Sometimes we are asked to up something we love by God so that He can deepen our relationship with him while blessing others. This was me in the last couple months. In March, God asked me to give my camera to a missionary who is teaching photography classes in India. He also asked me to give my car away in the same day.
Giving my car away was not as big of a deal as my camera. This was the only camera I had and if you know me, you know that being able to create beautiful images is one of my passions in life. If I am being honest, I felt like in some ways I was giving my child away. It was not something I came to terms with right away. It was not easy but I know it was what I was supposed to do.
Around this same time, He asked me to start my photography business. In the human mind, it does not make sense to give your primary piece of equipment that you need for a photography business. But in God’s mind it made sense because He saw the whole picture. And saw pieces to this story that I did not see in my limited mind. But I had faith that He would provide for me. Because I knew He would not ask me to do something if He wasn’t going to provide for me.
Because of me giving my car, the couple that I gave my car to, they gave their car to another family that did not have a vehicle. Over the last couple months, I have saving money and I eventually saved enough money to purchase the same camera I had given away. In the meantime, God provided cameras I could borrow. Two weeks ago, I purchased another camera. The day after I bought the camera, a friend got in touch with me and I was told they are going to send me a check that is going to pay for the camera that I bought!! This friend then explained that my faith inspired her to have faith for things they want or need. Giving creates an infectious spirit and the reaction like dominoes.
When we do what God asks us to do, know that He is going to bless you and that He will provide. And sometimes the way He provides is not the way we think it is going to happen or is not in our timing. And we must be open to that. If we trust and obey God with what He asks us, He will do what He promises us that He is going to do. And He will do it in His time not in our time.
I do not share this story to show how great I am because reality it was not an easy journey and I did not completely trust Him at times. I do not have it all together nor will I ever. And I did have doubts along the way. And there were moments that I was like “God, you asked me to give my camera away and to start a photography business at the same. And here we are X amount of time later and I still do not have a camera.” But in these moments, I remembered that He is true to His promises and that He has and will continue to provide for me. Looking back, I would not change much about this whole part of my story. Because my faith and trust in Him deepened in my waiting period. Also because of my obedience and faith other people were impacted.
So, next time God asks you to do something that does not make sense, go for it. He will follow through on His promises and He will provide in ways that you do not think He will. And in the process, our relationship with Him will deepen. When He does provide, be ready to be amazed because He is a great Father and He delights in providing for His children.
“And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19
Recently I went away with 100 some young adults and the weekend was filled with fellowship with others and God. The theme was come alive. And the weekend’s passage was on the valley of dry bones in Ezekiel 37:1-14.
“God grabbed me. God’s Spirit took me up and set me down in the middle of an open plain strewn with bones. He led me around and among them—a lot of bones! There were bones all over the plain—dry bones, bleached by the sun.He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”
I said, “Master God, only you know that.”
He said to me, “Prophesy over these bones: ‘Dry bones, listen to the Message of God!’ “God, the Master, told the dry bones, “Watch this: I’m bringing the breath of life to you and you’ll come to life. I’ll attach sinews to you, put meat on your bones, cover you with skin, and breathe life into you. You’ll come alive and you’ll realize that I am God!”
I prophesied just as I’d been commanded. As I prophesied, there was a sound and, oh, rustling! The bones moved and came together, bone to bone. I kept watching. Sinews formed, then muscles on the bones, then skin stretched over them. But they had no breath in them.
He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath. Prophesy, son of man. Tell the breath, ‘God, the Master, says, Come from the four winds. Come, breath. Breathe on these slain bodies. Breathe life!’”
So I prophesied, just as he commanded me. The breath entered them and they came alive! They stood up on their feet, a huge army.
Then God said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. Listen to what they’re saying: ‘Our bones are dried up, our hope is gone, there’s nothing left of us.’ “Therefore, prophesy. Tell them, ‘God, the Master, says: I’ll dig up your graves and bring you out alive—O my people! Then I’ll take you straight to the land of Israel. When I dig up graves and bring you out as my people, you’ll realize that I am God. I’ll breathe my life into you and you’ll live. Then I’ll lead you straight back to your land and you’ll realize that I am God. I’ve said it and I’ll do it. God’s Decree.’”
We were encouraged to look at the dry bones(areas) in our lives and ask for life to be brought to that area. And I thought of a few areas that I knew already that needed life but they were areas I have thought about before. And part of me thought I have this in the sense that this is nothing new. Until Saturday night Bryce Taylor preached, God grabbed my heart. He showed me through Bryce that I had a victim mentality with my past. Not in a way most people think but in a way of my relationship with God.
You see I struggle so much with people who have a victim mentality and who live in that. I live by this quote because there is so much truth in it and I have seen countless time where it has played out. “I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it,” Charles Swindoll said this. And I do understand there is a time where someone needs process what has happened in their life. But I also believe that you can’t stay in that moment because we wouldn’t move forward in life and we will miss some of the great things God has in store for us. While I do not say this aloud it does sometimes go through my head, when I think the person should have worked through the hurt and pain in their life, my thought is that you just need to work through it and move on in life. What right do I have to say that? I have not walked their journey in life so I do not have the right to see when the person should not be living in the moment of their hurt and pain anymore.
Let’s go back to me now. That Saturday night God showed me that I will use my past as a crutch when I relate to Him. And the very thing that frustrates me when I see it in other people. He showed me that I am doing the same thing with Him. I see Him through this filter of my past hurts and pained how others have treated me. And I only allow God so close because if He gets any closer He might hurt me like other people in my life. And as a grow older and more mature in my walk with Him, I might let him a step closer but that is still a wall that I did not let Him past. Reality is that He will not hurt me and He will not leave me. “Be strong. Take courage. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t give them a second thought because God, your God, is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He won’t let you down; he won’t leave you.” Deuteronomy 31:6 Wow what a great promise! I decided that night that I am going to believe Him at His promises even when it is hard. And live in His truth not in the lies I have been told about me or about Him. Even when I may not fully believe it, I am going to tell myself these promises till I believe them with all my heart. And I am going to allow God to come closer than ever and no longer hold Him at an arm’s distance.
What area in your life needs life? Is there an area with your relationship with God where you are using your past as an excuse to not allow God to get past your wall?