This week was quite the adventure. Austin and I have been thinking about moving downtown closer to the campus we minister to students on. We found a place 1 block away but the neighborhood is not that great. We have been thinking/praying about moving there for a few moths. The lady said she would be willig to rent it to us for a year and then give us the option to buy if we decided we wanted to stay. So, we went by to look at it one more time. When we got there, she said someone had put an offer on it that morning.
The next day I found a crazy amazing house 4 min. from campus that was in our price range but twice as much house b/c it was a short sale. It had been on the market for a year with no one even looking at it. Then, this week it got 5 offers put on it.
The next day, our embryo (fertilized egg) adoption lady returned our phone call. We had decided to move forward with adopting 1/2 white, 1/2 pakistani babies and wanted to tell her. When Austin told her, she told us she had placed them with another family that morning. Wow!
At the same time Austin was on the phone with her, the other adoption agency (who did our home study) called me and said they messed up our background check and we had to start all over again. Which meant that we could not do the transfer in April like we were hoping to. (Meaning we will have to wait till October-unless God pulls off some crazy cool stunt). And that night I got an email saying the grant I requested to publish my bible study was not granted.
That is a whole lot of No's in a matter of a few days. For little bit I just wanted to quit "walking" by faith and just wanted to sit back and let life happen to me. It is so much easier that way! But like God does, He totally encouraged me, reminding me that in reality, I really dont want that. I greatly desire to live adventurously for His glory, being part of the action. I can feel my perseverance muscles growing. :)
So, this morning I was reading when God told Joshua "I have delivered Jericho into your hands" and I thought, Lord, seriously, it would be so much easier to move forward if You gave specific promises like that! Why dont You? Come on, "I have delivered Jericho into your hands." Why not "I will publish Beholding Him, Becoming Missional", or "I will give you a little girl through embryo adoption", or "I will give you a ministry house close to campus." I was thinking that we would be so much more confident in what God said and not in what we feel or what we want if He did it that way.
Then I got thinking about David when he fought Goliath. God didnt give him a promise for that exact cinerio. But He had previously given him a promise that enabled him to step out and do hard things. God had given him the promise that he would be King. Therefore, he was willing to do hard things b/c of what God said. Perhaps thinking If I am going to be King, I sure have to be alive, so if I fight Goliath, God will come through for me. But how does this relate to believers now? God has promises us a ton of things. Ultimately He promised us heaven-which is stinkin awesome. But here, on this earth, now, He promises that He will use every single thing for our good, He promises to give us love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control as we let Him live through us. He promises to give us the grace we need, that we wont be crushed, wont despair, wont be abandoned by Him, and wont be destroyed and will bless abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, we will abound in every good work. (Rom. 8:28, Gal. 5:22-23, 2 Cor. 12:9, 4:7-10, 9:8) And why not test Him in this and see if He will not throw open the flood gates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. (Mal. 3:10)
So, here I am, ready again to give my all, to press on toward what He desires. Willing to keep pushing through with moving downtown, adopting and writing. This moring I was sharing this (well, part of it) with some people. Someone responds by saying "if we dont move forward in faith, God cant open the door." And I am just not a great on the spot type of person (well, quite honestly, I really stink in situations like that... cause I know its not true and dont want to agree but dont want to make the person look dumb, so I just sit there, not knowing what to say.) Anyway, our faith does not control or manipulate God. If we have faith that doesnt mean God now has the power to act and vs. God is not controlled by or held back by us. He is the potter, He is the Maker, and we are not.
But this comment got me thinking. Why does God want us to have faith? It is not so that He will be freed up to do His thing-since "No plan of His can be thwarted". And immediately God brought to mind Heb. 11:1 "Without faith it is impossible to please God." So, faith is a big deal to Him. Real big deal. Faith is exercising dependance on God. And how beautiful... faith glorifies Him b/c it is showing Him to be the I AM, the all/self-sufficient One. When we admit that we are not the I AM, and put our reliance on Him, our faith in Him, He is being displayed at the I AM, and that pleases Him since this life is about glorifying Him.