By Jack McCall
Steve’s story is a witness to the transformative power of the Holy Spirit, prayer, and the support and brotherhood of men in his San Jose Chapter of Christians in Commerce (CIC). It is only one of many stories that has evolved from the CIC ministry since 1983.
Fighting for Worldly Success
Steve had been a long-time, often unrelenting competitive professional in the insurance industry. He had a “stormtrooper” countenance, which played well in the marketplace and enabled him to experience a great deal of worldly success. He was like a bull in a china shop, stopping at nothing to secure the sale and make money. His lifestyle proved costly.
Steve made some bad decisions regarding investments and they landed him in prison. He lost everything: two homes, his boat, all of his friends, his wife, his children, his business license. He was a completely broken man. When he arrived at his jail cell, he met his cellmate perched on the bed reading the Bible. That was just the beginning.
Miles away, two members of the San Jose Chapter were meeting at one of their favorite restaurants to discuss the Lord’s work in their lives. One of the men had been in direct competition with Steve and knew about his imprisonment. The two men decided to pray for Steve. One made an appointment to visit Steve and take him a Bible. That began Steve’s journey into the Scriptures and on to prayer. Those same two men were there when Steve was released from prison. This provided the impetus for God to transform Steve’s life through CIC and the Holy Spirit.
Transforming a Stony Heart
Shortly after Steve’s release from prison, Steve attended a CIC Challenge Weekend. Steve left that weekend with a renewed relationship with God, some valuable tools for daily prayer and a group of new friends to hold him accountable. It was humbling to witness Steve’s stony heart become tender and compassionate.
The CIC weekly gatherings provided an accountability he had never known. Week in and week out, Christian brothers walked with him toward friendship in Christ and life in the Spirit. Steve took the challenge of personal prayer to heart. By committing to daily prayer, reading the Scriptures and sharing with brothers in the Challenge Group, Steve did a 360 degree turn and became a new man. And the Lord showed his faithfulness through his new-found friendships in the San Jose Chapter.
Experiencing God’s Faithfulness
Steve’s spiritual antenna tuned in to the Lord and he began to impact the lives of others. He started working as an insurance consultant, which allowed him multiple opportunities to pray with potential customers and fellow employees.
Steve also helped form a lunchtime fellowship group at that office. He was encouraging to others, generous, kind and remarkably understanding. He adopted the prayer tools shared with him by his CIC brothers and faithfully leaned into prayer, intercession, and fellowship.
Steve rarely missed a small group or CIC meeting in over a dozen years. When he shared his story with newcomers on the numerous Challenge Weekends he helped facilitate, one could hear a pin drop. He humbly revealed the power of God’s voice to put him on a new path and turn his life upside down.
Steve witnessed God’s faithfulness in numerous ways. Although the state tried to prove that he was breaking his probation by selling insurance without a license, his lawyer was able to show that he was not, which allowed him to continue working.
Within a year, Steve experienced more of God’s love, when the state renewed his insurance license. This gave Steve an opportunity to be successful again, and to do it by living out his faith at work and by fulfilling God’s purpose for his life.
Spreading the Impact
Moreover, Steve experienced a precious healing in his family. God helped Steve regain shared custody of his two children and also orchestrated a healing in the relationship with his ex-wife, which enabled them to move forward together. Miracle upon miracle was experienced and shared.
The impact of CIC on Steve’s life was a “pebble in the pond” that spread across every aspect of his day and with everyone he encountered. It impacted him so much that Steve was living out his faith, to the very end, by helping his family, friends and customers.
Steve served as the chapter president for CIC twice, embracing the organization and its power to transform lives. It was his passionate drive for God’s Word and God’s purpose for his life that energized him.
He was serving his second term as CIC chapter president when he died. So, it is only fitting that the men from the San Jose Chapter had the privilege of visiting Steve at his home to pray with him prior to his passing. Their friendship with Steve, God’s good and faithful servant, is a treasure for each of them. It’s a treasure that continues to fuel their own commitment to daily prayer, Scripture, and their ongoing work in CIC. Steve’s life and death bear witness to the transformative work that God always does when one opens their heart and life to him.
Steve not only encountered Jesus through a marketplace ministry called Christians in Commerce, but obtained eternal life.
For more on Steve’s story go to: bit.ly/UnexpectedConsequences