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The gift I didn’t give

Hello blog readers,
Today I dropped the ball — and God found another way to handle His business. Right now, I’m sitting back — thankful for Him allowing me to witness His sovereignty — and also disappointed that I wasn’t obedient to what I was being led to do.

I had a birthday about 2 weeks ago, and I was given a gift certificate to a restaurant. For the past couple weeks, I’ve been thinking about this new savings plan I’m contributing to. I set a goal to save more – and I’m pretty excited to meet the goal. When my son and I got inside the restaurant, I saw two of my former high school classmates sitting together. I gave them both hugs and greeted them before being seated at my table. Before the waitress came to take our order, a thought came to mind, “I should call their waiter over and tell her to bring me their bill.”  It was a quick, subtle thought. It wasn’t pressing. It didn’t weigh heavily on my heart. It would have been really kind.

Instead of me calling the waiter over, I thought about my savings plan. How was I going to meet that goal if I don’t save, save, save? I was using a gift card, so technically I wasn’t spending anything to eat out. I tried to dismiss the thought of paying for their meal. Besides, I didn’t want to make them feel uncomfortable. How spiritually immature of me to talk myself out of doing a kind and loving thing for someone.

After paying my bill, there were about 10 dollars remaining on the gift card. Again, I got another thought, “Give them the remaining balance on the gift card.”  And again, I talked myself out of it thinking, “I don’t have cash for a tip. So if, I give the waiter a tip from the balance, that will only leave about 4 dollars on the card — and I’ll feel silly giving them $4 towards their food..” So I told the waitress she could have whatever was left on the card. I waved goodbye to both of them as my son and I left. Neither one knew that twice in that restaurant, God tried to get me to give them something. I wanted to believe they were my own thoughts. I could set MY thoughts aside, because they weren’t in line with my “savings plan”.

When I got home, I saw on social media that one of the women posted on Facebook about her dinner experience. She posted pictures with a caption saying that while she was at dinner, she bumped into a former faculty member from high school. After a conversation, the faculty member reached into her purse and gave my classmate money to pay for their meal. She ended the post by telling her cousin — the woman she was dining with — to keep fighting. According to her cousin’s Facebook page, she is being treated for breast cancer.  How spiritually immature of me to talk myself out of doing a kind and loving thing for someone.

God’s blessing for those women was not stopped because I didn’t obey. He used someone else. I’m not ok about it. I’m very ok with Gd blessing my classmates. I’m not ok about not listening to that whisper. I was supposed to do something, and I didn’t. I put myself before His desire for me to give. I don’t know what God is up to.. but I want to be in the center of His will. I ask Him for forgiveness. Those women have a gift card for dinner coming their way.

If you have the smallest, faintest impulse to do something kind, loving, good – do it.

“For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.” Phil 2:13

With love

 

Don’t forget the Obey!

Hello blog readers. It’s been more than 2 months since I’ve written, and I’ve spent some time trying to figure out why. I’ve had a lot going on — some amazing things — things that should have inspired me to write. This blog is about my Christian journey, and the things that have happened are surely a part of the journey.

Since I last wrote, I officially joined a local church. I will always love RainFire Church in Georgia, but God led me specifically to a church close to my home (Redemption Church) — and I love it. I joined the church choir, which I super love. My son and I were baptized together this past Mother’s Day. And, After having several heartfelt conversations sharing the gospel, 4 people asked me to lead them in prayer to ask Jesus to be their Savior. All praises to God.  Things have been happening, but I haven’t been writing. It wasn’t until 2 days ago that God helped me realize why I haven’t been able to write.

Disobedience.

Every time I wrote a blog article, I was sure to share it on Facebook. Then, I’d post to Twitter (which I never even log on to), Pinterest (never go there either), Google, Instagram, Christian forums… I hashtagged every word that I thought was fitting (#worship #faith # HolySpirit #Jesus) ….   I inboxed it to a few handfuls of people… Get the point?  And, I constantly checked the blog for page views. I had convinced myself that the more people I share with, the better.

I was laying in bed one night and I very clearly heard God tell me to “stop promoting” the blog. If I’m honest, I have to admit that promoting this blog had become more important than writing it — and it shouldn’t have.

So, I cut back.

I stopped hashtagging so much…. and I stopped going to random forums to post my blogs. From then on, I only *shared*  on Facebook, Twitter, and sometimes Instagram and Pinterest.

I was getting good feedback from people, so I thought I was doing something right. I had people asking, “How do you find time to write so often?” And honestly, inwardly,  I took some of the credit. I guess I thought that I just had a natural ability to write more blogs, more often. Then, I started having longer gaps between postings. It took 2 and a half months of having nothing to say — despite having awesome experiences — that it sank in. I can’t do ANYTHING for Him, without Him.

John 15:5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

God didn’t tell me to cut back. He told me something very specific. “Stop promoting.”

When promoting the blog became more important than what He told me to do (write it) — it was no longer for Him. It was for me.

Here’s the real AHA! moment: How could I expect the Holy Spirit to inspire me with content for this blog (titled PRAY HEAR OBEY) — if I’m disobedient????? I prayed, and I heard! I just forgot the “Obey.”

I tried to make updates. I have blog ‘drafts’ that are incomplete, but I couldn’t come up with anything worth posting to save my life… because there is nothing I could type that could impact anyone’s life. I’m a sinner just like you. The Holy Spirit is the only One that can convict someone’s heart.

Don’t get me wrong, I started with  good intentions: To do a work for the Lord that He could use to bless others — and, to be obedient to what God asked me to do.  In the process, my focus got divided between writing the content (my part), and reaching those who it would help (His part). I kept thinking, “How can the blog ever reach people if I don’t put it in as many places as I can?” I was trying to do His part.

Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.

So, from this point forward I will share, and not promote this blog. I pray that I promote Jesus through my obedience. I pray that I promote Jesus through the way I treat others. I pray to promote Jesus with my life as He transforms my heart.

If you were led here, thank you for reading, and I pray it blesses you.

James 1:22 But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.

 

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