In September, I quit my job after almost 7 years of employment. I had great benefits, pretty decent pay, and tons of opportunity to share the gospel of Christ with co-workers. I also have 3 kids, a mortgage, at the time we had 2 car payments and the everyday costs associated with being a family man with a home and two vehicles. So why did I quit working somewhere so stable and consistent? God told me to.
It tends to sound either so cliché, or so crazy to people sometimes when I tell them that God told me to quit my job. But it’s completely and honestly the truth! My wife and I had been praying for between 6-9 months about what direction God was leading us in ministry, and the answer came through an unforeseeable avenue. You see, my wife is an amazingly talented photographer, and has been building our business for the past 4 years. She has done this, all while caring for myself and our 3 kiddos, and keeping our house from caving in on top of itself. God has blessed her with a talent that many go to college to hone. He also gave her an incredible mind for business and absorbing knowledge that just overwhelms me. So after months of prayer, and seeking what we were supposed to do, God told me to quit my job and join my wife at home to run our business as a team. Along with running the business, we felt very lead to begin home schooling our children. Wowsers!
How do I know He told me to quit? Here’s the really cool part of the entire deal. When we seek His desires over our own, He will bless us beyond measure. Where does this come from?
“Trust in the Lord and do what is good; dwell in the land and live securely.
Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you your heart’s desires.”
In the past 7 years of marriage, my wife and I have been through many different trials. Some have been financial, some have been emotional, some have dealt with past sins, some have dealt with sins that carried in from the past, and some have dealt with preferences as fickle as which way to hang the clothes in the closet. The times that we have been caught not seeking to honor Christ with our marriage have resulted in some of the most chaotic seasons in our lives. The times that we have sought to honor Him through all of our being, first individually and second, as a couple, He has blessed us beyond measure. The decision for me to quit my job wasn’t an easy one to come to, but because I had been disobedient before and knew what the outcome was going to be, I decided to follow where He was leading us. Our heart’s desires during the chaotic times, were for our selfish desires to be fulfilled. When we were seeking Him, our heart’s desires were those that He gave us. In order for us to know what His desire for us was, we had to follow what the next verses in that passage in Psalm say:
“Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him, and He will act,
making your righteousness shine like the dawn, your justice like the noonday.”
-Psalm 37:5-6 (HCSB)
You see, we can’t expect to fulfill God’s calling in our lives if we’re not seeking what He has for us to seek. If we are chasing the “American Dream” of making a ton of money and living to glorify ourselves and give ourselves credit, we honestly cannot expect God to bless that! I’ve been volunteering as the youth pastor at the church we attend for the past almost 3 years, and I love it! However, I haven’t felt as though I’ve been serving in the capacity I’m called to because I was seeking to “make enough money” to sustain our household. God made clear through the ever increasing antsyness of myself at my job, as well as the increasing busyness of our photography business, that I needed to leave my job. As a result of taking that step, I have been able to focus more on that ministry at the church, and I have been able to focus on teaching and loving on our students more. Along with that, there is time I have gained by being home with my kids and wife, and have had the absolute privilege of getting to know them so much more! God’s blessings have been spiritual, emotional, physical, and yes, financial, and have been all but limitless!
Now, some of you may be asking “So basically I need to quit working at my job and God will make me rich?” NO!!! I’m not saying that at all!! First of all, we aren’t rich, far from it. We are, however, being blessed with His provision that all of our needs are being met and we are working toward becoming debt free. God may be calling you to take the step of faith He called us to take, and He may be asking you to sacrifice something smaller in your life so that you will follow Him closer, and make your desires the ones that are His instead.
First of all, we must commit our ways to Him, never forsaking His grace and mercy on us, and understanding that He will never give us a scorpion instead of an egg (Luke 11:12). Secondly, we have to rely fully on His providence and put all of our eggs in the basket of faith that He will provide! If we put some eggs in the basket of faith, and put some others aside “in the off chance” that things don’t pan out as we hope, can we really say that we are following Him fully? So to answer the question about what I’ve learned from being self-employed, I’ve learned that I can’t even begin to depend on my own ingenuity, provision, or most-especially, my own wisdom. Everything must come from God. I have to rely fully on Him, not putting some faith forward and saving some hope for just in case. So basically, quit being selfish and faithless, and put all your eggs in God’s basket!