Red Light, Green Light -- A Repost

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Have you ever been so afraid of getting out of God's will that you found yourself faced with complete and total indecision?  You knew a decision had to be made, but after much prayer and no answer (from what you could tell), you were at a loss at what to do next.  I found myself in such a place last week.

Being in the last stages of a new book, I found myself at the point of decision--which book do I work on next?  You see, the final stages of my current book are the tedious points of formatting and preparing for publication.  Because these are such tedious tasks, I can only work on them for short periods of time lest I go mad!  In the stretches of time in between, I thought it best to start on a new project.  I was ready to do some writing.  Not editing.  Not formatting.  Writing!  But with a long list of book ideas, I had no idea where to begin.

So, I prayed and prayed and prayed some more.  I waited for an answer.  I searched for God's will.  But after nearly two weeks, I still hadn't written a word because I couldn't decide which book God wanted me to write next.  I was tired and frustrated and couldn't figure out why the Lord was making this so difficult. After all, I was simply trying to do His will.

As I usually do when faced with a spiritual dilemma, I talked with Jason.  I explained my prayers and God's silence on the matters.  He followed my outpouring with a few pointed questions, one of which was, "Which one do you want to write next?"  After some thought, I told him which one I would most like to write at the present time.  "Then go with that one," Jason said.  "If the Lord wants you to work on it, then He'll allow you to do it.  If not, He'll hinder it.  But you need to get moving.  It's easier to steer a vessel when it's already in motion."  Whoa, when did he get so wise?

Seriously, he had an excellent point.  Have you ever tried to steer a car that wasn't moving?  It's nearly impossible!  But once the car is in motion, it becomes so simple to steer it in any direction.  I was so stumped by God's next step for me that I was standing completely still.  I wasn't getting anything accomplished.

Now, let me tread carefully here.  I am not saying that we shouldn't seek God's direction in matters or that we should just do what we want and leave it up to God to tell us "yay" or "nay."  The point that I'm trying to get across is that there is a time to be still and a time to get moving.  And just so you'll see that I'm not making this up to suit my own fancy, I'll give you proof.

 And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever. The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace. And the Lord said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward: But lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it: and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea.
— Exodus 14:13-16

Did you catch it?  Standing there on the banks of the Red Sea, the children of Israel throw up their hands in despair and complain to Moses about their current plight.  So Moses tells them, "Don't worry about it.  Just stand still and see what God will do."  Immediately after Moses' statement, however, the Lord says, "Moses, why are you just standing here talking to me?  Tell the children of Israel to get moving."  Moses told them to stand still, but God said keep moving.  Red light, green light. God needed the people in motion.  He had a work to accomplish, and it involved action on the part of the Israelites.  And once they were moving, God was able to direct them exactly where they needed to go.

Now, I realize that there are places in the Scriptures where the situation is reversed, and that's fine.  It still proves my point.  There is a time to be still and wait on God's direction.  Then there is a time to start walking in the general direction in which the Lord has already directed and allow Him to guide you from there.  Knowing when it's a time to wait and when it's a time to act is between you and the Lord, but I'm certain He'll give you peace one way or another when the time comes.

Beyond Amazed

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When I was in school, I had a best friend. We did everything together. We did sleepovers at each other’s homes. We were inseparable. . .until the day she left. Not only did her parents join another church, but they also sent my friend to a new school.  I was devastated! Who would I play with? Who would join me for Sunday School? Who would listen to my stories, have my back, and be my shoulder to cry on?

Despite the separation, we stayed close throughout our teen years and even throughout college. Though we attended different churches and schools, we still had one common thread—we were studying to become teachers. For a few years, that was enough to keep our friendship intact, but as the years passed and she became a mother, suddenly things changed. We had nothing in common in more. We didn’t travel in any of the same circles or share any of the same friends. All we had was the past, but despite our efforts to hold things together, we grew apart. Yes, we’re still friends, but we’re not close. At least, not like we used to be.

Recently, I’ve felt that same sting of loneliness as I said “Goodbye” to my former way of life and the friends who shared in that. Now, please understand, my friends haven’t abandoned me, but things are not the same. Most of my closest friends are members of our church, but because Jason and I are in a different church every week (and sometimes every service) during this deputation journey, I rarely get to see these precious ladies. So, in a sense, it feels like I’ve lost them, like we no longer have anything in common.  

During my devotion time last week, I poured out my heart to God and told Him how much I longed to hold on to my existing friendships and to make some new friends, specifically ladies with whom I have a lot in common. Since deputation is my current way of life and the way of life for the foreseeable future, I felt missionary wives would make a good fit, but how would that work exactly?  After all, we’re all busy doing our own thing, trying to make things fit while traveling the road week after week. How could I connect with these women, let alone maintain a friendship? I didn’t know the answer to any of these questions, but I pleaded with God to help me make friends with someone (or many someones) who truly understood where I am right now.

Later that same day, I received an invitation to join a Facebook group for missionary wives. My jaw dropped as I read the description of this group that was formed so missionary wives could fellowship together and not feel so alone.  The group was designed to be an encouragement to those on the field and deputation. And best of all, what is said in the group stays within the group. It was an answer to prayer. (And I didn’t even know God used Facebook!)

Through this situation, God reminded me how much He loves and cares for me. To anyone else, my longing for friendship probably seemed frivolous and selfish. With all the problems going on in the world, who cares if one little insecure redhead is feeling lonely? God does. He cared enough to send me an answer on that very day. He cared enough to send not one potential friend, but hundreds. He cared enough to speak to another missionary wife and whisper to her to send the invitation to me. All of that and more so that I would feel I had someone to talk to who understood what I was going through. That, my friend, is how much God cares.

And that’s how much He cares for you. No problem is too big. No situation is too small. You may think your request is silly or insignificant, but if it’s important to you, it’s important to God. So, don’t hold back your requests. Let Him know what You need. Pour out your heart to Him. And stand back and watch as He proves His love and devotion to you in ways you’ve never imagined.  

Together, we can marvel at God’s goodness. Yes, my friend, as I bask in answered prayer and the love of my Father, I find myself beyond amazed! I pray you will enjoy the same blessing.

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?
— Matthew 7:7-11

Fervent: A Woman's Battle Plan to Serious, Specific, and Strategic Prayer -- A Book Review

I haven’t posted a book review in a while, and I assure you, it’s not because I haven’t read any good books lately. I’ve been busy enough that the task of sitting down and writing a review seemed too great. But, with this book, I had to make an exception. This book has changed the way I view prayer and has made me feel much more like a warrior rather than a worrier. That being said, I knew I had to share it with you.

About the Book:


You have an enemy . . . and he’s dead set on destroying all you hold dear and keeping you from experiencing abundant life in Christ. What’s more, his approach to disrupting your life and discrediting your faith isn’t general or generic, not a one-size-fits-all. It’s specific. Personalized. Targeted.
So this book is your chance to strike back. With prayer. With a weapon that really works. Each chapter will guide you in crafting prayer strategies that hit the enemy where it hurts, letting him know you’re on to him and that you won’t back down. Because with every new strategy you build, you’re turning the fiercest battles of life into precise strikes against him and his handiwork, each one infused with the power of God’s Spirit.
New York Times bestselling author Priscilla Shirer, widely known for her international speaking, teaching, and writing ministries, brings her new role from the 2015 film War Room into the real lives of today’s women, addressing the topics that affect them most: renewing their passion, refocusing their identity, negotiating family strife, dealing with relentless regrets, navigating impossible schedules, succeeding against temptation, weathering their worst fears, uprooting bitterness, and more. Each chapter exposes the enemy’s cruel, crafty intentions in all kinds of these areas, then equips and encourages you to write out your own personalized prayer strategies on tear-out sheets you can post and pray over yourself and your loved ones on a regular basis.
Fervent is a hands-on, knees-down, don’t-give-up action guide to practical, purposeful praying.


About the Author:

Priscilla Shirer is a Bible teacher and conference speaker with a Master’s degree in Biblical Studies from Dallas Theological Seminary. Also a popular author, her books include the New York Times Best-Seller, The Resolution for WomenOne in a Million, and Life Interrupted. Priscilla is married to Jerry with whom she founded Going Beyond Ministries. They have three sons and live in Dallas, Texas.

My Review:

I’ve read a lot of books on prayer, but this was, by far, one of the best. I love the way the author portrays her fervency about prayer and compels the reader to find the same. As I read, I felt my heart hungering and thirsting for a more heart-felt prayer life. I recognized where my prayers seemed shallow and like rote repetitions and felt the urge to connect with God more deeply. The author also conveyed the importance and power of prayer, which is something I think most Christians do not take into account. So many times, we think of prayer as something we’re supposed to do instead of realizing it is something we are privileged to do. To speak with the Almighty God. To lay our burdens at His feet. And to do so, knowing He has the power to make all things right. Not only that, but through prayer, we have the power to resist temptations and to live the lives we long to live for God’s glory.

If you’re struggling with your prayer life, or if you feel your time with God has grown stale, I highly recommend this book. It will change your prayer life, and in turn, your entire existence. Prayer is powerful, and it changes lives—especially the life of the one doing the praying.