We’re in the Desert
Life kinda sucks right now. We have no money and we don’t really know where it’s going to come from. We’ve given up our sense of direction and purpose for His purposes. We threw everything away to pursue a dream of “Establishing a house of worship, prayer and discipleship” in the city. In a way, I feel cheated and robbed. I feel like a dolt for choosing this path. I feel like I’ve thrown away everything for Him and He doesn’t care. I threw away a career, a home and many other opportunities to explore what it means to follow Christ in America. Now my family is in a basement with no money for bills, food, or to fix a duplex to show North Minneapolis “how much Jesus loves them.”
In all honesty, I have to wonder about my life choices over the past 2 years. It’s my fault we’re here. I’m the one who took my family on this journey and I naively assumed that “God would provide all I need.” Apparently, all I need includes a line of credit to be able to purchase groceries and gas to get my kids to school.
No one preaches on how sucky this is. I feel completely useless. I’ve put myself in a position where God absolutely has to move, and the reality is that He isn’t doing what I want Him to. It’s supremely frustrating, because we know He can. But, He isn’t moving at my pace and it makes me angry. I find myself not wanting to pray because I’m mad at Him. “This is how you treat those that love You! I left everything for you, and this is all you got!? WTF?!!!” I didn’t imagine it would be easy, but I figured He would provide for us in more tangible ways along the way.
[note: for those who don’t know me, I’m really okay. I know in my heart of hearts that God is moving. He is wanting to change my insides first. I have bad stuff in me, just like the 810 duplex was full of bad stuff and needed to be torn down before it could be built up. I know that He is using these circumstances to reveal the horrible nature of my heart and push me into closer dependence on Him. I’m just angry that the way is hard. Jesus didn’t come to make me happy. He was a man aquatinted with grief and sorrow. It’s okay to be brought into the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings; to whatever degree He deems us worthy. I’m not being martyred. My kids heads aren’t being chopped off. I’m spoiled and it’s showing. We’re in a financially difficult situation, and I’m being a baby about it. End of note.]
Ps 73: Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure
and have washed my hands in innocence.
14All day long I have been afflicted,
and every morning brings new punishments.
Somehow over the past few weeks, my motives have slipped back into earthly things. My wife and I always said from the beginning that our motivation is to stay in Love with God. The 810 project isn’t about a house or proving anything to anybody. It’s about providing a place where people can meet with God. And I’m beginning to fall out of Love. I need to change, and that’s the hardest thing about all of this. I wish I could blame God. I wish it was all His fault. Then I could throw up my hands and walk away, albeit angry and sad; but I could walk away and go on with life. But He’s not wrong. It’s my fault. I’m spoiled and motivated by my own comfort, not His will.
I am no different than Sodom:
Ezekiel 16 “‘Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.
My motivation has been all wrong. I’m looking to God to provide me with all that I think I need. I’m overfed and unconcerned. I’m so used to having all that I need, I become starchy when my soup is a little to thin. I’m getting crushed and what’s coming out is not good. I’m noticing many things about the fear and anxiety in my own heart. In reality, I’m thankful that God is disciplining us. We want to establish a place for His presence, but have so much to learn about His heart. I have not been made perfect in Love, for perfect Love drives out fear. We’re re-evaluating God’s timeline for this project. I may need to seek more work for a while. It may take longer to get there, but God will establish a place for His Name in North Minneapolis. We will stay in love with Him. We will grown and learn. We won’t stop praising Him.
Our motivation needs to be about staying in love with Him. I ran across a bible study note I made before we started this journey. It encouraged me and is helping get my bearings again. Here it is:
Job 1: Early in the morning he would sacrifice a burnt offering for each of them,
Job got up early each morning to offer sacrifices for his kids.
angels present themselves to God. Satan is allowed to come with.
God asks, ‘where did you come from”, ‘did you consider Job: There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil
Is God trying to show off? trying to convince Satan that there is good? What’s the result?: satan attacks and God eventually receives more glory.
Jesus, you are worthy of all glory. You will do what you do. Your wisdom is above my wisdom. I worship you with all I have today. have your way in me.
- Sabeans took animals, killed servants [influence of people]
- ‘fire of god fell from the sky’ and burned up sheep [effect natural order]
- Chaldeans formed 3 raiding parties [influence of people]
- mighty wind swept in and killed kids [effect natural order]
took all Job’s belongings and things he held dear. not because he did anything wrong, but because Satan is evil. Does God allow Satan to attack us to refine us? Is this His Discipline? Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.
Thank you God, for all we still have. thank you that you have given us love for each other and love for you. Have your way in our finances today. we love you SO MUCH.
What I want:
- wild worship. I want to be reckless and abandoned to worship of my Father. I want to inspire others through prayer and dedication to the will of my God.
- I see myself in the city, spending my days worshipping, praying, fasting, teaching
- I want to train youth in the ways of honoring God and help them follow His will…train them in Holiness
- I think I need a lower income/maintenance lifestyle. i think to worship and pray the way I want to requires less bills? I’m not sure what to do here
- sell house?
- make a boatload of money to pay off all debt?
- I need no debt so I don’t have to make and pay so much to live.
- I need: food, clothes, shelter.
- if we lived in the city, we could use public transit to move around.
- the point of it all is to be abandoned to God. i’m tired of trying to serve both God and money.
- I’m not saying this life is evil. but I’m not satisfied in it. i’m not comfortable. there is a fire in me that I want to feed. i find it difficult to fuel this fire and trying to maintain this existence at the same time.
- Father God, please direct us in this. what should we do?
- should we talk to a realtor?
- should we try to repair our house to sell? we’d need money to do this?
- should we find a church in Mpls?
I just want your leading on this God. I don’t want to get ahead of you. I want to wait in Your Presence. I’m excited to see what it is that you are doing. I do believe you are doing something…i just don’t want to assume I know what it is. please lead and guide us through circumstances. i am dumb. I am a sheep. please bring circumstances in to view and make them plain for miah and I to see. help us see what you are doing. bring realtors into view, buyers into view, or money into view. thank you for sitting above us on your throne, and for guiding us and being involved in our lives. thank you that you are for our good, but ultimately you are for Your Glory. We want to show Your Glory in this world. We want to Glorify You! We love you Jesus!