God’s gifts and His call can never be withdrawn

Today’s truth is abundant with love and possibly a great deal of frustration.

I ask myself how the two can co-exist in a sane person, but any parent knows the answer. We love our children so much we would protect them at all costs, but when they won’t go to bed or stop screaming or just get their socks and shoes on, frustration lives with and maybe equals the love we feel.

… Maybe that’s just me. And it’s been a long time since someone accused me of sanity.

Managers, supervisors, caretakers, and anyone else in a position of authority can also understand the pride and frustration that come with grooming someone, taking care of them, teaching them, investing in them, and then watching them wilt away. Not using their training or their gifts. Not responding to encouragement or direction. I wonder if God feels that way sometimes as He watches us.

Romans 11:29 says God’s gifts and His call can never be withdrawn. Part of me is comforted by this truth. It means I can’t ruin what He’s called me to do. I can’t fail if I trust Him and follow Him. Another part of me is frustrated by this refusal to let me off the hook.

What if I can’t do it? What if I don’t want to do it? What if I do it badly? Surely there is someone else on the face of this earth who is more capable and better equipped. Ultimately, every argument stems from fear. I have to ask myself – again – if I want to live in fear or live in faith.

God’s gifts and His call can never be withdrawn.

So I confess my fear and my reluctance, and I ask Him to empower me. I plead for courage and His Spirit to guide me and speak through me. As I move forward, I realize the truth. God’s gifts and His call can never be withdrawn. And I’m grateful that He was faithful and wouldn’t let me off the hook.

What are your God-given gifts?

He creates new things out of nothing

Forgive my quiet these last few days, dear readers. I have been contemplating the Creator nature of God, and today’s confession is an awesome concept that I can barely grasp. The all-powerful-ness of it both comforts me and challenges me.

Saturday, I catapulted myself into the fear zone by publishing my debut novel, Forsaken, on Amazon. (For a more detailed description of Forsaken, click on the Books tab.) I tried for almost fifteen years to get noticed by a traditional publisher. I wrote, met with critique partners, attended conferences, wrote query letters, sent proposals according to individual instructions, joined writers groups, networked, studied the craft of fiction writing, and studied the business of novel writing. I prayed. I wept. I prayed some more and I tried to quiet my desire to become published. God continued to light that fire within me.

Then, with the progress of the internet and some brilliant people, self-publishing became more realistic. Less of a stigma. It became, at the very least, a way to make a couple of bucks and find out if I really wasn’t ready for traditional publication. So my Great Experiment began. And so did my internal speech.

He makes a way where there is none. He guards my reputation. He opens doors that can not be closed, and He closes doors that can not be opened. Romans 4:17 says He brings the dead back to life and He creates new things out of nothing.

Since Saturday, I have been busy confessing this truth because of the peace and strength it gives:

God creates new things out of nothing.

As if we need examples of this, we can point to the creation of the world. Angels, light, dark, stars, the sun and the moon. Plants, animals, oceans. The creation of human beings in His image. And He made a way for us to be saved when it looked like there could be no hope.

Now, He has created another new thing. I’m a published author! Praise God for His creator nature and His faithfulness.

What has God created in your life?

If God is for me, who can be against me?

I love Chris Tomlin’s song, Our God. It reminds me of the power of the Almighty God, of His miracles, of His love. “Water you turned into wine, opened the eyes of the blind. There’s no one like you, none like you. Into the darkness you shine, out of the ashes we rise. There’s no one like you, none like you.”

And the chorus is straight from Romans 8:31: “And if our God is for us, then who could ever stop us? And if our God is with us, then what could stand against?”

What power we have in a relationship with God! If He is for us – and we know He is because He sent His Son to die for us – what in the world could stop us? Have you given that thought lately? It’s the confession I’m running with into the weekend. I’m taping it to my bathroom mirror, the window above my kitchen sink, and my car dashboard.

If God is for me, who can be against me?

He is good and kind and generous. He is power and grace and love. God is FOR me. Who could stand against that? My prayer is that we realize the enormous strength and love that formed a universe from nothingness, and that we allow it to empower us in His love. Be blessed with that this weekend, dear readers.

Do you believe God is for you? What stands against you?