The Tug

Have you ever been in a situation where you knew what the Lord was asking you to do, yet the thought just paralyzed you?  Fears came out of nowhere and flooded your mind and heart.  Doubts seemed to surface at every turn, and a million excuses were clouding your vision.

Yet, despite all the reasons to say no, you have an unexplained peace and heart-throbbing desire to say yes.  A heart-throbbing desire to jump into the unknown, holding only onto your trust in the Lord.

I know looking back on my own life, there have been a few very memorable and life-changing moments where that tug of God’s hand and my own fear of failure coincided.  In a few of those moments I said yes, I took that leap, and never regretted it.  And in a few of those moments I said no, I hid my face, and tried to forget the tug.

I wonder if at the end of our lives we will look back, and so much of our legacy will be based upon how we responded in these moments.  Did we let fear win or did we step out in faith?

The Test

Now let’s be clear…when the Lord puts something on our hearts, it’s not going to produce guilt.  It also doesn’t mean we say yes to every single idea that pops into our heads or commit to every need that we hear about.  Instead, it’s holding up that tug on our hearts to the light of scripture and confirming that it is glorifying to God and encouraging to others.  It is also often confirmed by other believers who know us well and can affirm this calling on our hearts.

Paul addresses this in Romans,

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.  Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” -Romans 12:1-2

As we are walking with Jesus and learning what it looks like to live surrendered lives, we will prayerfully be experiencing a transformation that is a result of God’s work within us, a renewal of our minds.  And from this, we can more clearly test and discern God’s good, acceptable and perfect will.  This renewal of our minds doesn’t just happen over night, but is a result of our daily desire and commitment to fill our hearts and minds with His truth, found only in His words, found only in scripture.  

The Next Step

Your heart is throbbing, you have confirmed that this idea, passion, commitment, opportunity etc. is from the Lord and aligns with scripture.  Now trust and remember WHO has called and WHO will equip.

I’m reminded of the passage about the potter and the clay in Jeremiah.  Jeremiah, a prophet of the Lord, is relaying God’s impending judgement to the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem.  To make His message clear and share His desire for them to confess and turn from their ways, the Lord shares this potter and clay image with Jeremiah,

“The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD: ‘Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will let you hear my words.’  So I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was working at his wheel.  And the vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter’s hand and he reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do.  Then the word of the LORD came to me: ‘O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter has done? declares the LORD.  Behold, like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel.”‘ -Jeremiah 18:1-6

Right before I responded to the Lord most recently, when I felt that familiar tug on my heart and simultaneous rush of fear, a beautiful image popped into my mind.  I pictured myself as a piece of pottery with chips and scrapes all over it.  And then I pictured the Lord holding this jar and looking at it with hope and with love.  It was as if all He wanted was for me to offer myself.  And to offer myself knowing that it’s for His glory alone, and that my life is His to mold.  “…he reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do” (v.4b).  And with that truth filling my heart, I said yes.  Now this didn’t mean that the process was painless, but with our Lord at potters wheel, I knew that whatever came would be for His glory and for my best good.  My prayer is that I continue to grow and trust God to be the Potter, no matter how scary the unknown looks, or how unworthy or unqualified I think I am.

Let’s be a church, a body of believers, that live our lives with such trust and surrender that this world can’t deny God’s power in us.  Let’s love and come alongside each other, encouraging one another in the gifts and callings God has laid on our hearts.  Let’s not allow fear to hold us down, but instead, let’s fully surrender and trust that our Creator, the great Potter, is continuously molding and making us into beautiful masterpieces that reflect His love.

Let’s not be afraid anymore.