By: Patrice Harding | Have you ever had to make a decision that you knew would take you completely out of your comfort zone? Has God been tugging at your heart, or instructing you to do a certain thing, but the manipulations of your mind continue to steer you further and further away from God’s voice?
Three months ago I had to finally end the battle between my fears and God’s provision: I had to decide if I was going to obey God, or if I would remain living day to day in MY seemingly perfect plan for financial stability. It was the hardest decision that I ever had to make, but I chose to obey God and leave my second full-time job of 7 years. Now choosing God’s provision was not my first option, as a matter of fact, I found myself asking God to just “give me a little more time, and then I will submit to your will”. You probably think I’m crazy right! Of course, I didn’t say those exact words to Him, but I can assure you that my actions did!
Up until July, this year has been the most emotional and heaviest year for me, and I have finally come to realize that part of those feelings were stemming from my silent battle between God’s provision and my unbelief and lack of faith. God had revealed to me in dreams, church sermons, and through my mother that it was time for me to let my second job go. I heard every word, and I knew what He was saying in the dreams, but my life just didn’t seem to be in alignment with His plan. Here I was working up to 20 hours a day: tired, drained, an emotional wreck, and worn out, but I felt like just a few more months wouldn’t hurt. Every morning I would wake up and pray for strength and God’s grace to get me through the long days, but as the weeks and months passed I was beginning to learn that God doesn’t grace us to do what He is calling us out of! Sheeessh!!
At the time I couldn’t understand why God would be calling me out of a place that was helping to keep me afloat in life. But that was the very reason why it was time for me to permanently walk out of that door. Instead of being confident in God as my Provider, I had allowed two payrolls to become my idol. I could only see a few miles ahead in life, but God knew that I was headed in a direction that would only lead me into destruction. This job was affecting my health mentally and physically. I can’t remember how many doctor’s appointments I had to schedule within a year simply because my health was the least of my worries, and money was more of a priority.
My relationship with God had become more of a convenience instead of a priority. My prayer life was becoming non-existent, and I had begun to ignore his 3 AM wake up calls. I can’t even tell you the number of days I woke up randomly in tears. Days when I barely had the strength to put on my work clothes, let alone brush my teeth. I would be driving home feeling completely fine and then would just burst into a heavy pool of tears. I remember a day that my brother called to check on me, he simply asked what I was doing, and my response wasn’t a direct answer, it was instead a complete breakdown. All I could tell him (as I was getting ready for work) was that I was tired of having to work so many hours. I had never been this emotional in my life because I was always so used to covering up my pain. I knew then, that if I didn’t make a change soon, I would find myself in a place that no one could get me out of including myself.
One day I woke up and mentally told myself that something had to give. I cried out…I screamed and cried out while allowing my tears to flow through the showerhead water. I asked God, “Why do I have to continue doing this? Why do I have to work myself until I become unrecognizable? Why did He allow this to become my life story?” In that very moment, I heard Him so softly yet sternly say, “It’s not what you had to do, it’s what you chose to do.” Wow! That was enough for me. Enough for me to stop blaming God for what was really my disobedience. Though my words claimed to trust Him, my heart had been exposed! I was done blaming God and ready to confess my unbelief, and faith that was much smaller than a mustard seed.
The real reason why I couldn’t surrender my financial stability and submit to God’s will, is because FEAR had me on a leash. I was fearful of living a life that I was forced to watch my mother live. I was fearful of struggling, and living check to check. I was fearful of losing everything that I had worked so hard for. I was fearful of what life would be like as a single woman with no support. I had already blamed myself for being unsuccessful and not finishing nursing school, so I worked myself into depression trying to drown out the whispers of failure. I worked long hours to prove to my family that even though I may have failed, I could still survive!
I had decided that enough was enough. I was done lying to myself and done trying to prove these so-called survival skills. Now, I choose to stand on the promises of God. If that means that I will have to go through some dry seasons, I am confident in knowing that God will walk with me through the desert. In James 2:14-26, scripture tells us that faith without works (good deeds) is dead. It can seem so easy to post scripture, say quick prayers, and confess our love for God with our words; but what happens when He begins to uproot what we’ve been planted in for so long? What happens when the pruning and our spiritual growth requires an exit instead of an open door? God wants to see more of our deeds and hear less of our lip service. In order to receive God’s promises, we have to surrender our will.
We need enough faith to walk away from what has always been comfortable, so that we may walk into God’s perfect will and plan for our lives. We have to trust Him even when he is directing us away from the very place or thing that leaves no room for Him in our lives. If the Lord promises to never leave us (Deut 31:8), then that means we don’t have to be fearful of what could possibly be on the other side of our “Yes” to Him. It is time to get off of the battlefield against God’s provision because we are only in a battle against one enemy. The enemy wants us to stay in constant war with our faith and trust in God. He knows that if our faith is weak, then there is only so far that we are willing to go in our walk with Christ.
Because of my Yes and obedience to the Lord, I am no longer just “surviving”; now I am thriving and living in my true Purpose. Purpose that doesn’t come with a price tag. My prayer life has been restored, I’ve been at peace, at rest, and lacking NOTHING! I know that God will do the same for you. Whatever that situation is that you’re afraid to let go, that thing, that person, that idol…you have to release it! Surrender the fears and trust in the Lord with all of your heart without leaning on your own understanding (Proverbs 3:5). God doesn’t need us to have this super huge faith, because faith is strengthened over time. He wants us to have just enough faith to step out of our confined space so that we are able to follow him into the very next place He needs us to be!
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.”
-Proverbs 3:5 NLT
“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.”
-Matthew 6:33 NLT
“And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.”
-Philippians 4:19 NLT
“Keep your lives free from the love of money, and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
-Hebrews 13:5 NIV
“Heavenly Father, we ask that you search our hearts on today. Show us what we have unintentionally and intentionally put above you as an idol in our lives. Lord reveal our silent battles of unbelief. We cast all of our worries, fears, and anxieties upon you. May we desire your provision above our desires. Even if it hurts, God help us to walk out of our will so that we can fully submit to your perfect plan for our lives. We thank you for being our provider, comforter, and waymaker. Let your will be done. In Jesus name, Amen!”
What is your battle against God’s provision?
Why is it so important to obey God, even if it feels uncomfortable?
Is your faith in your Heavenly Father, or the things that are easily accessible in this world?
Over the next week, I challenge you to pray strategic prayers for God’s provision over your life.
Meet Today’s Writer: My name is Patrice Harding. I am a first-time author, new blogger, and founder of A Woman With A Vision. I love to read faith-based books and Christian Fiction. Besides reading, I love spending time with family and having Bible Study with friends. I always felt like I didn’t have much encouragement growing up, so I strive to encourage others daily, wherever and however God leads me. God has delivered me from bitterness, unforgiveness, low self-esteem, suicidal thoughts, and pain inflicted by my broken parents. I am here to encourage all women that Jesus Christ is our only way to deliverance, redemption, and freedom. I believe that God will meet us wherever we are, no matter how bad the situation looks, as long as we have an open heart to receive Him!” Patrice invites you to connect with her via email: firstname.lastname@example.org