Today’s guest post comes from my friend Nicole, one of those people who seems to know everyone and be everywhere at once. She is currently a missionary at the Cincinnati House of Prayer, lives in a Victorian- mansion-turned apartments, and plays pretty much every instrument (the latest, I think, being the drums), and is the proud owner of an iPhone (we’re jealous- see below). She’s also a deep-lover of the Lord, and spends a lot of her time using her gifts leading others in worship and intercession, or by loving and hanging out with others. She’s pretty awesome- we like her. 🙂 You can read more of her musings on her blog- Nicole Ayers.
I met Kate and Mike through the Cincinnati House of Prayer a couple years ago. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed praying for them in this season, and when they asked me to be a “guest blogger,” I was honored to say the least.
Okay, so I’ll give you a few minutes to peek into my story before I share the meat of this blog post.
I’m Nicole. I’m single, 28 years old (weird!), and in full time ministry at the Cincinnati House of Prayer (C-HOP). By the age of 25, I had entrepreneured two businesses (one of which being an extremely successful coffee shop near Miami University). A few years ago, God confronted me with a “cost of discipleship” moment, asking me to sell everything and follow Him. I sold my share in business with less than one year until the business loan was paid off (anything after that would be straight profit) because I knew that I’d rather have a testimony of radical obedience and trust in God’s provision, than trusting in a safety net of something He asked me to lay down and didn’t.
Not saying it was easy. But saying that with His grace, I did it.So for almost two years, I have had to trust Jesus 100% for financial provision. It’s been a journey full of miracles, humility, challenge… you name it. Support raising has been the best and the worst thing, concurrently. But God has been utterly faithful in it all. And despite my moments of unbelief and the large portion of the Church that does not have a vision for cheerful giving, He is still powerful, good, and a perfect provider.
Okay, to my point. I asked myself, “If I could share ANYTHING with the readers of this blog, what would I want to say?” And without a doubt, it would be this:
There is life found in dying to ourselves.I think of Kate and Mike’s story. We read this blog because there’s life in it. It inspired us. It feels radical and crazy, but we’re attracted to it b/c it’s full of life and purpose and hope.
The moment the Rich’s start blogging about getting debt free so they can build a name for themselves, buy anything they want (with cash), and live extravagantly, then we’d stop reading this blog, wouldn’t we? We’ve become a participant of this story b/c it’s bigger than Mike and Kate. It’s Kingdom of God big.
The reality is, Jesus invites us all to come and die. This is the Gospel of His Kingdom. That we are born completely self-centered with no concern for God or others. And then Jesus seeks us out even while our hearts are far from Him. He saves us. And then He invites us into a lifetime of learning how to die that we might love God and other people more than ourselves. It’s unnatural and it’s beautiful. It’s FULL of life.
Or rather, death that leads to life
Kate and Mike want to be debt free because of Jesus and because of you. So they have hard conversations about dying. What can they sacrifice? What can they lay down for promise of a greater reward? Their hearts are that you would see how BIG God is and how worthy Jesus is of our radical obedience. (And how satisfying death can actually be!) They long that YOU would catch God’s vision for your life, and that you’d say “yes” too.
So I’ll leave you with some questions: In what ways is God asking you to die that you might live? What can you do to advance God’s Kingdom over your own? Are you alive on the inside?
Oh that God’s people would be alive on the inside. May we violently cast down our idols that we might be free to love God and people. May we find ourselves characters in a Story that’s way bigger than us.
– Nicole www.nicoleayres.wordpress.com