I’m not the writer in this marriage, I guess that’s the result you get when you would rather be in school for the social aspect then the actual learning part. I never did apply myself in high school except for when it came to home economics and even at that I could of applied myself more to learning basic life applications like; changing a babies diaper, balancing a check book, or budgeting. Nope. Cooking on the other hand was my sweet spot. I excelled at that portion of class even to the point of deciding that Culinary school was where I was headed after I graduated high school (barely). I’ll save the details of that story for another time. For now just bare with me and my grammar. I want to share about a conversation I had earlier today.
A friend of mine and I were talking about a verse in 1 John. It’s a short verse, but it carries some weight.
1 John 5:21 – Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.
Pretty straight forward if you ask me. My first thought or interpretation of that would be for me not to worship man made things or creation around us instead of the creator. If I can be honest my thoughts tend to go towards those who don’t know Jesus as their savior. It’s simple right? If you don’t know Jesus, then you have to have other things you live for, which is in essence a form of idolatry. It’s just human nature. So if that’s the case, we who call ourselves christians (Christ-like), don’t have that issue of idolatry. Seems logical, but if you dissect that verse you realize that John wasn’t addressing the non-christians, he was actually addressing the church of Ephesus. Yep…the church. To most of us christians we admittedly say,” that’s not a surprise, we’re all humans prone to sin which is what idolatry is.”
Now I’m not writing this to point out what idolatry is or is not. I’m writing this to show you how subtle idolatry can creep in. By now you know what my wife and I are setting out to do, move to Nicaragua. The thought of moving internationally has been stirring in both of us from the very beginning of our relationship, heck, well before we even knew each other! The thought of moving to Nicaragua sounds ‘sexy’, but when you strip it all down you realize there are so many details in making this happen. One of which is the finances (not sexy). It’s the part we would rather skip over honestly, but that’s not reality.
Here we are right in the middle of our financial campaign and we are slowly watching our goals being met. Most of the time I’m confident without a doubt that God will make it happen, but then there’s ‘those’ times. Times of doubt, of panic, or just plain fear. They come from nowhere and shoot through my being like lightening. I’ll go from peace to panic in a flash and it’s as if I can feel fear himself wrapping his talons around my throat. All of the sudden I’m scared, nervous, and extremely anxious. My thoughts turn from the Lord and I begin worshipping the very things I’m told not to.
Philippians 4:6 – Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
Sometimes these thoughts will last for several minutes and really that’s because I foolishly begin entertaining them. If I were to let my mind run, my life would be a mess. I would be so stressed out. Most of the time though, I’m aware of what thoughts are going through my head and I have to snap myself out of it. Literally, I have to say enough is enough and essentially slap my spirit awake. There’s a verse that speaks to this as well.
2 Corinthians 10:5 – We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
You see how easily idolatry tries to take root? All of the sudden I go from worshipping the Lord to bowing down to fear and the peace that I’ve been given about moving to Nicaragua is gone. The beautiful part about that is that experiencing those sudden bursts of anxiety reminds me of how much I need Christ in my life. I grab ahold of that fear and I hand it over to Jesus. It’s a constant reminder that I cannot do this nor would I want to do this without Him. The simple fact is that He told us to go, so He will make a way.
Where the money comes from only God knows, but that’s the best part. After all faith is believing in what is unseen and we believe that He won’t drop us. Even if it doesn’t look like what we thought it would, He still won’t drop us. God is perfect and His timing is beyond our scope. All Jamie and I are doing is stepping out in Faith, trusting and knowing that Jesus is standing there with his outstretched hand. I just have to be reminded not to focus on what I see, but have Faith in what I don’t see. I think we all need that reminder.