Big changes are happening at the Yoder home. Another graduate is on our doorstep.
Our firstborn is leaving as a full time missionary in August.
And I’m leaving my secure, paid job as a school counselor to devote more time to writing, speaking, advocating, and educating–the ministry to which He’s called me. And some other family changes.
A year ago in May, God was very clear that I was to live out Psalm 23:1-3. I was to rest. I was to learn to lay down in green pastures, and I was to learn to follow Him beside the still waters. That visual picture and command was so clear as I sat beside the still waters of the Grand River in Lowell, Michigan.
I was to let Him lead me beside still waters as I reduced my time at school so I could be more present with my son who’s a senior and my daughter who was moving home to raise support the year before the mission field.
And as I’ve done that, ministry has expanded. And God has made it clear I am to step back from what is clear and secure so I have time and energy for what is not so sure.
Except Him. God is sure, secure, and clear. And He is where I am to put my faith.
Here are 5 lessons He’s teaching me about faith. I hope it’s an encouragement to you.
1. Outside of faith in Christ for salvation, faith is simple obedience. Faith is obeying God in what He’s calling, asking, or convicting you to do, and trusting Him for the results. Hebrews 11:1 says faith is being sure of what you hope for and certain of what you do not see. Obedient faith is faith in action–acting on what God tells you without knowing the results. It’s trusting God in all areas. For real.
2. God places a higher value on faith than what churches teach. As I’ve been studying faith in Scripture, one verse deeply convicts me. Without faith, it’s impossible to please God–Hebrews 11:6a. Ouch. How much time and energy do we, the body of Christ, spend trying to please God legalistically when He is simply asking us to have faith? Faith in everything. Faith in our obedience. Faith in how He will answer our prayers. Faith for the unknowns. Faith that He will provide.
3. God is the rewarder of those who earnestly seek Him (Hebrews 11:6b). God has made it clear to me I am not to strive in certain areas, but I am to put that energy into seeking Him over the next year of change. His rewards don’t come from anything you and I do–but He rewards when we actively pursue Him. In everything.
4. We are to praise God no matter what. I am convicted by Hebrews 13:15 that praise is often a sacrifice we offer God when it’s done in faith–praising Him for what we don’t yet see. Praising Him when we we don’t know the outcome. Trusting He will provide, just like Abraham did on Mount Moriah. We don’t have to praise God for bad circumstances, but He’s calling us to praise Him for who He is and what He will do that we don’t yet know about. That’s faith.
5. We are to seek God and expect Him to supply our needs (Matthew 6:32-33). This idea is countercultural and yet it’s what God commands throughout Scripture. As we seek Him first, in obedience, in prayer, and in praise, He will reward by supplying our needs.
Not our wants.
Our family will still drive old cars for a few more years. We will cut back in certain areas. But our needs–I am trusting God to supply our needs as I change from a secured profession to a less-than-secure paycheck.
God has shown our family multiple times where He has provided for us. Many of them are so personal, it is not appropriate to share. But I’m encouraging you, as I speak to myself, that as I thank God for what He’s done in the past, it’s a sacrifice of praise for what He will do in the future.
I’ve learned being in the center of God’s will is the most secure place.
That’s obedient faith rather than practical faith.
And I’m anticipating like Abraham, that God, Himself, will provide (Genesis 22:8).
Where do you need to obey in faith? What is God calling you to do that seems impractical, yet is an act of faith to live out? I’d love to hear from you!