"Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in
you will perform [it] until the day of Jesus Christ." Philippians 1:6
Have you ever written a post that you go back and read later and think.....what was I thinking?? I said all of that?? That is kinda how I felt this morning as I went back and read my Spectator Participant post. It sat with me like a lump in my throat. You all saw the not so pretty side of me and there was certainly a part of that not so pretty side that said...hit the delete button.
Get rid of that post.....what will people think? (you know all of those acceptance issues come smack dab face to face with me).
And then I saw all of your beautiful comments and words of encouragement. (What a gift we have in the body of Christ!) Thank you to each of you. And God reminded me of all that He was teaching me through my disobedience that weekend...and continues to speak to my heart today. I know that God had a purpose in that post. And even if not one person commented....that was ok...for it is HIS approval I seek. I pray over each and every post and pray that His Words will come forth...not mine. And that in everything I say, He receives the glory....because ohhh how my flesh wants you to like me.
But you know what....I think it is important for us to be real together. I am a work in progress. God works on my heart each and everyday, teaching me more about Him. I can either have a heart hardened to His truth or I can have a heart that is teachable and able to receive.
After the Harvest Crusade....I needed a heart that would receive His correction. I was disobedient. I wanted to serve under my terms and not His.
But you know what is so cool....God uses us even when we mess up. When we humbly repent and receive His correction our relationship is restored immediately. He doesn't dwell on our mistakes. He forgives and He moves on.
Well, onward, I go.
I opened up my email this morning, to an email from one of my neighbors (who mind you was one that God told me to ask to the crusade). She asked if I wanted to start walking together in the neighborhood......and asked if I wanted to go to lunch with her one day this week.
Why me? Not too sure. But I know God has a plan. He will accomplish His plan with or without me. He wants a relationship with her. He wants a relationship with each and every one of us. We were created to be in fellowship with our God and Father. He desires for no one to be outside His presence. I pray, I am obedient this time, to all that He asks of me. That I will boldy share His love whether in word or by example and that His light will shine forth mightily in my neighborhood and to this woman.
I know God brought us to this neighborhood for a reason. You can go to the ends of the earth and preach the Gospel, as there are so many lost and hurting people. Or you can go to your backyard, down your street or around the corner. We are surrounded by mission fields.
My friend, Allyson, was over this weekend and had read my post. She shared something with me something that I have been mulling over. She encouraged me and shared a story with me about a friend of a friend who came to know the Lord. These ladies were friends for over 10 years...one was a believer, the other wasn't. When the non-believer accepted the Lord, she went back to her believing friend and said, "You knew this all these years and never shared it with me?"
Why do we let our pride, our acceptance issues, our SELF....get in the way of all that God wants to do in and through us. How many people have I neglected to boldy share His Truth with because I feared rejection....How would this reflect on me?
Really.....who cares! All that matters is that I am an empty vessel, emptied of self and filled by the Holy Spirit and through His power, I am poured out to all those around me.
If I am empty of self, then I won't worry about how I am received, liked or accepted.
I long for this.
And so, after reading over that post.....if you see some ugliness in me, if you see some brokennes in me....if you see my mistakes and all of my imperfections and struggles....that is ok. I am a work in progress. There is no perfection outside of Christ Jesus.
But, I pray that most of all.....you will see the work that God has done in this selfish, prideful, broken women and that who I am today is by God's grace, His mercy, His never failing love and His redeeming work. To Him be all the glory.
"Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting
may appear to all." 1 Timothy 4:15
Thank you to each of you who are walking this road with me.
In Christ's love and grace-Stacy