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Monday, July 16, 2007

Are you thinking to small?

“If you think you can handle all God has for you to do on your own, then you are thinking to small,” Stormie O'Martin said in her book Prayer That Changes Everything.

Father I just don't have what it takes, how many of you have felt the same way. I have dreams that I keep tucked in the corners of my mind, and desires of wanting to be something great for the glory of God. In reality if I am truly honest, many of my thoughts rotate around the concern, I just don't have what it takes.

As Christians we grow weary in the fight, and dare I say we grow weary in always doing good. Many times it feels like an up hill battle. Now mind you I don't have the desire to do something bad, but I know non-believers don't have the constant mind battle of “is this the right thing to do? How would Jesus respond in this situation? Should I do this, should I do that?”

As I was having this small pity party this week God brought many reminders to me throughout the week (don't you love that about Him?) Let me share how my week went while I was feeling weak:

Tuesday: I was hit with many upsetting things, finances became real tight, unexpected bills arrived and my son who I just paid $400 to fix his broken teeth broke one of the teeth again (did not even last the whole vacation). I was sick to my stomach, I was crying. I was saying, “Father I CAN'T DO THIS.” Then after much whinning, I opened my mail and a sweet friend sent me a wonderful gift of a purse that said, “With God All Things Are Possible” Mark 10:27. I sat there and sobbed and knew God was in control.

Wednesday: I was still feeling the drain of various pressures, but I knew God was in control. I listened to a Beth Moore broadcast she is doing on the book of Romans. At the end of the broadcast she challenged us to ask God to rock us, to make this piece of scripture change our life. God once again reminded me that he wants me to think BIG.

Thursday: The Lord led me to this article (almost yelling at me, because you know I can be hard of hearing sometimes, GIRL ARE YOU GETTING THIS). Tony Dungy had this to say at a Christian Booksellers Association convention:

.....the defining moment of his career, as he writes about in the first chapter of the book, was being fired as head coach in Tampa five years that moment, he really felt devastated and humiliated and was tempted to quit the business all together....but he described how his relationship with Christ sustained him through one of the toughest seasons of his life....he said Jesus taught him to stay focused, to be patient, to work hard, to be persistent, and to have faith that God loves him and has a wonderful plan for his life....imagine if Tony had quit then....what if he had thrown in the towel and left the game he loved after the setback in Tampa?....he had no idea at the time, of course, that he was just a few years away from being the first African-American head coach in NFL history to win the Championship....but, as Tony said, God knew what was ahead and He wanted Tony to trust Him and follow Him no matter what.....Tony also shared the story of playing on the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1970s...."Mean" Joe Greene once told him that after three tough and disappointing seasons on the Steelers in the early 70s he had almost quit out of exhaustion and frustration....he had come so close to packing it in....imagine if Greene had walked away from the game he loved in 1973?....what a huge mistake that would have been....that very year, 1973, the Steelers drafted rookie wide receiver Lynn Swann....they started winning big, and went on to win the Super Bowl four times that decade (74, 75, 78, 79)....too many people, Tony noted, give up on their dreams too soon, rather than summoning up a quiet strength to keep going, even in the face of disappointment and opposition, and thus they never learn just how much they could really accomplish (read that again if you have to, let it sink in!)....where does that inner strength come from?....for Tony, the answer is clear: through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. (from Joel C. Rosenberg) the bold emphasis mine!

Throughout the whole week, whenever I turned to read something or listen to a message Christ was reaffirming, "it is not you, it is not your ability. It is all about ME. Don't give up, don't quit, stay the course."

Christ wants me to rely totally on Him. I truly do get that, but being a person who likes to have a little bit of control in things; it is a tough pill to swallow.

So what is a girl to do when she is feeling weak and does not think she has what it takes? WORSHIP HIM. When you don't feel like it, PRAISE HIM. When you don't know which way is up, WORSHIP HIM. Strive to know God, don't strive for your purpose. If you feel adequate and ready to fulfill God's calling on your life, then you are not ready. It is when you are broken and convinced that there is nothing God could possibly use, then he says, “Now you are ready Girl, watch me move through you!”

We serve an exciting God. His desire is to do things through you that are bigger than you! You won't accomplish your purpose – GOD WILL.

He who calls you is faithful...” (I Thess. 5:24)

Not by might not by power, but by My Spirit (Zechariah 4:6)

Turn on that praise music and worship Him this week.

PS Sorry for all my bold words and exclamation marks, but that is for me personally, just as much as it hopefully is an encouragement to you. It is hard to talk about Christ without putting tons of exclamation marks after each sentence =)

You can visit me at my personal blog: Laurel Wreath

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Blogger Denise said...

Great post Laurel, bless you.

July 15, 2007 at 10:21 PM  
Blogger lori said...

that was FABULOUS!! what we all need on a Monday..any day really, but what a way to start the week.
You blessed me.
Perhaps what really got me was the Mean Joe Greene part, as a Pittsburgh girl, I'd never heard that story. :)

Thanks for reminding me that God has great plans, I have to allow HIM to fulfill them in me.

July 16, 2007 at 6:28 AM  
Blogger Barb said...

What a great way to start a challenging new week, Laurel. And I like your bold highlights and exclamation points. I totally understand your excitement when you write something like this.

Thank you for reminding me. He's not giving up and neither am I!

July 16, 2007 at 11:18 AM  
Blogger Pearls of Wisdom said...

Great post Laurel. Have a wonderful week my friend.

Blessings and Smiles ,
Angel ():)

July 16, 2007 at 1:31 PM  
Anonymous Lynn said...


This is powerful and true. ....Strive to know God, don't strive for your purpose....

Amen. Thank you, I needed this today.

July 16, 2007 at 3:20 PM  
Blogger Amy Grant said...

You know, this really encouraged me today. My biggest problem is my perfectionism in conjunction with my need to control things in my life. It is almost as if I will not do things that I am not guaranteed to succeed at. That way I can control whether or not I fail.

This was a good push to do some things I have been needing to do!

July 16, 2007 at 4:27 PM  
Blogger Connie Barris said...

Don't you want to take off your shoes during times like this.. as if you are walking on holy ground?


July 16, 2007 at 6:04 PM  
Blogger Carol said...

A great message for control me!

July 16, 2007 at 11:13 PM  
Blogger The Preacher's Wife said...

i personally love caps lock...:))

this was such a wonderful exercise Laurel - to recount the blessings of each day and how God continuously covers our need with His provision...

He is so Good! :)


July 17, 2007 at 7:48 AM  
Blogger eph2810 said...

You are so right--when we are feel weak and defeated, than He will use us for His glory.
I love that He shows up at times when you are down and in places you least expect it.

Thank you so much for the encouraging words -- I needed them this morning.

Be blessed today and always.

July 17, 2007 at 8:32 AM  
Blogger Domino said...

Thanks for this awesome post. You wrote and God used it to minister to me.

"You won't accomplish your purpose - GOD WILL." This reminds me of a verse God gave me years ago. Psalm 57:2 tells me that God fulfills his purpose for me.

Thanks for the reminder.

July 17, 2007 at 6:45 PM  
Blogger Debbie said...

I know I am late on this, but Praise God I found it!!!

This is very encouraging!

July 27, 2007 at 7:47 PM  

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