I know a man who 45 years ago made the decision to build his career rather than listen to God calling him to work in His Kingdom. He told me that the lure of “getting ahead” was more important than being obedient to the call that God put on his life to go into ministry. “What if God wanted me do something that I hated or that would be outside of my ability to be successful accomplishing?” He described this as a paralyzing fear. He looks back on his life and sees missed divine opportunities on several occasions.
The more I got to know him, the more he revealed how he made a series of choices that took him down paths of rebellion. The consequences were felt emotionally, mentally, financially and physically. He related to me how this pig-headedness caused undue stress in not only his own life but those closest to him. As he moved further away from God he sought to expel any remnants that God had been part of his life.
He told me that all of his best efforts to build the career that he desired failed. “There is not one company I have worked for that is still in existence under original ownership or name” he claimed. “During this frenzy of trying to build my career I was twice fired; three different companies I worked for changed owners and the new owners laid me off; four times the companies downsized due to economic conditions with a subsequent layoff. During the 30 odd years of frustration, he told me that his stubbornness prevented him from turning from his rebellion. He never did obtain the career he sought after. He became in his mind a ‘victim’ with no sense of contentment or security. He emphasized that those early choices to go his own way … to walk away from God’s plan for him … put him and his family into needless hardships.
“But you know what? God does not give up on us! As Jesus told Peter after he boasted about what he would do for Jesus, ‘after you have turned, strengthen your brothers.’” This man is walking now where God is directing him.