So, all my adult Christian life, I had thought I had some pretty darn great faith. Well, come to find out recently, it has all been fake faith.
Now, I’m not talking about salvation faith, but more about living the life of a faith-filled believer. I had always told people that God would provide, and He does provide. But here is where my faith gets fake. I would just kind of live life “trusting” in God to provide when, in fact, deep down I always had a backup plan.
You see, every time my mom would get worried and confront me about my lack of wisdom in all things financial…mainly…giving out of my lack of abundance. Not getting a “really good paying job” and spending money…sure…much of that money was on ministry stuff. Just blessing others and the such, I would tell her that God would provide, knowing full well that if it came down to it I could always ask her for a little cash.
My current situation of quitting all my jobs to write full time (and selling my product at different markets) is a prime example of this fake faith. Before I continue, let me say that I do believe that God wants me to write full time, but the whole part-time and self-employed part with no other income…not a wise decision…yet….I always claimed to have this amazing faith. But here is the kicker. Deep down I always knew I had someone to bail me out. If I couldn’t pay my bills, then I call mommy.
Mommy and Daddy bail me out!
So, with all that said, I have recently decided – kind of mutual with my parents…though they don’t know this part – that even if I am struggling financially, I won’t ask them to bail me out. I must confess, though, I did ask for enough to pay a bill in September because I didn’t have enough to pay it. But other than that, my mom doesn’t know how close I scrape by…and if she reads this, then I know she will probably be quite upset that I haven’t told her “the whole truth and nothing but the truth.”
I kinda hope she doesn’t read this one.
Anyway, now that I have decided to live by real faith and not really have a backup plan, I realize how much I doubt! I doubt every single weekend that I don’t quite make enough selling my product that I think I should make. I question if He will provide the money to pay the bills.
Frankly….In September, He really didn’t provide what I expected Him to, I couldn’t pay every single one of my bills, but…I guess…He did provide enough for me to pay the ones I REALLY needed to pay. But I really think its more because my expectations of Him were not lining up with His character. You see, we Christians so often say that God will provide, God will protect, and God will bless, but we don’t really think to ask God…or like in my case…I think I jumped the gun in pursuing what He wants me to (eventually do)…how we should go about the task.
I felt that God wanted me to go full-time writing and I thought that it is my opportunity to practice real faith and allow him to show me how he can REALLY provide for me. I didn’t ask Him if I should quit ALL my jobs and pursue my business without ANY income just in case I have a few bad moths (which I have…the first two months of going completely self-employed…needless to say…I got a part-time job).
This brings me to my next thought. I was sitting in church on Sunday, and my pastor presented a most revealing sermon. We are in a sermon series called “Dangerous Faith”and every single sermon has been impactful so far in the series. Especially this last one.
This Sunday’s lesson was about how we often think real faith is going gung ho for something without any consideration that maybe we aren’t supposed to just go do it right away. Pastor Adam talked about how when we feel like God calls us into something we want to just go do it. This is precisely what I did. I quit everything, claiming it was “real faith.”
He gave an example of someone who was called to be a traveling preacher, but he only had two churches that he had ever been asked to speak at, and he actually had more travel expenses than funding from the churches. Well, the guy waited and provided for his family, then rather swiftly, he was propelled into this calling, fulfilling both the calling and ability to provide for his family.
The point here is that if he had not waited and quit his job to pursue his calling, he probably would have failed at it. Real faith isn’t throwing common sense and reason aside to prevail…though God can and does do these kinds of miracles…real faith is setting goals to accomplish with God’s direction, blessing, and power. It is also realizing that God may change these plans at any moment. It is also setting yourself up for success, not failure. Planning ahead the ministry God has set out for you is not fake faith, but it is just as much real faith as anything.
Fake faith is, however, pretending to have trust in God (like I did) and all the while, knowing if it really hits the fan, then you can dip into your back up plan.
Real faith does plan for the future and the such, but it isn’t lying to yourself and everyone else that you don’t need to prepare because God has got you.
Real faith is knowing that God has got you no matter what, but YOU still need to do YOUR part in preparing for success.
I am continuously learning how to walk this walk of faith better and with more successful habits. Most recently I have learned that all my life I have had fake faith, and that real faith does, in fact, prepare for the future. Real faith is trusting God to direct you and pursuing His path for your life in His timing.
I truly believe that God will have me writing full time and supporting myself on my writing alone…but…I have also learned that it may not be for a long while. I still need to wait and see where He leads my steps. Not jump out into an abyss and hope that He has a net.
We all need to set our goals and pursue them, allowing God to direct our paths through faith…and change our steps if He asks us to walk somewhere else. God never sets us up for failure, but success…the key is that we have to listen to how He wants us to do it.
Until next month.