I really like the story of Gideon—how he had to focus on God and depend on God’s strength, instead of his own. I don’t know about you, but I’ve felt that way before, and I’ve prayed…
Lord, I’m not strong enough to face this situation, I need your strength.
God, I don’t know how to do this, but you do—I need your guidance.
Lord, I can’t handle this anymore, I need your energy.
I’ve found that when I pray, God does indeed provide what I need, maybe for the moment, maybe for longer. When I forge ahead, thinking I can handle it on my own…well, I can’t. Doubt in myself and insecurity creep in and my confidence is gone.
And therein lies the problem—it’s those times when I’m looking for my confidence in myself that I lose my way. But when I turn to God first and find my strength and confidence in Him, He guides and directs me on the path He wants me to be on.
In chapter 5 of A Confident Heart by Renee Swope, Renee asks, “Have you felt paralyzed by uncertainty and allowed it to keep you from walking forward with God in faith?”
When I read this I remembered when I first felt God lead me to start an online Bible study. I almost let doubt keep me from stepping forward in faith. Below is a repost from my blog on June 20, 2011, when I wrote about my saying no to God.
by Laura Rath
What almost kept me from saying yes to God? I lost my focus.
Earlier this year, God laid it on my heart to start an online Bible study. I’d been praying for His guidance, asking Him what I should be doing, and He answered. My mind raced with ideas and possibilities! But the excitement soon turned to uneasiness. I didn’t know how to start, and social media was outside of my comfort zone. I wanted confirmation from others, but didn’t want to tell anyone for fear that I would have to follow through. The more I thought about it, the less I could see a way it would work. I started to doubt it came from God at all, but instead my over-active imagination.
God gave the direction, but I didn’t ask Him how to get there. I quickly grew discouraged and decided I wasn’t going to do it.
I asked God for help, received it, and then told Him no. It’s no wonder I felt like I was no longer hearing from Him. It was not a good place to be in.
I turned to God in prayer and after pouring out my heart to Him, I felt Him tell me, “Focus on Me.”
I thought of when Jesus walked on water and Peter walked toward Him. (Matthew 14:22-33) When Peter’s focus was on Jesus, he could walk on water. But as soon as Peter lost his focus, he began to sink.
It was a clear message that my focus should be on Christ, and not on what was going on around me or what I felt I couldn’t do.
Later that same day I was led to Deuteronomy 31:8: “Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.”
I immediately felt is was God’s instruction to me, not only for the online study, but in other areas of my life as well.
God was guiding and directing me…and still one more incredible thing happened that day.
God led me to an online Bible study though Proverbs 31 Ministries. The study was to begin in four days. Although I was on the Proverbs 31 Web site often, I had not seen anything about the study until the perfect timing of that day. God led me to the study of a book that was a blessing in my life, and He showed me an example of how an online study could work.
What almost kept me from saying yes to God? I took my focus off of Jesus and I started to sink.
Have a blessed week!