(February 08, 2021) Maureen McQuillan shares …
Carol Round shares this month how important it is to drop hindering baggage in following the Lord’s leadings and moving ahead (See Recover-Your-Life-With-Jesus-Help).
Spot on, Carol!
Yielding to God
I believe that in this new year of 2021, God is wanting to move many of us out of our comfort zones – and I would encourage us not to hesitate.
Let’s be bold and allow the Lord to stretch us further and not be afraid of taking hold of opportunites ahead (whatever they may be!). You’ll be amazed at the results as well as the joy and satisfaction your ‘leap of faith’ will bring.
Now, I know, I know… we’re very human when it comes to change – we don’t generally like it! But life is all about change! Now we don’t change from fundamental biblical Christianity principles but we may need to change our attitude regarding yeilding to God’s directions!
Comfort zones and change
Comfort zones… Admit it: We all know what these are – and how we love feeling comfortably
safe and at ease because they require little effort. But, sadly, comfort zones don’t always yield results that God wants.
Change… now this requires determination, a turnaround in our thinking. Dictionaries tell us that change basically means to alter; it’s likewise in scripture!
So… if we’re going to move on, move ahead this year, change can mean altering our attitudes when we’re called on to move out of our comfort zone(s)!
No more ‘Who me?’excuses
Remember Moses? And God daring him to get out of his comfort zone, to move ahead? God’s challenge was to move on from shepherding animals to become a shepherd of thousands of Hebrews! Scary, eh?
Moses’ response to the first hurdle he immediately forsaw begins a series of excuses: ‘Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Isrealites out of Egypt?’ (Exodus 3:11). Verses 10 and 13 of the next chapter relate some more whimpering excuses! ‘I have never been eloquent… please send someone else.’ No wonder God got angry with him!
Now it’s unlikely that any of us will ever be challenged to be a Moses. But whatever the Lord has in store for us in 2021, whatever he challenges us to move ahead into, we have great assurance, a strong promise by Jesus himself… that his Holy Spirit will be with us, that we will be people of power!
What Jesus promised his first disciples is available to us too! ‘You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses… (Acts 1:8).’
What happened from Acts 2 onwards was the beginning… and church history records many incidents where believers who thought they had little to offer proved the enabling power of the Spirit within.
Baggage holds us back!
God is always opening doors of opportunity to serve him. We need to recognise such opportunities and not be afraid to go through them, especially if they’re unusual, even awesome.
Feeling too timid when incredible God-given opportunities arise? Feel that you don’t have what it takes to go through such doors?
I used to feel at a loss, inhibited, inadequate, fearful and doubtful, unable to communicate right from school days. I’d simply freeze and clam up if asked to do something that’d put me in the spotlight! Even into adulthood, especially regarding challenges to minister up front before people… and this business of moving on in God? Forget it!
But God had his way of sorting me out! Let me encourage you from my own personal experience…
In the late ’70s, I had an unexpected ‘grand tour’ of Mount Gambier Television Station. As I was taken past a live daytime talk show being televised, I paused to observe.
Suddenly I heard that ‘still voice’ of the Spirit whispering to me, ‘One of these days, Maureen, you’ll be doing that.’ I was stunned: It was a classic situation where you immediately shake your head and feel that it is nothing more than your imagination or wishful thinking!
But twice more I was to hear that same quiet voice repeating those scary words to my spirit. No way, I thought. After all, I had neither the experience nor the desire to be on TV, especially to be watched by countless thousands.
Two months later, one Friday evening my (then) Adelaide company informed me they had booked prime TV time the following Monday morning with a very popular presenter, casually adding, ‘And, by the way, Maureen, you’ll be there promoting our products.’
Help! Time to panic, strongly pointing out that I’d never done any TV work, that little me couldn’t go live on TV, even for a short segment and certainly not at such short notice. That I…
Then I heard again that becalming soft voice of the Holy Spirit reminding that he’d already prepared me by gently telling me in advance; that this was a door of opportunity, that all would be okay if I trusted him. I immediately sensed an unusual peace within and agreed to ‘move on.’
Monday morning saw me seated opposite the show’s host and, even though no explanation of what the director’s hand signals would mean was given to me, we were off and running. The Holy Spirit helped me and the segment proved an instant winner and a commercial success.
Friends… the Holy Spirit is our greatest friend and helper. We can call on him anytime for his wisdom, strength and creativeness in all matters whether spiritual, business… or life in general. I certainly did so repeatedly in TV scenarios and was successful. In fact it became a weekly segment for four years and I was on different stations. More importantly, it was God’s means of helping me dump baggage and build confidence within to serve him in ministry!
Here’s ‘the thing’…
It’s impossible for me to fully relate how many difficulties – garbage! – had stuck with me from childhood into adulthood. I really am just a little person – the proverbial five-foot nothing – and I greatly lacked confidence. Can you imagine how it hit me when told to go on live TV and speak to hundreds of thousands of viewers? Frightening!
But knowing God was in it made the difference! Knowing that he had arranged the opportunity gave me the confidence needed. The Holy Spirit was proving to me, even through this secular means, how much boldness, confidence and creativity he can give anyone who asks for his help.
Yes, I overcame the inadequacies in my life and was successful as I looked beyond myself and relied totally on him. And it was all preparation for the next step! Since that breakthrough God opened many spiritual doors for me, even across the world, enabling me to confidently minister in ‘his limelight’ on my own or alongside Robert.
Forgetting about the past, dropping baggage, and trusting the Holy Spirit for everything, I moved on to boldly flow in spiritual gifts, particularly the prophetic and deep words of knowledge and wisdom, to bless Christians, and even unsaved folk. I encourage you to likewise take every God-given opportunity!
Let nothing hold us back!
Whatever ‘huge door of opportunity for good work’ (1 Corinthians 16:9 Mge) God opens for any of us, we mustn’t let anything, anyone, any lie, satanic deception or baggage hold us back from taking opportunities.
In the verse above, Paul warns that when such opportunities appear so does ‘mushrooming opposition.’ But if we lack anything or are being hindered by anything, we can ask the Holy Spirit for his assistance and renewed confidence. My favourite prayer is… ‘Help, Holy Spirit.’
2020 had its challenges but it was good to learn of Christians digging deeper into God’s word and growing in Christ and their trust in God… with a determination to move on despite how things were shaping up in the world.
I encourage everyone to trust the Lord and, relying on the Holy Spirit, to boldly move ahead in whatever the Lord leads us into in 2021!
Take that leap of faith… and trust God!