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.
Listen to this devotional
Listen while you read: "O Canada" (Lyrics)