Just this Saturday, I went to Pampanga with Ate Ruth, Jay, Lynn, Pastor Nixon to see the soft opening/dedication of Lloyd’s business: The Petron Bulilit project. The dedication was really short and I can still recount what happened last Saturday. Pastor Nixon, exhorted a word from the book of Deuteronomy. This chapter is entitled: “Do not forget the Lord”.
Be careful that you do not forget the LORD your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day.
This chapter, commands us that we shouldn’t forget God in everything that we do. Pastor Nixon said that in times of successes, people tend to forget God compared to times wherein we’re undergoing a difficult situation. The prayer for Lloyd is that, he will not forget God when his business someday becomes successful and at the same time prospers him as well.
It’s amazing how God brought Lloyd’s life from glory to glory. I still remember the time I first met Lloyd in our small group back at the now defunct Seattle’s Best coffee shop. Eventually he shared to me his story on how God humbled him in his career. There were a lot of things that he couldn’t explain at that time thus he started seeking God back then.
Lloyd was very successful in the corporate world, he had the leadership ability to do anything that he wanted to do. He could rely on his own strength to do just about anything he wanted. While I was reading the chapter on “Do not forget the Lord”, I realized that what happened to Lloyd is exactly what God did to the Israelites on verse 2.
Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.
The Israelites were humbled and disciplined because God wanted to teach them a very valuable lesson, that we cannot rely on our own strength, we need God. I was thinking that the same thing happened to Lloyd and he was humbled for a period of more than 1 year, it was a learning experience for Lloyd to teach him that he cannot rely on his own strength, God wanted to teach him to trust him and not just his own abilities. As it would say in Proverbs 3:5: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding”.
It’s an honor to have been part somewhat of Lloyd’s journey, I had different snapshots of the things he went through during his journey. From different periods like periods of: waiting, despair, hope, endeavors. However, my favorite part is when God used me to speak a prophetic word to him one Sunday. I had a vision of Lloyd while reading the bible and something in me didn’t feel at ease if I missed the opportunity to share to him what I’ve read:
Ecclesiastes 9:11 NLT
I have observed something else under the sun. The fastest runner doesn’t always win the race, and the strongest warrior doesn’t always win the battle. The wise sometimes go hungry, and the skillful are not necessarily wealthy. And those who are educated don’t always lead successful lives. It is all decided by chance, by being in the right place at the right time.
I was about to go home from church but I saw him immediately in the entrance of our church then I was reminded that I had a word for him. I shared to him the word and my revelations for that. Before I knew it, he was thanking me next Monday because the word cut him to the heart because God spoke to him directly. It was a time wherein Lloyd had been feeling a little bit of success in his project, naturally for a man of his leadership ability he somewhat felt comfortable and it resulted in him “forgetting” God for just a bit. It was a time wherein he was reverting back to the old Lloyd Sahagun who naturally relied on his own strength. I said that that verse’s revelation for me is that even if you’re the best runner or competitor in the world, you won’t always win. Everything is decided by God who holds all variables.
The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the LORD.
God reminded him that it’s still up to him. It’s still God who decides, it’s still God who holds the victory, it’s still God who holds successes, it’s still God’s purpose that will prevail. Lloyd’s response was great because he acknowledged God’s Lordship, he realized that it is still God who holds all variables in this life and that he cannot just rely on his own strength.
As Lloyd and his business was dedicated, he spoke of his testimony as well. When I heard his testimony, it really blessed me because of the words that came out of the mouth of Lloyd. Here’s Lloyd at the end of his journey in this phase of his life, where God taught him how to trust in him completely. And while I was hearing his testimony, it touched me because out of this journey came a changed man. A man who now knows how to trust God completely, a man who doesn’t rely on his own strength anymore and a man who was humbled by God for a period of time to display his glory. The long wait was needed to change Lloyd’s character so that at the proper time he will be ready for all his future successes.
After hearing his speech all that was reflected is God’s glory and not Lloyd Sahagun’s story. God’s glory was displayed that day and there was not even a hint in his speech that pointed to the ability of Lloyd Sahagun, Lloyd spoke in all humility of how in everything that had happened: it is God who worked all the way. Lloyd knows that he is very very talented, but in the end, the journey of Lloyd was for God’s all along. It was for God’s glory and that is how any testimony should sound like.
If your testimony glorifies yourself then it just means that you relied on your own strength rather than on God. You’ve probably forgotten the Lord. In the end, our lives should be living testimonies of God’s glory and that will require faith.
To God be all the Glory!