Lauren, Happy Birthday! Thank you for your wisdom and insight. Let's welcome Lauren.
Cherrilynn and I share the same birthday month, so I am celebrating right along with her. I’m approaching a pretty big birthday. I’m turning 50! If I have the typical lifespan, I’ll be dead in 31 years. 50 seemed so old. Of course, my perspective has changed the faster this date hurdles towards me.
One thing that hasn’t changed in my almost fifty years is my insecurity. When Cherrilynn invited me to write for her blog, my mind immediately began churning the reminders that I’m new at this writing business. I’m also a teacher, and my writing is, well, teachery. It doesn’t have the music and rhythm of others. It is so easy to turn my back on fifty and embrace the insecurities of fifteen!
At 50, I find myself teetering on the brink of a grand canyon named “God’s calling,” and these insecurities are my last foothold.
I knew my spiritual gift was teaching, and I love teaching, but I never imagined how God would use it. Then one day I felt God nudging me to Joshua 1:7-9.
Be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law…do not turn from it to the right or the left, so that you may have success wherever you go. This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth… be careful to do according to all that is written in it… then you will have success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. (NASB)
As I read those words, I felt his spirit wash over me, and deep within I heard God whisper, “Teach my Word.”
I’d love to tell you I immediately started a ministry that rivals Beth Moore. Instead, we moved, I completed seminary, returned to the workforce, my marriage was seriously tested, and my teenager rebelled. Through it all, I continued to teach and learn, and fulfill God’s call the best I could. Now, however, he is pushing me into areas I’ve never dreamed of, and I catch myself asking, “That God, you want me to do that? Are you sure? “
How do we know we are truly hearing from God? Crazy people say, “God is speaking to me.” Before I jump, I want to confirm I’m correctly hearing from him. After all, he encourages us to sift through everything carefully. So, how can we be sure we are stepping out in faith and not pitching ourselves headfirst into an abyss of distraction or defeat?
Feelings can be misleading, but when our feelings align with the word of God they are valid.
Proverbs 16:1-3 reminds us, the plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.
It is important to weigh the prodding of our heart against God’s word.
Watch to see if God is encouraging a decision through scripture. Have you ever dwelled on a verse or scriptural teaching and it begins to appear everywhere? Cherrilynn and I were discussing the importance of shedding our inadequacies, so we can better serve God, and not minutes later this verse jumped out at me during my quiet time. 2 Corinthians 3:5-6 Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God… And guess what topic is filling the blogosphere this week? The crippling effect of feeling inadequate!
Do you feel unqualified? Good! We share company with Joseph, Moses, Rahab, David, Jeremiah, Paul, and so many more. God does not pick the qualified he picks the unqualified, so we will completely depend on him. His power is perfected in our weakness (2 Corin. 12:9).
Is God answering prayers in ways you could never dream? In February, I attended a writer’s conference, and my only prayer was to have one appointment with someone who would be willing to help me understand this unknown world of writing. The whole weekend was a divine appointment with twelve requests for my manuscript, winning twice in a writing contest, meeting a network of incredibly helpful people, and I’ve made a few dear friends!
Have you experienced any God “coincidences?” The topic I’m writing about profoundly relates to the biblical symbolism of 50 and one particular Hebrew letter, its meaning and its related verse in the passage about which I’ve written. I’m not one who seeks supernatural signs for God’s confirmation, but it’s hard to ignore coincidences from a God who promises to reveal himself to us.
How has God inscribed a calling or decision across your heart? I would love to hear how he has confirmed something in your life. Please add your comment, so others will know how he speaks and confirms his words over each of us.
He is the author and perfecter of our faith, and he is faithful to complete his work in us, but we have to hear and obey. He’s pushing me to be shed my insecurities and step out on faith to follow his ever developing plan.
Will you hold my hand and plunge into the canyon of our calling? Let’s be Strong and Courageous.
Lauren Crews is a Bible teacher, award winning Non-Fiction writer and speaker. She has been teaching women’s Bible studies and speaking at women’s events since 2000. Her passion for learning God’s word, and a love of language inspired her to write The Strength of a Woman – Insight from the Hebrew letters of Proverbs 31. You will never look at Proverbs 31 the same again!