Letting God Work Through Us

This morning I heard a sermon from Dr. Charles Stanley on being a servant and letting God work through us.  It inspired me to tell you through my personal experiences that practicing these principles made a complete difference in my life.  I hope those who have been reading my blogs for the past 20 months will realize the purpose of this blog is to glorify God and give a testimony as to how these two principles could change your life.

In high school I had two jobs: one was an elevator operator at the Olympic Hotel in Olympia, Washington.  One summer I worked as an electrician’s assistant for Weyerhaeuser in their saw mill at Longview, Washington.   I spent four years in the Navy as a radio operator and came home to work for Longview Fiber in their box plant.  I then went to Northwest Nazarene University to major in business administration.  The end of my first year I worked a short time as a logger and finished the summer working on The Dallas Dam on the Columbia River.  Every one of these were nothing but a way to make money and I had no particular interest in any one of these jobs.  If you rated my productivity it would be no higher than a C.

After my first year in school and many chapel services and Sunday sermons I learned what Dr. Stanley was talking about.  Christ came to this earth to be a servant.  Matthew 20:26 – 28 – “whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”  John 20:26 – 27 – “Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.   Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.”

I learned that no matter who I worked for or who was my boss I really worked for God.  He was always going to be my boss. I was to allow God to work through me and be His example.  That summer I went to work for Bird’s Eye Frozen Foods in Nampa, Idaho.  They gave me the hardest job in the plant dumping 40 lb boxes of beans into a hopper.  At each break everyone would go sit down.  I got a broom and cleaned up around my hopper and made sure everything was ready to go when the break was over.  My goal was to be an “A” producer for God.  After two weeks I asked the night supervisor if there was a job that required a little more thinking.  He moved me to running eight graters that sorted out the good beans from the bad.  I could, to some degree, determine how fast the inspection lines worked.  If we had a load of bad beans the lines would be slowed down.  If we had good beans the lines could be run at full-capacity.  It was my goal to meet maximum productivity for the plant at all times.

At the end of my sophomore year and the beginning of the summer I received a call asking if I would be interested in being the assistant to the night supervisor over 250 people.  I approached that job keeping God as my boss and trying to have a servant’s heart.  At the end of that summer they asked me if I would come back as the night supervisor and I did.  Later, the principle of a Christian high school on campus asked if during my senior year would I be their athletic director and coach football, basketball and baseball.    My senior year I was coaching and during the summers I worked for Bird’s Eye.  During this time my wife was asked to be the head resident of a girl’s dormitory.  I was receiving the G.I. Bill and my tuition was paid for.  We had free room and board.  I was paid for teaching and my summer job.  We had no debt and the only expense we had was our tithe.

After a few summers a friend convinced me that I could make a lot of money selling insurance.  We moved to Longview, Washington to sell insurance.  After a few months of doing well I realized it was not something that I felt led to do.  I learned that Montgomery Ward had a management training program.  I interviewed and took the job.

After six years I became a store manager.  During those following years I was on boards, on Chamber of Commerce committees and met a number of men through my 25 years as a Rotarian.   We lived in nine different cities and found that most people were just working for “stuff”.  No matter how much they had accumulated it was never enough.  In almost every case they were working only for number one.  In addition, most seemed to be under a tremendous amount of stress, they were not getting their “stuff” fast enough.    Or, they were stressed over the debts they had accumulated.

When God is your boss and you have a servant’s heart the things that most people go through you don’t go through.  That doesn’t mean you never encounter problems but, most problems are not self-inflicted.  When I heard this Sunday morning Dr. Stanley’s message I felt a need to tell you from my personal experience what the Bible teaches really works.  The younger a person changes their commitment to these two principles and allows Christ to live through them, the greater will be their potential.

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