Many years ago our church met in a little chapel. We had built the church on the grounds of an old school using material we salvaged from the school building itself. While planning the layout of the new church, we were certain it would accommodate the needs of our fellowship. And it did—for about five minutes. But then it began bursting at the seams with people sitting in the aisles and leaning against the walls. We opened the windows to the patio and set up as many chairs as we could. But even so, people crowded around the back of the patio and stood for the entire service. We had to expand. We needed another building and we needed it quickly.
One day the property we now own came on the market after a foreclosure. Someone suggested we purchase all ten acres. With my tremendous faith, I felt that ten acres would be far too much. I thought we only needed five.
“Well, then,” someone encouraged, “why not buy the ten and sell off five?”
Again, exhibiting enormous faith, I thought, But where are we going to get the money? Out of the blue, a man from Fresno came to me with a proposition. He said, “I invested some money a few years ago and put it in a portfolio. This is God’s money, and it has increased so much I’m afraid of it. Now I want to give it away.” Without hesitating he said, “I have over a million dollars and I want to give it to you.”
“Whoa,” I said. “That’s a lot of money. I’d better pray about that.” And that’s what I did. I went home and prayed. And as I did God revealed, “I am going to do a work that will cause people to marvel. If you will trust in Me, I will take care of the finances completely. If you take this man’s money, it will always be said that this work was due to his gift. People will say, ‘Anybody with that much money could build something big.’”
“I want the glory for what I do,” God told me. “You go tell that man to give his money to someone else.”
I obeyed but it was the hardest thing I ever did. We needed this property and we needed it fast. So for me to tell him, “I’m sorry, I can’t take your money,” nearly killed me. But when I told him the reason why, he understood.
Fast forward to today. God has blessed! The Lord has built this church and He did it His own way. Everything we have is the provision of the Lord. All the glory is His. And I learned once more that God loves to work through us and for us—by faith—so that He gets the credit and the glory for what He has done.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon