One night, Robert’s wife was watching TV. She called Robert over and told him to come see what she was watching.
“I was listening to this guy who used to be a San Diego Charger talk about God.” Robert told me during our conversation.
The Rock Church Point Loma campus was founded on February 27th, 2000. Robert had officially gotten clean from drugs and alcohol on February 27th, 1996. Robert knew that was God and not just a coincidence. God used that clear message to speak to Robert which started him on a new journey that drew him closer to Him.
He looked at his wife and said, “Let’s go Sunday.” She agreed.
That Sunday, they both rededicated their lives to Jesus. Neither one of them knew the other had done so. “It was all God.” Robert says.
Since that day, Robert was able to look back and see how everything has been God. He knew God had been guiding him and his wife through it all.
Robert spent many years living life as many people in today’s world do; he was focused on money and material possessions. He turned to drugs and alcohol for comfort. Even after getting clean, he turned to gambling. These things caused a rift in the relationship between him and his wife. He was constantly worried and had trouble sleeping due to the pressure he felt to take care of his family.
After rededicating his life to Jesus, the Rock church had put out a challenge to read the Bible cover to cover. Robert had never read the whole Bible so he took on the challenge. All he had to do was read ten chapters a day.
Robert had a morning routine for about 30 years where he would smoke a cigarette first thing in the morning. After he accepted the challenge to read the whole Bible, he would go outside for his morning cigarette and take his Bible with him. “I was able to read it faster than 10 chapters a day because it was good! It was just like, wow.” Robert said.
Then one day, while he was at work, a few of his employees asked him, “How can you believe in God and still smoke?”
Robert replied, “God’s using something I do to draw me nearer to him. He’ll take it away, when it’s time.”
“How will you know when it’s time?” They asked.
“I’ll just know.”
Not long after he sent his doctor an email about a prescription medicine that would help him stop smoking. It was supposed to take the urge away slowly over time. He sent the email, expecting that his doctor would get back to him within a few days or so like he normally would. Instead, he checked back a few minutes later and saw a response that said, ‘Your prescription is waiting for you at the pharmacy.” That never happened so quickly! He knew it was God.
He picked up the prescription after work, took a pill, lit a cigarette and went home.
The next morning, he woke up, made his coffee and realized that he hadn’t smoked a cigarette like he usually did. “Wow, that’s weird.” He thought to himself, and went outside to smoke.
The next day, the same thing happened, instead of smoking first thing in the morning, he got ready and didn’t smoke until he got into his truck to go to work.
That Sunday, he got up and went to church. His wife wasn’t feeling good so he went to church by himself. He left his cigarettes on the patio and they stayed there for a week!
While at church that day, the Pastor was talking about the Rock’s School of Ministry (previously called Impact 195) and God spoke to him yet again. He excitedly went home and told his wife. He convinced her to go to church with him later that night. While they were there she told Robert, “This is what I’ve been waiting for.”
“What do you mean?” He asked her.
“God spoke this to me a while back, but I’ve just been waiting for him to speak it to you.” she replied.
Robert continued to read his Bible cover to cover. The day Robert had finished reading the book of John, he was in his truck at work and had a conversation with God.
God told him, “Go home and tell your wife to sell your stores and follow me.”
“What?” Robert said. “Let me get this straight, you want me to ask my wife to give up the only security she’s ever known?”
“On faith.” Is what God replied.
Robert went back into work without giving it another thought, that is, until he went home.
He went to talk to his wife and told her, “I think we are supposed to sell our stores and follow God. On faith.” She started crying and said that God had been telling her the same thing.
After that moment he told God, “From here on out, I’m all in. Whatever you ask of me I’ll do it.”
Shortly after, they signed up for the school and sold their stores.
While they were attending the school, the mortgage payments on their house did not stop.
For many years, during the entire time they attended the school, he would receive calls from the bank about their house payments. Robert felt he had given God everything except for their house. “People always say that God won’t give you more than you can handle, but one of the first things I learned is that God will give us more than we can handle so that we lean on Him. He put all this on our plate and we had to trust that he had it.”
One night his wife said that they needed to be willing to let it go. Once they were willing to let go of the house, everything just started falling into place. No one ever came and told them to move out. The bank would call with deals but they couldn’t afford the payments so they kept telling them no. Finally, the bank offered them a deal they could manage, 8 years later.
Right before Christmas, Robert received a letter from the bank. A letter of forgiveness.
“As part of the national mortgage settlement, we have agreed to forgive all of the balance on your second mortgage. The amount noted above will be forgiven, unless you decline this offer. You will no longer be required to make any additional payments.”
He had been forgiven!
All he had to do was accept the offer.
Since then Robert is still living in his house. He has opened his home up to missionaries and Rock School of Ministry students who have lived there as well.
Robert believes that going through the school was a teaching moment for him and his wife for the coming season of their lives.
They had no money coming in. Robert was used to always being the protector and provider, but Robert’s health had declined after a heart attack and suddenly, he was the one who had to ask for help. The roles had become reversed.
“I had to learn how to ask for help instead of always being the helper.” Robert said. “I trusted God through it all and he kept all his promises. God was there with me the whole time.”
Robert realized that all that other stuff doesn’t really matter. Yes, it still has value and you need certain things to survive but it doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is God.
Going to the school taught him how to be aware, listen and how to respond to God’s voice. Robert cried out to Him and God would speak directly to him in various ways.
God revealed to Robert that he is good enough because God created him just the way He wanted him. “If no one else is good with that then too bad, because God is.”
If you are on the fence about attending the Rock School of Ministry, Robert says to ask yourself, “How did the thought come to you? Are you telling God no? When God asks you to do something, just say yes. My excuses and my way of doing things have always gotten me in trouble. When I do it the way God is leading me to do it, things just turn out so much better.”
You might be wondering, do I let everything go that I’ve been working for and follow God on faith, just because He asked me to?