The Wind in Our Sails | Lessons of Faith During Transition
The following article was written by Shirley Whiddon in cooperation with Leroy Case.
Waiting & Resting
The past three years have been a time of major transition for Leroy Case. In 2014, he left his position as Chaplain and Bible Teacher at The Master’s School after God directed that his time in that position was complete. Although the last of his six years at the school had been the best, he sensed God was leading him to move on. It started with unsettledness and a growing desire to partner with what He saw God doing in Connecticut and beyond.
God had gone before and supplied a place for him, and Leroy quit his job even though he did not know what lay ahead. He received many confirmations along the way and compared his experience to a sailboat in the harbor: he raised his sails, the wind was blowing, and he did not drop anchor.
Andre recommended a two year season of transition, and God confirmed that to Leroy.
Both Andre and the headmaster at The Master’s School, Ray Lagan, were supportive although they did not know where God was leading. During that time, Leroy worked part-time at Wintonbury and continued part-time at the school while living on campus.
During the next two years, Leroy felt that he was in God’s classroom and noted that God was not calling him out of a job to find a job but to rather position himself available to whatever God had in store. Both he and his roommate at the time were in transition, learning many of the same lessons, as well as many different ones. They shared prayer and Scripture daily, plus a weekly worship night. They also read books individually and then discussed them together. Two of the books were Think like Heaven by Bob Hazlett and LEAD….For God’s Sake! by Todd Gongwer. The topics were not about the future, but the ultimate call to draw near to God. It is not about the destination, but the orientation of our hearts being toward God.
Leroy shared some important lessons that he learned along the way:
The focus was on drawing near to the Father’s heart. This was a time of equipping, but life is meant to be waiting on Him for Himself at all times, not just for a season. It is easy to want to control our circumstances or to place value on things that are not most important to God. Often our agenda is not His.
In the Lord’s Prayer, “Let Your kingdom come” means alignment with Him. Part of waiting is resting in Him. This is a recurring theme that is “bookended” in Scripture. It is noteworthy that the first day after man was created was the Sabbath, on which he rested. In Matthew 11, Jesus calls us to Himself to find rest; He does not come to burden us. It is counterculture, but that is the call. Then in Hebrews, it is about striving to enter His rest.
In the American culture, we strive for many things but usually not for rest. Leroy was not creating to-do lists in that season, just doing what God gave him to do one step at a time.
As Leroy would strive to enter His rest and be available to move where the Spirit led, he felt rested and rejuvenated. Some things might not get done, but that's ok.
On the Edge of the Cliff
August 31st, 2016 was his “cliff date” when his job ended at Wintonbury and The Master’s School, as well as his housing on campus. Even though he had no job lined up, he felt led to take the leap, trusting in God’s provision.
Every week for a year, he walked around the Colt property in downtown Hartford, praying with others. At some point, God led him to stop because his prayers had been answered. There was a gradual uncovering in which God gave him a little bit at a time.
He sensed the Lord calling him to move to the old Colt Building in Hartford to start a missional community – for discussion, intentional relationship with Christ at the center, doing life together, discipling, evangelism, discipleship and building relationships with others in the building. He continues to wait on God’s timing for the move-in date. Leroy also received a strong call to equip the church regarding LGBT issues; both to reach that community with the Gospel and to train the church how to respond. He will also serve as outreach director at City Church.
Leroy summarized some of the key spiritual principles that he applied:
He learned to praise and thank God beforehand. Breathe before the plunge. Things may be quiet now but may then come together quickly. Life can change in a moment even if it’s not on the agenda; for example, a pivotal conversation that opens a door. In the meantime, be faithful and rest in Him. Everything flows out of relationship.
We cannot do anything to receive God’s love, but it radically alters the course of our lives. It frees us from the oppression that come with performance, and Christ came to set us free from “performing” our way into a right standing with Him. His love negates performance. By contrast, the American church today has bought into the way of the world and often has a performance mentality, which is not a biblical concept. As Leroy said, “You cannot perform your way into the love of God.” He also noted that many believers do not spend time with the Father but just jump into their day. Without making that commitment every day, you can drive as hard as you want and still get nowhere.
Discerning God’s heart and His voice in the place of rest is where you can hear God’s voice best.
Wait on God’s timing. Operate from a place of rest, learning to hear His voice.
Keep in step with the Spirit. Bring all things before the Lord. Do not assume that you should take all opportunities that come up. Hold all things loosely.
Pray first; then act. Leroy observed that sometimes God shows him something only for the purpose of praying about it, but not acting on it yet.
God will do all He has said He will do. Go where the wind of the Holy Spirit takes you. Things will unfold gradually. He is working behind the scenes; there is an undercurrent of His movement that may not be evident on the surface yet.
The way of the Kingdom is all about Him, knowing His love and having a relationship with Him and enjoying His presence.