So many things happening at the moment it is hard to stand up - my sister fighting cancer, fighting not knowing the Lord and all the strength and joy He so wants to provide for her. A beloved sister in Christ just having two mini strokes right out of the blue and wondering what that might mean for the future; friends with family who are suffering and who are trying so desperately to stand firm; other issues not quite so serious but all needing the Lord to step in and show the way forward. These are dark days.
The opposition hotting up towards me and coming from many different angles - the enemy wanting me to doubt my ministry, my calling and even my God. The struggle to keep going when inevitably the thoughts come - is this really what the Lord wants you to be doing? Is this really what He has for you? Are you sure that you are right for this work? Shouldn't you be stronger, younger, braver, more intelligent - shouldn't you be a man? Is it really ok for women to lead, to teach - to be a part of the work of God in the church? Is it really your place or is He telling you to stop - to stand aside, to let someone else take over?
I have been praying and praying, asking my Father to tell me clearly, telling Him again that everything I am and all that I have is His - that I don't want to hold on to anything that He would have me lay aside - that every day in every way I want to honour Him and be used for His glory.
And I know that He is reminding me that each day is a gift from Him and that we must live it with all the joy and strength that He provides, not letting our thoughts run ahead of us but simply trusting, as a little child, that He will be all that we need and that He is faithful to His promises to us.
I've been reminded that He knows our deepest fears and has promised that He will be our refuge and our deliverer from them. He has shown me that absolutely nothing can separate me from Him and that whatever comes, He will be more than enough.
And then this morning I asked - Lord, Father - I need to know absolutely that I am in Your will, please speak to me through what I read in Your Word - and of course, He did.
In Ezra we read that the people who had come back to Jerusalem after the exile to Babylon, under the decree of Cyrus, had stopped building the temple because of the opposition to them, opposition that looked strong and important - indeed they were shown a decree from the King. But then God spoke through His prophets and told them to KEEP BUILDING.
He told them that 'I am with you' - that 'My Spirit is abiding in your midst' - He told them 'do not fear' and that 'I will bless you'.
And I said through tears Father, thank You - I asked for a Word and You gave me so many. I asked for confirmation and You wrote it in stone. I asked for Your will and You made it plain to me.......
DO NOT STOP BUILDING - do not be swayed from the work of strengthening the walls of the church, the temple of the living God, the body of the Lord Jesus Christ. DO NOT STOP BUILDING - time is short and the enemy comes in like a flood. DO NOT STOP BUILDING until I call you home.
So here I stand - in His strength, in His wisdom, in His righteousness alone - here I stand - what about you?
Ask your Father for His Word to you today - ask Him, come boldly to His throne of grace - ask Him - what and where and how should I live? What specifics do you need to hear from Him? Ask Him and wait for His answer - then go in His strength and live in His joy for His glory and for the edification and building up of the body of Christ Jesus.
Until He comes..........