Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Timely Encouragement

God’s encouragement is always timely and strikes at the heart (even when it comes on Wordless Wednesday). I think He does this to make sure He has my attention.

I was offered the position of Women's Bible study leader, on the Women’s Ministry team at my church. When I was first approached about this position it was like a dream come true and an answer to my prayers. I had been seeking after the Lord for some time and asking Him what He wanted me to do. I had decided to go back to school. I was signed up and ready for classes, but I did not have God’s peace. The same day that I told my enrollment rep. that I would not be taking classes, I received a phone call from a woman at church about this position. I am convinced that this is what God has for me instead of school right now.

I still believe that this is the direction that God wants me to go, but last night I was filled with such doubt!

I am a perfectionist and I never want to do anything wrong. If I think for a moment that I might do something wrong I decide that it is better to just not do it. I am sure I have missed out on so many opportunities, because I was too afraid to try it and fail! This is the kind of freak out I was having last night. I am not qualified. What was God thinking when He picked me? I don’t have time for this. What if we move away? I was letting my doubts and fears trample my faith and trust in God. I wanted out.

Thankfully, I have been reading Me, Myself, and Lies By, Jennifer Rothschild, because I am going to teach this Bible study at my church. She has been teaching me that it is important to fill your mind with truth instead of worry. So in the middle of my freak out, I began to pray that God would bring someone else along to take thing position if I was not supposed to have it.

…but God had other plans….

This morning I received my daily email from Proverbs 31 Ministries (Ladies, keep up the amazing work, because God is using you to change my life.). The verse for the day says, "Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9 (NIV). Susan Meissner goes on to say, “The waiting room has its purpose. It is the place where you get mentally ready for what comes next. You are not meant to live there.”

I needed to hear these truths today. Don’t you see. God does not want me to live in fear of failure! God has things that He wants to accomplish through my life and He does not want me waiting around until I think I am perfect enough to get in the game. When God asks you to do something listen. If you do not do what God has asked, He will find someone else who will. I do not know about you, but I do not want to miss out on the blessings God has for me. I will not be perfect, but Christ is perfected in my weaknesses!

. . . . . . . . . .
Out of the Waiting Room
8 September 2010
Susan Meissner, She Reads Featured Author

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9 (NIV)

Picture a doctor's waiting room: cushioned chairs, a display of colorful magazines, soothing music wafting above your head, perhaps an aquarium of sparkling fish. Why does the doctor provide such a calming environment? Because he or she knows that by and large, people do not like to wait there. Truth is, we don't much like to wait anywhere for any length of time.

And we often cringe at the mere idea of waiting on God - more than any other kind of waiting. He is so frequently not in a hurry. We don't want to learn patience by waiting, though it is often the best way to learn it.

But consider for a moment the flip side. Consider for a moment those times when the waiting room door has been thrown open but we're still sitting in the chair by the fish, afraid to get up, get out and get moving. Sometimes we find ourselves in situations where we sense God nudging us to step out, but instead we're oddly content to just wait it out - perhaps hoping someone else will make the move we're supposed to make.

Just as there are times when God wants us to wait on Him; there are times when He calls us to action. And just as we need to listen for His voice in times of waiting, we need to obey His prompting when the wait is over.

When God told Moses to send spies into the land of Canaan, only two of the twelve came back from the mission ready to do what God was prompting them to do. The others wanted to head back to the waiting room, grab a magazine and hang out with the fish! They were afraid to move forward in faith, even though they had seen God time and again prepare a way for them in the wilderness and then lead them through it. God asked that these people take a step of faith and trust Him for what lay past the waiting room door. He didn't kick them out of the waiting room. He asked them to leave it, and they chose not to. History shows us what they missed (Numbers 13:26-14:25).

Are there perhaps blessings you have asked for but then have refused to pursue? Have you been hanging back in the waiting room – perhaps because you've allowed fear to convince you it's better to be safe and ineffective than risk being used by God?

The waiting room has its purpose. It is the place where you get mentally ready for what comes next. You are not meant to live there. You were designed for the world outside. And it waits for you!

Dear Lord, enable us this day to throw off self-doubts and fear so that we may obey You, serve You and live out our purpose for You. Fill us with Your Holy Spirit and empower us to do all that You have called and equipped us to do. Forgive us for being content with sitting in the waiting room when You've called us to come out. Ignite in us a passion to live our faith loudly. In Jesus' Name, Amen.


ElissaM said...

Oh wow! What a beautiful blog you have. Such great words of wisdom and life learned. I love it! You are so beautiful too! Congrats on all your hard work, you must be so proud and accomplished. Praise God for you!

Jen Newsham said...

ElissaM - Thank you!

Cindi @ Rustique Art said...

Oh sweet are so humble. I loved your raw honesty and I will add to what you read today only to say that God will prepare you for His purpose just submit to be His vessel.
One more thing...people like me, women or men don't go to classes to feel like they can't live up to the status of the teacher, group leader or facilitator...they can receive that hopeless feeling from the world. They don't want "perfect" talking to them, they want "human" walking and sharing with them.

I wish that I could be there to learn from you, but since I can't I'll be happy to continue learning from you here on your blog :)

Kristen said...

I love reading your blog! Interestingly, this is the second time today I "happened" upon Joshua 1:9.

Jen Newsham said...

Cindi @ Rustique Art - Thank you. Sometimes I don't like being human. I want to look like I have it all together, but I am so thankful that God has not asked me to do that. I look forward to learning with you.

khbedell - Thank you! That is awesome, maybe God is really trying to get you to read that verse today.

Mrs.B said...

BI was in the same predicament at my church. You see I too was afraid that I am missing something and I thought that I was making a mistake in giving to much of my time to church. I was confusing my donated time that I do for my church with being told to do things. I do not know if I am making myself clear. What I mean is that it is different when you want to do something for your church than when you are being told to do it. I create a website for my church and it was basically for the purpose of members or amyone who wanted to do bible study but couldnt physical be there, to go online and see what they missed. Including myself. I run the website and I enjoy doing it. it's great that you take on the leadership in your church and help other people that need the wisdom that you have acquire through your struggles in your life. That Is what a life application is.

MFEO2009 said...

Thanks for sharing. That was very inspirational.
"God has things that He wants to accomplish through my life and He does not want me waiting around until I think I am perfect enough to get in the game."
So true! I can think of many times that I doubted myself, but the truth is that WE are much harder on ourselves. It is hard to accept the criticism, because there are people who give it so freely. Although, I have learned that for every one negative response, I get double in positive feedback.
Awesome post. :)

Jen Newsham said...

Mrs. B - You're right. That's a great idea that you have everything set up online for people at your church. What a great idea! Thanks for sharing.

Nichole - It is so good for me to share what God is teaching me with others. It helps me to really get it! Thanks for taking the time to read it.

Unknown said...

Isn't it great the way everything works out, even when it's not the way you expected. God works in wonderful, mysterious ways :)

Jen Newsham said...

Kerry McCullough - He often works in ways I never expected. Thankfully His ways are better then my ways.

bluemoose7 said...

Love your blog today. I'm also a perfectionist and can relate to what you wrote all too well. I'm so glad you shared this today. I'm struggling with a decision regarding employment, but I don't know if it's just me not wanting to go back to my old job or if it's not what I'm supposed to be doing. Maybe I'll have to try a Wordless Thursday... :-)

nicoledundas said...

Im sure your going to be a GREAT leader to that group.

Anonymous said...

I stumbled in...
Thank you so much for sharing this!
I feel as if I hav spent quite a bit of time in the waiting room of my life, yet God has recently gotten my full & undivided attention! I have been praying thankfully for the crisis, (which is definitely a new thing for me!)
also that I may be a sponge soaking up what I am learning during this time of crisis. He is such a loving GOD, Patient, forgiving, Kind, and always there for those who seek him.
may God continue to bless you and use you for HIS will.


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