Friday, September 19, 2008

Insecure?? Me, too.

My name is Ellen, and I am called to full-time ministry to women. And, I am INSECURE. I do NOT have it all together.
There – I said it. They say the first step in overcoming is to admit your problem. ;) So there you have it!

Some recent ministry experiences led me to take a hard look at why and how the enemy gets in to my thought processes. I no longer become paralyzed by insecurity, but it plagues me in more subtle ways these days. It’s a no-brainer that Satan wants to distract me. No, he wants to DERAIL me. I am aware of that and the need to keep my armor on in order to not give him any victory. Ephesians 6:13!

But still, the nasty thoughts pop in to my head that say “you are not doing a good job”, or “nobody cares if you do this or not – you could quit today and it wouldn’t matter”, or “who do you think you are to offer counsel to another when you have your own pile of issues”, or “what am I doing all this for anyway”, or “what if none of this even matters for eternity” (I know better than to believe that, and yet I hear that little voice sometimes anyway!). I have been around long enough to now that to let these thoughts take root in me is to head for a huge fall. The more I walk with Him, the more quickly I catch this process before it goes that far!

This happens especially when I have had an experience that involves an idea that obviously and clearly came from God. There have been many times in this ministry that I KNOW I have been given clear direction and vision. You know what I mean - when the concept is so clear that you know you could not have made it up because you are not that smart! But then later, as the insecurity creeps in, those nasty thoughts start popping up. “Nobody believes that idea really did come from God”, or “everyone will just think you are wanting all the credit”, or “they won’t like my idea – what am I thinking suggesting that!?”. On and on it goes.

What the Lord has shown me lately is that to be insecure means I lack confidence in myself, I second guess myself, and I even disqualify myself from my calling. Sometimes, I even get disgusted with myself for my perceived failures, weaknesses, and even for being insecure in the first place!!
Do you hear the word SELF a little too much in the above sentences?? That should tell me something. It occurs to me, too, that to be frustrated or even disgusted with myself means that I am depending on mySELF!! I am not relying on the power of the Holy Spirit Who lives in me! There it is: the bottom line.

Down on yourself? Then you are depending on yourself, not God.

So, what is the antidote to insecurity like this? Choose to put all my faith, trust, and hope in Christ and the promise that through Him (and ONLY through Him), I can do all things! Phil. 4:13!

It is true - on my own I can't succeed, I can't get clear direction and vision, I can't do anything but fail. But with the power of the Holy Spirit - now that is a whole different story! On my own, yes I am completely insecure.

But I am NOT ON MY OWN!! I belong to Christ, and HE is my security!

I am secure IN HIM. I can trust Him, believe Him, put my faith and hope in Him, and He will never fail me. If I am truly surrendered to the Lord, and have a clear understanding that it is the Holy Spirit in me that makes any difference at all anyway….and that my eternity is SECURE, then there is no place for insecurity.

Insecurity is just……….PRIDE. Ouch.

Proverbs 16:18: Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Going DEEPER STILL in Las Vegas

This weekend I had the privilege of attending the Deeper Still Event in Las Vegas, Nevada. Wow, what a weekend! To sit under the teaching of Priscilla Shirer, Kay Arthur, and Beth Moore all in one event, and to participate in the worship led by Travis Cottrell and his team was, well, it was an experience that was profound and moving! Priscilla opened the event on Friday evening with an excellent teaching on
Exodus chapter 19. She impressed upon us that God has us in a 'wilderness' from time to time in order to bring us closer to Him, and that it will be worth it. We learned too much to mention here, but what spoke to me the most was that I need to 'pitch my tent' as they did in the wilderness so that I can experience the blessing that God has for me in that wilderness, instead of always being impatient and looking at what could be ahead (therefore missing the NOW blessing). I SO needed to hear that this weekend! I have been in a sort of wilderness myself lately, with some frustrations and questions about where ministry is headed. I am convicted to enjoy the NOW blessings in what I am doing, and let God lead me to the next step in His timing, not mine. An altar call for the opportunity to accept Christ as Savior followed, and many responded - what a moving thing to witness!
Kay Arthur spoke on Saturday, and WHOA was it convicting. That woman is just amazing and I want to be HER when I grow up!! She knows the Word of God inside out, and can bring the Word to us in a way like nobody else. She challenged Christians to make excellent use of the Word of God, especially in these times of uncertainty in our country. She gave us warning of what is happening and will happen if we do not obey the Word personally and as a nation.
Beth Moore BEGAN the afternoon with a unique altar call. She challenged us to 'mark today as the day' that you accept that you ARE forgiven, and have been delivered. Not just know it, but BELIEVE IT and live it. Lay that thang down, as she says. Hundreds went forward for prayer, and it was just a privilege to pray through that whole altar call as chains dropped off women in bondage of all sorts. It doesn't get any better than that, in my opinion! She then taught on John 1:1-18, verse by verse. We memorized it as a group (that was fun, doing it section by section with arm movements in usual Beth Moore style), and we were reminded that we have a Deliverer who 'became flesh and made His dwelling among us', and that He IS the One and Only (no man will do, only God can be Savior to us). Excellent teaching!
A fun time was had during the panel discussion. The 3 teachers took questions from the Deeper Still blog, and it was partly serious spiritual stuff, and partly hilarious, silly stuff. Kay convicted, admonished, and challenged us on the subject of sex - not many women are willing to be that bold, and I am so glad that we have a Titus 2 woman like her to talk about the hard topics with us!! It was serious, and silly, all at the same time! The 3 together make quite the comic team - it is impossible not to adore them completely by the time the event is over.
We live in amazing times as Christian women!!!! To have an event like this (5700 women this time) in a city like Las Vegas was so powerful, and you just knew God was up to something HUGE. The enemy worked hard to mess it up in more ways than we will ever know, but he did NOT get a victory this weekend in Las Vegas!! Praise the Lord and His Word!!
His Word IS LIFE TO US! Read it, meditate on it, memorize it, study it, LOVE IT!!!
Enjoy the following video recap of the event, with Travis' amazing vocals: