Do you think that if God says something it is important? What if God repeats what He says twice? Most people agree that if God says something more than once it must be really important. Did you know there is a passage in the Bible where God gives us His word on the matter seven times?
Hebrews 13:5 (AMP)
5Let your character or moral disposition be free from love of money [including greed, avarice, lust, and craving for earthly possessions] and be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have]; for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!]
I recall a time when this verse was a lifeline for me. After four years of very hard work my husband and I had reluctantly closed our computer store. The bottom had fallen out of the computer market leaving us no choice but to close the store and find another way to make a living. With no savings to fall back on, we both aggressively ventured into the job market. We agreed that it did not matter who was the first one to get a job. We needed income to pay our rent, our bills, and put food on the table. If you have ever found yourself in the position of needing money "yesterday" you can appreciate the many dynamics which were at work in that situation.
First one to land a job wins! We had depleted our savings and were running out of funds fast. Discouraged and almost despondent, we couldn’t afford the luxury of giving in to any feelings of self pity or injustice. We took every interview leaving no stone unturned. We did not have the luxury of waiting for the recruiters or agencies to place us. We even carpooled to our interviews to save gas money.
I regret that at that time our faith was not at the level where we believed God for exactly the jobs we would have liked, more suitable to our gifts and talents. But God meets us where we are and at that time we were able to believe Him for provision, standing on His word that every need was met by Christ, the Anointed One and His anointing, which strengthens me. (Phil. 4:13 and Phil 4:19)
The Amplified Bible puts it this way:
13I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ's sufficiency].
19And my God will liberally supply (fill to the full) your every need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
I needed to be infused by the Lord with inner strength to go on. The month had born little to no job prospects for either one of us. We had exhausted all avenues of income, put the last of our cash in the gas tank of our vehicle and used nearly all our spare change.
When Can I Call You?
I had one opening I was working on. It took several phone calls to reach the busy owner of a local limousine sales dealership. I had been diplomatically arranging to phone him each time, jockeying for a time to reach him when he was in the office and willing to take my call because our phones had been disconnected. Juggling my follow up calls with his busy schedule was no small feat and I was sure he could see right through my polite but veiled maneuvers.
Finally, we drove to a nearby phone booth to make one more phone call to secure an interview.
I had to persuade him to hire me for a position at less than half my normal salary and for which I was grossly overqualified. For that reason, I had to work overtime to convince the owner to consider giving me the job.
As I dropped the coins into the slot and dialed the phone number, I realized that we were down to our last 35 cents – just enough left for one more phone call. Although heartsick inside, I was a survivor and we needed this job, which was the only prospect that week for either of us. Despite the traffic noises from the nearby street, when I reached the owner he granted me the interview and set it for the next day.
I was relieved to find that he was very amiable as well as professional. I wasn’t sure if it was the friendly tension between his USC alma mater and mine at UCLA or that he was impressed by my persistence despite my unfortunate circumstances – but I was sure that the interview had gone well and I’d gotten the job. He had all but hired me on the spot, which was rare in those days of “email me your resume” and hiring by committee majority. I had tried my best to get a commitment from him before leaving so I would not be subject to dealing with follow-up calls since I only had enough coinage for one more.
A Signup Bonus
Driving home from the interview, we prayed in agreement together, and asked the Lord for that job. We believed and received when we prayed, so we were agreed that the job was mine. We weren’t coveting anything from anyone else, as after all, there was an opening which the business owner was seeking to fill. We knew that the owner had to get over my qualifications being way over the top. So we asked God for favor with him and believed we had it.
I recall that as we were climbing the stairs to our apartment I wistfully told my husband:
“You know what we need? We need a signup bonus like one of those NFL football players.”
And even though it sounded like wishful thinking out loud, I knew I would be grateful to get the job.
This was it. At the agreed upon time the next day, we went to the pay phone booth and made the call with our last 35 cents. Either I reached him and got the job or we would be looking for God to send a collie dog to our front door carrying a bag of money in his mouth. We knew that God had a million ways to deliver us out of the hole we'd dug. We weren’t even thinking about other options. We had no plan B. No, it was help now when we needed it, period. Please God!
16Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace (the throne of God's unmerited favor to us), that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace to help in good time for every need [appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it].
I got the job and would start on Monday!
God was Listening
On Monday morning, after a couple of hours of filling out payroll paperwork and orientation, my new boss called me into his office. In a soft-spoken voice, he gently said to me,
“Why don’t you write yourself a check for $500. and get your phone turned back on?”
A check for $500.00! Phone service restored, gasoline and grocery money… I gratefully accepted the advance paycheck. It was my signup bonus – my wish had been a prayer and God was listening.
Psalm 37:4 (Amplified Bible)
4Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart.
I can rarely recall in my Christian life many times of extraordinary favor granted to me which would equal this one. God is so very good!
Psalm 84:11-12 (Amplified Bible)
11For the Lord God is a Sun and Shield; the Lord bestows [present] grace and favor and [future] glory (honor, splendor, and heavenly bliss)! No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.
12O Lord of hosts, blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) is the man who trusts in You [leaning and believing on You, committing all and confidently looking to You, and that without fear or misgiving]!
His grace and favor surround us like a shield and His mercy and goodness follow us all the days of our lives.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
God has promised that when we put our complete trust in Him, rely on Him alone, He will provide. Even when we fail, when things happen that are entirely our fault, He is a good Father who is well able to take care of us.
1 The LORD is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD,
And He delights in his way.
24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down;
For the LORD upholds him with His hand.
25 I have been young, and now am old;
Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken,
Nor his descendants begging bread
And He wants to help us. He does not want us to be downcast. He wants us to let Him take care of us. Sometimes, it’s as simple as our turning to Him for help, asking, and then getting out of His way so He is free to work things out in our behalf and restore our lives.
-Walking in God's grace and favor