The Mighty Move of God

Now therefore stand still and see this great thing

that the LORD will do before your eyes. I Samuel 12:16

My mind is a jumbled up ball of the goodness and greatness of God. I can hardly contain myself. I have to hold myself back so I don’t sound like some crazy religious lunatic and just run people off. I have given my life back to God and He is MOVING in it. Not only that, the church that He has positioned me in seems to be in the very same place I am. God is MOVING in our church. I can feel it rising up all around me. I am having a hard time writing this out because my heart knows what it happening but my mind is struggling to put words to it. 

About a month ago, after my declaration of my one word for this year (Fearless), I met with an old friend not having any idea that it would be more than a casual lunch date. She shared with me something she was dealing with and wanted us to pray about – FEAR. Fear is paralyzing and we both personally know that well. We ran out of time before I could share with her what God had been doing with me so we vowed to meet again.

Later that week, at the urging of the spirit, I went to the bookstore to look at any Christian books on fear that I could find. There were several I had found online that looked promising but when I went to the bookstore, I felt strongly that Joyce Meyer’s “The Battle Belongs to the Lord” was the book I should read. And I was working it out with my friend to read along with me. We decided to meet for lunch to discuss the first 3 chapters.

The Sunday before we met, our Pastor shared with us that his wife has been diagnosed with cancer. Our church was in shock but immediately responded as he has been teaching us – with WORSHIP and prayer.  You know what? Joyce Meyer’s first three chapters talk about exactly what to do in these situations and it includes exactly what our Pastor has been preaching about. What makes this life changing is that there is scripture to back it up and that it isn’t just the word of people. It is the Word of God.

Do you see how God orchestrated all of this? How all of this is a puzzle that I had no idea was being put into place until now. I have a strong feeling that He’s not finished putting pieces together yet either. And this is just the last month of my life! I could write a book about the pieces He put together when I didn’t see how it would fit over the course of my life!

I am on my knees and in awe of the One who moves in mysterious ways. He has a way of working things out for His people in ways we never expected.

There are battle blows dealt toward us on all sides but we battle back. On our knees in battle position. From there, we trust that God is moving and will continue to move. We  passionately, precisely, and persistently pursue Him. Because we know that all things are in His hands and in His perfect plan.

And I will fight alongside my sister doing this study with me as well as my church family. Because I have never been so determined to SEE HIM MOVE even more.

Watch with me and see what He is going to do. Come alongside me and see for yourself what the excitement is all about. It’s been so long… well maybe never… since I have felt His presence like I do now. And I want as many of you to experience it with me as possible.

One Word for 2015: FEARLESS

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10 ESV

I waited patiently for my husband to answer my question. It’s a question I ask often. In fact, almost every time I have a decision to make. “What should I do?” This morning after he had answered for the third time “whatever you want to do”, I told him I needed to know what he thought. I wanted to know what he would do if it were him. He proceeded to very calmly but firmly inform me that I just needed to make the decision. That there really was no wrong answer and I should be confident and just decide one way or the other depending on what was best for my children and me. And then “own it.”

Then I was reminded of my word. My ONE WORD for this year is Fearless. When I was praying about what God wanted me to focus on in 2015, He spoke clearly to me. I didn’t have to wait long at all. I was in my bedroom and Lance walked in on me tearing up. He asked me what was wrong and I told him absolutely nothing, that God had just revealed to me to focus on being Fearless this year. I immediately understood why and it moved me deeply.

It’s something with which I’ve always struggled. My fear of failure, making the wrong decision, and what other people are going to think. My heart has been judged often and I have let that fact determine the outcome of my decisions too many times. Often, my decision is based on what the majority of other people in my life think I should do. Or even the small amount of people that will cause me the most grief if I happen to make the wrong decision.

Fear can affect my life in many areas but this is the area in which I have had the most trouble letting go. I have spent many years living my life based on what other people tell me I should do instead of seeking God and His Word. I fear making the wrong decision but I more often fear others not agreeing with my decision. I fear my heart and intentions being judged incorrectly.

I also fear failure. I try so hard to be a good Christian, mother, wife, employee, daughter, and friend. But I never achieve the level that I want to be. I always fall short. And I beat myself up over it. But God ‘s presence in my life covers all failures, all sins! I cannot quit and I have to keep trying to be the person He created me to be and fulfill the roles He’s provided me to the very best of my ability. The fear of failure can keep me from trying sometimes but I must keep pushing forward.

God says in Isaiah to FEAR NOT for He is with me. He will strengthen me, help me, and uphold me with His righteous right hand. He is the One I should go to for every decision I make in life. I want to seek Him first, intently, and open heartedly.

This year, 2015, I will make a conscious effort to let God take away my fear. I will daily give my anxiety to Him and I will do my best to completely put my faith and trust in Him. He knows what He’s doing with my life and the lives of those I love. I must trust that it’s in His hands and not fear what may come.

Last year, my ONE WORD was discovery. I spent much of the year learning who God truly created me to be and I came a long way in that journey. I still have some work to do but He has shown me so much this past year.

This year, along with continuing to discover more about myself, I will do my best to not live my life out of fear nor make decisions based on fear. That is my prayer and my word for 2015. What is God calling you to work on? Do you feel Him leading you to a specific word to focus on this year? I’d love to hear it!

The Strength and Dignity Flop with a Side of Fear

She is clothed with strength and dignity,

   and she laughs without fear of the future. Proverbs 31:25

I’m not feeling very Proverbs 31 woman-like today. Not when it comes to this verse and how it describes some woman, because there is no way it could be me! Not today. The day has been a normal day without much of anything going on outside of everyday happenings.  There hasn’t been anything bad happen. In fact, all has gone quite well. Except for one thing. Me. I have lost my strength temporarily. I have misplaced my ability to laugh without fear of the future. There is so much in my life that I can fear. And some days, I do. I get tired of being strong and happy and content. I get tired of being positive.

It’s hard to admit this to you, to anyone. But I really want us, specifically women, to understand that sometimes we just feel this way. And it’s okay. It’s okay to temporarily feel “in the mulligrubs” as my dad would say. We just can’t hang out there all the time. This is normal, right? Tell me I’m not alone. Sometimes, I am just down. Period. No particular reason. Just life weighing on me.

So today I read this verse and I cling to it. I cling to the hope that I will be clothed with strength and dignity and laugh without fear of the future as I do on so many other days. Deep down, I trust Him. I trust His plan for my life and the lives of those I love. I get so tired of having to keep giving the fear back to Him, but I keep picking it back up! And as long as I keep picking it back up, I have to continue to keep giving it back to Him.

I would love some encouragement today. I need it. I crave your prayers and your encouragement. I try to be outward and give to others what I truly desire myself. Because I want to be an encourager and I want you to know how much God loves you and is in control of your life, as He is mine. But today, I am wrapped up in myself and need to be freed. I don’t like this place I’m in and need to give it up to God. In fact, writing about it is helping me. Admitting my weakness to you is helping me.

I will let God renew my spirit and I will put on strength and dignity as only He gives. I will not fear the future. In fact, I will laugh without fear of the future. Because I know I am in His hands. I relinquish my need for control because I know the One who knows what is best for me and I am trusting Him. Who is with me?

Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone

 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27

When I was young, I played basketball. I loved it and spent much of my free time practicing and playing. I started out my education in a very small Christian school and in the 5th grade, I began playing on the basketball team. And when I say “the basketball team”, that’s exactly what I mean. With an enrollment of around 100 students k-12, there was one team. Period. In the 5th grade, I was on the same team as the seniors.

Being from such a small school, doing new things and meeting new people greatly intimidated me. I was outgoing and talkative in the small group of friends I had within the school, but otherwise I was very introverted.

So when my dad wanted me to try out for a traveling basketball team when I was 13, I told him “no way!” He didn’t listen to me and made arrangements for me to attend a practice. I begged for him to not make me go. I was so scared of not being good, not knowing the girls, not knowing the plays, etc. On the night we were leaving for the practice, I cried and begged him one more time, claiming that I didn’t want to play with them and was afraid. He took me anyway.

It was one of the most uncomfortable things I had ever done up to that point in my life. Even after the first practice, I held to my opinion that I didn’t want to play with them. My fears were realized. I didn’t know anyone, I didn’t know the vocabulary they used, and I felt like I wasn’t nearly as good as everyone else. I secretly hoped they wouldn’t want me to come back, but that didn’t happen.

The series of the next practices became better and better and as I became more comfortable in this new team, I began to really enjoy it. This decision (of my Dad’s) led me to 4 years of playing travel ball and ultimately led to me developing as a player enough to play basketball in college. I made good friends, had lots of exposure as a basketball player at the National level, and ended up making incredible memories that I would never have had otherwise.

All because of my Dad pushing me out of my comfort zone.

This is a simple story to describe how sometimes getting out of our comfort zone can lead us to things we may have never experienced before. Though this example is of little significance compared to our spiritual lives, we can apply the principle to many things that we go through in life.

God spoke about not being afraid many times in the Bible. I believe He calls us to step outside of our comfort zone, to stretch ourselves, to help us see new worlds, to help us reach people for Him that we would not have otherwise reached. We can prepare ourselves for this comfort upheaval in all areas of our lives.

The more we experience, the more comfortable it gets to be uncomfortable.

And we hang onto His promises that He will give us His peace and calm our troubled and anxious hearts.

There’s a quote that says “Life always begins with one step outside of your comfort zone.” I believe that life really begins when Jesus is invited to be our Savior and that life is full and fulfilling when with Him, you step outside your comfort zones to face the unknown and grow. 

How is it that you are being called out of your comfort zone? Whether or not you have been forced out or are being called out, I encourage you to embrace it and know that God can use this situation in your life to help you grow and to quite possibly if you are willing point other people to Christ.

 

 

*Disclaimer: If the uncomfortable zone you are being forced into or pressured into isn’t following God’s principle’s, then that’s the time you should stand up and fight against it. The discomfort I write about is morally sound. 🙂