Has the Holy Spirit ever prompted you to do something and you didn’t listen? I can think of numerous times in my life when I was prompted to do something. Sometimes it wasn’t just in a little whisper but an almost audible voice. “Go help that person!” “Go invite that person to church!” “Go witness!” “Make that person a meal!” Unfortunately, I have let my fear get the best of me many times during my life. I think to myself, “What if the person isn’t grateful? What if the person doesn’t like my cooking? What if I invite someone to go somewhere with me, and she says ‘no’?” I constantly doubt myself and talk myself out of blessing others. It’s a little embarrassing to admit this–especially when I think of all the times someone has decided to bless me. God tells us in Philippians 4:13 that we can do “all things through [Him] who gives us strength.” That verse tells us that it is not through OUR power. It is through HIS power. So, if we are prompted by the Holy Spirit to do something, then God is equipping us to do it, and we should not doubt.
It’s not difficult for the devil to talk me out of something. My big weakness is that I’m very self-conscious and very hard on myself. It all started in junior high and high school. I was plagued by thoughts that everyone was more popular than me, prettier than me, thinner than me, smarter than me…I constantly put myself down. Even though I’m older, the devil still uses that to tempt me into not obeying what God wants me to do. My self-doubt, I’m sad to say, has probably caused me disobey what God has told me to do more than I’ve obeyed.
In the past year, God has showed me that I need to start meeting others’ needs even if it takes me out of my comfort zone. I’ve realized that I need to look at every person and recognize that every person has a need. The way that he showed me this was through a marriage conference. My husband and I were going, and God had laid on my heart to invite a couple of my friends. They kept coming to mind, but every time I thought about them, I would think to myself, “They don’t even go to my church. They are going to say no. Their marriages are fine.” Well, I went to the conference with my husband. Lots of marriages were saved and strengthened. It was a lot of fun, and we all learned so many strategies for making a marriage work. About a month later I noticed that something was wrong with both of my friends. I learned their marriages were actually in serious trouble, and I was left with the guilt of knowing that I was prompted by the Holy Spirit to do something, and I refused because I was too afraid of being rejected. Who knows what kind of difference it could have made? I started questioning: “God what am I doing? When did I start letting my fear be bigger than Your power?”
Since then, I’ve resolved to make a change for the better. I’m certainly not perfect, and I know I will fail again, but I refuse to let my fear take over me. In the several months, I have made it my mission to find ways to intentionally bless others. I’m certainly not saying that to brag. I’m telling you this because when you obey God, great things happen, and YOU end up getting the blessing.
Last year we moved into a new neighborhood. Our new neighbors seemed very nice. They were my parents’ age, no kids, but they didn’t have any family in this state. And God prompted me prompted to ask them over for Christmas dinner. I kept second guessing myself. “It’s Christmas. Who wants to spend Christmas with people you don’t know well? What if they think my kids are too much? What if they say no?” But, I obeyed, and to my surprise, they said yes.
After everyone left that night, my neighbor came over to me in tears and said, “I can’t thank you enough for inviting us. This is one of the best Christmases we’ve ever had. This is one of the hardest holidays for us. My father died ten years ago on Christmas morning, so we just don’t celebrate on Christmas anymore.” I was in complete shock! I had no idea…but, God knew!
Since then, she has also told me that she feels that God moved them to their house for a reason. She always wanted children and couldn’t have them. She even volunteered for years in the Big Sister program before they moved to our state, and it just so happens that I have three girls. We are now like family. She and her husband are like grandparents to my kids. If their garage door is up, my kids are in it. They take my kids out on their birthdays, and they are great babysitters! Now I’m left to wonder: What if I hadn’t obeyed? What would I have missed out on?
I have learned that when God says—Do it—He’s already planned the resources necessary for me to complete the task, so I don’t have to fear!
There is a song by Matthew West called “My Own Little World.” It’s about a guy who was living a life only concerned about himself until God showed him that there was something more to life. There is a part in the song that says, “Father, break my heart for what breaks yours. Give me open hands and open doors. Put Your light in my eyes and let me see that my own little world is not about me.” My prayer is that God will break my heart to see those who have needs so that I can be the hands and feet of Jesus.
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