I recently started this new Bible study by Priscilla Shirer focusing on the story of Gideon in the book of Judges. It has been perfect during this season of my life when my weakness seems to be magnified. This morning, only 2 days before we begin a whole new chapter of our lives in a new place in South Sudan, my Loving Father met me so personally and powerfully to encourage me in my weakness and to inspire me to be BRAVE as we move forward.
My time with the Lord this morning started with these beautiful words from Jesus Calling:
"Trust me in the depths of your being. It is there that I live in constant communion with you. When you feel flustered and frazzled on the outside, don't get upset with yourself. You are only human and the swirl of events around you will sometimes feel overwhelming. Just remember that I am with you and within you."
Then in my Gideon Bible study I was challenged to answer the question: As Gideon and the Israelites were intimidated by the their enemies' iron chariots (or battle strength) what are the "iron chariots" of intimidation that keep me from moving forward in complete obedience? I pondered this for a while. And then I realized that the thing that intimidates me most about moving forward, serving God with EVERYTHING, is my awareness of my own weakness and limitations. I know what it feels like to give my all and get burned out in Sudan, so I'm always afraid of doing that again. So now I try to protect myself and in the guise of "staying healthy and balanced" I wonder sometimes if I miss out on something the Lord really wants me to do! Israel chose comfort instead of commitment to the One who had led and sustained them. God said He would continue doing it if they would actively trust Him for total victory.
The new question I'm asking myself is: What comforts or perceived sense of security would I need to give up to fully obey God's instructions? When you think of our family in the next weeks as we transition into a new place of ministry, will you please pray for Eli and I to to find that beautiful balance where we know we are fully obeying and fulfilling what God has called us to Doro to do, but in a way that our family, marriage, and our own personal lives can continue to thrive. This is my prayer this morning. And in yet another beautiful way, the Lord encouraged my heart this morning with this song called, "You Make Me Brave". You can listen to it in the link below but here are some of the words:
I have heard you calling my name
I have heard the song of love that you sing
So I will let you draw me out beyond the shores into your grace
And Your love, in wave after wave, crashes over me
For you are for us, you are not against us
Champion of Heaven, you made a way for all to enter in,
You make me brave
You call me out beyond the shore into the waves
No fear can hinder now the love that made a way
No fear can hinder now the promises you make.