A War Chest of Faith
We pulled up to the house we put an offer on yesterday and there was a big ole fire ant climbing up the garage door wall. Most people wouldn’t think twice about it, but my youngest pixie is allergic to the venomous beasts. (I know ants are not beasts, but they sometimes feel more like beasts than pests to me). Regardless, my spirit sank.
But just a bit. Typically, these kind of minor details can derail me. Sometimes it’s the little things that can make me question most if we are doing the right thing. Did we buy the right house? Should we send the kids to this camp? Which job is going to provide the most security?
It was only a silly ant, but I walked the property and noticed several fire ants where I had not seen any before. We live in the South, this is typical. But, one of the things that drew me to this house was the fact the property was not overrun by fire ants like so many yards in the South can be. In fact, I had wrote in my journal that the neighbor told us that she had never noticed fire ants in the yard. Spiders, yes, fire ants, no.
So is this a sign?
Left to my own devices, this is how my mind works. But, thank God, I have learned something over the years which I have come to coin as my “War chest of faith.” What is a war chest of faith? Well, it’s pretty simple. Just a chest of memories and memorials that I have stored (mainly in writing) that remind me that I have a God Who is for me and will never back down fighting for me.
I’ve been building up this war chest over the years--memories and memorials of a God Who is always faithful. It provides the anchor I need when I feel like the waves of doubt and fear are tossing me to and fro. When I open this war chest, I see as John Mark McMillan writes, “If grace is an ocean, we are surely sinking under it!” God likes to blow us out of the water when we least expect it.
I went home after leaving the property and pulled out my journal. Within the pages, I found verses the Lord had given me that reassured me. I reread words a friend from church had spoken over us, confirming that God was preparing us for this. I had a whole list of specific things the Lord had done that showed this was it.
A war chest of faith. A beacon of hope to pull out when the doubts creep in.
“Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith.” Hebrews 10:22
We all need these war chests. Just like financial advisors sometimes suggest building up a war chest of money for when the hard times come, it’s wise to build up a war chest of faith when fear creeps in.
The writer of Hebrews shows that it is possible to have full assurance in our faith. This means a confidence that is unwavering, the door is not cracked to let doubt creep in. Jesus, Himself, provides this confidence. We trust in the work He did for us, and know that this same God is waiting with open arms. It is a full assurance in the efficacy of what Christ accomplished on our behalf.
Inner certainty is something we all struggle with at times. That calm confidence we tend to lose when things don't go how we think they should, when the obvious leading ceases. We don't see the pillar by night and the cloud by day as clearly.
It is then we are left with our faith in its rawest form. Will we still believe when the markers aren't there like they were before? And this is when our war chest comes in handy. We start digging deep. We reread the verses He spoke over us. We recall the principles He taught us.
So how do we do this practically? What are some simple steps we can take to build a war chest of faith?
How to Build a War Chest of Faith:
Get wisdom--Wisdom is knowing what is right. Proverbs 4:11 says, “I guide you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths.” God Himself is our guide to wisdom. As I mentioned in my post last week, when we acknowledge Him in all our ways, He will make our paths straight. He will show us what is right. Ask God. Seek His face for counsel. Search for wisdom as you would search for a home. Investigate. Weigh the cost. Explore.
Write It Down--I am so thankful for the countless journals that we have scattered throughout our house. Within the pages are promises that point to a Redeemer Who is always making everything new. Even if you don't enjoy writing, you could type documents into your computer or speak notes into your phone. The key is to create memorials along the path that point to His presence. Later those memorials become markers to continue on with Him when things get hazy.
Look for the Outward Leadings and Measure Them Against the Inward Dealings--Whenever you see an outward manifestation of His presence, for example His rest is heavy upon a path, measure it against the inward promptings of His Holy Spirit. Does what you see measure with what the Spirit settles on your soul? Pray in the Spirit. Search the deep things of God. It's amazing what you will see outwardly that will resonate in your spirit inwardly.
So go ahead, build a war chest of faith. I dare you.