Sometimes we listen to the critical voices that keep us at bay. Is God calling you to step forward and say “yes” to Him?
A year ago, around this time, I was quick-sand sinking into battle.
Chin-dipping deep in war.
You’d think warfare happens when tragedy strikes or something awful ensues.
I had endeavored to pick up what I had once laid down nearly a decade ago.
I was attempting to write a book proposal.
The decision to silence the whispers of The-Book-That-Would-Not-Go-Away set off a battle of words in the privacy of my heart.
A funny thing happens when God calls you to move forward.
The voices that have hurt you — the critical ones that make your heart cave into your worst fears of being undervalued or rejected — can begin to speak the loudest.
They are intent on shutting you down, to throw confusion in your path and stop you in your tracks.
You will be tempted to turn around out of weariness and give up the fight.
When You Say “Yes”
I tried to squelch them.
I memorized Scripture, meditated, gave thanks and prayed like crazy. Asked others to pray with and for me.
Still, fears and insecurities would not leave me alone.
I felt defeated — until I realized why the battle was so fierce.
It wasn’t because I was failing to trust God.
It wasn’t because I was a weakling.
God did not turn a deaf ear to rescue me.
That is what the enemy would have us think.
You and I can say “Yes” to God.
We can step forward and change.
You see, you and I are FREE.
Freedom of Faith
God set us free to explore, free to make mistakes and free to bring glory to Him.
What brings Him glory isn’t success.
It is FAITH.
What brings God glory is our trust in Him.
In those moments we feel overwhelmed by negative thoughts — even by our own critical voices — we can bring joy to God’s heart.
When we march forward into the battle of unknown outcomes and even failure — trusting God, we bring an offering of faith to the altar.
We trust that He will care for us.
We trust that God’s love is enough.
We believe that our dependence — only our faith — brings God pleasure.
“It’s impossible to please God apart from faith.” ~ Hebrews 11:6
Dare To Move
So, this battle to say “Yes” to God really has nothing to do with writing a book, and everything to do with faith.
God may be calling you to say “Yes” to —
a new relationship
a new job
a new family
an in-between time
seek out an opportunity
walk through a valley
make small or big changes
a new way of being
a new season of life…
Whatever it is — if you dare to move beyond life as you know it, you step into the freedom of faith.
One year later, with a book contract signed, I sit here fighting those same critical voices, as I battle to write words on my computer.
The warfare hasn’t stopped. The voices that make me feel small haven’t eased up.
But I have learned to listen and follow a softer, quieter voice: God’s.
His voice is always
seeing the best in me,
delighted with me.
Even a mustard seed size is enough to bring Jesus big-oak-tree-size pleasure.
You and I already have what it takes to move forward after all.
Just take the next step in front of you.
We have Jesus.
And because He is in us, we have each other.
“Let us not become weary in doing good,
for at the proper time
we will reap a harvest
if we do not give up.”
~ Galations 6:9
How is God calling you to say “Yes”?
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You are so right that we are free – that is a key thought in all this. We are free to have faith; to try, even make mistakes, just taking that one step forward. That effort pleases God, no matter the outcome. Such an important point! Thanks, Bonnie.
Courtney, I always look forward to you here — a mommy friend who is also faith warrior across the miles. I love how you’re saying YES to Jesus and sharing what that looks like in the jam. Time and again!
I’ve been noticing how He’s there in that thin place–where we struggle with the doubts and fears and questions, and where we know His will for us and hesitantly step out. The process of walking that tight rope and searching for Him, straight ahead, that’s worship–honoring our feelings and stepping forward in trust.
Oh, Amy! You and your beautiful words. Thanks for sipping them together here friend!
I’m in that place of stepping out, and I’m terrified!
“When we march forward into the battle of unknown outcomes and even failure – trusting God, we bring an offering of faith to the altar.”
Go, go, go, Jennifer! We’re doing this faith thing together!
I read your blog post today and love it! I struggle with the same thing– that “you’re going to fail” voice– and it often paralyzes me at the crucial moment when I need to take that step forward, in faith. I was wondering what the Bible verses were that you mentioned you memorized to address that moment of fear.
kMarie — thank you! The two I shared today were among the top. Many more. Thanks for the idea for upcoming post. 🙂
God spoke to my heart through your words this morning. I am experiencing the same struggle you described with your own writing. There are so many times that I feel defeated but God always comes back with just the right words of encouragement – like the ones you wrote so beautifully today. Thank you!
Sandee! Yes, keep listening for those quiet, whispers. They are from Him! *hugs*
Very observant and I think I will read this entry twice. I’ve noticed how the scriptures help when it isn’t just one big challenge, it can be a handful of little ones and it feels like an ambush. Can’t ever underestimate how much of the walk is warfare and how much of being a Christian is being a good warrior (or at least a persistent and faithful one).
Hey Jennifer! What a sweet voice to greet me this am! So beautiful to know we’re not alone!
We must be tuned to the same channel because I hear those same voices. But, there’s Another…Yes and as for me and my house I choose to listen to Him. If you don’t quit – you win!
And that I think is why I started calling you Faith B. about a year ago, like Abram – to Abraham, Sarai to Sarah.
Doug, I still remember that from way back when. You have the gift of encouragement. There is NO doubt about it. Thank you for being generous with your words of encouragement. I hope you are well, friend!
Thanks for your words, I needed to hear them. I’ve been going through a particularly rough time lately and often it seems that my faith is failing me. Truth is I know that God doesn’t change and doesn’t leave me so really it is me failing my faith (the Spirit is willing but the flesh is weak). As difficult as things are on the surface what really keeps me going is the hope of advancing the Kingdom and someday hearing “well done my good and faithful servant”.
Oh, Lisa. Even your weariness taken to God is faith. Let Him carry you through this. His arms will never grow tired and His heart is tender to you. He loves you. Thank you for sharing right where you are, friend.
“The voices that have hurt you — the critical ones that make your heart cave into your worst fears of being undervalued or rejected — can begin to speak the loudest.
They are intent on shutting you down, to throw confusion in your path and stop you in your tracks.
You will be tempted to turn around out of weariness and give up the fight.” How true this is and how often we do not recognize what is happening! Thanks for sharing such wonderful insight and your faith!
Linda! May God bless you right where you are. So happy you stopped by for a virtual coffee break.
Ah! Bonnie, this is great! I have been trying to step forward into what I believe the Lord is calling me to do, but I’ve had SO much resistence. Your post is a good reminded for me to stay on the right track 🙂 God honors whatever decision we make in faith because we are daughters, and faith pleases Him! Should it be the “wrong” path, He’ll reroute us! woo hoo! Thanks for the encouragement 🙂
Oh, Caitlin! I’m so happy to have a tiny part in cheering you on! We can’t go wrong stepping forward saying YES to God. He can turn water into wine. He can steer you as you lift anchor set sail! *hugs*
Wow, Bonnie! God has been calling me for a quite awhile to just say “Yes” completely to HIM. I know HE wants me to become “absorbed” in HIM, spend time in HIS presence. I keep resisting because I know deep down that the change HE wants to bring about is far from my “normal’. Way out of my comfort zone. But honestly, I’m so tired of resisting and I feel the pull. The pull of My Father on my hand, the gentle tug on my spirit, saying, “Come on, come this way. I’ve got something great to share with you, to show you.” It’s time. Please pray with and for me.
Love your posts and your writing style. Continue to be blessed and a blessing.
Hi Lynn! Beautiful! Keep following His voice, friend! It sounds like it is time for you, friend. Thank you for taking the time to share and encourage too!
[…] week, Bonnie the Faith Barista asks this […]
“God sets us free to explore, free to make mistakes and free to bring glory to Him.”
Freedom can be such an upside-down thing in this Kingdom, can’t it?
I love this:
“What brings Him glory isn’t success.
It is FAITH.”
Amen, Bonnie. You’ve nailed it, once again. Thank you, friend.
Taking one step at a time.
I enjoy having you come by and pull up a chair here. Every time, Lisa. 🙂 We’re sisters marching forward side by side.
I totally “hear” ya……..
Once again, thank you for allowing yourself to be so open, as it blesses so very many. Keep going girl! You can do it! ♥
[…] over at Faith Barista, Bonnie is asking us the […]
Wow!!! This is incredible!! And what timing, as usual, it’s perfect. I’ve been contemplating leaving my job and what a boost of encouragement.
Bonnie, i am SO enjoying your words lately. i would love to read your book and enjoy it right alongside you. lol
God has been calling me to fully surrender to him & to a new way of BEING & a new season of life. Writing has always been a passion of mine too & I write and journal alot!
He is calling me to Trust & Obey. Enough foolishness. Necessary Endings in order to go from where I am right now to where God is leading on. With his Love he has Sheltered me and quieted every storm within me. Still, just like you, some days those ‘voices” come to my head but them i remember that he loves me and he understand me and He will not leave me nor forsake me and I am SAFE in his arms and in His will so in his strength and power I will overcome and NOT ever look back nor turn back. Thank you for sharing-
Thank you for these words, Bonnie. I NEEDED to read this, and will need to re-read it again and again, and again…. God has given me a vision, a ‘calling’ and as I sit down to do the work, the voices you speak of, they rise and chatter and drown out my enthusiasm and my joy, as I seek to step out in faith, as I am saying ‘Yes!” to God. Praying that God shuts them up, for you and for me, as we take this step… I know God is with us all as we seek to serve and bring honor and Glory to His name…. blessings, friend! (And I am kicking myself for somehow NOT meeting you in person at Relevant! How did that happen?! 🙁
Thank you Bonnie for being a voice that affirms what God has been saying to me over and over every time I sit down to write a post. It is not so much about the results as it is my heart relationship with Him as I write. Your words rang truth and freedom (another theme in my life lately).
Thanks again for a timely post!
[…] I am linking up to Faith Barista’s Jam Thursday with this post, responding to the question, How Is God Currently Calling You To Walk By Faith? Check it out! […]
Powerful reminder, Bonnie. We’re in the process of adopting again–this time from Japan and the voices (physical and otherwise) that have told us for years that it’s impossible have been loud and constant. God prevails though and even though we still need some miracles, we fully trust Him. You are so right–experiencing the critical voices and fight does not mean we aren’t free. It just means we have to fight to stay free, and He gives us the strength. What an encouragement. Blessings to you…
“We believe that our dependence — only our faith — brings God pleasure.” What a wonderful statement! To think that, no matter what the outcome, God is pleased when I trust him… I knew that, but sometimes my native perfectionism is too loud to hear it. Thank you so much for the gracious reminder.
There are multiple new things open to me these days. I’m still listening to hear His voice. May He give me courage to say yes to His love when the time comes.
Bonnie, I’m so encouraged and your words are timely. Especially after my phone conference today. Two voices speaking encouragement to my soul to keep moving in the direction I’m going.
He’s calling me to say Yes by taking step after step as He directs into one of the dreams He’s set for me. I’m so excited!!!
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Thank you for this encouragement. About a year ago I felt God call
me to lead the women’s ministry at my church. With each judgement passed and critical
Comment, I wonder if this is really what I am supposed to be doing? Do I have what it takes? Have I misunderstood God’s calling? I continue to walk by faith one day at a time.
I loved reading this! I’ve always been the girl who led a rather structured life and pretty much followed expectations. And now I’m at a place where God is taking me down a much more flexible path. It’s exciting, but it’s also scary in a, “I have to make so many choices and what if I get it wrong, God?” kind of way.
I don’t know if I had previously told you that God told me back in March that I have a year to get ready. I have to be spiritually, physically and mentally ready for ….something. He didn’t say what and I have no clues. Needless to say as soon I accepted this…it’s been a real battle. I have had all sorts of obstacles in my way and it’s been a tremendous struggle to even get started. But I have not given up even though I haven’t the slightest idea what He has in store for me. But to have to prepare myself on three different levels makes me nervous, to say the least. And not knowing what lies ahead. It truly is a huge leap of faith. I will let you know what it is as soon as I find out, whenever that is!
My biggest struggle is remaining quiet long enough to hear Gods voice. When I fail to be quiet in the Lord I find that my faith in Him isnt as stron and binding as it should be.
this post resonated deeply with me – i’ve just come out of a season of saying the hard “yes” to Him…and while the pain still aches at times – i wouldn’t trade anything for the deeper ways i’ve come to know Him through this season.
thank you for blessing me with your words today, bonnie. 🙂
Thanks very much for this article! It has been such an encouragement to me at this time when there seems to be so much challenges in leading this new Family ministry including those with Disabilities that I feel called to serve. I have been feeling a lack of confidence & courage and overwhelmed at times. Yes indeed by His grace we can step into the Freedom of Faith knowing that He cares for us and our Faith brings pleasure to Him. All we need to do is just take one step at a time!
Thank you Bonnie for this post.
I read this today, and on my 28th b-day i feel a stirring in my bones.
I am almost too afraid to say it.
I wrote about it here (it’s still vague, yes, because I think it is still forming)
thank you for your post about walking by faith and stepping into a place of freefalling (always with Him)
Thank you for this,l Bonnie. I have agreed to teach an eight week class on 1 Peter for the women of our church in Jan. and Feb, and that includes writing a personal study to go along with it. I have been paralyzed. I’ve done this kind of thing before but this time my brain just wont grasp any concept. Your post just reminded me that I need to step out in faith and be obedient. If I stick with it, God will bring HIS thoughts to mind I need this.
Bonnie, another life-giving post! This is all so, so true–how I needed to hear this! It can be so tough to battle any critical voices–but how crucial to remember that, as you said, “what brings God glory is faith and trust”–those are the most important things! I love the parable with the mustard seed–so refreshing that even mustard-size faith “brings Jesus oak-tree-size joy”! What a lovely image, of trusting in order to bring Jesus joy–love that! I get a mental picture of His face lighting up whenever we choose to trust in Him–what great incentive! Thanks for the beautiful reminder to always say yes to faith!
I love this connection you made between how we as a community of believers can encourage one another in our faith, as well: “We have Jesus. And because He is in us, we have each other.”
Thank you for such encouragement today!
[…] From Bonnie Gray~~~God may be calling you to say “Yes” to: […]
[…] So much has changed this year for me. I dared to jump in on dream deferred and I said yes to God. […]
[…] Share this:EmailPrintFacebookLinkedInTwitterGooglePinterestMoreRedditDiggTumblrStumbleUponPocketLike this:Like Loading… Filed Under: Life Notes Tagged: Christian, Christianity, faith, Faith Barista, Faith Jam, God, Life Stuff, Religion/Belief, walk About kristinemacKristine McGuire is an inspirational author and speaker, sharing her testimony and encouraging others in their walk with Christ. […]