Sitting in my car, moments before I had to deliver a message at the church we attended at the time, I felt physically sick. I spent weeks preparing for it. I read through my notes several times before I left the house that morning, but I still could not muster up the confidence to step onto that platform.
I had a few minutes left before I had to go in. Unsure about what to do in the few moments I had left, I nervously flipped through my notes again. Do I read it again?
For a split second my heart turned to the Father with a silent but insistent cry: “help!” Noticing my journal lying on the passenger seat, I felt the Holy Spirit nudge me to pick it up. He reminded me of this passage in Paul’s letter to his friend and co-worker, Philemon. Paul said that he was praying for Philemon…
“That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus.”
Philemon 6 KJV
The passage is so obscure, it’s not one of the ones that I have on the forefront of my mind. In fact, if you page just a little too quickly between the books of Titus and Hebrews, you will easily miss this letter of Paul’s. I knew that it was the Holy Spirit ministering to me in that moment of desperation.
As I leaned into that scripture, I felt his gentle nudge to open my journal and start writing out all those truths about my identity that I have studied and know so well. In simple obedience, I did just that. I started jotting down what I knew to be true:
God is pleased with me, He loves me, regardless of how I perform today.
Psalm 149:4, Romans 8:1
He chose me, before the foundations of the Earth were created, to be his special treasure.
Ephesians 1:4, Titus 2:14
He has given me a spirit of wisdom and understanding. I know him intimately.
Isaiah 11:12, Ephesians 1:17
He has given me THE measure of Faith. I have the same faith that Jesus has.
Romans 12:3, Galatians 2:20
I do not have a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind.
2 Timothy 1:7
I am engrafted into him, abiding in him and I produce good fruit. Fruit that will last.
Romans 11:17, John 15:16
He created me for a purpose and prepared good works for me to do in advance.
My destiny is to do even greater works than Jesus did!
There were so many scriptures that flooded my mind and heart at that moment, and I just kept scribbling away. Suddenly, I could feel a supernatural confidence rise on the inside of me. I grabbed my notes, climbed the stairs to the main lounge (without jelly legs), and delivered the message God put on my heart, like a rock star! Having always felt intense nervousness before taking the platform, the confidence I felt was somewhat unbelievable.
It has been a few years since I delivered a message in church or at a conference, but I’m finding myself at the precipice of yet another daunting (but exciting) adventure. I am about to write and publish my first book! This is unfamiliar territory for me. And the self-doubt and second guessing have been off the charts.
This last weekend, I attended a spiritual health retreat. Every delegate received a personal word from the founder of this programme. Her word for me was on point. Beautiful words, straight from the heart of God. One of the things that she pointed out in this prophetic encouragement, was that I shouldn’t doubt my effectiveness.
The word “effective” jumped out to me and reminded me of that day in the church carpark. How do I not just know, but believe that I am effective? To know it is one thing, but to believe it, well, that takes faith! Faith isn’t always instant, it comes by hearing, and hearing and hearing. It comes by acknowledging every good thing that is in us, because we are in Christ. Understanding what the Father has deposited in us by his unlimited grace and love, is the very truth that will make the communication of our faith, successful.
The word “effective” is defined as “producing a desired or intended result.” (Thank you, Google!) What is my desired or intended result? To connect the hearts of every lost child to the heart of the Father, so that he can restore their true identity. Just like he did for me.
Why is it so easy to shrink down the mandate God writes on our hearts? I am great at watering down the power that God has placed in me. But he has given me that wisdom and power for a purpose. His purpose!
I often lose sight of the importance of acknowledging the good things that he put inside me. And this personal word from God woke me up to this reality: If I don’t acknowledge who I am and what God has called me to do, how I can I expect anyone else to believe that they are good, wonderful, chosen, loved, powerful and called?
Can I encourage you today, to do the same? Acknowledge every good thing that the Father has deposited in you, through the Son. If you don’t know where to start, you have permission to use my list above. There is so much more you can add to it, and I pray that you will discover all the treasures he has hidden in you!
We are all communicators of our faith. We are living stories! (See previous blog post, 13 January). Whether you are on the platform, doing a book signing or having lunch with a friend. You are always communicating. Let it be a message of the masterpiece that God is making you. Acknowledge it. Believe it. You are effective!
Today, I hear the Father sing, I see him jump with joy! “Marvellous Child! I have not just called you to be my child, but as you grow and mature into the truth of who you are, I call you to be my partner. Let’s go into business together. Kingdom business. It is time to shine, little diamond, for you have been cut from me: the Rock of Ages. I see my light in you. I see my love in you. I see my Son in you. Acknowledge who you are! Who I created you to be. And see my fire fall on every word you communicate. Roll up your sleeves and get to work! Let’s have some fun!” ❤