing, that was for sure. As I was driving off from the gym, I told Him, “God if you want me to be president, I will be president”. I had shared it with a few close friends and neighbors and one of them at the time happened to be on the board. They were being faced with the fact that their mother was fighting cancer. She offered to stay on the board till after the elections so there would be one more vote, but I told her she needed to go take care of her mom because if God wanted me to be president, He was going to make a way for it to all come together. So as we drew near to the new board member election, we ended up with 3 seats instead of the normal 2 rotation because of this. I remember wondering why God needed me in that role, what He was getting me ready for, what was going to need to take place, but through it all I knew if He wanted me there, He would grant me the wisdom to get it done. The day of the election, one of the members on the board nominated me and another board member nominated another person. When the results of the election came out, I had won and was the new president of the board. I won’t go into every detail here, but God had a lot of things for me to work through in that time – hiring new director (which God helped provide), change in insurance, change in accounting/billing services, additional staff, … It was amazing because I knew when I lived through some of the things that took place why He wanted me there, to bring His light, His peace, His hope, His truth into the situation. I couldn’t have done it in my own power, but the great thing is I didn’t have to do it in my own power, He was with me every step of the way. I still have a copy of a letter from one of the member of the community who took the time out of their day to send me a thank you letter (not email, letter) for hiring the director I chose. The number of things that could have gone wrong had I gone my own way, had I not received wisdom about who to hire, about what to do could have created so many fallouts that I am glad that God was with me, never leaving me nor forsaking me through it all as I did my best to walk in alignment and obedience, under the cover of His wing through it all.
The second story, I am sorry to say I wasn’t as obedient and the outcome was very different. In the end, the rest of the story ends up being ok because He taught me to forgive, He taught me the power of forgiveness, He taught me how much love I had around supporting me at home, at church, and at work, He taught me that even through the valley He never left me and always was speaking to me in His Word, through the songs on the radio, at church. It just took getting to the end of me, to the end of my rope, to the bottom of the barrel for me to stop and look up and cry out for help, for wisdom, for answers. It started with a still quiet voice telling me to move on from the job I was in. I was at a mountain top in my career where I was having great success and was in a place of influence. I was so “comfortable”, that word that as I have said in times since then should have set off all the red flags in my world that I shouldn’t disobeyed, but should have listened. Because of the heights of my mountain top, the valley drop was steep and far. Through this time a bunch of change took place, people were removed from leadership, the team was broken up, there were reorganizations, there were re-prioritization, there were offers and promises that didn’t pan out, there were decisions and positioning that just made it worse. In the end I had hit rock bottom, I was dealing with bitterness, anger, frustration, unforgiveness, that’s right me and the word that doesn’t exist. And on that final day, driving down the road, the song 7×70 came on and started to chip away and chip away, the the truth of God’s forgiveness and how we are supposed to forgive others was revealed. It broke the chains, it removed the pain, it healed my body and mind, it cleansed me. It taught me a lesson I will never forgot. It gave me an experience that I was able to share with so many others who were going through depression and betrayal, sorrow and pain, lies and distrust. God gave me a gift through this that has transformed my message to others who are feeling hopeless. God gave me a gift that others could tell something was different when I went back to work, but they new the situation and the environment hadn’t. It provided me with a testimony of God’s Love being so good and so great that He taught me the power of forgiveness and that true freedom comes through it. Before that I was giving away the keys and allowing the control to be outside. Once I gave forgiveness and then was able to receive forgiveness from God, my life was back, my joy was back, my hope was back, I knew that no matter what came my way, walking with God was going to be the right way and would produce incredible miracles through them all. If you click the link above (or this one), you can read more information about the experience.
The third story is an interesting one as it was still post not listening to go and find a new job and before getting the message to Get out of the boat and it was interesting in my next day’s post as it revealed what happened on the way to work on the topic of the Big O. I was walking and being obedient even though the return being experienced by others wasn’t where it should have been. Work wasn’t rewarding the efforts, however, God did which helped me to realize even though they didn’t value my effort, He was able to intervene and provide exceedingly, abundantly more than I could have asked or imagined. He was able to orchestrate finances to pay off my roof and refinance saving me more than they could have given me and since it was a reduction in what I had to pay compared to an increase in salary, the implications were even greater and better. Praise be go to God! Since the full story is found throughout past posting, I will make it a summary. He gave me the message “Get out of the Boat”, I prayed driving to work that if my workplace was the boat and He wanted me out, that He would let me know what side, I received a tweet on the way to work that said “Get out of the Boat” so when I got home I updated my resume, updated my LinkedIn profile, and started job hunting. Since He never told me what side of the boat, I didn’t have leave just yet, but I knew and was preparing for the time when I would be gone. He provided counselors at work to show me that He had my back and that He had positioned others around me who I could trust. I went through many interviews for companies including one that I was sure I didn’t want to go to, however, if it was going to be my Nineveh, I wasn’t going to be one who would get put in the belly of a whale, so I was checking every side and knowing God would tell me what side of the boat to get out on. I have been in my new role for about 9 months now and it has been incredible to see the miracles that have taken place. The testimonies I have to share. The joy and happiness I am able to share with those I come into contact with. God’s way is the only way. Obedience is the cleaner way. Staying under the cover of His wing and in alignment with His will provides something beyond beyond, beyond words, beyond expressions.
Where are you at today? Have you strayed away? Have you gone it on your own? Are you out of the will of God? Are you out of cover? Are you out of alignment? Are you feeling the fiery darts coming at you? Are you feeling the pain? Are you being torn? Are you finding yourself somewhere that you wouldn’t have ever expected to be? Today might be your day! Today may be the day that you can get back on track. In my second story I talk about how I had the divine intervention with the 7×70 song coming on the radio. It had come on other times, the difference was before I had gotten into the car, I had stopped and asked God to help me. I had asked Him to intervene on my behalf and help me. And wow, did He ever! God’s Word tells us that we have not because we ask not! God’s Word tells us to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness! You don’t have to keep walking away! You don’t have to keep hiding yourself! You can turn back and call out to your Heavenly Father and you know how He will respond? Just like we read in God’s Word:
11-12Then he said, “There was once a man who had two sons. The younger said to his father, ‘Father, I want right now what’s coming to me.’
12-16“So the father divided the property between them. It wasn’t long before the younger son packed his bags and left for a distant country. There, undisciplined and dissipated, he wasted everything he had. After he had gone through all his money, there was a bad famine all through that country and he began to hurt. He signed on with a citizen there who assigned him to his fields to slop the pigs. He was so hungry he would have eaten the corncobs in the pig slop, but no one would give him any.
17-20“That brought him to his senses. He said, ‘All those farmhands working for my father sit down to three meals a day, and here I am starving to death. I’m going back to my father. I’ll say to him, Father, I’ve sinned against God, I’ve sinned before you; I don’t deserve to be called your son. Take me on as a hired hand.’ He got right up and went home to his father.
20-21“When he was still a long way off, his father saw him. His heart pounding, he ran out, embraced him, and kissed him. The son started his speech: ‘Father, I’ve sinned against God, I’ve sinned before you; I don’t deserve to be called your son ever again.’
22-24“But the father wasn’t listening. He was calling to the servants, ‘Quick. Bring a clean set of clothes and dress him. Put the family ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Then get a grain-fed heifer and roast it. We’re going to feast! We’re going to have a wonderful time! My son is here—given up for dead and now alive! Given up for lost and now found!’ And they began to have a wonderful time.
25-27“All this time his older son was out in the field. When the day’s work was done he came in. As he approached the house, he heard the music and dancing. Calling over one of the houseboys, he asked what was going on. He told him, ‘Your brother came home. Your father has ordered a feast—barbecued beef!—because he has him home safe and sound.’
28-30“The older brother stalked off in an angry sulk and refused to join in. His father came out and tried to talk to him, but he wouldn’t listen. The son said, ‘Look how many years I’ve stayed here serving you, never giving you one moment of grief, but have you ever thrown a party for me and my friends? Then this son of yours who has thrown away your money on whores shows up and you go all out with a feast!’
31-32“His father said, ‘Son, you don’t understand. You’re with me all the time, and everything that is mine is yours—but this is a wonderful time, and we had to celebrate. This brother of yours was dead, and he’s alive! He was lost, and he’s found!’”
Today may be your day to turn things around.
Will you give God your heart
allow Him to clean house
get things back on track?