19 Aug 2013 by Adeline Lum CM-
On August 10, Tony Le came to the Abundant Life Vietnamese Church Camp held at MBS Kuang to give a sermon to the Vietnamese brothers and sister here in Malaysia. During lunch, we had the opportunity to interview brother Tony. For part 1 of the story, please click here.
Gifts from Above
In one Christian businessmen conference, while standing to pray after an anointed teaching about 'The unjust steward', a sweet voice asked within his mind, “Just 10 percent?” After minutes of struggle within himself, he took another step of faith and decided to give 20 percent of his income. But the Spirit’s voice asked him again, “Just 20 percent?” Again, he struggled, and finally, he gave 30 percent of his income. After he faithfully tithed that, Tony fulfilled the prophecy by the prophet.
Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
For eight years, he owned an ugly piece of land, an ex-rice field located in the inner bound of a God-forsaken place, even the seller of the land was grateful when Tony purchased it with a very low price! One day after eight years, a man called in to buy the land above the market price but the Lord prompted him to not sell the land.
After that,buyer after buyer called him; one that was a famous investment company who offered him three times the market rate and a very nice villa. Although Tony thought the deal was great, God said no. The investment negotiators looked at him in bewilderment; how could he pass such a one-in-a-lifetime opportunity? Tony did not understand himself. He would have sold the land in a blink of an eye, but the Lord clearly told him not to sell the land.
When one month has passed, a real estate company called Tony. Respectfully, they told him, “Mister, we know that you are a very hard person. We would go around and check the market for the most expensive price of land and we would pay you that price.” “The land cost at a ridiculous high price, surely the Lord will allow me to sell the land now,” thought Tony but the Lord still said no! Tony declined to his jaw-dropping sellers. They had no choice but to give up on the deal and sell the land they bought.
Shortly after, a new buyer from Canada called Tony. Hearing about his firm decision, the Canadian buyer was upfront and straight forward, “With due respect, Mr Tony, we heard that you are a hard man and we do not want to waste your time. Just say one number as a lump sum and we will see if we can do with that.” Tony prayed to the Lord for a number, which was absurdly high-priced. The buyer agreed with a smile; the land was sold ten times the market price and about 50 times the original buying price!
“Two years before, I really wanted to serve the Lord but my parents who are pastors are retiring soon. I prayed that the Lord would grant me freedom from financial barriers and use this time to study more of God’s Kingdom and His Truth,” said Tony.
Had Tony followed his own reasoning, he would have missed the financial blessings by the Lord. But because he obeyed God despite struggling to trust his decision, Tony got the perfect price already determined by the Lord.
Behold thy Mansion
After selling the land, Tony used the money to invest in seven different properties, drawing a passive income from rental. One of them was a beautiful villa, which the Lord in His sovereignty gave Tony. The situation was as awkward as offering grapes to the minister.
Tony had already eyed and decided to purchase a villa at a posh place, priced reasonably within his budget. But while he was one turn away from completing the official transaction of owning the villa, the Lord distinctly spoke to Tony, “Do not turn.” Bewildered, Tony asked God where he should go and The Lord only directed him to go straight to another villa that the Lord had prepared for him. And true enough, on a tiny man-made hill; he saw a villa, even more magnificent. In fact, it is the most beautiful villa in the area. But wait, there was no visible sale sign and he didn't know anyone there. Visiting without invitation to a tight security gated compound resided by foreigners, is impolite at best and trespassing at worse!
Struggling with the Spirit, Tony approached the gate and rang the bell. A housekeeper came out and asked why he was there, to which he blurted out that he wanted to see the owner. Surprisingly, she let him in. Fumbling through the gates, a twelve-year-old girl greeted him and then skipped her way while leading Tony, a stranger, into her mansion. Tony held his breath when he entered the house; what were in the house were even more magnificent to behold. Each furniture, tapestry, and décor was carefully selected and painstakingly arranged to complement each other in an inviting and restful manner. Few seconds later, a man walked downstairs into the living room, “Who are you looking for and what are you looking at?”
Two voices screamed in Tony’s head; one that said, “Funny man! Ridiculous!” and another said, “Son, this is your house!” With the most polite smile he could pull, Tony asked if the man wanted to sell the house because it was so beautiful. “What a rude question to ask,” thought Tony to himself. The man paused and proudly said he had no intentions to sell the house but he would be happy to give Tony a home tour to show its beauty. After the two-minute tour, Tony intended to leave but a voice said, “Don’t leave, talk to them about their children and pray for them.” So, Tony did just that, trying not to sound like a nosy parker, “Sir, how is your children?”
The man was surprisingly opened to discuss about his children. His wife also joined in the conversation, leaving her work in the kitchen. She later gathered her children to be prayed and lay hands upon by Tony. That afternoon, for more than two hours, Tony talked only about God’s truth and blessed the children before leaving.
The next morning, the man called to see Tony again. Turned out, this man was a very wealthy man; his family owned four companies including a university and two companies of his wife. The man told Tony, “We have everything, we don’t have any problems with money but last night, when you left, something was burning in my wife’s and my heart.” They thought it was black magic. But yesterday night, while they fell asleep in bed, his wife saw Jesus Christ standing by the bed saying, “I have sent my messenger to you, why haven’t you treat him well?”
The couple was prompted to sell their beloved house with the money Tony could offer. He found out that the villa was worth a few millions in the market after buying the house, far above what he bought the villa for. Indeed, the Lord has nothing but the best for his children. The only request that the couple wanted Tony was to return was his friendship as a brother-in-Christ, and till today, they were good friends.
In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.
Not only the Lord gave Tony a house, He also provided him a car. Although Tony had a garage in his house, he did not have a car and was never interested to drive until one day; The Lord prompted him to pray for a car. Tony obeyed and made a brief prayer. Shortly after, the Lord asked Tony to have a car. On that afternoon, a Christian man whom he only met once called to ask if he would like a sparkly luxurious BMW, sold by a sister-in-Christ. Helped by the Lord to drive as if he was a veteran driver since he laid hands on the wheel, Tony has an international driving license in 120 countries today.
My Best has Yet to Come
1 Cor 2:9
However, as it is written: "What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived" — the things God has prepared for those who love him–
What a journey with the Lord! How many of us would heed that small voice to do things that could embarrass us? Would you offer sour grapes to a minister? Would you enter a house with no ‘sale sign’ and asked to pray for the owner’s children. While the Lord may ask us to do many seemingly nonsensical things, they were the most fruitful ones, akin to plain-looking, formidable or even ugly-looking doors before a brightly lit and beautiful path that the Lord has prepared for us. If only we take that step of faith, ask that one question, say that one word, move that one step forward, what a big difference it would make! All it takes is one step; one step of obedience, one trust and you will see the one way that goes beyond our wildest imagination, highest hope, and largest dream. Do you dare?