Cheering on Faith from a Safe Distance

Below are the loving words of a sweet young girl to a worried man – a friend she’d come to know through extraordinary circumstances, and affectionately referred to as her “dad”. These are the last few sparks of her beautiful spirit, faithfully scribbled to him from a hospital bed in the final moments of consciousness – the moments between resting silently in a coma for days, and resting at last in the arms of her heavenly father.

“Dad, God blessed me with you, thank you for being my dad, my friend, my counselor and my confidant. As I said, no matter what, I´ll be fine so be at peace ok? May God strengthen your faith each day, keep going, you are a wonderful man. I wish I could share more about my faith with you but His will be done. I love you so much dad, and will always love you. God bless you. – N.”

Though we’d never met, she adopted me as her faraway dad after the heartbreaking loss of her sister – an older sister, who only months before had stumbled upon my blog, and introduced herself to me with an unexpected question – one that birthed a year long conversation that recently ended with tears of sorrow and joy.

“Mr. Adams, thank you for sharing your story. Please, if you have the time, will you help me understand how to walk by faith?”

Both of these precious young women are now at home with their heavenly Father. And though it remains a mystery to me why they couldn’t stay longer, I count it one of the great privileges of my life to have known them. And to have witnessed firsthand how a childlike desire for learning to walk by faith can so quickly become a lifestyle of demonstrating how it’s actually done.

Through these beautiful souls, my wife and I were blessed and challenged by the kind of faith that lives beyond the ruthless demand of one’s own temporary circumstances, and the kind of faith where the eternal circumstances of others are always more important.

I’ve heard it said by some – even by some who cheer us on from a safe distance – that only certain folks are called to a lifestyle of faith. I suppose if that were true, then God must’ve finally agreed that walking by sight for most, is mostly a better way to see.

But just as God gives comfort to the faithful in their affliction, He will surely afflict the comfort of those unwilling to step beyond it – which probably makes Him an irresistible hero for the “called”, and the unspoken villain for those who’d rather keep cheering them on from a distance.

As the author of The Extravagant Fool – A Faith Journey That Begins Where Common Sense Ends, I’m frequently asked the same simple question: “How does one ever truly learn to walk by faith?” But it’s one that I can only answer by continuing to take this journey and share the results with others.

My purpose as a writer is to inspire and awaken the sleeping giants of faith within the body. My purpose as a teacher is to help shift our culture from one of radical striving to be better Christians, to one of radical intimacy with a better-than-we-can-imagine Father. The Extravagant Fool book is the calling card God gave me to accomplish this, but this blog is what now holds me accountable to that ambition, as well as serving as our only means of support.

Our ultimate aim is to build a community to help equip and encourage the faithful steps of inspired believers. The idea behind it is to function as the church by establishing a network of like-minded people and sharing our resources to help one another advance the kingdom.

While this all begins by getting the book’s transformational message into the reader’s hands, we want to eventually walk alongside them in their transformation, and continue to encourage them through new materials, mentoring and networking. As our resources grow, we’d like to create even more tangible avenues to help those who are truly hungry to begin stepping by faith into their kingdom assignments.

If you’d like to help, pick up a copy of the book. If you already have one, pick up another copy and give it someone you care about. You can also support our work by donating here.

Up Next: Stories, challenges, and much more on what we’ve learned from this six year journey.

Warm blessings,

Kevin, Holly, and The Extravagant Fool family

For a free preview of the book, Chapter One is available at Amazon and Extravagant Fool.com by clicking the “Book Preview” tab.

For updates, please join us at our Website, Twitter, Facebook/Kevin Adams, and Facebook/Extravagant Fool

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About Kevin Adams

Kevin Adams is a fresh voice among today’s best Christian writers. What he’s not, however, is a pastor, theologian or pulpit preacher; he doesn’t have a church, a fan club, or a flock. He’s just a regular guy with a powerful story, and a God given gift for sharing it that will challenge the faith of even the most seasoned, veteran believers. His transparency and intentional, elevated writing style has earned him a trusted reputation across the online Christian community. His work escorts readers through his own challenging experiences of loss, betrayal and impossible odds, to just beyond the comfort level of most Christians–the place where absolute faith is required. Kevin takes a genuine approach to modern Christianity that would rather tear away empty pockets than fill them with empty promises. Yet, his story is filled with indisputable proof of our Heavenly Father’s better-than-we-can-imagine desire for each of us, and the delight He takes in our learning to rest in His arms like happy children. Kevin is the author of The Extravagant Fool: A Faith Journey That Begins Where Common Sense Ends, due for release May 6th 2014, and founding partner in a new discipleship ministry being developed around the book. He is also the founder of the Wake up My Faith blog, which has garnered a social media following of over 80,000, reflecting varied backgrounds and locales. Kevin’s life verse is Matthew 6:33 – “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added to you”. (NKJV) And his philosophy on life can be summed up in a single thought: “Only when God becomes all that we want do we truly see that He is all we need.” –Kevin Adams 2012 Kevin is husband to Holly, his beautiful partner in faith, father to three wonderful children, and a compelling new author for Zondervan.
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12 Responses to Cheering on Faith from a Safe Distance

  1. That’s good news indeed Kevin! I was wondering after your last post what has been happening in your life and with your family. Thanks for continuing to share the message.

  2. Just wanted to add to my last comment that the story of these women finding you and living their lives (albeit sounds like a shortened life) by walking in faith and being at peace in their final moments of this life was the “good news” I was referring to. What an honor indeed to have made contact with them! Just wanted to clarify that since it wasn’t too clear. 🙂

    • Kevin Adams says:

      Thanks so much for taking time to read the post and offer some encouragement. Yes, even though these faithful women were so young (ages 20 and 27), being able to witness their transformation over the course of a year was one of the most amazing things God has allowed me to experience. When all around things seem to be at odds with our attempts to live by faith, these are things that keep us going. Thanks again my friend, your comments are a blessings to me.

  3. mitchteemley says:

    Bittersweet, your lost “children,” Kevin. I too long every day to speak truth into others’ lives with the words God gives me (Psalm 102:18). Keep it coming, brother!

    • Kevin Adams says:

      Mitch as one of the few folks to actually comment about this post, your words of encouragement mean all the more. Thank you so much, brother! I pray that we would both continue to speak whatever God gives us for His glory. God bless you my friend.

  4. Sam Peebles says:

    Thanks for challenging and provoking thought by the stories of your life. God is good, life can be hard, but if you mix the two different ideas, God always wins out, and so when life is hard, God is good. You have a passion and love for the Father, and a desire to help others to see how GOOD GOD is, no matter the situation. I know God will continue to use your writing to show that God is your HERO, and that HE should be all of our hero’s also, and if he’ s not, well, who or what is?

    • Kevin Adams says:

      Thank you Sam for sharing your thoughts. Just aiming to help folks grab hold of the freedom and eternal value of being all-in to a Father that is the only hero that truly exists. Your encouragement is deeply appreciated. God bless you!

  5. Rob says:

    What a blessing your received from these two Royal young ladies during their short time on earth. Experiencing and witnessing the transformation of God’s sons and daughters validates that Christians who become who they are in HIM cannot be crippled by the world. This story reminds me of Rom:10:17 where the true nature of faith implies a relationship with God that is current… not just heard but hearing in the NOW. We are so much more than “sinners saved by grace” – we are heirs of God and we were created to invade the impossible and the impossible are those things that can’t be accomplished without God. Looking forward to your next post soon and to hear more about your ultimate “aim”.
    Jesus made us many promises and John 14:12 rings in my mind daily..”Greater works than these shall you do because I go to the Father” Praise God and His promises!

  6. Kevin, I recently read your book and wanted to thank you for adding some inspiration and encouragement to my life. The details of my story are different than yours, but there is a common thread. I’ll try and be short, but detailed.
    I’m 35, and for nearly the first 33 years of my life, I was morbidly obese..and I do mean literally all of my life. I weighed 70 pounds on my third birthday, which is the normal weight of an eight-year old. I weighed 300 pounds by seventh grade and 400 pounds by my senior year of high school. In 2008, I weighed 610 pounds. While growing up in suburban Kansas City, both of my parents were drunk most of the nights until I was 15, which is when my mom became sober, only after she and my dad nearly lost custody of my two brothers and I.
    Throw in to this story that I had five eye surgeries before my third birthday, all of which never fixed my trio of eye conditions. I was told when I was 16 that due to two conditions I had, called nystagmus and amblyopia, it’d be hard for me to drive; I tried and failed. You can Google those vision conditions if you’d like, but both if then are fairly rare, affecting about 1 in every 1500 people.

    So, given my family life and my physical body, I sauntered through life with a victim mentality that kept me imprisoned.
    Let me throw another layer in this story: I was baptized and accepted Jesus as a freshman in college. Just a few months before we graduated, a high school classmate gave me a tract that read “Do you know God personally?” Of course I didn’t, and it piqued my curiosity. I went to college, all 400-ish pounds of me, about an hour away from where I grew up. Once I found a campus ministry there, I realized what I had been missing during my childhood.
    During college, as I now look back with an un-bound mind, it’s apparent that I learned a lot about God, but I never knew God. I had claimed Jesus as my savior, because goodness knows, I needed saving. I would have been thoroughly content if God had taken me to heaven right after being baptized, after all, I was a victim that needed saving.
    Through my five years of college and eight years following, I considered myself a Christian because I was nice and I had fire insurance. I would pray and ask God to take the weight away, since I didn’t ask for this body. I prayed as if God was a cosmic vending machine. That’s how messed up I was. I was nearly a 3.5 GPA in high school and spent several semesters on the dean’s list in college; I literally was in such bondage from my childhood that I thought God could make hundreds of pounds vanish overnight.

    On Thanksgiving night in 2011, I hit what I now know was my rock bottom. It had been years since I prayed or read my bible. I have no idea how heavy I was that night–my guess is around 550 or so. I found myself on the floor in a pitch-black empty room at my parent’s home after having eaten thousands of calories at another meal. After everyone else had dispersed, I went to be alone. And I let God have it.
    The anger, resentment and bitterness that had been building for nearly 33 years spilled forth from my eyes and lips…and I lost it. I was beyond mad at God. Why’d he call me to faith at 19 after I’d experienced so much pain? Why not do something sooner? Did he not see? Did he not care? In my pain, I put God on trial that night.
    The only problem was that I had the enemy close by.
    After I’d worn myself out and couldn’t cry anymore, the following thought entered my mind. “Present your body as a living sacrifice.” The Holy Spirit was speaking, and I didn’t like what I heard.
    “Romans, really? That’s what you’ve got for me?”
    Yep, but God also left me with a nugget that jostled my victim mentality. “I can’t make you do it.”
    What did he expect me to do, lose all of this weight on my own? I was incredibly ignorant of how God offers help.
    I’d never had suicidal thoughts, but what entered my mind next scared me. The enemy presented his solution. “Just end it. Losing this weight is going to be too tough. Isn’t it just easier to take your life?”
    Well, he was right, losing 300+ pounds was going to be tough, and suicide would be easy. However, I knew was not clever enough to concoct a plan, and I just had a foundational principle that suicide was wrong. I have no idea why, but I just did. In reality however, I’d probably been dead for quite awhile–I’d been existing, not living.

    The Holy Spirit brought to mind an idea to help me lose weight, one that seemed absolutely absurd. The idea was fasting. In the span of seven days, I went from defeated, wounded and bitter to a guy who realized that there was a reservoir of untapped ability within. I did a 21-day juice fast, and the only goal was to make it through with my life intact! I was fearful, but wanted to obey. At family gatherings during that holiday season, I encountered more resistance than I ever could have imagined. People were suddenly more concerned about me now that I was actually doing something drastic about my weight. It was perplexing to say the least.
    To find a finish line to this story, I am nearing my weight loss goal. I’m 6’5, and although I doubt the Spirit is this particular, I’ve always felt like the 250s is a decent goal. I’m now about 15 pounds away. When I reach the goal, the total weight lost will be about 300 pounds in about three years. If your go back to ’08, it’ll be 360. It’s all been done via juice fasting and water fasting, including one 40-day water-only fast wherein I went from 450 pounds to 368 in September 2012.
    Now, as great as that is, another obstacle is in play.
    In December ’12 I found out that all the back pain I’d experienced since 2006 was the result of scoliosis. I’d likely had a curvature of the spine since I was little, but the curve never caused me pain until I was 27. I figured losing all the excess weight would solve the problem, but I was wrong. Growing up with double a normal body weight from toddler-hood onward probably exacerbated the scoliosis.
    So, in the last several months, after failing yet again to drive (it didn’t go well–can’t clearly see any road sign past 20 feet or so even with strong glasses), and finding out that there is no medical “cure” for scoliosis, ambyopia or nystagmus, I’ve hit a place of complete dependence on God.
    There was a time where I believed that God’s sovereignty allowed these things. I knew he didn’t cause them, or the morbid obesity from childhood, but I had to try and reconcile his love with my circumstances. My theology is maturing regarding healing and miracles. I now realize that these things are the result of being oppressed. I’ve sought God for healing so many times, and a few months back I felt the Holy Spirit tell me, “Son, I haven’t healed you yet because I love you.”
    Talk about a head-scratcher.
    Every place I read in the bible that someone sought healing, it was given to them via their faith. Some took longer than others, but they still received it.
    As I’ve spent time with God, I’ve felt him calling me to write a book about my experience. I never learned how to hear the Spirit’s voice, so it’s been a trial-and-error faith experience. Thankfully I have a patient Teacher, who had also been my Counselor, Physician and Friend.
    I’m not sure what it is God wants to do with it, but I’m nearly done with a manuscript. I’m about 57K words into it with two chapters remaining. I’m planning on the last chapter being the story of how God physically healed and blessed me.

    I share the cliffnotes my story to say “Thank you” for telling yours. Most of my life has been spent as an outcast and now that I’m starting to obey God, even irrationally, it’s comforting to know someone whose trying to do the same.

  7. Pingback: Figuring out Fatih in God | The Sinner's Textbook

  8. I appreciate you writing this Kevin. I have not experienced circumstances like yours, but we all have different courses to travel. I suppose that goodness God has shown me drives me to live by faith, knowing that the gain or loss in life all flow from Him. As Job said, “He gives and takes away.” I have been given many blessings, but I accept by faith that He is in control and can remove any blessing at any time. That realization reminds me to fix my faith on Him and Him alone. After all, what else do I have if all the blessings are gone?

  9. keijo leppioja says:

    Hello from sweden to share my opinion into be bless self with joy to increase our faith by hearing and doing after faith for without deeds the faith is dead and no power are not inour faith or favor of God,thanks and bless and joy with praying in faith,keijo sweden

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