Most of you reading this already know the passage from 1 Samuel 15:22 when King Saul disobeyed God's instructions. If you're not familiar with this story, click the link to read it before continuing on with this newsletter. Link: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Samuel+15&version=NKJV
There are those times we think we can do really good for God, but our "goodness" is not what God is asking from us. He wants us to "TRUST" Him with the instructions and/or plans and follow them because there is almost always something bigger happening behind the scenes. I hope my testimony below will help and encourage you if you have been questioning God's plans or instructions in your journey right now.
In November of 2018 my ministry schedule came to an abrupt halt. I picked up a second job working at my local Kohl's store for the holidays. Retail is retail, it helps fill in the gaps financially but's it not a career option. However, I've had great favor at Kohls with my managers and peers and they have graciously worked around my ministry schedule when it became super busy at times this year.
In January of this year, the Lord put it on my heart to start giving beyond our normal tithes and offerings at church. I already was giving to another ministry, but God wanted me to add 3 more to give to including the amounts I was to give each month. This was a huge stretch because the ministry was still not busy at this time, my wife was working of course, but with two kids still at home and the cost of living in the Chicago land area, it takes a lot to live.
So, each month I was doing as the Lord asked, not sure how this was going to work out, but we were managing. My spring and summer ministry calendar started filling up and I was busy. I traveled and ministered in ten different states and the services were awesome but after mid-July my ministry calendar came to a halt again and it was also empty for the rest of this year.
I didn't understand why this was happening again, but I went back to Kohls and started working as many hours as they would give me. They were happy to have me back since I had been gone for almost 3 months. As August came around my wife and I talked about the future and so I put a challenge to the Lord that if He wanted this ministry to continue that I would need to see 3 invitations come in for September or I would start looking for a different career option.
I messaged this to my ministry board and advisers including the request for prayer as our financial situation was not where we wanted to be since I hadn't been ministering for a while. However, I was still obeying during this time and still giving even though it was hard to.
After I sent the prayer request out to my board and advisers, I started planning out my letter to explain to everyone why I was going to have to shut down the ministry because I would be doing some other type of fulltime job in the very near future. Well, so I thought!
The third week of August arrives and so does the biggest financial miracle we've ever experienced. Without making this really long, a friend of ours, who has also been a longtime monthly supporter of the ministry, really surprised us by paying all of our bills for August, paying off all of our credit cards, also paid off my wife's car loan and as a bonus is paying for my wife and I to take a two week vacation. My wife's dream trip has always been to go to France so that's where we will be vacationing this October.
And on top of that – the Lord filled my ministry calendar in September with, yes you guessed it, three invitations. God is truly good and His mercy endures forever!
It was only a couple of days ago that I realized why all of this happened the way it did. God was having me sow into my future miracle before I knew any of this was even going to come about. I was obedient to sow and give into good ground (anointed ministries) even when I didn't want to because we could really "use" that money. As the saying goes, "You cannot out give God" which is true but being a worshiper, I like to sing "Trust and obey, for there's no other way, to be happy in Jesus, when you trust and obey!"
God is speaking some things right now prophetically to me through people I respect and honor and they are saying the same thing. The hard season that I've been in is over and that the ministry is crossing over to another level. God is fulfilling promises both personally and ministry wise, but obedience and trust doesn't stop because of a big breakthrough. If I want to see those territories enlarged it will require me to trust Him more, obedience when He instructs but most importantly above all else, I have to stay in an intimate relationship with Him.
My ministry calendar is still empty the rest of this year after September, but I trust God for what's next. As I've recently just experienced, a breakthrough moment can happen in an instant. Another thing I'm truly grateful for too is my ministry board, advisers and intercessors who pray for me on a daily and regular basis. They have all been a gift from God for me when things get really tough as they support and encourage me always when I need it.
So, do you want a breakthrough? What is God asking you to do? Don't delay but do what He asks but don't try to do something beyond what He asks. Be faithful in the little things and He will give you the bigger things as well. Also, it's not just about trusting God it's also Him trusting us with what He gives us to do to accomplish for His purpose and glory. As it says in 1st Samuel 15, behold, to obey is better than sacrifice!