Thursday, May 19, 2011

Here I Am, Lord, Send Me...But Don't Send Me to Ninevah!

Have you ever felt that God has called you to a certain ministry that you were ill-equipped and unqualified to serve Him in?  Perhaps you have felt that someone else might be better suited for that particular task of ministry.   Maybe you don’t have the skills or abilities to do the job at hand, or worse yet, you have too many scars and you are too broken to be effective for your King?  Yet, He continually whispers to your soul, “Come, serve me over here”.  Again, your King and your God says, “You can do this, just get out of the boat and keep your eyes on Me.” You don’t have to be afraid, I am right here with you.  I will take your hand and lead you. 

For many years I have had the privilege and honor to serve the Lord in several different capacities ranging from a Sunday School teacher, a Bible study leader, creating and overseeing a ministry organization with my husband, and now writing for the Lord to encourage, equip, edify and affirm His children.  I can tell you from personal experience that writing for Jesus has been THE MOST DIFFICULT ministry that I have ever served in!  In fact, it has brought me to tears almost every time I write for Him (and I am in tears now).  I can’t tell you how many times I have cried out to the Lord telling Him I can’t do this because it is emotionally agonizing for me (and I am not an emotional person, I don’t gush easily.) 

You might be asking yourself why is it so hard for me to write and what is the big deal.  Permit me to let you in on some of my insecurities regarding this ministry. 

Issue # 1-  I was told at a young age that I was a poor writer and those words continued on into college when I had to take a college writing course 3 times in order to finally pass it.  Yes, I failed college writing not just once, but twice!  Because of what I went through in the past, I have always shied away from the pen and paper experience.

Issue #2-  Writing puts you in the spotlight.  There is no one else in the room, there is no crowd to hide behind or mix in with.  For any individual who likes to take center stage, they would probably love this, yet, that is not me.  I am a socially reserved person, in fact, if I were in a group setting you could find me in the back of the room where I would feel safe.

Issue #3-  Writing can be a vulnerable and transparent experience…one that is very uncomfortable because you are exposing yourself to others and some of the readers are complete strangers!

So, if it is so hard for me to write, then why do I do it, you might ask.
Bottom line:  God has called me to do it.  (Period)  No other reasons. 
It was 2 or 3 years ago when the Lord gently spoke to me and said, “You need to start a blog.” 
Here were my thoughts.  “What’s a blog?  How do I start one?  What am I supposed to write about?  I have nothing to say.” 
I went on with the busyness of my life, yet, in the back of my mind were my Savior’s words, “You need to write.”  I eventually found the time to investigate on the whole ‘blog thing’ and I finally started one last year but I didn’t really know what to do with it.  I wrote posts for it every now and then but I did not have much time, nor direction from the Lord to be very intentional about it.  Time went on and I heard His voice again.  However, this time it was louder, more clearly and more often, “You need to write.”
Okay, Lord, but I am too busy, something needs to change.  I can’t do everything that is on my plate.  Show me what to do and what to cut out.
Again, He said to me, “You need to write.”  I heard Him loud and clear!  I wanted to be obedient so I knew I needed to make some changes in my life in order to have the time to write for Him.

I often think of Isaiah when he heard the Lord speak, “Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.”  Isaiah 6:8  When I read that verse I am so inspired to go where ever God sends me but when the rubber meets the road and the Lord calls me to do something that I do not feel equipped to do, will I answer the call?  Will I heed His voice?  Or will I be like Jonah, the reluctant prophet, who did not want to go to Ninevah?  
Sorry Jonah, but I’m goin’ with Isaiah!

Here's a glimpse into what God has already done in this ministry…The Alabaster Jar blog has been up on the internet now for a little over two months.  In that time, I have had the opportunity to be used by the Lord to minister to, and encourage women even when I did not feel equipped or qualified.  The blog has now reached 20 different countries.  I honestly don't know how that is possible.  "But with God all things are possible.”  Matthew 19:26 As hard as it has been for me to write these posts, God has shown Himself faithful to me as He has held my hand while on this journey.  I am humbled and honored that He has allowed me to be a vessel on His behalf. 

Even though I have had institutions tell me that I was not a writer, God has said otherwise.  He has entrusted me to help build His kingdom even when I doubted Him.  He is entrusting you to build it as well. You are needed for the Kingdom sake.  "Then Jesus said to his disciples,  "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest field."  Matthew 9:37-38

It is Him that we should desire to please and it is Him that we should listen to. God does not call the qualified, He equips the called.  So, what is it that He is asking you to do?  He will be with you every step of the way and you will be blessed beyond measure as you serve your King.  You are needed to make an impact for the Lord.  Stop listening to the enemy tell you what you can't do!  Satan is very happy to keep you from serving the Lord with the spiritual gifts that God has blessed you with.  What is stopping you?  What reason do you have for not wanting to go to Ninevah?  Jonah's reason was because of his flesh.  My reason was because of my flesh and the fear that I had.  For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.  2 Timothy 1:7  I hope your flesh does not hinder you and I encourage you to step out in faith and be obedient to His calling.  You won't regret it!

1 comment:

Brook said...

Hi Jolene,
Once again you have hit the nail on the head! It is always so hard to think that you are able to serve the Lord when He calls you. We don't need to be able we just need to be obedient and He will equip us for His glory along the way! Thanks again for the encouragement!
In Him, Brook