Parting Words From The WORD…

Laughing Jesus by Robert Wilson, Sr.

Laughing Jesus by Robert Wilson, Sr.

Today, as I think on God and His word, His promises to us as speakers and writers, I’m reminded of Philippians 2:13:

For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.
Philippians 2:13 NIV

This says God is working in you and me, giving us the desire and the power to do what He wants us to do. Did you see that He not only gives us the POWER to do it, but the DESIRE as well?

So, are we doing it? Are we seeking his will for our lives? Are our efforts achieving what He has for us to achieve?

The question then becomes: And if we’re not desiring or achieving a certain thing, does that mean it’s not His will for us?

I must respond with an astounding NO!

Years ago, as I was reading in Titus 2, I clearly heard God speak to my spirit: You need to share your marriage testimony with the ladies of your church. It wasn’t what I wanted to hear and I quickly pushed the thought out of my mind. After all, I wasn’t involved with many women at my church…or any church for that matter.

Having grown up as a tomboy in churches where women were often gossipy, clique-ish, and petty, I’d never particularly even liked women. I had limited my ministries to children’s church, teaching children in Sunday School, working with children’s choirs, and singing in the adult choir. After all, kids didn’t care if my home wasn’t a picture out of decorating magazines or that my nails were chipped. They just wanted to know I loved them. And I did.

I had no desire–and in my mind, no power–to speak to women. I’d never even been to one of our women’s ministry meetings. But after fighting with God for weeks, I finally relented and told him I’d give a 10-minute testimony at one of the monthly gatherings. I actually told God I would do this because He said I had to, but I wanted Him to know I wasn’t happy about it!

A few days later, I met with the women’s ministry leader at my church and told her God told me I had to share my testimony. “So which month would you like for me to do it? Ten minutes and I’ll be done and God will leave me alone!”

I had NO desire.

Sandra surprised me with the fact that I wouldn’t be giving a 10-minute testimony. Instead, I’d be the retreat speaker and would be speaking for four hours! Of course, I let her know quickly that she was crazy. But then she said the words I couldn’t argue with. “I’ve been having difficulty finding the right speaker for our retreat, so THIS WEEK I told God that if He wanted us to have a retreat speaker, He was going to have to bring her to me.”

I looked around. No one standing there except me.

That was 1997. I had no desire to speak to women. But God took me kicking and screaming into women’s ministry…and I came home from that weekend knowing what I was created for.

What does God have for you to do? You may not have the desire to do it…yet. You may not feel you have the power to do it…yet. But God has the power and the desire to bring about His perfect will in you and through you.

We simply have to be willing to say yes when our minds and hearts say no.

I pray God’s blessing on the work of your hands and your hearts.

Vonda

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  • Linda Greer

    Vonda: I grew up a tomboy, too. I didn’t like women either when I was young. But I have learned over 3 decades that the sisterhood is great in Christ. Some of my dearest friends were sent to me from God after my husband killed himself and my own family could not understand nor help me through my depth of pain and sorrow. Save for my special sisters, I would have drowned in grief.

    • Oh yes! I should have said that God has given me an overwhelming love for women now. And coming from my past experience, I know it had to come from Him! Praising Him with you for His blessings of Christian sisters. πŸ™‚

  • Joyce Watson

    The Lord also showed my how to teach children and I really enjoyed it. For years I taught Sunday School and VBS. Then, when I arrived in Oklahoma I was a sub-teacher for the ladies S.S. class, started Bible study, and started an annual ladies brunch which keeps growing every year. I have always wanted to write a book, since 12th grade. I am still working on my book and as far as speaking…only had the privilege twice. I am not sure that speaking would be my calling, but God sent me two places in small churches and I have no idea why, except to be a blessing to others. But, I am really searching for what I am suppose to be doing for the first time in years, it just seems like our small church is dwindling. Hopefully, God will lead me in the direction to go sometime soon.

    • Joyce, I am joining you in prayer right now that God will lead you to the ministry He has for you. The good news is, we know He has SOMETHING for you to do! Sometimes it just takes time to find it! Blessings as you continue to seek His perfect will for your life and ministry!

  • Karen Eachus

    Vonda, I can’t tell you how much I needed to read this today!!!!! I am definitely in kicking and screaming mode. As you know. life was turned upside down when we moved from California. I am still so not sure of “what’s next”. Sometimes it is so difficult when you keep trying those “things” that seem to be placed in front of you yet still it’s just not right. I so trust that God has this but I can’t help but wonder “what and when”!!!! Thank you so much for sharing this!!! <3

    • So glad to hear it was helpful for you, Karen. So much of our lives are spent wondering what’s next, isn’t it? But praise God that even when we don’t know what’s next we know He DOES! πŸ™‚ Can’t wait to see you in August at Christian Communicators Conference at The Cove!

  • I just kept nodding my head as I was reading this. I SO understand. That’s exactly how I felt when I started speaking….and still, if He didn’t show up to help me, I don’t know what I’d do. Probably hide under a table or pass out. XOXO Thank you.

    • Yes, I love how He can take something we NEVER thought we wanted to do and make it the center of our ministry!

  • What a great story, Vonda — and what wonderful results as the years have gone on. We have such an amazing and good God!

    • We certainly do, Cheryl! Thanks for the encouragement.

  • Edith Kurie

    Wow. This is one of the most encouraging articles I have ever read. Lately I have been stuck, at dead-center, in the doldrums– stopped. Praying and praying. Am going to the Cove for a psr this Monday and hoping I will open enough to listen. Thank you Vonda.

    • So excited for your and your retreat, Edith! I LOVE The Cove! I hope to go there one day for a retreat myself!

      • Edith Kurie

        And I hope to someday be busy enough that I have difficulty scheduling something like this

  • Rene` Diane Aube

    Did you say something? I was kicking and screaming at the top of my lungs. πŸ˜‰

  • Gwyn Hubbert

    Thank you, Vonda for sharing your experience with us. It was scary, eye-opening, and convicting all wrapped up in one! I appreciate that you do this blog and share God’s Word on Friday’s.

    • And thank YOU for joining in, Gwyn! I love being with like-minded people who love the Lord and are striving to do what He’s called us to do…whether we feel it yet or not!

  • I’m not sure if there’s anything more powerful than transparency on this side of heaven. Thank you, Vonda, for sharing your testimony — and especially for the verse in Philippians.

    • Cathy, finally seeing transparency in other Christians changed my life. Growing up in a legalistic, judgmental home where we were at church every time the doors were open, and yet our Bibles stayed in the car from one church attendance to the next, I had no idea that I was actually supposed to learn from and apply Christian principles to my life! Hearing Christian women admit that they aren’t perfect was an eye-opening experience!

      I didn’t have to have it all together to be a Christian? I was supposed to respond like Jesus in difficult situations, and had His power to do it? And my failure to do so didn’t mean I was doomed to hell? Wow. I had no idea.

      What a Savior!

  • Glenda Mills

    This is so powerful Vonda! My favorite: We simply have to be willing to say yes when our minds and hearts say no. How many times have I been there and how many times has the Lord changed my mind when I was willing to be made willing.

    • I know what you mean, Glenda. And to this day, I still struggle at times with putting His plans before my desires…or lack of. But when we do say yes to His plans, our eyes are opened to the Power available to us! Praise Him!

  • AMEN! God has plans for us that are beyond our wildest imaginations. We simply need to be available.

    • Yes, Judith! To use us or not to use us is His decision in each situation. Takes a lot of responsibility off us!

  • Jenny L. Cote

    Amen and amen and amen! I’m thinking that the origin of kickstarting something has to begin with kicking and screaming, as I’ve also done over and over. πŸ™‚ Thanks for the good word! Love ya!

    • And thank you for the encouragement, Jenny! And just think, we’re in good company with Moses and Gideon and others who weren’t ready. πŸ™‚