Sunday, February 14, 2016

Get off the fence!!

 On the farm, fences and gates are important - they keep cattle in and kids out. Through the years our kids have liked to stand by the gate and watch the cattle. They've also liked to stand on the fence and see what's happening on the other side. They've learned about animals and life on the farm by doing this. They've also observed their dad and seen things they will some day need to do. Our oldest is 13 and now he often finds himself on the other side of the fence...he's feeding cattle he was once afraid of and driving tractors he used to just ride in. He's growing up and as he matures, he gains responsibility and gets new opportunities. He no longer just stands on the fence like he once did. He would never admit it, but I'm sure there are (or at least were) times it was a bit scary to cross the fence and do what he'd only seen done before. With experience has come confidence and repetition has brought more knowledge.

So why do I tell you about my boys and our fences and life on the farm? Well because maybe it's time for you to get off the fence too. God's been whispering that to my heart and I have a hunch that I'm not alone. Perhaps somebody else is a bit like me. Like my boys, we've stood at the fence watching and learning, maybe not even aware that we were waiting, but now God's encouraging us to enter the field as well. We can feel unequipped and scared just like my son. We might struggle with fear and doubt and find ourselves thinking - "What if I can't? What if I'm not smart enough or good enough? What if I mess up?" Or we may take the step, try it out and realize - "It's work and it's hard. It's so much easier watching someone else!"

I'm guessing God's not asking you to feed cattle, drive a tractor or operate a skid loader, but is He calling you to step out of your comfort zone, to do something new? Is He whispering to you, "Open the door of your heart and let me in."? Is He leading you to surrender a bad habit? Or be obedient? Or submit to your husband?

Friend, we can put up a lot of walls and gates and fences in our heart and mind, but we need to break them down and follow where God leads. This is true when it comes to matters of our heart, our thought life and the actions He calls us to. Lately, I find myself sitting on the fence rather than knocking it down or crawling over. Just like my boys I see what's out there and God's telling me to go, but I stay. Sometimes I give myself a pep talk after God's sent another confirming message and prepare to take that step, but then something stops me. Other times I take a couple of steps, even get in the tractor so to speak, but doubt creeps in or I see the work instead of the blessings that follow obedience and I stop.

 It doesn't have to be like this...friends if you are walking with the Lord and abiding in His Word, you too or growing and maturing - new opportunities and responsibilities will come. If you are praying and seeking Him, He will call you out. If you and me are building our relationship with our Heavenly Father, Elohim the God who created us, He will show us what He created us to do.

In a sense my boys do all these things with their dad and they are often eager to do the next thing, they look forward to being like him and doing what a man does. Oh that you and I would approach God's opportunities in a similar way...let's be like Him and do what He asks!

How do we do this you ask? That is a great question!! One I've been pondering myself! It is a choice. Not an easy one, but a doable one. We have to chose to get off the fence and trust the One who is leading and promises to walk with us! 1 Kings 18:21 says, "Elijah went before the people and said, 'How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal is God, follow him.' But the people said nothing." You may read that verse and think, "Jill I'm just sitting on the fence, I'm not worshiping Baal." I had that thought myself, but God's showing me when I'm not following Him, I am worshiping someone else - myself. We must not put our comforts, wants and desires before God's leading. I know easier said than done!

Another verse that offers encouragement as I think about this is Hebrews 10:23. Here the author says, "Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful." Another version says without wavering. All too often I find myself holding on to the fence I'm standing on when God is asking me to hold onto my hope, the truth and His hand! If our hands or our heart are gripped to the fence they can't be where they are created to be!

And finally a verse that is a bit convicting - "I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm - neither hot nor cold - I am about to spit you out of my mouth." I don't think these words from Revelation 3:15-16 need much explaining. Friend, God knows and sees our actions, our heart and our hesitation! Will you join me in getting off the fence today? Let's not be like my little Jesse in this pic with hands over our ears denying what God is telling us to do. May we be women who hear God, obey Him and follow where He leads!

What fence are you standing on? Where is God asking you to go? Feel free to share and I will pray for you as I pray for me! Blessings to you friend and thanks for stopping by! It's a joy to journey with you! Remember God, our perfect parent, will never ask us to cross a fence to do something we can't do. He's equipped you, called you and will be with you - Follow Him!!


Unknown said...

Holding this post tight... this breathes such encouragement as I take steps to get to the other side of the fence! Love you Jill!

sas said...

AWESOME post! Such perfect timing for me. This reminds me of Psalm 18:29 For by you I can run against a troop, and by my God I can leap over a wall. :) Holding hands with you as we jump over! He will provide everything. Thank you so much, Jill! I totally needed this encouragement today. So much love to you!