Search Results for: stepping out in faith

Stepping Out In Faith

“I came to you in weakness and fear and much trembling, and my message and my proclamation were not with persuasive words of wisdom but with a demonstration of spirit and power, so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom but on the power of God.” ~1 Corinthians 2:3-5

Today I share a story with you. For about a month now, God has been telling me to collect Bible verses – the hopeful, comforting ones – and put together little cards that each have a verse on them, and keep them on hand for whenever I encounter someone who might need God’s word. I’m not one to push my faith on people, so this could potentially be scary, but God just said to make them and hold on to them for the time being….this seemed innocuous enough, so I was all for it.

Today though, God said it was time to put those verses to use. Specifically, to attach them to some extra soda and chips I have around the house, and give them out to the homeless (side note to the future recipients of these: sorry it’s not healthier). See, my roommate’s job sends him home with a box of soda every week, and a box has about 50 cans. Neither of us really drink it much, so suffice to say we are drowning in the stuff.

Anyway, with this directive in mind, I was thinking about who I would ask to join me on this project, and God kept putting a name in my head. It’s a girl I’ve only met twice, and barely know. Not to mention the fact that she’s quite possibly the busiest person in New York. But God kept putting her name in my head. So, I decided to obey. I texted the girl (yes I apologized for creepily talking to her out of the blue), reminded her who I was and what God was telling me, and told her I was letting her know because I felt led of God to do so, so she could see what God told her about it and there you have it.

Over the course of the next few days I hope to hear back from her, and through her response I guess we’ll see how good my spiritual hearing is. If I was wrong and I wasn’t really supposed to tell her, she’ll just refuse, and God will use it as a tool to teach me how to better hear His voice. Either way, it’s a good thing and I’m glad I took a step out in faith.

Also, I have to admit to you all that over the past few months I’ve struggled with some symptoms of depression. I’ve had them off and on, but have never been diagnosed. Mostly I seek God for it, and He gets me through it (thanks Jesus!). However, it has affected my performance around the house. My housekeeping and other roommate duties have not held up to my typical standard. My roommate has been so incredibly patient with me, but I know it wears on him. So, I’ve decided to pray about it with him. I’ve always prided myself on an ability to cook and keep a house, but you know what? If I can lay down that pride, and come to God saying I haven’t been doing that great of a job and I do need help even with non-spiritual tasks, God will get the glory for any success in this house. And if I have to trade some pride so God gets more glory and I become a testimony just by going through my day, that’s a hit I am happy to take. My transparency might be temporarily embarrassing, but I trust God will take care of it. So it’s time to let Him!!

I’ll keep you all posted as to what happens in the days to come. Meanwhile, today I invite you to check in with God, and just spend some time listening to His voice. Even if it’s just a few minutes, He desires to spend time with us. When we give Him that time, He guides us from there. What’s He telling you today? Are you ready and willing to hear it and follow? Best of luck, and God bless. May God do a work in your heart as profoundly as He is in mine.

~Rebekah A

He Qualifies the Called

“For the spirit of God does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline.” ~ 2 Timothy 1:7

“But He said to me, ‘my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness’. Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” ~ 2 Corinthians 12:9

HeQualifiesTheCalled

I have been feeling a sense of urgency lately to move for God, and to step into the purpose He has for me. I don’t have a super clear picture of what that purpose is, but I know I’m supposed to move towards it. The more I talk to people, the more I see that this sense of urgency is prevalent across the board. We’re in a time to solidify our steps, and match our walk a little closer with our Father’s.

Equally prevalent, though, is an accompanying sense of fear to go along with the push to move. We feel the urge to step out; then just as quickly, we talk ourselves out of it. We convince ourselves that we aren’t ready, that we don’t have the right skills for this, that we haven’t done all the prerequisites. So we wait to move, ‘until the time is right’ or ‘until we’re ready’.

I can’t and won’t presume to know when the time is right for anything. That’s in God’s hands. But I know what happened when Moses didn’t feel that he was capable of leading the people of Israel out of Egypt, and what happened was that God made him capable. Moses wasn’t a great speaker, but was called to speak. Because God called him to speak, God gave him the words to say and God gave him the fluency to deliver his speeches without a single stutter. God qualified him to meet his calling.

God qualifies all of us. Our own limitations don’t matter, because we don’t act on our own merit. It’s not by our skills, our talents, our achievements, and our strengths that we make things happen. It’s by God’s grace. And it’s in our weakness that we learn to be fully dependent on that grace and to accept it. So embrace your weakness, and step out anyway – God will provide everything you need. God qualifies us sufficiently to do the task He calls us to do. That sense of fear is merely a trick of the enemy, trying to thwart God’s plan. And we mustn’t give in to it. Because when it comes down to it, really all we have to do is show up. Go where God says to. Follow the path, and let God take care of what happens. It’s His calling for us, so it’s on Him to equip us. And He will. All we have to do is show up to let Him.

If any of you are struggling with stepping out in faith or in walking the next steps of your path, let me know at being.rebekah.a@gmail.com and I will pray for you.

God bless!

~Rebekah A

A Cause To Rejoice

“Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the Lord is finished.” ~ 1 Chronicles 28

I have some updates for you all. First, I posted in Stepping Out in Faith about a project God was calling me to. He wanted me to make little cards with Bible verses on them, and distribute them with food/drinks to homeless people. Or really to anyone on the street I passed who may have needed His word that day. To help me in this, He put a name in my head, of a girl I don’t know well. In obedience, I texted her anyway. I am very excited to say that I’ve since heard back from her! She didn’t think it was creepy at all that I texted her out of the blue, and is going to do her best to help me if she can. Yay!! Thank you Jesus for knowing the exact way things need to be done, and for putting it on my heart. Next steps involve finalizing the cards themselves, but mostly they involve prayer, prayer, and more prayer. God is orchestrating this, and I don’t want to get in His way!

Second, like I posted in The Heart Of The Matter, I fasted yesterday in an effort to start shedding some worldly qualities I have in my heart. Basically, I have a hard time seeing with God’s eyes and His heart, and my words, actions, and choices reflect that. Instead of being His vessel all the time, I’m His vessel sometimes, and the rest of the time I’m getting in His way. In turn, He has slowly but surely been shedding light on these areas in my heart. His Word is a perfect mirror, and through it you see a true reflection of yourself. Having brought it to my awareness, however, He made it very clear that the next choice was mine. God is light, and can cast out all darkness. Darkness can’t exist where He is. So those “dark” areas I had in my heart are there by my own choice. Would I continue choosing to block Him out in these moments, or would I choose to submit them to Him so He can fill  my heart with light?

I chose God, and it started with a fast. The Bible tells us that some things can only be cast out with prayer and fasting, and yesterday I turned that principle on myself. The thing about fasting, for me at least, is that the second I take those steps to sacrifice for my Father and to grow in Him, He rewards me exponentially. I feel His presence so much more strongly on those days, and I can feel myself rejoicing to be so close to Him, and Him rejoicing to be so close to me! Never do I feel so purely and tangibly loved as I do when I make this small weak effort to seek wisdom from my Father, and feel His total joy in return. He wanted my heart. Yesterday I gave it to Him and He was happy about it! I didn’t even do anything special – it was just for 24 hours. Nonetheless, I – who am nothing and nobody without Him – made Him rejoice in my presence the way I do in His. That’s how much He loves us, and it’s a beautiful thing.

Anyway, I started out just praying to Him. Every hunger pang I felt was a call to prayer, and I even danced around the house singing to Him! It wasn’t even an actual song, just a refrain I made up (“Take me to the rock, that is higher than I; Father give me grace, to finally lay down my pride…”), but it served my purpose. Throughout the course of the day, I relived conversations and events where my actions were less than stellar, and I repented them. I prayed for a change of perspective and a shift in my priorities.

That night, my roommate came home after a rough day – he’s nearing his busiest work time of the year, he has been sick, and he’s even sicker from the medication he’s been on. And he said something completely innocuous, but inadvertently said it in a harsh tone. Normally, I’d be hurt or offended by this (pathetic, I know, but this is exactly why I fasted). This time around, it did occur to me to be hurt, I’d be lying if I said it didn’t. But this time, I brought God into the picture and said “God take my thoughts and heart right now and guard them. This isn’t important; this conversation and words mean nothing. There’s nothing bad here, nothing to be upset about, so take it away and help me to see that. In this moment, keep me focused on what’s important.”

See, I didn’t ask for perfection. I asked for change. Change in my heart and in my perspective cannot come when my choices and actions remain the same. For change to come, I need to give god the chance to work it. God, for His part, answered my prayer immediately. I got my change in perspective. I saw right away when something wasn’t important. What’s slower to change are my actions and emotions. There may be a day when I don’t have to ask for God’s help with these little insignificant things. There may be a day when I don’t even notice such comments, or don’t react to them at all. I sincerely hope so. For now, my change in perspective is a great start, and I’m in a place of submission for the rest.

Thank you Jesus that you are constant and faithful to us. I thank You that You are merciful with Your mirror, and bring awareness without condemnation. You will not forsake me in spite of my flaws; You created me and gave me life and worth, and You think I’m worth fixing and refining rather than forsaking. I thank you that you are beautiful and give me things to work on daily. I pray for continued guidance as I follow You and as You complete this work in my heart. Show me how to love You and let You fully use me as I wish to be used by You. Help to stand strong in the work required to get there. And Jesus? I love You.

If any of you have been seeing yourselves through God’s mirror lately, you are seeing that you are less than perfect. Take heart and know that it’s ok. God doesn’t do things idly; He’s not giving you these moments of pain/shame/embarrassment just to hurt you. He is drawing your awareness to shortcomings because He thinks you – yes, YOU – are greater than your flaws. He knows you better than you know yourself, and knows that you are worth refining and fixing. He knows you’re too great to forsake. We all are. So He won’t. All He wants is us to come before and spend the time to let Him work in us. He wants to rejoice in our presence the way we rejoice in His. His love for you is that strong; so embrace it! And if you need some extra prayer to get you through, or even just want to share how God is moving in your life, write to me at being.rebekah.a@gmail.com. I don’t know how to make that a link, so I’m sorry about that, but I’d still love to hear from you!

God bless!

~Rebekah A

Unrelenting

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Hi everyone! It has been a long time since I’ve last posted. The reasons are varied, but not too profound, so I’ll spare you the details.

Basically I just took some time to seek Him and grow in Him. I’ve increased my study of His word. I’ve increased my worship in both my heart and my home. I’ve started stepping out of my comfort zone in prayer – with intercession, with strangers and friends alike. I’ve been playing piano as a form of worship, rather than just playing. I’ve been getting more discernment on my visions and words for people. I’ve been working on going deeper – the depths of His heart call to mine and I have been trying to respond. This has involved Him revealing things in the depths of my heart that are so ingrained I just chalked them up to personality traits. But they’re not. They’re learned behaviors that get in the way of true intimacy with Him. Most recently, I (along with Rebekah L) have been involved in a book study with a group of Marshallese ladies – it is amazing to see God’s heart for this tiny island nation unfold.

Suffice to say it’s been a process – a beautiful exercise of being stretched in love and faith. Much has happened – about a squillion blog posts worth. And I’ve learned some things. I’ve learned it’s ok to be lost – He’ll always, always find me. I’ve learned that faith isn’t always pretty, but He’s captivated by the sight of it anyway. I’ve learned His grace is beautiful and will wash over me even when I least deserve it. But the bottom line is, what I’ve learned the most, is that Jesus loves me as I am just as much as He would love me if I were perfect. But even though His love for me is at this moment fiercer and stronger than anything I have ever felt, He will not give up on the girl He initially created – on the one He created me to be. The fullness of the identity He has for me. His mercy is literally unending, but He will never give up shaping me and refining the shape of my heart until I am fully, wholly His. Until no part of me belongs to the past I left behind.

The same is true for us all. No matter where we’ve been lately. No matter how far we fall, no matter where our starting point is. No matter if we’re at the peak of success or at rock bottom. His love is unrelenting, and He will love us right to the person He created in the first place.

To that end, I give you a song of the day. There is beauty in His love, just as there is beauty in your heart. Where your hangups and imperfections start, so does His grace. His yoke is easy, His peace is abundant and I pray you are washed in it today.

God bless!

Rebekah A

Judgement

And why behold you the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but consider not the beam that is in your own eye? ~ Matthew 7:3

I recently was asked to testify at a church I was going to since it was my last service with them (another month another hospital). It was literally “okay, everyone sit down and will [Rebekah M] please give a testimony since it is your last service with us?” No time for preparation. And so I stumbled through trying to encourage others that I’ve found that as I struggle to keep God first, even when it’s 10PM at night and I’m realizing that it’s been hours since I last spoke with God, He’s still happy to hear from me.  I happened to mention that I don’t understand how people with families do this since I’m having a hard time as is.

This led one of the members of that church to message me and say that he felt it was my chosen profession that is causing this in my life. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m currently in medical school. Yes, it’s going to get harder before it gets easier, but when God sets something up in your life you dig in, grab His hand, and go along for the ride He’s taking you on. To try to tell a future doctor that it is the profession they have chosen that is taking them away from God and that it will only continually get worse when they themselves are NOT a doctor is incredibly frustrating to be on the receiving end of.

The biggest problem I have with what he has said to me is to continually refer to me becoming a doctor as “the profession you have chosen” when I took two years between college and medical school to figure out if I should even apply to medical school then, when I was applying I asked God to get me in if He wanted it.  Beyond that, when I was flying out of the city of my current medical school, I looked down and I said to God “Lord, if this is truly what You want for me, You know- I’d be stepping out in complete faith- no friends, no family, no church. I’d be completely reliant on You if You send me there.” Lo and behold, that was the school I ended up going to.  As He continued to bless me with passing tests when I knew I shouldn’t, and even helped me in a situation with a staff member, it continued to solidify in my heart that I am in His Will.  The churches I have had to visit because of being sent from hospital to hospital have always been His timing and I know His hand is on my life.

All that said, this only pushes me to solidify within myself to be mindful of how I think of others and their walk with Christ.  I must not judge others and their walk because I do not live their life.  I don’t know what God has and has not called them to.  I cannot say it is not the road God has for them.  Let us all keep in mind that we should be careful of judging others and their walk for only God knows what is in the heart and we should look at our own walk before looking at others.

Rebekah M. 

More Than Enough

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin…if that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow thrown into the fire, will He not much more clothe you – you of little faith? So do not worry, saying ‘what shall we eat?’ or ‘what shall we drink?’ or ‘what shall we wear?’. For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” ~ Matthew 6:25-33

This verse has been stuck in my head for several days now. I read it, and I instantly want to worship the Lord. How mighty and loving and faithful of a God do we serve, that all we have to do is seek Him, and follow Him, and He provides for us. In a world where nothing is free, and in fact seemingly gets pricier by the day, I almost can’t even wrap my head around it.

Yet, as Christians, God calls us to do just this. Our worries are not supposed to be of material things, because God tells us time and time again that He can control material things. He’s bigger than our daily problems. If we do nothing else in life but seek the Lord, and submit our lives to Him, He can and will provide everything we need to live it. Everything. When the Israelites escaped from Egypt and were stuck starving in the desert with no food, God rained food down from the heavens to provide for them. They were taking a risk, but doing so in faith. They were following their God, and He did not lead them astray. Rather, He worked a daily miracle – literally raining food from the sky – so His people would simply be provided for.

Rebekah had a similar experience. She had no idea what she was getting into. All she knew was that God wanted her to follow an old man for 500 miles. So she did, and was not only provided for, but blessed with a husband and 2 sons. And not only that, but she was brought directly into the lineage of Jesus Christ. How faithful God is to those who are faithful to Him!!

So many of our sacrifices and decisions are accompanied by fear. But God not only tells us our decisions, but gives us every tool we need to live with them and move forward. All we need to do is depend on Him to do it. That can mean stepping out before we know the outcome, but for me, it’s a huge comfort. I know that life has its scary moments, and its everyday worries. I also know my life belongs to my Savior, and He won’t forsake me. That fact alone can turn ‘scary’ into ‘exciting’. I can’t wait to see where God takes me next!

Jesus, help me to remember and trust that You are a God of ‘more than enough’. Help me to stay in the place of dependence that You want me to be in. You are not only my Counselor, guiding and shaping my life and calling me to my actions and standards, but in every step you are also my Provider. All I have to do is act in faith, and you will take care of the rest. You are truly all I need, and I thank you Lord for being so constant and faithful.

~Rebekah A