It takes courage to chart a course of obedience. It is perhaps the biggest life change most people will intentionally experience. It will initially seem inconvenient. Your resolve will be tested. You will have more opposition and more reasons to falter. But, when your resolve is inspired, and your eye is single, then the blessings that flow are astonishing.
Courage isn’t the absence of fear. Courage is doing what is right in spite of the fear. It is to act with valor regardless of the consequences – because your mission came from God. Then, it is courage supercharged by faith. It is not to know the outcome; only that it will be good, and your life will be blessed, no matter the immediate outcome of your action.
Consider a scenario where you have a hostile boss, someone who has made it very clear he or she will fire you if you mention your faith again. Then, while standing near them in the lunch line, the Spirit moves you again and again to testify of Christ. Logic tells you that you will lose your job, faith tells you it is the right thing to do, courage tells you to do it anyway.
So, you testify, right there in public, right there for everyone to hear. You act with valor, and you lose your job. You leave the lunch room and go home – and you rejoice.
About twelve years ago I was self-employed. We had more than enough for our needs. I was working at home one weekend when the Spirit plainly said, “You need to double your income.” At first I considered this was impossible. I would have to go back to school, perhaps sell my business and take employment elsewhere. I began to worry about how to fulfill this instruction. Then a thought came through just as clearly – when the Lord commands, he also prepares a way for the accomplishment of what he commands. It wasn’t really my problem, it was the Lord’s. I bowed my head and committed to do anything I could to obey. I would do my part, but I just believed that the Lord would provide.
That following Sunday after church I was walking past the High Council room where I saw a friend sitting at the table with his head in his hands. He looked troubled.
“What’s going on Roy?” I asked. The best way to describe Roy is that he looks like Santa Clause without a costume. He had a big white beard, white hair, and a jolly, chubby smile.
“Oh, I was just thinking that I was going to lose this contract I have. I had a guy working on it, but he has run into problems, and has quit. I can’t find anyone else who knows this system.”
“What type of work is it?” I asked. I really had no idea what Roy did for a living. I sat opposite him at the table.
Roy shook his head. “It’s technical training on a complicated metering system at the Valdez Marine Terminal. There are so few people who understanding metering, and especially that East Metering system. I’m going to just have to tell them I can’t get it done.”
“Well, Roy, I’m familiar with East Metering at the Terminal. I’ve worked on that system many times.” I actually worked there for five years in the early eighties.
Roy asked me a bunch of technical questions, which I answered easily.
“I’d be glad to help you, Roy. What do you need me to do?”
“Do you have time? I know you have your own business to run.”
“I can let the employees handle it for a few weeks. What do you need me to do?”
Roy leaned forward. “I’ll pay you to do the work.”
“Roy, I’m offering to help. I’m not asking for work.”
Roy took out a piece of paper and wrote a number on it. “I’ll pay you that much an hour to finish this project. It should take about a month. You can work as much overtime as you want.”
I turned the paper towards me. It was then that I felt the Spirit whisper that this is how the Lord intended me to double my income. The number took my breath away. I finally said, “Roy, I’m your man.”
I contracted work for Roy for nearly twelve years. I hired a manager for my business, and worked full time with Roy, which actually tripled my income, then quadrupled it a few years later. My work with Roy continued until he retired a few months before the Lord sent us to Utah. It was a one score and two year blessing that never faltered.
Greater than the miracle of the money, the Lord’s blessing to me then, was that in addition to the impossible assignment, He also gave me faith and courage to believe He would provide a way to accomplishment it. I had never done technical training, or technical writing, or teaching technical classes. But, I knew it was right because the Lord had provided it. So it didn’t really surprise me when it turned out that I enjoyed it, and was good at it.
It has given me wonder over the years, and it has given me peace. Now when the Spirit speaks, I tend to view it as the doors of heaven opening before me, not as impossible mountains I must climb.