The Lord replied, “Don’t say, ‘I’m too young,’ for you must go wherever I send you and say whatever I tell you. 8 And don’t be afraid of the people, for I will be with you and will protect you. I, the Lord, have spoken!” --Jeremiah 1:7-8
I went to church this morning. My pastor preached on thepassage above, talking about three main excuses that all people say when they hear God's call for ministry...
1) ministries are for priests alone.
2) "I can't do it, I am inadequate."
I, myself have felt this way before. I felt my call to this ministry for 2 years, until I finally went after it... I had no particular wisdom about the faith I said I believed in, other than what I heard and what I caught on from other's examples... I can honestly say I wasn't the goody-two-shoes Christian girl type by the age of 16... I fell completely away by 17, but still went to church gatherings. I only watched what was around me, and gathered information that way. I never sat down and read the bible on any occasion... So, with all this said, I only believed what others were saying. So, ignorance froze me up, in which I said, "I've got no authority, it's the pastors who do." 2 years later, I was being practically pulverized by a great huge spiritual wrecking ball that destroyed my "cottage of comfort" and uprooted my lies, brought them out into the open, rearranged them, rebuilt me into a fortress, and replanted me elsewhere... that was when I felt my inadequacy of it because of all I had done, what I was-- "I can't do ministry, God wouldn't use some bipolar freak" was a popular excuse that I made. I tended to use my mental illness as a reason to not go into ministry... I also wrestled with the truth, ran from the love, and hid from the change that was being made... Lastly, I was afraid... I was afraid to open up to more scars and to be honest; I still am afraid to continue the ministry... I'll willingly bring my fears about this ministry out into the open... You might as well know!
1) I'm always worried what my family is going to say about what I'm expressing... There's lots of people who go through that fear right?
2) I'm a little hesitant to speak truth, for fear of offending others out there... kind of natural of humanity right?
3) I'm afraid I'll speak a half truth, or a lie that I have come to believe, basically afraid to mislead others... There's many other leaders fear that, right?
4) (and as I said up there...) I'm afraid to have more scars from opening up to others... need I say why?
5) I'm afraid to do or say nothing at all, which with the other fears, typically freezes me up... I'm not only one, I hope...
So, typically all 5 of those fears tend to land me down into procrastination and thinking especially hard...perhaps even over-thinking my next post, until I've ran myself down with my "brainstorming", that I come and write, prepared or not, and I just write what I feel led to write... Still, a little timid to post by the time I finish usually but... I will always keep in mind what the Lord has said to me, and all who call upon His name and obey His commands:
"Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you.
I will hold you up with my victorious right hand." --Isaiah 41:10
Also, I shall remember that:
"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline." --2 Timothy 1:7
Some things my mum wrote in her notes for church today is something that I think we all should remember as God's children and so I'd like to share it; "All God's people are responsible to minister the kingdom of God. God supplies the gifts to the people in order to minister. God has arranged all these circumstances to engage in ministry. There are no excuses. God is with you to deliver you. Don't let fears rule the roost. That is not a good reason to not do God's work."
I love the fall. Even when I'm depressed. This is usually a time for people to experience Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) due to the shorter period of daylight. Me? I think I get MORE light during the fall. Seriously! I live in the southern portion of the United States. The oppressive heat of summer (which starts in about March or April and ends in September or October) keeps me inside as much as possible. I hate the heat. It sucks all energy from my entire body. It affects my brain. If I'm hot, I'm irritable;I'm angry. I can't regulate my reactions to outside stimuli. In short, it makes my depression much, much worse.
If it's cool, or cold, I'm a much more pleasant person. I relish in the cooler temperatures. Furthermore, I love the smell of Autumn! It's sublime! I love the colors as the sun hits the leaves on the trees. It's great. In short, I'm refreshed, and it brings hope into the depths of my depression. Why, yes, I'm alive and I appreciate that.
My Prayer of the Day
Dear God, I'm afraid that I've gone too far deep into my darkness. I have a fear that when you return I'll be facing you and you'll tell me to depart from You. I fear that the things I keep doing will pull me completely away from Your mercy... I know that in Your word, You will not allow me to slip from Your love. You cannot love me more and You refuse to love me less... And when I sin, it breaks Your heart, but it never withdraws Your love... You died for me. There is nothing more powerful than Your sacrifice on the cross... Who do I think I am if I say I cannot be forgiven? Are my sins more powerful than Your love? No! You're greater still and Your love endures forever and ever into an infinity... You stand. Your love stands unchanged... Though my sins warp me and I'm constantly changing everyday... You are unchangeable... You are wonderful, You are incredible! You are the Eternal! You are. You are! YOU ARE! Forgive me for making myself out to be some tragic heroine... Forgive me for claiming full power over myself! I cannot even hold water in a firm grip...so how could I ever overpower You? forgive me for aiming to be an earthbound god... There is none over You! There is no other name, no other blood that can redeem our burdens and forgive us our sin... Who among us can best YAWEH the KING OF ANGEL ARMIES? No one. No one! You have bested our sins... But sin could never best You... I believe in You! Lord, help my unbelief! Reignite my heart! Recapture me! Revive me! In the name of Jesus Christ and by Your mercy guide me to return. Amen. [Source: Facebook Arianna Joy Schaffer]
God's timing is perfect. Sometimes it may seem like it isn't, but He is always on time, and I don't know why it amazes me.
Yesterday, I came across a twitter post from one of the people I follow on my @LIGHTforMI twitter account.