God taught us a whole new way of walking by faith when He moved us from Houston to suburbia and into the custom home building business (see last Thursday’s blog “Unbelievable but True: A Trucker’s Road to CEO” http://shaunawallace.blogspot.com/2012/07/unbelievable-but-true-truckers-road-to.html). In doing so, He planted our feet firmly in the starting blocks for the race that lay ahead. The faith it would require. The degree of obedience He would demand. Each lesson merely a beginning. Conditioning for a time when we would need prior experience to move forward with greater faith.
While I lived the start of our business, I was merely a spectator to a most incredible metamorphosis as the Lord birthed in James what was obviously conceived into the very fiber of his being. He did not go to college at all, and his only work experience was trucking. Yet the Lord placed him at the helm of his own custom home building business and harvested what He’d sown in James from the start. James had no training. No schooling in building and construction. He didn’t read any books or attend any classes. Yet, his keen eye to detail and uncanny ability to know how to build a sound home quickly set his houses out from the crowd. His extra touch became his signature. He immediately knew how to watch the numbers, vigilantly reviewing every bid, negotiating, purchasing, and watching expenses. The only explanation is that all that skill and ability was already there.
“For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb.
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made…
Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me,
when as yet there were none of them” (Psalm 139:13-14, 16).
Whatever James needed in order to accomplish God’s purpose for him was inherent within him. All God required was faith and obedience. God’s path circumvented the counsel any expert would have insisted was necessary to do what we did.
Psalm 19:7 says, “The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.” Along those same lines, First Corinthians 1:20 tells us, “Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?” Verse twenty-seven answers, “God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty.” God will do what He’s going to do, challenging the ways of this world to do it.
“We speak wisdom among those who are mature,
yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age,
who are coming to nothing” (1 Corinthians 2:6).
The rulers of this age will tell us and our kids there’s one path to success: theirs. If we don’t follow that course, we won’t be successful. God says the only wisdom we need to heed is His word and His way of doing things. Any other wisdom is coming to nothing. When the world says it’s foolish and stands in opposition to us, it’s going to require faith to move forward God’s way.
When it became obvious to our son that college was not for him, there were people who gently implied it was a mistake, insisting a degree was the only way to a hopeful future. Foregoing higher education flew in the face of “the way it’s done.” Had he followed the world’s way, chances are good it would have come to nothing. But God had other plans. Perfect plans. He started working full time for his dad, attended real estate school, earned his license, and now works his own business on the side, perfectly complimenting the work he does for his dad. No college degree. No prior training. At the age of twenty-three, he has already achieved more than most kids his age who pursued a degree and a white collar career. Not that one is better than the other; one just wasn’t God’s plan for Ryan, and the other didn’t limit his possibilities at all. Once again, I am a spectator as God draws the same vision and attention to detail from Ryan as He did from his dad, perfectly positioning him as an asset to our company, our customers, and his own future. Because of what God did in James, we were able to assure Ryan of His perfect plan for him, even as it defied everything conventional. God’s sovereignty rules, and no amount of wisdom of this age can alter His will. Not for you, and not for your kids.
As our oldest daughter prepares to apply to a four-year university, we can say with confidence that God will open the doors He needs her to walk through for the plan He has for her life. As fellow homeschooling parents consider putting their high school aged children in school because the rulers of this age say a spot in the top ten percent of the class guarantees entrance into any university they want, we can stand in faith that whatever God desires for our daughter is what will prepare her for His plan, and we don’t have to panic that His plan doesn’t fit with those of the world. As my niece struggles to retain a healthy weight and her joy in the face of pressure from school counselors to take advanced classes and already have her major and higher education all planned before she even starts her junior year of high school, she can be assured that God already has it all worked out. She can roll her cares upon Him (1 Peter 5:7) because His yoke is easy and His burden is light (Matthew 11:30).
In (Christ) are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
Now this I say lest anyone should deceive you with persuasive words.
As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him,
rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith,
as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.
Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit,
according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world,
and not according to Christ. For in Him dwells all the fullness of
the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him,
who is the head of all principality and power” (Colossians 2:3-4, 6-10).
In Christ, you are already complete. Don’t be deceived! The wisdom of this age and the rulers of this age tell us to trust in ourselves, to do everything their certain way in order to position ourselves for the illusion of their ever-shifting definition of success. Our family is living proof of a God that makes foolish the wise and wise the simple. Our job is to put our faith in Jesus, to seek the Father’s direction through His word, prayer, and others He uses to speak into our lives, and to obey. He has already put in you everything He needs you to have. Whatever HE requires to accomplish His purpose, He will make a way for that to happen in your life. If He doesn’t require it, you don’t need to stress about it.
I pray the Lord strengthens all our faith as we follow Him against the tides of an ever unbelieving society. Lord, give us Your wisdom generously without reproach (James 1:5) as we place our faith in your power (1 Corinthians 2:5) and disregard the wisdom of this world as You accomplish Your plan in each of us. We are wholly Yours, Lord, and place our trust wholly in You.