Good Tuesday morning, my bloggy friends! We had an exceptional weekend and I hope you did too. I was so nice to be able to spend it with family and friends and Friday I had the day to myself to write. I would ask that you please pray that God will speak as I continue working on the messages I will give at the "Breathe" women's retreat on Sept. 27. I desire His words to be spoken because I know the way that He can change hearts.
Continuing on our journey through Acts - chapter 23 starts with Paul standing before the council and once again, speaking with boldness with causes violent dissension among the Pharisees and Sadducees. So, thinking that Paul is going to be ripped to shreds by these people, they put him back in prison. Vs. 11 "The following night the Lord stood by him and said, 'Take courage, for as you have testified to the facts about me in Jerusalem, so you must testify also in Rome.'"
As I read the Lord's words, I immediately thought of a situation from years ago. I had committed to living my life for the Lord and soaked up every second I could reading His Word and had just such a great desire to learn everything I could. We had an interim pastor at the time and his wife started a women's Bible study. I excitedly attended each week and began understanding more and more. When it was time for the pastor and his wife to leave, she asked me to lead the study. I immediately told her no, but eventually, through prayer, affirmations from God and her continuous push - I accepted. Although, it ended up being a great blessing to me, the next thing God asked me to do, was bigger and more difficult. I remember saying to Him, "I said yes and lead the Bible study - isn't that enough" "Why are you asking me for more, I'm already way out of my comfort zone".
Our own spiritual growth and the growth of others, only comes from obeying - no matter how hard it may be. God tells Paul, good work on this job, now let's move on. It's not just a one time deal when it comes to following God. As you grow in Him, so will His requests of you.
It may seem scary and overwhelming at times, but the cool thing is: He doesn't ask us to be qualified, only open and available. Say yes and let God do the rest.