The challenge of walking with the God who knows me  

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Names changed throughout except in some cases where the person involved has been or is in ministry.

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Copyright © 2012 by Derek Leaf . Not to be copied for commercial purposes.  Permission is granted to copy the unaltered, attributed page for non commercial purposes.

If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. 2 Cor 5:17

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Matthew 6:19-21

“Do not store up for yourselves treasure on earth, where moth and rust destroy and thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasure in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

My first job took me to El Paso.  I worked on a secret industrial electronics project developing a new form of industrial controller for the car industry.  After a few years, this project began to take on a great significance.  For a small company we were having a big impact with senior management at General Motors, the largest company in the world.  Every few months a senior vice president visited for a demonstration.  We received such praise as “The best piece of electronics I have ever seen!” from the head of GM electronics.  It was an exciting time.  Having been with the company from the start, I was a part of it and my heart easily became attached to it.  I could easily give my life to it.

There came a time when I needed to guard my heart.  I thought through to eternity.  I realised that probably there were not going to be cars in heaven, so what was the point of giving my life to them?  Better to invest life in what would last, ultimately: that means the Lord Himself, His Word and His people

This was not theory.  It became real in terms of time on the job.  There were unwritten expectations - No one leaves work before 6:00 or the expectation to work on Saturday mornings. When it came to a demonstration the boss would offer something that was not available and we were to give it in two months.  The pressure was on to make it real.  This was not resented, we were motivated and rose to the occasion. I however, had another involvement.  I was involved in a thriving student ministry that took up considerable time.  In the end I gave my all to both, but I could not give time to appearances.  I concluded very quickly that Saturday morning work was far more about being there for the boss to see than serious work, so I didn’t go in.  I also had an issue over Sundays.  I had rather strong views on what constituted work and rest.

The time came when there was a demonstration booked for Tuesday.  My piece of gear was not working on the Saturday - so of course I was going to be there on Sunday wasn’t I?  Well, I said “no”.  I gave a rather lame excuse to avoid the issue, but inside I felt that to go in against what I believed God wanted, against faith, would be like biting the hand that feeds and then asking him to feed me. In fact the problem was resolved on the Monday, my part of the demonstration had gone well.  My action however, was not appreciated.  It was a test of heart and I had failed. To make the point clear, in the debrief, he made a special point of thanking those who had worked on Sunday.  Yet whatever the reactions of men, God had been gracious.  

Soon after I left the company, it was bought by a competitor, who suppressed it.  No further orders were taken for the system.  After just two highly successful installations it came to an end!  It was a salutary lesson to me.  What if I had given my life to the project?  Looking at this project, it had the clearest expectation of success that I have seen but that is not to count in God.  Even this clear winner could be brought down.