Monday, September 28, 2015

Faith, it ain't determination.

I guess this pretty much all started last year.  Life has taught me to be a worrier and a planner, especially when it comes to finances.

I prayed this small (big) prayer that I didn't realize would still affect me today.

God, please help me learn to trust you.

Trust number one:  get off of SNAP benefits and WIC.

We did.  And God has always provided more than enough food for our household.  That seemed like a big order to fill for a family of ten.

Trust number two:  give an offering over and above your tithe.

We did.  It seemed like all was crazy when all of a sudden, my workload slowed down, my husband's job started bouncing his checks and paying him late (and God told me to tell him to quit his job), and we lost my daughter's disability.

And then my husband got a new job with a huge pay raise and benefits, I saw a massive business income increase, and our daughter's disability returned.

Trust number three:  Buy your family good things. 

Oh, how I don't like to spend.  But God told me to start buying my family things they want and good things for them, and stop worrying about the money end.  I did.  We've built a lot of memories over the last year, and we've always had more than enough.

Trust number four:  Quit your job.

This year, we've seen more debts pile on than we can imagine, not from intentionally accumulating debt, just crazy circumstances (a car accident, a heart attack, etc.).

We keep trying to save money, and the money has to keep going out the window for necessary things.

And now, God showed us our house.  It's big enough for our family of ten, and it's within our budget.  It's right smack dab near our church.  That was no small thing for my big God.  It's five bedrooms and two bathrooms, in a nice neighborhood.  We're moving in T minus two months.  We had a plan in place about how we would save the necessary money to be able to move.

But God just has to go and interrupt that and throw a wrench in those plans.

God's been speaking to me, and it's about resting in Him.

I guess it started about a month ago, about the time we entered into Victory Christian Center's School of Supernatural Ministry.  They've been speaking over us that we're risk takers.  We were asked what we were willing to give up over the next nine months as we pursue Him.  "Not my job, God," I thought.  "I need to keep working for my family."

Gently at first, like a heartbeat, I've heard God beating out, "Rest.  Rest.  Rest."    And then, a reminder of a passage I read about entering God's rest from Joshua chapter one.  This book has much meaning in our lives, as God has spoken to us much about our land of promise, our inheritance being the city of Houston through the entire book of Joshua.  It began with a prophetic word soon after my father-in-law passed away from Bishop Tony Miller in Oklahoma City that caused God to ask us to give away everything we had, pack up our family and what we could in our van, and get to Houston.  No place to live, and no church family, but we came.  And God provided abundantly.  He gave us nice things, nicer than I would have certainly bought, and we paid not a penny.  He even paid us to move to where we live now.

A few class periods ago, we were challenged to listen to God and hear what lie we've been believing and what the truth is.  My lie?  That I could not trust him in ALL areas of my life.  God's truth?  Let go of your business, because I want to provide.   I've seen you working hard, supporting your family, through all of your husband's job losses, through him feeling like I was telling him to not work.  But I want you enter into My rest, because I love you, Rachael, and I care about the depths of your inmost being.

*Screeching Record*

Wait.  What, God?  We're supposed to move in two months.  We have bills to pay.  How will we ever afford that?

A chuckle.  Rach, I want to provide for you.  It's why you guys can't seem to save money, even though I am abundantly blessing you.  I want to give you guys your house.  I want you to rest. 

Okay, God.  I'm going to need some confirmation.  Did I really hear that from You?

I'm reading our book for the month for VSSM by Bill Johnson, When Heaven Invades Earth.  And I read that "Rest is the climate that faith grows in.  It comes out of the peace of God.  What is restful for us is violent to the powers of hell.  That is the violent nature of faith." 

And then, I start talking to my husband about this.  As I'm talking to him, he tells me I cannot quit my job because he hasn't heard this from God himself, and red warning flags are going off everywhere.  Except that something tells me it's his fear talking.  Okay, God.  I'm going to need Your help here.  So I tell my husband out of respect for him, I'm going to keep working until he hears from God.

And then the worst imaginable thing happens.  I start crying.  In front of my husband.  I really don't like to do that.  I was trying so hard not to cry,  but my husband, he encourages me to tell him what was on my mind.  The next words out of my mouth, well, they were nothing but God. 

I'm so tired, my heart cries out.  I need to enter into God's rest.  I need to minister to our children.  I need to get our house in order.  God has seen my faithfulness in working, and I need to rest.  I need to rest in His presence.  I know this doesn't make sense.  Nothing God tells me makes sense at first.  And that's how I know it's Him.  But He wants to provide for our house.  All the while, the tears are flowing, and nothing I can do will stop them. 

And my husband says, "Okay.  I heard your heart.  I agree.  You need to stop working." 

It's later on that he tells me he's just afraid.  He had a plan, and God just derailed it.  He's relied on me to help make the ends meet.  It's scary. 

But by our quick obedience, we just gave God an opportunity to bring heaven to earth.  In heaven, there is no lack, so we're going to laugh in joy as we see God's hand provide for us until He tells me to work again.  In the meantime, I am going to spend time soaking in His presence.  I am going to sleep a lot more.  I just cannot wait to see what God will do, all because this time, my faith can't be determination that will make things happen.  This one is all God. 

Am I a bit shaken and scared at the thought of having to trust God this much?  Yes, my flesh hates this.  But my spirit knows it's necessary to grow my faith.  I want to be an all-out risk taker, where determination no longer drives my life, but faith does.  Faith just moved my Abba's heart.  I can't make this move happen.  I can't make our bills get paid.  But God will.  And that's enough for me.

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