This post is more of a jumbled diary entry than a normal blog post and I'm sharing in case someone else needs these words but this is mostly to serve as a reminder for myself when fear and uncertainty about my future begin to creep in. I want to be able to come back to this and read it so I can put a stop to it right away. For the past 4 1/2, almost 5 months, my faith has been being tested and up until 2 weeks ago, I have been failing miserably. God has shown me that I trust in my own ability more than I trust in Him and His provision.
Guys, I have been very humbled.
When I felt God impress on my heart the question, "Do you trust me?", it caused me to pause and really think about that question. Do I trust God? Wow that's heavy. Here's a reality I came face to face with; It's impossible to please God without faith. I love the Lord and I know He loves me but for the LONGEST time I couldn't really wrap my head around the fact that He likes me and wants me to have good things. I believed prosperity was for other people but not me. I was convinced that I only deserved to barely scrape by. I knew that my joy is from the Lord but I never felt joy because I have always been taught that we have to earn blessings. None of us are ever good enough for that. Then I read an article about being oppressed by a spirit of poverty and the book God is Able by Priscilla Shirer and it has changed my life. All that mess I was taught about earning our blessings? Not biblical. As a matter of fact, it's a lie straight from the pits of hell meant to do the following:
- Keep us in a state of oppression.
- Make us doubt the goodness and love of the Father.
- Keep us from being a light in a hopeless world.
- Shut down our prayer life and put distance distance between us and God
For over 2 years I have prayed to be a work from home wife. It has been my heart's desire. It lines up with scripture but I wanted it so bad that I was afraid to really believe I could have it. I didn't really believe that God could ever want me to have something that would bring me so much joy. I wanted to be in the will of God so I began to pray Psalm 37:4. "Lord, please put in my heart the desires you have for my life so I know my desires are your will. I love you Lord. Please give me the desires of my heart. Literally place them there." I have prayed this so much for so long. I even posted about it here. Well my desire to be a work from home wife kept getting stronger and stronger but I still had a hard time believing I could really do it. Could I really be so lucky to be able to be that Proverbs 31 woman who works hard, loves her family and has that entrepreneurial spirit? Could I really be that homemaker that is spoken of in Titus 2? Oh how I've long for it. Never felt worthy though...Fast forward to September of last year...I still had the same desires but added to that was a new desire: to be an encourager. I began to have the desire to pour into the lives of others. I began to have the desire to help others succeed in life and to do whatever they thought was impossible. I became an Advocare distributor. I had used the products in the past and have always liked them but I really wanted to help people in a lot of ways and I saw this as the vehicle to do it...Now fast forward a little further to April. I attended a Priscilla Shirer simulcast. During that simulcast she started talking about faith and I knew I was in trouble. I felt God then press on my heart to take a step of faith but I didn't do it then. I had to be sure I was hearing him right. I've felt him calling me out of the boat and on the the water but for the past 4 1/2 - 5 month but I've been sitting on the side of the boat dangling my feet in the water. Boy, I sure am glad God is love and love is patient because we are fast forwarding again to August 28th of this year. A little over 2 weeks ago. Which is the time God asked me if I trust him. We were sitting in a service and my Pastor preached out of 1 Samuel 14. He was preaching about Jonathan and his armor bearer and how they put themselves in such a position with the Philistine army that if God didn't come through for them, they were in BIG TROUBLE. He went on to say that's faith and how it's impossible to please God without faith. Talk about conviction. I was eat up with it. I mean I want to please God...right????? He also talked about how the rest of the army and King Saul were sitting scared under the false safety of a pomegranate tree. Yep. More conviction. I knew my current job was my pomegranate tree. My safety net. God showed me 3 things right there in the middle of Morningside Baptist Church.
- I didn't trust him and this job is my pomegranate tree. I trusted in myself and my ability to do a job that leaves me numb everyday more than I trusted in his mighty power and love. The truth is that while I love each and every one of my coworkers dearly, this job has never fulfilled me. I've just been doing what society has told us that we need to do. Graduate high school, go to college, get a job, pay bills, and die miserable and unfulfilled.
- It's impossible to please him without faith. If I really love God like I say I do, I want to please Him right? Do I pray just to hear myself talk or do I really want God to do what I request of Him? A prayer without faith is a waste of breathe and an insult to God.
- He is trying to bless me but it requires my obedience. God doesn't always require something of us to bless us but there is always a blessing that comes with obedience. I have to remember this.
This conviction I felt stayed with me the rest of the day, the whole night, and you guessed it...I woke up feeling it the next morning. It was that no-peace-until-you-obey kind of conviction. I tried to pray about it again on the way to work, you know "just to be sure". That wasn't working AT ALL. My lack of peace and unease grew and I felt like I was just talking to myself. Finally I was just like "Ok Lord I'm doing it but when do you want me to do it?" his reply was simply "When I told you to." So I told my boss as soon as I got to work that morning that I was turning in my notice. Then I was flooded with peace. Quickly followed by attacks and I have been under almost constant attack since then. That's part of the reason I decided to do this post. Just so I am sharing this step of faith and people can see the work God is doing in my life because the enemy tells me all day that this was a stupid move, not to trust God, to run out and get a job ASAP, and that my dreams are too big to come true. Then I remind myself that when Jesus called Peter out on the water, he walked on it. He didn't doggie paddle to Jesus. He didn't tread water. Jesus didn't just keep Peter's head above the water. PETER WALKED ON THE WATER!!!!! IT WAS UNDER HIS FEET!!! I remind myself that God would not call me out of the boat to let me drown. I am so thankful Peter got out of the boat. I am even thankful that he looked at the storm and started to sink for a minute because that just reminds that I will walk on the water as long as I keep my focus on the Lord. On the Lord....Not the world. Not the opinions of others. Yes, I thought about how everyone was going to think I'm crazy and sure enough, they do. No, I haven' received very much support for this step but I didn't really expect it. That's Ok though because this is just an opportunity for God to shine and the world to be proven wrong. I know people are watching and waiting, even hoping, for me to fail but it isn't going to happen. If I had of tried this in the flesh, failure would be a distinct possibility but under the leadership of the Lord? Failure isn't even an option.
Just as a recap, these are the truths that I am clinging to:
1. It is impossible to please God without faith. (Hebrews 11:6)
2. Jesus said to seek first the kingdom of Heaven and all of these things will be added to you. (Matthew 6:33)
3. Submit to God, resist the devil and he will flee. (James 4:7)
4. Satan seeks to destroy any possible chance for us to have life, happiness, joy, contentment, prosperity, etc., but Jesus came to give us an abundant life. (John 10:10)
5. Even though I get overwhelmed with the thought of actually putting feet to my faith, I can cry out to Jesus because He is my Rock. (Psalms 61:2)
6. We show our faith by our works because faith without works is useless. (James 2:14-26)
7. Everything in Matthew 14:28-33.
8. We shut down the lies that tell us to think and believe opposite of the truth but meditating on the truth. (2 Corinthians 10:5)
Other thing I think about and questions I am asking myself are...Am I an example of solid, working faith? Am I a stepping stone or stumbling block? Will my example cause people to want to trust God or shy away? I want to be a light. I want people to see my life and believe that we have a good, good father. The same God that was on the throne when Paul wrote the letter to Titus is the same God that is on the throne today. Times have only changed because we have. God hasn't changed at all and his word is still the truth.
If you have stuck it out through the longest post I have ever written, I ask you to follow me along on this journey and see what God is doing in my life because I will be bragging on him, not me. I want you to see that the lies we believe about not having a good life are exactly that and God will give us the desires of our hearts if we put him first.
man I love you guys but Jesus loves you so much more.