If 2020 has taught us anything, it has taught us how to face the reality of change. This year has brought innumerable challenges, many of which we have never dealt with before. As a result, we have seen the effects of change on the human condition — how resilient we can be despite adversity and how change can drive us further into division and anger.
The most difficult part of change is letting go of things that seem to be good. It would be easy to let go of a ten-dollar bill if you knew a one-hundred dollar bill was waiting. But when you’re asked to let go without the promise of what’s ahead, it challenges the essence of your faith.
As the temperatures fall and the leaves begin to change, it is clear that a new season is upon us. But in addition to the natural shifting of seasons, I am convinced that a new spiritual season is upon as well.
In fact, I think that the adversity and difficulty we have had to endure in 2020 has been preparing us to step into the season that is ahead.
As I prayed about what I was feeling, the Lord reminded me of the story of Abram.
In the book of Genesis, the Lord speaks to Abram:
“Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and you father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
So Abram went, as the Lord had told him…” — Genesis 12: 1-4
If you go back one chapter you see that Abram and his father, Terah, left their homeland, Ur of the Chaldeans, for the land of Canaan. What’s interesting about this story is that Abram had a brother, Nahor, who did not go with them.
The scripture doesn’t say what kept Nahor from going with the rest of his family, but regardless of his reasoning, he didn’t go. Furthermore, Abram’s father, Terah, stops in Haran and does not go with Abram all the way into Canaan.
For me, this story represents three types of people:
- Those who refuse to follow where the Lord leads
- Those who are willing to go part of the way, but refuse the final leg of the journey
- Those whose testimony reads, “They went where the Lord told them”
Which of these three people best depicts your heart?
Are you Nahor, are you Terah or are you Abram?
Saying ‘No’ to Good Things
Seven years ago, I began following a nudge from the Lord to begin writing. What seemed like a ridiculous idea resulted in this blog and my book Redefine Rich. Over the next couple of years the Lord opened countless doors for me to share stories and encouragement with thousands of individuals.
But I always knew there was more…
In 2016, I partnered with Kevin Adams to found YouPrint, our Faith & Personal Development organization. In 2018, we founded The Life Center, our nonprofit. That same year I walked away from a ten-year career in insurance to pursue my passion full-time.
In short, I had become used to change and the discomfort that comes with it.
However, during that time I attempted to maintain my own individual website and email list. Of course, I had a long list of justifications for doing so. The bottom line is, I held on because there were still parts of my identity wrapped up in that season of my life. I had convinced myself that I was Abram when in reality I was Terah.
And because my accounts were on auto-draft I didn’t have to deal with the issue. Like an old, dusty box of keepsakes in the corner of the garage, I just let things sit.
About a month ago, I felt the Lord asking me to pour all of my interests and resources into our work at YouPrint and the Life Center. That meant closing down my personal email list and my personal website.
I argued with the Lord, “But it has been more than a year since I’ve written on my personal blog.” He answered, “Then why don’t you have the courage to take it down completely.”
It was a lesson that I finally needed to live: Say “no” to good things so you can fully say “yes” to great things.
The Lord was saying, “Stop pretending to be Abram and be Abram.”
Where to From Here
Friends, having shared everything above, I am officially closing down my personal email list and personal website. I’m certainly not trying to elevate this as a big, sacrificial action. Rather, I’m using this as an example that will hopefully challenge you to consider the same.
- Is there something you’re holding on to that is keeping you from fully stepping into what is ahead?
- Is there something good you need to say ‘no’ to that will free you up to say ‘yes’ to something great?
- In this season shift, are you willing to go wherever the Lord leads?
In the end, we are either Nahor, Terah or Abram. When my life is over and my testimony lives on, I want it to be, “And Matt went as the Lord commanded.”
I believe that 2020 has been a preparation season for those with an Abram heart. Now is time for you to step in. Stop trying to convince the Nahors and the Terahs and stop worrying what you might leave behind. It is time to go.
From here forward, I am fully focused on the work of YouPrint and The Life Center. This is my life’s call.
For those who have been a part of this journey, your encouragement and friendship are deeply appreciated. If I don’t see you on the road ahead, I wish you well and pray that the Lord is ever-present.
Onward and Upward,