by Twila Belk
God blesses those who obey him; happy the man who puts his trust in the Lord.
Proverbs 16:20 TLB
Sometimes God asks us to do crazy, scary things. While he hasn’t called me to build an ark or to lead a country, he’s challenged me over the years with some pretty intimidating requests.
I was on the faculty of a writers conference and had arrived at my hotel just in time to freshen up before the pre-event meet-and-greet with other faculty members and conferees. The heavily promoted keynote speaker that year was the fabulous Chonda Pierce, an especially popular stand-up comedian. I had big plans to become best friends with her.
As I ironed my clothes, the phone rang. I picked it up, said hello, and the pleasant voice on the other end began talking. “Hi, Twila. This is Barbara Wells. I’m the director of the conference. We haven’t met, and I don’t know much about you, but we need your help. Chonda had to cancel because of a family emergency. We’d like you to do the three keynotes.” She went on to tell me that the first one would be the next morning. “Oh, and by the way, we’ve invited the community to tomorrow night’s session.”
I listened to Barbara, but had a side conversation going with God at the same time. “You want me to do what, Lord? Are you kidding me? Do you know who Chonda Pierce is? Do you know that everyone coming to the conference is expecting her? You know it’s impossible to fill her shoes, don’t you?”
Then Barbara said, “I’m confident you can do it. I’ve been to your website.”
After a few seconds in stunned silence, I asked, “Can I pray about it?”
Very funny, Lord.
She continued, “When I asked God what we should do, I heard a voice in my spirit that said, ‘Twila Belk is here.’”
At that point she had me—I knew it was a God thing—so I told her I’d do it, but she had to promise prayer covering. Minutes after that conversation, I went to the meet-and-greet. I couldn’t tell anyone about the new development. They’d all find out the next morning when I was introduced as Chonda’s substitute.
Wow. Just wow.
What did I do? I called home and asked my husband to send an urgent request down our church’s prayer chain. I paced and prayed and prayed and paced. I rehearsed the many sermons I give to others, reminded myself of God’s bigness, and remembered his track record in my life.
Then I showed up the next morning with less than two hours sleep, stood on that stage, and delivered the first keynote. My mouth moved. God’s message came out. And nobody booed. In fact, the audience gave God a standing ovation at the end. I survived, and God assured me that he knew what he was doing. Now, five years later, I’ve been asked to return to the conference as the publicized keynoter.
It’s amazing what God can do when we trust and obey, then get out of the way.
Lord, as I think about the crazy things you ask me to do, I can’t help but smile because I’ve seen how you work. The things you ask usually aren’t normal or easy, and most of the time they’re scary. They challenge me to trust you. But that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it, Lord? You want to keep reinforcing who you are and how big you are. You want to keep reminding me that anything you call me to do will have your equipping, power, and presence involved. Thank you for teaching me that when I trust and obey, then get out of the way, you always show up and show off. May you receive all honor, glory, and praise.
(This devotion is an excerpt from The Power to Be, (c) 2018 Twila Belk. Used by permission of BroadStreet Publishing.)
About the Author: Also known as the Gotta Tell Somebody Gal, Twila Belk loves braggin’ on God. Whether she’s writing, speaking, or teaching, she offers hope and encouragement for people to fix their eyes on him. Twila is the author of The Power to Be: Be Still, Be Grateful, Be Strong, Be Courageous and Raindrops from Heaven: Gentle Reminders of God’s Power, Presence, and Purpose as well as five other books. Mom to three grown children and Grandma to three precious little boys, Twila lives with her husband in Iowa, not far from the Mississippi River and the home of American Pickers, John Deere tractors, and Whitey’s ice cream.
Free Book Contest! Arise Daily will use a random number generator to pick a winner from today’s comments. To enter our contest for Twila’s new devotional book, The Power to Be, please comment below. By posting in our comments, you are giving us permission to share your name if you win! If you have an outside the US mailing address, your prize could be substituted with an e-book of our choice.
Join the conversation: Has God ever given you a crazy, scary assignment? What was it? How did you respond? What did you learn about God at that time, and how does it encourage you to trust him more today?
20 thoughts on “Trust and Obey, Then Get Out of the Way”
Yes, it’s the assignment I have now. I stepped back into a high school classroom, somewhere I haven’t been in 8 years. I thought this part of my life had closed. Now, here I am – and God opened the specific doors for me to be here. Challenging yes, impossible no – not with God.
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That’ll teach you for thinking, Cindy! 🙂 I like what you said: Challenging yes, impossible no–not with God. I say amen to that. Thanks for commenting.
This is just the message I needed today!!
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I’m glad, Pam. Thanks for letting me know.
Great post! I love it when we know it is all God and nothing we had planned. It is scary and humbling. Sometimes we have to unexpected moments like this to allow God to show us with His power we can do anything.
Yes! God shows us that with His power we can do anything. It’s something we need to remind ourselves of again and again.
Getting out of the way is the hard part. Why do we think we know better than our Creator?
That’s a great question, Carol.
Thank you for your words this morning.
You’re welcome, Lynda. Thanks for reading them and for commenting.
Twila, your message inspired us all. I have experienced God’s leading to go beyond my abilities many times. In the past few years I called together a neighborhood women’s Bible study. We are still meeting.
And think about all the ripple effects of your obedience! Isn’t God amazing in the way He works?
Love this post Twila! We have a group of women attending the Christian Communicators speaker training in Branson in a few weeks. Anxiety kicks in when they think about giving their five minute taped presentation. This message is great timing and one they will never forget!
My crazy, scary thing was becoming co-director of this speaker training conference. I was the one who ditched speech class and listened to people telling me I always say dumb things.
When God called me to not only speak, but to train speakers …that is totally crazy, scary! I obeyed and HE paved the way. What a blessing to help women share their stories.
Love you, friend! Lori Boruff
Seems as if God uses the least likely people to do His work. Maybe it’s because that way we’ll know it’s Him and not us, and He gets the glory. He’s truly amazing in how He works in our lives, isn’t He? The Christian Communicators gang is blessed to have you, Lori! God is using you to touch lives in big ways.
I love God’s timing, Twila–this message is for me! When I was asked many months ago to give the message (a.k.a. sermon) on Mother’s Day, I said YES! This past Sunday, as I sat toward the back and tried to picture myself on stage in less than 3 weeks, I got a little nervous! Thanks for reminding me that it’s not about me! I cannot do this, but God can.
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And what God will do through you will be amazing, Crystal! May you be blessed by the results of your trust and obedience.
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I just read this morning and this was great! God is asking me to do scary stuff, especially in my writing, even while going through challenges circumstances, but I trust in our Lord who is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow! May the God of peace equip us with everything good that is His will.
Amen and Amen, Dawn! It’s a great thing to remember that our Lord is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. The same God who did great things through Moses and Abraham and Paul is the God who works through us.
Perfect timing! But then, God is in control of what we need to hear, or read. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Twila.
Thanks for your comments, Lynda. Yes, God’s timing is perfect, and He has special ways of getting His messages across.