Boldly Go Where No One Has Gone Before

Today I’m revisiting a blog I wrote last year, before I launched the blog.

Lying in bed, with the whispers of my prayers drifting into other disjointed thoughts, I sank into that space between sleep and awake. Slipping farther away from wakefulness, I saw a single word written on a piece of paper: “Bold.”

My eyes flew open.

“Bold.” Typed in Times New Roman typography.

Every once in awhile, God speaks to me. Not in a booming, burning bush, “Moses! Take off your shoes!” kind of way. No matter how persistently I ask God to shout at me and use flood lights to light my path, he seems to prefer subtler communication. Usually the direction I seek comes about in ordinary ways. A sermon that resonates in a personal way, a song that seems like it was written with me in mind, or a friend who encourages or challenges me. Or both. Often, a Bible verse will jump out at me.

But occasionally God gets my attention in other ways. I haven’t heard his voice literally. It’s that the impact of what he “says” is almost audible. A word, thought, or concept stops me in my tracks. Usually when I’m worrying. It’s so easy to fall into a recitation of things that are going wrong, things that could go wrong. Things that probably will go wrong. My inner worry dialog takes on a life of its own. If I catch myself in time, I can sometimes stop the runaway worry train and reorder my thoughts by spending some time reading the Bible, remembering and believing God’s promises.

If I don’t catch myself, the worry train takes me to dark places. I can spend days anxious, panic barely at bay.

But occasionally, before I get too far down that road, a simple truth will stop me in my tracks. Out of nowhere a new, unbidden thought will come accompanied by peace and confidence.

The night I saw that word in my mind was like that. Not quite awake and not yet asleep.

Bold.”

Of all the words people would use to describe me, I don’t think “bold” would be at the top of the list. Bold is how I like my coffee. Bold is not who I am. I’m an introvert, sometimes friendly, but not generally thought of as bold I don’t think.

God gives us all different gifts, talents, things we seem born to do.

Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. (I Corinthians 12:12)

Paul tells us we can’t all be the head or feet or hands in the body of Christ. God equips us for what he wants us to do. But at the same time God asks us to do things outside our abilities, outside our comfort zone.

That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:10)

For when I am weak, then I am strong.

When God told Moses to go to Pharaoh and demand he let God’s people go, God was right there in Moses’ presence in a pretty dramatic way. Burning bush. Booming voice.

I have asked for that kind of clarity from God.

“God, if you’d just come down and do that whole burning bush thing, I sure would appreciate it. I would really love a heads up for what you want me to do.”

But, in spite of this dramatic directive, Moses still argued with God. “Wait, God, really? Me? Are you sure? I can’t speak! I’ll mess this up!”

I’ve always thought that if I got that type of message, that clear voice, then I’d do his will for sure. But I think God purposely asks us to do things that we can only do with his help. He asks us to do things that are outside our comfort zone.

He promises to equip us to do what he’s asking us to do.

“Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,” says the Lord Almighty. (Zechariah 4:6)

The last couple of years have brought a huge amount of change in my life. Unwelcome change. But through it all, I have felt God in my life. I have experienced his effortless peace when fear and even panic were the only emotions I could muster on my own.

Help me, Lord. What am I supposed to do?

That answer has been simple. And terrifying. Tell what God has done.

Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story—those he redeemed from the hand of the foe. (Psalm 107:2)

Which is how I started writing again. Coming to this, it seems so obvious now. Of course, this is what I’m supposed to do. I don’t know how I missed it all those months I was begging God to tell me. Hindsight is so clear, isn’t it?

So. Tell what the Lord has done. But like Moses, I wrestle with this. Really? Are you sure, God? What if people think I’m foolish?

For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength. (1 Corinthians 1:25)

Oh. I believe this. It’s not like God is asking me to streak for him, for goodness sake. Although baring my soul does feel a bit like public nudity. Surely, I can write about the things he has done. The verse that comes right after reminds me that I’m not giving up that much in the first place.

Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. (1 Corinthians 1:26)

I am not wise or influential, and no one would ever accuse me of being of noble birth. So what am I afraid of?

Be bold.

I have found God in unexpected places. He has been the light in my darkness. And I will boldly go where he leads me.

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9 Responses to Boldly Go Where No One Has Gone Before

  1. Rachael says:

    It is funny how God speaks to us! Blessings to you as you walk in your new calling….boldness! For us introverts it is only His strength that keeps us moving in boldness! Just visiting from Strong and Graceful Oaks. Thought I would post here instead of on the facebook page.

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  3. Kathy Snyder says:

    Sometimes as I am in prayer God speaks so quickly, answers so quickly that I may confuse it with my own thinking. That is how close God is – enveloping us in his love and attracting others to Him through our love. He is totally amazing!

  4. Marijo says:

    that “still, small voice” I have come to visualize a gentle elbow nudge…. Hey my publisher is having a writing contest – you might want to pray about submitting an entry!!!

  5. How many times have I prayed for that lightening bolt type of answer, clarity, without a doubt direction. Nope, I don’t get those either. If I got those types of answers my faith wouldn’t grow as fast either. But there are times I sure wish I could get that clarity anyway! Being bold, sharing my story, it took me years to finally start a blog and share what I have been learning. Still not easy but this is where I have been led so onward I go – learning to be bold in the process.

  6. teresa says:

    i love how God speaks to us, differently, personal and intimate in a way that we can only know its Him opening our eyes to His will and plan for our future, our day. thanks for sharing

  7. Karen Brown says:

    What an encouraging, thought-provoking message! This part struck me: “But through it all, I have felt God in my life. I have experienced his effortless peace when fear and even panic were the only emotions I could muster on my own.” Great work, and stay bold in your weakness…

  8. LOL on your invitation to comment-and I like the catchy words in this post-like runaway worry train, bold typed in Times New Roman, baring my soul feels like public nudity, hindsight is so clear, dramatic directive……
    You have a great way with the words you use to tell your story. Stay with it! I think you are definitely on the right track and I love how you took Psalm 107:2 to heart! Thanks for letting us share your obedience to God as you heard Him speak.

A few catchy words to motivate you to comment...(that's what I was told to put here!)