October 4, 2023
Can I challenge you today?
As many of you may know, when I found out that my longtime friend Jimmy Lockhart was going home to be with the Lord, I was deeply saddened. On my drive home from Alabama, I poured out my heart to God. During that time, I heard a clear message from the Lord: “If you want to honor Jimmy, preach the gospel.”
In response to this divine prompting, I made a vow to God. I told Him, “I will never say no to You again.”
Since then, incredible opportunities have presented themselves to me. I have been able to share God’s love with numerous people I had never met before. I have entered into relationships that I would have never imagined. Through it all, I have been immensely blessed. However, I won’t deny that it has been uncomfortable and challenging. It has stretched me and caused moments of stress and unease. Yet, it has also revealed to me the faithfulness of God to His promises.
I have learned to discern which opportunities are from the Lord and which ones are unnecessary distractions. It has surprisingly been quite clear to me. It’s as if His voice and the opportunities He presents are as pure and refreshing as a spring creek flowing from the mountains.
While I don’t know the full extent of what the Lord has planned for me, I do know that I heard Him say a few weeks back, He has opened a door that no one can close. Upon hearing this, I have no choice but to follow Him. I can no longer remain stagnant, silent, or idle in the work that needs to be done. Yes, there are still moments when I feel that pit in my stomach and He pushes me out of my comfort zone. I believe that’s why He spoke the words, “Take up your cross and follow me.” He never promised comfort, only the necessity of obedience.
Crucifying the flesh is not an easy task. I have discovered aspects of myself that I dislike. I enjoy being seen, but not in the way He desires. I hate this about myself. I also have a tendency to prioritize my own opinions above others’. In addition, I can be stubborn, and it takes time for me to surrender my own ideas. I am far from perfect. Yet, all He asks for is my surrender and my heart, so that He can guide it like a watercourse in His hands, leading it wherever He chooses.
Now, here is my challenge for you: Stop saying no to the difficult things He asks of you. Instead, say yes! Surrender everything to Him. Yes, it will come at a cost. No, you are not perfect, and neither am I. Following Him will require more than simply raising your hands in the sanctuary. It will demand an uncomfortable obedience to the prompting of the Holy Spirit and His voice. But remember, He needs our service. He needs His message of love, peace, joy, hope, and salvation to continue reaching those who desperately need Him.
“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is within you, whom you have received as a gift from God, and that you are not your own? You were bought with a price, with the precious blood of Jesus, and made His own. So, honor and glorify God with your body.” – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (AMP)