Friday, October 6, 2017

I am not equipped - but Jesus is with me

They couldn't take their eyes off them - Peter and John standing there so confident, so sure of themselves! Their fascination deepened when they realised these two were laymen with no training in Scripture or formal education. They recognized them as companions of Jesus, but with the man right before them, seeing him standing there so upright - so healed! - what could they say against that? Acts 4:13-14 The Message

My prayer as I write this blog post today is that all who read it will be encouraged in those times when God asks you to do something, that you feel completely ill-equipped for. 

Recently I was asked to teach two sessions on Hearing from God. To children. 

I am not a trained teacher. I have a degree in computer science and a masters degree in Business and Technology. My experience in teaching children is only a few years of Sunday school teaching, which really amounted to reading a bible story and discussing a few concepts from the story. 

I have no formal training in Scripture and Theology. My experience in hearing from God is exactly that - experiences. Learning through some very difficult circumstances, how to cut out the 'noise' and hear what God has to say, and trusting that indeed it was His voice. And I know I still have so much to learn.

Anyway, I felt that God wanted me to say yes. So I said Yes, trusting that God would guide me in what to say (and not say), and that He would open the hearts of these children to believe that their Heavenly Father wants to talk to them, and to trust that they can hear His voice.

Prayer and research. Continually asking God, how to explain this in a creative and engaging way? How to provide practical information that these children can take and use after these sessions? How to create an environment in a very short period of time that gives them the opportunity to hear His voice? I asked others to pray for me, both in the preparation - that I would be aligned with God's plans for the sessions; and during the actual sessions - that God would plant that desire in their hearts to hear His voice.

Early morning before the first session, I was praying, 'God please help me, guide me today. I feel so inadequate. Even though I have a structure for the sessions, please help me to be flexible and hear what You want to do.'  After this prayer, He led me to this scripture:

Now when they saw the boldness and unfettered eloquence of Peter and John and perceived that they were unlearned and untrained in the schools [common men with no educational advantages], they marveled; and they recognised that they had been with Jesus. Acts 4:13 AMP

After I read it I wanted to scream out 'Yes and Amen' but others were sleeping. So I smiled to myself. This one verse gave me the confidence I needed - I didn't have all the formal training - but I had spent time with Jesus. And I had to trust that in that time with Him, He had done a good work. It was going to be okay.

So you may ask, how did the teaching sessions go? Well, only the children can really answer that question. But for myself, I have tears in my eyes when I remember how the session ended ...

A group of about 20 children, sitting under trees, quietly listening to Kari Jobe's song 'Be Still', and then drawing and writing what they had heard from God.

God is good. He is faithful, always. He wants us all to have a greater level of intimacy with him. And that 'us' includes the children.

Then little children were brought to Jesus, that He might put His hands on them and pray; but the disciples rebuked those who brought them. But He said, Leave the children alone! Allow the little ones to come to Me, and do not forbid or restrain or hinder them, for of such [as these] is the kingdom of heaven composed. And He put His hands upon them, and then went on His way. Matthew 19:13-15 AMP

Question for today, is there something that God has asked you to do, for which you feel completely ill-equipped for? Remember, God doesn't expect that you will do it alone, but rather in partnership with Him (and possibly other people He brings alongside you). 

So why not ask Him to guide you with every step, and trust that He will be there with you. Then we know it is not done in our own strength, and we can boast of what the Lord has done.

So then, as it is written, Let him who boasts and proudly rejoices and glories, boast and proudly rejoice and glory in the Lord. 1 Corinthians 1:31 AMP

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