Sunday, March 1, 2015

A Voice in the Wilderness

I don't like being double-minded. As a matter of fact, the bible speaks against it. So, what does it mean when I feel such a disparaging difference between what I am convicted to say and do and the acceptance or rejection I feel from those who will see or hear my words? I really don't think I'm double-minded to want to put forth an important, yet unpopular, idea. I think what I am feeling is more like insecurity. What will people think of me? What will they say about me? Will they call me religious or legalistic just because I believe what God says and want to live by His standards and help others to see the life-giving benefits of doing the same? Will they roll their eyes because I have conservative values and want to share those same values with people I love and care about? Will they say I'm negative when I share enlightening information, either of a spiritual or political nature, that does not go along with the status quo? Will they judge my outspoken-ness as a critical spirit, saying that my attitude and information will do more harm than good to people who don't happen to see things the same way that I see them?

I really wish I didn't care, but the truth is that I care way too much about what others think or about how I may or may not influence them. It comes from fear of rejection. It comes from wanting to be accepted. It also comes from wanting to encourage people as effectively as possible. It's in that vein, that I believe my struggle lies. I want to encourage people, yet I don't want to fill them with fluff that I feel will just make them feel better momentarily and do nothing to really help them improve their life. I want to encourage them with a good, well-balanced dose of truth, grace, love, information and common sense. I want people to explore truth for themselves and have the power and knowledge to reject lies, half-truths, and ideas that would serve to make them and their lives ineffective and unproductive. I want them to be able to raise their hands and eyes and be lifted up out of the mire that keeps them stuck. I want them to embrace God and learn to stand upright, yet lean into and upon a God that can always be trusted to hold onto them. I want them to know truth and apply it to their lives. I want them to have purpose and peace in their lives. I'm not double-minded about any of that. I am just unsure of my delivery.

Am I praying about what I am convicted to share? Is it being presented in the right way with the right motives? Is it helpful and informative? I would love to say a resounding, "Yes" to those questions. It is something I am more and more conscious of and more and more purposeful to accomplish. My heart and my mind, my ideas and my intent, have to be surrendered to pull that off. I have to be brave and bold enough to say what I feel needs to be said, but humble and pliable enough to let God edit it and be my publisher. Essentially, that is less of me and more of Him. It's difficult to put that forth when I am so very human. It's easier to accomplish when I die to myself and put my head and heart, and all that is filtered through them both, into the hands of my Savior. His words and deeds will shine so much brighter than mine. I have to be careful to listen and obey and not lag behind or run ahead of Him.  I have to let Him lead every part of me in a way that is honoring to Him. If I do that, I'm sure I can leave the results to Him.

The Internet and social media outlets are so powerful in putting forth ideas, agenda and efforts. I vow that I will continue to stand by that which God puts on my heart and in my mind to influence others for Him and for good. Please know that I don't take the privilege of my freedom of speech lightly. That is why I want it filtered through the eyes and heart of God before I say or type it. That which He blesses will be far more effective than that which I conjure up and throw out there on my own. With that being said, please know that I am praying to be a voice in the wilderness, to say what is right, when it is right, in the right way. Oh, how I need God to help me and speak through me. He urged us to speak up and teach current and future generations about Him and His ways, so that they may know and remember what is good and right and true. How will they know if we don't use our voices and all relevant means of communication to put forth that view? As much as He gives me ability and wisdom, I'm speaking up and out for the righteousness of the One who has saved me. Any effectiveness in doing so will be credited to Him, because I am as a clanging cymbal, maybe loud - but totally irrelevant and ineffective, without His power to empower me to do and say what He would have me do and say. My prayer is that He would not only speak to me, but speak loudly and clearly through me. Let it be so, LORD!