"Therefore in this present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail; but if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God."
This passage really speaks to me of what a powerful God we serve.
-If it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men-
So, this verse tells us that when we are living out God's will for our lives, we are unstoppable! We don't need to be afraid of how inadequate we feel, or what opposition may come. And it will come. But we will not be stopped.
What does that look like in my life?
Satan has really been working to get me down lately. I haven't been making a ton of money, which causes me to stress. I know that God says "Do not fear". We're working on that one. Also, I and a friend started a Bible study for the women we work with. I love seeing God work in our lives through the time we spend together; however, lately attendance has been down. Way down. As in one other person. We'll have a couple weeks with five or six, and then the next time half of them are busy. This past Tuesday I was excited because all the colleges had off this week, and that meant Amanda would be able to join us. She has been going through one bad situation after another since she decided to live her life for God. Serious health issues, money problems, friend problems, serious family issues: all of this has really just knocked her down and left her sitting, dazed, wondering who the heck keeps hitting her. I knew we needed time together to pray and talk and just gently love her and encourage her to keep after God no matter what. Well, that dream ended when she decided she needed money and picked up a shift at work Tuesday night. Babs also had to work; Amy and Tiffany were going out of town and I was just plain mad and discouraged. I thought this Bible study was God's idea. But what if it was just mine? What if God didn't mean for ME to lead this study? I expressed my frustration to Heather, my co-leader, as she was leaving work. We decided not to have Bible study since no one could come, but she wasn't discouraged. She said she feels that God is going to really move this study along, and that it was going to grow into something awesome. I scoffed. She said it might be a middle ground between her optimism and my pity-party. I conceded that she might be right. My aggravation comes from seeing these ladies struggling, but not seeing them seeking God, and letting him deal with their junk. I know I need to have patience. It took me forever and a day to get my act even remotely together.
I have been letting Satan tell me that I can't lead these women; they don't seem to be responding the way I thought they would, so I must be lacking the "leadership" gene. Even if am, guess what? God is the only leader worth following. He wants to draw people to himself, and he WILL NOT BE STOPPED. I know that he supports this group. I know that our purpose is to glorify his name, and that our heart's desire is to see women freed from the bondage that comes along with buying into the world's empty promises. He is behind it. I also decided that I have to be grateful no matter what. Even if my fears are realized. Even if I can't hold everything together. If God chose to take away what I have, I have to trust that he has something else for me. So I have to stop worrying. He commands me to seek him first. He promises that when I do, he will take care of the rest.
So..the next day I went in to work with a thankful heart. I had been reading out of Chip Ingram's book "GOD: as he longs for you to see him". Chip wrote about the fact that God does not exist to be our "Self-Help Genie". We have NO cause to say.."Ok, God, what's the deal? Why am I still having problems? I tithe, I pray, I read my Bible..where's the reward? Haven't I earned a few days of "trouble-free"? The answer is no. God is so good and he does help us: in so many more ways than we could ever count. I have it amazingly well just to have a job. So what if it sucks sometimes? I have full use of all of my motor functions. I can read. I have a bed. I have family. Those are freebies. When I decided to let God direct my life, I received eternal life in heaven with my God and my Jesus. So if I have eighty years of "This isn't fun", I still have everything to be thankful for.
The past couple days, God has been showing himself to me. I prayed for favor in the eyes of my superiors at work. Two minutes later my General Manager told me I had a guest compliment. I won the new Esther Bible study Leader Kit from the Lifeway All Access blog. I absolutely love Beth Moore's studies and I learn so much from them. I look at them covetously each time I'm in the Lifeway store by my house. But I can't afford one. Guess who can?
I have been asking God for more and more faith and trust. I am really trying to lean on him when things start going south in my life. He is showing me that he is so loving, and that he will keep his promises. He got me a Leader Kit! For the Bible study I was so discouraged about!! Don't mess with me...My Father is Big! And he can kick your butt! (Loose translation of -you will only find yourselves fighting against God)
I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!