Without intent, I have left out some very important commitments John made to God after the Lord had opened his heart to understand some significant guidelines that must rule his life. Among those guidelines were: (1) Trust in the Lord and His word regardless of the thoughts and intents of others; (2) God would never lead John in one way, and his wife in another; therefore, trust God to change his wife’s attitudes if they ran counter to his own convictions, and maintain kindness to her; (3) Remember to be loving and considerate of his children, but never indulgent; (4) Always remember to teach his children love for God as well as recognition and obedience to His Word.
John’s own commitment to the Lord was being tested as he watched his children grow into young adults. When he worked as the Assistant Director of Moody Bible Institute’s Correspondence School, he had actually rewritten the curriculum. When the director retired, John expected to take his place. However, because he didn’t have the proper credentials, he was passed by for a younger man. As a result, John decided to leave Moody—but for where?
It is wonderful to have the vantage point of looking back, and to see that was exactly where God wanted John to be. And, for the next ten years, John went through God’s school of the “trial of his faith!”
Primary to all his problems was the need to get his son Johnny away from Chicago and its influence on his life. In short, his son was out of control, and John felt “backed into a corner.” 1 Timothy 3: 4-5 gave the Preacher-Pastor’s qualifications, and John felt he had failed miserably. So, he resigned and left the ministry.
For many years on Friday after work at Moody, a friend, Fred Brown who owned a trucking company in Marietta, GA, had flown John down to teach his his home. So, John called Fred and asked for a job—and it was given!
John knew that before he moved to Marietta, he must sell his home, a seemingly impossible task. The house was old; then he learned that a new highway was going in right behind his house—and no one would want to buy it for sure!
But now, see God at work for his struggling servant. Before a realtor was sought, there was a knock at the door. Neighbors had heard that the Phillips planned to move, and came begging them to sell the house to their daughter and her husband who had long wanted to live next door.
So, off the Philips went, and to the only place that John could think of to go was Marietta, Georgia!