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The Test
Posted on December 16, 2008

A couple of weeks back we got our “economic stimulus package” check. Within a day or so we got a bill from the IRS for about the same amount as the check. I am not a fan of the IRS. My experience with them has been that they will basically reinterpret the rules to their advantage. They do not like me because in all (7) of the audits we have been through they have ended up owing us money. At any rate, the bill really angered me. It was for something that I thought was already taken care of, coupled with it representing a week or so of our expenses it spelled some relief. I was really mad.

 

The next morning I was praying through this situation and reading through my usual array of devotional books. I ran across this: “If you really believe that God gave you all you have and that His resources are without limit, then you will have no problem investing your time and wealth in acts of extravagance to His glory. Just as He does not need your efforts to make you rich, so too He does not need your wealth to execute His plan. Biblically you give to God, not to people; you give to the poor, and any other cause, because God wants you to, and for no other reason.” (Walt Henrichsen – Thoughts From the Diary of a Desperate Man. Day 338).

 

As I was journaling about this the clear question from the Lord was, “Do I need your resources to get this message out?” All year long the consistent message from my time with Him has been, “Trust me.” That is really easy to do in the study, it becomes somewhat more difficult as I move around the desk, login, and begin to pay the bills.

 

The next day was great. I was on the phone all day talking to headmasters of Christian schools in the Tulsa area offering to do clinics for the fathers of their students. The response was good. All with whom I talked were interested in their school participating in more than a casual way. That same day I spoke to the pastor of one of the largest churches in Tulsa and he also expressed real interest in having us do a clinic for his men.

 

That evening I got a call from a friend with whom I had been on a mission with he wanted to talk about a business opportunity that he felt could fund Entrusting Truth. It was difficult. I have a lot of respect for this man. I did not want to harm the relationship and frankly the opportunity looked really good. As I was praying through this, the Lord brought a similar situation to mind. I had been talking to a friend who was launching a ministry and he was sharing about a difficult situation that was taking him away from his core focus. In that situation the Lord brought Nehemiah to mind – and I told him that he had a wall to build. The Lord told me the same thing. Focus on the task at hand; build the wall. That evening I shared with my friend that I would not participate in the opportunity. He was gracious and understanding.

 

The next morning in finishing up the fake rolex calls to the schools I spoke with a man who got really excited about the clinic. He told me that he had been talking to his male teachers in the earlier part of the week brainstorming on how they could get the fathers of their students more involved in the education process. He saw our conversation as an answer to their prayers. Right after that I had lunch with the leader of a minority ministry in North Tulsa. He was excited about our working through his church to help fathers. It was a great day.

 

I drove over to the church to set up for the Fathers to Sons clinic the next day. While in the parking lot I was journaling about the events in the past few hours. It was like the Lord interrupted me and said, “You passed the test.” All fell into place. In other times and in other situations the way I have demonstrated trust is to go figure out how to make things work out. I have taken opportunities to create cash flow, with not so favorable results. I have fought hard against those who would have taken our resources. In this situation though, I nervously did not. I chose to focus instead on what I understood God to be telling me was my part and with whatever faith I could muster chose to trust Him to do His. I am still not sure how all of this is going to work out. I do know this that I am learning that I have to watch over my natural inclination to take over. If I do that I miss what God has for me.


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