James and I are often asked what we did to be so successful in our business, how a trucker became the CEO of one of the top custom home building companies in our area. Let me say first and foremost, it’s the grace of God. He has ordered every detail of our story. Every house, every customer, every contract, it’s all from Him. We give Him every ounce of glory. Whatever skill, talent, acumen, idea, vision, or knowledge we brought to the table was put in us by Him in the first place. I can’t begin to propose to know the mind of the Lord and why He’s done what He has with and for us, but I can tell you what I have observed of my husband. Ways he did things long before God changed his career. The way he does things now. Principles found in God’s word; commands God desires each of us to obey in order to enjoy the promises He attaches to each one.
“And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men”
James’ number one priority, from the day I met him, has always been to do whatever it takes to provide for his family. He didn’t care if it was a menial, unimpressive job no one else wanted. He didn’t care if the hours were inconvenient and exhausting. He would do whatever it took, and he was determined to be the very best at that job, which happened to be driving a truck. For many years, he drove for a company that paid him by the load. No benefits. No extras. Then the Lord moved him to a freight company that was union. The pay was better, he received benefits, and it was nearly impossible to get fired. He could have done the bare minimum and brought home the same benefits. But he went to work every day resolved to glorify God by working hard for his employer. He pushed himself to complete every delivery and every pick up on his manifest. He worked nights. He worked weekends. His worked overtime. He sometimes wondered if there was something more for him, but he never compromised in the effort he put forth, and the word of God was proven true:
“He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much;
and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much” (Luke 16:10).
He was careful with every resource God gave us when we had little, and when He blessed us with our business, he was careful with the stewardship of all that was placed in his trust. He respected the customer, did what he said he’d do, and did the right thing, every time, even if it cost us. We continued to tithe, and when the Lord laid it on our hearts to make a significant contribution toward our church’s building fund shortly after starting construction on our first spec house, we learned what He meant in Malachi 3:10 when He said:
“Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this," says the LORD of hosts, "If I will not open for you
the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing
that there will not be room enough to receive it.”
We had our new mortgage, the construction loan for the business, and no guarantees for success. But the Lord clearly spoke to my heart: “If you’ll sow into my building fund, I’ll sow into yours.” When I told James what God said and how much He said, he thought I was crazy. But as we prayed about it, we knew we were supposed to do it. And we did. Not out of abundance. Not out of security. Not out of our own generosity. Not as a way to manipulate some return from God. It was pure obedience and faith that God would be true to what His word says. We didn’t give to get, but let me tell you, God’s principles don’t fail. He said to give, we did, and He blessed our business. It’s not a formula. We can’t look at our checkbook and say, “Lord, I’m going to give some money to you today so I can have more tomorrow.” But when we are obedient to give when and what He says to give, He does what He says he’ll do – opens the windows of heaven, pouring out such blessing that there won’t be enough room to receive it.
“But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly,
and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.
So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity;
for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:6-7).
We love to sow bountifully because God’s ways are sure: when we give God what is rightfully His in the first place, the Lord will do what He says He will do. When He puts a need before us and puts it on our hearts to meet that need, we give. And then we praise Him. For His goodness. For His abundance. For His provision. For the mighty way He will use the seed He’s sown through us and the harvest He will reap through it. We are always excited to see what He will do, remembering whatever comes from His hand – finances, peace, relationships, understanding, wisdom, discernment, open doors, closed doors – is all part of the abundant life promised us in Christ Jesus. God’s abundance isn’t measured money and things. It is every way He makes our life full, exceeding what is expected, bringing into our lives that which is superior, extraordinary, and uncommon. It is His very presence. His very hand at work in our lives to work out His will. That IS the abundant life; our relationship with Jesus and doing what He says the path to finding it.
“I have come that they may have life,
and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).
Lord, lead us into the abundant life Christ died for us to have. Fill us with Your power to do what You say as we become more wholly Yours today.