March 12, 2021
I think we all want to be more courageous in life but it’s kind of like asking God for patience. If you want patience you will be given opportunities to practice patience. When you desire more courage in faith you will be given opportunities that scare the faith right out of you. One of the things I naturally do in life is challenge people to move beyond their own comfort zone to take a step of faith. I am an enneagram 8 through and through for those of you who care. For those of you who don’t, it just means that my personality tends to cheerlead or challenge. I am a person who embodies the Nike motto, “Just Do It”.
There are three types of courageous faith steps that people struggle the most to move outside of their comfort zone. The three types include; finances, relationships, and calling. Each of these areas tests our willingness to trust God. In different ways, they force us to make a choice between courage and complacency.
It takes tremendous courage to follow God in the area of our finances. First, in generosity but more challenging is the tithe. When we commit to giving ten percent of our income back to the church it is hard. Many will make excuses as to why it is impossible. I would have agreed with them until I took the bible challenge found in Malachi 3.
Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. Malachi 3:10
“Test me in this,” God says.
I was a good church “tipper” but not yet a tither. I would give what was leftover. It made me feel good that I was giving to church but I wasn’t courageously giving. I wasn’t giving in faith. If I were to give ten percent of my income to the church, I wouldn’t be able to pay my bills. So I didn’t, that is, until I got married.
My husband had a habit of tithing when I married him and he was faithful in it regardless of what bills were outstanding. We came upon a month in our budget where we were going to fall short by $463.35 (or something close to that) and I explained this to him. I said “IF” we don’t tithe the full amount then we will be ok. His response triggered fear.
“We are tithing first. If we need to delay a bill or two we will. They can wait.” He said.
Ok, I thought as I rolled my eyes in frustration. We paid our tithe and I waited for the day our bank account would be overdrawn. The day before our auto-payment would be declined we received a check for $463.65. We stayed in the black by about $0.50 that month. I never doubted God’s faithfulness in tithing again.
The second area of finances, that we often lack faith is that God will provide for what He has called us to do. Every God-dream that is spoken to you will require reliance on God for the BIG stuff. God’s plans are never accomplished in our own strength. As my husband and I grew in faith and in influence our dreams, plans and goals expanded as well. We used to believe for our bills to be covered now we believe God will use us to build spaces, places, and businesses that will not just bless our family but entire communities. I don’t want to paint an improper picture here that you simply run out and launch a new business or idea without counting the cost. Jesus reminds us that we have to exercise wisdom but waiting until YOU personally have all the pieces in place doesn’t require faith.
“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’ Luke 14: 28-30
How big is your God? How much bigger should your financial faith be?
Have you ever had to face a difficult conversation or situation with someone? Maybe you discovered someone doing something wrong and you were put in that awkward position of calling them out? I believe that we are too complacent in this area as Christians today. We don’t want to “rock the boat, be seen as insensitive, or worse unaccepting.” John the Baptist called Herod out for his cruelty and his adulterous relationship. It was because of this that he was imprisoned and ultimately beheaded. Who has faith like that? While it is a greater faith step to call out a political figure, church pastor, or boss we should be bold enough to call out sin in our own homes, among friends and family.
Before I got married I was in a relationship with a man who was not right for me. I was living with a girlfriend who had enough faith and courage to confront me about it. She approached me tentatively but said, “I have to tell you something and please don’t get mad. I just want you to hear me out.”
Anytime conversations start like that I want to run away. Can you relate?
“This guy you are with is an (A$$), and he doesn’t treat you with the respect and honor you deserve. You are better than that. I love you and I will ultimately respect whatever you decide but I had to tell you what I see.”
Even though the words were harsh, they were needed. I realized what she was saying was true and I was allowing someone to treat me with less honor than God, and my Mama and Daddy had raised me to expect! So ultimately, I left that relationship. My girlfriend probably saved me a tremendous amount of heartache.
That girlfriend was one of my bridesmaids at my wedding and I still love that she was so brave, to tell the truth. This is the kind of relationship courage we need more of. Faith that even though we might have to call out uncomfortable things it will heal and empower others to do what is right.
I could write an entire book on this…wait I did! 🤣 Truthfully, discovering your calling and then bolding following it takes courageous faith. We are all created with a divine purpose and plan. Your dream will require finances, expertise, time, and drive beyond your ability. It will require daily surrender to God’s timing, resources, and guidance. My journey of becoming an author has taken 40 years to uncover. I’m still pursuing the calling and discovering day by day what God wants me to do. The funny part is, my calling continues to grow, change, and expand so that accomplishing it requires God’s participation. My effort is required and my faith is needed, but God is leading.
What is God calling you to do in this season? Who has been put on your heart? Where do you see yourself being able to make an impact?
Ask God to share what areas of your faith can you take a step of courage. We all have a next step, often they feel like a leap. I have never taken a step in faith that I regretted. I’d love to hear what step of faith you think God is asking you to take, because I’d love to pray for you. Please leave it in the comments below.