It is a quiet Sunday afternoon. Snow is gently, silently covering everything outside with white powder as it continues to fall down. God has overwhelmed me these past few days. He has poured out His purposes on me in such a way that I cannot deny Him. This journey that He started me on a couple of years ago has taught me great lessons and continues to stretch me in many ways.
The call – Write
What do you want me to write Lord? – just write & follow me
Follow You where? – to Spain
Why Lord? – just follow me
Ok, pen ready and boots on. Here we go – to where I don’t know – but I trust Him who is leading.
Friday (two days ago), my daily devotion in the book Mended, nailed me to the wall with God’s purpose for me in this season. And yesterday a sweet friend spoke truth to me and held my feet to the fire about “not shrinking back” from God’s call. THIS is what you are to write about. This journey. How to hear and follow God when you don’t know where you are going. And today it is as if God is shouting from heaven, “DING, DING, DING – NOW YOU’VE GOT IT!”
This morning’s sermon message from our pastor was FOLLOW ME. As I sat taking notes I almost couldn’t stay in my seat. I was listening, processing and writing all at once. I thought that I should title this blog post, “Crazy Woman Following Jesus”, but I’m not sure how many people would want to read something with that title! The truth is that I feel crazy and when I try to explain to people what I’m up to (because they see this crazily dressed up lady walking around everywhere), I sound crazy. Look, feel and sound crazy. Yep that is just what I was going for God. Forget Christian women’s leader who has it all together. Let’s go for “crazy woman”. That will go over much better! NOT. But whatever you want Lord. Keep me humble. (Now there is a scary prayer!)
Ok, back to the sermon. Pastor was emphasizing that we need to listen for God’s call (check), we need to be ready to “do it” (check), and that it will often be uncomfortable and painful (check and check). He said that God won’t always show us the whole picture (absolutely check). Then he (unknowingly) encouraged me in my journey. He told us that God’s call is for us to be willing to follow Him – committed to following Him wherever He will lead us. He has a purpose in our call. He has meaning for our life but we must FOLLOW HIM. In the passage of scripture we reviewed we saw how Jesus was asking those who believed Him to do difficult things – to let go of old thinking and to follow Him. They weren’t willing to do so. I am. Change my thinking Lord Jesus.
Back to the devotion:
1) A book I purchased over a year ago has just sat on my bookshelf until this past couple of weeks.
2) I end my blog posts with “Press on” which comes from Philippians 3. She uses this scripture as the opening for this devotion. It got my attention.
3) I’m concerned about our current financial situation and am feeling my “old self” fearing poverty again. This has led me to seriously consider leaving my journey to return to work. This devotion is about Lot leaving his life of prosperity – all of it.
4) I left my job just over 1 year ago because I felt God calling me to focus more on writing and women’s ministry. That was a difficult step of faith, but I took it and I have seen God’s hand in it all the way. It has been difficult, painful and has required financial sacrifice.
5) I’ve been awakened to the fact that “stuff” is hindering me – we need to scale back, get rid of things, live more simply focused on relationships and God.
The devotion focuses on Lot and his wife as God is preparing to destroy the city they are living in. God tells Lot to flee to the mountains – don’t stop in the plains. But Lot argues with God. So God allows them to stop in the plains. God tells them to flee quickly and not to look back. They didn’t take any “things” with them. They left everything. His wife looks back and is turned to salt.
God doesn’t want us to settle for living life in the plains weighed down by “stuff”…He wants us to do the extra hard work of going to the mountains. He has blessings for us there that we can’t receive in the plains. And, have you ever tried to climb a mountain carrying a load of “stuff”? You can’t. This journey requires traveling light.
God has shown me that I’ve been looking back. Looking back to what life was like with that extra income. Arguing with God that this task is too difficult for me, and planning my own way to make it comfortable and reachable; planning to settle in the plains. May God forgive me! Lord, help me to trust in Your better plan. Give me strength to shed all that hinders me and to press on for the mountains. (Seriously this just makes me laugh out loud…this plan He has for me requires that I hike through the Pyrenees mountains in France/Spain!)
Angie says, “…you need not miss what He has for you by believing there is something worth going back for. Leave it be. The Lord has told you where to go, and it’s time to walk. Eyes straight ahead, tangled in the spectacular love of a Savior Who wants nothing less for you than the summit.”
Step by step I will follow Him to where He is leading. I don’t know the way but He does. I will daily obey Him and trust in His promises. He has known greater than my pain. He loves me. I am overwhelmed by Him. I will press on.
I am going with Jesus (and my husband).
Don’t miss what He has for you! Be encouraged. Press on.