The past couple of days have been phenomenal for me, and really in unexpected ways. I have heard from God from guys in worship leadership positions that really spoke to my heart.
Regi Stone said "It's gonna rain" and introduced me to my new life verse, Zephaniah 3:17:
"The LORD your God is with you,he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
he will quiet you with his love,
he will rejoice over you with singing."
The "It's gonna rain" thing I'll have to blog about later, but let's just say it's about God raining down his goodness on you when you've been in a real scary dry spot.
Travis Cottrell said "How big do you need God to be? Well, that's how big He is!" That is really simply profound.
Tommy Walker said "The devil will try to steal your calling. Your friends, family, choir, and even YOU may have given up on you, but God hasn't."
I mean WOW.
I'm going to be vulnerable here for just a moment and admit that the devil HAS been trying to steal my calling from me. He has been trying everything to derail me from what God has asked me to do. My self esteem has been attacked, my purpose has been attacked, my usefulness and effectiveness has been attacked, and my joy has been attacked. I have been especially discouraged at what's been happening in my ministry over the past few months.
It seemed like at Easter things were going really well and then **poof** it all seemed in my eyes to unravel. My choir of 75 began impersonating a choir of 35. Not cool devil, not cool. My weight has skyrocketed, even after losing 40 pounds last year. Yet again, not cool devil, not cool. My asthma got worse and I developed a painful umbilical hernia...hello...I'm a singer and a bagpiper...REALLY not cool.
I look over the empty choir seats and question why I haven't been able to express how beautifully awesome God is to those choir members enough to inspire them to show up and do what God called THEM to do. It is ESPECIALLY discouraging when I walk onto the platform and see 11 choir members sitting in the congregation, staring me in the face (which happened Sunday, by the way). That is a HUGE tool satan uses against me.
I had come to about an inch away from giving up on me as a full time "professional" or "paid" minister, before God spoke to me through these 3 men of God. Now I've got a lot to think about on my 4 hour ride home in my little pickup truck. I know it's not about me, it's about what God can do through me, but lately I have felt as useless as the filthy rags I know I'm made up of.
But I am reminded that God is big, HUGE, omnipotent...and He loves ME. Little ole, dirty, sin stained, useless-on-my-own-me. He wants to use me. What a thought. I don't want satan to steal my call like He's stolen my joy. I want to reclaim that in the name of Jesus.
God hear my prayer tonight in this empty, lonely hotel room in Nashville. Forgive me for allowing myself to become beaten down by my own sinful nature. It is MY fault for taking my eyes off of you and believing the lies satan has been telling me. You are the great One, the Rock, the Love, and I know You love me, and tonight I claim that love again for my own. Heal my broken heart and restore me to usefulness for You again. Please use me to touch the lives of others and to help point them to Jesus. All I want to be is a giant roadsign pointing to Jesus. Help me in my failures Lord to be more like You. I love You, I adore You, and I am sorry for sinning against You. I claim the blood of Jesus again today as I have every day since You first saved me. Cleanse me, renew me, and use me. I am and forever will be Your child.