On Thursday the Encouragement Cafe will be sharing a devotional I wrote. Now most writers would be excited about this opportunity, but prior to finding out if it had been selected, I found myself having second thoughts. Rather than dwell on this and play the what if wonder game, I went to prayer. I shared my worries and concerns with God, but then left it in His hands. I knew He gave me the words to write and I trusted Him to do with it what He wished.
About an hour later I received an email saying the devotional would run later in the week. I had peace and believed God had an answered my prayer. I again paused thanking Him for the opportunity and asking Him to speak through the words I'd shared.
Later in the day through a totally unrelated situation, He seemed to whisper to me, "Don't Hold Back." Thoughts immediately went to the devotional...in it I share my struggle with depression and thoughts of suicide - not something I like to talk about, but I didn't hold back. I put my struggle out there with hope that someone else can learn from it or be encouraged by my story.
I thanked God for encouraging me with His words. But it seemed there was a bigger message He was trying to send. I read the devotional I wrote again and realized He had another lesson to teach.
It's true, God doesn't me, or you, to hold back when we are sharing our story. People need the real thing not just the details we pick and choose. That doesn't mean God wants us to share every detail, but He does expect us to obey Him completely!
In the devotional I wrote about dying to self and this is what God was trying to teach me as He whispered, "Don't Hold Back!" Galations 5:24 says, “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with it’s passions and desires.” When it came to dying on the cross Jesus couldn't hold back, but friends when it comes to dying to self, do you hold back?
I have to admit sometimes I do, but God has reminded me that's not what He wants. He wants me to give up everything, to give Him 100% and He wants the same from you! We won't do this perfectly, but today will you commit to trying to do it better? Don't hold onto your desires, wants or attitudes, lay it down at the cross...that's what Jesus did, I pray we can do the same.
On a side note, God is also showing me I don't have to hold back when it comes to prayer or asking for help, so after asking Him, He's led me to you. Would you join me in praying for the devotional I wrote? That God would use it, that He'd speak to one person in a powerful way to remind them they matter and He has a purpose for them. Can I also ask you to pray for me? That I'd respond rightly to those who read of things in my past and that I would step up and live out the message that I shared....that I would put my flesh to death so that He can live in me and work through me. Thank you friends! If there's a prayer request you'd like to share, don't hold back, share it here and we'll lift it up! Blessings to you today!!!