Wednesday, October 19, 2016

God Is About To Make A Change

The Bible is relevant to our lifestyle today. It never ceases to amaze me as many times I read parts of the Bible, how it really does apply even to my very own personal life each day.

I have been enjoying the book of Isaiah lately. I have to admit some of it flies right over my head, I must not be ready for the meaning of those words at the time I read them. Then, there are parts, that truly just turn on all the lights in my head! Those are my WOW moments. How did I ever miss that before. I was not ready for those words.

I enjoy the NIV Christian Growth Study Bible published by Zondervan. It was my "first" Bible. Since it is a study Bible, it has different paths, topics, reading plans that you can use to read through the Bible. It also has little devotionals or examples placed throughout the Bible to help you understand certain passages and verses that follow the topics or reading plans. I was reading Isaiah 22. There was one of the devotionals that follow the topic of Stewardship through the Bible for Isaiah 22:15-17.
Isaiah 22:15-17 says: This is what the Lord, the Lord Almighty, says: “Go, say to this steward, to Shebna the palace administrator: What are you doing here and who gave you permission to cut out a grave for yourself here, hewing your grave on the height and chiseling your resting place in the rock? “Beware, the Lord is about to take firm hold of you and hurl you away, you mighty man.”

The devotional referenced the verse this way: The topic is Stewardship, Accountable to God. 
"When Richard moved off campus, he set aside part of his scholarship money to cover his rent and transportation costs. It may have looked easy on paper, but when Richard needed money for a concert ticket, a new jacket and some home furnishings, he began dipping into the scholarship funds. With a few weeks left in the semester, he ran out of money and couldn't pay his rent. He had to plead with parents and friends to rescue him.
        As God's stewards, we also must give an account of how we've used the resources entrusted to us. When that day of reckoning comes, God won't be pleased if we've wasted them on selfish pursuits or foolish mismanagement. Our work as stewards is one way that he develops character in us. It teaches us to be faithful, to plan ahead (through budgeting), to become more dependent on him and to be content with what he provides us day by day.

Isaiah 22:15-17 The Voice reads like this:
(Explanation or introduction is from The Voice Bible)This message beginning with verse 15 is laid on the people of God living in and around Jerusalem. The prophet’s word is a corrective to those who proudly and confidently presume that they enjoy a privileged status with God by virtue of where they live and who their ancestors are. After all, God has pledged to King David that his dynasty will continue. The Judeans assume this means they will not have to worry about their enemies, regardless of how faithful or faithless they are to God. So when the enemy threat materializes on their border and moves right into bow shot, they do what most people do: they make reasonable, defensive preparations. But what they forget to do is key: they forget to turn to God. They put their trust in their weapons and their engineering skills. They ignore the One who established the city and made them a nation in the first place. So God tells Isaiah to have a talk with Shebna, the caretaker of the royal palace. God is about to make a change.
           Isaiah 22:15-17 says: "Eternal One: "Come on. Go to Shebna, the caretaker of the royal household, and confront him saying, “Why are you here, anyway? Do you really belong here? What right do you have to build yourself an elegant tomb and stone monument here out of the rock on this hill? Look, strong man! The Eternal is about to throw you out, wildly, violently. With a firm grasp."

The devotional hit my heart because of my current financial situation. I have been unemployed for the last 10 months. I left my previous job because it was relocated further away. The daily commute would have been 2-3 hours one way, that would be a total of 4-6 round trip. I could not justify driving that far for the job. 

I was able to enjoy the time off, but having a mortgage I still needed to find a new job. I applied, applied, applied and applied some more. I had a few interviews here and there. No job offers. We were "OK" for a few months because we had some "extra" money saved and had the money from the 401K from the previous job to help us. Then as July came, and still no job offers, we began to worry about being able to meet our mortgage. 

I had applied for a job and I went in for an interview to the company. I took a few assessment tests. Then waited my turn to speak to the recruiter. When she called me in the office, she told my scores were very good. 

She asked me a few questions and then asked that one nerve chilling question "What is the minimum salary amount you are looking for?" 

Before I answered her, I quickly rationalized, that I had just left a job that paid $19.63 an hour. I thought to myself, $11.00 would be the lowest I can go.

I responded, "I would ask for $11.00."

She was very professional and did not flinch at my response.

She very politely stated, "This job offers $9.50 per hour. Perhaps you want to think it over. I will keep your information. If you change your mind, you can call us back."

I left: bummed. I still had no job. I was arrogantly thinking I am "worth" more than $9.50 an hour. 

I continued to search for a job. I went to a couple more interviews. I almost had a job offer with one place. They called me back and asked me to go for a drug screening. Not sure what happened, but it fell through. 

Now we are at September. The resources are dwindling, fast. Of course, being human and full of fleshy pride and foolishness, I became more and more worried about not having enough for the mortgage. Yes, I prayed. But, I was impatient and instead of leaving my prayer request at the Lord's feet; I went and picked it back up again so I could worry some more and try to solve it on my own. 

While still searching, I came across the same position with the company that offered the $9.50 an hour job. I took a second chance and went back to update my application. The same young lady was there as before. I explained that my situation had changed and would like to be considered for the position. She set another interview the next afternoon for me and gave me instructions on what I was to do if offered a job. 

I get home and find that a different company called me to request an interview. I set up an interview the next morning, before the already scheduled interview in the afternoon. The next day came. I went to the first interview. The lady advised me that the person I was supposed to talk to would not be available and instead she would interview me. She asked me a few questions. She explained that they were not sure how they were going to fill the two positions they had and would call me by the end of the next week. 

Now what? This would be a "better wage". I still had the other interview. I knew (not to be arrogant) the other place would probably offer me a  job on the spot. And they did. I was told I would start on Monday. Giving me 4 days before starting the new job. 

I was conflicted. Should I decline the offer for $9.25 and hold out for a chance (not a guarantee) of higher wage? We were going to need the money very soon. 

Well, I went in on my first day. I was overwhelmed by the environment and atmosphere. I thought to myself, I am not staying and doing this job. I am so worth more than this. I finished my first day. When I got home, I explained to my husband how I felt about my first day. 

Then I read Isaiah 22 that night. I read the devotional. The last line is what sunk deep into my heart:
"It teaches us to be faithful, to plan ahead (through budgeting), to become more dependent on him and to be content with what he provides us day by day.
And the part from the explanation from the Voice Bible, "The prophet’s word is a corrective to those who proudly and confidently presume that they enjoy a privileged status with God..."
How arrogant of me to think I am so much better and deserve so much more. I am so very grateful the Lord continues to probe deep into my heart and life. 

Yes, I went back to the job the next day. I prayed for Jesus to help me grow up. So glad to have the Bible to show me the way, because I lost all the time. PS, the other job with the higher wage NEVER called me back. 

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