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Hard Questions

At church this past week, our pastor asked us how much we thought we had grown to become more like Jesus in the past year. As I was thinking back over 2016, I noticed a pattern that God had taken with me throughout the year…

  1. God himself, a family member, or friend I trust, would ask me a hard question.
  2. I would wrestle with it (a lot), then go to God and to Scripture to find the answer.
  3. He would ask me to do something to test whether I really believed the answer I had found in Scripture.
  4. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

Examples of hard questions I have heard over the past year:

  • Have you ever asked God how he feels about you? What he thinks about you?
  • Do you believe God is who he says he is?
  • Do you believe you are who God says you are (because of Jesus)?
  • How much of your heart are you going to trust Jesus with?
  • How much of your kids, husband, home, and life are you going to trust Jesus with?
  • Who do you belong to?
  • What is my calling?
  • What does God want for your health? What is his will?
  • Do you trust Me? - God

What are your hard questions?

Again and again, I was drawn to God’s Word to find the answers. Again and again, these questions continue to drive home the truth of my identity in Christ. One of my favorite Scripture is in Mathew 3:

As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” - Mathew 3:16-17 (NIV)

I love that Jesus had not done anything toward his ministry yet here on earth, and yet God was covering him with love and affection, just for being himself. He didn’t have to do anything to earn his Father’s approval. As I read these words, God spoke to my heart and said, “Tammy, this is how I love you. This is how I feel about you. Just be you.”

And God continues to gently ask me questions like…

Will you trust me as you move in the coming months? Will you trust I will show you the right school for you kids? Will you trust me with your kids? Will you trust me with your son? Do you believe I will be with you as I show you where I want you to serve? Will you trust me for every step? Do you believe I am faithful? Do you believe I am Sovereign over all? Do you believe I am always for you and for your good?

And the answer, after a lot of wrestling, is YES!!!

He is worthy of my trust. He is worthy of my obedience. He is worthy of my taking a risk for him. Every time. And he is faithful. Every time. Yes, it’s often really hard. Yes, I get really scared. But I’m not alone.

For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit. - John 3:34 (NIV)

Do we understand what this means? We can’t ever ask for too much of his Holy Spirit! He gives it without limit! I love this, and it’s so comforting, because wow do we need his Spirit in our lives!

So when God asks us to do something hard, and we feel the familiar fear rising up and making me want to retreat, let’s lean into our fear and do it anyway. Do it anyway! Take that first step afraid. As we take that first step of obedience, God will turn our fear into courage. The Holy Spirit brings bravery to us. We should be more afraid of what we will miss if we don’t obey God. He has amazing things awaiting us if we would just trust him and take him at his word.

However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”— the things God has prepared for those who love him— 1 Corinthian 2:9 (NIV)

We can’t even dream up in our most creative moment all that he has planned for us. I don’t want to miss that, do you?

But my righteous one will live by faith.
And I take no pleasure
in the one who shrinks back. - Hebrews 10:38 (NIV)

Lord, give us courage! Lord, don’t let us shrink back in fear. We need your Holy Spirit to make us brave.

The hardest question this past year was, “Who do I belong to?” and “What is my calling? I struggle with insecurity and can get bogged down with “What am I supposed to be doing, Lord? Am I doing what you called me to do with my life?”

God gave me the best answer…

And you also are among those Gentiles who are called to belong to Jesus Christ. - Romans 1:6 (NIV) (emphasis mine)

We belong to Him.

If you have said “yes” to Jesus, you are called to belong to him. That’s it. You can rest in this truth.

If we could just remember this, I believe everything else will fall into place. I have experienced it over and over. We don’t have to wear ourselves out worrying about the rest. He’s got us. And that is a very good thing.

Lord, you are so patient with us and we love you. You are faithful and your Word is life to us. Please keep reminding us that we belong to you, and we are called to belong to you. Fill us with your Holy Spirit and with courage to take that next step of faith with you. You are so worthy of our risk, and remind us that we can’t even conceive or begin to imagine all that you have for us. Amen.

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If you are an imperfect wife, mom, daughter, or friend, struggling to stay focused on God in the craziness and find joy in the heartache, then we have something in common. I am a recovering perfectionist and daughter of the King, slowly learning to fully trust the One who sees me just as I am, and is already pleased. I’m so glad you are here.

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