Archive | January 2014

Holding nothing back

Two years ago I came back from my last deployment, intentionally not returning to my amazing job at a non-profit where I invested in youth who were having a hard time graduating.

God had told me to pursue ministry full-time.

As in, an occupation.

As in, don’t make your own money, but trust Him for money.

As in, put everything on the line and trust the Unseen to supply the very seen, and felt, needs.

As in, trust someone else to be better at taking care of you, your wife and your baby than you are.

Someone else whom you read about, see dimly, but struggle to remember what His presence feels like and what his faithfulness looks like when you’re not experiencing it at the moment.

Trust that Guy.

You might not be able to pay your bills.

You might lose your home.

You probably won’t be able to buy that gadget.

You might not be able to buy your wife a Christmas gift even though you would love to love her that way.

You might have to cash out your retirement funds.

Your bank account might dry up.

And… then what?

You have spent your time and energy following God and investing in others. Who will invest in you?

I can’t imagine that God is a worse Father than I am…” -Hudson Taylor (paraphrased)

For two years I haven’t told anyone my needs. I have provided a way for them to give if God told them to. George Muller did it for 60 something years. Hudson Taylor financed a revolutionary missionary society that way. Rees Howells, the great intercessor, learned to trust God in this way over the course of his life.

I did it for two years.

Now, I think God is telling me to ask for people to support me. So, here I am.

Read my Support Letter here.

Honestly, I wanted to keep going without telling anyone anything and just trusting in prayer alone. But, it would be pride, not obedience at this point to keep that up.

Please ask God if you should support us in prayer or financially.

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“Taking care of myself is selfish”

Her mom was lazy, ordering people to do chores around the house, but never lifting a finger to help. She was determined to never be like her mom and overcompensated.

She sacrificed herself for the sake of others.

She became the mediator for every family conflict, but never was able to get any of her own needs met. She laid her self down on the altar of ministry serving in a youth group even when she knew it was destroying her energy and even her faith. She ran herself into the ground in order to care for her son.

Self sacrificial love is a central pillar of Christian living, but was this what God had in mind? In the end the enemy had worked a very nasty, subtle, and damaging half-truth into her mind:

Taking care of myself is selfish.

She even had biblical concepts to back up her lie.

She had to accuse those who had taught her this lie by bringing them to her Father in heaven, the one who was the Judge and would decide what payment would be required. No one intentionally did this to her, but the Judge would know what was appropriate justice. She forgave them. She also confessed believing the lie and living it out to her own detriment. She asked for forgiveness.

She rejected the lie and asked her Father for a truth.

Confused at what God was showing her, she opened her eyes and looked up at us. “Pumping gas?” she said. It was really a question, not a statement, as she didn’t see how this could possibly be a truth from God in response to this lie.

I was just as confused, but thankfully my coworker was able to see exactly what her Father was showing her through the Holy Spirit.

Her truth was,

I need gas to go.

Indeed, we, like cars, cannot do what we were created to do without refueling. It may seem selfish to take care of yourself, but it is required if you want to be able to function in what God has for you.

Months after finishing PR she told me, “I’m still amazed at how differently I look at situations in my life now. Everyone deserves that kind of peace. It’s awesome.”

“Sin is more powerful than God.”

He had lived a promiscuous life in a career that got him a lot of attention. In the end he had formed a sexual addiction. He was in multiple recovery programs and was communicating with his sponsor weekly.

He was still addicted. He would have occasional times of victory, but would eventually fall again.

He had been taught a lie that was making it very difficult to live a victorious life.

His father had a horrible and secret sex life that wasn’t discovered until the kids were old. He communicated to his sons that “Once you’ve sinned, it’s too late.” His father had contributed to the lie he believed.

His sponsors used what was meant for good and twisted God into nothing more than a coping mechanism. “God will help you,” had no more meaning than, “God will help you manage your sin by you coming to these meetings and talking with your sponsor. Healing is not possible, but God can help you keep your sin in check.”

Ultimately, he believed the lie that his sin was more powerful that God. He was scared of getting married because he was convinced that he would destroy his wife. He was a slave to his sin and the only way God could “help” was to keep the slave-master tame with meetings and phone calls to sponsors.

He accused those who had added strength to this lie and forgave them, trusting God for justice on his behalf. He confessed his own part, that he used fear to control his sin (instead of removing it) and believed this lie. It even got to the point where he was trying to gain God’s favor by not sinning. He would pay for his own sins in buckets of guilt and “feeling bad” after every fall instead of trusting in Jesus’ payment.

He rejected this lie and asked God to break its power so that, “I will see through the façade and never buy into that lie ever again.” He asked God to give him a truth to replace that lie.

God told him that “No weapon formed against you will stand. I have already won. It’s already done and has no power.” And, “Even if I sin again, it’s a big lie. It can’t stop God’s good and perfect plan for me.”

After much discussion, including talk about marriage and how sin will bring pain to his future wife, we concluded that the truth that God was giving him was…

God’s bigger than that!

He had hope of healing restored. There is a reason why God healed people in the Bible. He was showing us one of his names.

God’s name is not “Coping”.

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