To Stay or Not to Stay....
I pray that night.
Father, I thank You for increase. Enlarge my territory O God. Increase my capacity to love. Increase my capacity to hear from You more clearly. Increase my faith in Your promises. Increase my patience in the process. Increase You and decrease me so that You would be seen. Increase my faith that despite what “the reports” (my solidly negative bank account) say, I believe You and what You said. You said “Speak to the dry bones!” I speak to the dry bones of my finances and tell them to breathe! To rise up and live! [I pray] to be great and to be great for the great things the Lord is doing in Jesus’ name! You said I would produce branches and fruit for the people of Israel. You said You would look upon me with favor. I receive it, Lord. And I rebuke what my eyes have seen and want to believe in Jesus’ name!
And when I go to Scripture after my prayer, it is Isaiah 54:1-2. I am comforted and blessed to know once again, that He hears my prayer. I know God hears every single prayer of my heart. Said and unsaid.
"Sing O barren woman, you who never bore a child, burst into song, shout for joy, you who were never in labor, because more are the children of the desolate woman, than of her who has a husband, says the Lord. Enlarge the place of your tent. Stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back. Lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes for you will spread out to the right and to the left. Your descendants will dispossess nations and settle in their desolate cities. Do not be afraid. You will not suffer shame. Do not fear disgrace, you will not be humiliated.”
And the next morning I wake to listen to the young prophet from the night before. It’s 5:24am.
He says a lot. But the thing I rest on? “Do not worry about tomorrow.” And I was definitely worrying about tomorrow. Because God’s plans and my plans don’t seem to really coincide. He goes on to say, “God isn’t looking for a shielded heart. He is looking for a yielded heart.” I have one of those, I think; a yielded heart.
And since my heart is yielded and He’s had me up all morning, I ask whether He intends for me to stay in Charlotte or go west to OKC. By now the Lord has determined that going west does not mean going to Los Angeles. There are some things the Lord has shared with me that make me believe that ever since my friend mentioned it, OKC is where He means. So that is why I ask. Also, patience and I are still doing a wayward tango. I lean toward her, she leans back. She leans toward me, I veer left, never really meeting in a happy place.
God is okay with that, it seems, because He answers through the Scriptures right away.
Joshua 22:6, “Then Joshua blessed them and SENT THEM AWAY and they went to their homes…
…and to the other half of the tribe, Joshua gave land to the WEST side of the Jordan with their brothers.
I know He hears me. I’ve come to expect these answers, but He still blows me away every time.
Guess I won’t be seeing Joyce Meyer after all.
I drive through North Carolina into the mountains of Tennessee. I stop in Knoxville for gas and stop at the Walmart near UT to use the bathroom. In Nashville, I stop for gas and use the bathroom at Target, where I also buy Hawaiian bread and bismuth tablets (house brand Pepto Bismol.) My stomach is disagreeable. I need her to be in line with this long-term driving thing the Lord has me doing. I also buy LeCrae’s audiobook. (Thank you Target wi-fi.) After such a long trip, I'm bored with music. No one but my Mom, sisters, and one girlfriend have my number. I don't want to talk because I cannot give updates on where I’m going. Partly because although I believe this to be my destination, I really won't know until I get there and partly because I feel it is in my best interest not to get any feedback from anyone as I travel. The fewer opinions I get, the less likely I am to second guess what God is doing, and the less likely someone will push their own fears on me and have me stuck somewhere on a dark road questioning God and this move.
My stomach settles by the time I reach Memphis, where I intend to stop. But nothing about Memphis is allowing me to feel peace. Every scripture I find in the bible talks about unrest and enemies and being unable to rest. I'd have just chalked it up to coincidence but I am well beyond believing in those. I am sorry I didn’t earmark it. I was so intent on finding a scripture contrary to that because I anticipated sundown and wanted to be off the unfamiliar road by nightfall. But no. The Lord had other plans. As I coasted across the bridge and into Arkansas, I spot another gorgeous God-made sunset ahead of me. I buy gas at a little spot on I-40 and continue on. Sometime after nightfall, LeCrae’s voice is soothing. It’s like having a conversation with a friend who only talks about himself. But a really interesting friend! Lecrae is discussing a gig in Memphis, which he describes as having the highest crime rate in the country. I didn’t know this about Memphis when I’d decided to stop. It raises my antenna that I was spared. Ephesians 6:12 says, "For we do not fight against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places."I thank You God for Your divine intervention. You see what we don’t and keep us out of harm’s way.
This is my journey of faith with Jesus as my navigator and Google Maps as my back up.
See you next Monday for installment seven of No Parking! (Click HERE to catch up if you've missed any!)
Sign up here to receive these Journey of Faith blogs (and only these Journey of Faith blogs!) as soon as they post!