“Do you trust me?” A still, small voice spoke those words to my heart one day recently when I was praying. My prayer closet (literally!) has very much become my sanctuary and place to be real with God. Among discarded clothes, boxes of shoes, and dresser drawers, I get real with God. I share everything as though I am talking with a trusted friend, confidant, and Father. Because I am, and you know what? He loves me–so much so that He wants to change me from the inside out to be a reflection of Him. And He is doing that, especially right now.
Several weeks ago, for Mother’s day weekend, my church hosted an event called Divine Design. Over two days, around 150-200 women gather for a meal, conversation, and a guest speaker. Jan Farwell was our guest speaker and God used her testimony and His words to speak truth and change to my life. Here is an excerpt from my May 21, 2018 journal entry:
Divine Design took place Mother’s Day weekend and Suzanne, Savannah, Dani, and I attended the Friday night session. Jan Farwell was the guest speaker…during her talk, the holy spirit spoke to me very quietly and told me I needed to stop drinking alcohol totally. Immediately I started questioning it–was that truly from God? I put the thought behind me and the evening continued.
The next day I was “working” Saturday’s Divine Design. I was helping Cearra sell raffle tickets for a fundraiser. During Jan’s speech, I heard the holy spirit’s still, small voice, but it was louder and clearer this time. Not only did I hear the same message, I really felt it in my heart.
Now, before I continue, my carnal self feels like saying, “I only drank occasionally” which is true for the most part. But, God… My journal entry from May 21st continues:
God comes first–His will be done. It doesn’t matter the reason why He asked me to stop–I WILL be faithful to Him above everything, especially my carnal self. He is God and I am not. God, thank you for changing me from the inside out. You are sanctifying me…Your will be done!
Since that weekend, God has spoke to me in several ways, and they all resonate the same message. God is preparing me, and you, for spiritual maturity. According to Lucinda Secrest McDowell’s book Dwelling Places,
“… spiritual maturity only occurs through obedience, exercising the spiritual disciplines, and sacrificially serving others. Spiritual maturity is not a destination, it’s a journey; and the journey doesn’t end until we see Jesus–then a new journey begins” (Mature, 222).
Take a moment and look back over the last year of your life. Can you see the changes Jesus has made in your life? More joy in your workplace. Forgiveness in a relationship. More love for your neighbors. Renewed trust in a marriage. With Jesus at the helm and your obedience to His guidance, “the One who started a good work in you will stay with you to complete the job by the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6).
One final thought from Lucinda Secrest McDowell:
One thing I’d probably do differently would be to relax and try to glean from the here and now, knowing that God is always at work, no matter how things appear to me. I would remember that in His sovereign wisdom God personally directs the course of my life, determining what I need to learn and how I can best experience growth” (Mature, 223, emphasis mine).
Is there something God is asking you to do in obedience to Him? Is God’s sovereign wisdom trying to direct a new course in your life?
Step out in faith, trust in Him, and KNOW He is with you every step of the way, on your own personal spiritual journey.
Every day is a new day to be faithful and obedient to God. His mercies are new every morning. I pray you continue to seek Him first, in all you say and do.
May God continue to bless you!
- “Dwelling Places.” Lucinda Secrest McDowell. Abingdon Press. 2016.
- Images: 2 Peter 1:5-8 from Slideplayer and Spiritual Maturity from Stapico