July 2014Walking Worthy: July 2014

Thursday, July 24, 2014

God Answers Specifically - My Get to the 7 Story

My pastor, John Meador, is preaching a series on prayer. He encouraged us to share stories of answered prayer. This is my Get To The 7 Story.

The first summer after we were married Greg enrolled in EMT classes. He told me he wanted to be a fireman. At first I was excited, but my gut (we will call that the Holy Spirit) told me something was off. I began to pray for my husband knowing he was walking with the Lord and listening for His will. Every time I a warning bell went off I prayed.

My husband and I met serving together in youth ministry. He won my heart with his desire to serve Jesus and love people. When we started dating I questioned if he was called into ministry. Every fiber of his being seemed to be made for it. I asked Greg whether he was called to ministry, he always told me he knew God had not called him. I knew other people wondered if Greg was called into ministry as well. It seemed like everyone thought he was called into ministry but Greg himself.

I began to pray “God, if you have called Greg into ministry, would you please make it clear to him. God I believe you have, but he does not. God, would you make it so clear to him, so clear that he cannot miss it. God, even if you have to give him dreams. If it is not your will, would you please change my heart and give me a peace.”

It seemed like I prayed that for him every day. ALL SUMMER LONG. Greg struggled in his EMT class, but continued to press me that he was supposed to be a fireman. I kept praying and didn’t ask any questions. OH BUT HOW I WANTED TO! How do you ask “Hey love, so is the Lord calling you into ministry yet?" I didn’t see any fruit of my prayers, no glimpse that God might be dealing with my husband.

Then one day Greg said “So, I think I will talk to our youth minister and apply for one of the open positions at the church” I gave him a bewildered look and asked “WHAT?? He has begged you to do that. You have always refused. What's different now?” Greg replied “Well, I think God might be calling me into ministry.” And THAT friends is my husband. Casually telling me he felt God calling him into ministry like he was telling me about the weather. I almost fell off the bed. Trying to not be too excited I asked “So what makes you think God is calling you into ministry now?” Casually he replied “Well, I’ve been having these dreams about preaching and teaching and preparing lessons. I have had them over and over again. I think God is trying to tell me something.” My jaw hit the floor and I stared at him stunned at the what he said.

It hit me that God had answered my prayer VERY SPECIFICALLY.  I asked that God would give Greg dreams if He had to. DREAMS. I realize that is such a weird way to pray, but God answered it. He gave my husband dreams over and over for weeks. God had already confirmed His call on Greg’s life through so many people. Yet God clearly confirmed Greg’s call to ministry.

I finally fessed up and shared with Greg what I had been praying. I confessed I never had a peace about him being a fireman. We were both amazed by the specific way God answered my prayers.

I know God could have spoken in a million different ways, but His specific answer spoke to Greg and confirmed God’s will to me. I have remembered that confirmation when ministry is hard, when I am weary, or when my husband doubts his call. I cling to this memory as I pray for direction knowing with confidence He will answer. I am grateful that God not only answers prayer, but answers so specifically that we cannot miss it.

Want to learn more about prayer? Curious about what it means to Get to the 7? Head over to John Meador’s blog to learn more.
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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Change - When My Heart Needs Reviving

I am not sure I will ever get used to change. It stirs up a frenzy in my soul. I love order and change brings what feels like chaos.

Why then would the Lord place me in a ministry with constant change. College ministry is unlike many ministries of the church. There is a perpetual flow of people in and out. People plugged in and people moving on. We aren’t promised six months and definitely not four years. Mostly, the change that happens is healthy and good. Yet my soul screams NO!! Stop!!

I am grateful for my husband in these moments. He often is charged with helping me down off the edge. Last Sunday he held my hand and led me to the front of our church to pray. I shared with him earlier that  morning I felt angry and bitter about the constant change in our lives. Not at people, but the constant ripping out of my heart. As he prayed over me the tears flowed.

The next morning, I sat down, telling Jesus how desperately I needed Him. Feeling weary and worn  I sat at His feet. I opened my Bible and began my reading for today. And these words struck me hard:

“I am exceedingly afflicted; Revive me, O LORD, according to Your word.” Psalm 119:107 
And I cried out to the Lord “God I need you to revive me.”

I imagine, that I am not that different than most people. I am not the only person who loathes change and clings to order. We all have moments that feel like affliction. As I study Psalms 119 I cannot help but see a reoccurring theme: the Word revives us. That word revive means “to sustain life, revive from discouragement, faintness, or death; to refresh, restore to life, to cause to grow” I must stop and ask myself: Where do I seek to be revived when I am empty and worn and weary. When the change overwhelms my heart and again breaks it to pieces, where do I go? And I cannot help but see, the life I seek, the restoration my heart desperately needs can only be found in His Word.

I am grateful for this Truth. And I pray I will earnestly seek the Word to revive my heart. To restore life so I can love well knowing when they leave, my heart will break once more.
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