Do It Again!
"I'm not a man I cannot lie I know the plans for your life I'm asking you to dream again to believe again and take the limits off of Me...
I'm not a man I cannot lie I know the plans they're My design so I'm asking you to hope again and trust again and take the limits off of Me...
All I'm asking is take the limits off take the limits off release Me to accomplish what I promised you take the limits off take the limits off release Me release Me!" (Israel Houghton)
These words spoke to me from the very first time I heard them. I was so beat up by circumstances, situations, life. I had grown weary in well doing. I was mentally, physically and spiritually TIRED. Tired of struggle, and disappointment, which had become common place in my life while everyone around me seemed to be skating through life unscathed. I had done everything I knew to do and still everything was a mess. My life was the exact opposite of the abundant life the Bible speaks about. To be completely honest, I was starting to question whether or not I could really trust God to take care of me. I was just about ready to throw in the towel. What was the point after all? Everyone else was looking out for themselves, so why shouldn't I? Still I pressed my way to church one more time (I was singing on the worship team mind you... although I was thinking about asking for a hiatus) The only thought on my mind was, 'God, if I didn't hear something from you TODAY, then I'm out. I can't do this anymore.'
The pastor gets up to preach and his topic is Do It Again... The main scripture reference was I Kings 18:40-44 where Elijah's servant had to go back 7 times to look for rain and there was no sign of rain until the 7th time. Pastor went on to talk about that place where God asks us to do it again. The very thing we did before with seemingly no results ( or negative ones), He often asks us to do again. Well, now I could feel myself starting to get an attitude because this was the last word I wanted to hear, yet it was the very word I needed to hear. Fit to be tied, I was just about to tune it out and work on my grocery list when he started giving personal examples. I'm telling you what, you can preach to me from now until Jesus comes back about principles and such and I'll get it for the most part, but throw in real life examples and make it real to me and you got me hooked. What's more, I'll never forget it. Maybe that's why I share so openly myself because people want to know you understand where they before you try to give them directions... Anyway, that's what Pastor started to do. He talked about how God had given us dreams and visions for our lives that still hadn't come to pass and we were starting to lose heart, but God said to dream again. He talked about attempts to get that promotion or the new job we wanted that had failed and how God said apply again, your "yes" is out there. There were a couple more examples, but you get the idea.
The point is that many of the times God will allow us to experience disappointment or even failure in an area of our lives and then He'll ask us to try again. For God it's a chance for Him to get the glory out of our situation, but for us, it's a test of our trust. That's so hard for me for a couple reasons. First because too often I forget that God is not a man, He's not like us, we are created in His image, not the other way around. When I forget, I find myself reacting to and interacting with God like I do with people. I keep my expectations low, so I won't be so disappointed when He lets me down - how's that for the opposite of faith?! Second, I do not trust anyone easily. It takes a while and if that trust gets broken it takes even longer to get it back fully. Again, I find myself going into self preservation mode with God, where I feel like my trust in Him has been broken and I have to look out for myself.... Ugly stuff, I know, but it's the truth. The good news is I come to myself quicker each time!
I was talking to one of my best friends just the other day and she's in that exact place right now - where God is asking her to step out there again. Naturally she's hesitant and somewhat fearful. I could hear it in her voice and I knew exactly what she meant when she told me she was tired. I listened as she poured her heart out to me and then gave her the same words God had spoken me when I was there - do it again! Yeah it hurts, yeah it's scary, there's even a possiblity that it won't work out this time either. Even so, God is worthy of our trust regardless of circumstances that try to prove the opposite.
If you find yourself in that place as you read this. Take a deep breath and then do it again.
Have a great weekend!