I am always so beyond belief when God reveals something to me….shows me something….reminds me of something! But this…this is beyond amazing and I’ve got to tell you about it! We serve the Powerful Lord God Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth and nothing is ever too difficult for HIM!
Grab a seat and cup of coffee as you sit back and see His mighty hand at work…spanning across the years, yet again!
I hope you have read how God brought me through the worst years of my life back in 2001-2002…if not, please do so now. Nothing could have prepared me, like that time period of depression, for answering His call to lead this group…now going on 4 years!
Hopefully you have also read the miraculous “post-it note” God gave me during that horrific time period. If not, please take a moment now and read it as it will explain so much for what God has just revealed…as He has now revealed the circle around us!
You see, Kelley and I have been reading the Circle Maker by Mark Batterson, which has opened our eyes to so much more of all God has for us with regard to Anchored HOPE. God has used this book to draw us into an even deeper walk with Him and oh the trust! Faith is blind trust ya know! So as we continue leading HOPE and prayerfully seeking His will regarding the group and the future of the group, we picked up the Draw the Circle devotional by Mark Batterson. The introduction identifies the logistics of a prayer challenge by saying “…But whatever you do, don’t do this alone.” So Kelley and I are reading it and prayerfully going through on our own, but together too.
Our time at First Baptist Church for meeting Thursdays for HOPE group was to last 6 months. We have continued praying God would open up the next door for us so we did not have a time period where we had no meeting place, ideally it would sync up to our time period at First Baptist and no complications…well He has done that…sort of!
You see God can do whatever He desires, however He desires, whenever He desires! The fact that He chooses to let us get a glimpse of what He is doing is just beyond amazing! He doesn’t have to…He could keep us in limbo until that door opens, but He’s sooooooooo good all the time, and all the time God is good! Here it is the middle of May and we still aren’t sure where our next meeting place will be, yet First Baptist has not ended our 6 month time period, we are still able to meet there week after week (we’ll see if that’s still the case after this post LOL – but hey I trust God has got this as well!)
The longer this time period drags on, the more uneasy I have become, along with other of life’s difficulties, I find myself second-quessing, even questioning what God has revealed to us for Anchored HOPE. God has brought us a third person (Stacie) that we had been praying for with regard to Anchored HOPE, but still so many unanswered questions with regard to how, when and where….you know the key details for any organization in order to press onward! So we’ve all been praying and grasping for answers, signs …and finally we have received the answer from God in the form of the very thing we have been doing for months…drawing the circle…only this time it’s God revealing the circle He’s been working on for YEARS!!!
Okay so you’re caught up on where things stand, how they began and what all God has done…well as an answer to our prayers regarding what next, where, and how…God has revealed this circle He’s been working on since 2001…or perhaps even before time began based on His Word and how He knows everything about us since before we were ever formed in our mother’s womb – Psalm 139! Ah…His Word is so good…I could get side-tracked on that alone! But back to His revealing the circle! Remember that “post-it note” and how it was an answer to my prayers, but I was too wounded, too stuck in the midst of the mire and pit of depression to ever begin to see it, instead I was angry, angry at Him, at God Almighty. Fast forward 14 years and how He is using that very depression I nearly died from, nearly lost my family to, and bringing HIS ultimate hope to so many, not just here in Clarksville, but all around the world! And yet the details of a ministry can be so consuming, frustrating, and exciting all at the same time! But have I told you lately what a Mighty God we serve! Oh He is oh so good…as we all have been searching for answers, prayerfully seeking what, how, when He would have us do next, especially in light of the fact our time was up at First Baptist as of last December…wouldn’t you know God uses that very same message on the “post-it note” to give us HIS answer! Through a sermon Stacie shared with us from Jentesen Franklin, special emphasis on section 12-35 minutes of the sermon, God gives us an example of none other than His children, the Israelites, the most discussed lesson in our HOPE group meetings. After all the Israelites have witnessed, after all they have experienced first hand of God’s love, God’s power, and God’s faithfulness, they still go by their own thoughts, their own ways rather than consulting the Lord as we are shown in Joshua 9. They end up being tricked by the people of Gibeon…which leads them into a lifetime of more hardships because of their limited knowledge and forsaking the counsel of God! “God is our Shepherd and He loves when we ask Him for advice, wisdom….it is prideful to not seek Him in all we do,” says Franklin.
21 Your own ears will hear him. Right behind you a voice will say, “This is the way you should go,” whether to the right or to the left.
New Living Version (NLT)
Then check out this out….
16 I will lead blind Israel down a new path, guiding them along an unfamiliar way. I will brighten the darkness before them and smooth out the road ahead of them. Yes, I will indeed do these things; I will not forsake them.
New Living Version (NLT)
27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.
New Living Version (NLT)
“In other words, there will be a voice behind you, if you will seek His counsel. There will be a voice in front of you, and there will be a voice inside of you and there’s no way you are going to be deceived if you are asking the counsel of the Lord with a voice in front of you, behind you and inside of you. If you will seek His counsel, God already has a solution! If you will seek His counsel, God already has a procedure! There’s an unseen Hand that wants to guide our lives.” says Jentesen Franklin
When is the last time you sought the counsel of the Lord? I am always seeking His counsel… but here’s what I learned through this entire circle God has allowed me to see: sometimes the answer is so clear we can’t even see it…because we don’t like the answer He’s given us — especially when God answers “wait”.
The New Living Translation explains this even better…
“So the Lord must wait for you to come to Him so He can show you His love and compassion. For the Lord is a faithful God. Blessed are those who wait for His help.”
New Living Version (NLT)
He is waiting for us to come to Him so He can show us His love and compassion. He is faithful! And He blesses those who wait for His help! I don’t think it can be any plainer or simplified than this — do you?
Here we are doing as God has called us to do, leading the HOPE group both at the Ajax Senior Center in Clarksville on Tuesday mornings, Thursday nights at First Baptist Church, and online as well as social media…yet there is an urgency we have put on ourselves for some reason. No one has told us to get out or move on or that we are no longer welcome here. So just because a few “Gibeonites” have entered into our lives, we feel we are at a place to move on…yet that’s not what God has said to us.
The urgency we feel has been placed on us by our fears, doubts, and maybe even our enemy…but I never want to give the enemy that much credit.
We have allowed our minds and life struggles to sidetrack us the past few months from seeking the Lord to seeking what’s next! We are following the footsteps of none other than the wayward Israelites! Weary and worn from 400 years of slavery in Egypt…no problem for God — 10 plaques later. No food or water…no problem for God — manna from the sky and water from a rock later. Enemy charging behind them and Red Sea ahead of them…still no problem for God — He parts the sea and drowns the enemy! Yet they still allowed their minds to be overcome by fear!
We are no different! We see things happening all around us, and within our lives and it causes us to fear, doubt and seek solutions apart from God. We revert back to old behavior patterns because we understand those, we are comfortable in those and we feel in control…completely forgetting how they always leave us wounded even worse, and completely separate from God!
What if we just follow Him at His Word…
“Be still, and know that I am God!”
Psalm 46:10a (NLT)
But that’s too easy…and too hard at the same time! We have been raised in this life to work for what we have, want or desire. We have been trained as well as taught that nothing comes from nothing…so we think we have to do more. “Be still” is so completely opposite of what we know, trust or desire. And yet God simply desires us to trust Him, wait on Him, rest in Him!
Even as I have been writing this post the past week…God continues to allow us to see glimpses of what He has already done! How could we NOT trust His Divine plan in His Divine time!
My friend, if you are struggling with depression and anxiety or just the fears every day life brings our way…my heartfelt prayer for you is to seek Him, trust Him…He loves you! I have been where you are. I do understand. And trust me when I say with all my heart…please truly trust Him!