Trust and Obey, Then Get Out of the Way

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?”

“How long?”

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.)

twila belkAbout 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 51veIj1tu+L._SX344_BO1,204,203,200_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?

 

 

Get Your Eyes Off Yourself

by Twila Belk

But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” And God said, “I will be with you.”  Exodus 3:11–12 NIV

The story in Exodus 3 and 4 is fascinating. Moses, tending his sheep in the desert, sees a burning bush, but the bush isn’t consumed. He goes closer to check it out and hears a voice. “Moses! Moses!” It’s God. Realizing he’s standing on holy ground, Moses removes his sandals.

Then God reveals his great plan: “I’ve seen the misery of the Israelites. I’ve heard them crying because of their slave drivers, and I’m concerned about their suffering. It’s time to rescue them from the hands of the Egyptians and lead them to a land flowing with milk and honey. Good news, Moses! I’ve chosen you to make this happen.”

If Moses hadn’t been barefoot, he’d be shaking in his boots. “Wait a minute, God. You’re sending me? Who am I to do a job like that? I’m just a grownup basket case. I can’t do it. Can’t you ple-e-e-e-e-a-se send someone else?”

God’s response? “I will be with you. It doesn’t matter who you are, Moses. It matters who I am.”

Once Moses took his eyes off himself, he accomplished amazing things for God.

I’ve had many “Moses moments” in my life. When asked years ago to play piano for Bible Study Fellowship, I questioned why God didn’t choose a better musician to do it. “I’m a scriptural pianist, Lord. My left hand doesn’t know what my right hand is doing.” God reminded me that he didn’t call someone else; he called me.

When God made it clear he wanted me to write, I said, “Lord, how am I supposed to write? I can’t even talk without problems.” God reminded me to trust him.

When God wanted me to become a speaker, I protested. “But Lord, don’t you remember the excuse I gave for not writing? You know how I get tongue-tied.” God reminded me of the time he used a donkey to get his message across.

Each time I’ve feared my inadequacies, my underlying thought process was: “What if I fail or look like a fool?” And God reminds me that it’s not about me; it’s about him. If it’s about him and for him and by him, doesn’t it just make sense that he will help me do his work?

God doesn’t need our help. He can get the job done with us or without us, but he chooses us to carry out particular works so we might be blessed and bless others. We can take courage in the fact that God never gives us a job without equipping us for it. He doesn’t want our competence. He wants our obedience. And if we walk forward, hand in hand with him, he will come through for us every time. Guaranteed.

God, I have big problems when my eyes are on myself instead of on you. I see my insecurities, my weaknesses, and my shortcomings, and I forget that it doesn’t matter who I am. It matters who you are. You don’t want my competence, and you certainly don’t want my excuses. You want my willingness to do what you ask. So rather than questioning, “Who am I?” like Moses did, would you help me to say, “Look who God is”? Lord, I want to accomplish big things for you. The only way for me to do that is to step out in obedience and to trust you for the results.

(This devotion is an excerpt from The Power to Be, (c) 2018 Twila Belk. Used by permission of BroadStreet Publishing.)

twila belkAbout 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 51veIj1tu+L._SX344_BO1,204,203,200_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 asked you to do a particular task that was scary, or that you didn’t feel competent to do? What was it? How did you answer God and how did it work out? What is he calling you to do right now?