Below is a post from the Sisters In Christ group that I am a part of from Facebook. I felt I had to copy and paste this message here because this is a subject that I need to hear more of! For the past several months, I have felt that God was speaking to me and calling me to do something. I was getting frustrated because I could not figure out what it was that He was trying to get me to do! I want to serve my Lord, and I want to do it in the manner that He wants me to. But now, after reading this, and several other devotionals and messages and such that I am subscribed to, I believe I may have a little clarification, at least for now.
I have no doubt in my mind that God is asking me to do something, but I believe now that I was looking at the big things He eventually wants me to do. I believe now that God is preparing me for something he wants me to do. He knows I need a lot of help, education and understanding of His word, and now I believe that is what He is taking me through. I believe God is telling me that I need to make these improvements on myself before I can expect to be capable of helping anyone else! And when I thought about it for just a few minutes, it was like a slap in the face! DUH!!! I’m not the example of Jesus that I need to be, not yet. I don’t know what to say to someone to witness to them, not yet. I mean, I know the basics, but I don’t know the scriptures to lead them to, but I’m learning them.
I believe God is telling me that I have to get myself together and behaving in a manner that is glorifying to Him, before He can lead me to bigger tasks, in fact, I know He is telling me this. How am I so sure? I have been asking people all day, how do you know WHAT it is that God is calling you to do. How do you figure that out? Well, I’m seeing now, all I had to do is read a little more and I would know the answer to my question. I will know when God wants me to know, when God feels that I am ready for that step! Right now, that strong feeling that God is calling me to do something is God telling me to get ready. He is telling me to read and study His word so I can get ready. He is telling me to fix my own life and get much, MUCH, closer to a Christ-like example than I am now.
Right now I am starting to realize my faults more clearly. Don’t get me wrong, I have ALWAYS known I had faults. I am not the kind of person to believe that I am above or better than any person in any way! I have a LOT of room for improvements, and a long way to go to be the kind of Christ-like example that I believe God wants me to be.
I have a tendency to anger easily and when I get angry or upset, I speak, or usually write, before I think something out well. I act on my feelings rather than stopping to think of how God would want me to handle this situation. I also don’t let go of things easily. I mean, once I get angry or feel like I have been wronged, I hold on to the negative feelings I have for the person or persons involved. I know I have to stop that. I think it is time for me to back up and start asking myself in every aspect of my life, what would Jesus do? I know that may sound like a silly way of looking at it, but I don’t think so. If it makes me stop and think and PRAY, GO TO GOD’S WORD BEFORE I RESPOND, then it is what I need to do.
A big part of my problem in learning what God has in mind for me is that I was not raised in church. Sure, I went with friends from time to time and I was baptized at 16 at a moment of strong peer pressure. I knew what I was doing, but I was doing it all for the wrong reason. I walked the aisle and was baptized simply because that’s what my friend wanted me to do, and I wanted to be accepted, so I did it! She didn’t know I wasn’t really understanding what was going on like I should. She was trying to make sure her best friend was going to get into heaven and I still love her dearly to this day for that. Doing it for the wrong reason was all on me. I was afraid if I didn’t that I would end up loosing my friend for some silly reason and I didn’t want that.
I am now 46 years old and last year I walked the aisle again. This time, it was for the RIGHT reason. I had prayed many times over the past 10 years or so and asked Jesus to come into my heart and take over my life. I prayed, and prayed, and prayed. I wasn’t just praying at bad times or when something was wrong, I was praying this prayer repeatedly, at any particular time. I would pray and tell God that I know I am a sinner and that He had sent Jesus to die on the cross for me, so that I could be saved from an eternity in hell, and I was scared to death of ending up in hell. But last year, in July, I finally heard the voice that told me I wasn’t finished, I had something else I needed to do. I was praying and asking God if I needed to be rebaptized or was I ok since I had been praying to Him? Finally, it was the light finally turned on in my brain that told me I did indeed need to go through it again, because I was not sincere 30 years ago. I needed to profess my faith and acknowledge that I understood Jesus had died for ME, and for MY sins (and there were many), but that if I just trusted in Him, asked God to forgive me, He would! But I also understood that I needed to follow that profession of faith with baptism. I needed to start from square one basically.
I mean, I know I had been saved many years ago, but I was not following the teachings of Jesus. I wasn’t behaving very Christ-like. Someone could look at me and have no idea whether I was saved or not, because of the way I was living, treating other people, behaving. I was a MEAN person. I remember one evening when my husband and I were arguing about something and he told me that I was acting just like my dad, I got so angry and hurt by that simple statement! I could not believe that this man who claimed to love me, would tell me that! Especially since he knew the history of me and my father. That story is a whole other book itself! But, as I thought about it over several days and weeks, and started listening to myself, and driving my kids away from me, I realized he was right! I was a MEAN person, acting just like my father had, and I was pushing my family away from me. I already had very limited friends and they only saw the parts of my personality that I wanted them to see! But now I was driving my family away!
My daughter, who I had always felt close to, started pushing away from me. She was married and had children of her own, lives next door to us so we were VERY close to the grandbabies. But at some point I said just the right thing that made her decide that she needed to separate from me for some time. That was so painful, and I only made it worse because the Mrs. Fix-it in me wanted to know what was wrong and how could I fix it, and she would tell me, when I could get her to at least answer a text or forced her to talk to me by going to her house and sitting in her living room, that I was horrible and she just didn’t want to be around me! Imagine being told by your own child, whom you love dearly and would never dream of intentionally hurting, that you had been doing just that for several years. I had been doing the same thing to her that my parents had done to me. I was a hateful, mean person and she was tired of it! That was a rude awakening for me, even though it took several months and many, many tears before I would admit that it was indeed my fault an I needed to change or I was going to lose all the people that I loved for good! That scared me enough to seek help. I will go into all that later, but for now just understand that I FINALLY realized that I could not control everything around me. In fact, I was having to face the fact that I had NO control! It was all in God’s hands and I was battling against His wishes every day! My life was miserable!!
That makes me so thankful that I had enough sense to actually start praying again. I had stopped for several years, didn’t really see the point! What was in it for me? But now I realized that I couldn’t look at it like that. I mean I still prayed some pretty selfish prayers, don’t get me wrong! I was asking God to fix these problems between my daughter and me and then my son and me, rather than asking for guidance on how I was supposed to handle the situation, I was basically telling God how I wanted Him to handle it! That wasn’t working!
When my daughter had finally started talking to me again a little, she told me about this church that she had gone to a few times and how much she really liked it, so I thought I would give it a try. I asked my husband to go with me, but he wasn’t ready to do that just yet because I was going to a church other than the one his family had always attended, and when you live in a fairly small town, that is a big deal to a country boy! So, I decided I was going to ask him to go, but I wouldn’t push. I mean, I didn’t even know if I was going to go back after the first day or not yet. But I went.
I arrived at the same time as my daughter and her family and walked in with them. It is hard for some to believe, but I am actually a shy person!! Well, what happened when I walked into the foyer of that church shook me to the core!! As I walked in, and had made maybe 2-3 steps inside the door, I felt this warm feeling all over me, like a hugging feeling, and I heard the “still, small voice”. I heard “welcome home my child”. I will admit it kind of spooked me because I had never heard God speak to me so clearly before as He did at that very moment! Welcome home! WOW!!
We went in and sat down, sang some wonderful songs, some I had never heard but I liked them. They were more contemporary than I was used to. And then Bro. Jared stepped up and started preaching. He spoke straight to me, every single word! Again, I was kind of spooked because now I was seeing that I was here for a reason!! And to top it off, everyone tried to make it a point of coming to where I sat and welcome me. No one looked down their nose at me, or acted as if I was not worth their time. Every single person that I managed to speak to that day made me feel welcome.
On the drive home, I remember thinking “I like this feeling!” I felt good, even if Bro. Jared had stomped all over my toes! I needed it. And the next week, same thing; and the next and the next. Finally after attending for several weeks and my toes finally getting feeling back into them, I worked up the nerve to go and talk with Bro. Jared.
That was a difficult talk, but then again, it was so natural feeling. I told him about my history and the fact that I wanted to be baptized again, and after we spoke for a while, he said it sounded like a good idea to him. He had asked me about my salvation and I told him that I had NO DOUBT that I was saved. I wanted to be baptized so that I would feel like it was finally official and real! I wanted to do it for the RIGHT reason this time!
On July 18, 2010, I was baptized! Halleluiah! I felt renewed, like a totally different person! I mean I knew I still had a lot of work to do, but at least I was on the right track, FINALLY! All I can say is THANK YOU LORD FOR BEING SO PATIENT WITH ME!!!
So, as for now, I am not trying to figure out what it is that God wants me to do. I am finding out the areas of my life that need to be fixed and working on them. I want to follow Jesus and do what my Heavenly Father wants me to do, and I will, when He is ready for me to take that step. Until then, He will continue to show me where I need work, and I will continue to work on myself.
If you have read all of this, Bless your heart! I hope that maybe someone can read my story and relate to it, and maybe I can help someone that way. I want to help people come to Jesus! I’m not much of a fisherman, but I want to be a fisher of men for Jesus!
My prayer for today is this: Father, I thank you so much for your patience with me and for sending me to these various devotional sites and the sermons that I have been hearing lately that are directed at me. I thank you for pointing out my areas that need work and for loving me enough to show me how to fix me. I know I have a long way to go Lord, but I know that you will be there with me every step of the way, and I thank you for that! Lord, I ask you to forgive me for being so hardheaded and not listening to you for so long. I ask for your guidance as I carry on through the day today and the rest of this week with things I need and want to do. Help me to do these things in such a way that you, Lord, will be glorified by what I do or say. I love you Lord, and I thank you so very much for waiting for me. In Jesus’ precious name I pray these things, Amen
How Will You Be Remembered by Sisters In Christ (Women’s Fellowship) on Friday, May 13, 2011 at 10:52am Do you ever wonder how you will be remembered? What people will say about you after you have left this world for your heavenly home? Do you think they will say something like, “Oh, yes. I remember her. She was always doing something nice for someone else. Even when she was tired or needed help herself, she always tried to do something for someone else.” or “Well, she was a sharp dresser, but…..” or will they say something like, “Who are you talking about? I don’t remember her at all.” Oh, not to be remembered; not a very comforting thought. Or only to be remembered because of your vanity…not a desirable choice either. Proverbs 10:7 The memory of the righteous is blessed, but the name of the wicked will rot.” (NKJV) We are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus (paraphrased) 2 Corinthians 5:21. Therefore we must live and walk righteously. All this means is to do what is right and that can be summed up in this next verse: Micah 6:8 he has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. (NKJV) First we are to always strive to do good and not evil. To love and not hate. To help and not hurt. To bless and not curse. To give and not take. To honor and not defile. Secondly, to do justly, the definition of justly is: fairness or reasonableness, especially in the way people are treated or decisions are made. We are sanctioned to be fair in our dealings as if in a court of law. If the actions of a person require that they be rewarded then treat them justly and reward them. If their actions bring down a punishment upon them then again, they must be treated justly. The punishment must fit the crime. Thirdly, love mercy Matthew 5:5 Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy. (NKJV) To turn your back on someone who is in need is not being merciful. If you desire mercy in your life, and we all need it…we first have to show mercy. And lastly, walk humbly with your God. God does not like ‘Proud’.” Romans 12:3 Do not think more of yourselves than you ought.” Acknowledge that you are able to do the things that you do because God gave you the gifting and the ability to do so. We can do nothing in and of ourselves. Do not boast in your success except you boast on God who enabled you to be successful. Reference 2 Corinthians 10:17 Choose to be among the righteousness and the memory of you will be blessed. For the memory of the wicked WILL rot. Prayer: Lord, I pray that you order my steps. Cause me to walk righteously. Give me a heart of mercy. To help where I can, to pray for those in need and to deal justly with all whom I come into contact with. Never allow me to be prideful but to give glory to you in all things. For without You Lord, I am nothing. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen. Written by Felicia Ann Green Gillian