I + God = Faithfulness

waterskiThis weekend I was visited by a close friend and mentor of mine. She had spent the day prior attending a Beth Moore Simulcast and through that experience, God had caused her to realize some key truths in her prayer life. She talked through her train of thought that day and shared the gradual revelation that a life truly experienced in the freedom of Christ includes the marriage of God’s faithfulness with our own.

Now, let me be clear – I am NOT saying that God is only faithful when we are. That could be no farther from the truth! God is always faithful. But we… well, our faithfulness is less than perfect. Think about it this way – when our path lines up with God’s will, things seem to fall into place. God’s faithfulness is evident because we see His provision in our life through the fulfillment of His will and our desired path – they have become one and the same. But what if we take it one step further? What if, with the knowledge that God’s will is the desire of our heart, we obediently stepped forward in expectation of God’s faithfulness, instead of in response to His faithfulness?

The story goes like this… My dear mentor Mari and her husband Tony were living their dream. Living in a charming lake house, with regular mornings skiing the glassy water behind their swanky speedboat and the opportunity to do watersports ministry whensoever they chose. But they realized God was calling them to more… What exactly, they weren’t sure, but God gave wanted them to create some freedom and flexibility in their lives to leave more room for missional living. They knew they needed to learn to live off of Tony’s pension so that neither of them would have a 9-5 job that would bar them from doing what God was calling them to do.

This led Tony and Mari to do two HUGE things – sell their ski boat and sell their house. Wow. How many of us would take the blessings in our lives that have truly satiated the desires of our hearts? It’s in Tony and Mari’s being to love the lake and love waterskiing. God had blessed them to be able to do it. But they felt they were called to more. So they took a huge step in expectant faith that God would use their faithfulness to both build His kingdom and provide for them. They trusted that God knew the desires of their hearts, and they prayed faithfully to ensure that their desires aligned with His will. 

God has been incredibly faithful to them, and blessed them in their obedience to step out of the boat without assurance that they wouldn’t sink! They sold their treasured ski boat, unsure if they’d ever have the opportunity to live again the waterskiing life like they had come to love. But God knew their hearts, He knew waterskiing made them come alive and provided an avenue in which they could love others too. The woman who purchased their boat gave them full permission to use the boat whenever she wasn’t! For several weeks in the summer, the boat was back in their garage as though they owned it still! And you know what, waterskiing was even more special – it was most evidently a gift from God – that He would give back the prized possession they gave up for Him.

But wait, there’s more! You know how I said they put their house up for sale? Well, first of all, that’s how my husband and I became connected to Tony and Mari (we saw their ad on Craigslist of all places), but more importantly they met others along the way who needed a word of affirmation or prayer. Eventually, they were approached by their non-believing, neighbors who stay at their lake property only once or twice a year. These ladies loathed the idea of losing Tony and Mari as neighbors (and, remember – it’s not that Tony and Mari wanted to leave, they just wanted to free up finances for God’s work) so they offered to buy the house and let Tony and Mari live in it! (I know, it’s crazy, right?!) Again, Tony and Mari took a step of faith, expecting God to show up because they knew they were acting according to His will. God gave it back to them and in doing so provided for their heart’s desire.

If you stuck with me through the long story, way to go! The whole reason I wanted to share Mari’s story, is because her and Tony’s faithfulness to step out boldly in obedience to God’s will was SO appreciated by our creator! In fact, He took all the things they sacrificed and returned it to them, in new circumstances that enabled both God’s will AND the desires of their hearts to be met. Did Tony and Mari give up their house and boat expecting God to return it? NO! But they did expect God to use it. And He most surely has, while still taking care of them. What a mighty God we serve! Pray bold prayers, and act in expectation that God’s will will be done as you seek after His will, you might be surprised how He joins you in a relationship of faithfulness!

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About Mark

Mark Dubler has been a leader, host, and participant in camps and retreats for the last twenty years. He holds an M.A. in Educational Ministries from Wheaton College and is the Executive Director of Otyokwah Camp and Retreat Center, a Christian facility with a rich history of providing personal, life-changing experiences.

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