Don't Stop on Six.

"Will you keep walking, even when it doesn't seem to be working?"

These words have been ringing through my head for the past 48 hours. A persistent pressure in the back of my mind that goes off without warning. 

I was listening to a sermon by Steven Furtick the other day titled the same as the title of this blog post. In it, Furtick breaks down the mindset and thought process of the Israelite army and the scene from Jericho.

If you're unfamiliar with the story, Joshua has just taken over leadership of the Israelite people after the death of Moses. They are now being called by God to enter into the Promised Land, but one issue remains. A city called Jericho that they are commissioned to overtake. Not only commissioned, but guaranteed victory from God, saying that he has delivered Jericho into their hands before the battle even begins. One problem though...God has given Joshua an unorthodox way of winning the battle.

God commanded Joshua and the Israelite people to march around the city for 7 days and on the 7th day to give a shout and the city walls will crumble. Then they may enter and conquer the city. So Joshua follows orders and begins to lead the Israelite people around the high-reaching walls of the city. Day one, complete. Day two, complete...and so on.

The point that Furtick wants to make in this sermon is for us to put ourselves in the Israelite army's shoes. How depressing would it have been to go around the city day after day, ready to fight, and nothing happens? Not a single brick moves. 

I believe that when we're going through times of doubt, trial or questioning, we often want God to at least give us a sign. We want him to give us some form of motivation, right? It would've been so easy for God to pop off a couple of bricks of the city after every day, so that the Israelite people knew it was working! We often expect that from God when we encounter situations that are long and daunting and we can't seem to find the light at the end of the tunnel...

For those who haven't read my previous post, I am no longer working in ministry. After what I believed was a calling for my life for the long-term, I have been reeling trying to figure out what God has planned. 

It was a long and daunting process of feeling called out of ministry and wondering what God had next for me and my wife. Like...a long process. I applied to 50+ jobs over the course of two months, to only hear back from 4 or 5 of them after about a month's time of complete and utter silence. The responses were kind, but the end result was the same. I would not be working for those companies. 

During this entire time, I was wrestling with God and myself over what I was truly passionate about. I believe God has gifted me in a lot of different areas and that often makes it extremely difficult to narrow down the passion question. As I was in turmoil within myself, having tough conversation left and right, I began to see that God was opening doors for something that I had considered a hobby for the longest time, but never thought I would be able to do it as a career. One friend asked me what I would truly want to do early on in this exit process and my answer was, "Photography as a career would be amazing, but I'll never be able to do that. Only a few select people ever get to do that and I'm not that talented." 

This is where God intervenes. At the moment where you realize that you can't achieve something on your own, God will enter in and utter these words to your soul, "Watch me do the impossible. Watch me do what you think can't be done."

I somehow kept walking even when it didn't seem to be working. I hoped God would have it and he didn't fail me. Photography has taken off, truly. I was busier than I've been in the last two or three years the past couple of weeks. Photo and video shoots left and right and then I would come back and immediately catch up on editing. It was mayhem and my wife can attest to that.

On top of that, I have started a photography podcast centered around bringing photographers in the industry together to help us all become better. I am 5 episodes into this podcast and I have already booked sponsorships with two major companies in the photography industry and conversations for more are opening left and right. I am interviewing some amazing people who are backing the idea and want to see it flourish. If you would like to check it out, you can find it on iTunes or Google Play at The Photography Together Podcast

And to top it all off, God came through with an amazing job offer to help support photography for the time being. A remote (work from home) position that comes alongside churches and helps support them. 

I have said it multiple times the past couple of weeks and I will continue to say it...God is good. He has a plan for each of us and wants us to only step into it. It's not easy. It never will be, but God places certain visions and callings on our lives and we only have to move and step into them. For those who are in a time of questioning, doubt or trial...don't stop on day six. Don't stop just before the victory is yours. 

Only you can answer the question within yourself, "Will you keep walking, even when it doesn't seem to be working?"

Kyle Yates