Time to Move

My wife, Jo, and I knew the Lord for less than a year when we started meeting once a week with some people who, when they prayed, something happened. We wanted God to answer our prayers, so we started copying some of the things they did. If we weren’t going off to go to church or Bible study, we would sit in our living room with the lights turned low and pray for an hour or two each night. One night, Jo and I both got the impression that the Lord was saying to us that we were going to move. We were renting a tiny furnished duplex. Making it more difficult, we felt the Lord was telling us to move to an unfurnished house. Jo said that she thought the Lord was saying that we should not pay any more for the new place than we did for the current duplex.

This was 1970; I only made $1200 a month, and our rent was $80. We were living paycheck to paycheck with no savings. We decided to put away as much as we could from each paycheck to save towards buying furniture. We kept the money in cash in a desk drawer.

About a month later, a friend of ours went into the hospital for an operation. We planned to visit her at the hospital, and a missionary, home on leave, wanted to join us. As we were getting ready to leave, I felt the Lord wanted me to give our furniture money to our friend in the hospital. She was an hourly employee and wasn’t making any money while she was sick.

I was upset. This didn’t make any sense. I said to the Lord, “You told us we were going to move. You told us to move to an unfurnished house. I’m trying to do what you told us, and now you’re telling us to give away the money for the furniture. This doesn’t make any sense.” I stopped talking, and there was silence. I said nothing; God said nothing. I couldn’t even hear the traffic on the street outside. I waited, and still nothing.

I put the money in an envelope and put it in my pocket. I said, “Lord, I know you want cheerful givers. Well, this isn’t that. This is obedience. It’s not cheerful, happy obedience, just obedience.”

I was afraid our friend wouldn’t accept the money because she knew we were living paycheck to paycheck. The missionary agreed to give her the envelope and tell her it was an anonymous donor. Once home, before taking off my coat, there was a knock on the door. The man at the door said he was the son of the owner of the home and that they were going to move the house to a different location, and we would have to find another place to live. This wasn’t a surprise; the Lord had told us we would move. He said he was very sorry to make us move. To help with the transition, he said we could have all the furniture in the duplex. I was stunned.

We had told friends that the Lord was having us move, and they knew someone with a two-bedroom house for rent. When we saw the house, I thought it was the right place to move. Jo said it was too expensive; he wanted $85 a month, and she said the Lord said not to spend more than the $80 a month we were currently paying. I insisted that we take it, and Jo finally begrudgingly consented. When we told the man we would take the house, he said, “You seem like a nice couple, so I’m gonna knock $5 off the price and rent it to you for $80 a month.” So I said to the Lord, “Oh.” The Lord gave us a house to rent, furniture, and a lesson on listening to your wife.

Although it took me years to understand, the Lord had given us the basics of prayer. God gives everyone free will. God doesn’t violate our free will. If we pray and ask God to make someone do something, he won’t because he won’t infringe on their free will. Only God chooses the time of our death. Other than that, if we don’t pray at all, we are left to the world’s circumstances. When we pray, we are laying down our free will and asking God to intervene in our life. God has a plan for our life. While praying, I must choose between my will and God’s will. Unfortunately, most of the time, I want mostly my plan and a little bit of God’s plan. Not all of my prayers get answered the way I want. The idea is to find out God’s will and pray for that. That’s the way Jesus prayed. “Not my will but thine.”

2 responses to “Time to Move”

  1. Loved this! I’ve also experienced the wonders of God’s supply and was delighted to find someone else who had. I sometimes think people don’t believe me lol!

    Liked by 1 person

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