As we begin, I invite you to take some time to praise the One who is our “All-in-All.” Take a moment to quiet yourself and reflect on one attribute of God for which you are most grateful. Feel free to share that attribute as an act of praise.
“For this reason, I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” 2 Timothy 1:6-7 (ESV)
Over the last several years, I have quoted 2 Timothy 1:7 more than any other Bible verse. Maybe more for me to hear than for anyone else. Fear or cowardice is something with which I’ve always struggled.
Back in the fall of 2015, my sweet friend, Kay Gadd, asked me if I’d be willing to pray for “Fresh Grounded Faith,” a woman’s event that Friends was hosting. I told her that I would love to. The following month as we met for our first corporate time of prayer, it was announced that not only were they looking for people to pray before the event, but they were also looking for people to pray for women during the event. When Kay asked me if I’d be interested in being an intercessor, I said “no.” It was simply too scary for me! But during the next month’s prayer meeting as we were praying, I felt the Lord nudging me. They still needed more intercessors, and I couldn’t shake it. I was afraid, but I knew the Lord wanted me to do it. So, I let Kay know that I was in.
During the week of the event I began to feel increasingly more nervous. I had caught a cold and wasn’t at my best. The morning of the first day of the event, the intercessors met at the church for a briefing and prayer time. We were told that the ladies we’d be praying for might be dealing with a variety of painful life experiences. They also explained that they would like us to follow up with anyone we had prayed for after the event! I was completely overwhelmed. I hadn’t signed up for all of that. I walked to my car and fell apart. I cried out to God and told Him that I felt so inadequate. As I started my car, the radio turned on and was playing, “You Make Me Brave.” Tears fell as I knew the Lord was telling me that HE would be with me. He would give me what I needed – His power, love, and self-control.
During the first hour of the event, the Lord brought a precious 21-year-old for me to pray with. She shared about being raped, belonging to a cult, having abusive parents, dealing with various addictions and multiple suicide attempts. But do you know what? The Lord was with me. He gave me the words to speak and the prayers to pray. And guess what? I continued a relationship with her after the event and I have been forever changed!
How many times had I said “no” in the past because of my fear and cowardice? How many times had I missed out on the blessing of using my gifts to bring glory to God? I would not do that again … which actually led me to saying “yes” to sharing my devotional with all of you today.
Take some time to silently reflect on whether you’ve been living in fear or cowardice? Are you avoiding something the Lord is calling you to do? Is there an area of possible service that you’re not considering because you’re afraid or don’t think you’re “qualified”?
2 Timothy 1:7 mentions “self-control.” Self-control involves disciplining ourselves in regard to our emotions. Are you allowing your emotions to control you? If so, silently ask the Lord to give you courage and a willingness to do what He’s calling you to do.
Ask the Lord about the gift(s) He’s given to you. How does He want to use your gifts and in what capacity? When was the last time you “fanned the flame” of those gifts? After you’ve spent a few minutes reflecting, feel free to share your gift(s) with us and what you sense He’s calling you to do.
Ask the Lord to give you His power, love and self-control to do what He’s calling you to do. Ask Him to help you rise above any fear. Ask Him to bless your gift and your life as you seek to live for His glory.
Women’s Ministry Leader