Recently, I was asked to speak at a Ladies’ Conference at a local church. Since I’ve asked God for opportunities to glorify Him and share my story, I didn’t feel like this was something I should pray about. This was an answer to many previous prayers. But I was still asking God to help me be sure this was something I should do.
That afternoon I was looking at face book and they had a place where you could click to see your personal Bible verse for the year. I thought it would be fun to see what mine was so I clicked and found this…
Acts 18:9b-10a, Do not be afraid, keep on speaking, do not be silent. For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you.
Wow! Talk about God writing your answer in the sky! This was the next best thing. But my excitement soon turned to near panic as I imagined myself standing up in front of several ladies. I can get bent out of shape in a heart beat about that!
I was tempted to back out when I realized how important it is to get my focus right. This isn’t about me. It’s about encouraging others to pursue a closer walk with the Lord and what an opportunity to give God glory for His goodness to me! These are good things and something God is all for. If I’m taking time to study God’s Word and praying, God will give me the words to say and the ability to say it.
In Bible times when God had a job for someone to do, they usually were not comfortable with it. They had to put their inhibitions aside and trust God to use them in spite of their insecurities.
The Bible doesn’t mention Noah’s feelings, but I would think even the most passionate animal activist would have had second thoughts as he watched as a pair of every kind of animal on earth entered the ark! Can you imagine the weight of responsibility he must have felt as he thought about caring for them as God shut that door! But he trusted God.
When God told Moses about His plan to use him to get the Israelites out of bondage in Egypt, Moses asked, Who am I, that I should go unto Pharoh? God assured Moses that He would be with him, but Moses went on to inform God that he didn’t talk well, wasn’t good with words, and stuttered and stammered….like God didn’t already know that!
I really like God’s answer to that. He said, Who hath made man’s mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the Lord? Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say. (Exodus 3 and 4)
When the angel appeared to Gideon and said, The Lord is with thee, thou mighty man of valor….go and save Israel from the Midianites, Gideon was definitely unsure of himself. He responded, Oh, my Lord, wherewith shall I save Israel? My family is poor and I am the least in my father’s house.
Again, the Lord assured Gideon that He would be with him and that Gideon would defeat the enemy. (Judges 6)
Saul must have struggled with insecurity because when God chose him to be the first king of Israel and it came time for the public announcement, Saul couldn’t be found! In 1 Samuel 10:22 it says he hid himself among the stuff. (They had cluttered even then!)
I can well imagine Queen Esther showing some signs of perspiration as she humbly but boldly approached King Ahasuerus’ throne. In hopes of thwarting Haman’s wicked plan to annihilate her people, this act of going before the king without being summoned could have gotten her killed! Good thing her husband hadn’t waken up on the wrong side of bed that morning!
Esther’s cousin, Mordecai, had asked her a thought-provoking question…one she couldn’t get away from. Who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this? (Esther 4:14). So she was willing to be used of God even if it meant her own demise.
I SO admire Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego for their courage and confidence in God in the midst of such an intimidating situation! Even though they knew burning in the fiery furnace was the punishment for not bowing to the golden image, they refused to worship anything but the one, true, living God. When they were told if they didn’t comply they would be thrown into the fiery furnace, they confidently said,
If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou has set up. (Daniel 3:17, 18)
Daniel must have been out of his comfort zone when they were getting ready to throw him to the lions. But Daniel was not hurt because he believed in his God. (Daniel 6:23)
When I look at the courage, faith, and trust these people had in God in the midst of their dire circumstances, my anxiety over standing in front of some sweet Christian ladies seems pretty silly. Yet, God understands me and knows my weakness.
In 2 Corinthians 12:9 God told Paul, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Then Paul said, Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Our weaknesses keep us depending on God. And when anything good comes from what we say or do, we know it was ALL God! May we not allow our fears and insecurities prevent us from getting out of our comfort zones so God can use us to accomplish His will in our lives. He wants to do great things through us. Let’s allow Him to!
Keep looking up,