As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” 3 Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away. Acts 13:2-3
Have you ever wished the Holy Spirit would “tell” somebody of “importance” about the special purpose God has for you?
Honestly, I must confess I spent many years longing for the Lord to “tell” somebody, in a position of “authority,” that He had indeed set me apart for a unique work to which He had called me. In fact, I asked (at times even begged) the Lord to have a leader lay hands on me, and prophecy over me, to confirm His calling on my life. Believing that if I could just have that kind of confirmation, I would then gain the necessary confidence and courage to fulfill the calling. Though I think this kind of affirmation can be helpful and maybe if I were a man it would have been more likely, the truth is I already possessed all the confirmation I needed. God had already written His desires on my heart. Whether or not I had the approval of men I already had God’s stamp of approval on my heart. It was my own insecurities that had kept me blind to what was right in front of me.
I think it’s noteworthy that when God called Joseph through a dream found in Genesis chapter thirty-seven nobody confirmed or affirmed it. Nobody “called out Joseph’s destiny,” but God. Nobody laid hands on him and declared that he had indeed been set apart for a unique and special purpose. Nobody commissioned him and sent him forth. Though we might argue that they should have, the fact remains nobody did! God alone revealed Joseph’s destiny through a dream and Joseph decided to trust God making the most of his opportunities. Ultimately the proof was in the pudding. God’s choosing became evident through the fruitfulness of Joseph’s life.
A word of prophecy or the approval of a respected leader can be a tremendous blessing and help, but they are not necessary! The only person God needs on board to fulfill your destiny is you. And the only person you need to fulfill God’s plan for your life is God. Many of us will never get a unique word of prophecy or the seal of approval from a respected leader. Rather than allowing it to hinder or discourage us we can choose to let our roots grow deep into the soil of God’s affirming love. That soil will provide all the nutrients you and I need to become all that God intends!
PS. My desire is to help draw out and affirm God’s destiny for His daughters. I would love to know what assignments God has written on your heart so I can believe with you and for you. Also “You are a Woman of Destiny” was written to help women find and fulfill their special assignments from God.
I have wasted more time than I care to recount at the crossroad of indecision. Deliberating on whether I should go left or right. Give my yes or no. Invest my time or money here or there. Early on in my Christian walk, I was so bound by indecision that I could barely make any decisions without lengthy times of “thinking it through,” and “weighing all my options” carefully. In hindsight, indecision was usually an unwillingness to act in faith, and it often left me feeling paralyzed and stuck. It robbed me of confidence more times than I can count.
Do you ever find yourself stuck at the crossroad of indecision? Concerned that if you make the “wrong” decision, you may miss a better opportunity? Or maybe your fear of making a wrong decision keeps you from making any decision at all.
If this is, you- I understand. I have walked a mile or two in your shoes, and I can attest that it is a way of life that often is filled with regrets. Many times, not making a decision is substantially worse than making a “wrong” decision. I have discovered that whenever I act in faith, God is for me and if God is for me, no matter how things turn out, I have not lost. When we are in faith, His grace always abounds toward us but as soon as we move out of faith into fear that supply gets shut down. Therefore, action taken in faith is always better than non-action without faith.
The word of God has numerous promises that give us the courage we need to face difficult decisions with confidence. Here are a few that have helped me to go from recoiling from decisions to embracing them with confidence.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.
The Lord will guide you continually,
And satisfy your soul in drought,
And strengthen your bones;
You shall be like a watered garden,
And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.
Have I not commanded you?
Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid,
nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
And let the peace of God rule in your hearts,
to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double- minded man, unstable in all his ways.
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present
your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your
reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be
transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is
that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
So, when I am faced with a challenging or somewhat daunting decision my process will usually go something like this…
First, I acknowledge in faith the Lord is with me, has promised to faithfully direct my steps, and lead me in a way that is for my best and highest good.
Next, I ask the Lord to grant me wisdom for the decision I need to make. In the process I will place everything on the altar before Him, yielding my own agenda, and self-will. This will position me to receive a relatively quick understanding of God’s heart regarding the choices before me.
Then with His peace acting like a governor, I consider each option to see which way yields the fruit of peace in my soul.
If I am still uncertain, I will then put out a fleece. However, a fleece, open and closed doors, etc., should only be used as a confirmation when something vital is at stake. Not as a substitute for relationship.
Finally, the key to this process is coming to Him in faith- relying more on His ability to communicate than your ability to hear.
Resting in the assurance of His desire to lead positions us to be directed!
Indecision does not need to stall us out and hold us captive. The Lord God Almighty has promised to guide us so we can be confident of His leading for every decision we make.
I LOVE the rendering the Amplified version gives us for John 14:16
And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby), that He may remain with you forever-
I pray this will help you face future decisions with courage and confidence!
Sometimes it is good to reflect on what our lives might have looked like if Christ had never come. Have you ever tried to imagine a world without Christ? Not that long ago I read through a book by Alvin Schmidt entitled “How Christianity Changed the World.” It was absolutely stunning, to say the least. So much of what we enjoy today can be traced back and linked to Christ. For starters, the dignity and freedom that we as women, in the west, enjoy are inextricably connected to the words and example of Jesus. Or as one man wrote, “The birth of Jesus was the turning point in the history of women.” But this is not the only area of culture and society that have been shaped by His coming. Virtually every aspect of life as we know it has been dramatically influenced by Him. The formation of hospitals and health care, the importance and advancement of education, the sanctification of human life, the abolishment of slavery, liberty and justice for all, and even the progress of science, to name just a few. Without question, the landscape of modern life would look and feel frightfully different if Jesus had not come into the world. Thankfully He did! Contrary to what some would have us believe the world truly is a far better place because He came.
What about the landscape of your own life? How would it be different if you had never come to know the love and grace of Jesus Christ? How does your life testify to the reality of a Savior having been born to you? For me personally, I have Jesus to thank for a drug-free life, a restored marriage, a sound mind, a healed heart, a renewed purpose, and a hope-filled future - to name just a few.
I encourage you to take a moment and name a few of your own. Then follow it up with some hearty praise and heartfelt thanksgiving. Feel free to share them with me if you like. I would love to hear your reason for rejoicing and rejoice with you.
As you celebrate the real treasure of Christmas—Jesus Christ—I pray you will be struck with fresh awe and wonder at the birth of a Savior who not only changed the world but has changed your very life.
There is one final thought that I sense the Holy Spirit impressing me to communicate- In the famous words of Bachman-Turner Overdrive, "You ain't seen nothing yet!" The Lord has more in store. Your final act has not come and gone-He's not finished with you so stay tuned in and tuned Up! The Lord is preparing you for even greater things to come.
Merry Christmas, my friend! May His rich blessings continue to abound toward you!
Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:10-11