There is something amazing that happens in a heart when love goes into motion. Joy begins to bubble up and overflow everywhere you go!
(I speak that from recent experience.)
You see, God has me attending a rather conservative church, and this particular denomination is not one I would normally choose.
I say that, because I want to make the point, that God is not bound by our blind spots and narrow-minded prejudices. Certainly not mine, though I confess, I have some.
Nevertheless, God has been shaking up many of my confirmed beliefs.
Our second, “Yes!”
There is an old cliche in Christian circles, “Where God’s finger points, there God will make a way.”
It is easy to say yes, and agree with that statement…
Until, God’s finger points in a direction I don’t particularly want to pursue.
Then, I tend to dig my heels in; debating with God’s guidance much like Moses at that infamous burning bush. I also, try to “explain” to the LORD, precisely why I don’t believe something is going to work, or why I think that I am not the guy God should use.
(Yeah, I know it’s dumb!)
But, does any of this sound familiar to anyone else?
My frustrated obedience
Okay, here’s where I really have to do the BIG confession; humbly admitting that I have been carrying on this futile conversation with God for approximately two years now.
Basically–I have been pleading with Him for a change of venue.
And God, (very patiently I might add,) has been directing me to STAY right where I am.
I “repent and stay put,” (but usually in tears,) while I keep pointing out all the reasons why a change is imperative.
Then suddenly and unexpectedly…
Things have begun to change–right where I am!
- Sermons have taken on a new hopeful energy.
- Music, I believed would never be sung in our church, is now a part of Sunday morning worship.
- And our church leadership, is implementing changes for tangible outreach into our community.
(This last change was huge for me!)
Community outreach is something I am quite passionate about, as all my regular followers know very well.
Outreach was something I had been fervently praying about for years–but it “seemed” like my prayers were to no avail.
And then a “miracle” happened…
Our Sunday School class was given a new assignment.
We were told that the leadership of our church had decided “outreach,” was not only a priority, but our class was to host a Welcome-dinner for all our church’s new attenders from the past few months!
I could hardly contain my joy–as all the new faces filed into our Sunday school room–now transformed into a banquet hall. The room was packed full with men, women, and children; all chattering, laughing, and thoroughly enjoying themselves.
Was I jumping up and down?
You bet I was–at least on the inside!
Some might say our dinner was pretty small as miracles go, but trust me– for me it was enormous!
It wasn’t exactly the parting of the Red Sea–and yet, it was!
So let me ask you, “Is there anything in your present circumstances and obedience that you think are impossible?”
Are you looking at closed doors and saying, “No way!”
Emilie is smiling and nodding because she knows…
So… she makes her “gem” for us this week, short and sweet:
When we reach the end of our abilities, God’s possibilities are just beginning.
(Can I hear an “amen” anyone?)
God’s promises: Bring us JOY, HOPE, and POWER!
- For the kingdom realm of God comes with power, not simply impressive words. 1 Corinthians 4: 20 TPT
- I’ve written this letter to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you will be assured and know without a doubt that you have eternal life. Since we have this confidence, we can also have great boldness before him, for if we present any request agreeable to his will, he will hear us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we also know that we have obtained the requests we ask of him. 1 John 5: 13-15 TPT
- Ask me anything in my name, and I will do it for you!” John 14: 14 TPT
- Jesus looked at her and said, “Didn’t I tell you that if you will believe in me, you will see God unveil his power?” John 11: 40 TPT
- Lift up your eyes to the sky and see for yourself. Who do you think created the cosmos? He lit every shining star and formed every glowing galaxy, and stationed them all where they belong. He has numbered, counted, and given everyone a name. They shine because of God’s incredible power and awesome might; not one fails to appear! Isaiah 40: 26 TPT
Our fourth cup of HOPE
Is there anything in your life where you are really struggling to say, “Yes” to God?
Then, this week’s fourth cup of HOPE–is for YOU!
I am going to ask you to take a break and listen to one of the most encouraging sermons I’ve ever heard.
I love the way You love me. You put up with my imperfect love and always respond with Your faithfulness. You hear my heavy sigh, even as I admit again, how desperately I need You to show me each day, where I should go, what I should do; even when I should simply WAIT, when everything looks impossible to me!
LORD, help us all to admit where we are, as You faithfully and lovingly, guide us to where we should be.
God You are so GOOD!
(I thank you with all my heart for online churches as well as physical churches.)
Give each of us this week, clear direction and HOPE, where things look hopeless.
In Jesus NAME, Your resurrection is always possible. amen.
* Emilie’s “gems” are shared with the permission of Harvest House Publishers. They are: Taken from: A CUP OF HOPE by Emilie Barnes, Copyright © 2000, Published by Harvest House Publishers
Photos courtesy of: Unsplash
This weeks photo credits and “My Thanks!” go to photographers: Panitan Punpuang, Andre Hunter, Jon Tyson, Preslie Hirsch, Seb Cumberbirch, Cerqueira, and Sabri Tuzcu.