Last week, I shared how I had built a successful business while running from my calling. When the Lord finally confronted me and asked me to put my business on the altar, it quickly collapsed. This was also an answer to my prayer, though I was not expecting it to work out like that. Because of the business, I had many entanglements and obligations I asked the Lord to deliver me from so I could return to my calling. I just did not expect the answer to come that fast, but it was right. The judgments of the Lord are always right.
Everything I had worked so hard to build was gone, but I had not felt better in years. I knew it was the discipline of the Lord. Having been shown how profoundly awry my motives had been in building the business, I was more than relieved for it to be gone. I was cast in total dependence on the Lord again, and it felt so much better than being dependent on my own devices.
As I wrapped up my affairs, I was able to pay off my creditors, and had a car and about two thousand dollars left over. Then, maybe the best business opportunity to ever come my way was presented to me. I had no doubt I could make a bigger fortune in it than I had ever made in my aviation business. It was a very strong temptation.
Then two friends from different parts of the country came to me. I knew they did not know each other. Within the same week, they gave me the same word from the Lord — if I did not return to His service, then He would bless my new business venture, but He was going to give my commission to someone else. I did not have time for any more distractions if I was going to fulfill my calling, my real purpose.
Why would the Lord give me such a hard choice? I think there are several reasons, but maybe the most important is the principle of freedom. “Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty” (see 2 Corinthians 3:17). In the Old Testament, the bondservant was one who could go free, but loved his master so much that he wanted to remain his slave. So he was taken to the temple and given a special mark. There are other Scriptures that talk about the special mark of the bondservant, but the calling to be one must be voluntary.
I have no doubt the Lord would have richly blessed my choice if I had chosen the business opportunity. It could have led to a great life, but I think it would have cost me dearly in regard to my eternal inheritance. Which was I going to live for? The Lord will bless many things He will not inhabit. Would I settle for His blessings, or did I want to run the race for the high calling of God in Christ that Paul talks about in Philippians 3?
Now for many people, business is their calling. All but a few of the great heroes of faith in Scripture were occupied with vocations other than the ministry of the temple as a Levite. However, for me, this was a choice between good and best. We are all given this choice. He will not force us to be His slave; we must choose it.
It was hard to leave our dream house and property, turn down such a great business opportunity, and return as instructed to North Carolina. I did not know what I would be doing. I was given one step at a time. We moved into a tiny, two bedroom cabin with our two young daughters, with no idea how we would even pay for that. I thought we might be there, or in similar conditions, for good. Even so, I was not only content with that, I was happier than I had been in years. There is no place like the perfect will of God. It is better to be with Him in a cave than to be in the greatest palace without Him.
Most unexpectedly, within a year we were living in a place far beyond our dreams, living a better life than any business could have provided, because it was without the stress. I can affirm that being His slave is better than any other place we can have on this earth. I did not know we would receive such blessings in the natural, and we have had to voluntarily give them up from time to time. But without question, being His slave is the greatest life we can ever live. The eternal benefits, that I have had glimpses of, have no earthly comparison. Choose well.
~ Pastor Rick Joyner
|Pastor Rick Joyner is the founder and executive director of MorningStar Ministries and Heritage International Ministries and is the Senior Pastor of MorningStar Fellowship Church.|