When I shifted to this new place I was thrilled at all the prospects of doing a lot of things I love doing but hadn’t been able to do given my nomadic chapter of missions life .. I missed tutoring, I missed ‘Math’, I missed baking and I missed hospitality ministries… Oh and I also longed to get back into crafts and cake decorating. All good things right? Avenues to facilitate ministries too.. and to develop or retain the talents that God gave.. that was my ‘reasoning’ but perhaps could have very well been my ‘justification’ to do what I wanted to do.
I had wanted to resume my baking brownies business. Guess what? I managed to gather my kitchen stuff which had been in storage for over 6 years.. clean it all out in the same day to get rid of the musty smells and ensure the packaging was dumped into the garbage. Then I decided to bake some cookies before I started the brownies – the oven when switched on kept sending the trip off! In these older buildings of Sri Lanka, wiring is often donree haphazardly so I knew I shouldn’t try to meddle with it. The people I sought help from haven’t been able to make it to check it out and I didn’t push it as in my heart I did have a lack of peace.
My heart desired to tutor A/L students in Math to have a bit of ‘challenge’ and I spread the word. To cut a long story short, I accepted a younger student despite not having peace in my heart, despite lower fees than the going rate and ended up being pushed around as if I was a slave to their conveniences and needs – nothing else mattered. God rebuked me and said that the parent of the student was robbing Him and His resources as my ministries and needs meant nothing to the parent. I knew I had to put a stop to it and once I did, I finally had peace.
Not only that, when I was tutoring I kept ‘planning’ on how I would spend that cash.. what I would buy, when, how etc… In fact I sheepishly admit that was taking a lot of my thoughts.. True, I had forgone so much being in full time ministry and as that meant provision through others from God, I always felt guilty when I wanted something that wasn’t just a need but a want. I had decided that in this ‘extra’ cash, I could spend on a short list of things I had wanted especially to replace what was stolen or broken over the years.
God rebuked me and asked me hadn’t He carried me through for 10 years and why am I suddenly wanting ‘extra’ cash. Yes I agree, many people were spurring me on to get the extra cash now that i have the space .. (which I realise was in their lack of faith as they hadn’t gone through the journey that I have). But my peace went for a six as that was NOT God’s plan.. In the process of leaning on man’s wisdom, I was tarnishing His glory and teaching people to lean on the work of our hands.. that it is our hands that bring us money.
God tells the Israelites:
And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth = Deuteronomy 8:13
Take a few moments to meditate on the words that He had given to them just preceding that!
And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord. Your garments did not wear out on you, nor did your foot swell these forty years. You should know in your heart that as a man chastens his son, so the Lord your God chastens you.“Therefore you shall keep the commandments of the Lord your God, to walk in His ways and to fear Him. For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land – Deuteronomy 8
It is up to God to decide how He wants to meet our needs – through the work of our hands or through the work of others who have the gift of financial helps to support the Kingdom work. At other times God uses the wicked to give to the righteous.
God spoke to me clearly that He wanted me to work on what HE had asked me to… Not what I felt was ‘good’ to do! Another ministry that has been on my heart for years has since opened up too. If I had been a busy bee distracted by many things, God couldn’t have given this to me as I wouldn’t have been able to handle it.
It is so important to study the Scriptures in context and stay tuned to HIS voice to know what He wants each one of us to do.. We can easily be tossed by the winds of the trends of the world and the wisdom of our loved ones, but if we aren’t walking along the narrow path, it is us that He will hold accountable! Besides why should we settle for the silver of our wisdom when we can enjoy the luxury the gold of His wisdom trusting that HE knows what is best for us!
If we are stressed or not feeling peace at heart,
we can say for sure that we are running ahead of God !