Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Five Small Stones...Five Rules for Fighting AND WINNING in the Promised Land

David went up against Goliath in the name of the Lord, with a sling and five small stones. I believe that David was confident that he would nail the giant with the first stone, but he carefully chose five.

I find it interesting that scripture reveals there are… Five rules for fighting and winning in the Promised Land:

1. Never run from the fight (Jeremiah 1:17-19)
2. Never fight in your own strength (1 Samuel 17:45)
3. Know who your enemy is and is not (Ephesians 6:12)
4. Never try to possess what God has not given (Numbers 14:40-45, Joshua 1:11)
5. Possess your land within the allotted time limit (Numbers 33:55, Judges 2:21-23)

I was given an excellent opportunity not to run from a fight when I felt compelled by the spirit of the Lord to take on a $25,000,000 giant without any resources save my God.

I wanted to run from the fight. I was not at all interested in this particular battle. But I know that God does pick fights. And I felt that he had picked this one. So, in obedience, I forged ahead with God (Him dragging me, kicking and screaming, a good deal of the way).

The fight concerned an unemployment claim that I had no intention of filing, because I did not feel I had a valid claim in the first place (I had been down that unemployment claim road before and lost). But the Holy Spirit reminded me that I did indeed have good reason to file the claim, and that I was to do it.

When I was first offered the job in question, I was promised certain conditions of employment. And I accepted the position based on those promises—promises which were never kept. The Spirit of the Lord reminded me that I had approached my employer many times about resolving the issue of the broken promises. I had forgotten that I had documented our communications about this issue, and the results of each.

So reluctantly, in obedience to God, I filed a claim—and I was turned down flat. The claim was denied based on lies my former employer told concerning the original terms of my hire.

I was not upset at all about the denial. I suppose I had not really expected my former employer to do any differently. I was now ready to let the whole thing go and accept that my money (both wages while employed with them and the unemployment benefits that I was rightfully entitled to) had been stolen from me by a $25,000,000 corporation. That was a bit more money and power than I had. And I knew little ole me wasn't up to taking on this Goliath.

I had obeyed the Lord. I had filed the claim. And I had lost. What more could I do? I was relieved the whole thing was over with.

But it wasn't.

The Holy Spirit proceeded to instruct me to write the CEO of this corporation (A man who names the name of Christ often in his public and private speaking) and tell him that God was holding him and his family personally responsible for wages that were held back from his laborers by agents acting on his behalf (in addition to a separate company that handled payroll, most major positions in the company I worked for were held by members of the CEO's family. It had been a family owned business before becoming publicly owned).

Yes Lord, I am now going to become known as a religious fanatic who fancies herself a prophet as well. But, in obedience, I wrote the letter and mailed it.

After sending the letter—which I thought would end my participation in the whole thing once and for all, I was surprised that I felt led of the Holy Spirit to appeal my claim. I did not want to appeal the claim. I was not feeling a great deal of faith concerning an appeal—actually I was feeling no faith at all concerning an appeal, and I hated even the thought of going through the appeals process.

My husband didn’t have any faith concerning this appeal either, but was supportive of my efforts. He said that the emotional closure (my efforts would provide) would be good for me. But I knew I was hearing from God. So feeling no faith whatsoever, I filed the appeal and asked the Lord to count my obedience as faith.

A hearing was scheduled, and I prayerfully participated. I knew I could not win this on my own. My former employer had not only lied about the terms of my employment, my job title, and my position with the company, but unknown to me, had changed my new hire documentation and sent altered information concerning the terms of my employment to the payroll company—terms I had never agreed to.

When the payroll company mailed me their forensic evidence, and I read it, my strength left me. The original documentation that I had filled out, had signed by my supervisor, and had personally faxed into the payroll/staffing company was missing. It had been replaced with falsified documentation that I had never laid eyes on.

I was now faced with the fact that I had no documented evidence to affirm that what I was saying was true. And falsified as it was, my former employers had documentation to support their lies.

Two of my former supervisors promised to testify in my behalf at the hearing—one had been present when I was hired and had heard the promises made to me. The other had been very involved in my efforts to get our employer to stand by the original terms of my employment. But in the end, neither of these supervisors testified at my hearing. Things had boiled down to my word against my former employer’s false documentation.

Amazingly, another hearing was scheduled in order to give my witnesses an opportunity to speak on my behalf (I did not ask for the second hearing and, although they indicated a willingness to speak, each cited scheduling issues and did not speak at that one either).

While I was waiting for the second hearing, I decided to look through my paperwork one last time. I began searching through the employment folder my employer had given me. This folder contained copies of the altered documents—I had never looked through the folder again after filling out the original forms, having them signed by my supervisor, faxing them to the payroll company, and then turning the originals over to my employer. Even worse, I had not taken the time to make copies of the original contents. During my final search through the folder, I found a piece of documentation that I realized was one of my original’s—through some oversight, my employer had neglected to remove this piece of paperwork from my folder!

I now had proof that my employer had never submitted my original paperwork to the payroll company. And somehow that one original source document (containing my supervisor’s signature) had been left in the folder along with all the false documentation that had been added.

Unofficial as it was, this document verified that at least part of what I was saying was true, and in addition to that, one of my supervisors (the one who had signed the document) faxed me an un-notarized written statement backing up my claims (and the claims of that lone document).

I submitted the document and my supervisor’s written statement to the appeals board and requested that (un-notarized as they were) they be entered into evidence. The representative of the payroll company was very experienced at fighting unemployment claims, and of course, requested that the unofficial documents be removed from the record. The request was denied.

Those representing my former employer were ruthless in their efforts to keep from me what was rightfully mine. It would have been easy during the appeals process to have become bitter against them. I was sorely tempted. But I remembered that they were not my enemy.

In the end, all of my former employer's expertise, money, power, and falsified evidence did not gain them a penny. The ruling to deny my unemployment benefits was reversed, and I got my money.

Goliath lost.

God picked the fight. I did not run from the fight. I stayed focused on the fact that this was God’s fight—not mine. I stayed focused on who my real enemy was and refused to become vindictive toward the agents he was using. I did not go after anything that God had not given me and was not rightfully mine. And I respected God’s timing. I acted when he instructed me to.

And mercy of mercies…He won!

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1 comment:

seand said...

All things eventually to and for the God, especially in God. My mom noticed that all the people that had given us a hard time with our small 5.00-20.00 invoices and micro enterprize business were slammed by state officials for problems with their license, their lottery machine dealings, etc. She said that anybody that was in that manner of practice or whatever seemed to have gotten some back. God has 24 hour surveilance and that's why I'm afraid of him and have to get back on track.