Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Time for a Change - Martin Wiles

For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. Ecclesiastes 3:1 NLT

I knew the time had come to go.

The church had been through a rough time, but I had high hopes for a bright future. It didn’t happen. One problem after another erupted. People left for various reasons, but I had a sneaky suspicion they weren’t satisfied with me as their pastor.

Soon, our congregation diminished to half of its original size. Though not outwardly, I felt the finger of pressure pointed at me to do something. I tried numerous things—actions that should have returned life to the church. Nothing worked. More people left. Less money came in.

After a year of watching things go downhill, I took a voluntary pay cut and took a second job. Income at the church continued to decline. We cut positions, as well as the salary of those we kept on the payroll. Still, more meandered out each month than came in.

My spirit became restless, a sure sign God was about to do something. A business meeting that turned into a finger-pointing session helped me make the final decision to resign. I knew the time had come to go … to move on to another venue.

The decision wasn’t difficult. I knew it was the right choice. What I didn’t know was how my wife and I would meet our monthly obligations. Our bills were based on two jobs, not one that didn’t pay enough to satisfy those needs. Still, I didn’t change my mind. We had persevered through a difficult season, and God was moving us somewhere else. We just didn’t know where.

Solomon said what everyone knows, but what we sometimes don’t enjoy: change happens. We can’t prevent it, though it is almost always uncomfortable and uncertain.

This episode that happened in my latter working years reinforced the principles I’d learned along life’s way: never make a change or decision without God’s guidance. And that comes through prayer.

Peace is also a sign the change is God’s plan. In spite of the uncertainty, my wife and I both experienced peace about my decision to resign. No regret hung over our heads. Now, we will trust God for provision. When in His will, He’s promised to meet our needs. And when all is said and done, we can celebrate the joy of obedience.

When God instructs you to change, know He’s gone ahead of you and prepared the way.

Prayer: Father, we trust you to care for us in all the changes You lead us through.

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