A newly found Internet sister wrote me the other day about something other believers were pushing her to do. They felt like she should be writing up her story as an encouragement to others. She didn’t feel that was God’s priority for her, but felt a bit selfish in giving herself to her family if others thought there was a ‘greater ministry’ afoot.
I wrote her the following: “I think God unfolds his work to us as we do each day what he puts in our heart to do. Other people suggesting we have a story to write can certainly be a seed God is planting into our heart, but it is not enough motivation to do what he has not made clear with us. I have felt I’ve had clear direction on the books I have undertaken. I see that not as a specific ‘word’ he spoke to me, but a growing conviction over time of what he wanted me to do. Not all of those have worked out like I thought, but I gave time to them as he made the way clear. I’m certain you can trust that. If there comes a time he wants you to tell that story in a more formal way, you’ll know it in your heart. People’s suggestions can be a great seed being planted, or even a confirmation of what he might be speaking to us. But they are not ever to be our sole motivation for something so extensive as this.”
Here is her response:
I should have remembered that Father knows me so well, He has no problem speaking to my heart when He wants me to hear Him. (I just took a deep breath and a sigh of relief) Once again, I even have to look at old strong holds in my life, and one primary one was the fear of man—fearing what others thought of me (or trying to gain approval by doing what was right). I’ve allowed my life to be ruled too long by what others think. He’s set me free. Your email helped remind me of that liberty I have nd remembering that Father does speak to my heart.
Isn’t it funny how religion can make us feel guilty even about the things Father asks us to do? I have not read a better description of the power and simplicity of freedom than what she wrote in that last paragraph. If you need a deep breath today to follow what God has put on your heart especially if it crosses the well-intentioned encouragements of good friends, take it. God is able to make his way clear to you as you live each day in him.