On Sunday I will be delivering the 8am message at my church. This should scare me. This should have me running for the hills, looking for any way out. But the reality is, I am ready. God placed the word on my heart on June 10th and He has spent the past few days putting the word in my heart so that I can deliver it in His strength, not my own. I AM READY.
Even though I am ready, in my humanity, I wanted to look at the last time I preached so that I could see what it looked like when I progressed from preaching in my own strength, to preaching in God’s strength. Not to be cocky, but it was a beautiful sight to see. I saw the moment when my eyes lifted from my Chromebook screen and looked beyond the congregation, focusing only on my Father in the room. I saw the moment when my soul got happy and beckoned God to move us from our stuck place to His divine place. I saw it all and I chuckled because I realized just how repetitive the Holy Spirit has been this year in the messages that we have all delivered from the pulpit. In fact, in light of the five part series that my church just concluded yesterday I can honestly say that our recurring theme has been: Have faith and don’t get comfortable because God is trying to move you.
Well, move me, Lord.
That was the title of the sermon that I last preached. I wanted God to move me out of my comfort and into His place of purpose. I prayed that prayer so heavily and spoke those words so passionately… yet I showed hesitation when God tried to move me a few weeks later. He was ready to shift me but I stalled and stayed with familiarity. I wanted Him to move me- in theory- but in reality I was anything but ready for the shift. Needless to say, this summer was filled with many moments of, “you should have just trusted God, Michelle.”
Fast forward to this past Saturday…
It was a little after midnight and I was finally laying down in my bed. I just knew I would be asleep shortly but as I curled up in my bed, God began speaking every word of my upcoming sermon to my heart. He told me what to say and how to deliver the message. He spoke to me for a little over an hour. It was beautiful. When my alarm went off a few short hours later, I wasn’t even tired. I felt completely energized and I was excited to co-facilitate another Mental Health First Aid class. In fact, I was so excited that I didn’t even realize that I wasn’t nervous or anxious about speaking like I typically am. I was confident and ready to share my heart and passion with some beautiful women.
When asked yesterday how my class went, I told everyone that I wasn’t nervous and they asked the obvious question, “what changed?” My response at the time was to recall the night of sermon prep but as the day pressed on, I realized that what changed was my heart. Unlike any other time in the past, I knew the content of my material in the deepest parts of my heart and I was so ready to share it with people. I did not dwell on who would be there and how they would receive it all, I just focused on what God had placed in me… leaving Him to contend with who He had placed in the building. That small change caused me to be at peace and enjoy facilitating.
I know, you are wondering what that all has to do with you, after all, I was speaking only in 1st person. Well, this is for YOU:
It’s time to MOVE.
God is so ready to move you from that comfortable place to His divine place for your life but you have to help Him by being willing to be moved. I used to work with the elderly and people who are differently abled. When it came time to transfer Mr. or Ms. So and So- whether they asked or I needed to do something for them- I would begin by telling them that a move was coming, wait for them to position themselves for the shift, and then move them.
Beloved, don’t miss that second part- I could not move them until they had positioned themselves for the move.
That is what God is doing… He is patiently waiting for us to position ourselves for the move He has planned for our lives.
So right now, from wherever you are, stop and pray with me:
Father, I thank You for always wanting what is best for me. Today I ask that You would open the eyes of my heart to see and understand that change is coming and it is time for me to move out of my comfort. Then, Father, I pray that I would readily extend my arms to allow You to move me, trusting that You know what is best for my life. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
Extend your arms, Beloved, and say to our Father, “Move Me, Lord!”
*Tune in on Sunday, October 6th, at 8am EST as I preach at my home church, Hope Christian Fellowship Church. You can join online (www.HCFCMD.org) or in person at 5132 Doubs Rd, Adamstown, MD. In either case, please send your prayers!