Lo, I Am With You

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Last night on the way home from Bible Study I was having a conversation with God.  I was an HOUR late to class and missed the speakers for the evening, but I got there in enough time to hear what He had to say to me…

The title of the class is “Good to Great”, derived from Chip Ingram’s book “Good to Great in God’s Eyes”. Mrs. Brenda Wynn, who was recently elected as the first female (and first African American) Clerk for Davidson County, was one of the speakers for the evening, and was wrapping up her presentation about the experience from her decision to run through the actual election.  She began to pour into me immediately.  She encouraged us to write our dreams down…and to keep a journal of the things God is doing in our lives (and has done) so we won’t forget.  She shared that the first time she had actually verbalized her dream to herself and others was about 6 months ago in class…  She began to share the ways in which God pulled the people and resources needed out of unlikely situations, and how her faith was all she had to stand on (yes, I was emotional and excited…smiling the ENTIRE time about how God works).  THIS conversation was then followed by a passionate summary of the evening and charge by Dr. Woods…

The subject of that particular class was about taking risks.  A slide posted that read…

In order to reap a great reward there has to be a great risk.

Was I prepared to read that, NO!  But, it was exactly what I needed to hear and be reminded of.  The faith in obeying God at all costs, in leaving things that are familiar…totally stripping yourself of a ‘comfort zone’.  She reminded us that obeying God isn’t simply for our benefit, but someone else’s breakthrough/blessing could be tied up in our “yes”.  She gave the following suggestions of how to become a risk taker for God…

  1. Refocus your fear…
  2. Rejuvenate your faith…
  3. Recall God’s FAITHFULNESS!

These things can all be accomplished through:

  • Self denial and surrender
  • By renewing your mind through scripture
  • By releasing your faith through prayer (Even here she reminded us that while we are yet speaking God is answering our prayers!)

Her scripture reference came from Matthew 14… the story of Peter walking on water.  For some strange reason I decided to use my phone to locate the scripture instead of pulling out my Bible (I carry a physical bible with me in my purse ALL the time 😉 ).  I select the ‘read’ option to search for the scripture, and it redirects me to 2 Timothy 4!!!!!!!!  Yep, all the Bible scholars would know why I nearly HYPERVENTILATED! I said, “Do Lord Jesus”… smiled and moved over to Matthew….  Class was wrapped up by a challenge to the students to step out on faith… not looking to the right or left, not up or down, but to stay focused on our dreams and desires.  We had to physically gather our things and ‘step out of the boat’ to be dismissed from class (the action part ALWAYS gets me! #emotional).

Now, to fast-forward to my drive home (better yet, back to work)… I’m emotional and thinking to myself ALL THE WAY down Kings Hwy (like God can’t hear my thoughts), and I finally decide to open my mouth and talk to Him once I hit Ashland Hwy.  My conversation went a little something like this….

“God, what is going on?  I always wonder if I made the right decision moving, if I am still in your will… It has definitely been hard, but your hand has HAD to be in ALL of this!  This has to be you…It really can’t be anyone or anything else.  Yes, I will finally admit out loud to you that I did hear a voice while standing on the altar that last Sunday in October… a voice that said as clear as day, ‘It’s not too late to change your mind.  You can stay.  It’s not too late.’… a voice that I clearly ignored!  But, I will admit that it has been bothering me ever since!  God, that COULDN’T have been you!  I know that if I leaped out you would catch me, and you did.  There is absolutely NO WAY things could have happened the way they have.  With all the places I applied to, you ONLY opened the door here… The way you lined up a place to live, the people you have placed in my life, the church you have replanted me in, promotions at work…God, it could have only been you!” And before I could utter my thought of “send me a sign or SOMETHING” I saw a shooting star.  Yep, right there in front of my face… streaking through the sky from left to right…. as clear as, well……CLEAR!  Having placed the stars in the sky, He assured me through his POWER that I had done the right thing… that He is right here… that he still loved me…., and most importantly that I wasn’t disobedient…. He’s STILL here… and He has everything under control ::exhale::

I have only shared my altar story with ONE other human being.  I cannot put into words what the feeling has been like over the past year.  I don’t want to use the term “double-minded”, but it has definitely been a battle.  But, now I’m free…. just like that I was LIBERATED, and it feel soooooo good!  I was SCARED to go… scared to leave everything and everyone I knew…. scared to start over, and scared of being alone, scared (especially) of leaving my family, but more EXCITED about what God was going to do through my willingness to break away…  So, I leave you with a charge to trust God.  People say it often, but I live as proof that He will give you everything you need to carry out the assignment on your hand.  It’s okay to take risks… honestly, it is proving to be the only way to truly move forward and bring life to your dream.  Seek God, listen, and MOVE.  And if you hear something that contradicts what you see Him doing in your life remember, actions speak louder than words!  He proves himself to us time and time again… He’s given us EVERYTHING and only seeks a “yes” in return…  Are you willing to step out of the boat?

(I left out the fact that I’d called a mentee on the way to church and we were discussing her future goals and dreams… We were sharing about the challenges of making a big decision and the growth, development, and opportunities that result from the willingness to step on out faith.  You better believe I called her back after my convo with God, and she was the first person I shared the altar experience with!  I was overjoyed at the way things simply worked together!!!  There is so much more to it, but isn’t it AMAZING how God works! #GottaLoveHim!!!!)

All or NOTHING!

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Revelation 3:20 (KJV)
“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”

Last night (11/6/12) while watching the results for #Decision2012, I’ll admit that I fell asleep waiting for the concession and victory speeches.  I fought to stay awake the ENTIRE TIME, but fell victim to the sleep monster.  I saw portions of Romney’s speech… and the same for Obama, but the most memorable part of that night for me was being awakened by an unexpected visitor.

After all the speeches were made and electoral votes were in, I continued to doze off.  Asleep sitting up on the couch I hear a knock at the door.  It was loud enough to wake me up, so I wait to hear it again.  It was nearly 2 a.m. so I figured if someone was knocking it was important.  Sooooo, I fall asleep again.  AGAIN, I am awakened from my slumber by a knock at the door.  It was a little more difficult to wake up this time.  I began to utter something in my subconscious, but I remember looking at the door and trying to get to it.  Once fully awake I no longer hear it.  Noting the hour I figured my roommate was trying to wake me up so I could get in the bed.  I glanced down the hall and the lights were out in her room.  My friends who know me are aware that I can sleep through ANYTHING! So, Unable to keep my eyes open much longer…yep…I fall asleep AGAIN!  This time I am awakened by a more urgent knock at the door.  Again, it is hard to shake this sleep…I was in deep, but I remember barely opening my eyes, staring at the door, and trying to utter something.  My heart and spirit are still shaken.

This isn’t the first time I’ve been awakened from my sleep by a knock at my door.  In the summer of 2010 after toiling in my spirit regarding school and all of the crazy things that happened at the culmination of my graduate program, I was awakened by that very same knock.  The fact that it happened 3 times is what scared me the most.  Being a believer I went straight to the word.  There was one scripture found in the KJV that had contextual relation to “hearing” a knock, Rev. 3:20.  Contextually, Christ is giving direction to the church of the Laodiceans with regards to their being ‘lukewarm’… (#scary)… verse 20 is preceded by Christ stating…

19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
 

With that being said, I repent of all sins committed knowingly and unknowingly.  I am a God chaser, I am on fire for him… at least to my understanding.  I know that I have been wrestling with my complete surrender for a WHILE…, but I’ve recently been making earnest efforts to re-position.  There are a few stains on my record that haven’t made the front page… But, with all the dedication to Kingdom building a bad decision (or two) and/or being slightly reluctant to LET GO (yes, I’m slightly afraid) has placed me spiritually in the church of Laodicea.  Personally, that’s #DEEP!  To think that someone can go their entire lives ‘working’, but without the complete surrender it is all for naught….  Yes, these are things we know, but when it hits home…..

Stepping out on faith isn’t as easy as it sounds.  Its like free-falling…  Its a BEAUTIFUL experience….I’ve done it before, and He has delivered in ways I can’t even begin to explain, but it is still SCARY!!!  He has shown me countless times the peace in obedience and submission.  For that I am undoubtedly pushing forward, but time is apparently of the essence.  With that, I solicit the prayers of my family and intercessors.  To my recollection He has come twice, which means he hasn’t given up on me despite my shortcomings…..  There is still yet work for me to do…  He still trusts me!!!!  I have opened the door of my heart.  I have released the hold I had on my hopes and dreams, and sincerely pray that His perfect will become mine.  I have a love for Christ that cannot be compared to that towards anyone else (mommy & daddy have 2nd on LOCK! LOL), and I don’t want to suffer eternally because of fear….so, I launch out further into the deep…further into the unknown…out to a place where only He has control….