I had heard His voice loud and clear.
It happened as I was sitting in the sanctuary many years ago, head bowed in fervent prayer, basking in the glow of the forgiveness that God has just poured all over my heart.
I was just one woman in a crowd of many women attending the seminar that morning. One woman trying to keep my emotions intact as I felt God moving deeply in my soul through the words of the speaker.
Suddenly His voice echoed so loudly, that my eyes burst open and I glanced around to see if anyone else had heard it. Since I didn’t see any commotion, and no other women were appearing confused, dismayed or frantically gazing upwards with a look of “who said that!?” on their face, I determined that I was, indeed, the only one who had heard Him. It was a divine message, meant for me alone.
He simply said, “Tracie, Go… and share”. (interpretation: “tell your testimony”) My immediate answer was “Of course, God! Whatever you say! When can I start?”
NOT! Instead, I quickly and adamantly said “No God. Absolutely, without a shadow of doubt… NO”. In fact, I got into a bit of an argument with God, wondering if He was confused and just didn’t realize who He was talking to. Not only did I have no intention of “going”, I had less intention of “sharing”. I was convinced that God had made a mistake in calling me, a broken soul, to serve Him, a holy Savior.
But of course, God does not make mistakes. He simply knew my future, and my purpose, long before I did. He knew that His mercy and grace could wash away my sin, but only my obedience could truly heal my soul.
That was the summer of 2000. It was a day that turned my life upside down, as I tried to grasp the reality that God not only forgave me for my sins, and loved me despite them, but that He had a plan to use my past for my purpose. His purpose.
My obedience did not happen overnight. But little by little, step by step, faith encounter by faith encounter, God softened my heart to see and believe that His ways, and His plans, were better than my own.
With each baby step, I learned to trust God more, and eventually let Him replace my shame, with His grace and healing, from the inside out. My obedience to follow Him, and be transparent with others about how He had changed my life, opened the door for my heart to finally be restored.
A few years later, at another seminar, I had another God encounter. The praise and worship leader was singing the song “It Is Well”, and I could feel the Holy Spirit hovering all around us. Then God spoke again, loud and clear, yet more gentle and confident. This time, He simply said “Tracie… it is well.”
And I smiled, with a tear of joy trickling from my eye, and said “Yes sweet Jesus, it is well with my soul.”
Shame and guilt no longer had any power over me, because God’s love had become the presiding power over my life. I was no longer that broken, throw away person as I mentioned in today’s Proverbs 31 Devotion. I realized I was loved by a Holy God. And so are you.
Do you believe that you are loved by God, despite the sin in your past or present? Do you believe that all it takes to be forgiven, is to ask God for it? Are you willing to forgive yourself, and let go of your hurts?
Are you ready to be free from shame and guilt, and embrace a new you that is filled with the Holy Spirit instead? Are you ready for God to have power over your life?
Do you want to be healed from the inside out?
Dear Jesus, you know the sins of my past, and the things I struggle with right now. I ask for your forgiveness, for everything. Wash me clean, make me whole again. Restore my soul. I want to be found by you. Help me to forgive myself, and protect my heart when negative thoughts and emotions threaten to steal the peace that You provide. Speak to me Lord, in a way I will understand. I long for healing and restoration and to be delivered from shame and guilt. Help me to have an awareness of Your voice, and to listen intently when you are speaking. Show me how you can bring glory out of something that the devil meant for evil. I trust you Lord, and I surrender all to you. I commit to obeying You when you call, even if You call me to do something that seems beyond my capabilities, and out of my comfort zone. I believe that my obedience, even if it’s hard at first, will lead to blessing. Today, Lord, I surrender my life to You. Amen.
If you prayed this prayer today, will you leave a comment, and share with us how God has touched your heart today? We are definitely not alone in our need for forgiveness, redemption and restoration, yet there is power in knowing that we are not alone in our insecurities and our struggles and our heartfelt need to be healed.
Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Allow it to be a day that turns your life upside down – for the glory of God. If you are willing, God will deliver you from your sin, and turn your past into your purpose too – a purpose that is uniquely yours and divinely orchestrated – intended to bring you freedom and joy that you never thought imaginable.
Then you can sing that old song with a new twist… “Found, healed, delivered… I’m Yours!”
*If you have not asked Jesus to be your personal Savior, click here for some information that can help you make that important decision and take the first step towards true healing. DO YOU KNOW JESUS?