When Life Shakes You…Are You Ready?

I was attending college at UCLA when the Northridge earthquake hit in California in 1994. I lived close to the college campus and approximately 20 minutes from the earthquake’s epicenter in Northridge, a Los Angeles suburb.

I still vividly remember being awoken at 4:30am with a strong shaking. The apartment complex I lived in shook so hard I thought it was about to crumble! My TV and bookcase crashed to the floor and I took cover under the bed and prayed…“Lord Jesus please help me and keep me safe! Please do not let this building come crashing down!”

If you have ever experienced an earthquake, the shaking can seem like it lasts forever! Although this shaking only lasted approximately 20 seconds… the ground acceleration/ motion was one of the highest ever recorded in an urban area in North America causing an estimated $20 billion in damage…making it one of the costliest natural disasters in U.S. history! The death toll came to a total of 57 people, and there were over 8,700 injured!

Once the phones were finally working again…FYI there were no cell phones back then …I remember getting a hold of my parents who lived not far from the earthquake’s epicenter. They lived on a mountain top that was actually built of rock. My mother said the house shook and shook but no damage was done.

I was so thankful for the safety of my family and friends and to have lived through this strong tremor that claimed the lives of and injured so many…and literally destroyed and leveled parking structures, apartment complexes, houses and businesses.

Do you ever feel that your life is shaking beneath you? What do you do when your life is being shaken?

As Christians, we know that we do not get a hall pass from our lives being shaken…from facing trials…from even facing tragedy.

We can be shaken by tragic events…like losing a spouse, child or loved one suddenly… We can be shaken by an unexpected job loss…We can be shaken by a sudden end in a relationship…like our marriage…We can be shaken by a sudden and unexpected health diagnosis…

In the bible, James doesn’t say if you face trials…but whenever you face trials! In this life, the trials will come…the challenges will come…there will be some shaking…there may be a lot of shaking…So my question to you today is…Are you ready?

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. James 1:2-3 NIV

So how can we be ready when our lives are being shaken? How can we be ready when the trials come unexpectedly like an earthquake in our lives? Is it even possible to be ready and prepared?

Just like the earthquake shook and shook my parents house but didn’t destroy it, we too may face difficult circumstances in life that shake us…shake the very core of our being!

Will you crumble…will you be destroyed…will you lose hope…will you give up?

Why didn’t my parent’s house crumble during the earthquake when many other structures were destroyed? …The answer? …Because it’s foundation was built on rock.

As Christians, we too can face life’s tragedies and earthquakes without crumbling when our spiritual foundation is built on rock…the solid rock of our Lord Jesus Christ!

Do you have a strong biblical foundation?

Jesus teaches us about building a strong solid foundation in Matthew 7:24-27.

Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” Matt 7:24-27 NIV

A foundation is defined as…

1. the basis or groundwork of anything

2. the natural or prepared ground or base on which some structure rests

3. the lowest division of a building, wall, or the like, usually of masonry and partly or wholly below the surface of the ground

Being shaken by tragedy or difficult trials is by no means easy….even God never said it will be easy… but hopefully we won’t crumble, lose hope, lose faith, or give up. Why? Because we have prepared and built a strong biblical foundation upon the rock of Jesus Christ.

So what does it mean to build a strong biblical foundation?

I would like to share from my own experiences what I feel is important in building a strong biblical foundation.

1)      Find a church. Find a church family so that you can not only grow in your relationship with Jesus but also help others grow too by building friendships and relationships. Find a church family where you can serve others and help the church body by volunteering in a department that interests you. God doesn’t want us to be a “Lone Ranger” Christian. He wants us to be part of a family to be encouraged so we can encourage and serve others. (Acts 2:41, 42, 46) Jesus is our model and He came to serve…not to be served!(Mark 10:45)

2)      Accountability. Develop relationships with other women that you can trust. Develop friendships with other women who can pray for you, support you, and that you can be transparent and honest with. Accountability requires you to be able to open your life up…the good, the bad, and the ugly…so you can be taught, corrected, trained…sometimes rebuked through the word of God. (2 Timothy 3:16, Titus 2:3) You can only be held accountable to what you share with those you trust!

3)      Daily time with God…in prayer and reading/meditating on God’s word. This is the best way to get to know Jesus intimately. He desires to spend time with you and you should desire the same. Just as with any friendship, the more time you spend with one another the more you will grow in intimacy and trust. Do not ignore spending this daily time to know your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! (James 4:8)

4)      Understanding Foundational Christian Principles. Building a strong biblical foundation requires an understanding of such principles that may include but are not limited to sin, salvation, lordship, obedience, repentance, baptism, faith and the Holy Spirit. (Hebrews 6:1)

This concept of understanding foundational Christian principles truly changed my life. Years ago, I went through a discipleship book one on one with another woman called “The Purple Book” by Rice Broocks and Steve Murrell. It changed my life! Not only did my understanding of these principles develop but I also developed that accountability relationship in the process. My relationship with Christ went to whole other level and consequently it allowed me to go through this book with many other women as well…helping them build strong biblical foundations as well!

If you attend my church, I have “The Purple Book” available in my office. You can also purchase them online through Amazon, Christianbook.com, and Walmart.

Building a strong biblical foundation provides stability, faith, hope, encouragement and accountability in our lives. When the trials come, when the storms come, when your life is shaken…Can you still stand? …Can you still trust God? …Or will you fall…away from God? …Will you crumble? …Will you be destroyed?

I am sure that many of the building structures that were destroyed in the Northridge earthquake appeared to have strong foundations…until they were shook.

The emphasis isn’t on what is shaking us…but how will we respond to the shaking. The emphasis isn’t on what is rocking us…but the rock we are standing on!

Why wait until you are shaken to see if you will stand? Begin building a strong foundation today.

Build your foundation on the solid rock of Jesus Christ! You can’t get any stronger or any more solid than that!

Building a strong biblical foundation changed my life…and I know it will change yours too!

Reflection Points:

1)      Do you ever feel that your life is shaking beneath you? What do you do when your life is being shaken?

2)      So how can we be ready when our lives are being shaken? How can we be ready when the trials come unexpectedly like an earthquake in our lives?

3)      Do you have a strong biblical foundation?

 Action Points:

See the steps outlined above in building a strong biblical foundation in your life.

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Equipped

Life is full of challenges, isn’t it?

The word “challenge” is defined as “a stimulating and demanding situation; difficulty in a job or undertaking that is stimulating to one engaged in it; a call to fight, as a battle, duel, etc.”

Looking at these definitions, I am sure we can all say we have had…and continue to have challenges in our lives! Even as Christians, we are not immune to facing challenges in life. God never said that as Christians, we would never face difficult circumstances while we are living here on this earth!

What challenges are you facing right now?

When I reflect on my own life, I can recall the many challenges that I have overcome in the past…and the ones I am currently facing.

Yes, growing up and going to school had its challenges…Attending college and grad school had its challenges…Working in a male dominated field with professional athletes had its challenges…Life as a single woman going in and out of relationships with its many hurts and disappointments had its challenges…

Life as a single Christian woman for 7 years before the Lord brought me my husband had its challenges…Getting married especially when you want fine china and your soon to be husband is fine with paper plates at your wedding had its challenges!

Facing life’s difficult circumstances, for example, when my mother passed away approximately 4 years ago had its challenges…Marriage of course has its challenges…Balancing life with work and my family has its challenges…

But the greatest challenge I have personally faced and still face is being a mother to my 2 little boys! Being called to be a mother is certainly an honor and a privilege, but is full of challenges as well!

As great a reward and blessing my children certainly are…No other call on my life has shaken the core of my very being! I have wondered at times what the Lord was thinking! Does He really think I could handle this? Does He really think I am equipped to be a mother? Does He really think I could raise up, nurture, and care for 2 little boys? And not just raise them up but raise them up with Christian morals and principles and with a God fearing love that would hopefully grow as they matured into adulthood?

What is God calling you to do today? Do you feel challenged by this call? Do you feel unequipped…inadequate… just not good enough to carry out God’s call on your life?

Maybe you too are called to mother children and the Lord has given you a special needs child and the task seems so overwhelming at times that you are ready to just give up…

Maybe you are called to be a single mom in this season of life and the demands to provide and care for yourself and your children are unbearably great…

Maybe you are called to move to a new place and fear of the unknown makes you hesitant to take the necessary steps to move forward…

Maybe you are called to a new occupational field and you aren’t sure that you have the ability and skills to fulfill your new role…

Maybe you are called to weather some storms in your life and there are days that it is raining so hard you just wish you could hold up an umbrella and not have to get wet!

Maybe you are a new believer in our Lord Jesus Christ and your past mistakes and failures cast doubt that you can actually be the woman God is calling you to be.

We may feel that we aren’t good enough to accomplish what God is calling us to do….We may feel inadequate…We may feel like we don’t have the skills or ability….We may feel like we aren’t strong enough…We may feel that we are the wrong person for the job….We may feel that God made a mistake when He chose us…We may feel afraid to accomplish what God is calling us to do.

Do you ever feel this way? Do you really think that God can’t use you or accomplish His purposes through you because of your feelings of inadequacy?

Do you know that “God doesn’t call the equipped…but He equips the called?” There is so much truth to this saying.

God isn’t looking for perfect people…He is looking for people to show His perfection through.

God isn’t looking for your ability…He is looking for your availability to be used by Him.

God isn’t looking for people who have it all together…He is looking for people that He can hold together and accomplish His purposes through.

He purposefully calls you when you aren’t equipped, so you may depend upon Him, rely upon Him and trust in Him for His guidance…His strength…His power… to accomplish what He is calling you to accomplish!

He equips you in order to empower you in order to enable you to accomplish the things that He is calling you to do…for His glory!

Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen. Hebrews 13:20-21

Equip, Empower, and Enable are words that can be interchangeable at times …but check out these definitions and see them through this progression…

Equip– to make ready, to prepare

Empower– to give power or authority

Enable– to make possible

When God prepares you and makes you ready (equips) to handle a call on your life, he will also give you power and authority (empowers) which in turn makes it possible (enables) to face the challenges associated with the call!

The bible is full of individuals that God called, equipped, empowered, and enabled to accomplish tasks to glorify Him…despite their inadequacies and failures!

Jeremiah is one such individual who felt inadequate to accomplish God’s call on his life. God appointed and called Jeremiah as a prophet to the nations. A prophet was a person through whom God spoke directly to His people. When God called Jeremiah to be His spokesman to the world, Jeremiah felt too young and inexperienced… He pretty much felt inadequate! Hear Jeremiah’s feelings and the Lord’s response to him in this passage…

The word of the Lord came to me, saying, 5“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

 6“Alas, Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.”

 7But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. 8Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord.

 9Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “I have put my words in your mouth. 10See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.”Jeremiah 5-10 NIV

Jeremiah was equipped by God’s words of assurance and protection. (vs. 5, 8)

Jeremiah was empowered by God touching his mouth and giving him the words to speak.(vs.7,9)

Jeremiah was thus enabled by God to bring God’s message to the nations. (vs. 10) He even endured attempts on his life as his preaching was not very popular or accepted by the people.

Just like Jeremiah, God equips us by His word (the bible)…God empowers us by His power (the Holy Spirit)…and enables us by faith (in Him) to accomplish whatever He is calling us to do!

Even though I often feel inadequate with my calling as a mother, I am thankful that God has equipped, empowered, and enabled me to push through and ahead despite my challenges…to not only accomplish His plans and a purposes but to ultimately glorify His name!

My prayer to you today is…that you too realize that “God doesn’t call the equipped…but He equips the called.” …that He will give you everything you need to push through the challenges you face to do what He is calling you to do…that He didn’t make a mistake…that His call in your life goes beyond you…and that ultimately His name will be glorified!

 

Reflection Points:

1)      What challenges are you facing today?

2)      What is God calling you to do today?

3)      Do you feel inadequate to accomplish what He is calling you to do?

Action Points:

1)      If you don’t feel equipped…Pray that God will equip you to accomplish whatever He is calling you to do. He doesn’t call you to something and just abandon you to figure it out on your own!

2)      God equips us by His word. We need to make sure we are reading what He says so that we will feel encouraged to face what He is calling us to do.

3)      By reading God’s word, we will feel empowered by the Holy Spirit.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2Cor 12:9 NIV

4)      By faith and trust in Him, we will be enabled to get through our challenges and accomplish what He is calling us to do.

Lying Down in Green Pastures

He makes me lie down in green pastures… Psalm 23:2 NIV

Is your life as crazy busy as mine? There never seems to be enough hours in a day to get everything I need …or want …to get done! From being a wife and mommy to working a full-time job to making meals, cleaning floors, and doing laundry…and with 2 little boys? …loads of laundry I may add! …It just doesn’t all get done.

Life can certainly be far from restful! With handling all the details of everyday life to facing unexpected curve balls like the challenges and difficult circumstance that may be thrown our way …who has time to rest for goodness sakes!

Sometimes when I feel like saying… “Lord, 24 hours in a day is just not enough!” …I have to  remind myself of the One who created time!

Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? Matt 6:27 NIV

Some of you are probably thinking… “Girl you need to calm down and just rest for a minute!” But I know there are some of you out there that can relate to the busyness of life…the prioritizing of daily tasks to meet deadlines and keeping your family and house together. And yes, there unfortunately is a lack of rest!

I began to reflect on my busy life when several weeks ago, my pastor referred to Psalm 23 in his Sunday sermon. I just absolutely love this psalm!!! Seeing this passage up on the overhead brought back childhood memories of learning and memorizing these scriptures word for word…and way back then it was in the King James Version! I am sharing the English Standard Version below which is very similar…minus all the “thou” and “thou arts.” If you aren’t familiar with Psalm 23, please check it out!

1The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
3 He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.

4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
forever.

Don’t you just love this passage! Psalm 23 is busting at the seams with many incredible promises that God has for us! Don’t just take my word…read through these scriptures and see all these promises for yourself! …Promises of care, provision, rest, peace, healing, guidance, His presence, comfort, friendship, protection, hope and our eternal home.

Now I am getting really excited! I hope you are too! I just absolutely love God’s word!

Ok…So as my pastor was preaching, a particular verse caught my attention causing me to reflect on my busy life…Psalm 23:2.

He makes me lie down in green pastures… Psalm 23:2 ESV

You may be thinking… Well what is so profound about this verse? It just sounds like David is talking about rest…lying down and resting in lush green grass…maybe under a tree with the sun shining, a cool breeze, and some peace and quiet. Yes, rest is certainly a major part of it but there is much more God wants us to grasp from this very brief scripture!

David wrote Psalm 23 out of his own experience as a shepherd caring for sheep while he was a young boy. There are numerous parallels that can be made in Psalm 23 between David shepherding his sheep and the Lord shepherding His sheep…meaning us. Just as sheep have a great dependence on their shepherd for provision, guidance, and protection so we too must depend on our Great Shepherd Jesus Christ for provision, guidance and protection.

In order to grasp a greater perspective, I want to break down Psalm 23:2 with you!

He makes me lie down…

What is so significant about the beginning of this scripture? Well, David says that God makes him lie down. Clearly God has a reason to make David lie down and it isn’t a mere suggestion!

As a shepherd boy, David was quite busy! …Yes, kind of like you and kind of like me! Caring for sheep is an around the clock job for a shepherd to ensure that the sheep are protected, cared for, and fed. God surely knows the time commitment of a shepherd …yet He still makes David lie down! It’s as if David is saying… “God knows that I need to stop for awhile and rest, and He also knows that I won’t just do it on my own, so He makes me stop and rest!”

God also knows our time commitments as well…. So wouldn’t you think that He wants us to stop, lie down, and rest too?

Interestingly, we can also see that David doesn’t say “He made me lie down” like it’s a one-time thing. “He makes me lie down” implies that it didn’t happen once, but that it happened before and will happen again.

This is an interesting parallel to sheep because just as our Great Shepherd makes us lie down, a shepherd like David must also make his sheep lie down. FYI…Sheep do not just lie down.

Why? …Because of fear. There is a lot of tension and uneasiness in a flock of sheep. Oftentimes there is friction, rivalry, competition, and an ever present fear of the unknown among the sheep.

Sheep that are afraid will not lie down and get the rest that they need…therefore sheep need their shepherd’s presence to ease their fears and make them lie down.

This is so relevant for us today because so many times we too won’t “lie down” due to fear and the busyness of our lives…we too won’t rest for fear of not getting all we need to get done…fear of not meeting our deadlines…fear of not measuring up as a wife, mother, or business woman. And thus, this fear keeps us moving, keeps us busy, and keeps us from the very things God is wanting us to do…which is rest. But check this out! …God doesn’t want us to just rest in this scripture…

In green pastures

There is an important reason why the Lord makes us lie down…not just anywhere… but in green pastures. There is an important reason why the Lord guides us to rest specifically in a place of green pastures…Because the green pastures are where the sheep feed…the green pastures are where we must feed too!

Green pastures are further described in one commentary…

The Hebrew word rendered “pastures” means usually “dwellings,” or “habitations.” It is applied here properly to “pastures,” as places where flocks and herds lie down for repose. The idea is that of calmness and repose, as suggested by the image of flocks “lying down on the grass.But this is not the only idea. It is that of flocks that lie down on the grass “fully fed” or “satisfied,” their wants being completely supplied.

It is not merely a flock enjoying repose; it is a flock whose wants are supplied, lying down in the midst of abundance. Applied to the psalmist himself, or to the people of God generally, the idea is, that the wants of the soul are met and satisfied, and that, in the full enjoyment of this, there is the conviction of abundance – the repose of the soul at present satisfied, and feeling that in such abundance want will always be unknown. Barnes Notes Commentary

Our Great Shepherd is making us lie down not only to rest but so that we may feed… feed on green pastures…feed on His word! Why? So we can experience ultimate fulfillment and satisfaction!

Are your days so full that you aren’t fully feeding on God’s word? Are you so busy that you don’t make the time to read the bible? Clearly, this is a priority for God…so much that He makes us lie down in green pastures!

By lying down in green pastures, we too will experience the same sense of rejuvenation, the same revival in our spirits, the same deep satisfaction that literal sheep enjoy when resting in the presence of a faithful shepherd and feeding upon the green pastures.

Now, I know it isn’t easy in our crazy busy lives to read God’s word on a daily basis…but this should be our goal. I am not talking about being legalistic about it…If you miss a day, move on and make a greater effort to feed on His word the next day!

You will experience the rest, rejuvenation, and revival in your spirit that will guide you and encourage you in your busy days. You will experience the deep satisfaction in your soul that nothing in this world…only God’s Word… can provide.

Reflection Points:

1)      Is your life so busy that you have no time to rest?

2)      Do you ever feel that God makes you lie down so you can find rest?

3)      What changes can you make in your priorities to ensure that you have time to not only rest but to also read God’s word?

 Action Points:

1)      Begin to make some changes in your daily schedule to ensure a time of rest with God. Matt. 6:33

2)      Pray that the Lord would help you make the time to spend with Him.

3)      Set time aside each day to read God’s word. It can be 5 minutes a day! You will see that your hunger and desire to feed on God’s word will grow and soon you will be spending more time with Him!

4)      If you aren’t sure where to begin, read a verse or passage in Psalms or Proverbs. You can also begin reading one of the Gospels in the New Testament…Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John.

5)      Grab a devotional to assist you in getting into God’s Word. There are so many good ones out there! One is “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young. I have also provided 2 links in the right margin of this blog that will email you daily devotions.

Just Doing It!

I remember growing up in the 80’s when the athletic shoe company Nike came up with their marketing slogan “Just Do It.” The trademark slogan was coined in 1988 at an agency meeting and who knew it would become so popular!

This slogan became an inspirational marketing tool giving people a sense of empowerment and encouragement like…

“Just do it. Try no matter what, even if it means failing.” …or “No excuses. Just get up and make it happen.”

“Just Do It” sure sounds so simple…but why is it so hard?

Because life is full of challenges… and with these challenges, we can experience various thoughts and emotions that hold us back from pushing through them and consequently moving forward to accomplish the things that God may be calling us to do.

Maybe we are facing challenges in our finances, relationships or health….maybe we struggle with fears, emotional pain, past disappointments, or discouragement…maybe we face personal challenges with self-esteem, self-doubt, or feelings of inadequacy.

So how do we face life’s challenges with the many thoughts and emotions that may stem from these challenges?

There are many biblical examples of people who also faced life’s challenges. Just how did they face these challenges? The answer: They were “Just Doing It…”

They didn’t “Just Do It” period….as the Nike slogan implies. They were “Just Doing It”…

Doing it…afraid.

Doing it …weak.

Doing it… inadequate.

Doing it… hurt emotionally.

Doing it …hurt physically.

Doing it…discouraged.

Doing it…alone.

Doing it…not feeling good enough.

Doing it…with lack of understanding

Doing it…when they didn’t want to.

Doing it…when it wasn’t popular.

“Doing” implies that the action was happening at that moment…at the very moment they were experiencing these thoughts and emotions. They were just doing it…

You may be asking “Doing what?”…What did all these people in the bible do while experiencing these thoughts and emotions?

They were continuing to trust God! …They were continuing to lean on God! …They were continuing to believe God as they took steps forward in and through their life’s challenges…even while they experienced these various thoughts and emotions.

Now, I am not saying it was easy “just doing it”…Actually, I would venture to say it was extremely hard, no doubt!

But, no matter what … they continued to have faith!

Their faith moved them to action…and consequently they were “just doing it” despite their mind (what they thought)…despite their emotions (how they felt)… despite their will (what they really wanted to do)!

Even if your faith today is small in the midst of your challenge…as small as a mustard seed …

Side Note: Did you know a mustard seed is one of the smallest of all seeds and the bible says that you can do great things even when you have mustard seed faith? (see Matt 17:20)

So even if your faith is small…Guess what?!…It is connected to a BIG God…a BIG God who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that you can think, feel, or imagine!

I love this faith scripture in 2 Corinthians 5:7 which says…

For we live by faith, not by sight. NIV

Not only did these individuals in the bible “live by faith, not by sight” but they also lived by faith, not by their thoughts, not by their feelings, not by their circumstances, not by their challenges.

They were pushing through… how they thought, whether it made sense or didn’t make sense…how they felt, emotionally or physically … and what they really wanted to do or not do…pushing through and “just doing it!”

What challenges are you facing in your life today?

What is God asking you to do? What circumstance is God asking you to push through?

What is holding you back from “just doing it”?

Are you afraid?

God told Abram to leave his home, his family and everything that was familiar and comfortable and to head out to an unknown destination. Seriously? Wouldn’t you be afraid? I know I would and not something I would embrace, that’s for sure!!

Well, this is precisely the challenge Abram faced…and it frightened him. But God’s words to him were, “Do not be afraid.”

After this, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.” Genesis 15:1 NIV

God blessed Abraham and made him the father of many nations as a result of Abraham doing it …afraid!

Do you feel weak?

God called Gideon to be Israel’s deliverer by defeating the Midianite army. When Gideon was first called, he felt weak, insignificant, and not qualified.

“But Lord,” Gideon replied, “how can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest in the whole tribe of Manasseh, and I am the least in my entire family!” Judges 6:15 NLT

Gideon was focused on his circumstances and his limitations, but God was focused on what He could do through Gideon. Gideon felt weak but He relied on God’s strength in the midst of his weakness…and eventually defeated the 135,000 soldiers of the Midianite army with only 300 men. God gave him the victory as a result of Gideon doing it… weak!

Do you feel inadequate?

God called Moses to rescue the Israelites from the Egyptians and bring them into the Promised Land.  Moses made excuses because he felt inadequate.

But Moses said to God, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” Exodus 3:11 NIV

When God asked Moses to go to Pharaoh, we see again Moses’ feelings of inadequacy because he had a speech impairment.

But Moses pleaded with the LORD, “O Lord, I’m not very good with words. I never have been, and I’m not now, even though you have spoken to me. I get tongue-tied, and my words get tangled.” Exodus 4:10 NLT

Although Moses never entered the Promised Land himself, God did guide him as he led the Israelites out of their slavery in Egypt…and it was a result of Moses doing it…while feeling inadequate!

These are just a few examples … So who else was “just doing it’? These individuals below…you can check their challenges out in greater depth for yourself!

Mary Jesus’ mother was “just doing it”…when it hurt emotionally. Oh my goodness! I can’t imagine the hurt she experienced watching her son die on the cross! It brings tears to my eyes!

Paul was “just doing it”… when it hurt physically. (The bible states that Paul had a “thorn” in his flesh which some commentaries believe was Paul suffering from physical pain.).

Joshua was ‘just doing it”…discouraged.

Elijah was “just doing it”…alone.

Leah was “just doing it”…when she didn’t feel good enough.

Job was “just doing it”… with lack of understanding.

Jonah was “just doing it” (eventually)…when he didn’t want to.

Noah was “just doing it”…when it wasn’t popular.

These individuals in the bible were not perfect…they were far from it! They were people just like you and me. They were people with feelings and thoughts that could have easily stopped them from moving through their challenges and receiving the blessings that God had for them.

My point is that we are going to have feelings and thoughts that stem from our difficult circumstances but we can still push through while we are experiencing them.

It certainly isn’t easy…but we don’t need to wait until we aren’t afraid, we aren’t weak, or we don’t feel inadequate to push through and trust that God will see us through! God will not only meet us exactly where we are at in our challenges but He will also go ahead of us and pull us through as we are pushing through! He will help us move forward to accomplish the things we are called to do.

The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV

These individuals in the bible and many others received great blessings and accomplished great things because they were “just doing it!”  If God did it for them, he certainly will do it for you!

Reflection Points:

1)      What challenges are you facing in your life today? What thoughts and feelings do they produce?

2)      What is God asking you to do today? What circumstance is God asking you to push through today?

3)      Are these challenges holding you back from “just doing it” and moving forward?

Action Points:

1)      Pray for God’s strength to help you move forward despite your thoughts and emotions that are holding you back.

2)      Surrender your mind, emotions, and will to God and lean on Him to push through your challenges.

3)      Review the individuals in the bible listed above who were “just doing it” while they experienced various thoughts and emotions.  This will encourage you!

4)      Read God’s word and fill yourself with faith scriptures.

5)      Know that God wants you to move forward and ahead of your challenges to accomplish great things for Him and others. He will pull you through as you push through!