“You know you aren’t fixing this up for yourself, don’t you?” the Lord said to me in 1999 as I wrestled with sticky wall paper while standing on a ladder.
That was the beginning of what I call my five-year Odyssey. My husband had gone to be with the Lord, I gave my life to Christ soon after and was serving Him through my church and in ministry. My “adopted daughter” (a young woman the Lord brought to live with me that stole my heart and became like a daughter to me) had left the safe nest. I decided it was a good time to freshen up the house with new paint and wallpaper.
Needless to say I had no idea the Lord was planning on my moving to destinations known only to Him. By the time the wall paper was hung and dry and three rooms painted I was being told to start packing. He gave me the name of the realtor I would use and low and behold she was real! She had six weeks to sell my house and as I was to learn over the next five years the Lord always keeps His word!
This was going to be hard lessons that traversed across the United States. “Start packing” would come at the least expected times and it would only be in the middle of the packing that the Lord would decide to inform me of where I was going. One time He sent me to see a niece and half way there He dropped the verbal bomb on me, “Oh, by the way. You’ll be buying a house while there.” I almost wrecked the car!
He would eventually tell me how long I would be in a particular location but He would NEVER tell me why He was sending me there! The frustrations grew stronger with every move. New lessons were learned with each, “Start packing.” He would say those words and obediently I would start gathering boxes, emptying out drawers, donating items He said I would no longer need, and gearing up for yet another destination. Johnny Cash’ song, “On the Road Again” became my theme song.
The Lord never asked me if I wanted to move. He never asked me what I thought about living in such and such a place. It was simply a statement of fact, “You’re moving!” When I reached the sixth location I decided I would unpack only the absolute necessities. To heck with unpacking and packing for a year’s stay and then moving some place else. I had finally gotten this moving business down pat.
To my shock, as I read labels on the packed boxes, the Lord said, “You don’t have to move any more. Unpack all of it.” I was very dubious about that statement, although He had proved faithful for all this time. He repeated, “You don’t have to move any more” several more times before I was able to accept that and unpacked and settled in.
Five years later, totally convinced I am here to stay, I hear His familiar voice. “Start packing.” That has to be the devil! God? You told me I didn’t have to move any more! “Start packing.” I won’t go into the devastation of what those two words did to my faith. The devil was jumping up and down with glee and feeding me lies upon lies and I was falling for them hook, line, and sinker. He got his teeth into me and was shredding every thing I believed about my Lord. But God is greater! “He who is in you…”
It was two moves later, 2 new locations, that I began to realize there is a difference between “You don’t HAVE TO” and “You WON’T.” As the movers hauled my furniture and boxes into the home I now have the Lord spoke very gently, “Sue, You won’t be moving any more.”
I stopped in my tracks, set the box down and said, “I WON’T be moving any more or I don’t HAVE TO move any more? I need to know clearly, which is it, Lord!?” It was then that it suddenly occurred to me that when He had told me previously that I don’t have to move any more He was allowing me to choose. I could do as He wanted me to do, move, or I could say, “Naw, I like it here. I’m staying put.”
For me, when the Lord either makes a request or makes a statement of His will, there is no choice. I have two definitions for “fear.” “Fear,” as in reverence to the Lord Almighty and bowing to His will, not mine. And “fear” as in, He will knock me flat on my backside with a great big bolt of lightning!
Yes, He gave us free will but in my opinion, if we are followers of Jesus Christ we will do His will regardless of whether we understand it, want to, can afford it, or anything else we can come up with. He always supplies what we need to do whatever it is that He calls us to do. He wants only two things from us as Christians, to trust Him and to be obedient. We cannot do one without the other!
The devil continued to try to convince me that Christ is the liar but now five years in this home and many times of wavering, at first, about whether I would be called to move again, I am totally trusting His promise and that He will be faithful to fulfill that promise of, “You are not moving any more.”
You’ll laugh, cry, and rejoice, as God reveals His faithfulness:
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Blessings to you.