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Biblical, battle-tested, real-life help for "living by faith in the Son of God" (Galatians 2:20). — Steve Fuller

How God Miraculously Provided For My Grandfather

“Quit Your Job”

My grandfather ended up being a well-known radio evangelist.  But that was not his original plan.

In April 1919 my grandfather was married and had dreams of becoming a successful orange grower.  So he bought a small orange grove.  And in the meantime, to pay the bills, he worked in an orange packing warehouse.

But one day as he worked in the warehouse something unusual happened.  He felt a strong call from God to quit his job, go to Bible school, and then into the ministry.

This sense of calling was so startling — so strong — that he could not keep working.  So he found a place in the warehouse where he could be alone behind some crates.  And he knelt down and prayed.

Doubts

As he prayed, the sense of calling increased.  But then came some doubts.

He had tried debating in college, but was not a very polished speaker; how could he ever preach?

And if he quit his job, where would he get the money to support his wife, let alone pay for Bible school?

These doubts were so strong that he decided to ignore the call, get up off his knees, and return to work.

Heavy Hand

But as he walked back to his desk, his sense of God’s call increased.

God’s hand was so heavy on him that he stopped, returned to the spot behind the crates, got back on his knees, and prayed –

Oh, Lord, I will walk in your path.  I will even try to preach.

I will resign my position and trust you to supply our needs as I prepare for the ministry.

As a result of this surrender to God’s call, he felt God’s peace overcome his doubts.  He knew this was God’s call, and he knew he must obey.

So he got up from his knees, walked into the warehouse owner’s office, and said he would be resigning at the end of the summer.

No Money From Oranges

He had no idea how he would provide for his wife, so they started praying for God to provide.

They were hoping some money would come from his own orange grove’s harvest.  But that year the crop was so small it did not even cover the loan payment for the grove.

Now things really looked impossible.  But he knew God had called — so they kept praying.

God Provides

A few days later he received a surprising phone call from an oil company.

The caller explained that they had discovered oil in the area.  He asked if they could buy the rights to drill for oil on his orange grove.  They offered him $10,000 (which today would be $132,000).

He agreed — and that money more than supported him and his wife as he went through Bible college.

The oil company never did drill on his property.  But God had miraculously provided.

(From Daniel Fuller’s Give the Winds a Mighty Voice: The Story of Charles E. Fuller, pp.37f.)

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Category: Stories about Other People, Strengthening Your Faith

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15 Responses

  1. Toby Kurth says:

    That is an inspiring story. How do you encourage a family that has laid it all on the line believing they were following the Lord’s will, worked hard, prayed hard, and still cannot make ends meet financially?

    • Steve Fuller says:

      Thanks for stopping by, Toby. You raise a crucial question. Here’s my two cents.

      I would encourage this family that as they trust Christ, God will surely fulfill His promises to them. I would go through the five main categories of promise I outline in the “What God promises” post — and then end up focusing on His promise of deliverance and provision — like Psa 50:15; Mat 6:33; Phil 4:19.

      The bottom line is that because of Jesus, through faith alone, God will deliver them and provide for them. This might involve God’s miraculous provision, as my grandfather experienced. Or it might involve God giving them wisdom for how to close the gap between income and expenses. Or something else. And maybe praying about this with other believers could be the means by which God brings this wisdom.

      There’s my thoughts. And again — thanks for stopping by.

  2. Paul Walton says:

    Hey Steve,
    It’s somewhat funny that I often think after one of your sermons this is too good for just those of us who are present, this needs to be sent out on the radio. I know your sermon’s are downloadable on the internet but perhaps people just aren’t aware of your teachings there. Have you ever felt that the Lord might be calling you to follow in your grandfather’s footsteps? Be honest with us brother! ;-)

    • Steve Fuller says:

      Thanks for your thoughts, Paul. So far I have not had any call to pursue radio. But I appreciate your encouragement.

  3. This really hit home for me, as I am feeling a tug from God, not to quit my job and preach, but to quit my job and trust Him to provide. God says in His Word that He will provide and we are not to worry about food or clothes, for He feeds the birds and clothes the flowers and that is to be a testament that He will also provide for us. I am praying for courage as I walk toward this calling. God bless.

    • SoulSpud says:

      I would advise you prayerfully seek counsel on this to confirm the calling you have received and help give you guidance should you follow through with this decision. John Acuff brings up some good points in his book “Quitter” you my want to consider as well. I don’t know your situation but I too had what I considered a calling leave my job and wound up nearly bankrupt. God worked through my circumstances to bring me to a new place; however I definitely would have approached some things differently if I had it to do over again. [Proverbs 3:5-6]

    • Steve Fuller says:

      Hi Marsha,

      Thanks for sharing your story.

      I don’t know the details of what you are considering. But I would encourage you to share your heart with other trusted believers, including the elders at your church, so they can pray with you and give you counsel.

      It is true that God promises to provide for us. But we are also called to work (2Th 3:10). So I would encourage you to ask him for how He would have you support yourself if you quit your job.

      So keep praying. Draw in others to pray and counsel with you. Ask God to confirm this tug in stronger ways. He will guide you (Psa 16:11a) and give you wisdom (James 1:5).

      In Christ,

      Steve Fuller

  4. Flyaway says:

    My husband, who had a degree in journalism and had been a newspaper photographer, was unemployed for several years. Our church prayed for him to be able to find a good job. Finally he decided to reenlist in the military and was given a school in Mississippi. The Air Guard would move us to Keesler Air Force Base and move our household belongings. After he had signed the papers we received a call from a newspaper who wanted to hire him. I asked, “Why Lord. It’s too late.” To make a long story short because of the school and his journalism degree he was hired by Microsoft and given a lot of stock. We’ve been retired since we were in our 50′s because of the gracious provision God gave us!

  5. Brad says:

    While I appreciate the reminder of God’s provision, there are concerning elements to this story. Namely that we should trust our emotions and feelings as messages from God. I wouldn’t hold this up for a model for Biblical decision making. No seeking Godly counsel. No affirmation from Grandfather’s elders? God’s provision in the end doesn’t validate the decision making process. In fact, His provision, even after a rash decision clearly shows His grace.

    • Steve Fuller says:

      Thanks for your comment, Brad. My purpose in posting the story was not to encourage this as a way to make decisions, but to show this as an example of how God provides for his people.

      And I appreciate your caution that we should not trust our emotions and feelings as messages from God. I agree.

      But I am curious about why you assume it was just a matter of his emotions and feelings. Do you think God ever speaks to us by His Spirit? Of course, everything must be evaluated according to Scripture. But Scripture itself gives examples of the Spirit speaking to people, like when the Holy Spirit spoke to Philip to go to a desert road where he led the Ethiopian eunuch to faith (Acts 8:26), or when the Spirit told the prophets and teachers in Antioch to send out Barnabas and Saul (Acts 13:1-3).

      I agree that it would have been wise for my grandfather to seek counsel from others, and it may be that he did. But what would his elders have said to him? He was not being led to do anything unbiblical. If I had been his elder, I would have asked about his teaching gifts, asked why he thought this was God speaking and not just his emotions, cautioned him that he was responsible to provide for his wife, and then prayed with him for God’s confirmation and blessing.

      And again, thanks for your comment, and helpful caution.

      In Christ,

      Steve Fuller

  6. akin says:

    Than you for this is encouraging. I’ve been struggling with leaving my job for full time preaching. How can I be sure it is God. How are going to fund the work if I leave my job

    • Steve Fuller says:

      Hi Akin,

      You raise a crucial question. I would read the rest of the comments here, and share what you are thinking with the elders of your church, so they can pray and counsel with you. Ask God to give you wisdom through the elders, through others you respect, through the Word, and as you pray.

      He will lead and guide you.

      In Christ,

      Steve Fuller

  7. Cindy says:

    Quitting work/life is not the real point here. Being open to God’s speak is our invitation.

    I understand your Grandfather. God works with us all. I have found in others and myself that each of us may think our passion is certainly up to us and our deepest thoughts and dreams. However, if we truly see ourselves as empty vessels, like your Grandfather understood, we will give OUR FATHER opportunity to provide for us. ‘Thy will be done’…from the Lord’s prayer, allows us to use faith and find the miracles God/Jesus/Holy Spirit wants to bestow upon us.

    This shared experience is mirrored in many believers (and unbelievers — ie: Paul). Sharing these stories help connect and bind us to each other and our Lord.

    Steve, thank you for sharing so much of yourself and your past.

    …and to those who are reading, know that God does direct us all to HIM. Find a church or faith filled community to become an empty vessel and watch the miracles around about you happen!

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