This past week marked the second anniversary of Making It Real Ministries. My team and I reviewed our past, assessed our present, and looked ahead to 2016. I must confess for much of the past two years I’ve identified with those who followed Moses into the Wilderness not knowing where they were going, how they would get there, or how they would survive the journey. They had to learn to trust God and move forward in obedience in the face of seemingly overwhelming obstacles. And you and I must do the same as we follow God’s calling in our lives. Have you ever faced a seemingly insurmountable obstacle or apparently hopeless situation? Are you in one of those predicaments now? Then read on friend and be encouraged!
As part of our reviewing the past couple of years, my husband (and CPA), Matt, did the books and showed me the financial situation of the ministry. And let’s just say I felt like I was staring into the wide Red Sea with the clamor of Pharaoh’s chariots growing louder and louder.
At about the same time, a dream-come-true speaking opportunity was offered. Yet…
God clearly asked me to turn it down and instead sit in the stands at my son’s football game this coming Friday. Despite having clear direction, I found myself murmuring,
“Really, are you sure that’s what you want me to do, God? Do you see the cash flow statement? The honorarium sure would help right now,”
Promise of Hope
A couple years ago, my friend and mentor, Barbara, took a few of us to The Promise of Hope Retreat. I remember telling my friend Lori this was exactly the kind of retreat I wanted to speak at some day.
- The focus is entirely on God and his Word.
- The talks offer practical and inspiring messages of truth and grace.
- There is not a lot of time-wasting fluff.
From the moment you arrive on Friday evening to the time you leave on Saturday around 1:00 pm you are steeped in the presence of God and the camaraderie of other women who are on the same kind of real-life journey full of messiness and mishaps. (And as a bonus for the local ladies, you get to go home and sleep in your own bed if you want!)
So you can imagine the thrill of being invited to be a breakout speaker for this year’s retreat. Then, just as it seemed all the ducks were lining up, I realized my son’s biggest game of the football season was the Friday evening of this retreat. I knew instantly when I saw the schedule I was supposed to be in the stands not on a stage.
I don’t think it is a coincidence that the theme of this year’s retreat is based on Exodus 14:13-14.
But Moses said to the people, “Do not fear! Stand by and see the salvation of the Lord which He will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you will never see them again forever. The Lord will fight for you while you keep silent.” —Exodus 14:13-14, NASB
Zip It And Watch Him Work
At this point in the Exodus story, God’s people are in a seemingly impossible situation.
They have the impassable body of water before them and the murderous army pursuing them from behind.
When God brings us to moments like this, we can either:
- Seek or Squawk
- Cry out or Complain
- Worship or Whine
Sometimes we make the faithful choice. And sometimes we don’t. And most times, I suspect we are like those in the Exodus: we do both! I know I have done a little of both recently.
There is the temptation to grumble and complain.
“Hey God, I’ve followed you out into this wilderness and for what purpose? Has anything been accomplished besides spending a lot of time, money and energy?”
And in the midst of the self-pity party, God sends the message of Exodus 14:13-14.
Allow me to paraphrase again:
Oh get a grip! I never asked you to be in charge of the outcome. That’s my job and I’m perfectly capable of accomplishing my purposes. You just obey me and do what I tell you to do when I tell you to do it!”
Humble Yourself And He Will Lift You Up
Once I hushed my worried murmuring and went to God’s Word and to him in prayer, he reminded me this isn’t my ministry. I’m merely a steward. It is his to do with as he chooses.
If he wants it to continue he will make a way. If this is as far as he intended it to go, then he will make that clear, too.
And after I prayed about that and studied the passage, I noticed something clear as day in the Scripture.
There is a time to be still and silent. A time to listen for God’s instruction. And then, once you have your marching orders, you best get going—even if you don’t see how what God is asking you to do makes sense.
I just love how God responds to Moses and the people’s prayers. Again, here is the Laura paraphrase of Exodus 14:15-18…
I heard your prayer and you heard my instructions. Why are you still asking me for help? I already told you what to do. Get a move on!
Yep, forward where you can’t see a way. I’m asking you to trust me to make a way.
And because it will be evident to everyone that it wasn’t you who made the way, but me, I (God) will be glorified.”
Let’s Be Silent and Let the Lord Fight For Us
So, this Friday night I will be cheering for my son and trusting God to make a way for this ministry to pay the bills without that speaking honorarium.
And on Saturday, I’ll be attending the retreat as a participant and not a speaker. I will be sitting silently before the women God has prepared to speak his message into my heart and mind.
I’d love for you to join me. (You’ll want to attend Friday night, too if you can!)
You can get more information and register at http://ghbc.org/event/promise-of-hope-2015-ladies-retreat/.
And in the meantime, I’m moving forward on a big project I feel like God has confirmed he wants me to do this month. I’ll share more about that in next week’s post.
I’d love for you to pray for God to be glorified through Making It Real Ministries and for me to be faithful, discerning, and steadfast in moving forward as God directs.
It has been my immense honor and privilege to minister to you these past two years! Thank you so much for coming along with me on this adventure of trusting and following God!
And if God has blessed you in some way through Making It Real Ministries, would you do me a favor and share how in the comments or share this or another post with your friends via social media or email! Or, just tell a friend and ask them to subscribe to my posts! That would be very encouraging and helpful!
Some Scriptures to Encourage You
The following passages encouraged me recently. If you feel like you’re between a Red Sea and a bunch of chariots, click on the picture or button to request your copy. I’ll email them to you instantly and you can print them out and tuck them around your house to encourage you to be still and let the Lord fight for you!
How about you? How do you respond when your back’s against the wall? I’d love to hear from you about your situation so I can pray for you! You can leave a comment by clicking here.