- 2015Jan 21
There's a strange dichotomy that goes on in this head of mine. The moment I gave my life to Christ, I felt a strong, relentless desire to abandon myself to God's call to ministry. A desire to proclaim the excellencies of God to this world. To shout His praises from the highest of high mountains that all may know and see that Jesus is who He says He is. So that, as 1 Kings 8:60 says, "all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God." I wanted to lift my voice and proclaim boldly, "Behold your God!" (Isaiah 40:9).
I had been plucked out of the mire, out of a deep dark pit of despair, and I wanted others to know what I had come to know.
"People need to know this," I'd say. "God is who He says He is. He is real. And He actually does, today, what He did back then in the Bible!" You see, prior to this, I had thought the story of Bible was a fanciful fairytale concocted to make people feel better about their lives and the world around them. I thought the whole God-thing was a crutch used by the weak to get by. But then I discovered that Jesus wasn't the strange mythological character I once saw Him to be but was in fact the only true source of life and love and peace and wholeness. That Jesus was God, Himself, who had come to bind my wounds and give me life.
I have witnessed God to the impossible in my life time and again, and I can honestly say that I have the desire to proclaim the good news of the gospel more than ever before.
But herein lies the dichotomy.
My desire to do the will of God––to share the love of Christ, to spur others on toward healing and wholeness through forgiveness and love––has never wavered. But it does seems that my own selfish desire to control what my life looks like often gets in the way. Every one of us has a call on our lives. There is not one person in the family of God who doesn't have a role to play in God's story of redemption, and rest assured, every role matters. No one call is greater than any other. But I believe we're all presented with the same challenge. We all must choose to lay ourselves down for the sake of following Jesus.
"Not my will, but yours..." I whisper, wanting the will of God to reign in my heart and mind and life while struggling to let go of plans I planned long ago.
My life is not what I thought it would be. That's a good thing. I know it's a good thing. I believe it's a good thing. I truly only want what God has planned for me and my life. And even though I don't struggle in this area often, there have been seasons where it find it more difficult to abandon myself to the call. Two seasons, really. One when God called me to write the book (which will be released this summer!) and another just recently when launched into my speaking ministry.
You see, God has given me a vision for where He's taking me. I see big things. And that's exciting. But that's also a bit terrifying. "What's that going to look like?" I question. "How am I going to be able to do that and still be the wife and mother I'm called to be?"
God's calling me to the world. Go ye into all the world, I hear Him whisper.
And I wonder, What does that mean? Can my family go with me? Am I called to missions? Or is this simply a call to speak more extensively away from home?
I honestly don't know, but I do know that I'm called to go. And so I'm going. Never once have I allowed my wrestlings to stop me from pursuing God's call on my life, and I hope you won't either because if there's one thing I know it's that God calls each of us to go. That will look different for every one of us. How to execute God's call must be determined through prayer and counsel, but the call is the same for each of us––the Great Commission is for every Christ follower.
Jesus said, "'...Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.'”
We're to go. This is our calling. But the pursuit of our calling requires us to live outside of our comfort zone. It requires us to lay down our preconceived notions of how our lives would play out. It requires us to put it all on the table before God and allow Him to do with it what He wills. That can be a scary thing, I know. Living out our calling is not comfortable, but when we live a life committed to saying yes to God, our lives will be undeniably marked by the grace of God. And that grace will not stop with us. It will spread, like a virus, to those around us, allowing us to see changed hearts and lives. Standing tall, we boldly proclaim the message of the gospel to a broken, dying, and lost world, and we will not be able to contain the incredibly infectious ripple effect of grace through our obedience to the call.
Won't you join me?
Let's shout God's praises, now and always, until the whole world hears!
Any thoughts? Share in the comments.
- 2015Jan 06
Will God fail me?
I think if we're honest with ourselves, we've all asked this question––either consciously or unconsciously––at one time or another. In fact, it may be this very question that underlies our inability to give ourselves fully to God and His purposes in our lives.
We think, perhaps God doesn't love me.
Perhaps God is too busy or too majestic to care about one individual such as myself.
Or even if He does love me, even if He cares, He certainly doesn't care about each intricate detail of my life.
Will God pull through?
Doubts come. Questions arise. All of which are a part of the normal process of faith. But I think the real question behind all our doubts is: Does God really love me? This is the real doubt behind our unwillingness to surrender.
It all comes back to love. We were created to be loved and to love others. When love is absent or love is in question, we lack security, which leads to our desire for control. Without feeling secure in God's love for us, we cannot fully surrender.
We may believe that God is good. But do we believe that God will be good to us? [Tweet that]
God Failed Me
As a fifteen year old girl, I sat in bed, hearing my dad pack up his truck with my mom pleading in the background for him to stay. He left anyway. God had failed me. My family was torn apart. Darkness crept in.
Five years later, I sat at a park after my dad's funeral, wrestling through so many thoughts and questions. I wasn't even sure if there was a God at this point, but if there was, He had certainly failed me. Darkness settled upon my life.
A few years later, I found myself on bed rest, trying to keep my pregnancy viable, while doctors told me there was no way I'd have a "normal" child. Something was wrong. Yet again, if there was a God, He failed me.
Many months had passed, and our daughter was born. Despite every doctor telling me to prepare for the worst, she was healed, and I found myself thanking a God I didn't know. It seemed the dark would win, but a faint light began to shimmer.
Three year later, however, darkness returned with vengeance and overtook my soul as I fell into an inescapable depression. Only darkness remained. But it was then––in the darkest of places––that I was able to see The Light for the first time. Light burns brighter in the darkness, and there He was––The Light of the World––bringing me out of the pit, redeeming my life.
The Illusion and The Truth
God tells His people, "I will not leave you or forsake you" (Joshua 1:5). Once you are God's, you are His. He will not fail you, for it goes against God's very nature to forsake you. God is loving. He is trustworthy. And He is faithful.
You can entrust yourself to Him and rest in His love for you.
Still, scripture tells us that we will experience trials in this life. Satan would like you to believe that your trials are evidence that God has failed you, but this is only an illusion. It's a lie.
Trials have many causes. Some are caused by Satan, some are caused by the sin of others, and some are a result of our own sin or folly. But in all our trails, God is working. Romans 8:28 tells us, "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose."
God does not intend us harm. He loves us. So the next time you're tempted to call God's heart for you into question remember:
God's Word is true.
God knows you intimately.
God loves you fully.
God is for you, not against you.
God is faithful.
God will not leave you.
God will work all things for your good.
And He will NOT fail you.
Give yourself to Him. Completely. Fully.
Any thoughts? Share in the comments.
*This article was originally posted on LaurieCoombs.org on July 19, 2013. I am currently on vacation with my family.
- 2014Dec 30
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. - John 3:16
I once did a 40-day Bible reading challenge. The challenge was just as it sounds––read through the Bible in 40 days. Yep––the whole thing! For 41 days (I got behind a bit), beginning in Genesis and ending with Revelation, I read an average of 30 chapters a day. This challenge was crazy, but let me tell you: it was absolutely amazing!
When first presented with all this craziness, I was intrigued, but I didn't think I could do it. After all, I have children who need their mommy and a husband who needs his wife, but God made it happen. Day in and day out, I was given the time needed to soak in the truth of God's Word. And when God's truth continually washes over you, something begins to stirs within your soul. God works. He teaches. He shows you things you've been missing all along or have forgotten amidst the busyness of life.
Throughout this time, there were days I was moved to tears as I read (well, ok, I actually cried most days) because the more I read, the more the love and faithfulness of our mighty God was impressed upon my heart.
I think I've mentioned this recently, but I just love how Sally Lloyd-Jones describes the love of God in The Jesus Storybook Bible. She says God loves us "with a Never Stopping, Never Giving up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever Love." Isn't that an amazing description?
And it was this love that become so real to me during the challenge.
The whole of the Bible tells the story of God. It tells of a people––made to love and be loved by God––who rebelled against their loving Father, bringing sin into the world. From this moment on, God sought to bring His people back to Himself once again, saying I will be your God and you shall be my people.
The Bible describes a love affair between God and His people in which He faithfully pursues the hearts of man. But even through God's pursuit, the people continued rebelled. They rebelled over and over and over again. Yet, God never forsook them though He had every right to do so. But instead, He chose to love them, despite their rebellion and sin.
God's plan ultimately culminated with Jesus.
Jesus was God's love displayed in flesh. He was the way. The way back to God. As said before, God could have left us in our hopeless sinful state, but instead, He provided a way back to Himself. Through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.
For 33 years, Love walked the Earth.
Love healed wounds.
Love freed the captives.
Love showed us the way as He called and said, "Follow Me."
And Love was nailed to a cross on Calvary.
But ultimately, Love rose again, bringing new life to those who put their trust in Jesus.
A New Beginning
This is a time of new beginnings. The new year has come upon us once again, and though many people consider the new year to be a time for a fresh start, I'd like to propose a different idea. I believe each and every day is a new beginning. Scripture tells us "The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning" (Lamentations 3:22-23). And so while the rest of the world tells you the new year is the time to make the necessary changes needed in your life, I think Scripture would tell us that we have a new beginning each time wake. I like this idea much better because, I don't know about you, but I tend to mess up a lot. I tend to set goals, and I tend to do well with those goals for a short time, but then I inevitably seem to fail. And I don't think I'm alone in that either. I'm not sure what the specific statistics are, but I do know that most people who set "New Year's Resolutions" give up on them within a very short period of time.
But when we are able to see God's heart toward us and that we are given new mercy and grace each moment of the day to empower us to live the life we're called to, we will begin to see some victory in the areas of our lives that need to change. We need to understand that change is not possible apart from the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, and what better way to be transformed than to inundate our minds with the Word of God. As said before, something begins to happen when we continually read the Bible. You don't have to do something crazy like a 40-day reading challenge, but it is important to read at least a little each day.
Hebrews 4:12 says, "For the Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart." The Bible is not just another book. It's the power of God, and I am certain that if you pour your heart into reading the Bible each day and allow its truths to wash over your mind, you most certainly will change.
The moment we give our lives to Christ, we begin the process of Sanctification––of becoming more and more like Jesus. But we must be people of the Word if we're to see any real, lasting change in our lives. The love of God, woven throughout Scripture, will change you, and so I encourage you to set aside time each day to read the Bible. I know you will not regret doing so.
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 12:2