My husband and I have been married for twenty years. We were married the week after I turned twenty in the year two thousand. I made anniversaries and birthdays real easy for him to remember. My husband had just graduated from college with a degree in Business Administration and started a job with a salary the week before we got married. During this time the leadership role that he had performed in the church was leading worship. We had attended seminary during the time before we married, but he had no real desire for ministry at that time. He just wanted to serve. His desire was to one day run his own company, be a CEO, or something along those lines. I was still in college at that time on the path to become a nonprofit lawyer. Five months into our marriage my husband comes to me and tells me that he is called to ministry…”Are you with me?”
Going into full time ministry was a big step of faith. I had to quit college and go to work full time, finding something with benefits. It was difficult, but because I stood beside my husband in what God called him to do, I received favor. I started out with a temporary agency going where I was assigned. Then I received full time employment with a large corporation (that meant the benefit package was good) and quickly received promotion after promotion. These positions were usually offered to those with college degrees. God was gracing me to retain the knowledge and skill to be promoted.
We did make financial mistakes, but we repented and God would restore. We did have to go through the difficult consequences of our choices, but God was our provision. I cannot tell you how many times He has met our needs. There was a time near Christmas and we did not have the money to buy anything for each other. Our realtor knocked on the door and presented us with $300 for recommending her to a customer that had recently bought a home!
When my husband answered the call to be in full time ministry he knew eventually he would step up as the lead pastor of our church. He knew it was not time when he was called, he had to go through a process. When he stepped up into the role, it was the time that God wanted the shift to happen. There we those who tried to get him to do it earlier, but he knew it had to be God leading him.
As God was leading him, he was leading me too. Over the past thirteen years God had done a major transformation in my life. Even though my husband asked, “Are you with me?” my answer yes was not just to him. My answer was to Jesus, “I’ll go anywhere with you. I’ll do anything. It doesn’t matter, as long as we are together.” When a marriage is centered on God, He will speak to the heart of the both of you. He will not just speak to one and the other will be dragged along.
My answer was to Jesus, “I’ll go anywhere with you. I’ll do anything. It doesn’t matter, as long as we are together.”
Moses in the book of Exodus was leading the people to the land of promise. God sent an angel before them to make a way. Moses’ desire was that God would never leave them. He petitioned God that if His presence was not there to please not send them. Was it not enough that He made provision? Moses knew that provision might be good enough for the people, but he knew that God’s presence was far better.
I realize that my relationship with God is whatever I want it to be. We have that freedom. 1 Corinthians 10:23 (Christian Standard Bible) says, “Everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible, but not everything builds up.” I usually apply this verse when I talk myself out of making bad food decisions, but I use it here because we have the choice of how much God we want in our lives. Which areas we allow Him to work in. I guess I am selfish in that I want Him in all of it. Like Moses, ‘God if you are not present do not send me! I will go anywhere you are.’
Jeremiah 29:13 (NIV) You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
Jeremiah 30:22 (NIV) So you will be my people, and I will be your God.
Matthew 6:33 (NLT) Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
My husband says that success is being where God told you to be, doing what He told you to do with the people He told you to do it with. He says that if you can say “yes” to all three, then you are successful. I say that if you make God first above all else then it is easy to say “yes” to all three of those questions.
And Moses said to Him, “If Your presence does not go (with me), do not lead us up from here.” Exodus 33:15 (AMP)