Wednesday, May 13, 2015

jump!

Ah, there it is again. The call of the Holy Spirit asking me to step outside my comfort zone to do something I have no interest in doing. I've tried to ignore Him prodding at my conscience, but I know He will continue. Whether evangelizing to another, giving a belonging over that I selfishly don't want to share, serving a person I don't particularly like or care for, honoring God in how well I care for my body, carving time out to pray and know His word, or making myself get up earlier than the singing birds to write my book or this blog devotional... in the end, it isn't really about "what" He is asking me to do. What matters to me is that when He asks, I DON'T ALWAYS WANT TO DO IT!

But that doesn't seem to change His mind. He doesn't seemed concerned about what I want or don't want. No, He is more interested in IF I WILL DO WHAT HE ASKS. If I will follow His instruction. If I will trust His leading. If I will respond obediently. He simply and directly whispers, "Victoria, are you willing to do what I am asking you to do?"

"Sure, Lord. I will obey anything you say... BUT....

Ah, the infamous "BUT"... We have reached the point in our conversation where I begin inserting a catalog of excuses in all shapes and sizes. Here are a few from my summer collection...

BUT, I'm really not the right person.
BUT, I'm sure I'm not qualified to write about that subject.
BUT, I just did that for you yesterday.
BUT, I don't think the outcome will work out well.
BUT, I'm scared.
BUT, I'm so comfortable right now and that would make me uncomfortable.
BUT, it's too hard to do that.
(And this is the worst of all...) BUT, I don't want to, God."

So, here I sit debating the Spirit on my own private conference call with the King of Kings. Going back and forth in my mind. Wondering if I can trust Him enough to move forward and do whatever He has asked of me this time. Finally, I decide to answer His question. "OK, yes Lord. I will do what you are asking me to do."

I proceed. Reluctant. Awkward. Exposed. Uncomfortable. Embarrassed. Doubtful. Sometimes complaining. Sometimes kicking and screaming. Sometimes angry. Why on earth would He ask me to do this??? What on earth is He thinking??? Why won't He explain more??? "Are you sure, God?"

Sigh. How frequently I allow my sinful craving to remain comfortable to sidetrack my Christian growth and hinder my trust in God's plan. I'm especially good at rationalizing myself away from His call. In fact, if they had an Olympic category for EXCUSE WRESTLING... or AVOIDANCE BOXING... or even a COP OUT TRIATHLON... I think I could win the gold! Really, my laziness has no limits and my selfishness no bounds! But still God quietly calls me. He knows what is best for me.

Making excuses isn't a good practice. Spiritually debating with God when we don't want to obey (like commands to forgive or stop gossiping)... or when we don't want to go where He is sending (such as going to the mission field, visiting a friend, or even showing up for church)... or when we fail to believe what He has promised (that all experiences we face will stretch us to become more holy and work toward His good, or that He loves us and wants us to live abundantly in His grace) - these are all forms of laziness, doubt and disbelief... and they are especially dangerous. Our excuses expose our mistrust in the Maker's plan. They reason our will against His way. In short, the selfish pause of making excuses delays us from holy action.

This is sin.

Ladies, there is no excuse that can trump God's perfect plan. He has every intention of doing great things with our lives. There are no past failures, rejections, age limits, educational discrepancies, physical or mental inabilities, or magnitudes of a task that will hinder our Maker's ability to use us. The only thing that can prevent us from succeeding spiritually is our own disobedience to follow His path.

I can't imagine that any of the great servants of God ever felt qualified for what God called them to do. Take Moses for example in Exodus 3 & 4. When God called Moses to go free the Israelites out of Egypt, Moses threw out every excuse in the book. He simply didn't want to do the job and was overwhelmed with the responsibility it presented. He didn't feel that he was up to the challenge or qualified. In fact, He didn't think the plan would even work.

But God answered Moses with a profound truth... "I will be with you." (Exodus 3:12)

I find it interesting that God doesn't tell Moses how wonderfully gifted he was to get the job done. He didn't emphasize if he had more talent than every American Idol contestant combined. No. He simply says... "I will supply. I will be with you."

And there lies the key. God is able. God meets needs. He holds the Master plan and knows how to accomplish it well. To receive His peace... to enjoy His blessing... to give Him the glory and be showered in His grace, we must be obedient and JUMP to do what He says... when He says.

I remember a time when Chuck and I were traveling on business together. We were heading from Houston to Chicago and the weather was particularly bad as we checked our luggage at the airport and awaited our long-delayed flight to start boarding. We sat for hours and hours waiting.... waiting... waiting...

At one point, Chuck answered a call on his cell phone and then quickly turned to me. He quietly whispered in my ear while pointing at the exit sign... "Vic, get up right now and come with me."

My first instinct was to question my husband's judgement. "BUT, where are we going? BUT, we just got a comfortable seat in front of the gate. BUT, our luggage is already checked. BUT, if we miss this flight we won't get home today. BUT BUT BUT BUT BUT!" Fortunately, I was strong in Spirit that day and did not ask the avalanche of questions that were collapsing about in my brain. Instead, I got up and without word, followed Chuck to the exit.

Within minutes, Chuck had me in front of a ticket attendant rescheduling our flight to the next morning... in first class, mind you (on points). He then made a phone call and got us a room on the concierge floor of the Marriott hotel attached to the airport. In addition, he made reservations for us to dine at CK's - the fancy revolving restaurant that offers yummy cuisine while showcasing a bird's-eye view of the airport and surrounding sites.

I stood beside my husband paralyzed. My mind was racing with questions. What was he doing? What on earth possessed him to change our entire travel plan?

Suddenly, I noticed many of the passengers who were waiting with us earlier running toward us - colliding with one another hoping to be the next person in line with our ticketing agent. Turns out, our flight was cancelled due to severe weather. In fact, no flights would be going in or out of Houston that night. Getting back to Chicago would have to wait until morning.

With our morning airline seats secure, Chuck grabbed my hand and led me to the hotel. By the time we had checked into our room and were heading up to have dinner, the crowds of stranded travelers had arrived at the hotel and were arguing with the management because there were no more rooms available. The weather had stopped everything. Only those fortunate enough to have quickly secured a room in advance would enjoy their evening in peace. The others would be scrambling and lost in the shuffle. Only those prepared to move quickly... to JUMP (like my husband - who wisely had arranged for inside travel and weather updates to be sent to his phone before the airline had ever announced the decision to ground all planes) would find their needs met and be able to fly out the next morning.

How thankful I was that I chose to avoid questioning Chuck's new plan. How relieved I was that I laid aside my excuses and JUMPED when my husband said to JUMP! Taking time out to discuss his authority would have hindered everything. Questioning him would have prevented an evening of peace in a time of chaos. Excuses would have insured my sleeping on a cold, hard airport floor without a blanket... without a flight home.

I wonder how many times I have shot myself in the foot by procrastinating and questioning what God has called me to do. And why? I know He is with me. I know He will meet all my needs. I know He is true to His word... but still I doubt.

Paul emphasized our need to JUMP and obey God throughout Philippians. Read these verses with me:

"And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:19)

"For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose." (Philippians 2:13)

"I can do everything through him who gives me strength." (Philippians 4:13)

The key here is not in our ability, but God's. Our responsibility lies in our obedience and belief in His authority. Success is measured by our heart's willingness to follow His call. The rest... God will simply handle. He is in control. The strength is in the Master's strong, capable hands... not mine. The credit belongs to the King because the plan is His... not mine. And trust me when I tell you... it is a good and thought out plan! A plan to redeem those willing to jump when He says, "JUMP!"

Let's go back to Moses. God spoke to Moses as if this whole Exodus project was a "done deal"... a "sure thing". He didn't say, "Moses, if you bring the children of Israel out of Egypt, this or that may happen." No, God was certain and secure in the plan. He said, "The cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt." (Exodus 3:9-10)

"So now go." There is not room for question here. It is a direct, specific course of action. There is not excuse or reason to search for. God is certain. It will be done. So, just do it. JUMP! Why? Because He told you to. Because it will advance His Kingdom. Because it will insure you peace and bless His Name.

Ladies, it doesn't matter what you are facing. It doesn't matter what God has called you to do or to endure . . . you can do it if you trust His strength! I encourage you to stop procrastinating. Stop rationalizing. Stop worrying. Stop questioning. Stop making excuses. If the Holy Spirit is calling you to do something. Go! Do it! JUMP! Whatever the challenge, if God has called you to do it... He promises to be with you and to see you through. Sure, you may not be strong enough by yourself. In your opinion, you may be the worst candidate for the job. But girls, we are not alone. He is with us and the battle is the Lord's!

There will always be something that we don't know or understand or even feel like doing. But the best way to grow in His knowledge is to step out in faith. The best way to learn about God is to obey His call. He makes a habit of taking simple things and simple people and using them in very profound, big ways. He has taken shepherds, fisherman, tax-collectors, children and a whole host of rag-tag individuals and has used them for change. We must stop worrying about our own comfort and placing obstacles in front of opportunities. Where we see problems, God sees potential. So, stop focusing on the minefield of excuses surrounding you and start seeking the One who knows His way through to safety.

Take His hand. Obey Him. Follow His leading until you are blessed with His splendor. There you will enjoy His peace in the midst of chaos. There you will be blessed and used to bless others in His Name.

"Are you willing to do what I am asking you to do?" What is your answer, ladies? How quickly will you act? I encourage you to JUMP into His secure arms and follow His good plan. JUMP because His ways are better than our own.

"So now go." Follow Him. JUMP because He is with you... because He knows what is best for you and loves you enough to show you how to get there. JUMP to the eternal peace promised according to the glorious riches guaranteed in following Christ Jesus.

JUMP!

Blessings!

~Victoria

© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson

17 comments:

  1. Wow! This is the first full blog I've read from here. Amazing! God-inspired! Thanks for sharing. I am encouraged! God bless you!

    ReplyDelete
  2. WOW!! That is amazing! Spoke to my heart very deeply! Thank you for obeying God and posting this. I am sure I am not the only one this will speak to but right now, I sure feel like it was for me. God Bless you!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am ashamed and scared... for I once was there and have lost my way... I don't know how or where to begin my journey back... I speak of God's love but find myself not living it... I have become a phasod and an imposter of someone who says one thing but lives another... I am ashamed to look up to Him for my wedding dress is filled with stains and my heart filled with sorrow and emptiness... I'm in a world that I should not be a pert of, yet I fit in all too well... I am lost like a ship without a sail....

    ReplyDelete
  4. We all are lost until we find His love and peace. Don't let the devil keep you down.
    Get up! Brush yourself off and ...."Jump" into the arms of a loving and forgiving Father.
    He can always see the good in us and will draw near to us if we draw near to Him.

    Thank you for this blog.
    I think God was using you to talk to me.
    Thank you for your "jumping" .

    ReplyDelete
  5. Great! It speaks to me. Thank you for jumping.

    ReplyDelete
  6. for I am she... the ship without a sail... I write again cause I did not have the nerve to reveal who I was scared of redicule... a broken woman...

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love this. Thank you. Just at the right time. Just as hard as you say it is and as promising. God bless you

    ReplyDelete
  8. This was amazing Victoria! How many times do we really make excuses! Your insight and wisdom was beautiful! I will be back to read more! God Bless you!

    ReplyDelete
  9. This blog did speak to my heart today I know without a doubt Jesus is with me, sometimes he uses others to speak to our hearts as he did with me today. Thank you

    ReplyDelete
  10. This was a wonderful blog that really spoke to my heart. I need to JUMP when He calls instead of making excuses. I am so encouraged. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Good confirmation. We all need to be reminded again, and again. Regarding your comments on being able...I like to remind everyone that GOD doesn't call the qualified...HE qualifies the called & willing.

    ReplyDelete
  12. That was for me today - Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Wow that's was sooo awesome!!

    Thanx for that timely msg. Jst came in a time when i had bin questioning God abt a few things. Thanx soo much for being sensitive to the Holy Spirit!!
    To God b a ll the glory!!

    God bless!

    ReplyDelete
  14. i pray that i can be gifted enough to know when God speaks to me. is it through other people, intuition, others actions or personal experiences? Lord, take me back into your arms and this time i promise to walk and live in your word. be blessed Victoria, that was meant for me in more ways than one.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Lisa Mercado,
    I'm praying for you today! Your heavenly Daddy loves you! Just where you are! Run straight to him and cry it out! He has big plans for you!!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Thank you Victoria! I also needed this today. I have some serious jumping to do soon.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I am so blessed with this Victoria, Thank you and GOD blessed!!Now it's time for me to JUMP!!

    ReplyDelete

Copyright © | All Rights Reserved

All articles and content posted to this website are protected by the copyright laws of the United States (17 U.S.C. 101 et seq.) and similar laws in other countries. No part of this website may be used in whole or in part without prior written consent of Victoria Anderson.

© Copyright | All Rights Reserved Victoria Anderson | The Devoted Woman

Translate This Page...