There was a time when I was a small business owner. In fact, simultaneously, I owned two businesses. In one company, I was a leader in Direct Sales and I’d risen to the top 4% of the company. My team was flourishing, business was good, and I was happily leading them with devotionals and encouragement as well as sales guidance.
I’d found the perfect blend of faith and business. But little by little, I felt God calling me to write for Him, so I told my team that I’d be stepping down to follow Him. Stepping down felt right and I knew in my heart I was heading in the right direction.
And then there was the other business. Started at roughly the same time, I worked hard into all hours of the night after my full-time job and my Direct Sales job, all while my family slept. I had dreams that this would become our family business. In my mind, I had roles for each person in my family that fit them perfectly. My son had named the business, and I thought this would be something my husband and I could retire from.
But when God asked me to lay that business down just a few years in, I wasn’t quite so willing.
In fact, for two years after I started hearing that still, small voice tell me to give it up, I hemmed and hawed and Jonah-ed my way around the topic. I hopped on that virtual boat to Tarshish, completely ignoring the fact that God had said to go to Nineveh. I even pseudo-quit once. I told my contractors and accountant that I was leaving because I felt God telling me to leave. And then I never. Actually. Left. That’s right. I told them I would leave and follow God, but I didn’t do it! Some of my contractors left for other companies. Others stayed, and get this – I even brought on NEW contractors!
I had done the old “Eve” switcheroo by listening to the serpent as he hissed into my ears, “Did God really say that?” After all, wouldn’t God just stop sending business and contractors my way if He really wanted me to quit? Wouldn’t He just close the door?
But dreamers, listen. There’s a difference between following God and having Him force you along. True faith cannot be forced.
Let’s talk for a minute about the moment when Jesus chose his first disciples. Matthew 4:18-22 says,
While walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him. And going on from there he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets, and he called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.
By my logic, Jesus would have walked up to them and ripped the nets from their hands, dragging them by their hair to follow him. He would have removed all the fish from the ocean to make their choice easier. But Jesus didn’t. He asked them to follow him, and immediately they dropped their nets, left their boats, and followed a man they’d never met.
How much more willing should I be to follow Jesus, the one whom I profess to love and serve? And yet there I was, taking on new business and new clients, because “What if I heard God wrong?”
Sometimes God doesn’t stop sending business our way so we’re forced to quit and follow Him. Sometimes He asks us to follow in faith. It’s always our choice to follow Him, even when business is prospering and it makes no sense to leave our nets behind. I was asking God to make the choice for me because I thought my dream was better. If I’m 100% honest, I thought I could fish and follow at the same time.
We have to remember that if God asks us to do a thing, He has already prepared the way. Satan, his schemes, and our own fears and misconceptions can stop us in our tracks. OR in my case, cause us to keep on doing that same old thing we were doing, rather than run freely toward the dream God has for us.
Remember those fears I had? Not a single fear I had was valid.
The truth was that I would have more time with my family because I wasn’t working multiple jobs.
The truth was that I could hear that still small voice asking me to trust that God is big enough to provide for me, and I didn’t need that second job to provide.
The truth is, no matter what others think of us or how we think we look to others, there is only one opinion that matters, and that’s God’s.
If you’re on the fence, afraid of the calling God has for you, don’t be. He has already prepared the way.
Cheering for you,
Shared by: Karen Sipps