Pastor Mark: God’s Payoff

Mark Chafe, a pastor of Grace Ministries in East Africa, takes occasional breaks from transforming the culture of Uganda by blogging and Tweeting his creative, inspired and anointed insights.

After crossing paths a few weeks ago on Twitter, I saw that he had a testimony for a new job offer. I was ecstatic and asked him to write up a feature for Grace Notes’ Testimonies section.

Little did I know that this is more than just a praise report for a new job offer; this is the testimony of a Daniel who defied the popular vote and chose obedience over security.

This is his story.
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Choosing to make the right decision can seem very expensive.  Many times in my walk with God I have had to stand alone in decision making—none more so than as a pastor.

I used to pastor a small city Church that had a group of lovely people.

They were supportive, friendly, Bible believing and welcoming.  All these things are important ingredients for growth, yet somehow they had remained small for a number of years and the numbers were still in decline when I came to pastor.  Together, with God’s help, we stopped the decline and managed to raise the numbers slightly, but hit a wall that was, it seemed, impossible to overcome.
I am a great believer in prayer and its power. So I asked the rest of the leadership to join me in a time of prayer and fasting to see what God would reveal as the blockage to growth.  God spoke very clearly to me at the end of our time, listing four specific things that needed to happen for the Church to grow.

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Some of the things He showed me were practices and traditions that needed to halt in the church’s practice of them in order for growth to occur. There were ex-leaders in the church who still held responsibilities in spite of not being in a position of active leadership. Secret meetings were being held and decisions being made that affected the entire church. Trustees who were not even members of the church were carrying decision-making responsibilities, and there were even legal issues that compromised my position as acting pastor over the church.

I brought these things before the leadership team, who ultimately decided that they wanted to hold onto these things that God had revealed as error and a hindrance to His work in the church.  Being the very nice people that they are, they tried to accommodate me by saying I could still pastor them and not believe or adhere to the things that they described were an historical part of their heritage.

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My conscience and desire to be obedient to what God had said would not allow me to compromise what I knew to be right; I resigned my position and moved on.  This of course had serious consequences for us as a family, especially in the area of finances, as we now had no income at all.

Knowing that God has promised to meet all our needs according to His riches in Glory, we were not worried about the situation and used up our savings and our building fund (our house is still not finished) and continued to believe that God will always make a way where there seems to be no way.

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Does that mean that I have never questioned my decision?  Has it always been easy to be cheerful about our situation? Has the devil not whispered in my ear more than once, “Boy, you got that one wrong didn’t you, If only you compromised..!”  There have been times I have fought off bouts of depression and panic attacks after being turned down for the hundreds of jobs I have applied for.

I have felt like giving up or running away—but that still, small voice of God always breaks through and brings the peace that my circumstances have no control over, but is wholly dependent on who He is.

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My decision has cost us everything we had financially, but we have gained so much more in seeing His provision for us as a family and the knowledge that He is truly able to keep that which is entrusted to Him.

I have just been offered a job after only 12 months unemployed, which a miracle in itself that I must share. I applied for a specific job and got a phone call from the agency handling the application. The lady on the phone started describing the position that was available. The position was not what I had applied for. I tried to stop her and explain that there must have been some mistake, but she continued to describe the position. She said it was perfect for me—even though she didn’t know me and had never even seen my CV . Who am I to argue when God is controlling the situation?

So I let her continue, and again to cut a long story short, I have been offered this position for which I thank God!

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There are some words from a song that come to mind, “In His way and in His time, that’s how it’s going to be in my life.”  That is my continual prayer, that I will be patient and obedient to Him always giving Him thanks for all things!

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