“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matt. 6:33
(First published in 2008) As many of you already know, I have recently been married! Finally, I might say! But, God’s timing is and always was perfect. I thank God so very much for my beautiful wife and for providing the growth in our relationship ever since that wonderful day we met!
After speaking to one of our beloved customers, I was asked to share my personal testimony to the many as yet unmarried friends and customers out there. So, in this issue of our CTW News online I pray the Lord may use my personal testimony that lead to this wonderful answer to prayer and speak to you in some way that will be an encouragement.
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness…”
About five years ago when I was living in Toronto I was living a dream. I had many friends, a fiancée, a great job in the legal entertainment field in the big city. I had my own apartment, a membership at an exclusive workout club, and freedom to basically go and do whatever I wanted. I had everything at my fingertips, but I was missing something. I was missing a close loving relationship with my Lord Jesus Christ. I knew I was saved at a very young age and knew that my Saviour wanted more from me. In fact, I knew that He already owned me and everything I had, but I had walked after my own flesh. So, after rededicating my life to Him on March 9, 2003, as I grew closer to Him, He showed me that He wanted me to grow at a good church. To do this I would have to leave it all behind and leave the big city that I loved. So, in obedience to Him, by March 30, 2004, I had moved back to my hometown of Kitchener, Ontario where I knew there was a good church to grow with. I knew He wanted me to sacrifice my all wholly to Him. His instructions? “Go and wait.”
No, never alone! He promised never to leave me, never to leave me alone.
Well, I’m not really the sit down and wait type of guy. I had a good chunk of money in the bank so I got myself a nice apartment and set myself up. I prepared myself to go job searching but then God reminded me that He said, “go and wait”. So the test began. Somehow I didn’t think this was all that odd, but I asked God, “…but, what would you have me to do?” Surely, I thought, my family and church would not understand it if I told them God told me to do nothing. Then God impressed on me to study his Word full time. I found myself studying 6-8 hours per day and growing immensely especially in the area of faith. What a timely gift because, sure enough, as my family and the church people got closer to me, I began to hear remarks and advice such as, “…shouldn’t you be looking for a job?” and, “What are you waiting for?” and that sort of thing. This sentiment began to intensify more from my immediate family who weren’t very pleased with me to begin with; I heard, “…the bible says if you don’t work you don’t eat.” I understood this was totally out of context, but I knew that God wanted it. Throughout all this change and adversity, as I prayed, I thought about companionship. I had also left a fiancée in Toronto who claimed to be saved but didn’t want to follow and didn’t understand what was going on with me. Well, after seeking God’s will in the area of tithing and giving I made out a cheque for $2000.00 to my church in obedience and faith. After my former fiancée recovered from the shock, she left me, saying I had gone nuts. My friends, ‘that was the best $2000.00 I ever spent’ came to mind! Little did I know how much God would bless me for my obedience until just recently. Still, I waited. Still, I persevered through accusations of many sorts from the enemy remembering God’s Word, “we wrestle NOT against flesh and blood”!
…And all these things shall be added unto you.
Around the first week of July, 2004, after living by faith, while watching my bank account plummet to nothing, but knowing God’s will, I also knew that my rent was due for the beginning of the following month. I knew and was confident that God had to perform a miracle. See, God finally had me where He wanted me; He gave me the knowledge that I would no longer rely on my bank account, no longer rely on myself with or without a job, no longer rely on friends or family because there really was no one closer than God; but only to rely completely on Him. I actually got very excited because I knew I did not have enough to cover the rent. I did trust my Lord Jesus! I knew His promises and had been obedient while He taught me His Word! I knew He would not let me down and I saw His yoke WAS easy, just as He promised!! God brought me two weeks of work in a legal administrative position and immediately thereafter, I got the telephone call; an offer to operate this small business called Christ The Way Bookstore. WOW!! What a resounding answer to prayer!
“All” means “All”
It has been more than four years now since leaving the big city. During that time God has blessed me with spiritual growth and faith, allowing me the privilege of leading people to the Lord Jesus Christ here and in the store, to watch Christ The Way Bookstore become financially self-reliant, to having met more and greater friends than I have ever had, by miraculously providing me with a house a couple of years ago and a good car for His glory. He has provided for my every single need. He continues to show, not only to me, but those around me His miracles through me! Head-shaking miracles!! This is HIS testimony he wants to encourage you with!
I waited and then seemingly out of nowhere came this gorgeous woman! He brought me the most amazing blessing of all, my wife, Katie. As my pastor said, “…it’s a miracle!” I hope my testimony is clear to all of you single guys reading this. First, tell yourself you are going to live a sold out life in obedience to God in His Word. Then, knowing you can’t do it yourself, pray hard for His daily strength. I like to say, let your knees be the first to hit the floor every morning! Then, sacrifice yourself to God through personal devotion in the morning and evening. Go to a good bible believing church whenever it is open; Sunday morning and evening, midweek service, soul-winning and involvement in extra fellowship times. Give of yourself through your time and money, tithe and give by faith. Visit the fatherless and widows, literally! Pray for God’s leading and then place yourself in the position of what you ought to be as the leader of your family before you meet your wife. While doing this, pray and ask God for His will, not yours to be done. You will find yourself waiting on the Lord while filling your time being busy for Him! Then, when He proves Himself, it will be resounding and unmistakable! He wants you to rely on Him completely starting right now. It is the only way to lead a successful family.
I tell you there is only one way to become the man you need to be for that godly woman: follow Jesus with your whole heart, being prepared to forsake all. I am not saying that God will require the same of you as He did with me, but be prepared to! It is a heart matter. God’s Word says, “…ye are not your own…” and, “ye are bought with a price…” (read I Cor 6:19-20) You are no longer your own property! “…present your bodies a living sacrifice…” (Rom. 12:1-2) It is your reasonable service to provide yourself a living sacrifice to your Lord and Saviour, living holy lives unto the Lord. Yes, it is a great testimony to God’s ability in a man blessed by Him in such a way. But know this, how much God wants to bless you so badly but cannot, because we hold him back with our disobedience, our faithlessness, our lack of commitment and compassion for the lost. God cannot bless you fully for that.
So, Christian Brother, the rest is up to you to ask God for His strength on a daily basis. I hope this was as much an encouragement to you as it was writing it. God really answered my prayer before beginning ever was. Although my text in Matt. 6:33 is my life’s verse, allow me to summarize in one verse by quoting the wisest man in history:
“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter, fear God and keep his commandments for this is the whole duty of man.” Eccl. 11:13.
If you are not yet saved, I pray that today is the day you will accept Jesus as your Saviour for lasting peace! Read in the Bible, in Romans 3:23 – you must accept that you are a sinner because all have sinned; then find and read Romans 10:9-10 – you must pray, confessing with your mouth that you believe that Jesus died and rose again for you to have eternal life. Then, follow the rest of God’s commandments by reading His Word daily and you will grow spiritually.
Addendum: This was written in 2008. It is now 2019, only a couple of months before the turn of another decade, and all I can say is, WOW!! Has God ever kept His promises! He promised never to leave me, never to leave me alone…after 11+ years of blissful marriage and 5 arrows added to my quiver, after starting a homegrown church with great spiritual growth witnessed by all, God continues to bless me and my family with great abundance in certain and heavenly measure for sure! Long forgotten are those days of solitude, I can tell you!! May God richly bless you as you continue to trust in Him and seek His kingdom first. God will always keep His promises to you. Just “pray and wait on Him”. Remember:
“Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep. Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.” Psalms 127
© 2008; 2019 Remi J. Fernhout