Should I Move
By: K. B. Napier
You are offered a good job? Should you take it – especially if you need the money?
What if that job entails moving to another part of the country?
There are far more things to bear in mind than the income, or the new status, or ‘prospects’.
We live in an age when moving about the country for jobs, or even to foreign countries, is normal. Christians are not exempt from this fashion. Convenient forms of travel have enhanced the ‘moveability’ of people and thousands of families and single folk move home, sometimes often, in their lifetimes. But are these moves always right? Or are there hidden problems? Without becoming like charismatic ‘heavy shepherds’ who try to control everything their members do, we must look at the scriptural principles.
As with every aspect of a Christian’s life the first consideration is NOT the money or the job or the move or the status, or any other worldly element. It does not matter if you are desperate for work, unemployed, or if you have debts oozing out of every pore of your life! What matters is God and His word and your spiritual well being. In themselves, job and income do not even feature in the matter.
Before you say it is all very well for me to say these things for I am not in your position...remember that I lived in abject poverty for over 30 years and even when in work I have never earned above the minimum wage. I preface this and similar articles with such a reminder, because I am well qualified to talk about the issue! I know what it is like to have crippling debts, and the fear of losing everything. I know far more than most what it is like to live under the shadow of obliteration. Yet, I have turned down seemingly lucrative jobs. Even recently, though my wage is only just above the minimum and I know I could easily obtain a better paid job if I moved to another part of the country, I have not allowed the idea to take fruit. This is because I am a pastor with spiritual lives in my hands. Promise of money cannot make me turn from that obligation.
So, how should you view a new job, if you are a Christian?
The whole purpose of human life is to praise God. So, the very first question to ask is, “Does the job glorify Him?” I remember being turned down a long time ago, for a job as representative with a large finance company, after three months of interviews and extensive psychological testing. The tests showed that I was a Christian! But also that I did not have a ‘hunger’ for money!! I must admit that when I was interviewed I was asked if I was ‘hungry enough to make lots of money for myself’....and I said ‘Yes’. At the time I was desperate for a job, so I said ‘Yes’, even though deep down I didn’t mean it.
After that I felt guilty and depressed that I was actually seeking a job I would previously have despised! (Because I felt it was inappropriate for a Christian to encourage people to take out huge loans they could not afford). Thankfully, I did not get the job. The man who would have been my boss was hungry for money, and he earned a great deal of it...and he claimed to be a charismatic Christian! A few years later, I came to learn what a charismatic really was, when he introduced the Toronto Blessing to his church. So, God protected me not only from the love of money, but also from an association with someone I later had to shun for heresy.
Money isn’t everything, the saying goes. But when you do not have any, you can be very tempted by it. It seems I am destined never to have more than I can use to live on...whenever I have had extra (to pay for urgent repairs to the home) it has always disappeared again on even more urgent needs of today, like food!
Yes, I have been tempted to go away for a job. On one such occasion I successfully obtained a job leading a small missionary society. Though the initial pay was very small, it was more than I had on the unemployment register, so I pursued it. It took many months to reach the point of offer, and though I had inner doubts, I ignored them by saying “It must be of God because all the doors are opening!”. I did not stop to think that perhaps Satan was opening them for me, often by barging through them! I moved myself and my family to our new home...but immediately my spirit was challenged. Opened doors are not always proof of God’s hand.
Over the next three days I felt a great weight of despair on me and I kept getting the clear message that I had to return home for my (extended) family’s sake. I knew I was not to stay and had to inform the head of the society. I could only say that God was calling me back home and that I had made a mistake. On the third day I moved back to Swansea, chastened by the experience. A very short while later the reason for my move back was made obvious, as immense attacks began on the whole family which I was directed to fight against. I could not see the reason for my spiritual battle when I moved, but God knew the future and my human choice was overturned. (My spiritual strength and character was vastly changed after that).
To go away for a job is not the issue. Some are called to do so. Today, however, I would seriously challenge the decision to move, in the light of the current and growing spiritual evil that is coming upon the nation, if not the world. A great apostasy has been prophesied in scripture and I believe we are seeing the start of it. First the Toronto Blessing. Next the Alpha course, demolishing knowledge of true doctrine. Another huge problem is the growth of reformationism. Sound doctrine is rarely found in our churches today. It is therefore my personal – and I believe proper – belief that it is far better to stay at home, in the face of lack of income or job, if one is in a true church. It is better to have sound teaching and support than to move away just to get a job with better money and prospects. This is my personal belief and I do not force it upon anyone.
We do not know when the more awful period of the last days will start, when Christians will be hounded, persecuted and refused jobs etc. Whenever it starts Christians will need every bit of fellow support. It could even be that God will remove a man from his job, if that man has ignored the spiritual principles involved in the move. Though we are not yet in the last days, the days are yet dark enough to be warned. Few Christians move away and find a good church first! So they move and find there is no provision at all, or the churches they find are dead or warped. Yet they left behind a true church. Thus their spiritual lives and possibly their jobs, dwindle and might die...all for the sake of better money and ‘prospects’.
Often, the move also leads to an increased standard of living, which the mover can barely afford. So the spiral of debt increases and the person feels obliged to stay where he or she is, thus decreasing spiritual growth. It is a spiral few get out of. They have ignored God’s warnings and so He leaves them to their own devices...a state of affairs every Christian should shudder to contemplate. There can be no worse fate than to be left alone by God. Yes, God will do that – read the Old Testament, where we find it time and again.
When a family or individual has been left high and dry by lack of spiritual contact, this has immense effects on everyone, because if spiritual life is affected for the worse, Satan will move in to make matters far darker still. He will cause the person to strive for even more wages and better conditions, or more status and benefits. This particularly applies if the part of the country moved to is expensive. The move was made for money, so Satan ensures money takes over as a driving force. And spiritual life declines quickly, as time and effort is spent on maintaining an increasingly fragile financial position. Such a person is subject to the whims of his employer, because to return home would mean loss of income. But surely loss of income is better than being made a slave to it?
Isn’t spiritual life far better than spiritual decline? If the move means being taken away from a sure spiritual home, then it stands to reason that the move is against God's will, for to Him spiritual life is far greater than an earthly income. The truth of this statement is found in the consequences of such a move. If you are caught in this trap, beware. Do not lose a spiritual home in favour of an income, or you will regret it. Satan will offer more and more income, but an even more drastic decrease in spiritual life. Is it worth it?
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