Following God Even When It Hurts
I found myself in a situation that was very uncomfortable and hurtful. I was wanting to stay where I was and God was nudging me to make a move. I fought for a year. After a roller coaster of emotions I finally decided to ask God to bring the truth to light. Looking back I am amazed at what we see when we ask God to show us. He led me one step at a time.
Instead of filling my Spirit with encouragement I was being burdened. The first thing He did was bring to mind mentors who I could trust and talk openly with. God nudged someone to invite me to a Bible study that would answer many questions. He spoke volumes to me through His Word! You can't argue the Scripture! It is amazing what we don't see when we don't want to.
I now realize I was too "emotionally involved" to make changes. I asked God years ago not to let me be one of those old ladies who could not adapt to change because "I had always done it this way." Oh dear! I feel God tested me for a year and I failed each test. Thankfully, He believes in make up tests! Finally, He gave me some point blank questions. Was I choosing emotional investment over my spiritual investment? Yes. Was I choosing my memories over God? Yes. Was I choosing my mother over God? Oh no! I never thought about that. I was. I thought about the disciples and how they were asked to leave all that they were comfortable with. They left their family, jobs, church, homes, etc to follow Jesus. Think of the blessings they would have missed out on if they would have denied Christ. They would have missed the most celebrated supper ever! They would have missed being part of the resurrection! And that is how God finally got my attention.
This was not a popular choice. There were a few people who were not happy with my decision and that hurt but God reminded me this was between He and I. He reminded me that when I was looking at my friends I had taken my focus off of Him. He is the only one I have to answer to.
During my Bible study God showed me 1 Peter 3:15, "Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it."
2 Timothy 4:2-5, "preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry."
The next week at Bible study God showed me these verses. 2 Timothy 2:4 "No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in the concerns of civilian life; he seeks to please the recruiter." As Beth Moore said, "God is looking to raise up mighty servants He can loose all over the globe with the gospel of Jesus. He longs to enable us to do what we cannot do, love who we cannot stand, and gain what we cannot lose. As society becomes less and less inclined to acknowledge the Bible as truth, the natural propensity will be for the church to raise up fewer and fewer teachers. ....In a world less and less tolerant to truth, we get to pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to raise up more and more Jesus-loving, Spirit-infiltrated teachers of Scripture. Teachers who truly love people rather than platforms. Teachers who are willing to silence their phones and get off social media for hours on end in order to pray hard and study diligently. Teachers who are both humble and unapologetic in their anointing. Jesus is looking for faithful people who are competent to teach others.......Scripture is too precious, too sacred to be entrusted to human hands apart from the Holy Spirit."
Every day I asked God to bring the truth to light. I felt so pulled. I tried to push my decision out of my mind but I couldn't. I cried a lot and I remembered my Dad's words, "Jill, the tears will stop when you commit to God. You are fighting Him and you are not going to win." I surrendered and the tears stopped immediately. The blessings continue from that struggle!
I am so grateful to God that I followed His will and not mine. I am constantly amazed at how we have been blessed!
During this struggle I heard a sermon about making uncomfortable and not popular changes in your life. God revealed to me that I had to make a choice. I could stay in the shallow water with my friends where I could run back to shore and be safe or I could go to the deep water where I have no choice but to trust. As soon as I jumped in to the deep I was filled with peace about the whole thing. I can talk about it without tears which (to me) affirms it is of God.
*If we're only rebuked and corrected and never encouraged with great patience and teaching, our spiritual health will not thrive.
The words from 2 Timothy keep coming back to me..."....fulfill your ministry." Thank you, God for always giving me everything I need and more!