I Didn’t Ask For This!
Lately God has called me to make some difficult and radical choices to follow Him. We make simple choices to obey God every day. Recently He asked me to surrender it all and reassure my husband to go ahead and quit his job. Not just any job either, a very secure job with benefits and a pension that would make us feel like we won cash for life. So here’s what happened and how God prepared me. He is so gracious in the way He prepares our hearts!
But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart. I tell you, you can ask for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours. Mark 11:23,24
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid,but gives us power, love and self-discipline. ~2 Timothy 1:7
This past spring my husband went on a men’s retreat. I had a feeling (since God had worked out the details at the very last minute) God was going to reveal some important things to him. Immediately God started working in my heart too. He took me back to when Dwaine and I had both completed the Celebrate Recovery (CR) program for our own personal struggles years ago. Simply put we would not be who when we are or celebrating 15 years of marriage if it wasn’t by God’s grace and healing through CR. God had us on our own journey through the dessert. We had wandered around for years alone in our marriage struggling and doubting His plans for us. I reminisced about how brave we had to be in order to overcome our strong holds. But we knew God promised healing through confession and He brought us through. We had to surrender, get out of our comfort zones, stop making excuses for ourselves and go to God as our source of comfort.
On Saturday I sent Dwaine a text saying, “God has been speaking to me about surrendering and I am scared”. I had a suspicion God was challenging him to leave his city job and run his company Polair full-time.
Several weeks prior to this I heard a sermon about Caleb and Joshua. As most know Caleb and Joshua were the only spies allowed into the Promise Land. Caleb came back saying, “Let’s go at once to take the land” All the other spies were terrified and would not obey God. They said, “They are stronger than we are!” God promised to give them the land before they even saw it and Caleb got that, he never questioned it or doubted it. As a result of the Israelites doubts they wandered around in the dessert for 40 more years. You can read about it in Numbers 13, 14. Imagine because of a simple act of doubt that generation was not allowed into the land God had promised them. We often doubt God too. He gives us the freedom of choice but we end up wandering around and limiting our choices by putting God in a box.
When Dwaine walked through the door on Sunday I could see it in his face, I knew I was right. God had been challenging him all weekend about his ‘end game’ and what it would look like if he didn’t quit his city job and kept up his insane work schedule. So here is what God had been preparing me for. My biggest fear was having a husband who didn’t have a steady income and with no ‘nest egg’ set aside we were being called to do something completely counter-cultural. Take a leap of faith, literally. I suggested we wait a few weeks, get a plan together and perhaps in about six weeks he could quit. But then I had been reading in Mathew 8:22 “Follow me now.” In order for God to be able to truly bless us and follow Him we are called to leave something behind. In this case for me it was financial security.
When the spies went to see the Promise Land they had been prepared by God with His promise, “Send out men to explore the land of Canaan, the land I am giving to the Israelites.” In the end they doubted Him. “We can’t go up against them!” I struggled in the same way for a week, every night lying awake making excuses about how unwise it would be to ‘Follow me now’. At the same time worried about missing out on our ‘Promise Land’.
God will bring us through storms, there is no doubt, I was in a storm wondering when and where my boat would land. Just like the disciples I was acting cowardly because I knew God could calm the storm but I was unsure of would be in control. God is not safe but He is good.
June 13 my answer came. Jesus called Mathew a tax collector to follow Him as one of His disciples, the type of person least likely for Jesus to give this offer to. What does Mathew do? He immediately follows Jesus. (Mathew 9:9) No questions about if he is really ‘fit for the job’ or what others will think that Jesus’s newest disciple was a tax collector. The verse that gave me the most assurance was Mathew 9:29 “Because of your faith, it will happen.” And it is happening now! I was obedient to God in one of the hardest ways I have ever had to be to date and He has blessed us beyond what we could have imagined! Here’s the interesting thing about how God went before us in a practical way…We had just bought a new home. We had not planned to move for another year or two but over Christmas God called us to start house hunting for a bigger home. Dwaine didn’t want to quit his city job until we were approved for a new mortgage. Now we no longer had that problem. We moved May 1 and God called Dwaine to quit just a few weeks later. God knows our heart’s desires and they matter to Him. I praise Him for how gracious He was to provide this new home for us.
I have many miracles I can look back on in my life that give me assurance God will not forsake me I know He is in control. How could I doubt Him now? If God is calling you to follow Him in a way that is counter cultural and radical, go to Him in prayer, ask for faith, He will give it to you. Ask Him to help you remember all the times He was there for you in the past working ahead of you. Rest in those moments and see how He has used them to prepare you for bigger things that He is wants to bless you with now.
But Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place even to lay his head…Follow me now.” Mathew 8: 20, 22
In the clay,