When you hear the rumble of thunder in the distance and see the flashes of lightning streak across the sky you can be pretty sure that a storm is coming. We can usually look up into the sky and see the dark clouds beginning to roll in, and know to expect a storm soon. We can turn on the television and watch the weather man forecast storms and troubled skies for our week, helping us be prepared for whatever might come of them. Most of the time we are prepared for storms and are not taken by surprise. Most of the time there is some sort of warning that a storm is approaching and we need to take shelter. Even in our spiritual lives, I think the Lord gives us a forecast of what is to come. Because I am pretty sure there is a storm approaching in my life, because I can hear the rumble of thunder, and I think I see some flashes of lightning ahead.
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Not long ago I started to notice that the scriptures I was reading and being drawn to were all about weathering storms. I have been praying about some decisions I need to make in regards to my business. After I pray, I dive into His word to see what He has to say. Some of the scriptures have pointed me to make the Lord my Strong Tower, reminding me that God is my refuge and a very present help in times of trouble. Even some of the songs that are resonating with my soul lately are about having peace in the midst of trials and troubles. I don’t know about you, but looks to me like the storm I see on the horizon is not going to miss me after all. I have to admit that these scriptures have made me feel a little fearful because I am not exactly sure what kind of storm this is going to be. While I am not exactly sure of what kind of storm could be brewing, I am pretty sure one is coming.
Owning my own business is one of the heaviest burdens I think I have ever had to carry. But, it is also one of the greatest blessings I have ever experienced. He has given me more than I could have ever hoped for. No matter what happens I know that God has given me this path to walk and this business will bring glory to His name. I know without a doubt that I am where I am supposed to be. But then there are times like this; time like this when I hear the thunder and I see the clouds starting to billow on the horizon. Its times like these that I begin to pray for courage.
“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27:1 ESV
This decision that I have to make is a tough decision and one I have prayed about for a few months now. I have prayed, asked godly consul, sought the Lord again and again and have only a few details left to figure out. As the business continues to grow I have faced the opposition, the opinions and the advice of many on what they think I should do. I appreciate their input but in the end, this is my business and I have to do what I believe God is telling me to do. Unfortunately, this one choice that I believe God is showing me to make could change the way I do business and because of it, I could lose quite a few, if not all of my workers. I have prayed diligently about this decision and it will in some way, affect everyone who works for me. This decision could be the cause of the storm I see rolling in behind me. So what do I do? What should I do?
I have asked the people who work for me their thoughts and most of them are either not sure or they are completely against it. But I have had to remind myself over and over again that this is my business, not theirs. I am in this business because God has placed me here. I have to stand for what I believe God is telling me to do, and that means I am going to need a lot of courage! This storm that is rolling in is going to require me to not only have courage, but to buckle myself in with it. Because this storm is going to go against what man wants, and it’s going to follow after what God wants.
David writes in Psalm 27:1 that the Lord is His light. A light shines and illuminates the darkness around it. It shines so that you can see where you need to go. God is our light who shines into our darkness and shows us the path He wants us to take. He shines on our insecurities and tells us that it’s okay to walk this way, He has prepared it for us. He shows us the way that He wants us to go and then He waits for us to take courage and walk in it. God has shown me the direction He wants me to take, and He has shined His light upon the next steps of my journey. Now, I have to find the courage to take them.
But my eyes see the storm billowing and my heart begins to grow faint. What if this happens, or what if that happens? What if I lose everyone? What if this is a huge mistake and the business folds? What if I lose everything? David must have had the same questions because through his words he reminds me of who my God is. The Lord is my salvation. The Lord is my helper, my deliverer, and He will not let me fall. He always has the very best planned for me and this next step may not be easy, but He will be there to steady me, to help me, to sustain me and to protect me from whatever will try to come against me. He is my Light, my Lord and my Salvation, whom shall I fear? I can have courage to take this next step because my God is for me. Don’t the scriptures encourage us and remind us that our if our God is for us, then who shall come against us? (Romans 8:31)
David also reminds me that since God has shown me the path I am to take, and since He is my helper and my deliverer then I have nothing and no one to fear. If God, who is all powerful, all knowing, all seeing and always present is with me, and is for me, then why do I still fear? This decision I have to make is not just a decision about my business. It is also a choice of whether or not I am going to obey God or fear man. God puts a path before us and illuminates the way He wants us to go. But this choice will mean that many people may become upset. It may cause a storm to rise on the horizon because someone doesn’t agree with your decision. It may cause some of your friends, family and the people who work for you to turn against you. It will make you answer the question, “Whom do you fear?” Do you fear God or do you fear man?
We can either choose to obey God and follow the lighted path, or we can take a step back and choose to disobey God and follow man. Courage is not just about being bold and standing up for what you believe in. Courage is obeying God in spite of the opposition around you. Courage obeys God and fears God more than it fears man.
In the business world, or even in our day to day lives, we are faced with decisions that will cause us to choose God or choose man. Our choices determine who we fear more. If we fear God we will obey Him and follow the path He has illuminated for us. If we fear man we will follow the crowd, and go in the way that is easiest and has less conflict. I have a choice to make today and that choice may result in a very thunderous storm. But God is the stronghold of my life, and if I believe that then whom shall I fear?
I am a success today because God has led me this way. He has been my strength when I didn’t think I could go on. He has been my encourager when my heart has grown weary. He has been my protector and my strong tower when the enemy came against me and tried to destroy me. Once again He reminds me that He will never fail me and He will not allow me to fail either. I have this business because of Him and whether I rise or whether I fall, He will never leave my side. He will always and forever be my God and protector from all. I have nothing to fear.
“Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!”
I can take courage and be firmly rooted in Him. I can eagerly anticipate His plans for me to come to completion and am confident that in Him I will have success. All I have to do is dig my roots in deep and weather this storm that will come. He will not let me fail, nor will He let this storm knock me down. I can be strong and my heart can take courage because He is my light and my salvation, my stronghold and my deliverer. I can make this decision and obey Him, even as the storm approaches. I can be confident and not fear. I can take courage because I know Whom I fear? Amen.