Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Know When to Stay and When to Go

"A severe famine now struck the land, as had happened before in Abraham's time. So Isaac moved to Gerar, where Abimelech, king of the Philistines, lived. The LORD appeared to Isaac and said, 'Do not go down to Egypt, but do as I tell you. Live here as a foreigner in this land, and I will be with you and bless you. I hereby confirm that I will give all these lands to you and your descendants, just as I solemnly promised Abraham, your father.'" Genesis 26:1-3 (NLT)

“Why don’t you just quit?” my well-meaning and loyal prayer partner asked me during our weekly prayer time. For several weeks, I shared and prayed about my tough work situation. Several frustrating incidences involving my supervisor created an oppressive environment for our team. Two colleagues voiced complaints against him, intensifying low morale and despair. 

A few team members contemplated resigning from our organization or transferring to another department. The instability and chaos resulted in a series of inappropriate comments and unfounded accusations. How long could I endure? While my alone time with the Lord and my weekly prayer time with my prayer partner provided comfort and reprieve, the temptation to remove myself from the dysfunction of my department was palpable. 

There was one problem. God had called me to the position three years before, and He had not released me.

When Isaac faced a severe famine, I am sure he was miserable, hungry, and afraid. It must have occurred to him to get away from his oppressive circumstance and go to Egypt where food and supplies were plentiful. His father Abraham had gone there during a famine years before. (Gen 12:10 NLT) 

However, God did not release Isaac and instructed him to stay. He told him to live in Gerar as a foreigner. God promised He would be with him and would bless him. He reminded Isaac of His promise: He would give all the lands to him and to his descendants. 

There are times God tells us to move away from challenging circumstances, however, many times He tells us to stay where we are in the challenging situation. It is crucial we seek God’s will when facing difficult times and situations. 

For me, it became clear that God did not want me to go anywhere. I know because I asked, well begged, several times. In response to my plea, He spoke to me through His word in Isaiah,

"... Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.” Isaiah 43:1-2 (NLT)

I am grateful I listened to God. He first gently showed me how I contributed to my frustrating situation with my negative attitude and resentment. He was right, and I quickly repented! I began to praise Him and thank Him for what I was going through. I got rid of my bad attitude and judgments. 

Everything changed, and within six months our department changed. Allowing God to change me immediately changed how I responded to what I faced at work. It became easy to surrender my situation to Him and allow Him to handle the constant conflict. He did.

During this time, He reminded me of another verse,

“I am giving you a promise now while the seed is still in the barn. You have not yet harvested your grain, and your grapevines, fig trees, pomegranates, and olive trees have not yet produced their crops. But from this day onward I will bless you." Haggai 2:19 (NLT)

He did bless me. He will bless you. Seek Him and Trust Him.

Copyright © 2017 Anne Ferrell Tata. Used by permission.

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