I’m fired up, let me tell you! I mean, the “so excited I can’t stand it” kind of fired up. That’s what happens when one comes expectantly into the Lord’s presence open to whatever he wants to give you. This is a big week. Saturday I spent the day at the simulcast of Beth Moore’s Living Proof Live (LPL) event. Tuesday we kick off this semester of Women’s Bible study at my church. And tonight, I get to go to a class on Revelation I’ve been looking forward to for months. You want to get this girl excited? Just give me some good solid time in the Word! Today, I want to share the insights and ah-ha moments I received during the LPL event.
Beth had seven amazing points she made over the course of the day. I’ll summarize those for you in a second. But, what I really want to share are the the other thoughts I found so powerful.
First, let me give you her seven main points as a frame of reference for the things God highlighted for me during the day.
- We are one gathering of many women yearning for God to speak.
- Jesus changes the story of every woman he meets.
- Jesus wants a woman to know WHO she is and WHAT she is not.
- Sometimes a woman needs a clean sweep to find what she’s missing.
- A woman’s joy is not the same without girlfriends to share it.
- All of heaven rejoices over a lost woman found.
- Every woman is well able to share her story of how Jesus changed her life. (I’m not sure if I got that one down exactly right in my notes, so please correct me in the comments below if I messed that one up.)
As you can see, her main focus was on Jesus’ encounters with women in the Scriptures and what resulted in those women’s lives. That was some powerful stuff right there, but as she spoke, I found myself impacted by some of her “asides” or less emphasized points. Here are the ones that made me grab my pencil and take them down.
The Nine Insights That Impacted Me Most
1. It is impossible for you to be unqualified for an encounter with Jesus.
He meets us where we are not where we’d like to be. We can’t be too old, too young, too rich, too poor, too anything to prevent us from having an authentic, life-changing encounter with the Lord.
2. If you believe what God says about and over you, you will be blessed.
The Scripture is truth you can count on. When God says he will never leave you or forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6; Hebrews 13:5), or that you are more than a conqueror through Jesus (Romans 8:37), or any of the other promises in Scripture, you can believe him and live out of that truth. And when we live in God’s truth we are blessed.
3. It is not enough to receive a word from God, we must respond to what we receive.
We can get the most amazing word from the Lord but if we do nothing with it, what good is it for him to have revealed it? I loved how Beth pointed out how we are quick to ask God to speak to us, to reveal himself to us. But then when he does, we go, “Oh, that’s was good.” Then, nothing. We don’t respond to what he has revealed and put it into action.
4. There is no stasis in our relationship with God.
We are either moving closer to him, or we are moving away from him. There is no standing still and maintaining our position. How we respond to him will determine whether we are growing more and more into who he is creating us to be or reverting more and more into who we used to be apart from him.
If you want to move closer, not away from him, intentionally pursue a richer, more mature knowledge of him through regular study of the Scriptures, spend time in prayer, and seek out spiritual mentors who can help you grow as a disciple. I’m so grateful to those who have modeled this for me and mentored me over the years.
5. Start with what you have and trust God to provide what you need.
I will never feel ready. I will never feel like I’m equipped for what God has called me to do. But, funny thing is, when I say yes and step out there anyway, he always bridges the gap. And I’ve learned and embraced the fact he can use my failures as well as my successes to accomplish what he wants in a situation.
Listen for what God is asking you to do and step into it in obedience. You’ll have a front row seat to the most amazing demonstrations of God’s power to equip those he calls.
Calling isn’t always a calling to some dramatic, life-changing act. It is most often God’s appeal to use the gifts, resources, talents, and blessings he has already equipped you with to meet the needs of others. However, I do believe there is often (if not always) a gap, between what I can do on my own and what God is asking me to do. It may not seem like it to someone looking on from the outside, but I stand scared to death to move out of my comfort zone and take the action he calls me to take. Take it anyway!
6. Treating God as an add-on instead of the essential is a recipe for disaster.
In our over-scheduled, too busy world, the clamor and clutter can crowd God right out of our hearts and minds if we let it. There will never be enough time to do everything. We must be intentional about setting our priorities and then setting our schedules accordingly.
If we want a growing relationship with Christ that blesses us with the love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control that is the fruit of such an abiding relationship, then protecting our time with God and intentionally placing him at the top of the priority list is essential.
7. It isn’t enough to have people who rejoice for us. We must have close friends who will rejoice with us.
Just as we must intentionally make God our top priority and cultivate a deepening relationship with him, we also must do so with the important people in our lives. If you lack real friendships, you will lack joy. Take stock of the health of your relationships. If you need to develop more authentic friendships, be intentional about that. Or, if you discover your existing relationships are being neglected or have unhealthy characteristics, take care of that as well. Don’t settle for the superficial, unhealthy, or lack of real friends.
If you aren’t sure how to go about making some new friends, join a small group at your church. In a Bible study group or some other similar setting, it is easy to get to know others who are also on a similar path.
If you want good friends, be a good friend. Cut out the weeds of competition and comparison. We can’t rejoice with someone we are competing against or envious of.
8. Address your insecurities so your heart can be full.
I can’t remember who Beth attributed the quote to, but I loved it: “Insecurity pokes a hole in your heart.” And when that hole is present, no matter how much love and affirmation are poured into that heart, it won’t be filled. It will all leak out the hole of insecurity.
If you want to have healthy relationships and enjoy the abundant life Christ offers you, you must address your sense of insecurity. Let Jesus heal your hole of insecurity. Not sure how to let him do that? Talk to your pastor, a Christian friend or mentor and ask them to help you. A competent Christian counselor can also be a huge asset in your effort to root out this soul-sucking way of thinking about oneself and life.
9. Be brave and let the passion you feel on the inside show on the outside.
This was not something Beth said. It was what God spoke into my heart over the course of the day.
I’ve really struggled with this over this first year of Making It Real Ministries. I’ve been too nervous and self-conscious. I’ve worried too much about what other people are going to think. I’ve felt like I needed to be serious and professional.
All that self focus is flat out wrong! I am repenting of it right now and I’m responding to God with a desire and intention to let the excitement I feel on the inside come through in my speaking and writing from here on out.
I was so moved by how Beth puts herself and her love and passion for God out there for all the world to see. She holds nothing back. And that is contagious. I want to be contagious in my enthusiasm for Christ. And if I look a little ridiculous in the process, oh well. He can use a fool as well as he can anyone else willing to let him use her to serve others.
What has God spoken into your life this past week?
If we are listening, we will hear him speak into our lives. What has he said to you? How have you (or will you) respond? I’d love for you to share with us in the comments.
Your turn: What is God speaking into your life and how are you responding to what he has revealed? You can leave a comment by clicking here.