I recently started a Beth Moore study entitled “A Woman’s Heart, God’s Dwelling Place.” One of the verses we read during the first week focused on God’s call to Abram in Genesis 12:1:
The Lord said to Abram, ‘Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.’
Well, yikes. That’s a lot of leaving. God was asking Abram to give up a great deal.
Beth Moore had this to say about the passage:
Have you noticed that God often requires us to leave our comfort zones to answer our calling? That through which God hones us is rarely within the parameters of the familiar.
“Yes!” I wanted to shout, when I read that. I have noticed. And noticed. And noticed.
Raising kids (
especially teenagers) has pushed me out of my comfort zone. So has writing books for God’s glory.
You see, I can’t write books. I don’t have the time or the energy or the vision or the ability required. I really don’t. I’m very aware of this fact, and so it’s incredibly scary in some ways to sign a contract saying that I’ll deliver a book I’ve yet to write on some future date. I’m not even a talented plotter! When I open a Word document to begin a new story, I don’t have much of a clue about what’s going to happen or why.
The only thing that enables me to sign contracts for future books? Faith. Each day when I write, I step out in faith, trying my best to believe that the Lord will supply the time, the energy, the vision, and the ability I need to get me through that day.
Dr. Jim Denison, my former pastor, used to say:
Take on something so big you’ll fail unless God is in it.
That’s a scary instruction, isn’t it? We don’t like to take on things so big that we’ll fail. We’d rather take on things we can safely accomplish in our own power. However, if we stick to things we can accomplish in our own power, we don’t give God a chance to do the mighty things through us that only He can do.
As Abram discovered later in the Old Testament, the God who’d called Him was faithful to equip him and could be counted upon to keep his promises. When God calls us to do something for Him, and we answer with obedience, our insufficiency collides with God’s sufficiency. And in that moment, and in all the moments that follow as we continue to roll up our sleeves and make ourselves available for His work, we learn that His sufficiency is far, far more than enough.
That doesn’t mean the work isn’t hard. The work is often hard, ladies. Really hard. But, in Him, the One who’s conquered hard things, the work becomes do-able.
2 Corinthians 13:9 says:
We are glad whenever we are weak but you are strong
It’s in my weakness that I’ve found His strength in my life. Is it the same for you?
I’m pondering these truths this week, as I rewrite my next novel for the final time. I’m amazed afresh at the evidence that God was able to write yet another book through me. He’s been trustworthy so many times in the past and he’s shown himself to be The Trustworthy One yet again. His sufficiency is especially meaningful to me this time, because I was struggling with some digestive issues last spring when I was on deadline for this book. I was physically weak at times. I couldn’t seem to find the heart of this story with a flashlight at times. I disliked a huge element of the rough draft of this book, so I tore the manuscript apart and rewrote it completely before submitting it to my editors.
And yet. And yet God got it done. In His strength. I can see it as I read back over it. I can see where He showed up, and layered His truths into this story… despite me.
He is the author of all things.
I love this quote from Christian Watchman Nee that’s embedded in Lisa Whittle’s Put Your Warrior Boots On:
God never asks us to do anything we can do. He asks us to live a life which we can never live and to do a work which we can never do. Yet, by his grace, we are living it and doing it.
Amen! Amen on this Friday morning.
When has the Lord called you to leave your comfort zone in His service?