Blessings to you.
Standing on the step-ladder with wallpaper stretched above my head the Lord spoke clearly. “You’re going to sell this house.”
Stopping in the middle of my project, with gooey wall paper suspended above my head, I simply replied, “Okay.” That was the beginning of a journey that would prove to be exhilarating, fearful, suspense filled, and frustrating as well as an adventure I would not want to do again.
“The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.” Gen. 12:1
Looking back at my experience I feel like I might be able to relate to Abraham. At least be able to empathize with him. Maybe he had the same feelings as I did. Maybe not. But to suddenly be told I’m going to leave my long time home, my comfort zone, my church family and friends, to go where the Lord leads me, without knowing where exactly that is, can be quite scary and exciting.
Abraham did go. “By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go…And he went out, not knowing where he was going.” Heb. 11:8
Boy can I relate to that! He packed up his tent and his belongs and followed where the Lord led him. How can someone do that!? How could I step down off that step-ladder and say, “Okay Lord. Where we going?” only to hear, “You’ll see.” Abraham packed up everything he owned to follow wherever the Lord led him. I don’t know if his friends said, “Are you nuts!?” A couple of mine did. But Abraham trusted God to lead him, supply what he needed on the road, and take care of him when he got there. He followed the Lord because of his faith in the Almighty.
“And he believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.” Gen. 15:6
Now don’t get me wrong here, I am no Abraham! I don’t even come close to this giant of a man in scriptures. I never was told to stand over my child with a huge knife raised high in the air to be thrust through an innocent heart (Gen 22:1-19) and praise be to God I didn’t have to walk whatever distance to the destination where I would settle until the Lord said, “Start packing” again.
But I did the same thing! I packed up my belongings not knowing where I was being sent or what I was going to do when I got there or why the Lord was sending me there. I was trusting God through faith. Okay, I confess, I had some fears mixed with bouts of excitement. The “what if’s,” the, “am I hearing right?” the “but what about…?” came and on occasion I told the Lord I thought He might have some mental problems that needs to be looked into. But I went!
I don’t know if Abraham’s faith was stretched to the breaking point or not. I doubt that it was, being who Abraham was, but mine sure was. The long days on the road, the constant questioning of the Lord, the tiny town situated out in the middle of a vast desert.
Isn’t there some scriptures that talk about growing in the Lord in the desert?
Oh, it wasn’t the deserts of Arizona, where the high temperatures sear your lungs. To me that would have been a blessing. At least they had cactus. The Lord knows I hate being cold! The Lord knows I have never lived in cold country, where when the temperature rose above 0 I thought it was a heat wave. The Lord knows I’ve never used a snow blower or have ever even seen one. The Lord knew He had to extradite me out of my comfort zone to be able to teach me to really trust Him and to expel the stubborn self-sufficient and independent attitude I had.
Boy did He place me in the right place! I knew not another soul, I do not like living in tiny towns with the gossip flying about like flies at a picnic. I like having doctors, hospitals, and medical help near by, and I like grocery stores that offer a wide variety of products. I especially like warm weather where I can wear shorts and light tops, not climates that require three layers of warm clothes that still leave me shivering from head to foot. In other words, I like having my church family close by to encourage me, I like having friends stop by for a chat, and I admit I’m a warm weather loving urbanite! Georgia suits me just fine, thank you very much.
The eighteen months of continually crying, questioning, and having temper tantrums that would make a three year old look like an angel was taking its toll. Slowly His lessons were getting through and my trust was building, my independence was flying out the window, and when He finally said “Start packing” He didn’t have to tell me twice.
When I left that town the Lord had armed me with new confidence. Confidence in Him. He showed me (boy howdy did He ever!) that I am not the self-sufficient independent woman I thought I was. He showed me that I am absolutely nothing without Him. When I left that town I had far less questions, fewer doubts, and as I headed to the next “land I will show you” I did it with a deep-seeded confidence that whatever the Lord God calls me to do He is with me every step of the way, regardless of whether it’s a desert or the mountain top.
My advice to those of you who are ever so comfortable in your walk with our Lord, don’t let that arrogant spirit fool you.
You may end up in Wyoming!
“The pride of man will be humbled
And the loftiness of men will be abased;
And the LORD alone will be exalted in that day…,”
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Blessings to you.
Over the years the Lord has put my faith to some really big tests. When I first became a Christian He knew I was used to being told what to do, not asked if I would kindly do something. Because of His grace He speaks to us in the ways we are used to.
In 1998 a big test was put before me. “Sell your home and move where I’m sending you.” He didn’t bother to tell me exactly where that was until shortly before I was to hop in the car and cross the country.
That started what I call the “five year odyssey.” As I drove across the country He finally notified me that I would be there for eighteen months. Don’t you just love it when the Lord only tells you what you need to know for that moment and nothing more? He kept telling me, “Trust Me.” It got very frustrating!
I was there for eighteen months and then the surprise came for the next location. “You’ll be here a year.” I thanked Him. It was only at each step that He would tell me what I was to do while I was at each of these locations.
I was learning to trust Him and to be obedient without question. Believe me that was not an easy journey! I learned distrust from a very early age and to just say, “Trust Me” wasn’t flying very well with all I had learned for years.
More moves came about. The third move He said I would be there for two years but suddenly told me I would be moving again. “What? You said I’d be here two years. This is six months early?” “Trust Me.” More hard lessons were learned.
On the fourth move I find myself leaving boxes packed because I have no idea where He will send me next. “You don’t have to move any more” the Lord said as I stood trying to decide which boxes to unpack. When I’d hesitate to hang a picture He’d tell me the same until finally I unpacked everything and set up my “nest.”
Five years later –
“I want you to move to…” came the familiar voice. I couldn’t believe it! “But You said I didn’t have to move any more!” I screamed. I was devastated! Satan quickly slithered in and convinced me that Christ was a liar. That I couldn’t trust Him and I needed to walk away from Him. The enemy had me convinced that God Almighty had betrayed my trust. I confess, I listened. Not to the Lord but to the father of lies. I came within a hair of turning my back on my heavenly Father who loves me, accepts me, and wants me to be all He created me to be.
I rejected the prayers of others. I didn’t want to hear them in my hurt and anger. I cried. I stomped in a fit of rage. I refused to listen to or speak to my Creator. Oh Satan was doing a really good number on me. He had a hold on me that was firm and he was determined not to let go.
Remember the verse that says we are in God’s hands? That nothing will separate us from His love? I don’t remember how long I was in the grips of the enemy. I felt deeply hurt and that God had betrayed my trust. I was hurt, angry, and confused but I had a choice to make. Was I going to be obedient or stay put? I started packing.
Did God change His mind? Did I hear wrong when He said I don’t have to move any more? No, I heard right. He said, “You don’t HAVE to move any more.” He said, “I WANT you to move to…” In other words, I had a choice. I didn’t have to obey His request. I could sit back comfortably (oh right!) and stay in my nice nest or I could go through the rigors of packing up and leaving to who knew where for reasons only Christ knew.
There have been three more moves since then. In another move He said I’d be there two years but had me move in a year and half. Did He change His mind again? Does He change His mind? In Exodus 32:14, Moses was pleading with God to not pour out His wrath on the people. “So the Lord relented from the harm which He said He would do to His people.” It sounds like a change of mind to me. What do you think? Does God change His mind?
If we are true followers of Christ we are to trust Him completely. If we trust Him we will be obedient no matter what He calls us to do. The enemy, Satan, has one goal; to rob, steal, and kill. He will rob you of your joy, he will steal your faith, and kill all hope……………….if you let him.
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Blessings to you.