June 23, 2022
Not Now, Lord
Jesus replied, ‘Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching’ (John 14:23a, NIV).
Friend to Friend
There is a feature on my cell phone that allows me to decline an incoming call. There are a thousand reasons why I might choose to hit the “decline” button when my phone rings. Sometimes I have a deadline to meet. Decline. Sometimes a call comes in when I’m mid-conversation with a friend or when I’m connecting with my family. Decline.
Similarly, there are times in my life when I try to ignore the promptings of the Holy Spirit as if I were declining a cell phone call. Times when I just don’t feel like doing what I know God wants me to do. Times when I don’t want to hear the still small voice that whispers to my soul: “forgive him” – “release your anger” – “humble yourself” or “trust Me.”
One such time took place several years ago in Tennessee. It was after the final session of a ministry event. I was focused and fervent, determined to head home to my family as quickly as possible. I busied myself packing up my resource table and prepping to leave. While I was mid-busy, a woman came up to me with her friend. I was courteous to them, but in a “see-you-later” kind of way.
Not getting my subtle clues, this woman inquired excitedly about the book I was writing. I lifted my head with surprise as she said, “I can’t wait to read your book! I just know you have an amazing testimony!”
Then she and her friend stood there expectantly. Decline.
Okay, feel my pain here. It was day three of a three-day event! I was exhausted. So, I did what any normal fleshy woman would do. I told God, Not now, Lord. I’ve done what I came to do and now I’m going home to my family. I’m tired, slightly grumpy, definitely hungry, and done. I can’t tell these girls about my abortion right now! Nope. Please don’t ask me to!
I looked up at these two sweet women and, with a forced smile, said, “Yeah, I’ve got a doozy of a story, but don’t we all? Thank God for grace.”
There! Now they should leave me alone, I thought.
But God kept nudging my heart. Tell them, Gwen.
Before I had a chance to continue my chat with the Lord, another couple of women came to join the conversation. I was so not amused.
God, are You kidding me? We’re done here!
But He kept nudging.
I finally conceded and shared my testimony with the six women who had gathered. Within minutes, two of the six were crying. They’d had abortions as well and for years had lived under the weight of shame. We instantly became a bonded band of blubbering sisters. The story of my redemption from brokenness and the beauty of healing I found in Christ had become a tool in the hands of God that afternoon.
What had once been a wound became a weapon… but only because I accepted the call.
Jesus told his disciples that if they loved Him, they would obey His commands and teachings (John 14:15-27). A simple if-then statement. If you love Me, then you will obey. He also told them that when He returned to the Father in heaven, He would send the Holy Spirit to teach, to guide in truth, to convict of sin and to remind believers of what Jesus taught (John 16:7-14). To help us. To empower us.
The Spirit of God lives within every believer. He equips us for each task as we yield to His leading. When God prompts us to do something on His behalf, He is faithful to lead the way and to bless our obedience – for His own glory.
It’s all about His glory.
He simply wants our willingness and obedience.
Friend, God’s plans need to be our plans … even if His plans seem to “interrupt” our plans.
Let’s be women who accept His call. Are you willing today?
Dear Lord, I’m sorry for the times I’ve chosen my plan over Your plan. Align my will and heart to Yours. Help me to live responsively to the promptings of Your Spirit, for Your glory. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.