Selfishness is a universal trait of our fallen human nature. Selfishness is much more than the childlike tendency to hoard all the toys and not share. Selfishness seeps into all our interactions, and selfishness encroaches on our ability to trust God.
When the going gets tough, we tend to think that WE will take matters into our own hands, that WE will find an answer, or that WE will get the needed job done. We are all quick to think in terms of me instead of looking to God.
Church planters struggle with this as much, if not more than other people. Why? Because church planters, by their nature, are “git-r-done” type people (to quote Larry the Cable Guy). Church planters tend to be the “don’t ask for permission, just do it and ask for forgiveness later”-type people. We have expectations of ourselves and confidence in our abilities and leadership.
But often things don’t work out the way we were planning. Our 6-month plan hasn’t materialized after 6 years.
The question that must be asked in those moments of clarity is “Were those MY plans or God’s?”
Faith is trust in God and is the antidote for having to discover answers and create outcomes in ourselves.
Abraham discovered this.
In chapter 5 of the book, “The Fulfillment”, Dr. Timothy Tennent outlines the series of events that led up to Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice Isaac on the altar. Through his life, Abraham had come to trust that God’s plans will come to pass even if it took a long time and even when it appeared they were about to die…literally.
That’s when Jehovah Jireh appeared and provided a ram in the bush. God wanted Abraham to fully trust Him and for Abraham’s love for God to exceed that of his love for Isaac. Abraham passed the test and is known as the Father of Faith.
So how is your faith? Could God be orchestrating something unexpected to lead you into a deeper life of faith and trust? Are you being patient with His Promises? Or is your selfish tendency to trust yourself and look to your own abilities squeezing God out?
Yesterday our church received a tithe check of almost $10,000.00 from a homeless man. Read that again. It’s true. From a homeless man. On a week when I was despairing of low finances and bills piling up, I had been asking God to show me whether our ministry to the poor was pleasing to him and worth the effort. And then my cell phone rang. My friend had something for the church that he wanted to give me in person. I was blown away.
Jesus is our Jehovah Jireh. For me, He chose the most unlikely of people to prove this once again.
God is always good, so hold on. Be patient and trust in God (not yourself), and watch what He does!