Isaiah 59:19 “…When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him.”
The past few months have been incredibly stressful for my family on a number of fronts. Three years ago, we built a home in Northwest Virginia right before the housing market tanked. So the new home was bought at a premium, while the old home sat idle. I thought my home in Ashburn would sell quickly to apply the proceeds to the new home. Instead, the Ashburn home did not sell. We thought to rent it out to get over the dry period but the housing market only got worse. In addition, the tenants were evicted this summer for trashing the house to the tune of over $10,000 in damages. In all, the house in Ashburn devalued almost 40% leaving me with two significant mortgages and more money going out than coming in. The new home is also worth less than I owe on it.
Does it get worse? Yes… Trinity Express Lube’s business (an automotive small business we own) dropped about 30% in sales compared to last year due primarily to the economy slow down. In addition, the past few weeks were very stressful when one of my valued employees was found to be stealing cash from my nightly deposits to feed his heavy drug addiction. The psoriatic arthritis that is in my body has done a toll on my joints and is also inflaming my jaw, making it hard to sleep at night. Keep in mind that my youngest son also has Autism, which keeps my wife from augmenting our income due to his developmental care needs. My blood pressure is high, my resources are low, YET my faith is stronger that it has ever been – Praise God!
You may be scratching your head over my last sentence. How could my faith be high during this time? It is simple. My trust is not in Chariots and Horses but in the Lord. I choose to Praise God in the good times and through the storm. For what Jesus did for this sinner cannot be remotely compared to the circumstances I’m going through. I have chosen to Love the Lord with ALL my heart, soul, strength, and might. I have counted the cost of discipleship and I refuse to turn back. If anything, I press forward by his grace and mercy. I praise God for His Word is true . It is that very Word that speaks order in chaos and gives me great comfort. All things work together for the good to those who LOVE GOD and are working according to His will. The Lord never promised that All things would be good by our standard, but they would work together for His greater Glory – Amen?
Let’s look at my situation again in the light of the Holy Spirit.
1. I am by nature a proud man, I have always been self sufficient, and have always controlled my destiny – so I thought. I lost perspective that ALL that I have was given to me and it never really was mine to begin with. As a steward in God’s blessings, I failed miserably and have historically acted in a very selfish and rebellious manner. The desert experiences of the last three years have brought me to my knees as the fire of His Word continues to consume the chaff in my life. The fellowship of the brotherhood combined with the blessings of the men and women of faith that the Lord has brought along my path changed my life. I am being drawn into the presence of God with a thirst for his service like never before. And, the more I draw close to the Lord Jesus, the more I realize how much I need Him. For this I Praise God for the desert experience.
2. During these past three years, I have learned to be thankful for what I have. I praise God for providing me with the ability to limp along; the provision for the day; and the opportunity to proclaim His glory. The Holy Spirit has also put a burden on my heart for this nation and the sin that has so blinded the lost and many of those who mistakenly label themselves as Christians. He has also burdened my heart for the frontline warriors like my dear friends Wade, Scott, Rusty, Virginia, Marinus, and many others who are always in my prayers. The past three years have been painful, but many have been witnessed to, prayed over, and given provision as the Holy Spirit has led me -- and without reservation. For this I am truly grateful for the privilege of service.
3. Regarding the “psoriatic arthritis” and high blood pressure? Regarding the Autism of my Son? I truly believe that the Lord will heal my son and me soon. I already claim the healing, which is to be manifested in this physical realm. Yet, while going through this period, I am being taught patience’s coupled with the reliance of my family during the times when the inflammation effect my ability to do what I use to take for granted. This is a period of testing for me to further humble my heart so I may draw closer to the Shepherd; so I can hear His every whisper and to anticipate His move as I dray near to His feet. I thank God for putting within my spirit the passion to press towards His throne for His strength.
4. The recent robbery is in itself a blessing as well. The person stole from me before, but when confronted – said in “Jesus name He did not do it”. He was a false convert that knew enough about the Bible to use it when he saw fit. This time the law took its course – which is presently out of my hands. Lawlessness is sin and failing to obey the law has a consequence irrespective of a forgiving spirit. This person is a prior felon who was given a big break but is now in violation of parole. In speaking with his parents, we prayed together for this young man that the back of Satan would be broken from this serious addiction. I directed them to “teen challenge” to get help as we continue communicating. This was also an opportunity to communicate the Law and of Grace and the need for true repentance. He knows that lawlessness is sin and the consequence is death. He also is taking steps to provide retribution for what he stole – which is a very good first start. I pray for this young man that he will be transformed by the Holy Spirit. As the story continues there are others moments of God's glory that I cannot mention at this time.
5. Regarding Trinity Express Lube, we continue giving away gospel tracks, Bibles, CD’s etc. Recently, I contact the secretary of Ray Comfort (Way of the Master) and they provided me with 200 dual CD’s on “Hells Best Kept Secret” and “False Conversion” for only a $1 each (production cost), which we are giving away free. In three years, we have given away over 10,000 Christian materials free to those who want them. Trinity Express Lube continues to be a beacon of light in this dark world and an example of Christian values in business. There have been so many opportunities in the past month alone to communicate God’s truth at Trinity that I cannot count. Praise God!
6. During all these storms, I can say with great confidence that I have never felt the Lord so close in my life, my prayers, and through the inspiration of his Word as I do today. Even after the robbery, combined with all that is going on, I have found the power within to witness as the Lord is having me pray for so many; day after day; in season and out of season. For this and this alone, I am most grateful.
I know that God’s Word is true . We are determined to stay on His promises irrespective of what is seen in the physical realm. I have a close group that I pray with every day and night; for this nation; claiming the promise of 2 Chronicles 7:14; praying for the fellowship of the faithful; praying for our calendar to be filled with divine appointments; staying the course before us; denying ourselves; putting the Kingdom before ALL things -- Knowing that we are “Overwhelming conquers through Christ Jesus our Lord”.
For His Glory and for the Edification of the Saints!
Be Blessed and Highly Favored in the Lord!!
“O Lord, there is much about prayer that I do not understand. How can I pray and prevail? Do my needs and desires that seem so paltry really merit the pleading and agony that men like Jacob, Moses, and Jesus expressed in their prayers? Open my eyes beyond myself that I might see the great needs of your church and your world, and enable me to pray for these needs with all my heart, mind, soul, and strength. Amen”
– Charles Finney
I was inspired to create this music video to encourage the faithful with a determination to Bless God in 2009.
Lord I'm Amazed ! (Music Video)