Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Are You Washed In The Blood"1 (Lyrics)
For years, I've spent many pleasurable morning hours with my Bible and coffee, immersed in Bible journaling. Curled up on the couch, I watch the birds outside while listening for God's small voice inside. I thank God for His creation, and for my comfort and peace.
Psalm 96:3 – Declare his glory among the nations, his marvellous deeds among all peoples. (NIV)
How many can be reached with a scribbled notebook that I throw in a box when finished? Like the servant given one talent, I buried mine in a closet. Then a year ago, I was encouraged to join this ministry of writing devotionals.
The easy flow of written words became more difficult when faced with the knowledge that someone else would be reading it. Required to focus on one point and stay within a certain number of words, I often experience writer's block. I miss my comfy couch. Faced with other opportunities, I wondered if I should give up on this. I'm grateful to receive encouragement from readers, but perhaps, was I attempting too much?
Then, I attended a presentation by a photojournalist from the Wycliffe Bible Translators. While she's going back to school, to raise money for her mission trips, this young woman also speaks and sells photographs, regularly putting herself into unusual situations. One of the more bizarre things that she's required to do is to travel thousands of miles, arrive in a place that she's never been before, and look for a man holding a sign with her name on it. She gets into the car of this total stranger, and they speed away into the night, along dark, deserted roads to her hotel. She's always relieved to arrive at the right destination.
God takes us out of our comfort zone! He doesn't give us just one job to do. When we follow His lead, He always builds on what went on before, but we may take various learning paths. Our experiences come together in the right place at the right time — and then God moves us on again. We may not even be aware that He's used us.
Our purpose is to testify for God. It sounds simple and can be done in many different ways. Obedience means taking on God's assignments, not our own. My years of writing were training sessions. Lately, I've stepped out in other directions that also involve writing. Life's a journey. We must learn not to stay in a place God that wants us to leave — and also not to be too eager to leave a place where God wants us to stay! Today, I encourage you to join me in God's challenge. Step out of your comfort zone. God gives us whatever we need, but He never said it would be easy. Ask God for courage and strength, and feel His omnipotent right hand lifting you, as it has me.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for the men and women who take a risk and go off to mission work, facing innumerable dangers in Your name. For those of us in ministry here at home, we ask for Your grace and patience. Help us to persevere, to listen for Your leading, and to declare Your glory. We are grateful for the privilege of serving You. Amen.