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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Bungee Jumping, Faith & Our House

I made a deal with God a little over 2 years ago. Ash & I knew we were called to plant a church and that we were going to plant in Chicago, so I told God we would move when He sold our house in Denton. This only made sense. It's really expensive to live in Chicago & there was no way we could afford rent in Chi-town & a house payment in Denton, TX at the same time, so I gave God the terms of the deal. Unfortunately, I was obedient to God and listening to Him in all the areas of selling a lot of our possessions, moving away from all of our family, starting a church and living by faith financially EXCEPT for with our house. It's almost like I didn't have enough faith He could really do all of this, so I wanted the house to sell first in order to be a "sign" that God would provide and clear the way for us to move to Chicago.

Good logic huh? Well earthly that is, and almost all people would agree it was good logic, but it's not in the Kingdom of God. What makes sense in the Kingdom of God is obedience. No matter what the call is and how much sense it makes. That's whats great about being a son or daughter of the King is that all we have to do is obey. He takes care of us, provides for us and has all the resources at His disposal to use us to accomplish His will & bring glory back to His kingdom. When we don't trust, don't obey and use GOOD LOGIC all we do is bring glory to our kingdom and the world sees no existence of a powerful, almighty God but only says, "well that just makes sense."

Well, as many know, our house never sold. We were newly married, waiting to move to Chicago and do our best to keep OverFlow Ministries going in Denton, as well as prepare it for our departure. Fall came. Winter came. Spring came. No house sold.

Then, this past May for my 30th birthday, I decided to go bungee jumping. I went to this place in Dallas where I could bungee jump off a ledge for a 7 story drop. However, when I arrived there I also noticed a "free fall" from a 160 ft drop. Basically, what this meant was that I would be lifted 160 ft in the air and then just dropped out of a harness and fall (with nothing attached) 160 ft into a net that hopefully caught me! That free fall was the most exhilarating few seconds of my life! The bungee jump was a little different, however. I climbed the windy staircase up to the 70 ft ledge getting more scared as I traveled a new story. I finally hit the 7th story, saw the Dallas skyline and walked to the ledge. There a teenager met me, attached a rubber band to me and said, "On the count of 3: jump! 1,2,3..." and no jump. My legs were like jello and I was frozen on that ledge. He counted again and again and every time he hit 3 I wanted to jump but I couldn't get off that ledge. It just made no sense! I was on a perfectly good ledge where it was safe and comfortable with a perfect way down: the stairs. My wife is down below with the FlipCam waving as I feel like I've been standing on that ledge for 30 minutes. Then the teenager started talking noise and calling me names and saying my wife would lose all respect for me if I didn't jump. My man pride was hurt now so when this punk kid got to 3 this time I finally----fell off the ledge headfirst 70 ft and it was AMAZING!

On the way home it hit me what the difference was between the two jumps. Why was bungee so much harder for me than the free fall? Well, because the free fall I was just dropped 160 ft and once I got on the lift I was stuck and had no choice whether or not I wanted to be dropped. However, with the bungee jump I actually had to JUMP! No one was pushing me off the ledge, I had to trust that the rubber band would hold and although it didn't make any sense to do it, I had to have faith. I knew the cord would hold, or if it didn't the big pad would catch me, and so really I had nothing to fear. I just had to trust it, and jump.

Summer came. Still no house sold. I had told FBC Denton no matter what I was leaving by the end of the summer. I had helped them find my replacement and August was fast approaching. What was I going to do. I was taking a shower one morning and spent time praying as I often do, and God spoke to me and brought me back to the bungee jump. He said, "just jump. Trust me. I never made the deal with you that your house would sell before you would move, I just told you to move to Chicago and plant a church." I was on that ledge with God scared again. I told God my deal made sense and I liked the free fall better. I wanted to know why God couldn't just sell our house and drop me and Ash in Chicago? He told me clear as day again, "Jump."

I went to my wife with the news and after praying she said, "ok, let's do it." We went to Chicago to find an apartment, and after 4 days came home empty handed and discouraged. But I kept hearing the words "Jump" and so, after returning home to Denton, I got on Craigslist one more time to search for a place to live and one popped up that was exactly where we wanted to live and was in a price range we could afford. BUT there were no pictures! (This is a huge deal when moving anywhere, but especially in the city). But, again, I heard the words, "Jump." I prayed and told God, "ok I'm all in" and Ash and I jumped. We signed the lease the next day and set our moving date. Within hours of faxing our lease to Chicago, I got a call and we got a contract on our house. Didn't make any sense, but God get's glory because only He can do that and it took our trust obedience for Him to show us and the world, He will provide!

We moved to Chicago, started planting our church, and God was good. Once you jump, you really can't go back to the ledge. So, when we got to October and got the news the lady was backing out of her contract on our house, we were upset for a little bit, but then prayed and knew that we had jumped, God has shown the ability to provide and will do so again. So we prayed and had confidence God would sell.

Thanksgiving and Christmas came. No sell. Valentines came, still no sell. Spring break came, still no sell.

I had a quiet time one March morning and was reading through the Sermon on the Mount where Jesus tells His disciples to "ask and it shall be given to you" & went on to tell them how when a son asks a father for a loaf of bread he doesn't receive a snake so how much more will your Father in heaven give to you. I got convicted. I just knew God was going to sell our home, but i never had specifically asked Him to in some time now. Jesus didn't give an example of someone asking just for anything, the son asked for a specific loaf of bread. Now, Jesus never said if the son received the loaf, but He was saying the gift the Father would give would be good. So i prayed specifically for the house to sell that morning.

WIthin one hour, our realtor calls me and tells me he's about to sell my house and we had a contract by the end of the day. God wanted me to ask so I wouldn't think the house would just sell, but that HE would sell it. He is my provider and when He asked me to jump He told me He would take care and I needed to trust, but that din't mean I still didn't need to come to my Dad and ask Him for anything.

At the end of March I came to Texas and was speaking at FBC Denton. But before doing that, I got to close on the house. I have no idea how we were able to afford our house payment in Texas and the expensive rent we have here in Chicago but to only say GOD DID.

Jumping never makes sense but when you think about it, it really does. Obedience to our King in His kingdom brings Him glory and as our King He will provide. To God be the Glory.

Will you jump? Will you forget about what makes sense and go for it? Live a life that is so beyond you and your comfort and live for His kingdom and watch Him provide, get the glory and use your life to show people that He is the one true God. If you're not seeing the power of God in your life, it's because your life is too safe and you're too dependent upon yourself.

I just can't believe I never jumped sooner...what a life I was missing out on.