So let's get to it!!! Last week we read chapters 5 - 9 and looked at...dun dun dunnnnnn.....EXCUSES!!!! gasp!! I don't have any of those!!!!!! ha.ha.ha.ha. I loved chapter fives title..."What Did He Say?" We all know where our excuses come from, but we tend to hold onto them dearly anyway!! John 8:44 clarifies this truth:
".....the devil...He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies."
Hmmm, that's pretty clear huh? So if we know this to be true, why are we not getting it? As Elisa puts it, "The enemy simply looks at our lives, notes our weaknesses and fears, and offers up an excuse filled with half truth, half lie." You can go back to Genesis 3:1 to see what this looks like, but I'm pretty sure that you are familiar with his ways!! We explored what our main excuses for not mentoring were and a Mental Makeover Download was offered. It looks pretty good, but I haven't had opportunity to work it out.....I have
an excuse reason for that!! lol
In the next chapter we looked at the excuse of feeling like a hypocrite!! Certainly, I have no business telling others how to live....look at my past!!! While it is true that we must use wisdom in sharing our story, it may not be the right time or audience, our story does not disqualify us or make us a hypocrite! There are plenty of other excuses that we come up with for not sharing our lives with others.....fear of being exposed and judged or even the current circumstance we may find ourselves in can hinder us from moving forward in freedom.
I love what Romans 8:28 tells us:
"And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them."
My past has enabled me to walk a path that has had many bumps and bruises, trials and pain, and though I could certainly look at it and feel sorry for myself and say that I can't share that with others, God tells me otherwise! As I have continued to give Him my life, pains and mistakes, He works them together for my good and His glory!!! I can stand on the other side of that chasm and say "Look what God has done in my life!!!" I can sing His praises because I've experienced His gifts first hand. We even looked at the Saul/Paul conversion. Paul was a Christian killer before He met God on the road to Damascus.....God didn't send him back to right his wrongs....rather he transformed him right where he met him and sent him FORWARD!! Paul was equipped because of God, because God took his past and worked it together for Paul's good and God's glory!!!!
Doesn't that make your heart want to sing?? I know it does mine!! It gives all of the pain and struggle a purpose and that somehow makes the past okay.
Not my gift, too young, not wise.....these are some of the other very popular excuses that we come up with for not doing what God wants us to do. I am amazed at how many people think that young people have no business leading, training and guiding!! I am part of a large youth ministry team and we have leaders that range from 21 to 40+ years! We would be missing a HUGE gift if we excluded our 21 year old!! I really don't think that age has anything to do with anything! Now here's the key, to anyone mentoring really, you must be sure that you are influencing others according to the word!!
James 1:5 wipes the excuse of not being wise right off the board!!!
"If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking."
Ummmm, yeah. Enough said!! Let me add this though, just in case you need a little more :) As we grow in our relationship with God, praying, reading the work, working out His commands, He equips us to go mentor others with no fear or excuses. No more excuses!!! Oh wait, there's another one......"it's not my gift".....
While it is completely true that God gifts us all differently, I don't believe that gives us permission to not work on other areas that aren't our strong gift! God wants us to stretch beyond what is comfortable, to go and reach into places that we didn't dare dream of reaching!! He will equip us if we are willing to go....and honestly, He doesn't need you or me....if we are unwilling to move, He will find someone who is willing. That doesn't settle well in my spirit....I want to be obedient, even if it is uncomfortable. We must remember that we are created in His image, He equips us for the job that He has for us to do. We only need to trust and be obedient!!
I love that Elisa makes this very simple to understand. She says "To Biblically mentor simply means to live life, woman to woman, generation to generation, sharing what we are learning and passing it on to others. It is not a complicated, intricate process. It is simply about embracing and living out Paul's instructions in Philippians 4:
"And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me--everything that you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you."
So there ya have it....no more excuses! They won't work, there's no truth behind them!! If we are thinking on the lies that the enemy feeds us, then we are not obeying God's words in Philippians. Every time that we entertain an excuse or lie from the enemy we are being disobedient to Christ! I'm not digging that a whole lot!!! You must know that to fix your mind on things above takes practice and work...the enemy will fight harder as you fight harder to lean in on God, so you must be ready for the battle friends.
Clothe yourself with truth, with the armor of God and get yourself a big old team of warriors that will help keep you on track!!! It's time to put the enemy in his place and march forward in the freedom that Jesus died on the cross to give us!! It's there for the taking, we just need to get tired of eating scraps so that we can dust ourselves off and go to the Banquet!!!
*Jess is up tomorrow and I'll be back on Wednesday to talk a little more about Grace <3
Take care and God Bless <3 Lorraine