As I have been waiting to hear from Him, I have also been diligently picking a verse to pretend to memorize for Beth Moore's 2013 memory verse challenge. The verses are chosen on the first and fifteenth of the month. When I went to the Living Proof Ministries Blog on July 16 (oops), I read the whole entry, which I don't always do. Here is part of what Beth posted that day (for the full entry, go here):
You may feel powerless right now, Sister, but, if you are in Christ, make no mistake: you are not. Get some backbone back in your prayer life if your spiritual spine has deteriorated. With reverence for His holiness and with the boldness He said we could bring to the Throne of Grace, read to God from His Word where He promised His people victory as they looked to Him alone…I actually didn't read it all that carefully then, but did print it out and put it out by my journal. Several days later, I sat down, read it, got out my Bible and read through those passages. I started to hear the whisper of the Holy Spirit revealing some things that called for repentance.
…and where He promised to clothe us in power
…and where He said He’d make Himself conspicuous through our spiritual gifts and through supernatural works in His Name.
If you don’t know where those places are, go hunt them down. (But you could start in Romans 8, Luke 24, Acts 1, Acts 2, 1 Corinthians 12 and Hebrews 4.)
Tell Him you’re going to ask for it and ask for it and ask for it in His great Name and for His glory until He gives it to you and frees you from whatever this present powerlessness is. And then DO IT. Ask and ask and ask and tell Him you will do whatever it takes to cooperate and mean it! Throw your hands out to receive. And, then, when He gives it – and He will – don’t take credit for it. Appreciate it. Thank Him and thank Him for it. Know that it’s grace. Use it audaciously to bring Him attention.
Sister, you cannot fulfill your foreordained purpose without power. Go back after it but, whatever you do, don’t try to get it without Jesus coming with it. Power for power’s sake will blow you up. God-given unction isn’t meant to just come and go with periodic personal revival. We were meant to live powerful lives. Let’s get to them. If you’ve got an area of carnality that is quenching it, I promise you it’s not worth it. Believe me, I’ve been there. Repent, turn from it and get on with it. You’ve got a calling. And it takes divine power. (Beth Moore, LPM blog entry, July 15, 2013)
A day later, I suddenly become motivated in my church search. Planning to go to three churches over the weekend, I thought about going to one church on Saturday night but, oops, they were starting a series on marriage. Nix that. Picked a totally different one. Went. Heard a message about a passage of scripture that I have heard talks on before, about Saul, specifically regarding, yes, patience. In 1 Samuel 13: 8-14, we read about how Saul was commanded to wait for Samuel, the prophet, to come and make the sacrifice to the Lord so that the army could fight (and beat) the Philistines. As soon as Saul starts the sacrifice, Samuel shows up. It seems that Samuel has forgotten, is late, or won't be coming. Saul takes matters into his own hands (knowing it's forbidden for him to make the sacrifice) and as a result, God takes away Saul's kingdom.
I've been single a long time. I know the promises of God, just as Saul knew who should make the sacrifice. I know that I need to wait for God to bring me the husband he has for me, or bring me the peace to be single. But sometimes it seems that God has forgotten, is late, or isn't coming. Sometimes I want, like Saul, to take matters into my own hands and hurry up and pursue a relationship too quickly because. . . I'm TIRED OF WAITING. I was reminded that the consequences for impatience (though now covered by Jesus' forgiveness and redemption) can be steep.
I went to two other churches today. Each one had messages that spoke directly to me. From hearing nothing for months, I am suddenly seeing God and truth everywhere. I've had Ann Voskamp's book One Thousand Gifts sitting in my bedroom for probably two years. Saturday I picked it up and read three chapters without stopping. God again, as I cried through the pages.
Did I do something that magically made God move? Nope. Do I deserve for Him to speak to me ever? Nope. Am I encouraged and reminded that, even when we see nothing, God is working in us, "both to will and to work for his good pleasure"(Phil 2:13)? YES.