John Phillips Ministries

Insights: The Life of John Phillips (Part 7)

Betty Phillips on Sep 19, 2016

God had the big picture in mind concerning John Phillips. Over and over, the Lord had allowed great disappointments into this life, disappointments that seemed to have no solution.

But from these experiences, John had committed himself wholly to the Lord, and was learning to fully trust God, no matter what the problem. Had His word not said, “I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.” Psalms 34:4

As John’s faith in God’s leading was being strengthened it was important that harmony existed between him and his wife Jean. That was not always easy to maintain. John knew that he was being groomed to become a bank manager, therefore, he had little to say when the bank determined that it was time to move him to another location. In Jean’s eyes, however, it seemed that after they had been moved and had finally adjusted to their new location, it was too much to be asked to move again.

The real problem (if it were a problem) was that John was extraordinarily bright, and he soon mastered all that could be taught to him. So, when the day came that bank management called John into their office with the news that has was being transferred to Prince George, British Columbia, he realized that this was, for him, a call to battle! Immediately he began to pray, and God led him to Psalms 34 again. Several verses popped out at him…”The angel of the Lord encampeth round about those who fear Him, and delivereth him.” (Vs. 7) “The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and His ears are open unto their cry. (Vs 15).

By the time John reached home, Jean’s mood was one of acceptance, and so they moved to Prince George where they were over 800 miles from their past assignment and in “lumbering country.” Here they began raising their three beautiful daughters, and they learned to love the cold north.

An immediate problem had to be dealt with though, because there was no appropriate church for them to attend and find Christian fellowship, which their hearts longed for. They finally settled on a German Baptist church where the pastor spoke abominable English! But he did the best he could.

In time they became acquainted with other English-speaking Baptists in the church who discovered that John was an excellent Bible teacher, and as a result, an evening Bible study was begun at the Phillips’ home.

Among new acquaintances who attended the Bible classes were two adult brothers whose father owned a large lumbering company. One day the brothers learned that John’s relationship with the large bank in Vancouver had become strained, and those in charge planned to send him to another area. The bank manager in Prince George was very displeased with John because he refused to socialize with important customers if it required him to compromise his long-held convictions of right and wrong. When the ultimatum came from the bank, John told his superiors that they didn’t own him, and he quit his job!

The evening classes had grown until the question arose, “Why not start our own English-speaking church”? So they did! Little did John imagine when he was “learning to preach” in a little Plymouth Brethren church on a side street of Mt. Carmel, that he would ever be asked to pastor a church in British Columbia.

One day, quite unexpectedly, the two brothers, who father owned the lumbering company, came to John with a request. Their father’s company was in great need of an accountant. The brothers knew of John’s training and his recent severance with the bank, and they asked if he would consider working as the accountant for the lumbering company. They even offered to give him the use of one of their cars as part of the deal.

Only God knew of John’s heavy heart over the problem of “no job,” but John had taken his problem to the Lord who had said: “And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer, and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.” Isaiah 65:24. John was learning of God’s faithfulness and His great love for His children…more day by day!

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