daughters before they head to school. Rise up, comes the whisper again, when I’m tempted to retreat from leading as I believe God’s called me to, during this challenge.
The irony, though, is I feel in rising I’m actually lying down. I lay down my flesh’s desire to sleep and allow the Holy Spirit to move me to rise instead. I let go of my perception others don’t care if I post a devotion or not, and allow the Holy Spirit to inspire the words I type (hopefully!). I release my expectations of how my hubby should respond (albeit not always and not perfect), and welcome the Holy Spirit’s wisdom on how to continue to love in a way meaningful to my husband. I set aside my desire to get out the door, and allow the Holy Spirit to lead me as I pray over my children, trusting there is a word and love they both need to hear and receive for the day. Again, I lay down my insecurities and anticipations in the way I perceive others should or should not respond, to allow God to share what needs to be shared and move as He needs to move and lead (seriously, I pray so!).
And this is just in the first few hours of my day! We would be sitting here reading all day if I got into all the other moments at work, in the gym, on the field, in the stands, the bleachers, in meetings, through texts and messages and emails, on my drive home! Moments. So many moments where there is an opportunity to lay down self and allow Spirit to RISE. Where strength and peace replace weakness and dissonance.
God led me to the book of Judges, chapters four and five, over the weekend. I was not feeling well at all and He provided a word of encouragement in my down time. Two women, Debora and Jael, chose to RISE – and a nation grew stronger and experienced peace in their land for forty years. Strength and peace comes when we choose to cooperate and allow Him to RISE.
In this account Deborah arose on her nation’s behalf, when the others called to, did not. Not only did God move her to rise for her people, He was also compelling another woman to rise. Jael, a gal who was not even considered a part of the same nation as Deborah, she too rose. She moved to defeat the enemy who decided it would be ok to hide in her tent. If you read the recollection, so many questions come to mind…
Where was Deborah’s husband and why was he not leading? Why wouldn’t Barak answer the call without Deborah? Why had Jael’s husband moved their family so close to the enemy? Why was there peace with the enemy? Why did the enemy feel comfortable entering the tent? Why is this story of Jael’s courageous rising in God’s power, not as widely touted as David’s defeating of Goliath? Did it not take just as much resolve and courage to do so? The “WHY’S” do not matter, it only matters that both DID RISE.
And how inspiring for us, today! Perhaps it feels as though a spouse will not fulfill their God-given role. Like Deborah we can rise in our own calling. Perhaps God has shown us someone needing to respond to God’s call in their life, we can rise and intercede (or stand in) on their behalf. Perhaps outside circumstances have us too close to dangerous territory. We can seek God’s strength to rise above and overcome. Perhaps the enemy feels a little too welcome in our homes. At any moment, we can choose to take captive those places of compromise and ask the Lord to take them down in His strength. Perhaps we’ve read this story for the very first time, unlike the familiar story of David and Goliath, and we now see as women, we too can RISE and stand on Christ’s behalf for His glory and the sake of others!
I pray this moment meets you well, and strength and peace have risen up within you. Have a blessed day!
The challenge officially kicked off! Woot woot! We had a handful of gals attend our luncheon this past Sunday. A great time of cooking, munching, taste testing, laughing, praying – and of course weighing in. This challenge consists of twenty-one gals, half of which this is their first time! I am SO excited to see what God has in store for their lives. Already, it seems as though we are growing close and I sense this challenge is going to have some very meaningful outcomes, even more than challenges before!
I did have to step back from the medical mission project at work. I’m still involved, but I’ve taken the “napkin” role in this particular project. If you haven’t seen it, you should watch Pastor Jason’s sermon on the cup, cup holder, and napkin. Various circumstances with my husband, children and the ladies I’ve connected with in the challenge – kept confirming my place is here, not traveling abroad at the moment. I am so thankful I sought prayer and council from those I love and regard, God helped me to see that particular scenario was not my cup to carry. Which is ironic, because one friend shared with me a word from God as she concluded a ten day prayer fast for my situation (God has brought some pretty amazing people in my life!).
Exodus 34:10 “Listen, I am making a covenant with you in the presence of all your people. I will perform miracles that have never been performed anywhere in all the earth or in any nation. And all the people around you will see the power of the Lord—the awesome power I will display for you.” WOW! In the presence of all your people…all the people around you. I sense this means my people, those in my life. People like my husband, my kiddos, my family and family of friends, my community. And really, it seems as though it is happening.
BUT GOD. God is making it all happen and giving me exactly what I need in each moment. Ladies, I pray the same for you. This is a beautiful place. Taking our eyes of the circumstances, busy, and even what others are doing around us, and instead locking hearts with our Lord and Savior – mountains can be moved.
Even if right now those mountains seem menial: in the form of a devotion, or kind word, or picking up the kiddos, or making dinner, or going to that job that doesn’t seem to really align with what we sense God would have us do, or serving our community through the form of supporting students in various activities. We are right where God needs us to be RIGHT NOW. I can only imagine He sees these “menial” hills as the most important moments He’d have us love, in this moment. And I can’t help but presume it is all in preparation for something more, perhaps a little bit further down the road.
If we are faithful in little things, we will grow to be faithful in large ones.
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