“This is what the LORD says—Israel’s King and Redeemer, the LORD Almighty. I am the first and the last; apart from me there is no God.” Isaiah 44:6 (NIV)
In chapter 44 of Isaiah, God continually speaks through the prophet, proclaiming the greatness of who He is and the works He’s accomplished with just one pinky and His other hand tied behind his back. He compares this to worthless idols that are shaped by man’s hands, yet worshipped in place of God. When explained in this respect, it seems pure foolishness to put anything else in place of God. Yet we do it all the time—at least I do.
It’s even easy to make money and lifestyles an idol on the support-raising journey. This seems like an odd concept because the very essence of raising support is built around the premise of someone giving up a steady income and stepping out in faith in order to live off of God’s provision. However, I know from my own experience that I’ve made the lack of money and not having a cool lifestyle an idol while raising support, and that’s often what drives and frustrates me.
I’ve often played the “woe-is-me” card, declaring back to God the huge sacrifice it was to give up a good paying job in order to make nothing. (I’m sure your eyes are welling up now with compassion). Then the very next thing I do is fight to have the same exact lifestyle I left behind, and that’s my motivation for asking people for money. There are even some books that question why Christians should appear like beggars, so we use this as justification as our stance to keep our lifestyles. When we put our comforts ahead of being used by God, this becomes our idol.
God declares that He is eternal. He is the Alpha and the Omega, beginning and the end. That eternal perspective should give us peace, because He knows what’s ahead of us and even knows intimately what we’ve gone through. All He is asking us to do is trust Him. Chapter 44 is like He’s saying to the Israelites, “Hey, I’ve got this. You don’t need all that other stuff that’s consuming you. Strip away those worthless idols and just trust Me.” He’s saying the same thing to you.
- What does money truly mean to you on the support-raising journey? Is the motivation to have the same stuff and lifestyle (even in a different place) the things that drive you to make more?
- Since God is the Alpha and Omega, what does it mean to you that God knows your future and knows what you’ve already been through?