What does having faith mean to you? What does that look like in your life?

When I met Marj, God told me I would marry her. The more I got to know her, the more I could really see it for myself. It just made sense. God told me it would happen, and so in my mind it had already happened. “God calls those things that be not as if they were” (Romans 4:17).

So I told my friends about Marj and that I was going to marry her, and I went and picked out the rings. I designed them myself with a Christian jeweler who was a Godly man. The thing was– Marj and I hadn’t even been on a date yet.

My friends warned me that she might say no to even a first date. The jeweler didn’t even want to sell me the rings at first once he learned that not only were we not engaged, but we hadn’t even dated. But I explained to him, God told me it was going to happen. Do you want to take away what God has for me? The jeweler hurried to say, “No, no!” God told me that I would marry Marj, and so in my mind I was already married to her.

Friends, this isn’t as radical as it sounds. I had faith, yes, but I acted on faith-based vision. If at any point Marj herself had told me that she didn’t see the same for herself, or if anything contradicted my vision, then I would have said I was wrong and accepted it. 

But everything made more and more sense as time went on. My faith-based vision seemed to prove itself. God gave me a sense of the timeline of things– and everything fell into place in the exact right timing. It could have only been His perfect timing. Because the vision was not proving itself– it was God proving Himself.

“Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 1:11). Faith isn’t just hope– Faith is substance. Faith is evidence.

My knowledge that I would marry Marj was proved in so many ways along the way. Firstly, and most important to me: it was Biblical. People who live by faith live by the Bible. Second in my heart was the fact that Marj agreed with me. But other things that seemed impossible fell into place. We wanted not only the permission but the blessing of all four of our parents. When I met Marj’s father, he’d told me, “Jews marry Jews and Mennonites marry Mennonites.” But we got the wholehearted blessing we wanted from all four.

“Go west, young man, go west.”

God gave me those words, and so I wrote them on my bathroom mirror and I would see those words every day. As I said before, God gave me a sense of the timing of things. I knew Marj and I would be married by the end of the year and living out west. But I didn’t know how it was going to happen. Marj had questions on where we were going to live once we were married, and how it was all going to work out. She wanted the details. I just knew that “it’s already happened in Heaven and we just needed to bring it down to earth.”

Then one day I gave a sermon– my first sermon– and someone from the audience came up to me afterwards. He said that he knew of a church in Oregon who was looking for a youth pastor. He also knew I was going to be their youth pastor. So he’d called the pastor in the middle of my sermon. He’d asked me would I be willing to go to the west coast?

“Go west, young man, go west.”

I said yes. Marj had said yes when I proposed. My faith was not based only on hope, but by the evidence that kept piling up that it was God leading and directing me. I kept getting confirmation that it was God, and on God’s timing. We did end up getting married by the end of the year and we moved to the west coast. I became a youth pastor in Oregon.

We hoped, but we looked for evidence, we looked for substance. We listened for the Lord’s no. Marj and I were prepared for God to say no to us up until September 25– the day of our wedding. Thankfully He never said it!

We need to ask ourselves, do we want what we want, or are we seeking after what God wants? “Seek the Lord while He may still be found” (Isaiah 55:6).

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