Don’t Shrink Back {Be Brave}

Psalm 27:14God, what is my purpose?  What are you calling me to do?

When I have prayed and asked those questions, God has answered.  I know in my heart what He is calling me to do, but I have no idea how to get there.

In fact, I feel stuck sometimes.

And the voices in my head can be so loud.   “Are you sure He said??? How is it even possible? You???”

Doubt creeps in and I freeze.

I want to shrink back, hunker down. I look to the right and the left. I see others with far more skill and talent.  I read a post or a tweet that makes me cringe in fear. The bubble of doubt grows bigger and I shrink back…  smaller and smaller.  I’m little again. I’m terrified.

The bubble of doubt finally pops when I get alone with Him and I pray and read His word. In the quiet, He reminds me that I am not alone. He is my helper. He makes me brave. I don’t have to be afraid or worry.

Don’t be impatient. Wait for the Lord, and he will come and save you! Be brave, stouthearted, and courageous. Yes, wait and he will help you. (Psalm 27:14 TLB) 

Be brave, and wait.   

As I wait, I remember to fill my mind with who He is.  I focus on who I am in Him.  I recall the many ways He has shown Himself faithful over and over. I didn’t have the answers then either, and He showed up every single time. I just have to keep my focus on Him and take the next brave step, even if it is a baby step on tiptoes.  

God, how can I be sure it is you?

Recently, I stood in the shower crying as I prayed for God to show me what to do.  I felt like He was leading me to take the next step. I said, “God I want to know it’s you, but how can I be sure?  God, guide me and confirm what you are showing me.  Let me know it is you. Please show me, Lord.  I don’t want to get ahead of you.  I don’t want to get behind you. Lord, please show me it’s you.”

That same evening I met with the ladies in our church to enjoy “paint nite with Bonnie Gray“.  This activity was part of her Finding Spiritual Whitespace book club and we were going to learn to paint with watercolor. Before we painted, we dimmed the lights and listened as she read to us the passage in John 21. This was our time to quiet our souls before God – to find Spiritual Whitespace.  She read slowly and asked us to close our eyes and imagine ourselves there with Jesus in the scene. What was he saying to us?  What stood out to us in the passage?  She read the passage three times, and each time I heard …. “JUMP”.

Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. John 21:7 (NIV) 

A gentle whisper to my heart – “jump”

Most of the ladies painted their favorite verse in watercolor.  I painted one word.

Jump. Be Brave.

Jump.  It is the Lord.

As soon as he knew it was the Lord, he jumped.

Live by faith. 

Prayer:  God, give me faith. I don’t want to shrink back. I don’t want to give up. I don’t want to be impatient. I don’t want to forge ahead plowing my own path. I simply want to trust you. Give me faith and fill me with Holy Confidence and teach me to rely on you.  Help me to jump and not hesitate when you are calling me. Refresh me in the waiting, Lord and fill me with boldness, courage and patience. I am brave when I am moving at your pace and in your direction.  Thank you for teaching me to trust you and for showing me your grace, love, and tender mercy along the way.

I am not shrinking back.  Are you?

Let’s Be Brave together and claim this promise:

So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For, “In just a little while, he who is coming will come and will not delay.” And, “But my righteous one will live by faith.  And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.” But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved. Hebrews 10:35-39 NIV

Linking up with Bonnie Gray:

Beloved Brews Linkup

 & Suzie Eller

LIVEFREETHURSDAY

& Susan Mead 

Dance With Jesus

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18 thoughts on “Don’t Shrink Back {Be Brave}

  1. Those little voices in our heads that make us doubt sure do try hard to discourage us, don’t they? We just need to remember that our God is bigger. If He calls us to do something He will give us strength and be right there with us. I know sometimes that we aren’t sure what the next step is and that’s when we need to be patient, continue in prayer and keep doing what we know to do. Sometimes we know the step and aren’t sure of ourselves. That’s when we need to “jump” to follow with the assurance that God is with us. Thanks for sharing this! I’m your neighbor at #DanceWithJesus.

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    1. Gayl, Thank you so much for stopping by! Yes, those voices work overtime, but you are right! God is bigger – and will equip! Thank you so much for your encouragement! You have blessed me today!

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  2. This post resonates with me more than I can even convey. So many of the same thoughts swirl around in my head, and they are put to rest in the same way–spending time with God, letting Him remind me that He’s got this. I just have to take the next step. Thank you for jumping!

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  3. So beautiful and wise to seek discernment before moving forward and listening to the Holy Spirit when He says to move (or jump!). I love your painting…how good is God to give you a visual reminder of His will for you? Beautiful!

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    1. Thank you Jenny! I am so thankful that God gave me a visual reminder – He is so good to us and so loving! Thank you for your kind words. Happy you stopped by!

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  4. Yes! Those voices that we tell ourselves that we are not worthy or we have nothing important to say is strong within us. Last year my one word was Leap. It’s similar to your Jump. It was a leap of faith to write what I want to write, self hosting my blog, and leaping to trust Him and what my heart was really saying. Keep telling your story, because it matters. And it’s yours to tell.

    *Clicking over from Faith Barista. http://www.got2havefaithblog.com/your-story-matters/

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    1. Jeri, I love that your one word was Leap….and leap you did!! Thank you for your encouragement – “Keep telling your story, because it matters.” I loved your post and I’m excited to read the book – Windows Across Oceans! So glad to meet another kindred from Bonnie’s! Thank you for stopping by!

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  5. Oh Michelle, you really have spoken my heart with all the doubts, fears, and longings. I’m praying the prayer with you. It’s not always easy “to keep my focus on Him and take the next brave step, even if it is a baby step on tiptoes.” But I will keep on trying with you! I recently read a quote by Martin Luther King Jr. – “Faith is taking the first step even when you can’t see the whole staircase.” May God guide you and lead you one step at a time!

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    1. Hey Trudy, how are you sweet friend? I have missed you, and think of you often! I pray you are resting in Him! Thank you for praying and stepping with me! I love the quote you shared by Martin Luther King Jr! Let’s keep stepping in faith and may Jesus guide and lead you too – step by precious step! Blessings and hugs to you! Thank you for encouraging me.

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    1. Hey Kim! Thank you for stopping by and encouraging me! I wish we could all get together again soon somehow ~ I miss you!! Have a great weekend!

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  6. Hi Michelle! We haven’t connected in a while, but I think about you often! So glad God is moving and challenging you to jump into what He is calling you to do! I will be praying for you, friend. Blessings!

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    1. Thank you so much Kristine! I think of you often too. In fact, Christine Caine was in town here last Sunday and I went to hear her (Awesome!!) and it reminded me of hearing her with you at She Speaks! Once again, I could hardly sleep afterwards! Thank you for your prayers – I am so thankful for you and your encouragement!

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  7. WOW!!! This really hit home on so many levels. Your words have such an impact and your word…JUMP is perfect!!! Happy and honored to walk beside you as you JUMP into all He has for you dear friend!! 🙂

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    1. Angela, happy and very thankful to have this walk together! Even our short chat sessions are so motivating! Keep going, friend. Keep going. Your words matter! So very thankful for you and can’t wait to see you! ❤

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  8. I have so many of the same doubts! I feel so incompetent to write but so incomplete when I avoid writing because of doubt or comparison to those who have succeeded in terms of publishing. I often wonder if my goals are attainable, but then I remember that I believe confidently God intends to use my words, my struggles for good…not my good only, others. I am happy to join you in this journey.

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  9. Lisa, I am so thankful our paths have crossed. God is using your words and they are such a blessing to me. So thankful for your encouragement and prayers. You are truly a blessing! Believe. Lord, help us to believe confidently!

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