Working for Shalom Where God Places Us

How can a Christian make a difference at work?  How can we bring order out of chaos?  How can we bring peace, hope, and truth into an environment of discord, despair, and relativism?

I addressed the topic of bringing righteousness and reformation to the workplace in my book, Immanuel Labor – God’s Presence in our Profession.  I brought together some great Scriptures and several quotes from a variety of writers and speakers.  God used these truths to challenge me to boldly be Christ’s representative in my own job.

I would like to share some excerpts from my book. I am hoping they will inspire you to walk in Jesus’ resurrection power to bring His peace to a world that so desperately needs it.

It all belongs to God

A few years ago, I heard a powerful message on the Focus on the Family radio program given by Grammy award-winning Christian hip-hop artist Lecrae at Liberty University. He spoke on the topic of engaging our culture.  I was moved to tears.  The verse he quoted several times is Psalm 24:1, which says, “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it.”

Here is a transcript of a portion of this message:

“God gives us this cultural mandate to subdue the earth. We are called to build this alternative city. What does it look like when we have healthy families, when we have biblical views on business and economics and law and politics? We’ve redeemed them instead of letting Satan, the prince of power, just drain the life out of them. These things belong to God. Economics belongs to God. Politics belong to God. Family belongs to God. Medical science belongs to God. God created science! So we go into culture and say, “This is not yours, Satan. This is not yours, world, flesh. This belongs to God.” And I am a representative of His kingdom here, to demonstrate what it looks like when a redeemed person enters the workplace and says, ‘This belongs to my God!’”

Did you get his point?

Through our faith in Jesus Christ, we have been redeemed so that we can go into all areas of society to bring Jesus’s message into our workplaces through our words and actions.  Satan, the flesh, and the world may have corrupted much of what we see around us, at least temporarily.  But since it all belongs to God, we can be salt and light, do things the way they were meant to be done, God’s way, and turn things around for everyone’s benefit.

Many speakers I have heard over the last few years quote Abraham Kuyper from a speech he gave in the late 1800s: “There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry: Mine!”

God’s charge to the exiles in Babylon

A passage that I kept running into in my research for the book was Jer. 29:4-7.  God gave the exiles a somewhat surprising exhortation, telling them to build houses, plant gardens, get married and have children, and thus increase their numbers.  Yahweh continues His ironic commandment to His people taken to a strange land.  He says that the Israelites should “seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile.  Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper” (verse 7).

Hugh Whelchel, Executive Director of the Institute for Faith, Work & Economics, in his book, How Then Should We Work?, wisely ties this passage in with the cultural mandate from Genesis 1:28.  He points out the clear connection between the command to Adam and Eve to “be fruitful and multiply” with the command to the Babylonian exiles to “build houses and settle down” or “marry and have sons and daughters” (Jeremiah 29:5–6).  He also sees that as they “seek the peace and prosperity of the city” (Jeremiah 29:7), they are also exercising “subduing” and “ruling” functions.  He says that by doing so, they are “reweaving Shalom.”  I absolutely love this insight!

Whelchel continues, “God meant them to be a blessing to the world even while they lived in Babylon.  God intends the same for us.  We are called to work for the shalom of the city, whatever or wherever that city is, where God has put us.  We are to be a blessing in our time and place.  This is possible only because we have found our identity in Christ, the Prince of Shalom.”

Whelchel spurs us on with this statement: “Motivated by the Cultural Mandate and inspired by the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ, through our vocational calling we have the opportunity to transform our communities, our nation, and the world. Our effectiveness will provide a catalyst for sustained cultural renewal.”  Amen!

How do we do this?

Sherman and Hendricks, in Your Work Matters to God, offer this challenge to the average worker, which I used to read when I taught on this topic many years ago. It still resonates now.

“The key to bringing the culture and the Church back together; to renewing the workplace and reforming the Church; to choosing Christ as the Lord of life, rather than leaving Him out of the system—may well be a movement of people who are known for their hard work, for the excellence of their effort, for their honesty and unswerving integrity, for their concern for the rights and welfare of people, for their compliance with laws, standards, and policies, for the quality of their goods and services, for the quality of their character, for the discipline and sacrifice of their lifestyle, for putting work in its proper perspective, for their leadership among coworkers – in short, for their Christlikeness on and off the job. What could an army of such workers accomplish?”

Just like the Israelites that God sent into exile, God sends us exactly where He needs us to go in the power of the Holy Spirit as Christ’s representatives so that we can do what He needs us to do with those who need the work we will provide.

I trust these concepts will encourage you and give you a vision of how God can use you in your ordinary professions, which are indeed sacred if your work is done for God’s glory.  God’s presence in our work will make a difference in the people and the institutions where He sends us.

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Reflecting on Career Milestones

I like milestones, don’t you?

I celebrated two major milestones last year.  In June, I and many others celebrated the 100th anniversary of the U.S. Army Chemical Corps.  (I invite you to read how I saw God’s presence at work impacting the planning, preparation, and execution of that special celebration.)  Two months later, I celebrated six decades of life.  One hundred.  Sixty.  Nice round numbers!

Today, on March 14th, I wish to reflect on the fact that 33 years ago I enlisted in the U.S. Army.  After 20 years on active duty, I continued to work for the U.S. Army as a civilian.  Last week, I celebrated eleven years at my current job at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.  One third of my combined military and civilian federal service has been at one position.  This boggles my mind!

I do not need to hear, “Thanks for your service!”, although I usually say it myself whenever I see a Korean or Vietnam War veteran.  My sole purpose in writing this article is to give glory to God as I celebrate a long season of experiencing His presence, seeing His faithfulness, and knowing He worked through me during my 33- year Army career.  It has truly been a spiritual journey.

God’s presence enabled me to do much more than I expected I could do

At my first duty station, I spent the first six months supporting decontamination missions in the field with mechanized infantry and armor units.  Over the next year as the unit armorer, I was responsible to maintain the entire company’s individual and crew-served weapons.  I had never fixed weapons before, but God gave me the opportunity to learn and excel.  Two and a half years later, after I had gone on to my next assignment, the unit took these weapons with them in support of Operation Desert Storm.  “I can do everything through him who gives me strength” (Phil. 4:13).

In my next duty station, I had a chance to represent my unit and compete for Noncommissioned Officer of the Quarter.  This was about the same time as the 1988 Olympics, and I was prayerful the Lord would bless my preparations for this small competition.  My memory was in much better shape half my life ago, so I answered the board members’ questions with lightning speed.  By the grace of God, I was selected as the winner.  I was grateful to receive this honor.

God’s faithfulness provided for the needs of my family

Throughout my entire 20-year active duty Army career and beyond, I saw God provide for our needs.  By His grace, I was promoted quickly.  Our income and military benefits were enough so that my wife could work as a stay-at-home parent and pour herself into our children’s lives.

Not only were our family’s financial needs met, but our physical, social, emotional, and spiritual needs always seemed to be met as well.  We literally saw God answer hundreds of prayers as we journeyed through life by faith.  My children (known for the rest of their lives as “Army brats”) thrived as we were stationed in six states and Germany.  They learned to make friends quickly, learned to be resilient, and developed into compassionate responsible young adults.

God worked through me to provide for the needs of those I served

I believe that God works through the work of His children (and oftentimes those who are not saved) to meet the needs of others.  This is one of the main functions of our work as Christians.

As I mentioned earlier, I saw God work through me when I maintained weapons that Soldiers would need to defend themselves and their buddies in combat.  Years later, I saw God meeting the readiness needs of Army Reserve and National Guard units deploying to Iraq as I planned and evaluated fifty lane training exercises and provided NBC training and logistical support.

In my current position as a Department of the Army civilian, I know that God works through me to provide timely and accurate information to key leaders in the Chemical Corps as I advise them on future missions.  God meets a variety of needs in the Soldiers that work for me by providing them a boss who is a compassionate leader.  God has placed me in this position as a Christian in a secular government job for such a time as this (Esther 4:14).  God’s presence with me in this work makes a difference every day in the defense of this nation.

Closing thoughts

Let me share something from my book, Immanuel Labor – God’s Presence in our Profession.

“Regarding the church, Tom Nelson in Work Matters states, ‘The Holy Spirit brings the power and presence of the triune God with the believer to work every day. The Holy Spirit works in the worker through his or her vocation and permeates the workplace with the fragrance of Christ’ (2 Cor. 2:14–15).

Just like the tabernacle, where God’s presence resided as the Israelites wandered through the wilderness for forty years until they entered the Promised Land, we too can experience the presence of God as we enter into the wilderness of our workplaces over a forty-year career.”

When you see God’s presence at work over many years as I have, it is something to celebrate!

A Biblical Perspective on Business

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I had written an article on this topic for my blog nearly two years ago.  In the fall of 2017, while I was conducting extensive research in preparing to write my book, Immanuel Labor – God’s Presence in our Profession, I found some additional views on work that are worth sharing now.

Business itself is morally neutral

One of the things I came to learn in my research on this topic was that business is neither inherently good nor evil.  It has the potential to be both.  Wayne Grudem, in Business for the Glory of God presented simple biblical concepts that countered the ideas I had while making my own career decisions as a teenager.  Grudem emphasizes, “We will find that in every aspect of business there are multiple layers of opportunities to give glory to God, as well as multiple temptations to sin.”

Paul Stevens, in Work Matters offers some encouragement.  “Competition in business and the workplace is not in itself evil or wrong.  In fact, it can be a stimulus to creativity and initiative.”

Mattson and Miller, in Finding a Job you can Love wisely add this refreshing perspective:

Business and industry do not produce greed.  The sick nature of man does … Can you imagine the wonder of people making beautiful products that have integrity of design and purpose, and then those products being distributed by way of ingenious systems to all those in need of the products?  Can you imagine people involved in all phases of those activities doing what they are gifted to do under God’s authority?  The world has little conception of such business, but the Christian should.

Creativity that glorifies God

While I was revising the draft my manuscript, I found an article about a biblically based company.  The Center for Faith and Work at LeTourneau University posted a fascinating interview with Nate Saint, nephew of one of the five missionaries that were martyred by the Auca Indians in the 1950s.

Nate invented the Pack-n-Play, the portable baby-corralling device that is loved and appreciated by many parents.  My wife and I bought one to give our grandsons a place to sleep when they visit.

Nate believes that God invented creativity.  My immediate response when I read that simple statement was this: The Creator created us in His image to creatively expand His creation.

This godly businessman understands the creation mandate from Gen. 1:28 and Jesus’s command to love our neighbor.  His company is taking the earthly and human resources that God provided and is using them with integrity and creativity to meet people’s legitimate needs for products that helps keep children safe.  They are loving parents around the world by manufacturing and selling this item.

Business as a way of loving our neighbor

Other businesses glorify God. Tim Keller, in Every Good Endeavor remarks, “A banker in a small town making mortgage and small business loans can easily see the purpose and fruit of her labor.”

I could not miss this obvious allusion to the movie It’s a Wonderful Life.  George Bailey, after seeing what it would have been like if he had never been born, eventually appreciates the value of his work at the Bailey Building and Loan.  What a great illustration of how our work is directly related to love of neighbor, where God works to meet the needs of people through our work.

Scriptural perspective

Joseph immediately comes to mind.  The presence of God had been with Joseph.  God blessed his hard work in Potiphar’s household and in prison, and then placed him second in command in Pharoah’s court.  We read a great description of Joseph’s business savvy in Gen. 41:33-37.

In The Accidental Executive, a great book on faith and calling based on the life of Joseph in the OT, Dr. Al Erisman writes, “We can learn from the story of Joseph about moral questions related to our work.  How can we deal with temptation and the trifecta of money, sex, and power?  How can we deal with the unique challenges that come to any businessperson, which require courage when things are difficult and the wisdom to handle success when things are going well?”

Amos, one of the minor prophets, shows us God’s thoughts on business.  R. Paul Stevens, in Work Matters declares, “Amos railed against workplace injustice … The gospel is not merely the gospel of personal salvation, but is a message that has profound implications for fair wages, workers’ rights, equitable interest rates, appropriate executive remuneration, reliable currency, and protection of property rights for the poor.”  The Lord condemned the practice of buying and selling slaves in Israel (Amos 2:6).  He also condemned unethical business practices, such as skimping on standard measures, greedily boosting prices, and using dishonest scales (Amos 8:4-5).

There is much more the Bible says about business, such as fair wages, lending, profit, and wealth.

To close, let me share two motivational quotes from Tim Keller, in Every Good Endeavor.  “The gospel-centered business would have a discernible vision for serving the customer in some unique way, a lack of adversarial relationships and exploitation, an extremely strong emphasis on excellence and product quality, and an ethical environment that goes ‘all the way down’ to the bottom of the organizational chart and to the realities of daily behavior, even when high ethics mean a loss of margin.”  He adds, “To be a Christian in business, then, means much more than just being honest … Rather, it means thinking out the implications of the gospel worldview and God’s purposes for your whole work life—and for the whole of the organization under your influence.”  Amen!

 

Every Link in the Chain is Critical

chainYesterday, during a conversation with a good friend about a difficult situation at work, I was reminded of the importance of every member of an organization.

There was one worker on the team that was not carrying their weight.  This caused a lot of stress in my friend.  It had a direct impact on the quality of services provided to the customer.  Eventually, the person at the top of the organization was made aware of this non-worker’s lack of diligence, and a parting of the ways took place, much to the relief of my friend.

Upon reflection, it made me thankful for the system of checks and balances that characterize the organizations in the U.S. Army I have had the privilege to be part of for nearly 33 years.

There are the workers at the bottom of the chain, where I found myself for many years. These are the Soldiers who do the manual labor, whether it is setting up camouflage nets, repairing a vehicle, inspecting protective masks, or filling out monthly reports.

Next, there are the supervisors who ensure this work gets done to standard.  These are usually junior noncommissioned officers.  I fulfilled this role at times in my military career as well.  Then there are the managers who ensure that the supervisors are supervising to standard and that sufficient resources are available.  These are the senior noncommissioned officers or junior grade officers.

At the top of every organization, there are the commanders or senior enlisted advisors who ensure that everyone in their organization, whether it is an office, a company, battalion, division, or corps is resourced, trained, ready, and doing their part effectively to accomplish the mission.

If someone at any point in the chain of workers fails to perform their assigned responsibilities to standard, then the task at the bottom will not be done right or the customer’s needs might not be met.  This can have dangerous or even fatal consequences.  Camouflage nets fall down, vehicles will break down at the worst time, protective masks might leak, and reports might be misleading.

Let’s take this out of the military setting.

Every single worker at every level in a store, school, church, bank, theatrical production, government office, professional sports team, or factory is critical so that products and services can be provided to those who need them.  If someone is not pulling their weight, customers do not get the quality they deserve and are depending on.

The value of every worker at all levels in an organization was specifically addressed by the Apostle Paul in his first letter to the church in Corinth.  (See 1 Cor. 12:12-31.)  Paul taught that the body of Christ is made up of many parts.  Each member has value, purpose, and function.  They are all necessary for the body to be healthy.  All must be connected to each other and to the head.

Whether you find yourself in a church or a secular work setting, and no matter where you are in chain, know that your contributions are critical to meeting your customer’s needs.  Do your work diligently and show appreciation and respect to those who work above, next to, or below you.

What is the Value of Diversity in the Workplace?

Two years ago, I saw a movie that moved me deeply.  Hidden Figures tells the story of a team of black female mathematicians in the early 1960’s who worked brilliantly and diligently behind the scenes at NASA, amidst a hostile environment towards both females and blacks.  In spite of these challenges, their work contributed significantly to the success of the first manned space flight.  This film demonstrated how God puts the right people with the right skill sets at the right time and place to do a good work that had an enduring impact on society for the common good.

Since February is Black History month, this may be a good time to explore this topic from a Christian perspective.  I invite you to consider how you can embrace racial diversity in your workplace and be agents of reconciliation, showing God’s love to a world divided by race.  (See a book review I wrote on this topic, published by the Institute for Faith, Work & Economics.)

Military experience

I have a unique viewpoint due to my military experience.  Based on over three decades of experience as an active duty Soldier and as a Department of the Army civilian, I can say with all seriousness that diversity works in the Army.

Why does it work?  Equal Opportunity is imbedded our Army Values.  All personnel are trained and expected to treat others with dignity and respect.  They are held accountable if they do not.  Discrimination of any kind is not tolerated.  Everyone seems to get along no matter where you serve.  The unity we have amidst our diversity makes us stronger – an unstoppable force.

Looking back, I appreciate the many benefits to myself and my family of being able to work, live, and worship within a racially diverse military community.  It made all of us more compassionate and understanding.  We came to respect, acknowledge, and embrace others’ differences, knowing that we were unified in one common goal – the defense of this great nation.

Unity amidst diversity

Even though we have come a long way since the 1960s, and even if there may be racial harmony in the military and other workplaces where diversity is appreciated, we must look to God’s word to see if there is any wisdom to help us work with those of another race.

Jesus, knowing that He would be the one to bring God’s blessing to the nations that was promised to Abraham, prayed specifically for unity among His followers in John 17:20-23.  The result of this unity in the church would be that the world would take notice of God’s love.

There was much racial tension between Christ-followers of Jewish and Gentile descent in the first century church.  Paul directly addressed this conflict in Gal. 3:26 and 28.  He states that all Christians, no matter what their ethnic background, are part of the same spiritual family.  “You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus . . . There is neither Jew or Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

Paul also addressed unity between Jews and Gentiles in his letter to the church in Ephesus.  He reminds both groups that Jesus himself is their peace, since He has “made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility” (Eph. 2:14).  That sounds like something we need to be reminded of ourselves in our churches and our workplaces today.

I must also mention that our conviction that all humans are worthy of dignity and respect is based on the doctrine that God created men and women in the image of God (Gen. 1:26-27).

Ultimately, we read that there will be a vast number of men and women “from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb” (Rev. 7:9).

What can we do?

In closing, let me offer “a way” to get personally involved in racial reconciliation at work.

Four years ago, I had the opportunity to engage an African-American senior noncommissioned officer that worked in my office.  Our dialogues began shortly after the Ferguson incident.  I boldly asked him to help me understand what I had never seen.  Our conversations were a bit awkward at first, but once he knew I was genuinely interested in understanding what it was like to be a black man in America, he opened up and shared freely.  He opened up my eyes and heart to what was really going on, which often moved me to tears. He became a dear friend.

I ask you to prayerfully consider doing the same if you can.  It may be life-changing.  It may break down barriers in your workplace.  It may earn you the right to speak about your Savior and Lord, who died that we might find true peace in His presence and find unity amidst diversity.

Perhaps God has put you right where you are at the right time and place to do a good work that can have an enduring impact on society for the common good.

The Varied Meanings of Immanuel Labor

A new thought occurred to me yesterday. I realized that the term “Immanuel labor”, has a variety of meanings and implications. Nothing radically new here. It is just packaged a little differently.

I have written about the origin of this unique phrase which seems to summarize my theology of work in one of my first articles I posted on my blog in September 2015. It is much more than a great pun on “manual labor”! In this article, I highlighted several connections between God’s presence and human work that I found in both the OT and the NT. (This article was later reposted on the Institute for Faith, Work & Economics blog in November 2016.)

What I kept seeing throughout Scripture was this same pattern. Whenever there was an important job to be done, God promised that His presence would be with His chosen servant. God worked with and through this individual as His co-worker, providing the strength, skill, and motivation needed. God’s presence was with Adam and Eve, for example, as God called them to be His coworkers to manage His creation as His image bearers. Jacob, Joseph, and Moses also illustrate this concept quite clearly. There are many other examples, which I have documented in detail in chapters 5 and 6 of my book.

In addition to this biblical use of the term, which focuses on the deliberate connection between God’s presence and human work, I also see several other significant shades of meaning:

     • Divine meaning. This indicates the actual work that the triune God did as revealed in the Bible and still does today. God is a worker. He sustains His creation, draws people to Himself, and causes His children to grow in their faith and become like Christ.

     • Contemporary meaning. This puts the spotlight on God continuing to work through Christ-followers now. The OT and NT saints were not just superstars who were meant to inspire us to do great things as they did. These narratives reveal God’s attributes, which never change. They demonstrate how God works with and through every one of His children. There are jobs that God wants done in this world. He calls and empowers ordinary workers to do this work in His presence every day.

   • Personal meaning. When I am sensing God’s presence at work, I am experiencing Immanuel labor. This is a common and frequent situation for me, as I was taught to walk with God, abide in Christ, and be filled with the Spirit early in my Christian life. As I work for Him and with Him, and let Him work through me as His coworker, I am applying what Paul commanded in Col. 3:23-24, “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men . . . It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.”

I am hoping that this discussion will stimulate some thinking. My vision is that in the not too distant future, many faith and work leaders and pastors will embrace the concept of Immanuel labor, and will begin to talk and write about it themselves.

Trusting God in New Job Assignments

I went on a short walk around the neighborhood this afternoon just before the sun went down to take advantage of the unseasonably warm weather.  It gave me some much-needed time to reflect and pray.

I was thinking about how much I wanted to get my unique approach to the theology of work which is summarized by the term Immanuel labor out to the military community at Fort Leonard Wood where I work as a Department of the Army civilian.  I am going to have to re-focus my message for these folks that I serve with.  They need to hear how God’s presence will directly impact their Army experience.

God is in control

One of the most relevant aspects of this doctrine is that of trusting God during the assignment process.

A Christian in the Army needs to understand the sovereignty of God.  He is in always in control.  He reigns.  Additionally, He is an all-powerful, all- knowing, loving, and faithful God.

If your next job assignment is literally in the hands of someone you have never met at Human Resource Command in Fort Knox, Kentucky, you must know that God has you in His bigger hands.  He knows where you need to go, what you need to do, who you need to serve with, and when is the right time that He needs you to be there for His purposes.

From this point forward, I will share several quotes from my own book, Immanuel Labor – God’s Presence in our Profession: A Biblical, Theological, and Practical Approach to the Doctrine of Work.

My experience as a recruiter

For those who are on active duty, officers and enlisted personnel will get sent to a variety of assignments every two or three years according to “the needs of the Army”.  Over a 20 year career, I was stationed in the following places: Fort Stewart, Georgia; Korea; Fort Lewis, Washington; Fort Collins, Colorado; Fort Hood, Texas; Germany; Salt Lake City, Utah; Korea; and Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.

From Immanuel Labor, “During my twenty-plus years on active duty, my wife and I recognized that each time I was up for reassignment, there was what we called “an angel in uniform” who watched over the process. God needed us to be His representatives and do His work at just the right places at just the right times as we were stationed around the country and overseas.”

However, that did not mean that I had success everywhere I went.

A prime example is my sixteen months as an Army recruiter in Fort Collins, Colorado.  Even though I worked hard and was trained to be able to paint a picture for my potential recruits of how the Army would help them to meet their personal goals, I just could not get folks to commit.  I did not handle their objections well on a consistent basis.  I could not produce the results they expected every month.

The funny thing is, I had specifically requested that assignment. (You have to be careful what you pray for, because you just may get it.)  Shortly after I started recruiter school, I was told that I would go to Kansas City (where I went to high school).  However, for some reason it was stuck in my mind that I needed to go back to my old college town, which was close to Denver, where my wife is from.

After my nine-month training and evaluation process ended, my chain of command submitted a packet to relieve me from recruiting duty as an ineffective new recruiter.  It was a humbling process, but one that I was grateful for and was sure was the right thing to do.  After several months, they decided that I would be immediately reassigned to Fort Hood where I could better serve the Army.

God’s timing at Fort Hood

Again, let me quote from my book, Immanuel Labor.

“One small but exciting chapter in my life illustrates that God can use us at the right time and place in our workplaces to build His eternal kingdom. In the spring of 1995 at Fort Hood, Texas, I worked behind the scenes to try to get a small group from my own chapel to attend a Promise Keepers men’s conference. This simple act later developed into a major effort that involved several army chaplains from other chapels on post. We were able to bring a total of 168 soldiers from all ranks, races, and backgrounds to the Houston and Dallas Promise Keepers men’s conferences that year. These events were life-changing for many of these soldiers and their families, and was a real faith-builder for me. Only God could have pulled this off.”

Timing is everything.  If I had been a recruiter for three years as originally planned, I may or may not have been attending chapel at Fort Hood in 1995 for God to use me as a catalyst to bring all of these soldiers to two Promise Keepers conferences.  He clearly worked all things out for good (Rom. 8:28).

Some biblical principles

Of course, my story, although mildly interesting, would be of little value to Christian Soldiers if it was not supported by Scripture.  How can you know that you can trust God in every new assignment throughout your military career and beyond?

Let me share a few quotes from my book that support this idea of trusting in God’s sovereignty.

“Joseph also found himself in places that he did not plan to go. However, God had it planned all along. In Genesis 45:7–8, Joseph concludes that despite what his brothers did to him, it is not man who causes things to happen to us but God. He alone is sovereign.”

Later, I indicate, “We read from the prophet Isaiah that ‘we are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand’ (Isaiah 64:8). God sovereignly works in the circumstances and hearts of His people to prepare them to do His work and to mold them as He desires to fulfill His purposes.”

Let me conclude with this bold statement: “God sends us where He needs us to go so that we can do what He needs us to do with those who need the work we will provide. I know that God is sovereign. He’s in control. Everywhere I have ever been, even here and now, the sovereign God has worked things out for His purposes and for my benefit.”

God is present with every Soldier who abides in Christ.  You can trust Him in your own career path.