Inspiring women to realize their worth in Christ and to live a life worthy of their calling
Author: Debbie Stovall
Me? I'm a wife of one for 35 years. mother of 4 twenty-somethings (well 19+), mother-in-law to a beautiful daughter-in-love, Gigi to 2 little cuties, retired school teacher, former homeschooler, musician, Bible study leader and daughter of the King! I've journeyed with my Savior since childhood through many ups and downs, twists and turns, joys and sorrows.
As a homeschooling mom for sixteen years, there were random times of insecurity and questioning about whether my kids were getting as good of an education as I thought they were. I was diligent, well prepared, and conscientious about their schooling. I did lesson plans and research and prep work. I planned field trips, experiments, and reinforcing projects. But… Was I educating them as thoroughly as I thought I was? Could they make the score they needed on the ACT to get into college? Would they be able to “make it” in college? Would they be equipped for life? Would I overlook something and “cripple” them in their education? “What about socialization?” everyone asked. As I stressed through years of schooling four kiddos my emotions were up and down. Fears abounded.
Now those little kids range in age from 25-35. My answer to my previous fears – Yes, they were getting a quality education. No, I didn’t ruin them. They have now all graduated, gone to college, and are thriving in their preferred fields. Two are pursuing post-graduate degrees, one of those being my little dyslexic (who did not learn to read until 3rd grade!). They live all over the US and the world. And they even have friends-lots of friends! It’s amazing that socialization hasn’t been an issue. (Wink!)
I look back now at all my fears, tears and sleepless nights and realize that those were a waste of time. How much more could I have done with my mind if I had not wasted precious hours letting those negative thoughts and doubts take-up residence in my mind.
Friends, we have a loving Father who tells us in His Word that “All things work together for good for those who love Him…” All things! Even an imperfect mom for a teacher. Even a frequently messy house. Even bad things like my sins and failings, were put to good use in teaching me and allowing me to see my great need for a Savior. He tells us He is with us always. That He will rescue us. That He will provide for us. That we don’t need to fear.
Did I listen to these words of truth and comfort as a busy young mom? No, not when I was in the heat of battle. If only I would have acted in belief. Because now, looking back I can see, God handled Every. Little. Thing. These days I’ve learned to cling to my history with my Faithful Father – to base my faith in how He has treated me in the past. I can say with Samuel, “Thus far the Lord has helped me.” I know and can rely on who He is and what He has done (and will do), and it makes potential worrisome thoughts today easier to bear up under.
My experience as a homeschooler may not be yours, but my God is yours, and He always acts according to His character and not according to my frail human expectations. So what is my point for you? Don’t wait until you’re near retirement age to give up the worrying and fear. Do it now. Choose today to begin acting in faith based on Jehovah’s character, not on your doubts or what is going on around you. As Anna Sewell stated in Black Beauty “Do your best, And leave the rest, ‘Twill all come right Some day or night.”
Remember that you have a faithful Father and that every little thing is gonna be alright! Really.
As I sat in an empty Sunday school class waiting for my room across the hall to dismiss where I could go in and set up to teach, my eyes went to this corner of the room. I’d been in this room dozens, if not hundreds, of times and never paid attention to it. Sitting inconspicuously behind the door is a rather huge support column. People walk right by it without noticing. If you asked someone to draw a picture of this room they would probably forget to put that in there.
This room is a basement classroom. The 3,500 seat worship center is directly above. As I sat thinking I realized there must be dozens of these under the sanctuary standing as silent sentries doing their job of support. Unnoticed. Just doing their job.
They kind of remind me of my Daddy and his generation of men, those WWII veterans. He was constant. Always there doing his job, supporting his family, his church, his community. Strong and dependable, but unnoticed, just doing his job faithfully.
His kind are very much the opposite of what is commonly seen today. Our current generation is prone to desire the limelight, feel upset that they are unnoticed, seek their fifteen minutes of fame, and have no use for activities that don’t “build their platform.” When we stumble upon someone who is an unobserved, hard worker, we almost consider them an anomaly. We have bought into a self-focused mindset and aren’t even aware because we are just doing what the rest of society is doing.
But those sturdy pillars of strength and support are holding us all up unobserved though they may be. They support their pastor, the Church, a Compassion Child or a ministry/minister in another state even. They support their local church with their their time, energy, and abilities. They support with their presence, their prayers, and their pocketbooks. Leading us, often unnoticed, but holding us all up and holding us together in the body of Christ.
We can become a “they.” We can support a person with a phone call, text, or meeting them for coffee and encouragement. We can support with finances, food, help, or transportation to doctors. We can support by taking the time to pray with people God brings across our path, and speak Scripture into lives. We can support by praying for ministers, missionaries and Christian organizations. We can support with anonymous, consistent gifts and contributions. We can support by loving the unlovely, the complicated, the hard to love, hurting souls. The bottom line is, it takes each one of us doing our jobs even when we’re unnoticed, in a corner, in the dark.
Will we give ourselves wholeheartedly today to support individual people, the body of Christ, ministries here at home or around the world? Are we willing to do our job faithfully and go unnoticed for the glory of God? I choose today to be an unnoticed, support pillar in a dark corner holding up my tiny piece of God’s kingdom work on this earth. We may feel unnoticed, but God notices.
(This is a reposting of a blog from 2021 titled “Because a Little Bug Went Ka-Choo!”)
“One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.” Luke 16:10
My husband and I were recently talking with one of our adult children about a major change coming in their life. We were encouraging her (and ourselves!) by reminding each other of all the ways God had brought her to where she currently is, and that He would surely continue to lead her down a good path – not a bump-free path, but a good one. Mid-conversation, the Rosetta Stone (aka Dr. Seuss) book, Because a Little Bug Went Ka-choo! came up. It was a childhood favorite of our kids that has been a useful tool in adult life.
If you aren’t familiar with the story, the gist of it is this. A little bug sneezes which causes a small seed to fall off of a plant nearby. The seed lands on the toe of a worm who then kicks something, and the story is off at a fast pace, full of catastrophes that get bigger and bigger until a whole town is affected. At the end of the story you are reminded that all these disasters happened…
“All because a little bug went ka-choo.”
That same cause and effect principal plays out in our lives. Little decisions and seemingly inconsequential choices often yield big, unanticipated results. We all understand that the big things like what we choose to do for a career or who we marry, are important. But we overlook the fact that small things bear big fruit later in our lives as well. Things like helping someone out in their need, writing a note to someone who is on our heart, or having a kind, joyful spirit to those around us.
“Can those little things have a big impact, really?” you may ask. Yes!
Recently, I sent three cards to some people God had put on my mind. I simply let them know I was thinking about them and I cared about their plight. Then I shared a verse I was specifically praying for each. Just this week all three came to me and said the exact same thing. “Your card came at just the right time.” It was a small discipline that took me five minutes (the Lord has been working on me in the area of card writing since January), but it paid off in impacting hurting hearts.
All because a little card was written…
Several years ago when I returned to teaching after many years off raising children, it was traumatic for me. The first 3 weeks I cried every day driving to and from school. But I determined that I would be joyful and positive around my students because I knew this was a ministry to which God had brought me. I determined to speak positively, look for the best in each child, and give them a smile and word of encouragement as they left my room every day. While many students responded to my kindness by being chatty and eager to get to know the new teacher, one ninth grader was particularly silent around me, only answering questions when called upon and never speaking to me otherwise. As I recall, it was a few weeks into the school year before she spoke to me personally.
Leaving class that day she looked at me and asked sarcastically, “Are you always that way?”
“What way?” I asked in return.
“Smiling and happy,” she replied with a bit of a sneer.
“No,” I answered honestly something like, “I have struggles, sadness, and tears, but I try to put those away when I’m here at school to help make it a brighter, happier day for you kids.” I may have even mentioned Jesus’ strength, I really don’t recall.
That was all that was said that day. But in the days that followed she started lingering after class to talk to me, smiling and talking casually with me, dropping by my room during breaks or after school, and even asking my advice on those all-important high school issues. That small beginning led to a friendship that developed and continued after she graduated. Now, nine years later, we talk on the phone almost daily. She values my advice (I believe) and I’d like to think I’ve helped her through some struggles. She’s married with a new baby and comes to me with questions and prayer needs, and I feel honored to call her friend.
All because a scared teacher smiled…
When our daughter was in 4th grade our new children’s pastor planned to take the elementary kids to camp at an our-of-state college. We decided she could go. She loved the camp, the songs, the stories, and she grew in her faith that week as we had hoped and expected. But one thing we didn’t expect was that she would come home declaring, “That is where I will go to college one day!” We thought Sure you will. You’re ten years old. But a few years later when her big sister was looking for a college, Little Sis said, “Check out my college. We can be there together in two years.” Big sister ended up visiting and realizing that school was God’s place for her. Two years later, after much prayer and 4 different college Preview Days, that’s exactly where Little Sis went just as she had declared she would. She not only earned her degree, she established herself and her future career in a new state and met a godly young man who is now her husband.
All because a little 4th grader went to kids camp…
What about Big Sister? She also found her career. But she found her calling, too. One day as she was out for a jog she stopped to compliment an older couple working in their yard on their beautiful flowers. From that she developed a relationship with those retired missionaries that propelled her to foreign lands as well.
All because a little girl listened to her sister…
All because a young woman went for a jog…
All because a missionary retired to that home on that street…
What is the moral of my story? God is weaving your life together bit by bit. Not just in the huge decisions, but also through the mundane choices we make with little thought. Through our kindness, our fear, our smiles, and every other nuance of who we are. Jeremiah 29:11 TLV states, “For I know the plans that I have in mind for you,” declares Adonai, “plans for shalom [peace] and not calamity—to give you a future and a hope.” God is weaving together the fabric of your life. Be upright, God-honoring, kind, and faithful in all you do. Even the tiny, insignificant things that would seem to have no impact past this very moment. It will seem small but may quite likely have a great impact on your life.
Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.”1 Samuel 7:12
stewardship – “the conducting, supervising, or managing of something, especiallythe careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care” (MerriamWebster.com)
Background: My husband and I grew up from infancy in church. Not just in church on Sunday morning, but at least four times a week and often as many as six or seven. There was Sunday school, worship, Discipleship Training, choir, mid-week service, visitation, revivals, conferences, January bible study, youth rallies, and that’s just the ones I can recall in the time it took to type that sentence. Because of our involvement we grew up wanting to obey God, read our Bible, pray, and give out tithe.
When we were children tithing meant giving the dime our mamas gave us before church to “put in the offering.” As we grew into the preteen years we were encouraged to give ten percent of our baby-sitting or grass-cutting earnings, which we did. When we got our first “real” jobs in high school we felt proud to be able to contribute a tithe that we knew was enough dollars to actually help our church in some way.
All that history led us to where we were when we got married and where we are today.
As a young married couple with a few semesters to go in college there was no money to tithe. We were living off student loans. Upon graduation and getting engineering and teaching jobs we jumped right back in to what we knew to be the best way to live – we tithed. Not only that, we had an image of God in our minds from all the Biblical teaching we had received. It was the idea of stewardship: God owned all that was in the world and was the provider of all we had and all we needed. Therefore, we were to honor Him with all our possessions.
I realize that may sound strange to people not raised in the church, but it was a reality as normal as breathing for us. It is a principle woven throughout Scripture, and a worthy one to base the way you live on it.
We always wrote the tithe check first, even when we were broke. We may have eaten home-canned green beans and thirty-three-cents-a-box Mac and Cheese a lot, but we never failed to give to Our Creator, Father God. There were times we wished for all those dream items – house, a new car, vacations – but that did not tempt us enough not to give to God. The first real temptation for me NOT to give God control of all our money and possessions was over a vehicle.
We had been married about ten years and had three kids. Because of a job promotion, we were moving from from one town to another a couple of hours away. The moving van had been loaded and pulled out. With much excitement and weariness, we cleaned quickly and rustled the kids into the car headed for the New House. My husband drove his truck, and I drove our Suburban with the kids. Both vehicles were loaded down with suitcases, sentimental treasures, toys, and last minute items. Less than 10 miles down the road the Suburban started giving me problems; it wouldn’t shift into gear and would only go slowly. I flashed my lights at my husband’s truck up ahead. (Pre-cell phone times, required tricks and codes when you traveled!) Both vehicles limped slowly to a rest area a few miles down the road where my mechanic-of-a-husband checked out the vehicle and declared that was as far as it would be going that night.
This was a crisis of belief moment for me. Sure all my possessions belonged to God. Sure I trusted Him. Didn’t I? Suddenly I realized how easy it is to say we believe something and how hard it can be to live it out. Would God protect our family vehicle? HIS vehicle? Would God keep my treasures (picture albums, precious breakables that had been gifts down through the years, those irreplaceable things)? I was at the point of tears, but not wanting to upset the kids what does a mom do? You treat it like a big adventure!
“Alright kiddos! Grab what you have to have for tonight and we’re gonna pile in Daddy’s truck to go to our New House!”
And so we did.
We arrived safely, burst out of the truck where we had been squished for over on hour’s ride, and entered our New (empty) House with excitement. We all slept on the floor in Mommy & Daddy’s room that first night. As everyone else dozed, my tears came, along with whispered pleas of “Please take care of our stuff, Lord. It’s yours, I know, but it’s precious to me.”
And now for the rest of the story…
Next morning, we awoke to movers at the door. The day sped by and ended with us surrounded by boxes and trying to find the sheets. At a call from my husband a towing company had retrieved our vehicle – it was still there and our possessions were still intact – and it sat safely in the driveway, unloaded and ready to be taken to the shop the next morning. All was well. God had taken care of all that He had loaned me here on this earth, and my faith and willingness to hold my possessions with open hands had been strengthened.
The moral of the story…
God is trustworthy. He will take care of you – and your stuff. You will often hit a crisis of belief when you must choose to live out your faith in spite of fear or worry or doubt. Will you steward your life and your possessions well? You must decide. It’s often scary but it’s always worth it. Even if God allows something to be taken away. (We’ve had some of those times too.) But God will always work things out for your good and prove Himself faithful to you. He loves you. You are His precious treasure.
You have been given precious treasures – Steward Well!
Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 1 Peter 4:10
There is so much said today about identity. Trying to find my identity… I identify as… Gender identity…
As we wander through life seeking who we really are, we are like naive children who haven’t learned what the mature world knows. If you are searching, if you are ready to see your true identity despite your past and your failures, if you need a refresher on who you are in Christ, then look to the book of Ephesians, especially Ephesians 1.
You will find that you are…
…blessed with every spiritual blessing
…adopted as God’s child
…marked with a seal
“Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,
To God’s holy people in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus:
2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7 In him we have redemptionthrough his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8 that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, 9 he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.
11 In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.”
And don’t miss the last few verses! It s a prayer for you. Paul prayed it and I am praying it today for each of you who will read this article. Be blessed!
“15 For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, 16 I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. 17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.”
As the U.S. economy struggles many retirees find themselves watching the stock market to see how their retirement funds may be affected. These senior adults have spent years planning for their future, so they watch over their investments with diligence. Now they find that there is no real security in money and investments, funds can disappear much more easily than they were earned.
If money is not a secure investment, what is? Who or what are you investing in? A job, husband/romantic interest, a home, children, stocks & bonds, cars, boats, decorations, hobbies, vacations…? Are these the things you turn to for security? Is there any earthly thing we could invest in that would offer a sure return on the investment?
Yes, there is, but those things are not material. Security isn’t found in any possession we could ever hope to own no matter how large or unique or valued by the world. So what things do give us a good return for our time, money or energy invested?
People. Loving other people always pays off. Quite often you receive love friendship or gratitude in return. But even if you don’t, any loving investment in a person pours into a bank account that makes them a better person and sets in motion other good, loving outcomes. When we minister to the needs of people we open up doors for God to touch and heal broken hearts and lives.
Sharing the Good News of Jesus. This is the greatest investment we can make. It makes an eternal impact in this present world and in the future for all eternity. When hearts are turned to Jesus a cause-effect chain is set in motion that yields dividends to the end of time.
Giving money to missions. Tied in with sharing Jesus, is giving money to support others who are around the world sharing the Gospel inlaces you or I may not be able to go. Likewise, it yields eternal outcomes.
Following the commands of Scripture. Micah 6:8 says, “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Any act of justice, mercy or humility honors God, because He has told us this is what He requires of us. When we obediently live out the commands of scripture it yields fruit, righteous fruit.
These are just the tip of God’s rewarding investment strategies. We humans invest in things. God invests in lives. If we can get our focus off of all that glitters, we will see the greater value in lives that can be helped and changed for God’s glory.
When my family and I visited the Great Smokey Mountains we took a fun little hike to Abram’s Falls in Cades Cove. As a writer, when I think of that hike I can’t help but make some analogies.
What is life like in a literal valley? How does that enlighten us as we travel through the valleys of life? What can we learn here?
Some valleys offer a path. Our Abram’s Falls trek did. It was a well-worn path. Many of the valleys we face in life will be well traveled paths worn down by many others who have made the same trek. We can gather a small amount of comfort from the fact that we are not the only ones who have faced, or are facing this particular valley. In fact, many of the valleys we face have a trail that was blazed by our Savior Himself. The valleys of persecution, personal loss, betrayal, ostracism, loss of a family member, loneliness, being abandoned by friends, facing seemingly insurmountable obstacles, and the valley of the shadow of death. To know that The One sho loves us so has cleared the way gives us courage to keep walking the path before us.
Some valleys are dense, dark thickets in which we feel lost. These valleys seem to have no path. Walking through them we seem to wake up and find ourselves surrounded by dense dark forest, brush and high undergrowth.
It’s not that others haven’t walked them, but they are overgrown with decisions, confusion, chaos. The darkness that surrounds us can overwhelm. We feel lost. We grope around for a way out. There seems to be no direction on which way to proceed. After days and weeks of wandering we begin to wonder if we are getting anywhere or just going in circles.
Orienting by the sun. In our life struggles we may feel like aimless wanderers with no idea of which way to turn. At these times what can keep us going in the right direction? The only way is to look up to the Son. Just as seafarers and explorers of old used the sun for orienteering, we orient ourselves by the Son. We can’t look around us. It is useless. Looking at those circumstances and obstacles keeps us blinded to what we really need to do and to what we need to focus on.
Sometimes it seems dark in a literal valley. Things tower over us and blot out the sun, threatening to discourage us with their gloom and causing us to lose our way. In figurative valleys we must go into survival mode at times like that, following the Son every time we catch a glimpse of Him. Then we rest in the “shadow of the Almighty” whenever we can’t see the way to climb out or don’t have the strength to go any further.
Our compass, map, and guide. God’s Word to us becomes our compass to find direction and a way out of the valley. His words point us in the right direction and we follow in faith however dark the valley may be. Jesus’ life becomes a map as we follow the paths He would have traveled. The One who created this earth and this very valley and terrain we find ourselves lost in is the One who will be our guide back to the mountain. A mountaintop always follows a valley, you know!
The One who holds our future in His hands, holds our hands as we walk through the valley. With our compass aimed at True North we will find ourselves heading east toward the Risen Son.
As you gather with family for a meal or traditional children’s festivities on this day, do not neglect to pause and ponder the truth of why we are celebrating.
Mourn His death.
“Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed.When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left.Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.” Luke 23:32-34
Be thankful for His willing sacrifice.
“The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29
“When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, ‘Surely he was the Son of God!’” Matthew 27:54
Rejoice in the miracle of that first Resurrection morning.
He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”). Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her. John 20:15-18
Know the truth of what His resurrection means for you!
“Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also.” 1 Corinthians 15:1-7
My little black fur ball is the joy of my empty nest! His endearing antics are never-ending. Bringing toys and dropping them at our feet to play; loudly alerting us to every postman, garbage truck, or delivery to our door; spinning in circles to go outside. These are lively additions to our household routine, but my favorite one is The Nudge.
Poppy is my shadow and will lay down at my side within seconds whenever I sit down. The problem is in my goal verses his. I sit down to work on the computer, read, handle business and so forth. He assumes I have perched there to pet him. I usually pet him for a few minutes whenever I sit down in hopes of putting money in the bank with him where he’ll doze off and let me accomplish my tasks. But alas, His goals are more grand than that. Within seconds after I stop stroking his fur and return my hands to the keyboard, I get The Nudge.
His cold little black nose bumps me under my elbow. (And yes, I’ve sloshed coffee and tea on myself more than once.) The Nudge is patient, but it is never a one-and-done situation. He’ll nudge, wait a few seconds for my hand to resume it’s stroking, and if that doesn’t happen The Nudge comes again. If he still gets no immediate reaction, the nudges continue to come at a quickening pace until I’m left with two choices, stop what I’m doing and dedicate myself to this little canine who adores me or turn away from him with gruffness of words that causes him to leave my side and search for affection, or a nap, elsewhere.
I realized recently that God often uses The Nudge on me as well. It’s not a cold nose under my elbow, but he will use something to nudge me: a person that keeps coming to mind, a subject that pops up everywhere I look, a person who keeps randomly being put in my path, the same suggestion from three different people, a particular scripture passage that is brought to my attention in my personal Bible time, a lesson, a sermon, a podcast all within a week’s time. Do you get those God-Nudges as well? I’m assuming we all do.
And when we get The Nudge from Him we have two choices just like with my little buddy. We can stop what we’re doing and dedicate ourselves to The One who adores us, or we can turn away from Him with gruffness and self-interest which puts distance between us and the Father. I’m too busy God. Not Now. I really don’t want to have to deal with that.
In my early years I often ignored The Nudge and would look back later and realize I’d missed a God-ordained opportunity. As I’ve matured I’ve learned to respond more appropriately to the The Nudge from God. I’ve learned to recognize it as a nudge from Him. And I’ve learned to obey The Nudge. I often dread what I’ve been nudged to do before I do it, but once it’s behind me I’ve never regretted obeying even one of God’s holy nudges.
So I challenge you – look for The Nudge from your Abba and readily obey!
faithful (adjective) ˈfāth-fəl – firm in adherence to promises or in observance of duty
What kinds of things are you faithful to? Exercise. Your spouse. Your diet. Your job. God. Staying on top of the latest in fashion or home improvements. A ministry. A Friend. You may consider yourself faithful to many of these if you are a conscientious person.
The apostle Paul encourages Believers in Romans 12:12: “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Would you consider yourself to be faithful in prayer? I pray. I’m pretty sure you do too. But am I faithful prayer?
I pray at meals. I pray when I’m worried. I pray when I need God to do something for me. I pray as I see a crisis unfolding on the news. I pray for friends who ask me too – well, most of the time – I always mean to pray for them, but sometimes forget by the time I get home.
How can I become “faithful in prayer” as Scripture challenges me to be? Once again we turn to Paul for an answer:
“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior,who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus,who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time.And for this purpose I was appointed a herald and an apostle—I am telling the truth, I am not lying—and a true and faithful teacher of the Gentiles.Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing.”
1 Timothy 2:1-8
Paul gives us an idea of what he means to be faithful in prayer. Here he urges his young friend Timothy to pray in these ways:
Who do we pray these things for? All people.
Why do we pray? It is good. It please God.
Who is to pray? Just the pastors? Pastors and Sunday school teachers? Pastors, teachers, and deacons? Those “spiritual elite” types of people? Those who have more time than me? … No. “I want the men everywhere to pray,” he says. That means each of us. All Believers.
Prayer is simple, but profound.
All Believers pray
to an all-powerful God
by all means
for all people everywhere
at all times.
And it accomplishes much! “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” (James 5:16)
Your assignment: Stop right now and pray. And here are some ideas spurred by Paul’s words to Timothy.
When you PETITION you: ask, desire, request, appeal to, beg, call upon, solicit the help of, cry out to.
When you PRAY you: address God with adoration, confession, supplication; request in a humble manner; implore, entreat, plead, invoke His help.
When you INTERCEDE you: intervene between parties; act as a go-between; mediate for others with God.
When you GIVE THANKS you: express gratitude, acknowledge, glorify, praise, laud, extol, honor, recognize, credit, compliment your Father God.
Determine to become a woman who is faith in prayer!