When Stanley Tam became a Christian, he meant it. A young man, struggling to make a go of business in the depression, he allowed God to guide his actions. Slowly, he reaped success. Although it was difficult for him, he began to witness about Jesus to his contacts. He even followed God's leading and had his lawyer draw up legal papers making the Lord his business partner.
That is how the matter stood until January, 1955. In January the Tams visited Ecuador, Peru, Brazil and Colombia, observing the work of missionaries sharing their testimony with missionaries and Latin Americans.
While in Medellin, Colombia he spoke to a small crowd. The Holy Spirit's presence was strong. Although the appeal had not been emotional, many people came forward to pray. But Tam found he could not sit down. "For I came once again into a milestone encounter with God."
God asked him, "What is the most important thing in all the world to you?" Tam looked down at the altar.
"To see people seek Your face, Lord, as a result of the Holy Spirit's blessing upon my testimony," he replied.
"Stanley," God said, "if a soul is the greatest value in all the world, then what investment can you make that will pay you the greatest dividends a hundred years from now?" Tam was already giving 60% of his income and much of his time. What was God asking him to do? He realized God was asking him to become his employee. "An employee, Lord? Isn't that what I am now?" he asked.
"We're partners now, Stanley. I want you to turn your entire business am to me." Stanley was stunned. "I can't go back to Ohio and turn my business over to you," he told the Lord. "Isn't sixty percent enough? Many Christians don't so much as give you ten percent."
The Lord reminded him of a verse from the book of Matthew in the Bible. "The Kingdom of Heaven is like unto a merchant seeking goodly pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it." That decided Tam. On this day, January 15, 1955, he told God that he would turn the entire business over to him. Stanley Tam would no longer even be a stockholder in the company.
As Tam noted, when a man seeks to involve God in the center of his life, he can expect divine encounters. Often they will run counter to our personal interests.
- Tam, Stanley. God Owns My Business. Camp Hill: Horizon House, 1989.
- Various internet articles.
Last updated May, 2007.