by Tom Chase
A lot is happening in my life now and I’m trying to make some sense of it all. I am being challenged and stretched and hopefully being conformed more into the image of His Son. (Some days are better than others!)
For those who might not be aware, the beginning of March was a step of faith for my family and me. At the end of February, the company which I had been working as a structural engineer closed its doors and let go of all its employees. Starting March 1, one of the former principals (my former boss) and I started a new engineering corporation.
Wow! It was like God just opened the door and made this incredible straight path before for us. We prayed, many of you prayed and the peace of God rolled over us in amazing ways. It was a mountain top experience and we lived in His peace and His assurance, listening to His words to us, “Stay the course!” How precious His assurances are to us. In my reading, I was reminded of two stories:
Gideon, when asked of God to take the Israelites into battle, really just wanted to be sure God was in it. He asked not once but twice for God to confirm this is what He wanted (Joshua 6). Oftentimes, he gets a bum rap, like he doubted God or something; and maybe he did, but God answered his honest questions.
Moses: After the Israelites sinned, God asked him to lead them away so that He would not destroy them in His anger. Moses appealed to God, not wanting to go if God was not going to come with them (Exodus 33).
I have to admire both of these men and their desire to be sure God was in it. Whatever it is that I am to do, I want to be like Gideon and Moses, to be sure God is in it!
We started down the road of a new business venture. Exciting, scary, lots of potential and understanding God is in it! Along the way though, when it began to cost us real money, it became a lot harder. Questions come to mind, “Did I really hear right?” “Is this really where God wants me?” At the same time God is answering prayers for work and quick cash flow such that my partner stated, “Clients have never paid like that.” So this is where I am today, struggling a bit with my faith, trusting God in His leading, and needing to be content in that, but not necessarily wanting to be. “Wouldn’t full time ministry be more of what God wants?”
It’s kind of funny – almost laugh out loud funny, how God helps you see what you need to see. He uses His people. I “happened” to cross paths with a godly couple (from the church where I was formally an associate pastor). When I told them about starting my new business, she said, “Anyone who has had a small business knows that it is a walk of faith!” I had to agree with her. I see it every day if I just open my eyes. When God asked him, Abraham left his homeland to go to a land that God would show him. Abraham believed God and it was credited to Him as righteous (Genesis12:1; Hebrews 11:8-10; Romans 4:3; Galatians 4:6; James 2:23). So what was spiritual about Abraham leaving his country and going to a land that God would show him? The one thing I get is this, Abraham believed and followed God. I want to be like Abraham. I want to follow God where He leads even if it may not be what I think I really want.
So what am I to do, in this not so sacred, not so “spiritual” pursuit? First, understand that this is what is laid before me for now and is it subject to change. Then, simply do what He has said.
“But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give reason for the hope that you have ….” (1 Peter 3:15a)
The startling part of this verse to me is that people are asking. I may not be able to talk about all the fine points of deep theology with people (nor will that always be appreciated). I can talk about what God is doing … not necessarily in the world at large, but what He is doing in me. I am being changed by the power of the gospel. God is answering prayers and doing amazing things all the time. I am rediscovering that there is an attraction in simply sharing these things. This, in part, is how people can see I have hope and become, as God’s Spirit works, compelled to ask. I want to be like what Peter writes – I want to be ready to share!
Lord, may it be so!
In His service,