This past month, Mike and I have been praying, seeking the Lord and making some hard decisions. Mike has been the chair drummer at Immanuel Baptist Church for the last three and a half years. A year into playing there, Mike was able to start attending Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary to get his Masters of Divinity with the help of the Southern Baptist Convention’s discounts for being a member of a Southern Baptist Church and scholarships from IBC itself. We have been incredibly blessed by the financial support we have received. Mike has felt the call on his life for full time ministry for sometime and we knew that coming to IBC was a step in the right direction. For the last year or so, I have been feeling like God was going to do something BIG in our lives (and it wasn’t the miracle of Samuel!) and I asked trusted friends and family to pray for us.
Well, Mike decided to call up all the pastors we knew and seek wise counsel. He was able to meet with 2 out of 3 pastors he had on his list. After talking with them and praying, Mike felt like it was time to leave IBC. One big problem – we count on the income that Mike receives from playing there every week. It doesn’t make sense for us financially to leave IBC. We were not sure if it would be a Spirit-led leap of faith or a big fat crazy mistake! We prayed and prayed and prayed and many sleepless nights later, we knew it was what God was calling us to do. We knew we had to obey, even though we were not sure how our bills would be paid. Even people close to us questioned our decisions, asking how our bills would be paid. But we were adamant about obeying the Lord.
Mike had one last pastor on his list to talk to and about a week after knowing it was time to move on, but not exactly sure where to move on to, Pastor Ryan called Mike. Mike met with Pastor Ryan of Generations Church in Menifee and was offered an internship! After a year, Mike will be licensed, then a year after that he will be ordained. The internship is not paid, which leaves us in the same financial position. How will we pay all of our bills?
I was spending some time a few days ago in prayer, telling God how scared I was about the lack of income when Mike leaves IBC. I am sure the Lord was looking down on me with such compassion. He knows my inner workings; He knows I am a natural worrier. He knows it is something I struggle with constantly. I heard a still small voice inside of me that said, “If you really believe that I AM who I say I AM, then you need to trust Me completely with your finances.” What a test of my faith! He called me out! How can I say that God is faithful, that He provides for our every need, yet deep inside be doubting that we will be taken care of?!
This was one of the only times in my life when I knew it was the Lord’s voice. I have goose bumps just typing this! I felt His power all around me and I began to weep. I have a choice to make. Either I choose to worry about where our needed income will come from, making myself sick, making Mike stressed, or I choose to trust and obey. I must admit, I have to check myself everyday, often many times a day. I still don’t know where the money will come from or how we will pay for the rest of Mike’s seminary education without the financial help, but I have to give my fears to Jehovah Jireh (the Lord our Provider). I DO believe He is who He says He is and I choose to trust Him completely with our finances!
I contemplated writing about this because I thought maybe some would see this as a plea for money, a round about way of asking for help. But I knew that I had to write about this because I have a friend who chose to obey the Lord when it seemed crazy. Her husband quit his job when he didn’t have another one lined up because he knew it was God wanted him to do. They chose to trust and obey, even when Christian friends told them it was the wrong thing to do. I know she and her husband don’t regret their decision. Her unfailing obedience to her Lord, when it wasn’t the popular thing to do, encouraged me to do the same. I hope that someone who reads this is encouraged to obey His voice, knowing that in the end, His opinion of us is all that matters anyway.