I read a great blog this morning on “wilderness wandering” and it got me thinking about Lysa TerKeurst’s book What Happens When Women Walk in Faith, which got me thinking about the phases of a dream. Yes, my very own version of If You Give a Mouse A Cookie-lol.
If you click on the above link, it will take you to my full review , but if you just want the cliff notes:
What Happens When Women Walk in Faith is a book about following your God-given dreams. In her book, Lysa equips us with the encouragement and knowledge to “keep on keeping on” when life’s disappointments and distractions try to come between us and God’s plan for our lives. The whole premise of the book is that God gives us dreams tailored for our own talents and His purposes. But just like the Israelites, we must grow and overcome giants to get to our promised lands. The bad news is that there is no short cut (just grow quickly) to the grand prize; however, the good news is the best part of the whole process is the process. The process is where we dig down deep and not only grow, but develop strong relationships with God. God is our grand prize, not the fulfillment of our dreams.
Lysa knows the real task is enduring the process and not letting Satan steal us from our calling, thus the “5 Phases of Faith”. Lysa’s 5 Phases of Faith came out of common phases she found in Bible stories of people who stepped out in faith, such as the stories of Abraham, Moses, and Joshua. It consists of the following phases: leaving, famine, believing, death, and resurrection.
At the bottom of my mind’s rabbit hole, I find myself contemplating where am I on my “dream” journey.
[As I have stated before, my calling is for discipleship. Very much like Joyce Meyer, I believe my gifting lies in showing other women how to walk in the ways and the word of Christ. In order to do this, not only am I to have a speaking and writing ministry, but I will be called to live among those I am discipling to show them how to live God in their every day lives.]
So, where am I now? FRUSTRATED and DISAPPOINTED!
Not surprisingly, God is not working the way I want Him to work. He is not working on my time-table at all! I want to see giant leaps of progress, but all I see is little baby steps. What phase am I in? I want to say I am at the death phase. I want to believe that resurrection is just around the corner. But deep down I know, I am still stuck in the famine.
For those of you who don’t know, the famine phase is the phase in which you find yourself out of your comfort zone, doing something new for God, and fully relying on Him. Often times the famine phase is met with feelings of discouragement, fatigue, and some unbelief. I stepped out of my comfort zone two years ago and God has been doing a mighty work in me. I have grown at exponential rates, but the feelings of discouragement, fatigue, and maybe even a little unbelief have been heavy on my heart the last few weeks.
I am starting to see that these feelings are leading me to make some poor choices. I have been in the Word less, watching TV more, and finding activities that take time away from my blog and my studies.
I was reminded in “wilderness wandering”that I do have a choice in how I act upon these feelings:
“Does my life more closely resemble the spies that spread a false report? The people that accepted the false report as truth? The impatient, grumbling, idol worshipping, giving into cravings and not waiting on the council of God Israelites?
Or is my life a life of faith and rest, like that of Joshua and Caleb, the men that believed God and had confidence that what He promised would come to pass; that they would be able to accomplish what God said they could?”
I have a choice here.
I can let my feelings dictate my actions or I can let the Word of God dictate my actions.
My feelings of frustration, disappointment, and fatigue are real. I have very real reasons for feeling them. But if I focus on my feelings rather than the promises of God, I am giving the devil a foothold. I am allowing a seed of bitterness into my heart that will eventually choke out the fruit if I allow it.
So, what can I do about it? First off, I need to read my Bible, even if I don’t feel like it. God works through His Word. He can change my heart through His Word. Second off, I need to stop looking at the big picture, and simply do what God asks of me each day.
Sometimes we get so carried away with do something “great” for Christ that we fail to see the opportunities to serve Him well right in front of our faces. I was reminded of this when I reread the following:
During the famine phase, many people are tempted to doubt or sometimes even give up. Maybe we heard God wrong. Maybe God isn’t with us. The doubts bombard us and steal our passion to press on. When this happens, we are looking at the entire mountain and loosing sight of the part God wants us to help move today. Don’t try to make your whole dream come true at once. Just fulfill the small part of the mission He’s asking you to do today.
Yes, faith still moves mountains. But sometimes the greater act of faith is not praying for the mountain to move instantly but rather hanging in there while God helps you move it bit by bit
I have been in the famine phase for over two years and I am yelling at myself to “GET HEALED ALREADY!!!!” I desperately want to learn what I need to learn to move on already. But God is speaking to my heart today, and maybe yours as well, that we must be faithful in the small stuff before we are ready to handle the big stuff.
Want some real life application?
“I’m convinced breakthroughs come during this famine phase, not when we are striving to make them happen. Breakthroughs happen when we get about the business of honoring God moment by moment, step by step, day by day by what we do, and, more importantly, with the thoughts we think while we do.”-pg. 66
In order to survive the famine, we must be determined to live our faith each day, even when our situation, circumstances, and feelings say otherwise. We must be willing to be the hands and feet of Jesus right where we are. We cannot focus on how great we could be…..and just “be” today.
Be blessed and be a blessing,