Posted by: Justin Wallace | February 22, 2010

The Curse of Support Raising // by Justin Wallace

I’ve been raising support for almost 6 years. I’ve learned so much. I’ve learned to trust God. I’ve learned to depend on God for my daily needs. I’ve learned to be grateful for everything I am given. I’ve learned to be dependent rather than independent. I’ve learned so many things.

But, one things continues to haunt me. There is one curse of support raising that I cannot seem to kick.

I’m sure that we all remember the crazy story of Abraham giving his wife to King Abimelech in Genesis 20. This story has always been a head scratcher for me.

Why in the world would a man be willing to give his wife away to another man?

Abraham had the privilege of hearing directly from God. God promised Abraham that he would be the father of God’s people. God promised Abraham that He would provide him a son even though Sarah was “past the age of child-bearing”. If any man could be confident that God was who He said He was, Abraham would be that man.

Instead, Abraham, continued to doubt God.

As I have reflected on this story of Abraham and King Abimelech, I have asked the question…what went wrong?

I have come to this conclusion :: Abraham feared man rather than fearing God.

In Genesis 20v10 the king asked Abraham, “What was your reason for doing this?” Abraham’s response was, “I said to myself, ‘There is surely no fear of God in this place, and they will kill me because of my wife.'”

Abraham was afraid that this group of men would kill him if they knew the truth. If they knew who he really was. If they knew what God was doing. Abraham made a choice…it’s safer to submit to man and hope that God doesn’t mind.

This is the curse of support raising for me.

It may not be politically in-correct for me to say this…but I believe that many of us face this tension and we’re all waiting for someone else to start the conversation.

In the world of support raising it is easy to fear man rather than fear God.

We make decisions based upon what our supporters will think. We may not blog about something because we’re afraid a supporter will disagree. We may not start something because we’re afraid a supporting church will find out. We may believe that God is calling us to take a risk…a risk that may not make sense to most churches in the USA but on a university campus it may be the only thing that grabs a students attention…and we choose not to take the risk that God is calling us to because it means that we could risk losing a supporter.

This fear paralyzes us.

I live in this tension. I’m willing to go out on a limb and say that you live in that tension as well.

We face the decision all the time in the world of support raising…will we fear man or fear God?

When we fear man over God we are essentially saying that we believe that man provides for us. That man meets our needs. That man makes the future happen.

But this is a lie. God is the provider. He provides the supporters. The supporting churches. He meets our needs. He makes the future happen.

I’ve been really trying to practice this. I know God might call us to something crazy, something risky, something un-conventional, something that might not make sense (like having a son at 90-something). And when He lays this bizarre calling on our hearts we must be obedient! We must follow him into the unknown. We must believe that He will provide for us even if it means we lose a supporter.

I know this isn’t easy, but no one ever said that raising support would be easy. It’s un-conventional. It’s crazy. It’s risky. But God has called us to it. And God will provide. God will remain faithful. God will fulfill his promise.

So, I fall on my face before God in awe. In fear. In worship. Knowing and believing that He and He alone is to be feared…no matter what it might cost me.

Who do you fear?

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