‘I want you to pack up all your belongings and leave every one and every thing that is familiar to you; I want you to move. Once your people are on the move, I will direct you.’ God to a 75-year-old Abraham. Courageously, Abraham obeyed and stepped right into his purpose. Thankfully, Abraham was not driven by fear but by faith.1
He had had enough of people; taking care of animals suited him – out, away and most of the day, by himself. At 80, he was at peace, but then . . . ‘I want you to go to Egypt, tell the king to set his slaves free.’2 The fact is, he didn’t want to do what God was asking, because he was afraid, but Moses went. Faith won, fear did not.
Segue . . . several years ago, I was on a small ranch property in Franklin, Tennessee. Every direction I looked, I got this picture in my mind of the great things that could be happening on such a property—mentoring, counseling, at-risk youth caring for farm animals, and a Monday night recovery group. Recovery? Yes, I see so many people going through life with a huge gorilla (forget the monkey!) on their back—could be addiction, childhood trauma, bitterness, un-forgiveness or shame. I saw it. I was ready, just as soon as I got that property . . . but then a couple months ago, God very clearly nudged me.
‘Hey, that recovery group thing, that healing endeavor? Start it now.’
‘But, God, I do not have the ranch property yet.’
‘Did I ask you if you had the property?’ he seemed to say.
‘Okay then . . . what are you waiting for?’
I hesitated, ‘What if no one comes?’
‘Leave that up to Me--people need healing.’
‘Well okay, Lord.’
“True Freedom...” that Monday night healing group? It is well underway, and God is doing something. See, there are so many of us who need healing from something— maybe a spouse died way too soon, or maybe your mate cheated on you, your adult child is an addict or mentally ill . . .
and having nowhere to really go with it, you have isolated.
In many cases, fears have set in as a result.
We are working through a book called Healing for Damaged Emotions,3 which I highly recommend.
Here's the thing: our past no longer needs to define us, our fears no longer need to hamper or hinder our faith. Instead, we can look to God to set us free from that which binds us. The Healing book has Scripture reflection, prayer exercises and journaling prompts; it is rich.
It takes courage to choose the healing path. Without courage, many will miss the nudge to step out and do what God is calling them to do; many will never realize their God-given purpose.
Case in point: Numbers chapters 13 and 14, the fourth book of the Bible. Moses has courageously led the people out of Egypt and God has brought the mass of humanity right up to the edge of the Promised Land. “The Lord tells Moses, “Send some men to explore the land of Canaan which I am giving to the Israelites...”4. Twelve men are selected and God gives them specific details on what they are to investigate while in Canaan, even tells them to bring back some ripe grapes.5
‘Funny thing happens. Ten of the 12 guys are overcome by their fears, which serves to trample their faith. Why, it seems the ten completely forget what God has said: explore the land of Canaan which I am giving you! God has already promised the land to them, but they can only see the challenges they will face.
Their fear immediately infects the rest of the community,
causing others to forget what God has promised . . .
to forget what he has already done,
how he has set them free from their bondage in Egypt!6
That generation of people miss the purpose God has for them . . . to enter the land he promised Abraham. All. because. Of. Their. Fear.
Fear won, faith in God lost.
Just heard this song that captures why we can have courageous faith rather than let our fears drown out our faith in a trustworthy God. I have tagged it onto the podcast, (link above), but here are some of the lyrics: . . . I know that you are good, I know that you are kind. I know that you are so much more than what I leave behind.
I know that I am loved, I know that I am safe ~
Cause even in the fire to live is Christ, to die again
I know that you are good. “I Know” ~ Big Daddy Weave
If we are going to live ON PURPOSE, we will have to live courageously from our full heart!
3 - Healing for Damaged Emotions/Worbkook, David A. Seamands, Beth Funk, David C. Cook Publishing.