A recent article in Woman’s World tells the story of Marilyn Bush, the successful owner of www.mrsbushspies.com. In 2004, however, success was a pipe dream. Flat broke and unemployed, she desperately needed a way to support herself and her 4 children. Out of desperation she prayed for a sign after hearing the song “Calling all angels” by Train. That evening, she hit on the idea of selling banana muffins (her favorite recipe) to a local convenience store. They sold all 35 at the store the next day, and the store owner placed another, larger, order. Mrs. Bush has never looked back.
Then there’s the prison chaplain from Lancaster, Pa. He once told me: “You know, I think I got into this a couple of years too early. I was making only $16,000 a year at the time. We always tithed, and we ate a lot of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Funny thing, though; after 2 years we were out of debt and we had money in the bank. None of us ever got sick - me, my wife or any of the kids. The car never broke down and we had no house repairs. I still don’t know how we did it but for God’s faithfulness.
Don’t look for a job; Let God put you where He wants you!
A chat with a lovely young woman several months ago yielded some interesting comments. “No, seriously” she said. “I quit looking for a job. I realized that I had been asking God to give me a job, when what He wanted from me all along was to ask Him to put me where He wanted me. Do I have a job yet? No, not yet. But I can’t begin to tell you the difference in my attitude and my outlook. And I’m beginning to notice something else: I’m beginning to see more jobs that I’m qualified for! And they pay more, on top of that! And I‘m starting to get some responses, too! What He has for me is just around the corner, I just know it! In a couple of months, she had a job - one that will very likely allow her to transfer when she moves to Texas to get married in the next few months!
The secret of Jeremiah 6:16-17
This bright and vivacious young woman had experienced a very frustrating job search. That conversation revealed someone who had been transformed from, well, a "depressed mess", to someone who was full of optimism and who eagerly looked forward to what the future held. What had happened? Simply put, she discovered the “secret” of Jeremiah 6:16-17:
“This is what the LORD says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls…I appointed watchmen over you and said, ‘Listen to the sound of the trumpet!’ ….”
The contention from here is that God has a purpose, plan and will for each and every one of us. If we ask for and follow God’s path for us, Jeremiah says that we will not only enter God’s rest, but He will give us guides who will help us negotiate the path He wants for us.
The next age: what will happen in Heaven?
Truly, we need to see the eternal significance of this. In his classic book, Destined for the Throne, Billhiemer lays out a very profound proposition:
“It is God’s way of giving the church on-the-job-training… this world is a laboratory in which those destined for the throne are learning…as an apprenticeship for an eternity of reigning with Christ…what foes will be left to overcome in the eternal ages, we do not know…” “Therefore, from all eternity, all that precedes the marriage supper of the lamb is preliminary and preparatory. Only thereafter will God’s program for the eternal ages begin to unfold….up and until then, the entire universe under the Son’s regulation and control is being manipulated by God for one purpose – to prepare and train the bride."
Follow the path!
In other words, what God is saying to us is that He wants to see how well we follow the path He has laid out for us. This simple yet very profound idea gives rise to an awesome proposition: the notion that how well we followed the path will determine how we serve in Heaven. Think about the parable of the minas (or the parable of the talents, for that matter). Simply put, the one who makes the most with what God has given him will be rewarded in the age to come. Use what you have been given – regardless of how inconsequential you think it is – and God will reward you in Heaven.
And there appears to be little question that something of great significance beyond our ken that awaits us in the age to come. Why would Paul say this to Timothy:
"Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come." (1 Timothy 4:7-8)
Humility is rewarded
To widen the context, remember that “the first shall be last and the last shall be first”. God values humility so very highly. We tend to think that the Billy Grahams are the ones who will have the highest honors in the age to come. No question about it, they will have a prominent place in Heaven, as we all will. But a close reading of scripture reveals that in all likelihood, it will be those who labored in obscurity – no fanfare, no wealth, yet maintained a close relationship with Jesus will be deserving of a treasured place in God’s heart. Think of the mother who teaches her kids how to be Godly people, yet labors with little or no appreciation – she does it simply out of a love for God. Think of the farmer or mechanic who supports a family and yet, is the most Godly man that his wife and kids know.
Follow the path!
Let Him put you where He wants you. Worried about “how you’ll make it?” Worried about the money? Here’s a link to 19 scriptures that comment on how God will provide: Follow the path, and you won’t lack for anything. Or, check out the testimony of Darlene Deibler Rose – a prisoner of war during World War 2.
Don’t look for a job – let God put you where He wants you. It may not be glamorous. It may not be what you think you want. But the peace you experience will be more than worth it.
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N. Patrick Marica contributes incisive and contemporary Christian commentary for Examiner.com on a regular basis. He holds an MA from Liberty University, and he is the Director of Godly Training Ministries (www.godlytraining.org). You can find out more about him by clicking here. You can contact Mr. Marica at email@example.com.
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