January 10, 2013

You Were Made To Be Great!

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:41 pm by Broken & Brave

A dear friend loaned me a movie to watch called, “The Father of Lights”. I watched it with my family last Sunday night; it was beautiful. All true stories of the miraculous and divine touch of God through ordinary people who believed in an extraordinary God and were willing to behave in such a way that they knew who they were as children of God.

One of the main stories was of a man named, Robby. Robby is in India, but has an interesting life because of how clearly he hears the voice of the Holy Spirit. The stories on the video were beautiful and you can watch with your own eyes a man who is the equivalent of a bishop in an eastern religion had a vision of Jesus. In the vision he was told to go to a certain location where he would meet a man, a stranger, but he saw the man’s face in the vision. The man was Robby. Robby also heard the Holy Spirit tell him to go the same location and look for a man and Robby had seen the man’s face in a vision (so he knew what to look for). The two men met and conversed and the man of eastern religion became a Christian and then left Robby to go tell all of his disciples to believe in Jesus the only giver of Peace. Wow.

As many of you know I am working on a book. I am writing not for Nicole’s glory, but for God’s, as an instrument of His use to lead others to Him. See, I shyly share with you, that I hear God the same way Robby does. In fact, most of my stories are a result of my obedience to the lead and direction of what I sometimes call my “Holy Spirit GPS”. I have always been sensitive to God’s voice, but it was through years of refinement, seeking the Lord, discipleship of my heart through the Bible, I began to hear him with ever increasing clarity.

Now that your doubt, skepticism and judgmental thoughts are all stirred up, let me suggest that maybe you could hear him the same as I do?  I know we are all gifted differently and used in varying ways, still, imagine the possibilities. Some are called to sing or to be a writer of songs (which lead others to God). Some are called to preach or teach or conduct business affairs (for the glory of God). Some are asked simple things and some are asked the hardest things. Each is rewarded according to his or her obedience to whatever it is each is called to. Each of us is expected to do as the Holy Spirit instructs. The bible is clear:

“For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask more.” Luke 12:48

I believe, with all of my heart, that there is nothing extraordinary about myself that I should hear the Lord more clearly than any of you. The clarity comes with the process of filtering out all that is “me” and accepting all that is of “Him”. No doubts. No worry. No fear. Only courage to believe, dream and DO as I am told. Aw, I can tell you still doubt. As usual, I have a story to share that may encourage your faith that you might begin to believe you are a deep and useful person of faith that is capable of the extraordinary.

Several years ago I had a dream. I dreamed of a particular family that I know very well. They were a young couple with an infant, only married a few years. They lived in a quaint little house that they rented from a very reasonable and good landlord. I thought all was well with them, until I had this dream. I dreamed that they were hurting in the finance and hadn’t the money to pay their rent. In fact, in my dream, they were so delinquent, that they were several months behind and in danger of eviction. I woke from this dream, as though it were real, feeling quite disturbed and concerned for this young family. Now, I know them rather well, so I was comfortable enough to pick up the phone the following day and share my dream followed by the question, “Is my dream truth?” The couple hesitated, but confirmed that my dream was in fact truth. They only had a few short days to come up with the rent or the landlord would be forced to evict them. Apparently, the landlord didn’t want to do such a thing, but he had finances of his own to be concerned with and was hard pressed in this situation. I did my best to listen and comfort my dear friends then I got off the phone. I knew God had shown me their need because he wanted me to help. I conferred with my husband, later that same day, and we agreed that we would help them on some level. However, we decided (as we frequently do) to pray about it as individuals and come together and discuss what we heard from the Holy Spirit. We both knew that anything we did was going to be a sacrifice on our part.

After another day had passed and we had each prayed our prayers…we came together to discuss what we felt the Lord had said. We were in total agreement. We had a dollar amount to give, so I called up the family and asked about the need and if the specific amount we wanted to share would be enough. To our joy, we discovered it was the exact dollar amount they needed to be all caught up on their current and past rent. I was thrilled! I love being a part of all this adventure! However, it brought concern of my own, for by this sacrifice I would have to dip into my own bill money.

Maybe you are wondering, like I would as well, “why would God ask you to skip paying your bill to pay someone else’s?” I think I have an answer…faith.  I was in a place in my walk with the Lord that I had enough faith to know that God would care for all of my needs according to his glorious riches. After all, if I believe the Bible and what it says, what it promises, then who am I to doubt? God had given me the dream, I had no way of knowing they had a need, so if he brought me to it…He would get me through it! And so he did, but the story doesn’t end there.

Because I knew that this gift would be a sacrifice, I knew God would handle the greater bills (like my mortgage), but I had a few immediate needs that included food! I have no trouble being very straightforward with the Lord. After all, he is my best friend and so I talk to him like a best friend. If I have a need, I tell him! So, I reminded him that if I was going to do this gift thing, then He was going to have to bring me some groceries. I didn’t need what was on my entire list, but I did need a few items NOW. I knew some money would be in by the end of the week. However, I gave him my “short list” of about five items I absolutely needed TODAY! On this list were items such as eggs, milk, juice for the children, bread…you get the idea. I distinctly remember there were five items I needed ASAP.  I finished this prayer and within thirty minutes they were delivered to my front porch. I was ecstatic! I knew God delivered, but that was a new record for me! A good friend of mine was right there, knocking on my door and setting a few items on the porch. She said, “hold on, I have more”, then she scampered off to her car for another load. When she returned to my porch she said, “What is going on?” I think I laughed out loud! I told her what had happened and how I had just told the Lord what food I needed to get by and then there she was…thirty minutes later. Here is what she said (a paraphrased quote).

“I was in the parking lot leaving Costco. I don’t know what it was, but this nagging feeling wouldn’t leave. I knew, I don’t know how I knew, but I knew I had to go back inside and buy you some food. So, I put my groceries in the car and went back inside. It was the strangest thing. I was walking up and down the aisles because I hadn’t a clue what to buy you. So I just grabbed some things I thought you could use.”

Guess what she bought…Yes, you guessed it! The exact five items I asked for! I even remember she shared that she bought juice but on the way over had decided to keep it, but God told her, “No, she gets it all!” So she gave me the juice, too!

There you go! He may speak to each of us in a different way or leading, but you, too, can develop your ear for the lead of God in your life. You are capable of the extraordinary. You can be used to be a Difference Maker and make an impacting difference in your own life, and the lives of others. To venture on this faith journey you will have to sacrifice. You will be inconvenienced at times (like I’m sure my friend was. Who ever wants to go back inside Costco after they’ve made it out alive?).

Sometimes you may receive opportunities to help, but miss the opportunity for one reason or another (usually lack of experience, fear, discomfort, etc.). That’s ok! It is a process of becoming more sensitive to God’s lead. It is a process to include God in every detail of your day. A great friendship with God requires you spend more time with him than just a quick thanks over a meal or an occasional trip to church. Just like any friendship, your friendship with God and the level of depth it possesses is up to you. You may think, “I don’t want to hear God like that, kind of strange to me.” That’s ok, too! Love does not force itself upon anyone. Again, just like any relationship…

It is only as strong as the person who wants it the least.

God lets you decide how much or how little of him you desire.

I must conclude with this, I told another friend this story a few days later. I was hoping it would encourage her faith. She shared with me that she also heard God tell her to help me, but she didn’t do it because she said she was very busy that day and brushed the idea off. This kind of made me sad, not for me, but for her. I know she encountered a lost blessing but I hoped that our conversation served her for the future. Even this, taught me more about the importance of being sensitive in the spirit to the Spirit of God and do to as He requires. What if neither friend had done what God had asked? How many people would he ask before someone agreed and I received something to eat? I learned a valuable lesson by someone else’s missed opportunity and it is this…

The speed to which I obey the Lord could make a profound difference in the speed to which someone else’s prayers are answered.

We are all tied together, our hearts bound in Love. Living a life of faith is exhilarating and exciting and the adventure entices me. I love the thrill of the unknown or unexpected. It’s much like a roller coaster ride, full of anticipation.

Dare to step out on your own adventures. I would love to hear a story or two from you!

Believing for great things in you…for you and through you in 2013. Know that the God of heaven absolutely adores you. I long to see added favor spill over you like honey. So much blessing you cannot contain. How beautiful!

~Nicole

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