6 years ago, when my wife, Nicole, and I began looking for our new home and children’s ministry the limits were the world. We didn’t feel a specific calling and with our family spread out everywhere, we were open to anything. After a lot of prayer, hard work, and seeking wise counsel we discovered Southern Hills Christian Church in Carrollton GA. On our first Sunday checking out the church, we really wanted to be a true visitor and so we snuck in under the radar. We didn’t want special treatment and it was very important to me that I worked at a church that welcomes new folks. I wanted to be able to invite a stranger at the coffee shop and know that even if we didn’t see each other at church, they would feel welcomed.
As you can guess, we loved our first visit. We experienced the church stepping out of their comfort zone to welcome us, not just the door greeters, but the average church members in the seats. When someone found out that we were looking for a new job, they prayed with us. This church leader wasn’t an elder or someone on staff this was just an average guy who went out of his way to welcome visitors. We felt an overwhelming sense that this was the place and on our way home began praying that if it wasn’t that God would shut the door.
Well, time passed, interviews came and went, and man, they went well. And I can remember it like it was yesterday. The elders asked if I had any further questions and hesitantly I explained that I had one more thing. I went on to explain that long term, my goal is that my wife and I would work for the same church. I told them about how we both had the same degree, about how we have worked together before, about how I know the difficulties that come with hiring couples but about how we have left our previous jobs well and won’t leave the church in a bad place. The elders sat in silence for a minute, a very long minute, and then one spoke up and said, “Sorry Corey, we have done this in the past, and it’s just not gonna happen.” So I did what most folks in my position would do and just cried on the inside. We wrapped up in prayer and I headed back to Nicole and filled her in on the news.
We were in a HARD spot. We knew that God wanted us a SoHills. We knew it and had so much peace about it that I really believed that if they offered the job and I didn’t take it, that I was being disobedient to God. But, what about my wife? What about our long term goals? What about the plan? We had no idea what God’s plan was for her, but she too had so much peace about it and God made it so clear to me that He had orchestrated this, that it was His plan, and if I didn’t follow, then I was choosing…to disobey…God…
So long story short. We were obedient. We took that next step that God showed us and I accepted the position. God only showed us that one step, but we obediently followed Him. Over time, Nicole kept a positive attitude and stayed obedient. Through a lot of small steps of obedience, Nicole was eventually offered a staff position. I learned a very important lesson that later my mentor Brother Jim spelled out when he said, “Obedience will always get you to the right place.”
Is there a time in your life where you learned, “Obedience will always get you to the right place?”
This is an excerpt from my sermon from July 3rd, to hear the whole message, click here!