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Listen while you read: "O Canada"1 (Lyrics)
On the first of July, 1983, I had the arduous task of packing up and moving out a music and Christian supply centre that I had been running for about three years. A friend and I packed up his trunk with what remaining stock I had and piled it high in the family room of my house. I intended to run the business from my house (which attempt failed), but really, the whole idea of having a business just faded away.
I remember a Scripture verse given to me by an elderly lady one Sunday as I discussed my plight with her:
Proverbs 16:9 – A man's heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps. (NKJV)
The music business had been a dream of mine since childhood, and I had thought that surely God would bless it, particularly since it involved Christian material. Was I just asking the Lord to support me in this venture, but it was not His will for me? After all, is it not that "the steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord"? (Psalm 37:23a NKJV)
I truly believed that I had been led by the Holy Spirit to open up my store. It's possible that some of my inexperience in operating a retail business during the recession in the 'eighties led to my failure. However, the final nail in the coffin was hammered on that holiday July first, following a massive sale of stock. I felt broken!
As it turned out, sometime later, through volunteer work with a Christian organization, I was able to work a satisfying, ministry-type job through sixteen years before retiring. I believe that these steps were ordered by God, not by me. By the way, a lady opened a Christian bookstore in town not long after I closed, which I believe was her calling.
My suggestion is that if you believe that God is leading you to take a step of faith in something, after praying about it, be sure that you have confirmation and a sense of the environment surrounding the situation, and be sure to ask for mature advice.
Prayer: Father God, make us more sensitive to the leading of Your Spirit, so that we can make decisions more in line with Your will for our lives. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.
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Good advice Allan. Thanks for sharing.
I really touched by your heart and openness. Thank you Allan.
Thanks for the words today.
Dear Allan Smith,
Thanks for being open about your unhappy business closure, and for telling of your successful years in a work more-suited to your talents and more in-tune with the leading of God’s Spirit.
And thanks for the great advice for others.
I quite liked your Devotional. What excellent advice you give! All too often we tend to follow our own ideas rather than praying to obtain that confirmation that we are, indeed, following God’s Will. And when we do pray and seek His guidance, we need to have one other thing — patience — for our Heavenly Father answers in His time, not ours. Sometimes He answers quickly, other times not, but He always does answer when we go to Him for help. What a truly wonderful Father we have!
Do continue to write.
My husband and I are going through just such a juncture in our lives together.
We took a decision which we believed was in the best interests of ourselves and our mature family.
Since then, everything has gone sideways. We have tough choices to make, although our intentions were to simplify our way of living.
It has been many months now; things got worse recently with more “fiery darts” for the enemy.
Many people have been praying for us.
Your devotional hit the spot for me (although it wasn’t a comfort). I am trusting that one day there will be a blessing.