Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Cast in a Hook & Take the Fish that Comes Up First

A couple of weeks ago I was sitting on our screened back porch in the early morning reading Matthew 14 about when Yeshua came walking on the water towards His disciples' boat in the midst of a raging storm.

Suddenly, it popped into mind how I had found a job lead for my husband on Craigslist which was a most unlikely place to find business for contractors. My nephew had been searching for pick up type jobs, so that is the reason I was even looking there.

When I saw the ad for a cabinet maker wanted to contract out for a business, I was surprised but immediately copied the ad and emailed it to my husband in his office for following it up.

He did. This happened immediately after the business relationship he had been getting jobs from ended badly, through no fault of my husband.

Nevertheless this left us high and dry for a source of jobs. This economy has been rough on remodeling contractors as it has for lots of other business and trades. So this lead from Craigslist turned out to be a real God-send, a blessing of multiple ongoing contracting jobs for my husband - and for my nephew.

Back to my Back Porch

In that moment of reading Matthew 14, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly spoke within me saying, 'This was your fish with the golden coin in its mouth to meet your needs.'

That ad on Craigslist - it was like it was just there for me to find early one morning. When I returned to look at the ads in the afternoon, that ad had been removed. My husband contacted the business and it was the start of ongoing business - just in the nick of time to meet our pressing financial needs.

Many times over the years when I would read the passage in Matthew 17 of Yeshua telling Peter where to go to find the money needed to pay taxes, I have asked God, 'Where is my fish with the golden coin in its mouth?' I have mused over how that would work in my life and suddenly when I least expected an answer the Spirit was telling me, "This is that!"

How exciting to hear an answer to a question you have been asking God a long time.

Not only that, but then it dawned on me it was no coincidence that the answer came as I was reading the Matthew 14. This is the account of where Peter responded to the call of Yeshua to step out of the safety of the boat and to join Him in walking on the water in the midst of a storm on the sea of Galilee.

On the sea of Galilee in 2005 I received a similar word of the Lord, in that the Spirit spoke to me to step out of my safety 'boat' of a salaried job and to trust Him that He would keep me afloat.

There were no physical waves on the Galilee that day – instead peace was wafting off of the water like a powerful tranquilizer. I was so mellow out there on the "Jesus boat" crossing over the Galilee with the water calm as glass - but the storms and the boisterous waves were in my real life!

Just two weeks before leaving for my 2nd trip to Israel, and on Yom Kippur (the solemn "Day of Atonement" in Lev. 23), I had been laid off from a job that was a real trial for me to even stick with. I was being picked on because my superior was threatened by her superior being someone I went to Messianic synagogue with.

When the layoff came, I was devastated - by its bad timing and also by the feeling that I had been defeated by those who were determined to get rid of me there. I had tried to walk in a spirit of Messiah likeness even under withering almost daily fire. I felt I had failed to overcome evil with good.

The day after I was let go, the Lord told me to stop crying, that I was looking at it wrong: it was a promotion, not a defeat. It was His deliverance not the enemy's victory over me. So I had applied for unemployment and continued on my long planned (and un-refundable) trip to Israel.

On the Jesus boat that day crossing the Galilee I wasn't fretting about anything, just taking in the peace and tranquility that was palpable. I wasn't expecting the Lord to speak to me about my job but He did. What He said was that it was time for me leave behind the safety of a salaried job and step out on the water of following Him in my ministry for the Body in Israel.

I don't know why I am such a late bloomer in the things of God.

It was five years between that word to step out of the boat onto the water, and the word that just came about how to identify when the Lord is showing me the fish with the golden coin in its mouth to meet our needs.

We have gone through many financial struggles through the five years between my last job and today, but true to His word, He has kept us afloat. We have never gone under even though times have been tight and at times mightily uncomfortable. Financial lack can leave us feeling 'dead in the water' and abandoned. As Proverbs 14:20 notes, "The poor is hated even of his own neighbor: but the rich have many friends."

The reason I wanted to write about this is to encourage those who have been operating under similar circumstances with financial stress and strain.

Many times over the past five years I have questioned whether I just needed to go find some job and forget the spiritual experience I had on the Sea of Galilee. My husband always opposed my second guessing and doubts when they arose telling me, 'You have a job: write!' People who haven't had spiritual experiences like that would say, 'Heck yeah: do the practical thing! Get a job!'

It always comes down to which voices we are going to listen to in our lives - the human voices, the inner voices of doubt and unbelief, or the clear word of the Spirit of God we know that we know we heard.

It is our expectation - especially in western nations - that, 'If it's not quick, it's not God.' Hey, baloney to that idea! God operates under His own timetable. Shall I be full of self doubt and self hatred because the promises of God are rolling out to me slowly... but surely? Was Moses? Was Joseph? Was Paul?

Here is the conclusion of what I am saying: Hold on! The promises that the Spirit of God has spoken in your hearing and to your heart - no matter how long they take to come to pass and no matter what kind of smack downs life and people in your life may be dishing - there is a time coming that the promise spoken will begin to shoot forth in blossoming fruit in your life.

Do not give up! Do not lose heart and faint as you wait for God to arise on your behalf.

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” 1 Cor 4:16-17

Whatever the Spirit of the Lord has spoken to you in secret, no matter what anyone else thinks, He is faithful that promised. Hebrews 10:23

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