Does this ever happen to you?
You firmly tell your kids something, get irritated because they are slow to "get it", and then a little while later, God brings that conversation back to mind. Only this time, He's speaking the very same words TO YOU that you had spoken to your children! And you realize your kids aren't the only ones who are slow to "get it"! I hate when that happens! ;)
My pre-teen daughter is all about asking "why?" when she is told to do something. My response? Usually I say, "First of all, because I am your mother and I said so!"
Well for the past few days I've been thinking about a couple of things God has told me to do/not to do and ashamedly, I must admit I have had my daughter's response. "But WHY?" Let's be completely honest, I've even thrown in a "that's NOT fair!"
But today, God has given me some answers. Maybe not the kind of answers I was looking for, but answers that let me know I can trust Him. Answers that let me know that even though I can't SEE what He's doing, I can rest assured that He IS at work in my life. And if I will cooperate with Him, instead of demanding my own way, He can do mighty things through me.
Let me explain...one of my favorite things to do--especially at the end of the year, is to look back through my prayer journals and see how God has worked. Recently when I did this, I noticed something. There were a few times I had made a note that I felt God prompting me to shut down my blog. The funny thing? I never did! I made a note in my journal each time I felt Him telling me to do so, but I never did what He said. Why? It was something I enjoyed doing, so it didn't make sense to me.
Well this morning while I was doing laundry, I was reminded again about not being obedient to what God had said about my blog. And then for some reason, I started thinking about how God had put an end to me leading women's bible study at my church. That had really hurt me and I still have days where I question it. It was something I LOVED to do. One of the few things I feel confident about doing.
And at that moment, I clearly felt God saying to me, "When you keep yourself busy doing the things YOU want to do, you leave no room for Me to do the things that I want to do through you."
Wow. Finally it was clear to me. Instead of surrending myself to God, making myself available to Him as a vessel He could use, I was more concerned with just doing things that I enjoy doing. And even though they might be things I ENJOY, if God hasn't called me to do them, they are nothing more than hindrances to His work in and through me.
After finishing that load of laundry, I sat down and picked up one of my devotional books--"My Utmost for His Highest". And just as He always does, God confirmed what He had just laid on my heart. This really spoke to me:
"Once God has begun the process of sanctification in your life, watch and see how God causes your confidence in your own natural virtues and power to wither away. He will continue until you learn to draw from the reservoir of the resurrection life of Jesus...It is the saddest thing to see people who are trying to serve God depending on that which the grace of God never gave them."
And then a little while later I signed on to Twitter and read this from someone I follow:
"When God says no to my request, He's also saying He has a much better plan. Lord, Your ways are so much better." ~Anna @ Empowered Magazine.
Do you ever feel "stuck" in a rut? Like you are making no progress in any way, shape or form in your life? I have been feeling that way for awhile. I can see now it is because I am not being obedient to God in every area of my life.
The first time I felt God telling me to put an end to my blog, I should have done it right then and there, no questions asked--just like I ask my own children to do! Instead, I acted like I knew better. And leading bible study? Again, something I enjoyed and felt very confident doing.
But...I think God really wants me to trust Him by stepping out and doing things He calls me to do...things that require me leaning more on Him and less relying on my "natural abilities" just like that devotion said.
This will be my last entry on this blog. It feels good to do what God wants me to do, I'm just ashamed it is happening months after the first time He put it on my heart.
I could pout and question God. But I trust Him. I know that God knows me well. He knows how much I love to write and share and encourage. So I know that God will put those gifts to use...just probably not in a way I would ever be able to come up with on my own. And I love that. Can't wait to see what He is up to!
"Obey God and leave all consequences to Him." ~Dr. Charles Stanley
"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." Ephesians 3:20-21