The Next Chapter // Stepping Out In Faith

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The Chandler family has finally arrived in Colorado! It has been a long journey for our family to get to this point and God is continuing to prove His faithfulness.

For the past several months we have been waiting on our house to sell so that we could make the move to Colorado to get started with eMi. We found ourselves in a place of keeping up the status quo with life in Auburn and had effectively placed the ball in God’s court by saying, “we will move as soon as He makes it happen.” I thought that I was living by faith because I was waiting on God’s provision to sell our house so that we could be obedient to Him. Then I read the Bible and began to listen to the Holy Spirit as He explained to me how faith really works. I started to realize that what we were doing did not require any faith at all on our part. In fact, I was essentially asking God to have faith in our obedience if He would do His part to make it happen! That is obviously not the Biblical model of faith that God has given us. Faith requires activity on our part first.

God began to reveal this to me a couple months ago when I read the story of Gideon in Judges 6. If you are unfamiliar with this story, I encourage you to study it. It has become one of our family’s favorite Bible stories to read, especially after our friends (the Shropshires) gave us a copy of the Veggie Tales version of the story a couple weeks before we left for Colorado.

In quick summary, Gideon was hiding from the Midianites and an angel appeared to him and said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.” Thus far I could certainly relate with Gideon’s position…hiding like a coward with self-defeating thoughts while knowing the Lord was calling me out as something much greater! The part that I could not relate to is what Gideon allowed God to do through him next. God told Gideon to, “go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand.” So, after receiving some reassurance from the angel of the Lord, Gideon assembled an army…a 32,000-man army! Not bad for a quick call to arms. Then God told Gideon he had too many men because he did not want the army to think they were saved by their own strength. So, He systematically whittled Gideon’s army down to 300 men to go up against an enormous Midianite army. By all practical and worldly wisdom, this was a bad battle plan for Gideon. Without faith in the provision of an all-powerful God, it most certainly would have led to the quick demise of Gideon and his 300 closest friends. But Gideon knew that God would come through, so he went to battle and God did exactly what He said He would do.

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When I read this story in the Bible, it is not incredibly surprising to me that God comes through in a seemingly impossible situation, because the Bible is full of these type examples of His provision. The Bible also promises the same provision to all of God’s children. But yet, for some reason I hesitate to put myself in such a vulnerable state, where I am completely reliant on that provision as if I do not think it possible outside the covers of my Bible. It seems to be much easier (at times) to simply do life within the realm of of human ability, but I realized by doing so, we are missing out on some of the incredible things God has promised us. I began to wonder how many of us “followers of Christ” have come to the point where we are doing everything on our own human power and completely neglecting the supernatural provision that is available to us through Christ.

I started to think to myself, where is my 300-man army going up against completely unbeatable odds? What am I doing that requires even a portion of that kind of faith? Is there anything for which I am completely relying on God and that my only chance of survival is if He comes through? It was there that Sarah and I realized God was asking us to take the next step in faith and obedience and watch Him come through for us. After revealing this through the story of Gideon, we repeatedly heard the same message throughout scripture about what it truly looks like to have faith in God. I also came to realize that it is hard not to hear the message of faith throughout Scripture when your spirit has been tuned to hear it because it is present in almost every major story and teaching in the Bible.

The Midianites that we are facing by making the move to Colorado is most glaringly financial since we have not sold our house in Auburn. Quite simply, we cannot afford to live in both Colorado and Auburn on a missionary’s budget. On paper, the decision to move made absolutely no sense for us financially. But, we believe God can provide outside our ideas of what seems possible. We also face other tasks with this move that are not as seemingly impossible, but still require a lot of things to come together perfectly and have been of some concern; like finding a place to live from a long distance, getting Jack in a school where he can thrive both academically and socially (also dependant on where we live), getting our family and our stuff across the country, finding new community in Colorado, etc.

I can say unequivocally that God has provided in each of those areas and more since we made the decision to put our faith into action with this move. Shortly after we committed to move, we had a friend approach us about renting our house in Auburn month-to-month until it sells! We certainly want the house to sell soon, but for now we get the opportunity to help out a friend in need while not having to completely bear the cost of that home and not having to take it off the market. We were able to find a rental house in a great area of Colorado Springs that is already starting to feel like a home and the kids love! The area of the rental has made it possible for Jack to get in to the best school in the state by bumping him up over 100 places on the priority waiting list! We moved in earlier this week and we have already connected with several couples who live in close proximity to us and we have already initiated connection within a local church. We were blessed to have eMi staff and interns come and help us unload our stuff and provide meals for us. We were also tremendously blessed to have family taking care of the kids this week in Alabama (thank you GiGi and Poppa J) while we got everything moved and settled and then even transport them out to meet us in Colorado (thank you Pop). God is providing and we look forward to seeing how he continues to make the seemingly impossible things happen!

Another way God is providing for us in a significant way is through our generous ministry partners. We are incredibly grateful for each of you who are making it possible for us to be a part of this great ministry! For a current list of prayer needs and to find out how you can partner with us and the ministry of eMi please click here.

As for work with eMi, I will start later this week after the kids have had a chance to get settled and will hopefully have more updates coming soon with regard to the work I get the opportunity to be a part of. I will most likely be traveling to Ecuador in September, but should have more details on this soon as well.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (Ephesians 3:20-21 NIV)
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One response to “The Next Chapter // Stepping Out In Faith

  1. Thanks for keeping us in the update loop. We love to hear stories of faith and God’s answers and are rejoicing in the Lord’s goodness to you. Please keep us posted on all that is ahead. Len and Diane Vining

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