Our post today will attempt to convey the lessons I learned in following the Lord’s voice by hosting the big celebration now known as the HDD Launch Event.
God told me He wanted a celebration, a time where His beloved would come together and be lavished with good things. He wanted to celebrate the writing and sharing of HDD’s 100th post. This couldn’t be just any celebration; it had to be excellent…as if King Jesus Himself would be walking through the event’s front doors as the evening’s honored guest. In fact, He (King Jesus) was the very reason why we were throwing the party, and it was for His glory alone.
“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” Colossians 3:23-24
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16
Leading up to the event, I struggled with how HDD could carry out this elegant, God-honoring celebration. One cool morning, while staring out at the city landscape and sipping some hot tea on my back patio, God suddenly began to speak: “Christy, don’t focus on money. Money isn’t an issue here. Approach each vendor as though the money is already in the bank account. You and Keith will not come out of pocket. I will faithfully provide all that you need.” After simmering on that revelation for a moment, I knew exactly where the Lord wanted to have His event.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6
Two days later, I approached that venue with confidence and signed a contract for the $3,000 event space. Within a few more weeks, God prompted me to reach out to a few influential benefactors to discuss the event, which yielded some amazingly high-quality items for the silent auction. My faith was not only ignited, but burning brightly for the Lord. Every element of the event, including the performers, the corporate sponsors, the farm-to-table food, the delicious coffee, the stunning decor, the classy programs, the lighting, the sound, and the photographer, was done in excellence. And all was done by Him and for Him. It was truly an unforgettable evening. We may not have physically seen Jesus, but His presence was undoubtedly felt. As one guest declared, “I’ve never experienced anything like this before. It’s like a slice of utopia.”
Yet it was nothing like I had expected. Without even realizing it, I had built so many expectations around His promises to me. Surely I thought God wanted tons of people present at His event. Surely I thought the event was how He’d replenish the funds that we just forked out for His party. Surely I thought He would fulfill His promise to us through ticket sales, the silent auction, raffle items, and donations.
We just gave money (that He gave me) back to Him (the very person who owns it all), and here I was expecting Him to immediately repay me, as though I was lending Him (the Lord of all creation) money. Sounds shallow doesn’t it? In my mind, that would have been a huge success! God would get the glory, people would be encouraged and have fun, our bank account would be restored, and I would have obeyed His voice and grown closer to Him. It would be a win-win situation for everyone involved.
“Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.” Proverbs 19:21
But on the morning after the event, I was heartbroken, shocked, dumfounded, and left feeling utterly betrayed by God. As one of His beloved, how could this happen to me? My mind told me that even though we followed Him in obedience, He didn’t keep His end of the deal.
Today I want you to hear the rest of this story because I strongly sense some of you will go through similar circumstances in your own lives. You may walk out in faith and trust Him, but events may not transpire the way you expect. Brace yourself, beloved, and trust in Him for who He is, not for who you want Him to be. May you learn valuable lessons from my human error and lack of faith.
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
When we are disappointed with God, it is not because He is unstable, unreliable, unfaithful, a liar, a confuser, or a betrayer. God is none of these things. His Word contradicts every single one of these adjectives. The problem is not Him; it’s us. Somewhere along the way, we assumed the story would unfold one way, but then it went another. So we pout, stomp our feet, cry, and get angry at God. Yet things are not always what they seem, beloved. God constantly whispers this into the depths of my spirit.
“But Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible’.” Matthew 19:26
Allow me to show you just how loving, brilliant, and radically faithful this God of ours is. For example, let’s say God did provide a huge flock of people (just as I was expecting) and lavished His Daily Dose with an overload of funds (as I had also expected). Do you know where my trust would have been? I would have claimed it was in the Lord, but let’s be real here. My heart wouldn’t have grown to trust the Lord more deeply because things would have turned out the way I expected; my trust would have continued to remain in money.
Ouch. For me, it’s difficult to accept that a trust in money has been in my heart, but it was. I was trusting in circumstances, my own understanding, and money more than I was in the Living God. Despite having lived as a missionary overseas (after leaving career and house) and following Him to bring light into the darkest of places, I still had some diabolical junk residing in my heart. How was I struggling with money once again?
You may find yourself in the same place. Our hearts have several layers, beloved. As we long for a deeper walk with Him, He inevitably digs deeper and deeper so that we can grow in the image of Christ.
“‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the LORD.” Isaiah 55:8
What a beautiful, eternal gift I received simply because our wonderful Father saw the condition of my heart, heard my prayers, and withheld what I wanted (circumstances and money) so that my trust would be appropriately placed in Him. Do you see why this was such a valuable lesson?
Join me tomorrow as I openly share the amazing proof God has given me to show He’s been and will be faithful to what He promised His Daily Dose, along with seven simple (yet incredible) lessons I have learned by obeying Christ in the unfamiliar.
You can also read the “100th Post” shared live during the HDD Launch Event here: 100th Post: How Does God See Me?
Image provided by Keith Becker