Sometimes in life you just have to move.
The first time I experienced this was in January 2007 at a Passion gathering in Atlanta, Georgia. I had made the decision not to quit my youth pastor position until I had another job, which is the conventional wisdom my mom had so often passed on to me. It seemed especially wise now that I had a family of my own. But something happened at that event that reminded me God doesn’t always follow our conventional wisdom and has, in fact, made foolishness the ways of the world. It was time to move on.
I came home Thursday night and quit my job on Friday morning. My wife and I knew our decision would have financial implications, so on Saturday we looked over our budget. Our plan was for me to substitute teach as much as possible, but we were still $600 short each month. I’d like to say we fell to our knees and prayed for God to provide a financial blessing, but we didn’t. It was all happening so fast, the next thing on our mind was how we were going to tell our youth workers we were moving on.
The next morning brought a lot of tears as we said good bye to our team of youth workers. We felt confident this was the right decision, but the support we received from our friends and co-laborers made it difficult to see God’s blessing in our decision. At times, I questioned if we had made the right move. Then it happened.
On our short drive home from church, we got a call from our good friends inviting us over to their home. This wasn’t too out of the ordinary considering we usually spent a night or two each week having dinner and playing games. We headed over and realized pretty quickly this was not a normal visit. There wasn’t any food on the table, no football on TV, and their two kids were no where to be seen. This felt at first like an intervention, maybe a counseling session or something. Our friends proceeded to drop a bomb.
They started talking about our decision to leave the church and, for a quick moment, I thought they were going to try to talk us out of leaving. They said they believed we were making the right decision, and that God, earlier that morning, had laid it on their heart to give us $650 a month until I had a full-time job.
We couldn’t believe it. The tears started to well up in our eyes as we looked at each other in amazement. Where had they come up with that number? How did they know? Who had we told? It was in that moment God breathed life into Philippians 4:19.
And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
Our friends followed through and generously gave us $650 a month for nine months, and we realized a few things about God in the process:
- God owns everything. It doesn’t matter what it is or whose bank account it currently resides, it all belongs to God and He can access it anytime He wants.
- God uses His people to accomplish His purposes. This was true back in Jesus’ day (see Ananias in Acts 9), and it is true today. Sometimes you are the one being used to accomplish His purposes, and sometimes you are the one in need. Either way, we all have a part to play in God’s musical.
- We can always trust Him to provide for our needs. Period.
- God delights when we trust Him and follow his leading. The Bible says without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). Therefore, living by faith brings God immeasurable pleasure because it puts His love for us on display for the world to see through His power and provision in our lives.
The next time you sense God leading you to do something crazy, take a risk and put His great love on display for others to see.