How has God changed you through the cross of Christ, the Word of God, and the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit? This is your story. I asked you this question recently, and then began to tell you part of my story that relates to the character qualities of self-control, obedience, surrender, and love. I’ll pick up where I left off last time.
I had just told you that after I graduated from Grace College in Indiana, I was dead set against accepting a teaching position in California. I did not want to accept an interview with David Wallace, Superintendent of Baymonte Christian Schools in Scotts Valley, California. I wanted a teaching position in the mid-west. Mr. Wallace would not accept my “NO” response to an interview, and God would not let my heart rest. Dr. Male, the head of Grace’s Education Department, encouraged me that California was on the cutting edge of Christian education and that Mr. Wallace was part of this. This job offer would be good. Sigh. I walked the streets of Winona Lake late that night, crying out to God. Finally, I accepted one interview, hoping God would be satisfied with that. I still told Mr. Wallace that I was not interested. Good. I had obeyed the Lord.
Mr. Wallace called again and asked for a follow up interview. Again, I walked the streets of Winona Lake and cried out to God. Again, I met with Mr. Wallace, and now he offered me the position, giving me some time to think and pray about it. The conflict and pressure inside of me was greater than I had ever experienced. I loved the Lord and tried to walk with Him every day. However, the inner dissonance was deafening. Not able to sleep, I paced the streets of Winona Lake late into the night in prayer. Inside of me I sensed that God was saying, “I’ll give you two choices. You can either obey me or you can go insane.” This sounds amazing, and I’ve never experienced anything quite like it since.
I chose to trust and obey God, knowing He is good, wise, and loving, and to accept His peace and fellowship. I chose to do what no cell of my body wanted to do: move to California and make the move within one month. My parents were stunned, not wanting me to make this move, but as godly people, they saw God’s Hand in this and did not pursue their objection. Instead, they drove to Winona Lake so we could spend time together before seeing me off. On my last Indiana morning, Dad, Mom, my sister, and I ate breakfast together at the Pancake House. By my car in the parking lot, Dad held me in his arms and cried like a baby, his chest heaving against mine. I was his baby moving somewhere none of us had ever been. Mom drove with me to California to see that I was situated well there.
God filled me as well as my family members with the self-control and courage to obey the Lord by pursuing what none of us wanted but all knew to be God’s leading. God was changing us. We were growing. What happened after Mom and I arrived at Baymone Christian High School blew me away. His Word was a lamp unto my feet, and then He turned a bright spot light on what He had in store for me.
Self-Control, that is, Spirit-Control =
“ Choosing to do right even when it is very hard by depending upon God’s help.”