Last December I wrote a post on Venturing It All on Christ, and though it sparked some conversation on and (mostly) off the blog, I really felt at the time like I had, as Challies would say, “laid an egg” with that post. Somewhere along the way I lost the real purpose and intent of that post and never was able to really recover it.
Still, I’ve been thinking more and more about the notion of venturing all things on one thing or one person.
I am not a person to commit to anything easily. From 2003 – 2008 I had five different jobs (not counting my freelance work) each lasting between 6-12 months. I like the idea of getting a tattoo but know there is no way I can permanently commit to liking any design. I switch blogging platforms more frequently than I actually post on my blog. In fact, I think Janis is the only real long-term commitment I’ve made on this earth, and subsequently parenting our kids. I’ve always made a point of keeping my options open – short term mortgages, short term contracts, always looking for newer or more interesting opportunities.
Then, this past year, we launched Strider. At first, Strider was a measured risk entered into with much prayer and seeking of God’s will. It seemed very clear that this was the right direction for us to pursue. Over time I’ve had to commit more and more to the company, to the point now where every available dollar and resource has been committed to funding operations. Not just company money, but our personal funds as well, so that for many months now making the weekly mortgage payment has become an exercise in putting faith in God’s ability to “give our daily bread.” And you know, he’s never let us down!
As I pondered this recently, I came to realize that I had unconsciously ventured all our family finances on this business, without my typical hold-backs, out clauses or escape plans. I compared this with my willingness to entrust everything to Jesus …
We are depending daily on God’s provision for meeting our needs. Now, I do realize that even Bill Gates relies on God for his very life and comforts each day (whether Bill knows it or not), but being strapped for cash makes that dependence more tangible. But I began to examine how much I was really trusting in God and found resistance in different areas of my heart.
I trust God – as long as He lets us keep the house!
I trust God – as long as He keeps the lights on at Strider!
I trust God – as long as He doesn’t embarrass me by letting me fail!
Ah, how my heart deceives me! While I claim to be trusting in Him, I have placed limits on what I will accept from His sovereign hand. At our Church members’ meeting we ready from Job 1 and the question was put forth: “If you lost everything – family, house, money, stuff – could you still worship and say ‘Blessed be the name of the Lord’?”
I don’t know – but I do know that I don’t want to find out. I do know that I would be more likely to follow Job’s example by virtue of the Church Family that God has blessed us with. If I lost all I value in this world and were alone, the temptation to “curse God and die” would be much stronger. Praise God that He has surrounded me with a crowd of people who love me and love Jesus!
So, I am challenged by this: I have ventured much on a business that may or may not succeed. Only God knows. How, then, can I venture any less on the almighty God who gives me life and breath? How can I put limits on the One who bore my sin? How can I put conditions on God?
So I confess my lack of faith and pray for God to change my heart and give me a bigger vision of Him, and a smaller estimation of the perils of this world.