Words have power. Written words provide proof. You can read them, and reread them whenever you want. They can speak life to someone who needs encouragement. They can speak death to someone who is being deceived. The choice lies within you. How is it that you want people to remember you? Encourager...that is the gift that God has laid on my heart. To use my written, spoken, and/or sung words to lift people up. To be one link in their road to healing, restoration, joy. I have been without those things, and I claim them to be mine again. If you want me to seek God on a prayer for a specific situation...that is why I am here. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to pray God's Word of Life over you.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Traveler (Day TWENTY FOUR-30 Day Challenge)

Your bags are packed and your shoes are on. You step out in faith because you've accepted the call. You've agreed to go to wherever God leads. For now all you can do is put one foot in front of the other. You are one part nervous and the rest anxious. You have no idea what to expect. You have no idea what you will face. You aren't even sure you can handle it...but you start walking. 

At first, your travels are smooth. You are enjoying the view and the people passing by seem friendly. You are feeling strong and gaining confidence that you are heading the right way. No sooner do you think that, and you notice the weather starting to get a little cooler. You aren't quite as comfortable and people don't seem to be looking around anymore. They seem consumed by their own travels. You reach out to them to offer them a drink and they gladly accept. You offer them words of encouragement and they perk up. They smile with sincerity and walk on with their heads looking forward to what is to come. 

You keep walking, still strong, still confident. The wind picks up. The dust from the road is making it increasingly more difficult to see. You can tell that this is a storm you are walking into and you want desperately to turn around. But you weren't happy there. Why in the world would you go back to stagnant? Why would you return to what wasn't effective? To what wasn't moving you or those around you? But, wait, how do you know if this storm is a sign?

The wind increases even more. Now your eyes are barely open. You can't see anyone on the road anymore because the dust is so thick. A sudden shot of regret fills your head...but your heart and your feet are still moving forward. You begin to wonder...how will I ever know if I am heading where God is leading?

A kind voice is heard beside you. It is a fellow traveler. They stand still beside the path and seem unaffected by the dusty wind. You recognize what you can see of their face. You saw them earlier on your path. You encouraged them. You gave them a drink of living water so that they might not thirst again. They are standing in the storm and they say, 'I am proof. You are going the right way. My path was headed toward darkness until you met me on my journey. This storm will pass. But now, remember me when you doubt.'  

You press on. Determined and courageous. All fear and doubt must leave because it has no place to reside in you. This same thing happens over and over again. Travelers that you met before now stand to cheer you on. 'Keep up the fight!' 'You are doing great!' 'I am praying for you!' One by one they come alongside you. Each one making it easier to whether the storm. 

Ministry is hard. I absolutely LOVE it...but boy is it hard some days. Those are the days that I wonder...did I choose the right path? Did I choose the right church? Did God tell us to stay...or was that our own desire? Am I in the right job...or should I give up and start over? Did I choose the right school for my children? Does God really WANT me to live in the snow belt of Pennsylvania? Really...does he? ;-)

Easy is not a foolproof implication that the choice you made is right. The enemy would LOVE for you to believe that. But truth is...if we are going along our daily lives and we aren't being challenged by the enemy...maybe we aren't being effective for the Kingdom either. If you are already headed away from the will of God...the enemy doesn't 'need' to lead you astray. He need only encourage you to stay!

If though...you are boldly living for Christ. If you are defeating the enemy at his game. If you are inviting others to come to church and praying with them to accept Christ...the war is so on. The enemy will hound. he will discourage. he will throw hurtful words at you...usually from people you love. he will distract you from moving forward. And he will get you to doubt if you are going the right way.

So how do you know? Are you making a difference? Who are the people on your path that were headed for eternity in hell...that are now following Jesus because you met them in their darkest hour? Salvation. People that are accepting Christ as their Lord and Savior...those are how you know you are on the same path that Jesus walked. Lives are being transformed...and you get to be a part of it. You give them the only thing that satisfies.

"Jesus answered, 'Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." John 4:13-14

If you are struggling today with knowing if you are making a difference...write down the names of people you have encouraged this week/month/year. If you have someone that you led to Christ...write their name in BOLD. If you prayed with someone...write their name down. These are the people you think of when you doubt. When you doubt your call. When you doubt your ministry. When you doubt your position. When you doubt God. Picture the faces attached to the names you wrote down. They are your own personal proof. You are going the right way. Keep walking! The storm will pass...and your faith will be stronger! That is how Romans 8:28 works!

"You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everybody. You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts." 1 Corinthians 3:2-3  In my words, let the effectiveness of your life IN ministry be proven by the lives you have touched. When you help heal hearts broken or lost, by just being available and speaking what God says...you will need no other proof. There is nothing greater than for the spiritually lost to become saved, and the broken to be restored in Jesus Name!

If you are staring at a blank sheet of paper..do not feel condemned. Instead...set your sight on Jesus. Maybe the reason you aren't being effective is because you are walking away from your call instead of towards. Maybe you are being distracted from seeing the people that are struggling along your way. Let today be the day you choose to be inspired by greatness. Not by 'Vanesa the Great'...but by the example set by Jesus. Imitate Him always!

Wake up early and meet with God, just as Jesus did. "Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where He prayed." Mark 1:35

Let the person in front of you be the most important thing at that moment, just as Jesus did. "Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ." Ephesians 5:21

Pray for healing, just as Jesus did. "The whole town gathered at the door, and Jesus healed many who had various diseases." Mark 1:33-34

Pray for salvation among many, just as Jesus did. "Some men brought to Him a paralytic, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, 'Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.' " Matthew 9:2

Do not sell yourself short...because the same Jesus that walked this earth...lives within you! Keep walking with Him. Follow His voice...you are finishing the ministry that HE began! =)


  1. This was really good for me to read. Often I am a "small picture", what's in front of me is my only reality. (Which can be really good..and really BAD.) But this has helped me to see the big picture. To think of those I've reached out..and want to reach out more. I've found looking "outside of myself" and at others brings a lot of joy--more than when I just stay in my selfish world. There is such joy when you get to refresh someone else with Christ. It's like.."Oh yeah, this is why I am here! This is what life is all about! It's all about Jesus!" Thank you for being that fellow traveler to help me keep going forward (wherever that takes me!)

    1. This was the post inspired by a conversation I had with YOU Bekah!!! :-)

  2. I so totally and completely need this, this morning. Thank you! Running late and spilling coffee, I still managed to find a corner of quiet time.
    After reading your words, I realize the enemy WANTED those distractions to keep me from girding myself with THE WORD. I appreciate you, Vanesa, for tackling the stuff of spiritual warfare -- it's real. It's insidious. In small, incremental ways, I am led away from Truth. Your prayer blog is centering, because you underline everything with God's amazing and life-giving WORD.