How many of us cringe because of our current financial situation (or any one of our many difficult situations) that are at the level of being considered a crisis in our lives?
Though we cringe at first, it is only when we are in this place of being hopelessly in need of Him when we will really see Him face-to-face! It is when we are backed to the Red Sea, or in the grave for three days and beginning to stink when we truly see the glory of God, right? Then why do we try everything we can to not get ourselves into situations like this and try, in vain, to get ourselves out of these predicaments?
Please don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that we should purposely try to ruin our finances, or our relationships or our health just so we can see God perform a miracle and witness our Husband face-to-face. What I am wondering is why we “wait until the last moment” before we honestly and fully turn everything over to Him and stop trying to stop the inevitable?
Before any of us are willing to give whatever it is—totally and completely to our Savior, our Husband—we make absolutely sure that we perform at least one or more “last ditch efforts” to save or rescue ourselves. How stubborn we are. “Know, then, it is not because of your righteousness that the LORD your God is giving you this good land to possess, for you are a stubborn people” (Deuteronomy 9:6). I don’t believe that you and I try to appear stubborn; I believe that we wrongly believe that God will think us foolish or maybe it’s that we fear other people (if they knew) would think us irresponsible?
For me, I believe I fall into the last category. No matter how much I try to shake it, what other people think tries to invade my faith. So far I have made it to the point that I am down to just one group of people who concern me, and that group is my children, primarily my older children. However, I’m thankful that I see this concern has diminished or lessening slowly day-by-day as things grow to absurdity in every area of my life, especially financially.
Though I do my best to keep everything to myself (which is a huge change in me since I used to be the one who has always been willing to foolishly “tell all” so that I had everyone else’s opinion to help confuse me), I have noticed that when we do our best to be discrete, then the Lord will begin revealing things to others—in order that we are forced to share our faith with them. Have you noticed that too?
Over the course of this year, the Lord continues to put me (and our finances) in very precarious perils, so much so, that invariably I was recently forced to reveal what happened to get us to this place and what I plan to do about it. The truth is, there is nothing, really, that I can do about my situation. God’s plan, in order for Him to receive glory and finish whatever it is He has planned, has put me, us, our family, in an impossible situation on purpose.
“‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope’” (Jeremiah 29:11).
When we have an illness, we instinctively do all we can to get healthy, and when we have exhausted our ability to get well, we usually turn to our doctor. If the illness gets worse, we demand more tests, and if unsatisfied, we seek another opinion. It isn’t until the doctor finds the “incurable”—the cancer or the inoperable tumor or terminal illness—that we finally fall on our faces before God and surrender it all to Him, putting our entire trust in Him.
Why do we wait until we have exhausted all of our resources, and everyone who we think can help us? Pleading with everyone we know BEFORE we simply put all of our trust in the Lord for what He can do?
Is it pride, arrogance, or ignorance? Do we really believe the old saying that, “God helps those who help themselves”? Just for your information, that may be one of the biggest lies that many Christians believe and quote often, but it is not in the Bible, nor is there a single principle even close to it. Instead, the contrary is true. Over and over again, God tells us to trust Him and no one else, surely not our flesh or even “leaning” to anything we understand. So, I have begun to choose to trust Him from the onset and fight the feeling that I must have missed Him or grieved Him or should do more to help Him when things continue to get worse instead of better.
This is just the point—things have to get worse if we want to draw a Lazarus crowd or see a walkway built through the middle of a sea. These miracles didn’t just happen back during biblical times but are happening right now, in all of our lives if we are willing to follow Him.
For me, I love seeing Him face-to-face and watch His glory pass by. I love to need Him to the point that I am desperate for His love. Yes, for me, being hopelessly in need of Him is the recommendation of this writer and for all those who want to be a part of what He is doing in these last days.
Is it scary? Yes! Oftentimes it’s very scary. But for each fear, there is a counterbalance of His love that casts out all fear. “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love” (1 John 4:18). He’s not punishing you for making a mistake, and certainly not refusing to help you for trusting Him alone.
And just as we have learned in the previous chapters, it’s our testimonies that help make us overcomers. “And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even to death” (Revelation 12:11).
So, dear Overcomer, here is this chapter’s testimony. Forgive me for not sharing them in chronological order, but I have never been logical—I simply am crazy for Him!
Financial Testimony #5
Can I tell you that I think that God just ROCKS? Yes, it is so true. If you don’t feel like dancing most of the time, then you are not thinking about how totally awesome God really is!! “Truly He is my Rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will never be shaken” (Psalm 62:2 NIV).
I cannot wait to tell you this precious testimony so that you can see that your blessed Savior, your Jesus, your beloved Bridegroom is way ahead of you with blessings that will blow you and everyone else away!!
It was less than two weeks ago when I got a precious phone call from my son who said, “Mom, I have some exciting news, I am getting married!” I was thrilled to hear what I already thought the Lord kept telling me—I was so excited I screamed! Don’t you feel like that when the Lord tells you something and then you hear it really happened? Yet when you’ve got joy, the enemy is just waiting to steal it from you—so be ready.
God has graciously refined me and has seen fit to call me to some really huge feats. Nevertheless, the enemy still tries to tempt us by attacking our feelings, which try to come in and take over. Though thrilled, excited, and in total euphoria, within the hour jealousy tried to make me focus on the fact that my son and his fiancé were visiting with his dad and his new wife. Though this kept knocking at the door of my heart and mind, I chose to go and bolt that door! Making my way into my bedroom to be alone with my Husband, I told Him how I was feeling to which He blew me away!
That’s when He reminded me of the plan that we always had regarding our children when they married. My ex-husband and I had purchased a timeshare in order to give our children a honeymoon to reward them for their moral purity. And due to the divorce, and my taking on all the debt, I now had the timeshare (part of the debt I took on), and the credit card, which included all the flying miles that went with it!! Soon after taking on the debt, the Lord made a way for the timeshare to be paid off, and also the credit card too! Isn’t it amazing being the bride of such a rich Man?!
Since the beginning of this book I have shared four testimonies with you (this being the fifth), but within each testimony are testimonies. When I took all the debt, the question was why? I am sure there are so many reasons that will appear over the course of my lifetime, but here is just one. Because of my willingness to take the debt, it led to the place of my being able to give something outstanding to my son and my soon-to-be new daughter. This may not mean a lot to you, but I have never been in the position of giving to my children, and now I am thrilled beyond words!
Ladies, when I realized what I had to give, I wanted to pick up the phone right then and call them back to tell them the awesome news!! Yet, I knew that to call would mean butting into what was going on up there, so thankfully the Lord has taught me the blessings of waiting. I told the Lord to orchestrate when I was to tell them.
The opportunity came the next day when my soon-to-be daughter called. I began by asking her if they had made any plans for their honeymoon, and she responded by telling me that they agreed that they could only afford to go to a local vacation village about twenty minutes south of where they lived. And certainly not the honeymoon capital of the world! That’s when He led me to share my excitement—I wanted to send them on a week anywhere they would like to go! I had the flying miles to just about anywhere, and at a crown level resort for an entire week!
Even now I just have to cry. Here I am in total financial ruin and without my even realizing it, the Lord had graciously run ahead of me and set this whole thing up!!
In total disbelief, she asked where they could go, to which I replied, “Wherever! Hawaii, the Caribbean, wherever you two want to go!” Right away she said Hawaii and my son agreed (oh, bless his heart, he has been listening).
Yet, ladies, you know that the enemy is going to try to steal that joy, don’t you? Here is how he tried with me.
The next morning he put a terrifying thought in my mind, and then showed it to me—I was short flying miles. Immediately I remembered that I had “turned the other cheek, walked the second mile, giving my coat” with a previous honeymoon I’d given to my ex for him to go to Hawaii and the enemy said, “You fool, now you can’t bless your own son!!! You went ahead and gave it away to your unfaithful husband. What a fool!” With this, I ran to the Lord (in my heart and mind), to which He calmed the seas, and said, “Darling, you have the flying miles. Do you think for one minute that I would let you down? Go to your office and look, it’s not on this card, it’s on the other.”
Sure enough, when I went into the files there it was—enough flying miles to get them both to Hawaii and back! That’s when the fun began!! With my generous gift offered, soon the talk turned from their honeymoon that I was going to bless them with and them also wanting to get my opinion about everything having to do with their wedding!! The feelings of jealousy for them being with his dad and new wife—turned to joy unspeakable and full, I mean, full of His glory!!
There’s more, the news resulted in a very generous counter financial gift from his dad, which proves even more what I have been telling my children over and over again. Not only will my children “not” be destroyed by the divorce, but—God has promised them double for this injustice!! How wonderful, how marvelous is my Savior!
“Instead of your shame you will have a double portion, and instead of humiliation they will shout for joy over their portion. Therefore they will possess a double portion in their land, everlasting joy will be theirs” (Isaiah 61:7). I heard later that my ex-husband’s new wife would not be “outdone” so it was she who offered the sizable financial gift from her account. Isn’t that just too wonderful for words?!?!
Back to the honeymoon: I know this is getting long, but each detail is a testimony in itself, and if you are like me, you love to hear it all—“Don’t sum it up—tell me everything!!”
The moment they got home, the first thing they did was to sit down with me while I called to make the arrangements for the resort. Oh, I wish I had more time, but here is the best part of it. When I called, they said that to ask for a resort in Hawaii during a red week, and because it was just three months away, was “ridiculous.” To which I kept replying “I don’t understand.”
At first, I really didn’t understand the way she was explaining it, but then I did understand what she was saying. She was saying “You’re foolish to even ask; it’s impossible.” Yet when I sought the Lord as she was telling me the same thing over and over, He just kept telling me to hang in there, don’t give up, just keep asking. So I did.
Finally, exasperated with me, she asked me to hold on. There was no music so I figured that she had hung up on me; it’s happened before, lots of times, so I thought I should hang up and try again, but the Lord said, “Just wait.” Finally, she got back on and said that she found something that I could exchange—the first miracle.
Next, I had to contact another company to find an exchange. Once again, the man kept telling me of the impossibility, but I am a personal friend with the One who does the impossible. In fact, I became His bride on July 1, 2005!
In total shock the man said, “Hey, wait a minute. Here is something.” On the exact island where they wanted to spend their honeymoon, AND in a one-bedroom unit (not a studio) that I had asked for, there was one that was available on the exact day I asked!!
Though we knew it was a miracle, God even used this man who was in Mexico City to tell us that it just “doesn’t happen—this kind of thing just doesn’t happen” to which I was able to happily reply “It does when you trust God, as a matter of fact, it happens all the time!” Though you and I know and experience this kind of thing happening all the time, I just never want to get used to it! I want it to keep me in total awe and completely in love with the One whom I owe everything!
Though we are right in the midst of this entire testimony (for there is still more to come), let me end with this that just thrills me!!
The cost of this incredible miracle is more, yes more than the entire wedding is going to cost!! Is that God or what?? Here I am, in “apparent” and utter ruin, and yet (because of my Husband going before me) I am able to bless this young couple with the honeymoon of their dreams!
And as I said earlier, the enemy keeps trying to steal my joy. Just a day later my oldest son casually mentioned that he was going to marry this year, to which the enemy bombarded my mind with, “See, you fool, now you don’t have enough flying miles for your oldest son; the son that helped you the most” and on and on the enemy goes.
But you know what? I know that God has that all worked out too. The only thing I need to do is resist falling into the Poverty Mentality that says “I won’t or don’t have enough” when God has promised to provide all of our needs, that He longs to be gracious to us, and that He will give us the desires of our hearts when we delight ourselves in HIM.
If you’re in the midst of being hopelessly in need of Him—you’re in a perfect place for a miracle. Don’t waste your time trying to figure out how, or miss one second of the joy that God has waiting just for you when you trust Him with your finances. Believe that you are rich even when your bank accounts say otherwise—this is that faith that is hoped for but is presently unseen.
Dear Brides, are you hopeless in need of Him? If not I encourage you to be!! This is the best place to be so you will be able to see all the miracles that He does!!! I was amazed for what I read in this chapter, I felt that He used Michele's life to talk directly with me!!!
I learned that I don't need to wait until the last moment of a crisis, to come to Him asking for help, I don't understand, why sometimes is so difficult to give some things to Him, but I want to confess that I believe in my case I just think that He will not do it for me. Yes, I know a lie from the enemy, but this is what I keep hearing and believing over and over again.
In my case, it is unfaithfulness that my God and Beloved Husband are always by my side, waiting for me to ask from them!
I've been facing health problems, well I don't know if I can call it problems, since there is nothing wrong with me, and everything is normal, so what He showed that this is a Spiritual battle. Again I want to confess, that every time someone approaches me asking for prayer for their health, I feel so much boldness and I pray with confidence that He can restore their health, and heal them, but It is very difficult to ask Him to heal me. I know it's a lie, but this is what I believe, that I need to suffer.
This is a lie, and the situation brought me to a state of panic and despair, I felt that I was dead already, and in my mind, I was planning my funeral. I could not handle my thoughts and feelings anymore!!
It was when He brought to my mind Philippians 4:6-8, I read and reread the verses, crying because I could not pray, but I kept reading it out aloud until the verse became the truth that I need to believe, not my feelings. Then finally I could ask Him for help since I was in hopeless need of Him, I spent a long time, sharing all my fears and anxieties giving everything to Him, then almost as immediately I finally let go and found the peace that I needed. From this day, I begin living a new life, I am happy and confident, I know that He is always with me, and I know that this change was because of Him.
I definitely don't want to wait to bring any crisis to Him, if it is small or big, whatever it is I don't need to be anxious about anything. As Michele says He is the God of impossible, and each and every day I want to be amazed for all the miracles that He does in my life and in the lives of those around me. It is for the testimony of His glory!!!
Dear Brides, I still cannot understand how He does it, but in each AL series, He uses to speak with me something that I am going through during that time and season, it is amazing!!! I want to encourage you to read Poverty Mentality book. This is a very precious book that will bring you closer to your HH, understanding the plans that He has for your life!
“‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope’” (Jeremiah 29:11).
“Know, then, it is not because of your righteousness that the LORD your God is giving you this good land to possess, for you are a stubborn people” (Deuteronomy 9:6)
“Truly He is my Rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will never be shaken” (Psalm 62:2 NIV)
~ Sara in Turkey