As I go through the support raising process, I can’t begin to describe the ups and downs and struggles that I’ve encountered. The past several months have been one of the most difficult times in my walk with God. I attended a training seminar not too long ago as part of my Men’s Development Program, and the pastor who was preaching and teaching to us was Jeff Vanderstelt. I didn’t get an exact quote, but this is a summary of something he said.
The thing that makes your heart rise and fall is your God – this can be the God of the Bible, or anything that at any moment you make into your god.
This slammed me. It describes much too accurately the position that my heart has been in through much of this process. When a conversation would go well, or support would come in, my heart lifted. When it didn’t go that way, it sank. My god was one of financial security. Yes, I needed to be fully funded in order to start my internship; yes, we should always rejoice when God does something great; but I wasn’t in a spiritually healthy place where I could rejoice just out of the simple joy of God working for my good. One major reason is that there were a lot of lies I was believing.
To combat these lies, I have preach to myself truth. I hope giving you a glimpse into my self sermon against false teaching will encourage you to do the same when you find yourself believing lies about God or yourself.
Lie: God owes me. I’m going into ministry – he has to come through for this.
Truth: “Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit” – yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.” – James 4:13-16
Lie: I’m not as blessed as others who have already received their funding. I have failed.
Truth: “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” – 2 Corinthians 5:21
Lie: This won’t work out. I’m going to be without a job, without an income, and without purpose.
Truth: “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” – Ephesians 2:10
Lie: I’m only contacting someone to ask for money. I don’t care about them or value their friendship. Why should they help me?
Truth: “And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.” – Acts 2:44-47
Lie: No one will give.
Truth: “Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord your God that he has given you.” – Deuteronomy 16:17
I can’t go to the Bible, cite a verse, and be changed. Bible verses don’t work like magic. But what the Bible does do is show me who God is, what he has done, who he says I am, and what he wants me to believe. Scripture combats lies with truth, and God the Holy Spirit applies his truth to my heart. That’s his job!
“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. – John 14:26
Most of this post is written in past tense; that is not because all of my support has come in. It’s because I’m turning away from these lies in faith that God will change my heart and help me in my unbelief. It’s only through him that I can remember that I am a righteous son of the King, and that God is a great Father – the best! He will provide according to my need. Please be encouraged by his truth.