Updated: Sep 6, 2020
As i was coming close to my redundancy as the Pastor at Grace, being obedient to what i knew the Lord had said i felt inside that same fear and dread that i think many of us feel when we take steps of Faith.
The fear that it may not work out
The fear that instead of the Lord moving you he is actually disposing of you (this is an irrational fear that is contrary to scripture)
The fear that you made it all up.
You may not admit it but i believe we all go through these gambits at times in our Faith steps. Which always feels the opposite of the many characters of the bible. Like a Paul who steps out boldly to talk to crowds and face dangers without any fear. Yet even he said in 1 corinthians 2:3 'I was with you in weakness and in fear, and in much trembling'.
Friends if it was easy to take steps of Faith then the whole world would have accepted Jesus already. Sometimes we need to give ourselves a bit of a break. I know from the word that the Lord understands Faith steps to be hard hence why He uses the mustard seed as being the example of all the measure you need. The mustard seed is the smallest of the seeds that was known. As such you may love with a big heart, be generous in abundance but your Faith can be measly and still be enough.
For me i had the Faith to say at the end of my redundancy, I know the Lord is telling me not to remain as the pastor in a voluntary capacity (just as a pastor) but I did not have the Faith to entirely trust the Lord in what was next. As such I began to plan my future even though I had been given clear guidance to be a teacher of the word. How will it pay I said, how will I feed my children and pay my mortgage. These aren't silly faithless things to say. Any person who just says 'Oh God will pay it' they aren't acting in Faith but in reckless abandonment. The Lord needs to give clear direction. Which He does. We need to follow that clear direction. which we don't always and I didn't. I began to plan my own future and come up with ideas on how I could be a teacher of the Word and how I could pay for it.
I've done a great deal of handy man work whilst running the church at Grace. You have to when the church is small. I have done plumbing and electrical work. I have even built a large 5meter by 3 meter stage with drum shield. I was rather pleased with myself and thought this is what I could do. when a friend asked me if I could fit his bathroom I saw this as confirmation of my ideas. Yet friends the Lord is not a God who changes His mind, we must be obedient to His leading. I was not and began a job that went wrong at every turn. I learnt that I am not a plumber and thus the plumbing was wrong. I am not an electrician and so the electrical work was wrong. I am not a tiler and so the tiling was wonky. I am not a carpenter and so the wood working was wrong. You name it and it went wrong. At one point the family dog ran away and I spent an hour chasing it. Yet most importantly during all of this I had been so busy that I had done no study or teaching, just waking, working and sleeping. This couldn't be the way I funded being a teacher of the word
Every day I felt more and more despondent but worse because I had attributed this handyman idea as to being how God wanted me to do what He asked I felt abandoned. The lesson friends is not to tell God how He is going to do things but to be obedient and listen. However I was not listening and I was sinking further into a hole believing the irrational view that the Lord was in fact disposing of me.
We read in Genesis of Joseph, who dreamed a dream and knew of his worth and calling in the Lord. Yet one day he found himself in prison feeling abandoned and ignored. Yet the Lord was working in His life. In Acts 24 we read one of the most terrifying verses in scripture that two years of Paul's life were summed up with the phrase 'and he was in prison'. Yet the Lord had not disposed of Paul but was positioning him. Scriptural proof friends that the Lord doesn't abandon us. Even when its we who have done the wrong or walk away Jesus parable of the 99 sheep and the 1 lost tells us He comes looking for us. That is what the Lord did for me. I wasn't listening so He used a bathroom to speak to me.
As I was tilling some very wonky walls the end ones which needed cutting and the various sticking out bits which needed trimming round a common measurement kept coming up. In fact this measurement came up so constantly that it etched in my mind, 43.5cm. As i was working away and coming closer to a deadline but no where near the end of the work my depression was mounting. I thought I am just going to see what psalm 43 verse 5 says. That may seem odd to you but I often like similarities and patterns in things, it is how I study and teach the word. So on my last day I turned to the scripture as I was getting ready in the morning, unable to see a positive future and feeling lost. As I read it then I was blown away by what the Lord was saying and how He really does come looking for that lost 1. Friends my faith had been spent but the Lord restored mine. Here is what I read.
Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why do you moan within me? Hope in God; for I still praise Him, the salvation of my face, and my God. Psalm 43:5
Like a bolt of lighting to my soul and into my Faith the Lord challenged me. Why do you feel abandoned Jamie, your just not where your supposed to be. I would like to say I acted on it immediately but it took me another fortnight to. This is the reality of my faith and it is pretty measly but its enough when the end result is believing God.
I had been afraid to say out loud, in case i was being presumptuous, that i am called to be a teacher of the bible and i must act accordingly. Yet bizarrely I didn't feel the same about declaring I was a handyman when I didn't have that skill base other than as an armature DIY man. So the Lord sent me a bathroom to bring me back.
Now i declare in the blog of thelittlescroll, I am a bible teacher and we will be providing content to teach the word that will grow your personal passion for Christ.
As for the very real concerns of finance. Well i am without income yet the Lord met our need for the mortgage and the food for the next few months. This gives opportunity to provide the word as thelittlescroll has been called to do. After this then i must remember what Paul taught in 1 corinthians 9:13
Do you not know that those who minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? And those attending the altar are partakers with the altar. Even so, the Lord ordained those announcing the gospel to live from the gospel. 1 corinthians 9:13-14
but as Paul then goes on to teach, it is not for financial gain but the necessity of the work, trusting in the Lord for that need. Any person who gives up work and expects the Lord to provide will starve. Any person who gives up work to do Godly things when they werent told to will also starve. Any person who is called by the Lord and is obedient to that calling, His trust is in the Lord and so will mine be.
Not that magical money will appear from the magical money tree. Rather that as a minister of the word it is that ministry which will provide. As the ox threshes he eats as he needs. Thelittlescroll gives it's teaching for free and will not charge for it's content. Our books (when they begin to be published) will have a charge but not for profit just to meet costs. Even other things like t shirts and things will not be to make money, only to help grow a passionate relationship with Jesus through His word. Therefore we are looking for you and others to follow our own traditions of supporting ministries we feel are of the Lord and need supporting.
If you would like to help us in this then you can through our pateron page the link is below
Faith is the commodity of heaven but faith without works is dead, let us put into action what we believe