GET GOD INVOLVED
Commit your work to the Lord, then it will succeed. LB
Turn to the Lord for help in everything you do, and you will be successful. ERV
Entrust your efforts to the Lord, and your plans will succeed. GW
Depend on the Lord in whatever you do. Then your plans will succeed. ICB
Trust your work to the Lord, and your plans will work out well. NLV
Commit your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed. NLT
It was 1981, times were very, very difficult. The economy was a mess. Jobs were hard to come by. I had been out of work for months and desperately needed a job. I finally got an interview at a small auto parts store in my city. I’d never had a sales job before, and I certainly had limited knowledge of car parts. But, it was the only interview I got and I had a wife and 2 small children to take care of. I had to borrow a friend’s car to drive to the interview, in a blizzard to a town approximately 50 miles away. The interview was very short, the man was quite rude, and said he would call me by Friday. Driving home in the snow was very discouraging, but I begged God to please give me this job.
Friday came around, and near the end of the day, my phone rang. The man told me they wanted me to start on Monday morning. He reminded me I needed my own car to drive the sales route. I said I understood. However, I didn’t have a car. I had no money, no credit, I was broke. All weekend I prayed, but by Sunday night, still, no car. Around 9 PM the phone rang. Someone I didn’t really know said they went to my church, and heard I needed a car to drive. They had one just sitting in their garage they never used and asked me if I would like to use it. I was thrilled, amazed at this miraculous turn of events. I asked if they could drive the car over immediately, as I needed it in the morning and they said they could.
I started that Monday morning, eager to throw myself into the task at hand. The man who hired me told me I would make about $1200 per month, and also receive a stipend for gas money each month. This would be the best job I’d ever had. I was given no training of any kind. I made a list of auto repair shops in the area and began making my sales calls to introduce myself, and to ask for their business. Meaning, if they needed some particular part to fix a car, would they call my auto parts store and give us a chance to sell them the part, and deliver it. I also sold things like batteries, belts, and oil filters for a shop to stock up on and carry on hand. The first couple of shops I called on, the owners, after hearing the company I worked for, told me in a very gruff manner to leave their shop. They hated my company and hated my boss, the man who’d hired me. I was shocked. Talk about disheartening. Turns out my boss had a very bad reputation in my sales area. On top of that, when I got back to the parts store later that afternoon, and began to rearrange my personal desk, I found the store’s financial books, hidden in a drawer and discovered this man who hired me, lied to me. The store was doing less than half the business he said it was, and I would literally only make about $600 gross per month. To top that off, the company was not going to give me a gas stipend for my car. Rather, they gave me an advance on my own pay each month to pay for my gas. Holy smoke! I was angry, frustrated, very discouraged, and wasn’t sure what to do. I desperately needed this job. Talk about deflating!
As the next week unfolded I discovered there were 4 other auto parts stores in this town of 45,000 not including the college students at Iowa State. Each of these other stores had multiple delivery trucks, multiple delivery drivers, overnight service, and a couple had their own machine shops for major engine repairs. My auto parts store was the smallest in town. One delivery truck, no overnight service, no machine shop. If ever the odds were stacked against someone, they were stacked against me. I was really fighting major discouragement, and just felt like giving up.
One day, after making my 10th sales call for the day, I drove to a park in town, and sat in my car. I open my Bible and read the story of the widow who went to the unrighteous judge every day asking for justice. The judge eventually got so worn out by her constant requests, that he gave her what she asked for. God spoke to me there that day, and said this: “Mark, I want you to come out here to this park every single day and make a sales call on Me! Ask Me for business! Wear Me out! Cry out to Me for sales, and ask Me to bless your efforts and give you success. I am the one who is actually in charge of your life! I can supernaturally intervene in your sales job!”
That began a faith journey and a practice that I have kept for decades. So, each day of my new job, after I made all my sales calls, I went to this park, Brookside park in Ames. There by the old stone shelter at the back of the park hidden from sight, I walked and prayed every day for an hour, asking God to intervene, to bless this business and grow my sales. At the end of the first year the store’s sales had doubled, and at the end of the second year, they increased another 50 percent, holding steady there for several years till I took another job. It really was amazing, defying all the odds. God did not fail me!
Men, truthfully, so often we leave God out of our work life. We break life into the sacred and the secular. I consider it all sacred. I involve God in every single aspect of my life. Like the farmer crying out to God for rain and bumper crops, I cry out to God to bless my life, my work, my finances and grow them, multiply them, and give me a bumper crop of money and provisions. The stories I could tell you of God’s incredible blessings in my life.
This new year, let me challenge you, do not fail to get God involved in your work life. No matter what it is you do for a living, take specific time out every day to go meet with God and ask him to bless your work, to multiply your efforts, to give you wisdom, sales, and success. Be very specific!
Let me encourage you with this true story, which happened just the other day. A young man I mentor wrote to me recently about his new job. I shared my story in this article with him and urged him to put it into practice himself, for his new job. Here is what he wrote to me on December 14th:
The advice you gave me I should read every day, to keep entrusting my situation to God. Thank you so much for that reminder.
And guess what?
The last three mornings I’ve prayed specifically for my job situation and each day God has blessed me with unexpected display space for sales. There is even one particular store notoriously hard for gaining sales space and I was able to build a big display in one today and have another one scheduled for tomorrow. My boss commented how it’s hard to get any space and was so excited and almost shocked I was able to sell in a big themed display which is basically our biggest metric as a company.
Praise God! He cares about my job and is so gracious to bless.
Thanks for your encouragement to include Him in another area of my life and one I can’t succeed in without His grace!”
Men, I will never, ever steer you wrong, or give you useless advice!!
Psalm 90:17 NLT
And may the Lord our God show us his approval and make our efforts successful. Yes, make our efforts successful!
Psalm 67:1 NASB
God be gracious to us and bless us and cause your face to shine upon us! The earth has yielded its produce; God, our God blesses us. God blesses us.
Psalm 37:5 NLT
Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust Him, and He will help you!
Helping you become a Strong Disciple,
Because of Jesus,
Pastor Mark Darling