I Wanted to Give Up Before I Began
"The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him." Psalm 28:7 (NIV)
I was sitting in my bedroom working on my weekly Bible study when God spoke to me. While I can’t say I heard His voice audibly, it was the loudest thought I’d ever had. His message was clear: "Speak."
After a few minutes of panic, I calmed myself by deciding the whole episode was just something crazy I’d imagined. C’mon, Micca, God spoke to you? No way.
And with that, I put the thought of speaking out of my head.
As time went on, mysterious things happened that brought to mind God’s word to me … I received unsolicited invitations to speak at ladies’ luncheons, churches and schools.
Fear filled my entire being, and I thought about graciously declining, but then I remembered Moses.
Moses had doubts and fears just like me. When God spoke to Moses through a burning bush and gave him the task of freeing the Israelites from Egyptian slavery, he was terrified too. Moses told God he wasn’t capable of taking on such a huge assignment.
How did God respond? He assured Moses he wasn’t alone. That He would be with him.
As I revisited this story found in Exodus chapters 3 and 4, God showed me it wasn’t about any commitment on my part, as much as it was about submitting to His plan. With that I decided to obey. "Okay, God. As long as you’re with me I᾿ll give speaking a try."
Each time I spoke I felt the same — like tossing my cookies. It wasn’t easy! There were so many faces staring at me. I knew they had expectations. And beyond the people in the audience, I felt Satan taunting me with negative thoughts and lies while I was speaking: "Nobody is listening to you. You’re just a simple southern girl. What have you got to offer? Do us all a favor and give up."
I wanted to give up. So did Moses, but God gave him confidence. The Lord promised Moses He would be with him and help him. God would perform miracles through him. These signs would not only reassure Moses that God was with him, but they would force the king of Egypt to free God’s people from slavery.
I love that Moses wasn’t afraid to admit his weaknesses to God. How else would Moses have known the Lord would be his help and his strength?
Trusting in these truths provided strength each time I spoke. That’s not all. Repeatedly, God showed me what He was accomplishing through my weakness and obedience. The most confirming response came when I spoke to a group of college students.
After the room cleared, a young man approached me. "Excuse me," he began. "When I was in high school, I felt God calling me into ministry. But when it came time for college I ignored that call and chose to study law. After hearing you speak today, God stirred my heart, and I’ve decided to surrender to the ministry. I want to thank you for coming. God used you to point me back in the right direction for my life."
Wow! I was amazed God invited me to participate in such a beautiful miracle. In spite of my insecurities, doubts and feeble weakness, the Lord used me.
It was then that today’s key verse, Psalm 28:7, became a reality in my heart: "The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him."
The more I trusted God in my weakness, the stronger I became, and the more I realized this truth: God never commands us to do something that He doesn’t provide the power and help to accomplish.
Whether you’re called to speak to 10 or 10,000, lead a Bible study group or give a presentation at work, public speaking can be challenging. And you do have a choice. You can say "no" to your burning bush and be miserable, or you can say "yes" and watch the power of God work through your weakness to accomplish His will and bring glory to His Name.
The Lord wants to reveal Himself to others through you. The key is admitting your weaknesses to God and submitting to His ability to work wonders through you.
Father, I confess my fears to You. Help me overcome them by trusting in Your presence and power that You make available in every task. Help me worry less about committing on my end, and focus more on admitting my weaknesses and submitting to Your plans. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
2 Corinthians 9:8, "And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work." (NIV)
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
What’s holding you back from being all God intends you to be? Make a list, then surrender each item to God. Ask God to help you trust Him in every opportunity to minister in His Name.