Humility, Pride and Greed

I allowed an attack by the enemy to bar me from writing this past month. I faced a struggle between Pride, Humility and Greed. Their names are capitalized because I want to remember that these aren’t merely emotions that we feel but are enemies bent on separating us from Christ. Thankfully as the Bible says in Romans 8:35 “Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship or distress or persecution or famine or nakedness or peril or sword?” This question is answered in Romans 8:37, “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”
Look closely at the first word of Romans 8:35. The word is “Who” not What or When or Where or Why or How, but “Who.”  The examples that follow are enemies of Christ not just emotions or events or occurrence; enemies. When God first shared this epiphany during my morning prayer time I thought that I must have misunderstood but as I read Romans 8:37 I began to understand what He meant. Romans 8:37 says “…we are more than conquerors…” Strong’s dictionary defines conqueror as; to vanquish beyond, that is, gain a decisive victory: – more than conquer. Who do we conquer? There is that word again, “Who.” God has given us the power through His son Jesus Christ to have power over these enemies, but sometimes we don’t recognize them as enemies. Satan does his best to convince us that they are just our own emotions. He doesn’t want us to recognize that they are his minions trying to ruin our lives. Here is how they managed to worm their way into my life this past month.
Over and over God continues to place a vision in my mind of me riding a large touring motorcycle towing a trailer with a cross on it. The words “Tell me your Testimony” are written on the cross. I’ve longed for and hungered for the time when the picture that I see in that vision becomes my full-time career. Recently my desire became so powerful that I wanted that time to be now! The enemy tried to convince me, through greed and desire, that I deserved to have that motorcycle now even though my family and I aren’t debt free yet. Visions of loans ran through my head and whispers from the enemy saying that it would be ok to take out a loan for a new motorcycle and trailer. The enemy kept saying that, “if I really trusted in God I’d get the motorcycle and trailer now and that if He really wanted me to have it He would provide a way to make the payments.” Having spent the last 5 years working towards getting out of debt (one more year to go) there was no way that I would take out a loan and go deeper into debt. I know that God wants us to be good stewards of the money that He provides.
That’s when the enemy started working on me even harder trying to convince me that God wanted this ministry to move forward now and that if I was truly devoted to God I would allow other people to help pay for that motorcycle and trailer. After a lot of prayer on the subject Worry and Doubt stepped in and started beating me up saying that if I were to let other people know that I was still in debt and couldn’t afford to purchase the motorcycle and trailer on my own then they would think less of me. Pride then stepped into the ring and started trying to convince me that if people thought less of me then I’d never be able to get the ministry going.
The battle in my mind was so fierce that when I finally came to a decision it was something that I never thought that I’d do; something that was very humbling for me. I created a Go Fund Me account for http://www.SojoTales.org to crowdsource a motorcycle hitch and trailer; not the entire motorcycle and trailer, just a hitch and trailer. In the Go Fund Me account I wrote about how one of the issues that this blog ministry has had has been financial. Trying to find the money to pay for gas, oil and maintenance on the motorcycle while trying to pay down debt has been challenging. Through it all the only help that I’ve ever asked for had been my prayers to our Lord and Savior for His blessings. I know that He wants me to be doing this ministry; He’s already answered that prayer beyond any shadow of a doubt in my mind, (which you can read about in “Doubting God” and “God Answers Prayer”). My Pride, Worries and Fears bothered me so much that I was completely blocked as a writer and wasn’t able to write anything for the blog in over a month.
Thankfully God has placed some good men in my life and when I opened up to a couple of them about my concerns they each responded differently. I told them both about the vision and the fact that the motorcycle that I’m riding in the vision isn’t the motorcycle that I currently own. I also explained that due to our current financial situation my wife and I won’t be out of debt until September of 2016, and that I didn’t see any way to fulfill the vision out of my own pocket before that time. I told these friends that I’d already opened a Go Fund Me account for a hitch and trailer, but that I just couldn’t seem to find it in me to click that button that would post that request for all the world to see. You see clicking that button would mean that I would have to deal with what I shamefully thought of as my inability to do the work that God wants me to do. The embarrassment that I felt as I told them about it made it hard for me to meet their eyes.
Both of the gentlemen that I spoke with had different opinions about what I should do, One was fully supportive of the crowd funding saying, “Maybe someone is going to bless you with a bike.” The other came straight to the point and asked whether my current motorcycle could even tow a trailer saying that he felt that if I tried to rush God’s timing I could delay the entire ministry. Talking to these to friends helped me to realize that I while I’d prayed about this issue over and over I’d never gone back to the Bible to look at how the apostles made their living after Jesus’ ascension. The next day during my prayer and bible study time I came across Acts 18:3 which talks about the fact that Paul was a tentmaker. After a bit of research I then came across 1 Thess. 2:9 and 2 Thess. 3:7-8 which points out that Paul toiled and labored, working night and day so that he would, “… not be a burden to any of you, while we proclaimed to you the gospel of God.”
When I read those words I suddenly felt freed! I finally understood that all of my Worries, Doubts, Fears, and Pride about asking other people for money had all been attacks to distract me from doing God’s work. When I read those words I knew that I was supposed to continue to work in my current job and that in God’s time He would provide me with enough income from that job to both finish getting out of debt and fulfill the vision that He keeps sending to me.
Now that I know Who was attacking me the writer’s block that had plagued me throughout the month disappeared and words seemed to flow onto the page as I was finally able to tell you about God’s glory and how His word brings freedom from the enemy.

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