Friday, June 25, 2010
Not by might
3:15 p.m. Today's project was to offer our youngest son Steven some encouragement to "hang in there" up in Fresno, continue his ministries, and totally seek the Lord. He is living alone in his apartment, which means that he must meet the rent and utilities on a meager salary from his job as a runner for a steak restaurant. Steven works very hard at adding clients for fitness training at the gym he co-owns with a friend, but so far, it's slim pickings due, I am sure, to the economy. Recently, we were blessed that his grandpa sent him a check that will help quite a bit.
Steven is a high school ministry leader, coached a Christian high school's track team, and evangelizes wherever he goes. So the enemy loses no opportunity to distract him, from a dead car battery to a suddenly defunct cellphone! (The devil doesn't bother to aim flaming arrows at do-nothing Christians!) So while he studies his Bible for learning, guidance and inspiration, and aced his Bible classes at Fresno Pacific University, discouragement does come his way.
I miss Steven terribly, especially the scripture conversations we have, and the privilege of answering his questions on the topics that cross his mind from a biblical point of view. But the way I feel closest to him is by praying for him. For weeks now, I've been praying over the fact that his restaurant schedules him for Sundays, a real bummer, because he loves the teaching of the Peoples' Church's new pastor. And frankly, Steven needs to be fed from the Word like any of us do, if we want our ministry to be fresh and inspired. So I have been praying for a schedule change for him for the last several weeks, to no avail so far. If Steven could sign up three more clients, he could say "adios, pardner" to Cool Hand Luke's!
An outrageous thought keeps coming to me while I'm praying for my son, whether in my journal, where I lift up Steven and all of our family, or just as I'm "think-praying" throughout the day: what if God wants him to quit the steakhouse on faith, so he can once again attend church, and let God send the clients?! This idea has come to me every single time I pray for Steven, no exceptions!
Didn't God tell Joshua that the priests carrying the ark of the covenant were to stand in the Jordan River before God piled the waters up in a heap for the people to walk across on dry land? (Joshua 3). Sometimes God tells us to take a daring step of faith!
Now I have always been leery and very cautious about telling anyone that I have a word of knowledge from the Lord for them, even if it has come to pass a number of times, generally with women I am teaching, counseling or ministering to in daily life. And the word of knowledge has turned out to be true on those occasions--a work of the Holy Spirit, not me! So today, when Steven texted me saying that there are no new clients, even though he's trying, I thought, why not give him the word--so I did and added, "pray about it and confirm it with your pastor."
He didn't answer one way or the other, but his next text mentioned that Chad the youth pastor and his wife were going to find him some clients, so he must have talked it over with them. Steven will also post an ad on Craigslist. So maybe this has been the spiritual "shot in the arm" he needs!
The Lord gave me Zechariah 4:6 as a further encouragement for my youngest son:
Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the LORD of hosts.
May Steven step forward in faith and see what the Lord will do!