This morning I was reading in the book of James again. There’s a lot packed into such a small book of the Bible, so it didn’t matter that I had just finished it last night. I started it over this morning, and then I jumped to Galatians. Funny how the Spirit leads, and I smiled as both chapters I had read from those particular books talked about the faith of Abraham.
Abraham. He’s the founding father of us all, that guy whose faith was counted as righteousness, and something we can all desire to be like. Although I am not sure I’d pass the test if God asked me to sacrifice my daughter on the altar. And I guess that’s what God talked to me about this morning. Faith, and how/why the stepping out in it part isn’t as bad as I had always imagined.
I bounced back and forth this morning between verses of the importance of faith in action, deeds that went along with the faith we proclaimed. Abraham had not known where God was going to have him end up, but when God said go, he did. It reminded me of our own experience in the fall of 2017.
God had spoken something very unusual to us. He had told us to go.
Go?! We had just bought our home, didn’t even have our last baby out of diapers. How was that supposed to work?!
But He had said it. The interesting part to me, in hindsight, is that we never doubted it. Y’all, I have doubts about my ability to always hear God correctly, but in this instance I knew without a doubt. My husband knew too, and that surprised me. For a man normally so contemplative when it came to God’s will, even he seemed solid as a rock. We just knew what we were supposed to do, and we did it.
There were naysayers. People we loved and respected questioned our decision. The world at large questioned our decision. I mean, why would anyone want to sell all the stuff they had worked twenty years to obtain? Why would you drag your children away from family and friends? Why would you trade a safe, comfortable job, retirement vested, for an uncertain, possibly unstable one? Why would you trade 2,200 square feet for 200?! It didn’t make sense to the world, I’m sure, but it made sense to us. Why was that?
I had always been a collector of things. I had things I had obtained from all around the world, and after my mother (a fellow collector) had passed away, I also held her things. I loved my things. Really, really loved them. Yet when I felt like God said to get rid of it all, it wasn’t an issue. I took a corner, gave myself 15 minutes, and I sorted into give, sell, or toss piles. I did it with my whole house. Everything. Gone.
My daughters loved their toys. Like, seriously loved their toys. Yet when I gave them one rubber-made tote and said, “fill it with what you want, the rest is going away,” they jumped at the chance. It didn’t make any sense to me, but they never complained. They never cried. In fact, they made a game of it. It was as if they enjoyed taking a room full of toys and paring it down into a little box. They smiled as they showed me their chosen treasures. Weird, right?
I read about Abraham this morning, and I thought back to when God told us to go. I remembered how easy it had all been. Despite the challenges, we had gone through with it. Despite the naysayers, we had moved forward. Despite the uncertainty and wackiness of the Word, we had left our home with a few suitcases and even less boxes, and we had hit the road to go wherever God said to go. I remember being scared, a little anxious at times, but nowhere near as bonkers as you would think a total life shift would make me. I took my children to a new city, with nowhere long term to shelter, a job that could fall through at any moment, and we had a ball. We loved it!
Now we live in an RV, and we live each day still with a “whatcha got next, God” attitude. I realize that when the Lord asks you to walk out your faith, He doesn’t ask you to walk alone. When the Lord requires deeds to follow the faith you profess, He gives you the strength to carry it out. I realized that a couple of years ago when we struck out for the unknown, we were able to move forward because God willed it. There was nothing extraordinary about us or our faith. He had simply given us the ability to step out in what He asked us to do. He had stripped away our flesh, and He had led us in Spirit. After all, our flesh would have flipped out at what we were doing back then, but our Spirits had simply obeyed.
It helped me understand that no matter what God has in store for our future, He will equip us to walk in it. It will never be something we must do on our own strength and might. All He asks is for a heart that seeks His, a heart that listens for next step directions, never being so distracted by the noise of the world, that you never hear His suggestion. After all, God never makes us do anything. He simply asks. It’s up to us if we will hear, and what we will do after that. I recognized today that we never have to worry that we can’t do what He asks, because He never asks us to do something He isn’t willing to make a way for. Where we lack, He will act. And looking back you’ll marvel at how stepping out was so easy.