Friday, 31 January 2014

Are You All In?

Faith. God. Life. Are you all in?

This past year, 2013, has been a huge journey of faith for me beginning with a huge revelation I received when faced with quite a large issue: I spilled Pepsi all over Alex's MacBook. Now, if you ask my dad, this is no surprise. I spill. EVERYTHING. If it's in a cup or can, you can definitely expect to see it dribbled down my shirt and face or all over the table. Thankfully my husband thinks its cute or it would be really irritating. It has become a funny thing like, "Oh, Jessica spilled...ha ha ha that's just her...". But this was different. Because I actually killed something REALLY expensive this time in my clumsiness with liquids. There was no "ha ha silly Jessica..." this time. We now have a house rule that no computers will be left on the coffee table because of what had happened.

I was devastated, and I was so embarrassed. Alex was sweet about it, but I knew this was a huge deal with big consequences. All of his school notes were on that computer, and he needed it for the rest of the year as well. So we did what we could to dry it out, but it was obvious that it wasn't going to turn back on any time soon.

At this time in my devotional/prayer/Bible time I had been stuck on the verse in the New International version that, "Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see" (Hebrews 11:1) I also like the version that says, "Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen." (NLT) That word in the first part of the verse was sticking out to me like I'd never read it before. Confidence. CONFIDENCE! Confidence. I had been pondering faith and confidence for about a week before the great spill happened. In that time God was telling me that this season is a time for battle-warrior confidence in my faith. Strong, no backing down confidence. I just needed something to try it out on. I had no idea that this MacBook story would be my chance.

Up until the Pepsi incident, I had struggled to really believe 100% that God would do something I was praying for. I was learning to pray in faith and strongly believe for Him to do mighty things (because HELLO He's a BIG GOD who is ALL POWERFUL!) but still always had in the back of my mind the, "but what if..." that we ALL think. I think most of us as Christians have one foot in faith and one foot in the "but what if..." of the world. We don't think about being fully CONFIDENT in our God. Mostly because He works things out differently than we think He will or should a lot of the time. But I think as well it has a lot to do with how much faith (confidence) we have in him.

I decided the day the MacBook died that this time I would actually fully 100% commit to believing that God will restore the computer without letting myself think about the "but what if He doesn't?" I took a stand in CONFIDENCE that my God would come through for us. Alex and I prayed over the computer and agreed that it was just a computer and that it isn't the end of the world, but also that our God is a restorer and a good Father who loves His kids and we would really like it back please!

We took the Mac to the Apple store to see what could be done to fix it before we'd have to possibly buy a new one. (Who has the money for that, right??) God knew we couldn't afford that. We told the people at the Apple store the truth, because we knew that trying to lie and get away with liquid damage wasn't right. We also knew that by telling them what happened the warranty wouldn't cover any of the damage. We told the truth in FAITH, and God totally honours honesty. Just saying. The guy helping us had a sparkle in his eye and said, "well, we will open it up and take a look, but if we can't find any physical signs of liquid damage we can replace the motherboard for free since its under warranty." What? We just told you it DEFINITELY has liquid damage. It died when it tasted the sweet, sweet, sticky Pepsi. But he was insistent that they would just see what it looked like in there. Well we left it in the capable hands of the Apple people and went home praying.

A friend and I were recently discussing faith and prayer and believing for supernatural things. She asked me, "what if you are believing for something fully in faith and it just doesn't happen?" I know that she has had people at work asking her about Christians who die of cancer and people who believe for things that never happen in their lifetime. And my answer is always the same; Your faith has to have a big enough revelation of the foundational, unchanging character of God that you can trust that whatever happens He is sovereign and good. He knows every single prayer and every single situation. There are no "but what ifs" if you truly KNOW who God is. I had chronic shoulder nerve pain for MANY years and was prayed for many times before my supernatural healing came. All I did was have faith that God IS healer even if I don't FEEL it yet.

All-in faith says I'm believing that God WILL do something with this situation, no but what ifs. It means that you shoosh the voice in your head that comes out when you are praying to tell you it might not happen. You just choose to believe it will. I know, it's hard. You will feel like you look like a fool or afraid of the unknown answer. But I PROMISE you, you will never lose anything by believing for something. There is no "I'm not going to get my hopes up so I won't be disappointed" in FAITH. Meaning either your faith will be encouraged by seeing your prayer come to pass or you will continue to get the honour of proving that your faith and confidence in God are bigger than the circumstances you see, and that you know He is soverign and good despite what things may look like. Seriously, your faith will grow SO MUCH either way!

We got the call from the Apple store two days later. They didn't see any signs of water damage on the internal electronics of the computer so they decided to just replace the motherboard (a $850 replacement) for FREE under the warranty that was on this Mac. WHAT??? Okay, if you say so! We were so excited and praising God for this miracle. I'd never heard of this happening before, especially when we TOLD them that it had water damage. We got our computer back!

I tell you this long story to encourage your faith. God is good. We didn't need our computer. We could've lived without it, and life would still be great. But you can bet that anytime there is something someone needs prayer for or anything in our lives that needs an answer that I am 100% up for speaking out my faith and confidence in God over the situation! I don't think about that what-ifs. I only praise God for being GOOD and LOVING us so greatly. And knowing every single person and situation and how his plan fits together more than I can even try to or else my head would explode. Because He's God, and He's good.

I'm not a theologian nor do I claim to know a lot about God or the Bible or how he works. All I know is my experience of Him when I get out of my comfortable faith and step into scary, 100% relying on God faith. It's so worth it. And I can tell you that before the computer being fixed I really didn't see a lot of cool things happen because of my faith. No miracles, not really big prayers answered in crazy miraculous ways. And I can tell you it's because the amount and quality of the miracles and blessings you see in your life are directly correlated to the faith you have in believing for them. Now I know that isn't always true and that's a theological thing you can study about more (like I said, I'm no theologian). My husband would say that obedience is also a huge part of that statement, but that's another blog for another time.

 If you love God, you trust Him, and you believe for Him to work, I promise you He will. He wants to do some crazy amazing things in your life, and you need to do your part and have CONFIDECE to see them happen. It opens doors for Him to be able to move in crazy ways in your life!

So I ask you, are you ready to be all-in for God? Are you still letting the what-ifs keep you at the safe, comfortable faith level? Try being all-in. It will change your faith forever and you will get to see God work in ways you've never seen.

Love, Jess

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