“Go to a Land I Will Show You.”

(Written November, 2007)


About two years ago, God arranged for the termination of my employment in the fast-paced electronic semiconductor and components industry. During the thirty years leading up to that termination, my family has enjoyed “financial stability” and relative comfort associated with an above average income (by U.S. standards). I have been a Christian during this thirty-year period and viewed my job as God’s financial provision for us. It has been my understanding that God desires for us to put our trust in Him for all things including things relating to financial provision. During the past two years, I have learned that all of my trust in God for financial provision during the prior thirty years had been only skin deep. In fact, I have learned that my attitudes toward my job and financial provision were ungodly. I have since realized that inwardly during those thirty years, I trusted more in my own ability to make a way than I trusted in God to do it. I have always been very “resourceful” and never really knew what it was like to be wanting. Prior to my termination at my former employer, my wife and I sensed that God was about to bring about sweeping changes in our lives. He had been preparing me for increased work in evangelism and was beginning to expand the influence of my evangelism and teaching ministry. When my job was terminated, we believed it was an answer to our prayers and this understanding has not changed. We were under the impression that this life change ordered by God was all about the evangelistic ministry. While there is no doubt that God has been bringing forth fruit in our lives relating to the ministry He has provided us, it is also apparent that God has been doing something very significant within our hearts relating to simple trust in His ability to provide and learning what it means to wait upon the Lord.


In hindsight, God’s leading reminds me of the call of Abraham.


“The LORD had said to Abram, ‘Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you’ ” (Genesis 12:1).


God did not even tell Abraham the name of the land. He merely said, “Leave your country and go and to the land I will show you.” The fact that Abraham left the comfort of home and relatives and go with such limited information demonstrates that he believed God had his best interests at heart. He wanted to go wherever God would lead him because he recognized that He is great and wonderful. If Abraham was anything like me, I am confident he went with some fear and trembling not knowing where he would end up but resigned to trust in God and cast the well being and safety of his family on Him. In many ways, this was like our experience. It is like God said, “Leave the comfort of your present life and go to a land I will show you.” And then He adds, “And by the way, you are going to have to learn to stop trusting in your own ability to provide and trust in Me.”

As I have written and spoken much during the past two years, this has been a difficult learning process for me. There have been many ministry “disappointments,” trials relating to our family and much less “financial comfort.” Often I have wondered if I had perceived God’s direction correctly? Is this really what He wants? Am I simply not hearing Him correctly?


Recently, I read the story of Abraham again and was struck by something I had not noticed before that made this story all the more relevant to our situation. I read how God soon showed Abraham the land. But when he got there, there was a famine in the land. Can you imagine what must have been going on in the heart and mind of Abraham? God tells him to leave his country and go to a land where He will bless him mightily and bless the nations through him. When he arrives, there is a famine. What was God doing? Why would He bring him to a land when there is a famine? Didn’t God know there was a famine? Isn’t He in control of famines? The next thing Abraham does is go down to Egypt to escape the famine. How discouraging this must have been. He must have been wondering many things about himself and God at this point. Had he perceived God’s direction correctly? Was this really what He wants? Was he simply not hearing Him correctly?


It seems as if God has brought us into a land where famine exists. I am not referring so much to the financial aspect as I am to all the other areas of life and ministry. It is as if God is purposely withholding blessing in many areas of life and ministry in order to purify us and produce a more substantial trust in Him within our hearts. I have many moments of doubt but I here now wish to state that I am grateful to God for His great mercies and the grace He bestows upon us. True, the level of financial and emotional stress has increased but I see that He has been causing fruit to grow in my life and ministry. This fruit seems to be like the variety that grows under the soil. It is not noticeable from above the ground but it is real. He has sharpened my understanding of Him and has been producing increased zeal for His kingdom and insight into His beauty. On the surface, I can’t see much fruit in my children but I believe that God is doing something under the soil in them also that would not have taken place had we stayed in the comfort of our prior lives. Though myriads of people are not flocking to Christ through our ministry, it is clear that God is sharpening the gospel message in His people as a result of this ministry and His Excellencies are increasingly being proclaimed. Though I experience times of suffering and discomfort,  I know for certain I will look back at this time in my life as an exciting walk on the path of righteousness in which God’s grand purposes unfolding before my eyes. May He be praised and may He give grace to us to trust Him all the more.

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