Summary: Following a painful experience ( job loss ), God lead me into a difficult choice; this decision is reviewed in the light of scripture.
The last message which I prepared for the PRAYER AND FASTING NETWORK was on "Is A Broken Relationship Hurting You? " ( see July, 2003 Issue ). This article was initiated by some words spoken by a man which I considered to be prophetic.
A short time following at a different venue another man came to visit me and he started to speak something which I would class as New Testament prophesy according to the criteria mentioned in 1 Corinthians 14: 3 ( KJV).
But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.
In other words the words spoken certainly were for my strengthening, encouragement and comfort ( key words used in 1 Cor. 14 : 3 ( NIV)).
The gist of what he said was based on the following passage of scripture in Genesis 13: 10 and following:-
10 ¶ And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar.
11 Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other.
12 Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom.
13 But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly.
...18 Then Abram removed his tent, and came and dwelt in the plain of Mamre, which is in Hebron, and built there an altar unto the LORD.
The man said, " Lot chose the well watered plain but it wasn?t God? s choice. At the end of Lot? s career as we know from the Bible record he had lost everything and to make matters worse his daughters committed incest with him.
On the other hand Abram (Abraham) made the right choice. Yes, Abraham made mistakes but God did not cast him off and he never lost his communion with God."
Another point the man made was, " Look at you, brother you are in good health, you get your food, ... " As he spoke these words I thought back on one of the most painful experiences of my Christian life. Over 15 years ago I lost my secular job ... " terminated without cause " was the official reason! I could have gone back into another well - paid secular job and I had a major choice to make!
You may think that it is not too hard a decision to make but you see I had spent all my life training for that type of work ... training at schools, universities and gained invaluable industrial experience. I had spent countless hours getting into that type of position and the Lord at the time was saying get rid of your engineering books, your technical papers, your computer programs, etc., etc. What a decision to make!
I remember during this time my pastor coming to see me and I always remember a snippet of our conversation. He said, " There is only one person who can help you!". My reply was, " Who is that? " His answer was four words, " The Lord Jesus Christ."
How true and it is the same for you if you faced with any difficult decision ... the question is what is the Lord Himself saying to you?
After about a year of transition I could have still probably gone back into secular work but because I believed the Lord was leading me into " full time " ministry I chose to follow Him in that particular path. I had to turn away from the well watered plains of Sodom and like Abraham go and dwell in a place called Hebron. Hebron means seat of association (taken from Strong’ s).
If you examine the book of Ephesians you will see that one has to sit with God before one can walk before the world and stand up to the devil.
Also if you turn to Mark 3: 13 - 15 you see these very profound words of scripture:-
13 ¶ And he goeth up into a mountain, and calleth unto him whom he would: and they came unto him.
14 And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach,
15 And to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils:
Notice that the disciples were with Him before He sent them forth to preach, heal the sick and cast out devils. Before you can do any thing significant for the Lord, in my opinion, you have to know the Lord, you have to be able to hear His voice.