when it’s time to move forward

Posted: February 6th, 2012 | Filed under: life | Tags: , , | 8 Comments »

“…He who had set me apart before I was born, and who called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son to me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with anyone; nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me, but I went away…” Galatians 1:15-17

When God took away Paul’s physical vision, his spiritual eyes opened. Like when you close your eyes to strengthen your sense of smell, or turn down your radio so you don’t miss the street sign, He removed one sense to make the other stronger. It is only when God saw fit to reveal Jesus to Paul that he understood his predestined purpose. Paul didn’t make it happen. He was literally blindsided.

Being called by grace before you were even born means that only grace can make the mistakes of your past, present, and future no match for the purpose you were created to fulfill. If you think you are unfit, you are more right than ever. You are unfit, that’s the beauty of complete reliance on the God who creates, calls, equips. It removes reliance on self and that’s a scary beautiful place to be.

Paul responded in a personal way and it’s something that I think we should take note of. God speaks to us all the time. He nudges us in directions that may be a 180 turn from the direction in which you were once confident. What people usually do is consult others in this new revelation or direction and too often, the people we are consulting with don’t get it. In order to not rock the boat, we stay quiet and ignore our call. But, Paul didn’t consult with the people around him. He didn’t even try to find the others who were already where he was called to go.

I have caught myself reading scripture and negatively wishing that ‘so and so’ would read that. Then I have a catch in my spirit that would tell me: “My Word is my message to you.”

I am the one who needs that message. When I stop reading with an agenda, I find Him waiting for me to listen.

People can read scripture, hear from God, and then reject it because it’s not something that their religious influences would agree with. They read and balance what they hear against other human beings.

His Word is a message to you. He doesn’t grow groups to grow people. He grows people and the groups are inevitable. It doesn’t matter what your friends think. You are in a relationship with God, the rest are just passing through. You have to trust God enough to lead you in ways that your spirit will understand even when your finite mind cannot.

Don’t bring the thoughts of other people in the room with you when you’re spending time with Him. He’s talking to you. It’s time to take a break from the world and listen.

God has already determined to what extent and what part you will be used to play in His plan. He has called you to do and be something that it impossible under your own strength and if you ask people around you, they may not see the potential that God does. We rarely do. Humans are competitive, they’re political, and they don’t like to put faith in the unknown. They bank on certainty and call it ‘faith’. That’s not faith. If you’re too concerned about what people will think, if they’ll approve, or if they’ll support you, then it is less likely that you will follow the call.

People are in our lives for seasons and it’s good. But, when it’s time for you to move on you will see these relationships weaken and you may not know why. People can hold you back or they can encourage you, but if you’re waiting for approval, then you’ll be waiting much longer under the strain of the call, making yourself unnecessarily stressed and fidgety. I’m telling you this because if you don’t understand what is happening, then you’ll question your relationship with God and your spiritual life to the point of sucking all the life out of it.

When God reveals the bigger picture to you, you will not be able to rest until you act on it. The lack of rest feels like you’re doing something wrong because what is happening right now is no longer what you are supposed to be a part of. This isn’t a negative thing to beat yourself up about. It’s an amazing thing because you’re now ready for the next phase in your journey. Don’t bother counting your losses. Don’t worry about attending the funeral of what is over, just pack up and get moving.



8 Comments on “when it’s time to move forward”

  1. 1 Tawni Miller said at 10:19 am on February 6th, 2012:

    I feel God nudging me to do something that will take me so far out of my comfort zone it makes my stomach ache. But I know that He will be right there with me and will give me the courage to get through it. For so long I wanted affirmation from others that I was good and on the right path. But the enemy knows this and so wants to instill doubt in my mind–that when I don't get approval from people, especially those that were affected by my past, that I am not worthy and capable. It's a daily task for me to fall into the arms of grace and focus on Christ and eternity. This life is preparation for the next and I want to get it right. Thank you Serena for your encouragement.

  2. 2 serenawoods said at 10:34 am on February 6th, 2012:

    Imagine what Paul had to face now that he was spreading the message that he used to kill people for spreading. Can you imagine a murderer telling people about the grace of God that set Him free and the forgiveness he experienced and now teaches? I wonder what the children thought of their parent's murderer being used by God like this. I wonder if they rejected the message because the mouth piece was flawed.

  3. 3 Tawni Miller said at 10:47 am on February 6th, 2012:

    Wow! That is so mind blowing to think about. Good GOOD point! Paul is the epitome of courage….thank you!

  4. 4 serenawoods said at 11:02 am on February 6th, 2012:

    Maybe courage. And maybe his mind was blown by what he experienced and nothing else mattered after that.

  5. 5 Charise Christianson said at 11:17 am on February 6th, 2012:

    Praise God for your ministry Serena! I love love love your candor, honesty and forthwrightness.

  6. 6 MarisaShepherd said at 3:34 pm on February 6th, 2012:

    I've felt like Paul this last year and a half. I've been sidelined for a severe reformation. My butt and a certain spot on my couch are significantly flatter from day-long counseling and teaching sessions with Jesus. Occasionally, When my face wasn't too tear streaked, I ventured out. People kept saying to me, "Where have you gone?" I sometimes actually told them, and they gave me the, "that's nice dear" look and walked away.

    Lately, Jesus has been slowly calling me into places outside my comfort zone. I realized last week that I am still afraid of people who would hold their religious "authority" over me, or people who have already judged me worthy of hell fire, reading what I write and discrediting me. Sad, but true. It's like being afraid that someone who's never tasted my delicious cheesecake will offer an expert critique of it. How could I let that fear stop me from listening to the One who truly loves me and will love me forever? Anyone who would listen to an in-genuine critic wouldn't like me anyway.

    Thanks for the encouragement today. Even Paul needed Barnabas (son of encouragement) to come alongside him for a time.

    “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear.” – Ambrose Redmoon
    My recent post What if something bad happens?

  7. 7 Robyn said at 5:14 pm on February 6th, 2012:

    Beautiful… " when I stop reading with an agenda, He is waiting for me to listen."

    Needed that,

    My recent post WHAT DO YOU KNOW?

  8. 8 dawn said at 11:04 am on February 7th, 2012:

    While reading this blog, I could sense that you were speaking it to yourself, and we get to share in it too. That's the Spirit of God, sister. Thanks for sharing.

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