God has His way of meeting needs, but they are sometimes not at all in accordance with what you’d expect. I’m no different than anyone else. What God would do for me, He would do for you, too.
Quite a few years ago, my wife and I took our children out to a fast food restaurant. But as we sat there in our car, in front of that restaurant, the Lord spoke to me and told me to find another place to eat. So I said to my wife, “Is there anywhere else to eat around here?”
She responded, “Yes, there is a food court inside the shopping center.”
I didn’t sense any grieving in my spirit when she said that, so we decided to go to the food court. After that, the Lord did not speak to me at all between the car and the shopping center. But inside the shopping center, as we approached the food court, He did.
When we entered the shopping center, our children proceeded to walk to the food court. My wife and I were together. Our children walked on the other side of the aisle, but in my case, the Lord spoke to me and said to walk on the right hand side of the aisle, so I did. When I got to the end of the aisle, which was just before the food court, the Lord told me to stop and turn around and go back. There was a “Subway” (fast food) place at the end of the aisle, as you go back, so I immediately considered that maybe the Lord was leading us back there. But if so, why did He not stop me before that, because I already passed it? Well, the Lord has His reasons …
My children were busy frolicking about, doing their own thing, my wife was close to me, and here I was engaged in going this way, and then that, but not really knowing what was happening – I was just following orders. The orders are really clear when the Lord gives them. But I think one reason some people are not willing to follow them is that they may seem rather “strange” when they are received – strange and out of place, that is. For example, when God commanded the prophet Isaiah to go naked and barefoot – and for three years nonetheless – as a sign against Egypt and Cush (Isaiah 20:3), that’s what I mean by “strange and out of place.” Now Isaiah was a great prophet of God, but he did not get that way by trying to blend in ever so nicely. How does one who goes naked and barefoot for three years blend in? Hum…. a little hard, I’d say! Isaiah did not mix in at all. But then again, he has the distinguished honor of having been used of God in some rather amazing ways. If God will use you much more because of your willingness to follow Him and Him alone, why not be used of God? So I say, forget worldly honor, and prefer rather godly honor. The world’s honor is fading and passing away.
As I was headed back along the right aisle (which was now on my left, because I had turned around and was headed back towards the “Subway” fast food place), the Lord clearly told me to STOP at about half-way between the start of the food court (where I had just been) and the “Subway”, which was just ahead in the distance (maybe another fifty feet ahead of me). The Lord did not speak to me after that. So I had to figure out what was going on. And what was going on, anyway? Had I made some type of mistake? I mean, was I just following after the imagination of my heart? This is the fear of anyone who seeks to follow the Lord to the letter like that. Someone is going to call them crazy, out of place, and all the rest. You’re not alone if you feel misunderstood. But let me encourage you. The Lord greatly values your obedience and your willingness to be called a “fool” for His name’s sake. You know why? If you are willing to be used of God, it will mean salvation for many people. No one is going to call you a “fool” in heaven when your obedience results in the salvation of souls. On the earth, many delight in being accepted by the masses for the sake of their own reputations. Meanwhile, souls continue to slip away into hell, not every week, but every second. In heaven, you can earn the title of “servant of God” by actually being willing to do what He says. You choose.
I knew the Lord had spoken to me, but what was it all about? I’ve been in this type of situation before, and when the Lord leads you somewhere, it is not without good reason. And that “good reason” will usually manifest quite quickly, especially when you are there with your wife and children planning to eat at a food court! The food court will eventually close (it was only a few hours to closing), and the family was hungry. Obviously, something had to happen rather quickly.
If the Lord leads you somewhere – as in to an exact spot like He did with me – well, then, you had better not leave that spot until you find out exactly why He led you there. So I stood exactly at that spot, not to the left, or to the right, but exactly where He said to STOP. As it turns out, I probably had about six inches leeway to spare on either side of me, and if I had moved from that spot six or seven inches to the right, or the left, I would have missed what the Lord wanted to show me.
And so what was it?
The Lord did not tell me not to look around. So I looked around! I figured, He must have brought me to that spot so I could observe something or wait for something to happen. Usually, that’s the case when the Lord leads you to a specific spot. I have numerous testimonies in which the Lord did this in the past (some of which I have published), so this case was no different. I was here for a reason. Why I am explaining this to you in full technicolor is because it is quite evident to me that the Lord wants to do this same type of thing to others as well – if they are willing to listen. You just don’t have enough faith if you don’t think that God does this type of thing today. He does. He plenty does. But you are going to have to show Him that you are dead serious about your walk with Him, which means putting away all that grieves Him, and elevating Him to the absolute highest place in your life. Better do that now, than wish you done it later. What I am saying is that there is an exciting world of adventure waiting for you, if you will take God seriously.
As I was gazing in this direction, and particularly in that direction (it did not take me long to see this, less than 1 minute while standing there), I noticed a particular woman that my wife and I knew (she was a friend of the family) standing in a shop that was on the same side as the Lord had me walk down, and she was browsing through some of the items that were being sold in that store. She was actually just standing right there in front of one of those racks of clothes, and because of where she was standing, and where I was standing, I was able to see her in the distance – maybe fifty feet into the store. If I was standing to the left or the right, well, I would have missed her. So the Lord knew exactly where He wanted me, and by this – the fact that I saw her standing there – it became apparent to me that the Lord expected a response from me. What further direction did I need? So I went over to her and said hello to her.
At the moment I said “hello” to her, she immediately responded by saying, “I just remember, I need to write you a cheque!” So she wrote me a cheque. She said, “This is to help you paint your house.” At this point, many people would refuse the cheque due to pride or some other foolish reason. But in my case, the Lord had clearly spoken to me – first, by telling me to eat somewhere else; second, by telling me to walk on the right side and not the left; third by telling me to turn around and walk back, and fourth, by telling me to stop at that spot. Was I now going to refuse the cheque? I think that would be foolishness. So I did not fail to refuse the cheque. Obviously, the Lord wanted me to receive that cheque, and I did not even look at it, but just received it and said thank-you for it.
I honestly cannot even remember ordering any food at the food court (I might not have), but soon, it was time to leave. My wife was beside me, and the children were there, as well.
I said to my wife, “So and so gave me a cheque.”
She said, “How much is it for?”
I said, “Well, probably 50 or a 100 dollars. It’s to help pay for some paint so we can paint our house.”
“You didn’t look at it?” she said.
“No, I didn’t look at it.” “You want me to look at it?” I added.
“Yes,” she said.
So I looked at it, and it was a cheque for 1000 dollars.
Now you might think, “That’s a lot of money.” Well, it’s a lot of money if you have none, but if you have money, it might not be a lot of money after all. To “so and so” who wrote us the cheque, it was not really that much. And, anyway, I’ve written cheques for a thousand dollars and given them away. It’s not a big deal to write a cheque for a thousand dollars, if the Lord is telling you to write it. What’s a “big deal” to some people is actually receiving the thousand dollars – but, like I said, I did not have a hard time with that, because the Lord had spoken to me.
After that, our financial situation did not ease up at all in the months to come. That woman continued to write us cheques to the tune of many thousands of dollars, which we all used to better our house, because – we thought – we were in the process of selling that house. And so we wanted to improve it, in order to make it sellable. And she wanted to help us, which was a very nice thing. So we used all the money that she gave us to fix up that house – all the money, that is, except fifteen-hundred dollars. And the next article in this series is all about that fifteen-hundred dollars.