I was raised in a home where “living by faith” was the norm.
You might be wondering what I mean when I use the phrase “living by faith” but among those living in our community this was understood to mean that we did not earn a salary or get paid for doing our job. My parents served as volunteers and missionaries, doing good and telling people about Jesus. We were never wealthy by social standards but we had everything we needed. My parents couldn’t budget or save much because God always provided what we needed when we needed. It seems crazy now to think back on it but this was our normal.
“I was raised in a home where ‘living by faith’ was the norm.”
I married a missionary
When I married Michael who was a missionary at the time, it became apparent that God had called us to take on this life of “living by faith”. This was initially quite a challenge for me because I had learnt to live with a salary and on a budget with insurance and medical aid. I gave up my job, stopped teaching, and a life of faith became our norm.
Although we were very blessed during this time it was also a very difficult time because we didn’t have money to spare and barely had enough to cover our expenses. We didn’t have a home but stayed in someone’s spare room. God always provided our needs but we often felt indebted to others.
Earning a Salary
Then God brought us into a different season. Doors opened for Michael to study Theology at George Whitefield College and so I went back to teaching and earned a salary. It was exciting getting back into regular employment and I enjoyed being able to spend and plan and budget my own money – and even go out for dinner once in a while.
After Michael graduated he was employed by the church and now we had 2 incomes and it was a wonderful feeling to be able to afford some basic luxuries. We could even put money away for savings and get a bond for an apartment. We were “normal” like everyone else.
“Living by Faith”
But another journey of faith lies ahead again because we have been called to serve as missionaries in Chavuma, Zambia. In less than two months Michael and I will both be without a salary. We will once again be relying on God for our needs but this time it feels more scary because our needs have increased. We now have a bond to pay and I have medical needs that require us to have good medical aid. We have more financial obligations than before and we need wisdom to know where we can cut costs. We need to raise support within the body of Christ to cover our costs and that in itself is difficult and awkward.
Therefore it was very appropriate that this morning our sermon was on Matthew 6:25-34. It spoke right into my heart’s concerns.
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?Matthew 6:25-26
Do Not Worry
What a wonderful reminder from Jesus! This morning at church we looked at this section in Matthew and it was so challenging for me. I realised that I needed to keep my eyes on Jesus. If God called us to missions and asks us to give up our salaries and our lives here then surely He will provide the support we need. I don’t need to worry about “what if the money doesn’t come in”. He will provide our needs. But it is easier said than done isn’t it? That’s why verse 33 also stands out to me…
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.Matthew 6:33
I just need to be obedient and seek his Kingdom and righteousness and God will take care of the rest. Perhaps you have concerns and worries of your own. Be encouraged that Jesus says that you can trust the Heavenly Father to supply your needs. Next time we feel the claws of worry sinking into our hearts let us sink to our knees before the Lord and take those worries to Him. He wants us to turn to Him.