The Trouble With Faith
Updated: Oct 8, 2022
I have spent most of my life striving to be self-sufficient. My wife says that I have always done everything humanly possible to avoid having to depend on God. That is fair. I’ve been reasonably successful in my secular career and in my years in ministry. We have had times when we struggled financially but they were few and far between and generally very temporary. This brings me to my current dilemma…
In mid-2021 God led Marie and I to step down from our church… our nice, solid, stable, secure, financially healthy church. I’m an adventurer at heart and I’m not risk averse, but this was different. It wasn’t that we were being led to another opportunity… it was that we were being led to nothing at all! All we knew was that we were to leave the place we had served for over 10 years.
My first assumption was that we would go find another Pastoral job.
Ok, then it must be a secular job… I can return to my career.
Move to Colombia and be a missionary?
What is even more frustrating is that I felt the Holy Spirit leading me NOT to go solicit support funds as we began to move towards this new season. Now, I’ve considered going on the mission field many times. I’ve even taken courses on how to prepare for life abroad and how to raise support for your ministry. I know how to do it… you send letters to your network of relationships… you tell them what you are doing… you frame your ask around the mission God is calling you into… you ask them if God is wanting them to partner with you in this mission with the resources they are stewarding... etc.
I have a large network of friends and relationships. I can do this. Every time I begin to feel anxious about our future… every time I start stressing over our lack of income… I begin to pull together my contacts and mailing list. And every time I feel the Lord stop me.
Why not? I know how to do this!
Because, if you do it this way you will still believe that you are your own provider.
So, here we are 10 months into this experiment. We sold everything we own and moved into a motorhome in order to be available to go where God sends us. It still makes me chuckle when someone makes a comment about how inspiring it is to see us living life in such great faith. If they only knew. We live in a constant state of anxious anticipation. Anxious because it could all come crashing down around us at any moment. Anticipation because we keep seeing God surprise us with his faithfulness on a near daily basis.
As it has played out, many of our friends and family have been supporting us monthly and many of the places we have gone to minister have given towards this ministry. We also receive a stipend from Vineyard Missions for some of our work there. It's not a lot but it’s been enough. I still ask God if I should be doing more to raise awareness and funds. I have a sense that he will allow me to move forward in that at some point, but I haven’t graduated from this particular classroom yet.
I have joked several times that there has to be a better way to do this than faith. There are certainly other ways that are safer. But without risk, there is no faith. Without risk, there is no growth, and I am being stretched. But I have seen God’s love and faithfulness displayed in new ways, ways I would never have seen apart from this journey.
As Wimber used to say, “Faith is spelled R.I.S.K.”, and it is really quite beautiful.