fear, faith & tents

Matthew 7:8 “For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.”

For the past two months, in our search for a home, I have parked Stan the Van in front of four or five houses in our zip code and said, “God I would like to rent this house.  If it’s in your will, please make it available on (or before) Sept 1st for x amount.”  Because we have a house in Georgia that is currently sitting empty we have been hesitant to even look into purchasing a home here.

Actually, the whole truth is that I’ve been living in fear.  After two years of leading Financial Peace University and walking through the steps to financial freedom and building up a nice savings, I was still living in the emotional bondage that comes along with a lifetime of debt.  Chad has asked me numerous times to contact my mortgage guy and numerous times I’ve given him all the reasons that we couldn’t possibly get another mortgage when we still own the house in Georgia.  I grew up with a single Mom who worked her tail off to put food on the table.  The lessons of perseverance, making the most out of what you have, and the work ethic that came from that upbringing are priceless.  The emotional scars that came from utilities occasionally being shut off and never answering the phone because “there might be a debt collector behind that ring” are not quite as valuable.  It’s really kind of crazy that I’ve held on to the emotional bondage that comes from debt and an impoverished mentality.  But hey, I’ve never denied the fact that I’m at least a tad bit crazy.

About a week ago God showed me something about living my life like Abraham.  Abraham was fearless.  When God asked him to do some pretty scary things, he said, “Yes, Sir.”  He lived a comfortable live in an ungodly place and when God told him to leave that place (Ur), he was willing to go and live in tents in order to live in God’s favor.  That’s the life I want.  I would rather live in a tent and swim in the favor of God than live in a mansion that was nothing to do with God’s will and everything to do with my own.

Isaiah 41:10 “fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

So… in all the months that my lovely hubby was asking me to see what type of mortgage we qualified for, I acted out of fear.  My mind grasps that fear displaces faith, but that big ball of fear in my gut had no desire to leave.  After reading about Abraham’s heart for pleasing God, I spent about 24 hours figuring out what was stopping me from looking into buying here.  At the end of that 24 hours, I expanded my home search from local rentals to sales.  Just as dear hubby messaged me that he was almost home and that he wanted to eat out for dinner, I saw two houses on the same street that had been reduced that day.  I made a mental note of the street, got everybody ready to leave and asked if we could stop and see a house on our way to the restaurant.  We pulled into the driveway of the first house with a ‘for sale’ sign on the noted street, walked thru the front door, and entered 1960.  24 hours after that, God used a mortgage broker to show me what happens when you let go of fear.  We’re actually in excellent financial shape (thank you, Dave Ramsey).

Confession time.  Even though we’ve led FPU for two years and we know that we should pull our credit report every year, I haven’t looked at ours in at least three years.  If I’m going to be totally honest, I’m glad I haven’t looked at it.  You see, in that time we’ve paid off tens of thousands of dollars in debt and put ourselves in a pretty good position for buying a new home.

But you know what?  The day after I got a mortgage approval letter and began drafting our offer for the house, one of those rentals I sat in front of several times in the last two months, came on the market.  And…It’s available Sept. 1st.  And… It’s listed for exactly x amount.  And the next day, another of those houses came on the market.  You guessed it.  It’s also listed for exactly x amount and it’s available August 15th.

Don’t get me wrong.  I would love to have the house that takes you back to 1960 and to have the opportunity to make it exactly what we envision it could be.  But, I’ve learned something big this week.  It’s not about the house.  It’s about walking in God’s favor.  And it’s pretty hard to walk in God’s favor when your fears or emotional hangups are displacing your faith.

Hebrews 11:7-11 NIV “By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.  By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise.  For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.  And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she considered him faithful who had made the promise.”

I don’t want to live in that house or in either of the rentals that I’ve asked God for, if they are going to take me out of HIS will and into my own.  I want to live like Abraham and Sarah.  Guess it’s a good thing I’m fond of camping 😉


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