You have dreams in your life and there are factors that you believe that will help or hinder your ability to walk these dreams out. The number one fear that I see holding people back from waking out the things that God has placed on their heart is finances. I want to share with you one little testimony that I have (out of many) for where God provided for me. May it be an encouragement to your heart.
I was leading worship out at a bible camp the summer I graduated. The services where incredibly powerful, and the speaker specifically anointed. I had big plans to a attend a bible school that all my friends were going to, and I was really excited to further my education in an area that I was passionate about – serving the Lord.
Although I was wanting to do a good thing, I hadn’t prayed about going to this school, and through that week of leading worship God spoke insanely clear to me that I was to change my plans and go to this discipleship school that the speaker ran at what is now my home church.
I had two parallel feelings. One was pure excitement of the adventure God was taking me on through changing my plans and aligning them with his. The other was speaking a little louder at that time. Fear.
I had been relying on Student Loans to get me through school, minus some money I had saved through working in high school (which wasn’t much as a oldest child of a single mom, things had always been tight). I didn’t see how this would be possible. The discipleship school was not registered to receive student loans and I had no credit of my own to get a loan.
Thankfully there was still part of me that was willing to go on this adventure with the Lord. I went and met with the director of the program and he told me a story that has stuck with me forever, and became my foundation for believing God for huge things.
Jesus was teaching a large crowd for a long period of time, and they began to get very hungry. When Jesus suggested to the disciples that they feed the crowd, the disciples were overwhelmed, as there were 5,000 men in attendance.
“We would spend more than a years wages feeding such a crowed!”
Jesus asked them to see what food there already was in the crowd. They came back and reported that there was a young boy with five loaves of bread and two fish. The disciples did not have the ability to see what the Lord was planning. Jesus asked the little boy to bring the food to him. He blessed it. They passed out the food, and an incredible miracle happened! The food just kept going and going! Everyone ate and ate until they were full, and they even had leftovers! By the time they were done picking up all the leftover food there were twelve baskets of food left over. (You can read the full story in John 6:1-13)
The pastor looked at me and said
“Monica, the Lord is asking you, what’s in your hand? If you stretch out all you have to him, he will bless it and there will be more than enough to go around.”
I left that meeting full of faith and ready to enroll. On my way back from that meeting however I got in a really terrible car accident. The emergency vehicles that arrive on the scene told me that I should not be alive, and certainly should not be walking away from the accident without a scratch! The Lord had different plans for my life.
My vehicle was now totalled, another financial burden. The Lord was setting the stage for a great act of provision. After the accident, I knew the Lord has spared my life for a purpose. I told him that I would not waste this opportunity to love him and minister to others. I’d follow him wherever he took me, even if it meant believing him for my finances.
The miracles that happened for me were endless at that point. A week into my year of school beginning, an anonymous person called the church and donated $4000.00 to towards my tuition. I only had $800 left to pay, and that was for a missions trip and could be fundraised.
WIth my tuition almost fully paid, I still had the concern of transportation, living arrangements, and food. The Lord spoke to three wonderful couples over the course of two and a half years who took me into their homes for a time while I went to school. One of the couples lent me a vehicle to use for the small fee of babysitting, and I just put gas in it.
One day I was literally completely out of money, and I drove from the place I was staying to the church with my fuel light on. I prayed on my way, telling the Lord that if he didn’t come through, I’d be sleeping at the church that night. I said it with confidence, but in my heart I was so scared. I didn’t want to ask someone for gas money, but I knew my car wouldn’t make it home.
That night I came out of the church and started my vehicle in faith. My gas tank was full! I can’t even express to you my shock and amazement when that happened! I ran back in to the church yelling to my class mates, God supernaturally filled my car! He filled my car up with gas, I can get home tonight!
Years later I found out that the Lord told a lady at a program we were running to go into my purse, take my keys, and go fill my car up with gas and bring it back. The miracle was no less to me when I found that out. The Lord had supernaturally spoke to someone, and provided for me when no one else in the world knew my need at that time.
Once I was talking with a friend and they asked me how things were going financially, since they were aware of the step of faith I had to make in coming to live here.
“Things are going great,” I replied, “I mean I don’t just have money to hang out with everyone at Starbucks, but I have everything I need.”
That week I had three different envelopes given to me on three different occasions. One had a Starbucks card, one had a Tim Horton’s card, and one had a local coffee shop gift card! The Lord didn’t think I NEEDED coffee, but I felt like the Lord was showing me the “you will have lots left over” as the story of the loaves and fishes stated.
Another time I will share with you other pieces from that amazing phase of my life, but today I just wanted to touch on God’s provision. Here are three things to consider:
1. Are you believing God for something that you know He has called you to?
2. Are you will to give him EVERYTHING, not hold anything back and allow him to bless and multiply what you give him?
3. When he blesses you, are you willing to bless others?
One thing I believe and hold to strongly, is that we are to give back to the Lord. I wholeheartedly believe in tithing, and our family has now seen many blessings come to us from our decision to stick with it through scarcity and plenty. I also believe, with excitement, that now that I am in a position where I am not specifically believing God everyday in the same way that I was then, that I need to open my heart to allow the Lord to speak to me to be that blessing to others that so many were to me!
I pray that you are very encouraged to believe that God will supply all your needs in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19) and that you will not put the call of God on the back-burner out of fear. Walk victoriously into your God ordained destiny today!
Here are some pictures of some fun things I got to do during my time in the discipleship program. I am so thankful God called me there. Not only did I grow in him, but I met my husband there as well!
Me with a girl in Guatemala after getting to pray with her.
Experiencing a shoe shine in Guatemala, and laughing about something!
I got to lead worship in all sorts of different settings and places
Doing children’s ministry with my would-be husband. He had just joined the program in this photo, so we barely knew each other!
My then fiance and I at a wonderful conference in Redding, California with our Master’s Commission group