A garland of grace and a crown of beauty. – Proverbs 4:9
Wow! I am truly grateful for each of you taking the time to support me by reading my first blog a couple of days ago. Some of you have even encouraged me and some of you have even signed up for email alerts every time I submit a new post. That is truly incredible and encouraging, Thank you from the bottom of my heart! After re-reading my post, I have to apologize for the grammatical mistakes I found. Good gravy! So thank you for supporting me in full knowledge that I have no editor. I sure am thankful that even when there are mistakes, God can still move through me!
This past week, I was blessed to serve in our youth ministry where our take-away bible verse was Acts 4:13.
The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary people with no special training in the Scriptures. They also recognized them as those who had been with Jesus.
I love how God doesn’t choose to move through you based on your “qualifications”, your “status”, or “the measure of your talents”. I love how God reminds me that when He designed me, He knew full well what needed to be inside of me to carry out the plans He has for me. To be able to carry out His plans, I need Him. It’s that simple. I need Him showing me what gifts and treasures are already in me like seeds waiting to blossom. The world may tell me I’m not good at that, you won’t do well in that, you don’t even know what you are doing, who do you really think you are… Even when I feel unqualified, unknowing, uncomfortable, and fearful, He is right there to say “just say Yes, Sara. I am with you, my plans for you with the vision and the direction I have given you will not fail. Don’t strive to be perfect, just come be with me and trust me even when it doesn’t make sense.”
One thing that God keeps showing me and drawing me to is speaking more. I’m more comfortable with writing. For the last year or more, I have found myself saying “I want to speak with divine utterance, God’s assistance to speak clearly and be used for Him”. Talking to more than a small group of people is intimidating to say the least, especially if it is not in a private setting. Hand me a microphone (in our ministries) and I feel my whole body burst on fire. I love to talk, don’t get me wrong. Anyone who knows me, knows this! haha
I actually used to be incredibly shy as a child. As I got older, I pushed myself (truly by His grace) to get out of my comfort zone and share what all I have to say inside. I know I am “different” than others and can be “awkward” in speech. The enemy has voiced that through many people my whole life. Shocker! Guys, the enemy can see parts of the call on your life. He isn’t all knowing like God, but the enemy can see the gifts inside of you at a young age and he is always attempting to shut those gifts down before you can fully discover them. The enemy is not good, but he is good at doing everything he can to take you out of God’s plans for your life. God says all through out His word how incredibly important His wisdom is for us. In fact, wisdom is actually from the subtitle He lead me to use for this blog. Proverbs 4:9
Wisdom is like a garland of grace and a crown of beauty
God has given us this wisdom through His Holy Spirit to succeed triumphantly and beautifully in the call on our life. God warns us throughout his word to guard our heart and to seek His wisdom, to find out what God has said about us and the situations in our life. He has done everything, that means there is nothing left on His part to do, to bring us to Him through Jesus Christ. He says to come boldly, seek Him and we will find Him, to ask for wisdom and we will receive it. God says in Hosea 4:6,
My people are being destroyed from a lack of knowledge
Assignments or gifts that aren’t developed yet is intimidating. Right!? God is so good to give me scriptures to help me take those steps toward His plans. The growing and the flourishing belongs to Him, not me- all I have to do is just say “yes” and take those steps when He tells me to. Don’t you love when He has given you scriptures for His promises to you and then your Pastor shares the same scripture unknowing of the specific way God is speaking to you. God has spoken to me through Jeremiah for the last several months.
I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born, I set you apart and appointed you as my _____ to the nations. (Jeremiah gave God hesitancies why he couldn’t do the things God has called him to do.) The Lord replied, “Don’t say I’m too young, for you must go wherever I send you and say whatever I tell you. And don’t be afraid of the people, for I will be with you and I will protect you. I, the Lord, have spoken!” Then the Lord reached out and touched my mouth and said, “Look, I have put my words in your mouth. Today I appoint you to stand up and [do what I have called you to do].”
So because I know that God is wanting to grow me more in other areas, I can trust that He will give me the grace to do it well. Success is not measured in the same way on earth as it is in Heaven. To me, the world often times measures success based on perfection, credentials, and stats. Whereas, God measures success as being faithful to Him and what He has lead me to do. Recently, one of our Pastors gave an on-time, God given sermon about faithfulness. I filled up 10 pages in my journal, to say God knew I needed to hear this is an understatement! You see, I mentioned in my last post about how the enemy has been after my joy for the last couple months, it was centered around me looking at myself and judging myself if I had done a good job with what He had entrusted to me over the last couple of years. I mentioned how both words and silence (lack of words) from friends have been his tool against me. I was allowing myself to entertain and focus on the enemy’s whispers of what people thought of me and the roles I have led. God used His own words through my husband to encourage me to stay the coarse. To think on what really matters: which is being obedient to God and giving Him my whole heart and time. Again, totally affirmed through our Pastor’s message this week, the heroes of faith in the Bible were marked as such not because of their perfection, but instead for their refusal to give up- they all kept going. God has been good to recall to me specific examples of choosing to be faithful. He even led a couple of friends to encourage me and that all together has given me the courage to boldly take the next steps in this next exciting season.
Do you see how I bolded “..and don’t be afraid of the people…” in the above scripture that He has given me to pray over myself. It’s like I skipped over that part, that part didn’t take root like the other parts for some reason. Lately, I have allowed myself to hold myself back through self doubt. In all honesty, I found myself drawing back in fear. I’m not usually a fearful person, but it’s like I was allowing myself to stay frozen, unknowing exactly what all the next step entailed and just uncertainty if I would do it as well as others expected. Honestly, that and doing too many things that God wasn’t saying to do has taken a toll on my body (saying yes to doing good things, but these things weren’t what God was saying to do in that season). I was physically exhausted, mentally exhausted, and I was spiritually drained= not a good combination and it allowed for the enemy to use my health against me as he has in the past. As I will share more about in future posts.
Self doubt means I was taking my eyes partially off of God. That was the other frustrating part for me, I knew I should just brush these attacks off, and leave them far behind me, but I I would find myself haunted by them again and again. You see, self-confidence and self-esteem are empowering concepts for sure, but without knowing who is IN YOU- who you really are they actually become the opposite and become a stumbling block instead.
Self esteem can be defined as one’s belief of his/her individual worth and worthiness.
Self confidence can be defined as one’s expectation and trust in his/her own individual abilities, qualities, and judgements.
So self esteem and self confidence is no greater than yourself as pointed out by Pastor Bill Johnson. God confidence [God in you] which is called faith, is as big as God. So which is greater!?
I give thanks to Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me the needed strength, the ability to do His appointed work. He considers me faithful and trustworthy to serve Him and steward the ministry work He has given me. -1 Timothy 1:12
God not only has confidence in us to victoriously carry out the plans He has for us, but He calls us worthy! He knows who He created us to be and what we carry on the inside of us! He gives us the grace for victory!
GREATER is He that is in you, GREATER than anyone in this world!