One of the biggest challenges for us, and those who follow our blog, has been the fact that we felt God directing us to not have employment for the first two and a half years of the journey. Jenny addressed this in her “FAQ” post a few months ago. I wish I could explain why we had to do that, but God does not promise to answer all of our “why” questions, he simply asks us to obey and promises to give us grace and peace as we do so.
Obeying is a concept that Christians are familiar with, but sadly we are not as familiar with God’s character. According to the Bible, he consistently asks his people to do outrageous things. For example, he directed his 12 disciples to go out without provision (after he asked them to leave their employment) in Luke 9 and then directed 72 others to do the same in Luke 10. It does not say if they had families, or what it looked like to walk it out. They just obeyed. This direction was clearly not a rule, rather it appears to be a specific direction, for a specific time (Luke 22:35). What God has asked our family to do falls into this category, but it was very frustrating because I could not imagine that God would ask someone to do it. This was due to a lack of familiarity with his character, as revealed in the Bible. One thing that I did gain from God directing us to trust him alone for our provision was a desire to seek his character out (mostly because I was mad!). As I saw more of his character, I found that my Christian relationship was with a weak, false, logical, Americanized Christian god and not with the God of the Bible (see post “The Day We Got a Divorce”).
As I stated earlier, I can not explain why God has directed us to do what he has or why Jesus directed his disciples in Luke to do it, I just know he did. When Jesus directed his disciples to go without provision it was for a specific purpose. They were to go and perform miracles. God did not instruct us to perform miracles, but he definitely gave us a mandate. He specifically asked us to do what I call “wake sleeping giants”. One of the unfortunate results of Americanized Christianity is that it has produced a large group of people who know that they are meant for more but fear, debt, uncertainty and love of comfort keep them from pursuing their passion. They are sleeping giants. Three years ago, when we originally felt the call to wake these sleeping giants, I assumed that waking sleeping giants would look like speaking to churches and church leaders, but that was not the case. I now believe that our journey, itself, is specifically designed to grab these sleeping giants by the lapel and shake them awake. After detailing our story to the family pastor, at a local church, he stated that our story was a “wrecking ball” and it forces people to take God seriously. I pray that is true. People like Francis Chan, Rick Warren and David Platt have obeyed God and written book, after book in an attempt to wake up the sleeping American church. Maybe God has now chosen to use the Sanders family adventure as a “wrecking ball” that will get the job done. We are willing and he is able.