“Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory” Psalm 73:23-24 (NIV).
People have asked me, “How do you know that God called you to do _______?” I have to admit that I’ve wrestled with that question. We’ve had our share of difficulties over the years while on the support-raising journey; yet we seem to keep choosing ministries where we have to depend on God to supply our financial needs—and for the record, though it may have looked differently than what we initially thought, He hasn’t failed us yet for providing what we need. However, when I take the time to prayerfully think through that question, the only answer I can give isn’t some mystical one where God clearly speaks or uses a pillar of fire that leads us, but it’s more of a knowing that I would be disobeying God if I didn’t follow Him through the events He orchestrates as He guides me in the direction He wants me to go.
Having to raise support is a difficult decision people have to make, and sadly, this one snag surrounding money is often the decisive element that topples people from the ministry toward which God has directed their heart. I certainly understand why people walk away from it. Too many times to count I’ve been in those shoes of wanting to do just that. For myself I learned that the wrong emphasis on money became the problem. Sadly, I was in the majority. This money emphasis while raising support can create such a heavy weight in peoples’ minds that they make assumptions before even trying it or get winded before they make it very far out of the gate.
Although Asaph didn’t write Psalm 73 because he was raising support, I still believe it has such rich application to this process. He starts by crying out to God because he has seen the wealth and health of the wicked and envies it, and then he goes on to vividly describe their prosperous ways. Are his pure ways done in vain, he asks? However, upon entering into God’s presence, he understands their final destiny. The wicked will be destroyed, and the faithful will always be with God and guided by Him.
The support-raising moral to this isn’t that the people around us are wicked and are going to be destroyed. The point is that Asaph’s perspective changed when he entered God’s presence. Before, he was so focused on the money and how prosperous other people were that he started questioning God’s guidance in his own life and whether or not his path of purity was worth it. Then he encountered God and decided to trust Him with his life.
Even on the support-raising journey, if our eyes stay on the money, our tendency will be to compare our fortunes and misfortunes to others while disregarding how God is guiding us down a path that is intricately designed for each individual. This is an eternal perspective, the same perspective Asaph had after encountering God. Let’s keep that eternal perspective on this journey and not worry about the paths that God is leading others down.
- What has been your perspective on your support-raising journey?
- Keep your eyes focused on the eternal and keep persevering!
*First posted on Godandelephants.com on May 24, 2016