Lately, I’ve been going through a season where God has been laying foundational work as it relates to my faith. It’s really funny because, in 2017, I told God that I wanted to have crazy faith to the point that people actually thought I was crazy. But I didn’t think it would come with an experience where I had to exercise just how much faith I had.
When it comes to defining faith, I can give you the Hebrews definition, which says faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1), but what does that really mean?
What is Faith?
To me, I think faith is acting on that gentle nudge or instinctual feeling you get whenever you feel like God is leading you to do something even when you have no idea how it will happen. Sometimes, we can hear God loud and clear, but other times He’s quiet and if we don’t take time to stop and reflect on what He is saying, we might miss the opportunity to exercise faith.
As I’ve grown in the blogging world, I’ve learned how valuable this lesson is. This ministry or brand has been nothing but a faith journey.
A Story on Faith
For example, I send out a monthly wallpaper apart of the movement I started called #TheConfessionsProject. At first, I designed the graphics myself because you know? Costs. But as time passed, I started to outsource graphic designers because I just did not have the mental bandwidth to do it myself. Nah, I’ll be honest. I didn’t want to.
By the time this post has been published, I’ve actually gone through at least 3-4 designers. I even have the email saved because it seemed like I was going through them like it was nothing.At one point, I had to take a step back and assess if there was something wrong with me. I just could not understand why it was so difficult to find a graphic designer. Either they were no longer available to do it, either their design style didn’t match my brand aesthetic, or there were problems with the quality of the work.
I finally reached out to another designer and was in the process of hiring her. She had already sent me the invoice and I was ready to go. But I decided to pray about it, and I felt like the Lord told me no. He told me to wait and cue my confusion. From that moment on, I had no peace about hiring her.
So I sent her an email letting her know that I wouldn’t be able to use her services, and then I began to pray and ask God to bring the graphic designer that would help me make these wallpaper. And I told Him He low-key had a deadline because it was about 15 days before the next wallpaper needed to be sent.
Receiving by Faith
About a week later, I had a coffee date scheduled with a photographer friend who was interested in being a part of the Hanha Hobson brand in some way. We had been trying to get up with each other for about a month, and we were finally able to meet – approximately 7 days until I needed to send out the next wallpaper.
We got to talking and when I mentioned all of the things that I needed helped with, she said that she would not only be able to create #TheConfessionsProject wallpapers, but also curate images for social media, and take photos for a much lesser price than I was previously paying another photographer. But here’s the kicker! She told me that doing this type of work was her dream job! It was something that she’s always wanted to do.
So when I tell you that I sat across the table in shock? I’m pretty sure my mouth had hit the floor! I could not believe that this was one of her passions because I felt the exact opposite about it. But through this experience, God taught me several lessons on the topic of faith and I would be remised if I didn’t share them with you.
1. Faith Comes After Seeking God
We gotta get it out of our heads that God is going to give us the full picture of our lives. Hebrews 11:1 says that faith is the evidence of things you cannot see, so you won’t be able to see the how of it all but you can trust that God will give you the next step because Psalm 37:23 says, “The steps of a good man are ordered.”
You may be believing God for that dream job, that school acceptance, that husband, or that child, but that’s the end destination. Very rarely have I seen God give us the full description of how we’re going to get there. And it makes sense because we would never lean on Him if He did. I heard once that God risks the chance of losing us every time He gives us what we want.
[bctt tweet=”God risks the chance of losing us every time He gives us what we want.” username=”heyhanha”]
But when you first pray and ask God for various things in your life, He will lead you by telling you what to do next – take a test, apply for a specific job, attend a seminar, go to the doctor for a check-up, whatever.And He can do this in a variety of ways – sometimes in your prayer time or through a person or experience.
For me, I had no peace about hiring that graphic designer. I could have gone with her, but I would have completely missed out on God’s best. And this is why obedience is so important. Think about a GPS. If you go the wrong way or make the wrong turn, you will find yourself headed towards a completely different destination or you will delay and spend more time than you should be trying to get there.
Whenever you first step out in faith, God will lead and speak a specific promise to you. But you cannot have the faith to receive that promise until you seek God about what you are asking for. Hebrews 11:16 says, “And without faith, it is impossible to please God because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”
God gives us promises for an amazing life, but we have to be able to lean on what He says first. We have to earnestly seek Him so that we know what to do next or how to move.
2. Faith comes by action.
Once you have heard from God about your situation, it’s important to apply obedience by taking action. For me, it was actually saying no to the graphic designer knowing good and well that I didn’t have another one ready to take her place.
We’ve all heard the famous verse, faith without works is dead (James 2:14). Yet many of us are believing God for something when we have not done anything to receive it by faith. We’re too busy waiting for opportunities rather than creating opportunities for ourselves.
[bctt tweet=”Many of us are believing God for something when we have not done anything to receive it by faith. We’re too busy waiting for opportunities rather than creating opportunities for ourselves.” username=”heyhanha”]
As I’ve said, God never really gives us the full picture, but I heard from a great mentor that you have to move on the nudge that He’s already given you. So back to that GPS. You only know where to go once you are in the car moving. You won’t know that you need to turn left or right by sitting in the driveway.
So think back to that first conversation you had with God regarding your situation. And if you haven’t taken time to seek God, take time this week to do just that! It’s never too late. Pray that He would reveal the next step for your life, and know that He will because Jeremiah 33:3 says, “Call to me, and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”
Once you do, act on what He says, and trust that He will give you the next step once you’ve gotten there.
3. Choose Faith Over Fear.
I remember talking to that same mentor, asking if it was okay for us to go back and forth between faith and doubt. She responded by telling me that it was normal, but the infamous “but” came right after.
She said that the more we have fear about our situation, that is exactly what will manifest in our lives. In other words, if you’re afraid it’s not going to work out, more than likely that’s what will happen. Manifestation is the process of our thoughts turning into feelings, our feelings turning into actions, and our actions leading to results.
The root of doubt is fear. Manifesting doubt might paralyze you to never move or somehow sabotage you from getting the very thing that you desire. We must be mindful to replace fearful thoughts with the Word of God. You have to do it over and over until that is the only thing that is coming out.
And if you need help with speaking God’s promises over your life, I have the perfect resource for you.