“What is holding you back from going deeper in your relationship with God?” That is a question this week from Lysa TerKeurst’s book What Happens When Women Say Yes To God“.
What is holding you back? Are you putting self before God? Is it fear, intimidation, lack of confidence? Could it be you are worrying about what other people think? Luke 9:26 (KJV) reads “For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels.” Are your friends, co-workers or family holding you back? What about those “feelings” and emotions? Our walk with God should be one about faith, not our feelings, but oh those feelings get to me sometime and I bet they do most people at some point. Feelings of “I’m not good enough”, “I am not pretty”, “I’m too fat”, or feeling we have failed an exam, feeling we have an illness that we do not. And then there is comparison – comparing ourselves with others when we should only be comparing ourselves to our Lord.
How do we release what is holding us back? How do we surrender and move forward with our palms up receiving all God has for us. I started looking for scripture:
- PRAYER – God wants to hear from us. Hebrews 4:16 (KJV) “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
- THANKING GOD – 1 Chronicles 16:8 (KJV) “Give thanks unto the Lord, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people.”
- SEEKING FORGIVENESS AND FORGIVE OTHERS – 1 John 2:1 (KJV) “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” and Matthew 6:14 (KJV) “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.”
- TALK TO GOD THROUGHOUT THE DAY – 1 Chron 16:11 (KJV) “Seek the Lord and his strength, seek his face continually.”
- FASTING – Matthew 6:16 (KJV) “Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.”
- BIBLE STUDY – Psalms 119:11 (KJV) – “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” and 2 Tim 2:15 (KJV) “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
- FELLOWSHIP – Acts 2:42 (KJV) – “And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.”
Many years ago I wanted to lead women, but FEAR held me back. I took women in our church to retreats out-of-town. I bought videos and had women over for lunch and a video. I had a fear of leading, of teaching and what others would think and speaking. Those feelings of inadequacy and not being “good enough”. Because of my fears and feelings I was withholding from God.
Last year I retired. God brought me to Melissa Taylor’s On-line Bible studies, now Proverbs31.Org. I got in the word. The more I studied, the more I began to count my blessings, the more I was consumed with God – His truth, His handiwork, His love. A short time later I was asked to lead and I wanted to but that fear came in. I talked to my family and they encouraged me, and I prayed for some time and finally surrendered and became a leader. The fellowship, the study of the Word, the prayers we share are just not explainable beyond being awesome and encouraging and soul filling – an infatuation with my Lord like I have never known.
I am a leader for the most awesome ladies I have ever met. Our group is like a class-room full of sister – Jesus sisters. My heart is full with the love pouring out of them for each other and me. I asked them to share a picture of their palms up this week because that’s our hash tag for the week. Look at that picture at the top at what they did. WOW!!!!
”Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.” (Joshua 1:9)
It does not matter what we are withholding. God will be with us and I found I did not have to know how to lead. I found that God equipped me how to lead.
I find myself in God’s presence all the time! How about you? Are you withholding or are you in His presence?
#PalmsUp to receive all He has to offer and He will if we are obedient.