Faith and Arrogance
I have detailed a tremendous amount of my past, my childhood, my etc, here. Probably too much for someone actively in pursuit of a job. You’re supposed to be impressive for all that.
But I’m in too deep to stop now, right?
When I was a kid, I grew up in the Pentecostal/Charismatic/Word of Faith movement. Yes, that one. One of the distinctive heresies found therein is the idea that God is desirous to bless you with worldly things and that you must both ask for(demand) said worldly blessings and also assume said blessings will be yours. How do you go about that second one? Well, you buy cars on 30% interest and you just wait and see because God is going to bless your faith.
See, you are believing strongly, therefore God will be impressed. I mean, there are verses that say things like,
And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. Hebrews 11:6
I mean that’s just pretty plain, right? (Before I take one step further, the previous statement is meant in sarcasm. That’s not what that verse means, I am just giving you one to explain the mindset.)
And now, having been saved (by faith even), I have a different view. And one that might err in the other direction. The last year of my life has been spent living on faith. And my meaning for that is so different now than when I was in my childhood and teen years. I made so many financial mistakes when I was younger as a direct result of “faith.” I used to believe that God was owed something, something I could pay, in order to appease Him. I used to believe He was benevolent towards me in direct response to how generous I was in my giving to Him.
The last year of my life has been spent living on faith.
I said it again, so what do I mean? There is a saying, or perhaps it’s just a set of sayings, or maybe an ideology at Immanuel Nashville, that says that we live by “putting our full weight down on Jesus.” This means that we don’t have a half-hearted, 30% “in” stake. We don’t come to God and offer him a little in hopes that He doesn’t disappoint. No, we come and we give everything. We sell what we have to. We take what jobs we have to. We sacrifice what comforts we have to.
And we do it all because we’re all in.
The last year has been all in. And it has not been comfortable. It has been terrifying. For example, I have a set of skills that I am currently using to pay bills. I had to invest in some equipment to do more. This is a considerable, thoughtful investment, in hopes that we will be able to do more with what we have.
But even so? It’s all riding on Jesus. He has to provide the work. He has to provide the way. And that’s okay. Because what pleases Him isn’t my bribery. What pleases Him is my counting on Him, in trembling humility, to be everything. This is walking by faith.
And still? Still I struggle with the wounds of old that come and accuse me. They tell me I’m being foolish to risk anything, right now, with such uncertainty. But shying back, hedging my bets, treating God with a maybe and a side eye? That’s so much worse.
I want to be all in. And Jesus is taking me up on that.