FAITH ≠ CERTAINTY

MARCH 20, 2017
Click to view: Bible Study // Prayer & Praise Report

 
Good morning friends and family,

When Nathan and I decided to move up our wedding four months and get married earlier than planned, it didn’t seem risky. It seemed necessary.

When we received a call from a close family member asking us to adopt, it didn't seem risky. It seemed like a miracle.

Four years ago when we felt the Lord asking us to move out in faith and begin to minister as full-time missionaries to a small Bible school, with plans of raising all of our finances from a generous network of supporters, that…

That actually did seem risky (to be more specific, a better word was TERRIFYING) but we also knew it was right.

Our perception of risk is a shared earthly experience; that is, each individual has a definition of risk created from his or her own stories and backgrounds.

We also can determine the level of risk based on the experiences of other people (i.e., “So and so saw bed bugs at that hotel so no, I will not be staying at THAT hotel”).


In a world that believes their reality ceases with death, we have an expanded hope that does not just dictate our perception of death but also our life. We evaluate our choices and our perceptions of risk in a different and often opposing light.


Our evaluation of risk is never as cut and dry as an insurance adjuster running stats though a formula. Rather, it is filled with feelings and emotional decisions. For some, marriage in itself can be one of the biggest risks of their lives. For others, it’s a new career or a decision to have another child. Risk can be very subjective.

We believe certainty to be the opposite of risk. We say, “I will do this or that because I am certain there is no risk,” or at least minimal risk.

But in reality, do we ever really have certainty?

The old adage that “the only certainty in life is death and taxes” often elicits a giggle because it holds truth.  Yet, as a Christian, it is easy to forget that our only certainty is in fact Christ.

Paul states in 2 Corinthians 2:2, “I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.”

In a world that believes their reality ceases with death, we have an expanded hope that does not just dictate our perception of death but also our life. We evaluate our choices and our perceptions of risk in a different and often opposing light.


...we have been given a vision to see freedom and wholeness be the foundation of discipleship in the local church — as the beginning of one's walk with Christ rather than a reaction to brokenness and pain.


So with this in mind, Nathan and I have been evaluating some things that we feel the Lord has been speaking to us in the past five months.

As most of you know, we love to see Christians living free, joy-filled lives. So much so that the foundation of Nathan’s entire Christian Living curriculum has been fortified on this concept. We believe that the most contagious follower of Christ is one who can’t help but tell their story of the freedom and victory that they have found in Jesus. (See, for example, the women at the well in John 4 or the demoniac in Mark 5.)

Over the last four years, we have been brainstorming ways we can reproduce this message of free, joy-filled living.  How can we expand this disciple-making culture in a larger demographic?

To answer this question, we have been given a vision is to see freedom and wholeness be the foundation of discipleship in the local church — as the beginning of one's walk with Christ rather than a reaction to brokenness and pain.

We recently came upon an opportunity to partner with a church in Texas toward fulfilling this vision. Our hope is that we will be able to move forward and see this work reproduced in many churches — developing a movement of Christians that see freedom as the natural process of discipleship.


What is faith if not the certainty of knowing that we are secure in the Father?


Because we desire to see this vision spread to other churches, we will not be taking a staff position at this church. Therefore, we are moving out in faith with our current support base — continuing the ministry through monthly financial partners.

This decision was not an easy one.

Moving to Homer was in itself an answer to a prayer that I had prayed for eight years. I love my community and I love my family here.

My heart responds to the ocean. And, the beauty of the Lord is on display here like nowhere else I have ever been. We have stability and security here created by the people who surround us, who love us, and who are invested in our lives.

Yet, we know our true security comes in knowing Christ and Him crucified. We must trust the certainty of our Heavenly Father and trust that His plan is greater than our own.

What is faith if not the certainty of knowing that we are secure in the Father?

So no, I will refuse to let the formula of experience and cold calculation decide the weight of risk in this endeavor. Rather, we are choosing to step out in faith, believing that our Heavenly Father honors those who seek Him. And we’re choosing to believe that He has good for us as we trust Him.

In the next few weeks, we will begin to outline our thoughts and ideas as we embark on this new adventure.

But for now, we ask that you would prayerfully consider moving forward with us in faith toward this vision. We welcome your prayers, encouragement, thoughts, and financial partnership to make this happen.

 
 
God bless,

P.S. I would love to hear back from you. If you have any comments from this week's email or prayer requests you would like to share with us, our email is: hello@nathanlaceysteel.com. I look forward to hearing from you.

   
OUR PRAISE & PRAYER REPORT

CURRENT PROJECTS
Below are the following projects that we currently need finances for. We will update the amount as funds come in.

  • "Bethel, AK"
    Trip Cost: $1000 // Received: $0 // Needed: $1000

    April 17-22 - I will be teaching at a Pastor's Conference in Bethel, Alaska on the subjects of identity and forgiveness.

Click to: Support

  • "Peru"
    Trip Cost: $5000 // Received: $1000 // Needed: $4000

    May 26-June 3 - Lacey and I are teaching at a Marriage Conference in Iquitos, Peru.

Click to: Support


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BIBLE STUDY


+ DAY 79: MONDAY, MARCH 20

+ DAY 80: TUESDAY, MARCH 21

+ DAY 81: WEDNESDAY, MARCH 22

+ DAY 82: THURSDAY, MARCH 23

+ DAY 83: FRIDAY, MARCH 24

+ DAY 84: SATURDAY, MARCH 25

+ DAY 85: SUNDAY, MARCH 26

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