Friday, February 17, 2017

In The Saving & The Calling



image via Unsplash

"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."
II Timothy 1:7

"...who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began,"
II Timothy 1:9  ESV

These two verses.

They embody everything that has been worked in and through me by the power of the Holy Spirit in the past four years.

While purpose has been of great importance to me for some time, it has been in the more recent past that God has been showing me how I can partner with Him in the purpose He has willed from the beginning.
His plan not only encompasses my beginning, when He knew me in my mother's womb, but from the moment He spoke and Creation became a reality.  (Ephesians 1:4)

In His Sovereignty, He determined that I would be born with a vicious desire to change the world.  He also gifted me with what I'm going to refer to as the "mothering instinct."  From my earliest remembrance, I was taking care of others with a vengeance (some called me bossy, and they might not be wrong).

My surrendering to this gifting and stepping into my calling is becoming one of my favorite seasons of life.

What a beautiful realization that He gives us everything we need to fulfill His desires for us in this life and in the life to come. (II Peter 1:3)

First, He saves us.

Secondly, He calls us.

And in the saving and the calling, He asks not that we come in perfection or with performance, but armed with His purpose.

All He asks is that we join Him in the works that He is already performing for His glory.  He works, we partner with Him.  He gives power, we perform in that strength.  He showers grace on our parched souls, and we allow the overflow to splash on those around us who need Him just as much as we do.

There are moments when fear creeps in. Days when we know our getting up is only possible through His powerful connection to the weakest parts of our humanity.  I have lived this scenario more times than I care to admit. I used to hate it.  I would cry out in anger, frustration and fear.

My struggle with anxiety is one of the best things to happen to me.

Yes, it's true.  I never would have thought I could say that.  But, I mean it with every fiber in my being.  It's been painful.  I have scars and wounds that won't soon be forgotten.  But, I now know that He alone can do the saving.  He alone can do the calling, and He alone can do the providing for every strength we need.

Recently I went to a training in Texas, where I was taught some important lessons in regards to ministry as a woman.  I'm thankful for all I learned, but the thing I came away from there with was a braver sense of freedom than I have had in a long long time.

I am His. He is mine. And, there is nothing we can't do together.

God has not given me a spirit of fear.  Instead, He has lifted me out of the pit I had been crouching in, and given me His Spirit, which results in power, love and a sound mind.

I have taken medication for several years now, but it couldn't fight the demons lurking in my surroundings.  It couldn't numb the constant fear that pulsed in time with the beating of my heart. It couldn't set me free to live without continually looking over my shoulder for seemingly insignificant triggers which threatened my existence.

Anxiety robs you of your joy.  Jesus Christ is the giver of joy. (John 15:11)

And it takes a surrender to the idea that His ways are higher than ours to break free of that "looking over your shoulder" kind of fear.

It takes a special kind of giving up to walk in the calling you previously had an aversion to because you thought it meant organizing "Mommy play dates."  Women's Ministry was the thing I said "no way" to because my perspective of it was shallow and incomplete.

And now, it's completing my joy in such a beautiful way. I find myself smiling even when I'm alone thinking about the miracles God is working in and around me.

The most amazing part of this turn of events... I didn't do it.  Sure, I worked on my part of things.  I surrendered my will to God, and continue to pray that prayer daily.  I walked into the counselor's office and laid my soul bare in order to root up the unhealthy thinking that had long been part of my mind.  And, I gave up the part of me that cared what everyone thought about me, and looked to my grace-giving Father above.

Looking back at the past four years, it's apparent that the part I had to play wasn't as difficult as I had previously anticipated.

Purpose in my case looks like one small step at a time, and standing brave in the power of His might. It involves putting on that belt of truth every single day (Ephesians 6:14). 

But, mostly a life of power, love and a sound mind comes from selflessly surrendering our every thing - every day of our lives.



***Do you struggle with surrendering your fear and anxiety to God? Send me a note and let me know how I can be praying with you about it.***


9 comments:

  1. Jamie! Oh, yes, this is precious. Our struggles can be the best things that happen- little compares to the beauty of watching God redeem and work for good what is not in and of itself good. I struggle with too, and would love prayer. I will also pray for you! May our joy be complete in Him!

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    1. I will be praying for you as well! Thank you for your encouragement today!

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    1. I appreciate you reading and commenting!

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  3. I've been on a similar journey. Thanks for sharing yours.

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  5. I was raised in a church with legalistic tendencies, the role of performance was a "sore" spot for me. I had to come to the knowledge that God would rather "dance" with me, than to spectate and grade my dancing! :) Such a beautiful post!

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    1. I love how you put that, Lindsey!
      And by the way...I LOVE your writing on your blog!

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