prayThis summer has been by far the most challenging for me as a church planter. The reason is fairly simple … God anwered my prayer from my days in Orlando (actually, Rhonda and I prayed the same prayer). I bet you’re wondering what we prayed. Well, we asked God to “let us live by faith like we did when we first got married and allow us to be a part of something that we can not do; something that only you can do so we can give you the glory.” Basically, we wanted to be a part of something where hundreds of people experienced real life in Christ through a relationship with him.

While living in Orlando Rhonda and I had grown comfortable. Life was fairly easy. We had a nice house. Our kids lived near us, and we enjoyed Sunday dinner each week. We went on vacations. But, we were not happy. Something was missing. God had stirred out hearts to do something; we just didn’t know what it was.

After a lot of prayer and “door knocking,” we sensed God calling us to plant a church, but we didn’t know where. Genesis 12:1 screamed out at us, “The LORD had said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.” So, we followed God on this “abrahamic” journey.

Even though we knew Abraham’s story, we kind of forgot about the testing of his faith and our prayer as time passed. Abraham had asked God for a son, and God answered Abraham’s prayer when he was 99 years old. By the way, before the promise was fulfilled Abraham got ahead of God and tried to fulfill the promise on his own (that caused a lot of heartache and trouble).

God tested Abraham’s faith by telling (not asking mind you) him to “Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about.” He obeyed God and just before he thrust the knive into his bound son, God sent an angel who told him to stop because he had passed the test.

Basically, that’s where we are right now. No, we are sacrificing any of our children on an altar. We have laid River Ridge Church, our finances, and our house on the altar. God is answering the first part of our prayer: “let us live by faith like we did when we first got married.”

Living by faith is easy when you’re in your 20’s; it’s not easy when you’ve got a nice house with a lot of stuff in a great neighborhood. I don’t know how this thing is going to end, but I believe God is about to answer the second part of our prayer.

Now, all of this would be pointless without something you could take home. So, here are some things for you to chew on:

  • pray, pray, and pray . . . just know that God hears all of your prayers and loves to answer those that cause you to get more intimate with him
  • pray, pray, and pray . . . but before you do ask yourself if you’re prepared to get closer to God
  • when your faith is tested, keep looking up . . . looking down will get you into trouble every time
  • when your faith is tested, be honest with God, and yourself . . . you will get mad; you will doubt God; you will be mad at God; tell him all about it without holding back because he will listen and comfort you (David did it & so can you)
  • when your faith is tested, read the Bible . . . God will speak to you through his Word!

Okay God, everything is on the altar and the knive is drawn! Now, where’s that angel?