Is God calling you?
This is the post excerpt.
Is God calling you?
It’s time to stop talking about it and do it.
“Faith by itself if it is not accompanied by action is dead.” James 2:17 NIV
Shortly after my father passed away, I had a dream about him. During that time, I was hurting and lost and in the dream, I had hoped that he would impart some wisdom that would make everything clear. I asked him if there was anything he wanted to tell me. He shrugged his shoulders and said, “don’t just talk about it, do it.”
Needless to say, when I woke up I was disappointed and confused. My dad always had something wise to say to everyone. I didn’t know what to make of his words at all, so I shook it off and tried to forget about it. I tried to move on with my life but all I really did was talk about what I knew God was calling me to do. Every now and again, I would toss my father’s words around in my mind until years later it finally clicked. I realized that I had been using my circumstances and heartbreaks as an excuse to not do what I was called to do. I thought as long as I was talking about it, I was doing ok. Talking, when you’re supposed to be doing, is still disobedience.
Right now, you might be in a place in your life that you hadn’t expected to be. It feels safe to just stay in the boat and pray that God will get you to the other side. He will because He is merciful and loving but He has called you to boldly step out of the boat and do the impossible. He wants you to fulfill the dream that He has placed in your heart. The book you want to write, the ministry you were called to start, the business you’re supposed to create were all placed in your heart to be a blessing to someone. It’s time to stop talking about it and do it.
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16 NIV
Waiting is a necessary struggle that no one can escape.
“I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” Psalm 27:13-14 NIV
It’s rejected, I thought as I checked my email for the fifth time within the last thirty minutes. It had been a whole month since I submitted my article and still no response. If it had been accepted I would have heard something by now. Why did I have to choose a career that requires soooo much waiting? I sighed then checked my email again but as I considered throwing my computer out the window, I realized that I didn’t really choose this career. It is a calling that came from God and I said yes to that call. He’s the One that gives me the words to write so it only makes sense that I continue to trust that He will make a way for those words to be spread.
I don’t write for my glory but for God’s and that means I have to wait for His timing. He can open doors that I don’t even know exist. His plans are bigger than anything I can dream. Yes, waiting is unpleasant and sometimes I feel as if I’m not going anywhere but God’s definition of success isn’t based on how much money I make, how many Twitter followers I have or how many books I sell. God considers me a success if I completed the assignment He has given me and the attitude I had while doing it. Never look down on those moments of waiting, it’s in those moments that God prepares you for your next level of greatness. Waiting is a necessary struggle that no one can escape.
“But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31 NKJV
“For though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again.” Proverbs 24:16 NIV
Rejected again but not by God. I won’t lie, rejection hurts. It bruises the ego and breaks the heart. As a writer, I’m faced with rejection all the time. You never really get used to rejection, you just learn how to deal with it. You have to make a decision that you will not give up. You continue to hope because your hope is not based on what you see but on the God with whom all things are possible.
Quitting is not an option with God on your side. If Abraham had quit, he would not have become the father of many nations. If Moses had quit, the Israelites would have never seen the Promised Land. If David had quit, he would have never become king. If Jesus had quit, we would never have salvation.
Whatever God has promised you, don’t give up. Attaining those promises may be a challenge but not an impossibility. Though you may be bruised, heartbroken and exhausted, God is still with you. He is able and willing.
“The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.” Psalm 37:23-24 NIV
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; I know that full well.” Psalm 139:14 NIV
When I started (and up until the moment I wrote this) thought that I had to be the perfect writer. I thought I had to write as many stories and books as James Patterson and my words had to beautifully flow and be as meaningful as Maya Angelou. what’s the point of doing what I do if I’m not the best? If I’m not the best, who is going to want to read my work? If no one reads my work then how will I become the next Shonda Rhimes? Wouldn’t I be a failure if I’m not the best?
Fortunately, I was reminded that God doesn’t expect me to be James Patterson, Maya Angelou or Shonda Rhimes. He wants me to be me. He knew who I was and who I would become before He created me in my mother’s womb. He’s the one that called me to write. He loves me and all my geeky weirdness. He knows all of my insecurities and flaws yet He still chose me to encourage people through my writing. I don’t understand it and sometimes I feel unworthy of this call but nevertheless, I will do it. I will trust Him to guide me and help me through my journey.
My success isn’t based on how many books or short stories I sell. It’s not based on how many views my blog gets and it’s not based on how many people follow me on Facebook and Twitter. Success, in God’s eyes, is based on whether or not I have done what He has called me to do.
“You are my servant; I have chosen you and not rejected you. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:9-10 NIV
“With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26 NIV
Sometimes, when we think about all that God is calling us to do it can become overwhelming. Just know that if God has called you to do something, it is not impossible. God provides everything we need, when we need it. Trust that He has everything already planned out for us. Nothing takes God by surprise although, it may be a surprise to us. There are no obstacles that can block God’s plans. He is the God that never sleeps. He set the plans for our lives in motion before we were even formed in our mother’s womb. Our job is to trust Him and not to try and make sense of things with our own understanding. His ways are not our ways. We can’t do what He has called us to do apart from Him so we might as well just let Him lead us.
“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'” Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
Hello fellow faith walkers, it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything on Out The Boat. When I started this blog my goal was to be an encouragement to people who were taking leaps of faith and jumping out the boat to do whatever God has called them to do. I have to be honest that lately I haven’t felt very encouraged myself so I haven’t posted anything.
I was tired of jumping out the boat, sinking, then jumping back in…over and over again. I was tired of feeling like I was praying to a brick wall when I could have been spending time catching up on Game of Thrones before the new season starts. I was tired of watching everyone else’s prayers get answered while I still waited. Yes, I’ve been having a selfish moment. Who am I to question God’s timing? I am nothing but a little grey worm (shout out to my fellow GOT fans).
The truth is God answers my prayers every single day that I wake up in my right mind. God knows what obstacles I’m facing and He always makes a way. He always provides for my needs. There are just some things that I have to wait a bit longer before I see them manifested in my life. God can not be rushed so I have no choice but to be patient because I want the best He has for me.
Another thing I realized is that sometimes the best way to encourage others is to let them know they are not alone in their struggles. I feel as if I’ve failed my fellow faith walkers by only writing when I feel like it or when I feel strong. The truth is that sometimes I need encouraging too. I have days when I don’t feel like I’m worthy of my calling and there are some days I feel like giving up but I know that I’m not the only one. So, I promise I’ll do better posting regularly.
You all keep praying for me…I’m praying for you. God Bless!
Fear, we meet again. Didn’t we just have this same conversation last week? You say I can’t make it and this time it’s really the end. You tell me that everyone will shake their heads in pity or laugh at me. I’ve heard it all before and I’m tired of listening to you. You’re a liar. God said that I can do all things through Christ. He also said that even though I may fall seven times, I will rise again. I will put my trust in God because no one who hopes in Him will ever be put to shame.
I realize that God has never failed me but you, Fear, have done nothing but hold me back. I’m not sure why I keep allowing you to take up residency inside my head. Well, let this be your eviction notice.
“For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'” Jeremiah 29:11 NIV