Our Legacies (Prayer Devotional for the week of March 13, 2016)

The time has come for me to move on to other areas of ministry. I hope this final devotional entry will encourage you to seek after God’s plans for your own life and strengthen your faith for the journey. Thank you for walking this path with me for 5+ years! It has been a joy! Please feel free to visit the archives to read past entries.

Early in my walk with the Lord, I felt drawn toward ministry, especially foreign missions. My pastor at the time once quipped that I would become the next Lottie Moon (a famous missionary to China in the late 1800s). I tucked away his comments in my heart as I mulled over God’s plan for my life. A few years later, that same pastor disgraced his family and left the church amid a scandalous affair. I struggled for a long while about his teachings and encouragement that had meant so much to me as a new believer in Christ, but suddenly felt tainted. I learned the hard way to put my trust in the Lord, rather than in people.

 

That isn’t to say that godly leaders have no impact on us – of course they do! Look at the story of Elijah and Elisha, beginning in 1 Kings 19. Elijah had accomplished amazing things for the Lord, but this part of the story picks up with him hiding in a cave to avoid capture. Elijah felt like all of God’s people had turned on him, and he was the only faithful one left. The Lord spoke to him, encouraging him that not only were there still thousands of loyal Israelites, but God had also identified Elisha as his successor to carry on the work that he had started.

 

Elijah may have thought his ministry was a goner (through no fault of his own), but as it turns out, his legacy was so incredible that he even had an encore performance in the New Testament (see Matthew 17)! There may be times – no, there will be times – when serving the Lord feels like a one-man band, and you question your purpose or calling. There will be times when other Christians let you down, disappoint you, even betray your trust. In those times, we need to remember that we are serving the Lord, first and foremost. When we walk with the Lord, great things happen – not for our own glory, but for his.

 

When we began these devotionals a little over five years ago, I could not have imagined how the Lord would use them. After all, I’m no Elijah; I’m just a gal with lots of ideas in her head and words on her heart. I am grateful for the opportunity to share my thoughts, struggles, and prayers as you came alongside and walked with me through grief, despair, joy, heartache, growth, and change. This season of ministry is coming to an end for me, but I hope that somehow I have spurred each of you on to find ways in which you can serve the Lord through your own gifts, talents, and passions. Don’t be afraid to strike your cloak on the water, as it were, and step out in faith (see 2 Kings 2 for Elijah & Elisha’s river story). Who knows, you might just become the next Lottie Moon … but even if you don’t, God still has mind-blowing things planned for you. Just trust him.

Advertisements

A Chance of Rain (Prayer Devotional for the week of August 10, 2014)

I’ve never really minded the rain. I don’t particularly care if my hair gets wet, and I like watching the rain fall. Growing up in the Houston area, I learned to interpret weather forecasts differently from most people. You see, if the news said that there was a 30% chance of rain, that meant it would rain 30% of the day – it was a given that there would be rain, of some sort. The question was only how much rain.

One of my favorite Bible stories has to do with rain … rather, the lack thereof. I encourage you to take some time this week and read 1 Kings 18. Elijah is one of the most remarkable people in the Bible; I would love to have a teaspoon of his faith! The passage begins in the middle of a terrible drought: three solid years without a drop of rain. Elijah was the only living prophet of the Lord, and King Ahab had succumbed to the influence of false gods.

Elijah did something ridiculous in his challenge to the prophets of Baal. Not only did he stand up against 450 of them, but he even drenched his sacrifice in water before asking God to light it on fire. What astounding, sold-out faith! You’ll have to read the chapter to catch the details, but suffice it to say that once Elijah was finished, there was no doubt whatsoever that the Lord was the one true God.

The sacrifice was one fantastic part of the story, but what happened next was equally amazing. Elijah climbed a mountain and prayed earnestly to God for rain. He sent a scout seven times to check the sky for clouds, and finally, a small cloud began to take shape in the sky. That measly little cloud quickly grew and became a torrential downpour on the thirsty land – God’s answer to Elijah’s prayer.

Are there things that you have been praying about for what feels like ages, and it seems like God hasn’t answered yet? Keep the faith, dear ones! Like Elijah, keep your eyes on the Lord and seek him earnestly with all of your heart.