It seems everywhere I look this week there is a message telling for people to accept their spiritual calling. And, by the way, I love it when that happens. You know, when God layers events, bible studies, sermons, conversations, etc. together where they just compliment each other. Isn't that amazing and mysterious? That's God at work! He weaves things together and people together where we can't escape what He is trying to show us because it's everywhere we turn.
If you are not following what I'm saying and you haven't experienced this in your life, let me give you some details.
This week, we had Pastor Greg Locke (yes the social media preacher) at our church and through him God revealed a message that challenged us to think outside the box. He spoke directly to the congregation to get involved and surrender to God's Will and Purpose for our lives.
Secondly, I have been trying to watch a 6 hour Beth Moore simulcast since Tuesday of this week. I'm having to watch it in bits and pieces but it is spectacular. The theme is "The Symphony". She has been sharing how we are all instruments in God's symphony. We all play a different instrument but when we play together (each accepting her own calling) under His leadership we are making a beautiful sound.
Next, in one of the Bible study groups I meet with, the chapters we reviewed this week were about wanting God. Desiring to do His Will. Being compelled to do His Will. Not just saying I really need to do this or that and never doing it.
Then, while preparing for another Bible study group, the next video we will review also touches on music and sounding like a symphony and playing as one. Listen, I know these authors and speakers do not know that I'm watching and working on these studies simultaneously. That's God working this out.
Finally, I've had multiple conversations this week with people about God urging them to do something.
Now do you see what I mean? I don't know about you but God is trying to do a work through us all if we will simply surrender to Him. If we will just get on our knees and get our faces humbled in prayer and give Him everything we have, He will take over from here. He will open doors that we cannot open. He will provide opportunities that we would otherwise not have. He will provide the talent, the people, the finances to carry out His Plan. God is calling you to get the message of the Gospel into your home, your circle of friends and your community.
Acts 28:23 - 28 says, "And when they had appointed him a day, there came man to him into his lodging to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening. And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not. And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers, Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive: For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it."
Many are hearing the Word in this day and are not understanding it because their hearts are not right with God. God is calling His people to go to work and reach these people - people that have grown up in the church and have turned from it. These people may be your friends or your family and God is calling you to talk to them, worship with them, teach them.
God is also calling for us to think outside of the box to reach others. There are lost and hurting people all around us. We can't wait for them to come to us on Sunday morning and Wednesday night. We will have to go to them.
I do not know who you are; I do not know what God is asking you to do; but I do know that all you have to do is surrender.
During our Bible Study class this Tuesday, a very interesting question came up. Are we too timid in prayer? I think we all had an AHA moment. The initial question was "What does faith of a child look like in prayer?" from the Bible Study The Battle Plan for Prayer by Stephen and Alex Kendrick. But this question quickly had us discussing our lack of boldness in prayer.
The Bible says in Hebrews 4:16 "Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." Come boldly to the throne and confidently in our request with much faith that the Lord will supply our needs and answer our prayers. So why do we approach the throne with an attitude of "well, if you don't mind"? As we discussed in our study group, one reason may be that we are just trying to be respectful. We are taught to be polite and not ask for much. But, if we are sincerely praying with the right motives and attitude we are to beg the Lord for healing, forgiveness, or whatever our request may be. We must be persistent as a child when making a request. God is still God. If it is not His will, it will not be done but it shouldn't be for a lack of an earnest prayer.
Think about when a child wants a piece of candy or a toy. They are persistent in asking and as a parent we usually give in to the request if it is not harmful to the child. Our Father is the same way, if we are persistent in our request and it is what is best for us He may just give us what we are asking for because we are persistent.
Think about this the next time you are approaching the throne of grace.
God may answer you with a yes, no or He may simply say not right now. But if you are persistent like many of the prayer warriors in the Bible, you will get through. Here are just a few examples of successful people of the Bible that had a persistent, bold prayer life (from the book The Battle Plan for Prayer).
Pray often. Pray sincerely. Pray boldly. May God richly bless you this week!
Have you ever noticed when things start coming together that people tend to say “oh what a coincidence”? We’ve probably all said it before. But you know it’s not at all coincidence. God’s mighty hand is at work. It’s a divine intervention!
All month it seems that everywhere I turn there is something about prayer. Someone is talking about it, preaching about it, teaching about it and it’s on bulletins, on brochures in the mail, I mean it is everywhere! This has all occurred since the announcement of our next Women’s Bible Study which starts today! It’s called The Battle Plan for Prayer and it is a study inspired by the movie The War Room.
I’m very excited to begin this study although once again I had my own pick of a study to use and it just wasn’t what God wanted me to do. This study will bring to life strategic prayer and I believe will enhance anyone’s prayer life that is faithful to attend. You will also learn that things are not by coincidence.
We will dig in deep through this study and grow our prayer life and our personal relationship with God. It is such an important part of our daily lives that we take too lightly. Do you realize what kind of power you are promised through prayer? What kind of life you could be living with a more effective prayer life? Ask yourself, what do you spend 5 -10 minutes doing each day that you could easily replace with prayer. How much time do you spend on social media each day? 30 minutes? An hour?
“Answered prayers aren’t merely highly unlikely coincidences. They are fingerprints of a living, loving God who invites all of us to draw close to Him”. I love to think about that line from The Battle Plan for Prayer Book. Answered prayers are fingerprints of God! Let that sink in folks. We have a direct line of communication with the almighty God and we don’t use it correctly or effectively!
Did you know that you can pray for something other than submitting a request? If you don’t have anything you need to ask for you can simply pray and tell God how much you love Him and how much you appreciate Him. Just spending quiet time with Him in His love is enough sometimes. You can pray and thank God for him rescuing you, blessing you and loving you. Pray is not only for you to ask for something. Prayer is how we communicate with God. It’s how we talk to Him.
Next time you pray, spend some time simply thanking and praising Him. He is not a coincidental God. He makes things happen for us and we should recognize it and appreciate it through prayer to Him!
James 5:16 "...The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much."
A dear friend recently suggested that I start doing book reviews on this blog. I thought that was an excellent idea because I have read many books and often times I am asked is there a book for that. "That" being a situation someone is going through. I normally have a book come to mind right away but I do not recommend simply living on words of others. My first suggestion to anyone would be to first go to the Bible and if you are not sure where to begin go to www.biblegateway.com. It is a great website that allows you to search for specific scriptures or specific topics.
Today, I've chosen a book to share with you called So Long, Insecurity by Beth Moore. If you don't know already, Beth Moore is one of my favorite authors. I read this book because a friend recommended it to me simply as a good book to read. At that time in my life was traveling for my job a good bit and I always kept something to read while sitting and waiting in the airport or on the plane.
I purchased this book because of the author, not because of the title. I say that because I didn't give the title a second thought until I started reading it in public and was insecure about people looking at what I was reading. I would find myself with the book opened flat on my lap because I was so insecure about someone thinking that I was insecure that I didn't want anyone to see the title, So Long, Insecurity. (LOL! Yes, I really did that.) I can tell you by the time I was finished reading it, I didn't care what anyone thought about the title of the book I was holding. I wanted to go tell every woman to go read this book because women can be fierce...to each other.
As women, we are insecure creatures. Even the most confident person you know has something she is insecure about and our actions or reactions are a result of our insecurity. How we treat others and how we are allowed ourselves to be treated are a result of our insecurity. This book is filled with real-life stories from anonymous women that you can relate to. At least one of the stories, will make you gasp in a revelation saying "That's me!" or "I didn't realize why I felt that way!". Here are just a few of the items the author lists that insecurity can make us do:
So why are we insecure? There are number of contributors some of which include instability in the home, rejection, a significant loss, and pride. But the biggest one, in my opinion, is our culture. Wouldn't you agree? We use the wrong measuring stick for ourselves. Romans 12:2 says, "And be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."
We need proof that who we are is who were are supposed to be. When we find that proof, then we find confidence and acceptance. Once you accept who you are through God's eyes, it can be the most peaceful feeling in the world. You prove God, yourself and others by accepting who you are. You discard the insecurity in what the world thinks of you. When you find peace with God and yourself, your humble confidence will allow others to be at peace with you as well.
I recommend this book to ALL women, regardless of where you are in your life right now. If you have already read this book, please comment on this post and share the difference it made in your life.
Rebecca Debter is the Ministries Coordinator at Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church.
Women's Bible Study beginning November 5, 2017, Sunday Mornings at 9:30am at Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church. "We Saved You a Seat" what are you waiting for.