He's Calling, are You Listening
"Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying: Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations." Jeremiah 1:4-5
Just as You had a plan and purpose for Jeremiah before he was ever born, You had one for me! To know what it is I must spend time with You, seeking simply to know You. Early in the morning I come to You expectant and excited about what You are going to reveal to my mind and heart. With my Bible open and a steaming cup of coffee in hand, my eyes travel over the pages of Your word to see what amazing treasures and insights You are going to show me that will bring understanding, purpose, and a reason to live today.
O Lord, You have given me Your word with countless examples of who You are and what You want me to be. Your Spirit speaks constantly to mine as I read the stories of old and learn of Your endless love for an unfaithful people. Dear Lord, I know that I am one of those unfaithful people at times and You move me to obedience when I connect with the stories in Your word that show me my sin and point the way back to You. I believe Your heart's cry is, "Come to Me, Know Me, I am easy to love because I reveal Myself to you in My word. Come, ask, seek, find Me-I am waiting." In Matthew 7:7 You specifically say, "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you." Thank You for making the way so easy, I simply need to come with a hunger to know You.
As I spend time with You, You call me to an assignment and often I have said, "Lord, I can't do that! I do not feel capable of achieving the results You are asking of me." Maybe it's writing an article, or calling someone I don't know. I understand today, that that is exactly where You want me. Admitting I am not able, but You are able through me. You want me to take You with me as I go throughout my day, listening for Your still small voice in answer to my prayers in difficult and trying situations. You expect me to go out and encounter new things, adventures I have never dreamed of doing before because as I go, I experience You. These new adventures cause me to cling to You for dependence and cry out to You for deliverance when I face frightening or uncertain situations. When You come shining through with the answers to my heart's cry, awe and wonder flood my soul. I automatically want to sing out praises to You for Your love and goodness as You meet my needs moment by moment.
I have learned that it's OK to voice my concerns, fears and inadequacies to You, just as Jeremiah did, because You want to respond to my questions and fears with Your truth and set me free of the things that are keeping me from obeying Your call. You are teaching me to take my eyes off of me and fears of the unknowns in life that threaten to consume me and stop me from fulfilling Your plan for me. You call me to GO! More often than not, You don't tell me why. I am learning anew that I can trust You! You do not want me to worry about what's going to happen as I go. You simply want me to trust You and step out-wherever You call, wherever You lead, knowing You will provide. You, Dear Lord, put out the fire of fear that burns within and replace it with courage and delight.
As I read Jeremiah and how You called him for a specific purpose, I continually asked You to reveal to me a better grasp of the call you have on my life. Daily You have revealed through my experiences that there is much to learn and understand in the midst of a call. Yes, I must choose to accept the call and obey, and yes, You expect me to achieve the goal. However, there may be many lessons You want me to learn along the way. Patience, perseverance, kindness, passion, understanding, all are lessons to learn as You teach me to be more like You. If I don't step out of my comfort zone, I won't be stretched and challenged to see my fears and the areas I need to grow in. I understand with deeper insight that I must experience new things to know what fears I am holding onto so that I can ask You to show me the truth and set me free to be all You call me to be.
Fear: It is debilitating and causes me to want to run. In January I claimed Luke 1:74-75 in hopes that You would begin to set me free of fear and its hold on me. I should therefore not be surprised when throughout this year I have had to face many fears. Interestingly they have come in the midst of Your calling me to do certain things. I praise You for hearing and answering my cry for deliverance by putting me through situations that bring out and make me encounter my fears. You cannot deliver me from what I do not face.
Abba Father, grant me, I pray-to be delivered from the hand of my enemies. That I might serve You fearlessly, in holiness and righteousness within Your presence all the days of my life.
(My paraphrase/prayer of Luke 1:74-75)