Few weeks ago, while being demotivated at work because of personal thoughts of stagnation, I received two job offers (that I did not apply for). It all happened in a span of three weeks.
The first one was from another department in the company I am at (for more than three years now). The second one was from an engineering firm somewhere north of Metro Manila. Both offered me an executive-level position.
The decision-making process, of whether or not I should take any of the offers, brought so much anxiety in me. But even with the increasing anxiety, there was a conviction that the Lord pinned in my heart that time: I must not make a decision on the basis of feelings and circumstances but of God’s will, time and confirmation. Moses’ words in Exodus 33:15 kept me sane in the praying and waiting period of this decision-making process.
“If Your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here..” I knew, by flesh what I wanted. But the Holy Spirit helped me want what God wants for me more than what I wanted for myself.
Even in the midst of the recruiters asking me to make my decision immediate, God still allowed opportunities for me to share my thought and concerns to my God-given authorities — my spiritual authorities, my parent and even my boss. I appreciated how they spoke with wisdom, gentleness and truth — all intended to build me up and not tear me down.
Their wise counsel led me to a conclusion: Pray to God and wait on God.
“Lord, what should I do? Please help me make a decision that is according to Your will, not mine.”, I prayed.
Five days have passed but still there was no answer. I even thought that jumping back to the book of Genesis after finishing 2 Corinthians was a mistake. And when doubts started to creep in, anxieties crept in all the more.
It was really a battle I could not win on my own. And God used such battle to teach me patience and dependence. What was the most slap-in-the-face lesson of them all? Get over yourself and your self-centeredness.
So on March 12, 2018, I settled my motives before the Lord.
- Why do I want to take this job offer? Is it really for personal or professional growth? Or is it because of the title and the money?
- Why do I want to leave my current job? Is it really because of my personal feeling of stagnation? Or is it because of worldliness, self-comparison and self-pity?
- Is Jesus and His commission really my satisfaction or desire? Or am I about to compromise His calling for personal gain?
Work, may it be a job or a career, is important but it is not everything. It can never satisfy our whole being no matter how stable it seems to be.
I realised that I was stressing over something I won’t be able to bring with me to the grave. I also realised that my motives and heart attitude were not aligned with who God is and what He wants me to be. I was thinking the opposite of what John said in John 3:30, “He must become greater; I must become less.”
On March 14, 2018, half-way through Genesis, God surprisingly spoke to me in the story of Isaac. His words were so specific, personal and timely. This He said in Genesis 26:3:
“Stay in this land for a while and I will be with you and I will bless you.”
Brief background: There was a famine in the land of Gerar where Isaac was residing at that time. He talked to the king of Gerar, Abimelek and wanted to go down to Egypt but God spoke these words to him. God assured Isaac that if he stays in the land, he and his descendants will be taken care of.
Isaac’s response to God’s leading is found in Genesis 26:6: “So Isaac stayed…”
God answered me. He specifically told me to stay even with my desire to leave and even after my consultation to my authorities. His words, sealed with promises of comfort, protection and provision, got me in tears.
In awe, I paused for a while after reading verse 6. I told God, “Okay God. You want me to stay. You will be with me and You will bless me if I stay. But God, how should my heart attitude be? What should I do if I stay?”
Lo and behold, God again replied in verse 12.
“Isaac planted crops in that land and the same year reaped a hundred-fold, because the Lord blessed him.”
This is what Isaac did after he obeyed. He planted crops and the Lord blessed Him. He did not stay with grudges in his heart nor with complacency just because the Lord promised Him something. He planted crops.
It was through this verse that God told me what to do: plant crops. He wanted me to labor wholeheartedly not just for the company that I am at but all the more for His kingdom.
The decision-making process was not easy but I am happy because I have a sovereign father and a best friend whom I can depend on. He blessed me not only with circumstances that revealed my character and heart motives, He also blessed me with wise counsel and most especially His presence.
After making the decision to stay, the days at work became more productive and effective. God made a way for me to be more open to my boss about all the projects I have been handling. The Lord also blessed me with a boss who is so patient in teaching me processes and strategies, who trusts me even after my mistakes and whom I can rely on not only as a workmate but as a friend.
After making the decision to stay, the people I have consulted to asked me: “How are you? Have you made a decision already?” I told them what God told me in the chapter of Genesis 26. And we all praised God because of it.
Bonus: A week after my decision to stay, my friend Grace, who also works in the company I am at, made a decision by faith to join LDI 2018 ☺
Today, after experiencing this with God, whenever a friend would ask me for career-related advice (i.e., whether he or she should move up, stay or leave), I can confidently tell him to: Pray to God and wait on God.
All glory to God indeed! ☺