You open the mailbox and look inside. Another bill is waiting to welcome you and your wallet has nothing but dust in it. Many are faced with the challenge of how to make ends meet in a tough economy. I too have been challenged in this way. When your money runs out and there are no new prospects in sight then you ask what do i do now?? I found myself challenged in this way this last month. I have had many people tell me stories of how they were challenged to walk a road of faith and choose to trust that the Lord was truly their provider. This has been the path I have been walking for the last month.
In the month of September, I knew my funds were low and soon I would be out of money completely. Yet i sat in a leadership meeting with my Pastor challenging us to ask God to prove himself in a place in our lives. I did not need long to come up with what I needed God to show me. I needed provision. So I request that the Lord would please do something in my situation by September 30th or I would need to start seeking employment. I felt I could not ignore my situation but yet, God knew my heart was to take God at His word. Even if I was afraid, I would take steps forward believing Him for breakthrough. Waiting is a hard place some days it is easy and other’s it is hard. I was down to the wire. It was September 29th and I had one day to my deadline. I decided to go to a healing conference that was held locally and was free. As I sat and listen to this woman from El Salvador I was very stirred up. I had been studying a scripture about Hezekiah that morning. When this lady made reference to that scripture and then began to speak that there was someone out there who had asked God to do something in a certain time frame and that God was asking them for seven more days. It was like it was just God, her and I in the room. God had my attention and I agreed to seven more days.
I had a choice now dare to believe God or give into my fears. It was time for stepping out of the boat faith. Did I dare to be like Peter and take a chance that this was truly the Lord nudging me and be willing to let the waves start crashing around me as I walked on water. I too like Peter found out this is not a journey for the light hearted. So I stepped out and chose to walk by faith not by sight. I could not see how I was going to get provision but God repeatedly spoke to me that He was going to put me in a broad place, He was going to deliver me, He was going to send me people and resources for what I needed. He was now challenging me to believe that. He had spent the last several months telling me that it was vital, that His people would take Him at his word. He gave me examples of Zachariah, Mary and Peter. Where each of these people were given a direct word from God that challenged them to believe Him for something bigger than they were. The challenge also came with promise. Each person reacted first in fear. We all have to fight fear. Even the best people in the bible had issues with fear. It is going to happen. Fears main purpose is to stop us from moving forward in faith with what God is calling us to do. I have to say that even after this last season the Lord showed me that even though Zachariah gave into his fear and doubt God’s word still did what it said it was going to do. God shut Zachariah’s mouth to stop him from speaking that fear and doubt. So I made the decision to dare to believe Him.
The first few days not much happened. I spent some time just being faithful in the things the Lord had given me to do each day. It did not seem that there was a way for money to come in. it seemed it was business as usual. On Wednesday that week a couple from my church walked by my house in the morning. they lived in my neighborhood and we had all agreed that we needed to connect. When I saw them go by I was still in my PJ’s and on the phone with a friend so I was not going to run out and chat. I thought I would just catch them another time. I finished up my phone call and then changed my clothes. To my surprise I saw them walk past again. So this time I went out to greet them. I brought them in to see my house. I wanted to show them the handy work that God had done. I call the house the Nehemiah House because the Lord used the book of Nehemiah to tell me to rebuild the walls of this house and His people. In less than a year we have been able to almost completely flip this house. So I was sharing the vision with them. They became very excited and shared they like the concept. Steve told me that he was a graphic artist. So I asked him if he minded sharing his knowledge on a concept I had for a logo for what I was now calling the Nehemiah House Project. The explanation of that is on another Blog called “House Lift” rubble2restore. Steve asked if I minded that he take a try at the design. So I agreed. With in two days He had come up with what is now the logo for this ministry. God began to move in the 7 days he had asked for. They were the first of four different people that told me I should build and art studio in my house.
On Thursday that week I went to an art class I had been invited to. I started going because I i needed to do something that would give care to my soul. I had always loved drawing and i had not done much painting other than some mural’s and signs I had worked on in the past. I had been invited to visit the class a few weeks earlier and was asked to come back. It was in this class that I have met some awesome artists and God loving people. Who are passionate about their art and the Lord. It was this day that I met Brenda. Her and I just met that day but there were three of us who wanted to help the art teacher get the studio ready for his next big project so we all agreed to meet that next monday. My seven days was over on Sunday. That night one of the older ladies in the class Patty encourage me in my art and faith. She was the second person to tell me I needed to start and art studio.
On Friday I got a call from my friend Jill in California. I shared with her some of the scriptures that the Lord had been sharing with me that day. While reading a scripture about giving and being cheerful about your giving. She told me she had a random picture in her head and she was not sure it was God but that she thought I should start an art studio in my house. I am now sensing a theme here. She was the third person to say this.
On Saturday I had to take my son to the airport early in the morning for a trip he was taking. When I returned home I sat down for my journaling time. I had been reading in several books that fasting was good for breakthroughs. I had had it on my heart that I might want to do a three day fast but it was a water only fast and that is the kind of fast i don’t take lightly. So I wanted to know the Lord was in it. That morning the Lord took me to 2 Chronicles 20. It was about Jehoshaphat and his army going up against many armies of enemies. They were out numbered and weren’t sure what to do. So Jehoshaphat prayed and fasted. The Lord told him to stand and watch the Lord deliver him from their enemies. He was given instructions to just stand and worship God. As they did the enemies became confused and killed each other. Then Jehoshaphat and his army just walk onto the battlefield and it took them three days to collect the blessings from the battle. I don’t know about you but three days for an army to pick up blessings had my attention and it all came through prayer, fasting and taking God at His word. He had my attention now. especially because this was not my first time visiting this scripture. The first time was over 17 years ago.
So I chose to fast. I would start today and fast until Tuesday morning. At this point I had a work day schedule to work on my house with some help but I was moving forward. I chose to start putting feet to my faith after being confirmed through three people I started to work on the garage to transform it into an art studio.
On monday I had some errands to run before the cleaning of art studio. I also took some time to seek the Lord that morning. I asked him to please give me the plans He had for the ministry, like he had given Moses for the tabernacle. I knew he had done it for Moses and God was no respecter of persons. So what He has done for one of us, He can do for all of us. This is the day I really got to know Brenda. As we were working together cleaning and we found we worked well together. We enjoyed sharing about what God was doing in our lives. We were blown away by how our heart’s for ministry had a similar heartbeat. Then while sorting through some books she start just randomly started praying everything I had wrote in my journal that morning. She then proceed to tell me I needed to start an art studio in my house. It is almost funny because I had been watching a show on TV that week and some one on the show made a reference to the movie “Field of Dreams” where the quote “if you build it they will come.” I am not building a ball field but I am building a studio. Brenda and I then decided to become good friends and partners in what God is doing in our lives.
Needless to say, the Lord now had my attention. I had come to the understanding that if God had done that much in seven days, I could take a step further and chose to trust Him standing and watching Him bring forth my deliverance and provision. I waited an additional month beyond my deadline. It did not come without my flesh squirming and fear and doubt working me over. One month to the day past my deadline I was having a meltdown on my way to church. My spirit was willing but at this point my flesh was weak. He had done things like give me a hundred dollars here, some chairs there, a head of lettuce and a pair of sneakers. These things were all helpful yet they were not going to pay my bills. I cried all the way to church. There were many events that contributed to my stat of mind that day. I was feeling in my emotions that I would be better off to stay at home yet in my heart I knew the best place for me was to go to church. the sermon that day was what i needed to hear about fear and doubt. I chose to go up and have prayer. While at church I had some one give me an envelope. Later when I checked it had fifty dollars in it. I was very grateful for God’s continued provision. I did not see at the time a big miracle but I was at peace again. Just before going to be I decide to check my bank account. When your funds are low it is best to check it from time to time. Well when I looked at the balance I just began to cry. Someone had deposited $1500.00 in my account. I now had enough money to pay my bills. I was grateful and humbled. God had kept his word. He had delivered me the people and resources He had promised. He is continuing to connect me with the people and resources I need. He is my salvation and my strong tower. I am walking in faith and standing and watching His delivering power over my life. I have built it and they are beginning to come. My first class is schedule on Nov 10th.