Stepping Out

One of my top ten favorite songs is called “Come Away” by FFH, it’s on their album “Voice From Home”.  In this song God is speaking to us (His Beloved) saying that He’s been with us for so long, but there is something that we’ve not seen.  We often know God as soft and calm, but that is not all of Him!  We have held the candle and felt the flame of His love and who He is, but if we want more of God, we need to go DEEPER!

Then the song goes on to say, “Tonight you’ll feel the blaze! You have heard me call your name, but never in this way.  Tonight everything will change!  You’ll never be the same!  For us to really be in love, the way you’ve always dreamed of, it’s got to be this way.  Come away with me, to the mountain of your dreams.  Come away with me there’s something you’ve got to see.  I will show you who I am.

You’ve been standing in the stream.  The water feeling nice, it’s only up to your knees.  But it’s beginning to rise.  Let it carry you away.  Don’t worry it’ll be okay; I’ll be right by your side.  There’s much more than meets the eye.”

I love this song; every time I hear it I get emotional and cry.  I love God and His great and passionate desire to not only love us, but have a fervent, intimate relationship with all of us.  I have been really learning lately that we as Christians can just sit and enjoy the water of Christianity.  We can relax in God’s peace, but if we really want to know Him in a greater way, in a way where we will never be the same, a way that made the people mentioned in the Bible do the incredible things that they did in the name of our God.  Then we need to trust in our Creator and let those waters rise!  We need those waters to not only rise to our waist, or to our chest, but we need those intense waters to rise past the point of our control and carry us away!

God is looking for a people to really love Him and trust Him and jump in the water!  The Bible says in James 2:14,17 NIV, “14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”  We can continue to talk the talk, but if we are not walking the walk, it is all pointless!

We are a creation that was created to trust in our Creator!  God tells us to “…live by faith, not by sight.”  2 Corinthians 5:7 NIV “Trust is an amazing thing.  The word “faith” means belief, trust, and loyalty.  The Bible says that without faith or trust in God, we cannot please God (Hebrews 11:6), we cannot move mountains (Matthew 21:21), we cannot be made whole (Mark 5:34), God can never calm the storms in our lives (Luke 8:25), our hearts will never be pure (Acts 15:9), we will never do any wonders or miracles (Acts 6:8), we will never be justified or accepted (Romans 10:17), we can never be saved (Romans 10:9), we can never be healed (to many verses to put).  Without faith and trust in God, our lives will always be in shambles.  Life is just not worth living if we cannot trust God and believe in Him and His love for us.  How do we learn to trust God?  The Bible says that faith comes by hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17).  God is His Word, and if you want a relationship with any person, you need to know them and fellowship with them.”  Taken from my book, A Heart After God.  You also need to jump in!  How will you ever know if God is true to His word if you do not step out in faith, in trust, in belief that He is who He says He is?

God has never let me down in my entire life.  Oh, things haven’t always gone the way that I thought they should or even believed that they should.  But when I have taken God at His word, believed, and stepped out, I have never been disappointed and God has always met me where I was.

Our finances haven’t always been perfect.  Now, when I say perfect, I mean we have struggled just like most.  We have continuously tried to be faithful with what God has given to us and tried to be good stewards with all we have had, but at the beginning of most months we have been faced with a choice, pay the house payment or tithe.  We made a choice years ago that tithes and offerings were not only a command given by God (Malachi 3:6-12) and so therefore very important, but also something God used to better His children.  So, we wanted our tithe to be given out of faith, thus we decided to tithe our first fruits-which means to give our first and very best every month.  But because we are not on a fixed income we have had to step out in faith every month; pay the tithe first and believe God for the rest.  It has never been easy, but it has always been worth it.

My husband started a Home Inspection business in a down market.  Before he started his business we had generally never made over $2,000 a month and we had five children (we now have seven).  And yet we have virtually never had any consumer debt and we have always had more then enough and lived in very nice homes that we have owned-Praise God for that!  So, my husband Rory started his business in the middle of June and in the month of July he had made over $2,500.  We were ecstatic!  We knew that stepping out in faith to start this business was not only from God, but that it would financially bless our family.  So then a year goes by and he continues to do well, sticking to around that $2,500 a month.

But we come to a point and we ask ourselves “how do you tithe a first fruit if you don’t know what you will earn for that month?” So after prayer I feel like God is asking us to step way out in faith.  I feel like He is asking us to set an amount in our hearts, an amount that stretches us in our faith, and to tithe it and then believe God for the rest.  In Malachi 3, the people of God were not paying God what was due to Him.  God wants us to tithe, to show that we know that what we have is not our own, but that everything comes from Him.  So the people were not paying their tithes and God tells them that by not paying their tithes they are stealing from God.  He tells the people that first they should return to God and then He will return to them.  The people ask God how they are to return to Him and God says that they are to, in all reality have faith, and pay the tithe.  And in being obedient, God says that they can test Him in what He says, and He tells them that if they are faithful in paying the tithe that He will, “’10…throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. 11 I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not drop their fruit before it is ripe,’ says the Lord Almighty. 12 ‘Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,’ says the Lord Almighty.”  Malachi 3:10-12 NIV

God often times asks us to do things that will not only stretch us, but also really help us to grow in faith.  Stepping out is never easy, but it is always worth it.  So, I tell Rory what I feel like God says that we are to tithe $900 for the month of July, and believe God that we will make $9,000!  Now, $900 is an enormous amount of money, but $9,000 isn’t even comprehensible!

At this time I was pregnant with our seventh baby and due at the end of the month (which meant he would have to take a few days off to help me with our children), we had bought a new home (because we had outgrown our 1,200 square foot home) and moved the February before and still hadn’t sold our other house-so we had two house payments, and our construction loan had run out right before we had moved, so the rest of the repairs we had been making to our new home was coming from our personal monthly budget, and remember the previous July we barely made $2,500.  So, not only would we not have $900 to use for our monthly bills (which we really needed), but at the time we didn’t even have the full $900 to give!

This idea was definitely from God because Rory went along with it!  I think that the reason he went along with it, was in some ways to prove to me that I was crazy, and maybe because he had a small hope that I wasn’t, and I think he figured it couldn’t hurt because the money was still going to a better place (he has more of a giving heart then I do).  So in faith we stepped out, way out!  We believed God and by the end of June we had the $900 to give for the month of July.  All month it looked like any other month and I refused to look at the books to see where we were.  Never did I have a plan B for what I would do when God didn’t come through.  So finally at the end of the month (that looked like any other month) it was time to look at the books.  So with somewhat a heavy heart, I look at what we made.  And not kidding, we made $9,345.12!  Now I tell you this to in to no way lift us up, but to show you that with God all things are possible!  God can make the impossible, possible!  He loves to do those sorts of things in the lives of His children, but we have to first believe and then we have to step out!  (I must also note, that after that month, everything went back to being somewhat normal in what we made; most months after that, we made around $2,500 or even less!-God is great!)

If you look at the stories in the Bible you will almost always see someone in a desperate situation that needed something from God and in order to receive that something, they always had to, not only believe that God would do it for them, but they had to also step out in faith by putting their faith into action.

In the bible there was a woman who had an issue of blood and bled for twelve years.  “She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak.” Mark 5:26-27 NIV

She was in a dire situation and she was ready to be healed.  So, she believed in her heart that Jesus could heal her, all she had to do was stepped out, so in faith “She said to herself, ‘If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.’”  Matthew 9:21 NIV

In desperation and in faith this woman stepped out and touched the hem of His garment and was healed for the first time in twelve years; her pain, her suffering, her grief, and her misery were over all because she was willing to step out. (Story taken from Matthew 9:20-22 and Mark 5:25-29)

God wants better for you!  He wants you to have so much more then what you want for yourself, all He asks is that you believe and step out!