Tuesday, June 13, 2017

"Obedience. I Had To Choose." - Now Think On This by Steve Martin

Obedience. I Had To Choose.

Now Think On This
Steve Martin


“Now it shall be, if you diligently obey the Lord your God, being careful to do all His commandments which I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth.” (Deuteronomy 28:1, NASU)


Back in 1984, the founder and owner of the Canon USA dealership I served with for seven years (1980-1987) in Lansing, Michigan had just sold a copier/printer. Nothing unusual about that. He was a great salesman, and was using very effectively the talents he had been given.

Along with his dear wife, who had become a real friend after she hired me to be the Office Manager, together they had taken over the small Midwest business from his father-in-law a few years earlier. Both had seen the company’s growth shoot up, working hard to achieve the American dream. Going from 15 employees to 50 on staff during those years I was with them, new machines, a new building, and increased prosperity were had by many. These were exciting times to be in the office machine business.

On the day he brought me documentation to invoice those who bought a made-in-Japan Canon printer, with their office located in Kalamazoo, I briefly scanned it, and stopped. From the knowledge I had, this was a medical clinic that did abortions. I did not want to be part of it.

From the start of my employment, coming from what the co-owner first called a “cult” when I spoke of the church (Shiloh Fellowship in East Lansing, Michigan, same town as the Michigan State Spartans), in my interview five years earlier, I had proclaimed myself as a Bible-believing, active Christian. Standing on principles and beliefs that I had walked in thus far my first 30 years on earth, I had to make a decision. Would I be part of this, go along with the task my job required, or would I say something?

At first I did not respond to him, but asked the Lord what I was to do. The next day I went to the owner and said, “I cannot be part of this sale, even if my job requires it, for my conscious does not allow me. You will have to get someone else to do it.” He looked at me, thanked me for being honest, and walked the paperwork into another administration office room to complete the billing.



As for me, I had to obey my Lord Jesus. Follow Him, and you will see the land of the living.

I repeat the verse quoted above, as it was one of the foundational Scriptures that I had learned to stand on.

“Now it shall be, if you diligently obey the Lord your God, being careful to do all His commandments which I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth.” (Deuteronomy 28:1, NASU)

When I left this wonderful Michigan company, after exactly seven years to the day on Monday, August 1, 1987, to move my family to Fort Lauderdale (being hired by David Selby to serve with Derek Prince Ministries), it was one of the hardest decisions I had ever done in my life. The co-owners had offered me the only Vice-President position I knew of in the company at that time, prior to my leaving, to persuade me to stay. But I was going on, in my call, and in obedience to the Lord.

My love for the two owners and the staff, many whom I had personally hired from the church, had grown tremendously. On that last day, I remember sitting in the co-owner’s office, crying with deep sobs because I felt I had not been a strong enough witness to the people there, leading them to the Lord I knew and loved. Her comment back to me was something like this, “Steve, you don’t know what an impact you had here, but your life was a testimony and a witness. Thank you.”

My obedience to follow the call of the Lord for full-time Christian ministry work was the strong compass guiding my heart. Sometimes He will ask you to do things you don’t fully comprehend, but looking back later, you will understand the why and how of it all.


To this day, over 30 years later after my departure, these friends and I still occasionally send Christmas cards to each other. My cards are sent to beautiful California, where they have relocated after retirement.



In Deuteronomy 28:1-14, NASU, the Lord God of Israel says to the people, through Moses (Moshe),

“1. Now it shall be, if you diligently obey the Lord your God, being careful to do all His commandments which I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth.

2 "All these blessings will come upon you and overtake you if you obey the Lord your God:

3 "Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the country.

4 "Blessed shall be the offspring of your body and the produce of your ground and the offspring of your beasts, the increase of your herd and the young of your flock.

5 "Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.

6 "Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out.

7 "The Lord shall cause your enemies who rise up against you to be defeated before you; they will come out against you one way and will flee before you seven ways.

8 "The Lord will command the blessing upon you in your barns and in all that you put your hand to, and He will bless you in the land which the Lord your God gives you.

9 " The Lord will establish you as a holy people to Himself, as He swore to you, if you keep the commandments of the Lord your God and walk in His ways.

10 "So all the peoples of the earth will see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they will be afraid of you.

11 " The Lord will make you abound in prosperity, in the offspring of your body and in the offspring of your beast and in the produce of your ground, in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers to give you.

12 "The Lord will open for you His good storehouse, the heavens, to give rain to your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hand; and you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow.

13 " The Lord will make you the head and not the tail, and you only will be above, and you will not be underneath, if you listen to the commandments of the Lord your God, which I charge you today, to observe them carefully, 14 and do not turn aside from any of the words which I command you today, to the right or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them.”

Obedience will get you farther than sacrifice. King Saul found that out when the Prophet Samuel confronted him, described in the Torah writings found in 1 Samuel 15:22-23.

 “Then Samuel said, “Do you think all God wants are sacrifices — empty rituals just for show? He wants you to listen to him! Plain listening is the thing, not staging a lavish religious production. Not doing what God tells you is far worse than fooling around in the occult. Getting self-important around God is far worse than making deals with your dead ancestors. Because you said No to God's command, he says No to your kingship.” (THE MESSAGE Bible)

Calling ourselves Christians will bring us before situations where we must take a stand. Today, stand up for what you believe in. Stand with conviction, honesty and truth. You may be surprised at the long-term end results.

Most important of all, standing in obedience to the One who saved you, called you, and now sends you into the world around you, to share His goodness, life and light, is top priority.

Obeying Yeshua (Jesus) will require much from each of us. But Who else, and what else, are we to live for, if not for the Creator of all?

Now think on this,

Steve Martin
Founder
Love For His People, Inc.


 P.S. I would be most grateful if you'd share this encouraging word with your family and friends. They might need it. You can easily use the social media icons below. Thanks! Steve

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Now Think On This - In the Year of our Lord 06.13.17 - #293 – “Obedience” – Tuesday, 4:44 am

All previous editions of Now Think On This can be found on this Blog, and on the website: Now Think On This


Again, I would be most grateful if you'd share this encouraging word with your family and friends. You can easily use the social media icons below. Thanks! Steve

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