I remember a dream I had about 4 years ago, I dreamt I walked to pick up our mail in our post box and as usual it was filled with bills. But the strange thing was that each and every bill had our name crossed out, and instead they had been redirected to Jesus Christ. His name was written on every bill.
Back then it was the start of our financial mess, we had just realized how big of a sin we had done. For those of you who might be new readers: Some years ago my wife and I sinned financially, we spent to much money we did not have at the time and it landed us in a sea of debt. Of course we asked for forgiveness and we repented, and of course God forgave us. But the consequences where still there, and we are still struggling with the consequences.
This a part of being human, sometimes we land flat on our faces because we make stupid decisions that has big consequences for our lives. I dont know about your situation, but what I do know is this, God allows this to happen for a reason. And yes I know, if you are in a mess right now, its not much fun to read that God allows it to happen. But stay with me on this, and I will explain how we have realized it to be a good thing that God allowed it to happen to us.
I had that dream about the bills not to long after we had asked for forgiveness and repented. At the time I was to stressed out to understand it, so I interpreted it wrong. I ended up interpret it as being spiritual, a message reminding me Jesus had paid my sins. And that is true, but God was actually trying to tell me not to focus on the consequences of our financial sin and instead give them to Jesus.
Of course I could not physically take the stack of bills and hand them over to Jesus. And of course I could not go to our bill collectors and tell them that Jesus Christ would pay. They would have laughed at me if I had done that. But I did not have the money to pay them, and I guess some of you know this feeling. You know when you have a stack of bills, you want to pay them but you cant. You feel desperate and stressed out. Perhaps for you its something else, perhaps its a doctors report? Perhaps its a sickness caused by your own sin? There is hope, just give it to Jesus.
As the years went by I spent every day stressed out trying to think up a solution on how to make it to the next paycheck. I tried to find out how we could survive and keep our house at the same time. Looking back on this I see how stressed I was at times and its only by the grace of God that I did not have a heart attack or fall into a deep depression. But the stress kept me from seeing what God really wanted for us.
For me the idea of selling our house scared me to death at the time. I could not understand how we would manage a move, how we would manage to pack all our belongings and on top of everything the shame of having to sell. So I fought like a lion to keep the house, and I prayed hard. God allowed us to keep the house on overtime for years, but at the same time, He worked on me personally and showed me I had nothing to fear for a move. It took about 4 years for Him to change me and to remove the fear from me. So in spring 2016 I was no longer scared of the idea of selling the house.
That was when He allowed the threat of foreclosure to happen. April 2016 we got the message one of the collection agencies had decided to foreclosure on our house. If this had happened years before I would have plunged into a deep depression. But now I was ready for it, and it actually felt like a relief to decide to sell the house.
Things started happening fast after this, and God provided for us every step of the way. He blessed us with a beautiful small but big enough apartment. The move went without any complications, and here we are right now living in a small but beautiful apartment and enjoying life.
After we had left the house we had an inspection done on it to make it ready to sell. The inspection revealed major construction errors we did not know about. The contractor who built the house 10 years ago had cut corners and we had been living in a house that was unsafe without knowing it. So it turned out to be a huge blessing for us having to move.
Of course we did not know about all of this when we lived in the house. But looking back we see how it affected our health back then. We had several health issues when we lived in the house which we are now free from. And of course God could have moved us out of the house a long time ago, but I was to stubborn to accept a move. So He had to work on me for some years, and at the same time, He was gracious enough to let us keep it until I was ready to sell.
Right now we are trying to sell our house. We still have debt, our wages are still garnished and we need to sell it to pay of our debt. We are trying to run our own ministry on our spare time, paying the ministry expenses from our own pockets and survive. And the real estate agent is having a hard time selling our house due to the construction errors.
Some would say this is chaotic. And in way it is, but we are not worried. We have seen so much of Gods grace in our lives, and Gods provision we know He will get us out of debt in the way He sees best. We trust Him because we know He can be trusted, He has proven HImself so many times now. But most of all, because we know He gave us Jesus and if He has given us Jesus He will give us all we need.
So why did God allow this to happen in the first place? Why did He not just intervene years ago and warn us against making those bad decisions?
Looking back He was trying to warn us, but we would not listen. At the time we where trying to live the christian life by our own strength. We believed back then that if we just tried to say no to sin, and yes to living a righteous life and doing righteous things it would turn out good.
We where self righteous, believed we could make it in our own strength and we kept God in the back pocket of life and turned to Him only in crisis situations. Of course we where saved, on our way to heaven, but Jesus was something just for time of crisis and as a ticket to heaven.
Because as pentecostals we believed what we where told. We where influenced by teachers such as Joyce Meyer, Kenneth Copeland, GOD TV that had told us we are saved by grace through faith in what Jesus did for us. But for the rest of our life we where to confess our way to victory, think our way to victory, tithe our way to victory, pray our way to victory. We believed we where the righteousness of Christ, a new creature in Christ and sin would not be a problem anymore if we just had the right thoughts, the right confession and did the right things.
We had fallen from grace and come under law and become self righteous.
So looking back it is obvious God tried to warn us several times, but we where so influenced by really bad teachings we wrote it of as being the devil trying to steal our joy. We had been taught God wanted us to prosper, be happy, joyful and that we should not be concerned with sin and we should not even mention sin or look upon sin as a problem. But sin crept up on us and attacked us, and God allowed it to happen.
Looking back we are grateful He allowed it to happen.
We are grateful because right now its just us, we dont have any children. It would be terrible if they had to suffer for our self righteousness. But we are also grateful because we needed to be cleansed from our self righteousness. We needed to see how desperate we need the cross of Christ for every second of our lives to prevent us from sinning again.
But we are also grateful because God has given us a ministry from this.
God allowed it to happen to cleanse us from our self righteousness. But at the same time He has shown us the way out of our mess. He has shown us there is hope and light, even when the mess you are in is your own fault. And the hope is Jesus.
Of course, we are not home free yet, we are still trying to survive with wages being garnished, trying to pay the ministry expenses and trying to sell our house. But we have seen that He is our provider, and then we know He will be our provider for the trials and tests to come.
This has given us a ministry, because we know there are others that find them self in a deep mess of their own making. You have done something you regret, your sin has landed you in a deep mess and right now you do not see the way out of it. But I am here today to tell you there is a way, and the way is Jesus.
And this brings us back to the dream I related to in the beginning.
This mess we are in is a product of our own self righteousness, our attempts to make it on our own. It was caused by really bad teaching from very popular teachers on christian TV. But it made us realize the biblical truth that we are to live as christians the way we became christians. We became christian by grace through faith and we are supposed to live as christians by grace through faith in what Jesus did for us.
That is the only way to victory over the flesh, the world and the devil. Its the only way to give you victory over sin, and it is the only way out of the mess you are in when you have sinned in the first place.
But what happens when you believe Jesus died for you?
You become one with Him. So when I believe Jesus died for me the person I am dies with Him at the cross. That is why it is so important to maintain my faith in this each and every day. So that each and every day I can die from myself with Him on the cross, and be raised with Him to live a new life, to live His life free from sin and the consequences of sin.
in that dream with the bills God was trying to remind me how important it is to die with Jesus every day on the cross, to be buried with Him every day and every day be raised with Him to a new life. Because then He has free access to do what He wants to do with my mess, in my case, the stack of bills.
So often we fail at this, we get in Gods way when He tries to help us, and we actually hinder Him from helping us. We end up frustrating the grace of God because we forget that the only way to live the christian life is by choosing to die each day so we can allow Him to live in us.
But if we allow ourself to die with Him, be buried with Him and raised with Him to a new life, He has free access to help us. And He always wants to help us because He has good thoughts for us, plans to prosper us and give us a future and hope.
So He does not want us to be in this mess, He does not want us to live a life where are struggling financially sometimes unable to pay the ministry bills from our own pocket because we have to choose between food and the ministry expenses. But He cant help us if we do not first choose to die from ourself through faith in what He did for us.
This was the message God was trying to tell me in the dream, through faith in what Jesus did for me, the stack of bills would become His responsibility and not mine.
Of course I could not go to the bill collectors and tell them to contact Jesus. They would laugh at me. But I know that if I am dead, He lives through me and He has the best solution on how we are to pay those bills and become debt free.
But to get to that solution, I must first choose to die from myself by believing He died for me.
He has a solution for you as well dear reader, for your mess and your situation. But first you have to die, you have to get out of the way, because you are hindering Him from helping you as long as you are alive. So die dear reader by choosing to believe He died for your sins, then you will get to live His life on earth and He has the best plans and the best solution for your mess.
The best part of it is this, He is God so He will not fail and He has the last word. So if He has said in His word that He wants you to prosper, He wants you healed, He wants to bless you (Deut 28:1-13) you can know He will do this. But for Him to be able to do this you must die so He can live in you.
Are you willing to allow Him to help you? Are you willing to take His hand and let Him draw you out of your mess by dying?
Published by Apostle Ernie email@example.com