I’ve taken the plunge! Jumped without a net, casted caution to the wind… I’m out of my mind! I feel (very minimally) like Paul, if I am out of my mind it is for the sake of God! 2 Cor 5:13 God is doing a new thing and it is incredible, scary, fun, terrifying and a gift all at the same time. I’ll dive right on in!
I will have to take you back just a little way to get the whole picture. I realize I can become “long winded” when blogging, so I am going to try to do the abridged version. I first met Jesus at 15 years old in Prattville, Alabama. He was and has been what my heart longs for. St. Augustine said, “Our hearts are restless until they find rest in You”. I began to follow Him then and I haven’t looked back (by the grace of God). Shortly after my transformation began, I saw missionaries for the first time at a conference and felt like I realized the purpose for my life. I then pursued a Christian education in Missiology/Cross-Cultural Studies at Toccoa Falls College. I met Scott after college and about the same time I was planning to go to China. After a few months in China, Scott came and proposed that we do life together. After we married, we pursued returning to China, but it wasn’t God’s timing and the door was closed for us. I have grown to appreciate that God knows better than I do. With the little bit of maturity that has come since and through that experience, I know His ways are higher than mine. He is good. That journey will have to be a whole separate blog, but suffice to say I learned how to surrender my will and agenda to the Lord in great measure through that experience.
I think our introduction to the prayer movement was through Jason Upton’s music. That type of music is called prophetic or spontaneous worship. One of his songs is listed on the blog, “In Your Presence”; make sure you listen to it. When I realized that there were LOTS of believers that had REAL, active prayer lives that consisted of more than running down a list of people and things to pray for, I was in awe and shock. I’ve read about people from generations past with these kinds of active faith/prayer lives, but hadn’t experienced it myself. Learning to really worship Him, in His presence, and to hear the Holy Spirit and pray what’s on His heart seemed revolutionary. I realized that “practicing His presence” is something that I can LIVE in. Learning how to restore the greatest commandment, “to love the Lord with all of my heart, soul, mind and strength” to the first place and greatest priority of my life became paramount. I can’t DO for the Lord until I first know how to BE in Him and before Him. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. John 15:4 I’m not suggesting we wait until we have become perfected to do anything… but that we make the FIRST part, first (Love Him) and the second part second (Love Others).
Now that the Lord has established The Well, I have had the opportunity to have a place to dive in and be free(er) from distractions and begin to really seek Him… and FIND HIM. The first time I felt the Holy Spirit tapping on my heart concerning making this prayer thing, THE THING for this season of my life was late January. I just pondered it, but didn’t really do anything about it. In the past several weeks, it has become more pressing. I tried to talk myself out of it and convince myself that it was my idea and not the Lord’s leading, but to no avail. I really enjoy my job teaching English as a second language. I love my students, they have become great friends. The hours are great, 20 hours a week in 3 days. With all of these “pros” I felt the internal struggle to trust that I was hearing correctly. I was very restless feeling like I knew WHAT He was asking of me and not having yet yielded myself completely. So, without really planning to, I told my boss that I thought that God is leading me to invest my time before Him in the house of prayer. In God’s goodness, the first person I told was affirming. I do struggle some with being a man pleaser, but do I ever LOVE to please my heavenly Father. There is nothing like His affirmation over me so I will seek that over man’s opinion any day.
Now I find myself as the head of my house hold and the one responsible for these two precious babies. By all “logic” it doesn’t make sense to quit my job in this economy and with my financial situation, but I know that there is no safer place in every regard including financially, than to be in His perfect will. I heard a great sermon recently on Noah and am stunned by his faith. When Noah built the ark, it had NEVER rained before. It likely took him about 100 years to construct this 4 story boat. Peter called him a preacher of righteousness, but his only “converts” in the time it took to build the ark were his family. After his family and the animals all loaded up, it STILL didn’t rain for 7 days, yet they had faith to remain and wait and it saved them all. Hebrews chapter 11 is filled with these stories of faith and verse 6 says, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” I will walk in faith and obedience as much as I know how to and will continue to seek His will and wisdom in all things. There are more questions than answers at this point, but He is faithful. He will provide for our every need. I am excited that He has given me just enough faith to follow Him in this new season. He is teaching me to trust Him for everything and has put me on the “fast track” to die to my flesh in the area of finances. I am learning that a way to overcome fear in finances is to GIVE. It is exciting to learn to give out of need and not just overflow. I am trusting that I will be able to share stories of His provisions and power in my new faith journey that will increase your faith. I know I am always encouraged when I hear of how God moves in other people’s lives that walk in faith.
If you have a story to share of how He has been faithful to you or stories you have heard of, PLEASE write it here. I will probably need them to draw from in the days ahead J. Let us be mutually encouraged by one another’s faith! Rom 1:12
(so much for abridged!)