We’ve recently embarked on another part of our Faith Journey as we begin, for a third time, to raise money for our precious church to have a permanent home.
The first time we had to do this, I felt sort of like that. We had to. It was a means to an end. We knew like everything, that money was necessary for marketing, meeting space and even staff. In late 2004, Scott and I felt God calling us to start a church. Scott finished up Seminary in 2005 and we began making preparations to move to Little Rock, Arkansas for a little more training before landing in Raleigh, NC where we would start our new church. Plans started to be made and then the hard part came. We had to ask friends and family and anyone who would listen to us about this dream that God had put into our hearts. It was about a place that we couldn’t see, it didn’t have people yet and there was absolutely nothing of evidence that this would even work out. Perhaps they saw the glimmer in our eyes. But I believe, that they each knew what God could do. So friends and family from around the country locked arms with us as we stepped out on this journey.
In early 2005, God gave me a special passage while spending time with Him one afternoon. I was having some anxiety over leaving Dallas and heading out into the unknown. It was from Exodus 33 when Moses was to lead the Israelites to the Promised Land. Moses had seen the Lord be faithful to him as God led them out of slavery in Egypt, but here he was again taking on a task that seemed too big for him. He stood before the Lord like he had on many other occasions in the Tent of Meeting where God would speak to him face to face as a man speaks to his friend.
12 One day Moses said to the Lord, “You have been telling me, ‘Take these people up to the Promised Land.’ But you haven’t told me whom you will send with me. You have told me, ‘I know you by name, and I look favorably on you.’ 13 If it is true that you look favorably on me, let me know your ways so I may understand you more fully and continue to enjoy your favor. And remember that this nation is your very own people.”
14 The Lord replied, “I will personally go with you, Moses, and I will give you rest—everything will be fine for you.”
15 Then Moses said, “If you don’t personally go with us, don’t make us leave this place. 16 How will anyone know that you look favorably on me—on me and on your people—if you don’t go with us? For your presence among us sets your people and me apart from all other people on the earth.”
17 The Lord replied to Moses, “I will indeed do what you have asked, for I look favorably on you, and I know you by name.”
18 Moses responded, “Then show me your glorious presence.”
I remember crying as I read this. It was so personal. I immediately went to my husband and said, “This is for us. This is what we need to pray. If God doesn’t go with us to North Carolina, then I don’t want to take a step from this place.” We were asking God to show us His glory and to do something that only He can do- change hearts and lives to love Jesus!
So we went and God began to bring people. He began to change lives. He has brought us the sick and broken and even many who just needed to be reminded that God still is in the business of changing lives. He has shown us that the Christian life wasn’t meant to be boring or safe, but instead to be lived out in dependence and surrender.
So here we are again taking another big step in our faith journey with the Lord. We are now raising money to build a building on the land that we purchased this past year. Our property sits in a strategic part of Raleigh and we believe this facility will simply facilitate our church’s vision of “Connecting people to Jesus for Life Change.” We are again reminded of that passage in Exodus 33. But pay special attention to what Moses said in verse 18… “then show me your glory!”
Have you ever watched a child see their Dad do something that they thought was amazing? The response is wide-eyed and often, “Do it again, Daddy! Do it again!!” With excitement in our voices, with a fullness in our hearts for all we’ve seen Him do, for the many people including our own, whose lives have been changed because of living on this mission He has called us to, we stand here saying, “Show us your glory! Do it again! Do it again!”