Stepping Out On Faith

“Stepping out on faith” is a common phrase used by people who purported to be believers. I, myself, had a decorative license plate which I proudly displayed on the front of my new Mercedes Benz after opening my own law practice in 1992. I don’t remember if it was because I purchased the car and was trusting that my business would continue to be successful enough for me to pay for it or if it was because I had started my own business and was trusting it to be successful. Either way I broadcasted to the world that I was “stepping out of faith.”

One thing I have learned about “stepping out on faith”, you can’t just step out there if you don’t have something backing you up. I mean, you can’t quit your job and say that you are going to open a beauty salon if you don’t do hair and nobody you know does hair. “Doing hair” is how we say in my neighborhood, you might prefer to say, “if you are not a beautician.” Doing hair works for me. Now back to my point. I couldn"t just open a law practice and trust God to send me clients, if I didn’t let anyone know that I had opened the door. Yes, I stepped out on faith but I wasn’t totally prepared. 

I speak from experience, because see although I had some resources to open my law practice, I didn’t have the knowledge on how to run a business and protect my business. I made a lot of money my first year, but I forgot to put aside some money for Uncle Sam. You know him, the Tax Man. Well let me tell you this, you might forget about him, but he doesn’t forget about you. He will find you and eventually, he will get his money. So after the first year I couldn’t pay the income taxes I owed. You would have thought I would have learned and been more prepared the second year, but I didn’t. So the second year, the same thing. Finally, in the third year I learned and made arrangements for my taxes to be taken out. By that time, I owed quite a bit, which ended up growing to over one hundred thousand ($100,000.00) dollars with penalties and interest. 
By the time it reached this amount other things were happening in my life which made me realize that I needed to do something different. So I was able to secure a job in a law firm which allowed me to merge my practice with theirs, at least then I didn’t have to worry about getting paid. That is until the day I got the telephone call that my salary was being garnished to pay my outstanding tax bill. I was told that I would be receiving only five hundred ($500.00) dollars per paycheck. Of course my bills amounted up to more that number. My mortgage alone was over one thousand dollars. Stepping out on faith was not helping at that time. At first I was frantic. But then I thought about it and I remembered how much I had already survived in my life so I got on the telephone and made an agreement with IRS for payments to them of five hundred ($500.00) dollars with me keeping the rest of my paycheck. 

Just so you will know, eventually I got a better job and was able to refinance my house so I could pay off the entire balance of my past due tax bill. 

Stepping out on faith requires that you put forth some type of effort and to make a plan for what you are doing. I ask you, would you go to bungee jump off a bridge without first checking to make sure you had a bungee cord? I was going to ask would you buy a house knowing you didn’t have a job and just trust that God was going to send manna down from heaven to pay for it? I changed my mind because I know people who have done just that. 

Even that little book I like to read, some call it the Bible, asks the question, “which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not (that means sits) down first, and counteth (figures out) the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Then it goes on to tell why it is important that first you figure out if you can afford it. The reason given in that book is if you start it and can’t finish it, people will laugh at you. Think about it you know houses that were started and the foundation was laid and then the people couldn’t finish it. Others have purchased property in that state at very low costs and finished the house and turned them into beautiful edifices. The ones who were unable to finish were viewed as foolish. Or perhaps they were stepping out on faith with a plan or without first sitting down and counting the cost. 

I’ve heard people saying, “I was trusting God to provide for me. The Bible says He will provide your every need.” And they are right it does say that. But it also says, “the slothful shouldn’t eat.” I paraphrased there a little. While you are trusting God, God is trusting you not to be foolish. He trusts you to be mindful of your actions. He trusts you to be a good steward of the talents he has given you and to not sit on those talents but to put them to use. It is amazing when you take what you have been blessed with and do your part to make your dreams come true what God will do with your faithfulness. That is when you can really step out on faith and know that everything is going to be alright. So the next time you think about stepping out on faith, think first, “Have I counted the costs on this? Am I going to be able to finish this? Am I just being foolish and expecting God to do it all? Remember don’t step out without a plan on how to stay out there.

Continue to drive through the storms, because the party's not over until God says so.

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