Promises Gripped

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

As I went through this past year, learning tough lessons on courage, God has shown me so much. One of the things I have learned has me really excited right now! I’ve learned the importance of not letting time slip away without following the inner nudging of the Lord. So often I have said things to myself like, “Oh, I’d love to do that someday,” or “If only I were braver or more talented or knowledgeable I’d do that.” I’ve even said the typical insecure statement, “Oh, I’m not qualified. God doesn’t want to use me.” And then, the opportunities passed leaving me feeling disappointed and more insecure than before.

But, no more! I am learning to not only listen for God’s voice, but to trust it as well, while hanging onto His promises! As I have stepped out in faith more and more often recently, God has encouraged me.

With each step, my faith is growing stronger as I listen and follow His leading. God is amazing that way, you know. During the times when we feel we are so insignificant, He’ll surprise us by reminding us that He chose us and has a plan for our lives.

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, 
which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:9-10)

I know for many of us, discovering just what it is that God wants us to do is difficult. I’m not talking 
about the attributes of Christ that He wants us to adopt or allowing our hearts to be changed by Him. I’m talking about specifics…a specific ministry or area in which to serve Him. And that’s where following that inner nudging of the Lord comes in. I decided that when an idea “hits” me, I’ll pray about it. Then, rather than simply putting it on the shelf and labeling it “For Later” or “When I’m Qualified” I’d take steps in faith to bring the idea to fulfillment. It sounds easy in theory. But, it takes courage, faith and trust in the Lord to get started! Fortunately, and praise God, He is happy to help!

As I mentioned in my recent post, Courage to Trust, I was rather isolated last year. Now that God has brought me out of that isolation, I felt led to do something to help other women connect with each other. Loneliness is something that we don’t like to talk about, but can often feel. Now, as part of the Body of Christ, I want to do something to reach out. I attend Bible study, which is a great place to learn about the Lord while getting to know other women. But, I thought something less structured and more personal would be something other women might like. An idea kept on coming to mind, so I decided to pray and then take that step of faith. And guess what? I did it. I didn’t wait until I felt qualified. I didn’t think about if I were too old or too young, educated or not, talented or average. Instead, I put myself aside and am keeping a firm grip on God’s promises! God is able to do more than I can imagine and I am trusting Him.

What am I doing, you ask? Well, I’ve opened my home for an informal book club type group that will focus on friendship and Christ. Our first gathering is next week and I’m so excited to see what God has planned for this! Please pray that this group will fulfill God’s purpose for community and connection for His people and that together we can lift up the Body of Christ.



“So let’s do it—full of belief, confident that we’re presentable inside and out.
Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word. 
Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, 
not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, 
especially as we see the big Day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:24-25, MSG) 



In His grip,







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17 comments

  1. I am both proud of you for stepping out in faith and excited to see what God has in store for your ministry. I will be praying for you, friend. Much love. xoxo

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  2. Joan, I'm happy and excited for you. Stepping out in courage and faith isn't easy. I agree, I can do the let's think about it and see what happens thing too. But if years with the Lord have taught me anything it is - go forth, be bold, and let Him do the rest. I can't wait to hear about the things the Lord is doing through this. Blessings and Hugs!

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  3. Thanks, Deb! I'm really looking forward to this and have an inner peace about the whole thing (rather than getting anxious about if everything will go well, etc.) I'm excited to see what God is going to do and what friendships He is going to form! Sure wish you lived closer so you could come, too!


    Blessings, Joan

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  4. Thank, Beth! I so appreciate your prayers :-) I'll be sure to keep everyone updated as I experience God's plan through this! Oh, and if you're looking for a good book, the one we are going to be reading is "God Is Able" by Pricilla Shirer. I've already read a couple of chapters and it is so encouraging!


    Love, Joan

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  5. How awesome that you're starting a new group! I'm praying for it right now. I've had to learn, too, that I can't wait until I feel ready or qualified or unafraid before I start something. I just have to jump in anyway. Not an easy lesson to learn, and one I'm still working on, but I'm thankful for the progress God has given so far.

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  6. It's a process, but like you, I'm so thankful that He has carried me this far through it! Thank you for your prayers as I step out in faith!


    Blessings, Joan

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  7. Amen! If we wait until we're qualified or educated or whatever, we'll never do it. The longer we believe those lies, the longer we remain inactive. Good for you! And I wish I lived by you...I'd love a group like that.

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  8. Thanks, Mary! I'm excited to be stepping out in faith! When we are faithful with little things, God will give us even more opportunities to demonstrate our faith! Right after I stepped out and started the group, I was asked to speak on the subject of isolation, connection and community within the Body of Christ - while leaning on the Lord! Amazing! I have said "yes", and now I'm REALLY leaning on Him! LOL


    Blessings, Joan

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  9. That's so cool and very exciting! I love how God works when we step back in reverence and step out in faith.

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  10. Same here, Mary! I'm excited to see what He does next!

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  11. That's so awesome. I would be waiting forever if I wanted until I felt qualified to do anything. Have a blessed weekend.

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  12. It's a scary decision to follow that inner nudging sometimes, but I'm trusting God to prepare/equip me for whatever He has planned! Blessings!

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  13. Joan,
    What a great post! So much truth and we have all been there! I wonder how many opportunities I have missed because I think "not me or not now or ..." Thanks for a great reminder!
    Have a blessed week-end,
    Donna

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  14. That is so exciting, Joan. And kudos to you for stepping out in faith before you feel "qualified." (Who determines qualifications anyways? Pshaw.) Will be praying for this new venture as it kicks off next week. Blessings, friend.

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  15. Thanks, Donna! It's exciting to step out in faith and see where God leads us! I am depending on Him through this! Blessings, Joan

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  16. I think we are the ones who put those feelings of needing "qualifications" upon ourselves. God wants us to trust Him and step out...I'm looking forward to how everything will unfold!



    Blessings, Joan

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