The Baffling Calling to Communicate

I’ve been thinking about something since a week ago Saturday that I’m not sure I can articulate well. I’m going to give it a shot, though. Over the couple of years we’ve shared this community, I’ve seen enough of you refer to teaching Bible studies or speaking at retreats or to various groups that it may, should God care to use it, answer a few questions. Or, then again, it could more likely save you the energy of asking them. Some things are just a mystery.

Like callings.

And grace.

And how much of an accomplished work has anything to do with human vessels or are we of no consequence whatsoever. The question is not, could God use anybody? We know that’s a yes. It’s not even, does God prefer weakness so He can show Himself strong? That’s also a clear yes. What’s less clear is how much that “weak-anybody” has one iota’s bearing on what God does with him from then on. And, what are the differences between the times we are called upon by God to labor intensely toward a victory with every last ounce of energy we have (Colossians 1:29) and times when we just stand there and watch God do the thing like we weren’t even there. Or maybe we see nothing happen at all and go home in near despair, only for somebody to drop a note to us and say, “God spoke the word to me that day that I’ve waited all my life to hear.” Sometimes they quote what they heard and you know good and well it wasn’t you who said it. God talked around you instead of through you.

So, what part is God and what part is man? Twenty-five years in, I have no idea. And, I’m just weird enough to be strangely exhilarated by the fresh pulsation that I don’t. Yes, of course, we’re told to walk worthy of our callings (Ephesians 4:1) but could we walk worthy enough to enjoy a consistent, full-throttle Presence and anointing?

I doubt it.

If these are simple questions with simple answers, you may not have been around this bend often enough yet. Ask some folks who’ve spent decades at podiums like Kay Arthur, Anne Graham Lotz, Louie Giglio, James McDonald, and a host of others the devil hasn’t yet harassed into quitting and they might agree that some things get more mysterious with time. Not less.

There are too many things that don’t make sense. For communicators who give one whit about being honest-to-God (I mean that literally) Spirit-led, filled, and anointed servants, there’s no finding a formula. There’s no learning how to hit and not miss. There is no exact list and order of Spiritual disciplines to practice. Fasting every Monday, for instance, may seem to be the key attraction of God’s favor for a while but it soon wears off and you consider whether or not to add Tuesday. Nothing “works” every time. Don’t get me wrong. I believe in fasting. I’m just saying that, if you think you can use it to induce God’s unwavering favor, you’re probably going to get pretty hungry. There is no secret PIN number for His ATM. It’s God’s safeguard for keeping us from being more committed to our disciplines than to Him.

Here are a few other things I’ve learned about gifted speaking. There is no physical condition or best mood to be in. There is no amount of self-abhorrence, self-flagellation, competence or confidence to make you best suited for a mighty work of God. There is no perfect place, format, or group where “it” happens without fail. There is no type of message that never falls flat.  Or, there hasn’t been for me. There’s simply no outsmarting it. Absolutely no mastering it.

We’re splitting hairs here so stay with me until your mind gets good and muddled and only then will you get what I’m trying to say. To be sure, there are some basic ways we can cooperate with God for consistency and fruitfulness. Thank You, Lord. There are ways we can intentionally live our lives to His great glory and serve and love in His beautiful name. Bless You, Father. If not, in our earthbound wanderings, how ironically lost would we, the saved, be? But, as those who have the gall or call, responsibility or culpability to stand before a group of listeners, is there any way to insure that God will bless a message with a significant work of His Spirit?

I’m not talking here about manipulating God or trying to make Him behave. I’m not talking about trying to get Him to make you look good. I’m talking about the sheer attempt to prepare well enough, pray thoroughly enough, be humble enough (and not be proud of it) or do it all right enough in His eyes for Him to always perceptibly bless it. Honestly, there are just times when we disagree with God about what is best for Him.

What I’m talking about here is almost indefinable. I’d more easily be able to tell you how it feels than tell you what it is and yet sometimes it’s there and there’s no feeling it at all. Muddled yet? The closest I can come to naming it is God’s anointing and, if that’s the long and short of it, no wonder we can’t tame it or formulize it. The very nature of divine favor is that it is unmerited. And the very nature of God being God is that He is sovereign. As the Psalmist says, Our God is in the heavens and He does what He has pleased.

For the life of me I can’t figure out the common denominator tying together the times God really shows up. Two things are for certain. Sometimes He shows up without us even knowing it. Other times we’ll be positive He’s coming and later think He must have googled the wrong address.

This speaking thing is baffling. Beyond mastery.  It’s not for the fainthearted or the full-of-themselves. Unless a person is certifiably clueless or narcissistic beyond all hope of recovery, he or she will soon discover that what ego it builds, it also tears down. What wins out at the end of any given year is a total toss-up. In human reckoning, you could be brilliant one moment and a drooling fool the next. You can give the same message three times and the Holy Spirit hit like a lightning bolt, give it a fourth time with the same passion and authenticity and have it fall, to quote my grandmother, flatter than a flitter. I’ve never known what a flitter is but I am more than sure I’ve been flatter.

Think twice before you beg to be up front. This is the kind of thing you only want to do if you can’t keep from it. If God ever throws you up there, best to just keep your ego out of it. You can either be crucified to self or let God give you a good killing right in front of everybody. You better learn quickly and repeatedly that it’s not about you and that self-loathing is as self-absorbed as inordinate self-love. And, whatever you do, don’t get into the rut of letting your personal devotional time with God get supplanted by preparations to speak or teach. The enemy will put few subtler temptations in front of you. Every decent Bible student knows we reap what we sow but the tricky part is the sizable time gap that can occur between that sowing and reaping. When it stretches over a considerable amount of time, we think we’re getting away with it. Maybe God’s even blessing it. In His strange way, you may not see the fall-out of the loss of lively, daily relationship with Him for months but make no mistake. It’s coming. It’s a slow bleed and often you’re not aware that the lifeblood has left you until you are stone-cold dead. Thank goodness God has a penchant for resurrections. You better guard your intimacy with Him like your dying breath.

God’s love for us and our value before Him are insurmountable and unwavering. Our daughter-ship or son-ship is unconditional. His worthiness is unquestionable. Let me say that again. His worthiness is unquestionable. These are the things that must occupy us. These are the underpinnings of our security as His laborers in this harvest of souls. Things like our fitness or spiritual performance or numbers don’t just ebb and flow. They shake like a bottle of oil and vinegar duct taped to a jackhammer.

I’ve thought about this off and on for twenty years and two hundred reasons but I’ll tell you what brought it all up on this blog.

Remember last weekend’s simulcast? Those of you who participated may remember me saying that I’d had such big plans for it. As well as I know how to decipher it, not selfish or temporal plans. I honestly believed that so many women giving up their Saturdays were worthy of much deliberation, study, and preparation. And it goes without saying that God was worthy of those things and more. I felt like He must have been up to something strange and remarkably eternal to have put together numbers of women none of us could have anticipated. My plan was to give a profuse amount of time to preparation and illustration so that I could actually be familiar enough with my material not to do my usual thing. My normal approach is something like – let me think of a delicate word for it – regurgitation.  I seldom hit a platform unprepared but no one is going to accuse me of being impressively organized. For the most part, a thousand bites of information are swirling around like butterflies in my stomach and I just get up there and throw it all up.

The simulcast was to be the exception. I got home late the Saturday night before from a Living Proof Live in Florida and headed to church only to get a text from my firstborn, Amanda, telling me that her husband, Curtis, wasn’t feeling well and suspected something could really be wrong. In no time at all, he was in surgery with what his surgeon called an appendix that had gone off like a grenade. After sitting with Amanda at the hospital through the surgery, I moved into her house with my two beloved grandchildren and she moved into the hospital with her beloved man. That’s the way we spent the better part of four days.

Just like yours, our family comes first so I can honestly tell you that I had no second thoughts and, needless to say, not the least resentment. I wouldn’t have missed it for anything nor would I want to miss the next round. I have no intention of forfeiting my grandparent rights and responsibilities. I love Jackson and Annabeth like I love my own two daughters. Every minute I spent with them was my honor and joy and, yes, delightfully hard work. Every now and then I’d look up at the heavens and say something like, “Lord, I sure hope you’re preparing for Saturday while I’m keeping babies!”

And He was. He’s always faithful.

By late Wednesday night, Amanda took back the reins and her in-laws arrived first thing Thursday. At that point, my thoughts shifted totally to the simulcast. By Saturday morning, the Lord had graciously helped me prepare the two lessons. I was fine with them. Not fabulous with them but at peace. They were meaningful to me and appropriate for the occasion, I think, but, alas, not what I had planned. (Please don’t think I’m fishing for encouragement here. It would deflect severely from the point.)

This is where you come into the story. A few hours after the simulcast concluded Amanda called me and told me that comments were already coming in on the blog and that I ought to give them a glance. She thought I’d be blessed. I did and she was right, I was so thankful to God and was absolutely certain -100% – that anything of value was His doing. Then I came upon a comment I will never forget. It was posted at exactly 6:29. It said something like this: “I will always remember that we studied Ephesians 4:24 on 4/24.”  (April 24th) Somebody may as well have hit me in the head with a sledge hammer. I went completely slack-jawed and stared at those words over and over. It had never – not once – dawned on me that God had given me Ephesians 4:24 (which was our primary verse and the whole theme of the simulcast) for 4/24. He’d given that verse to me several months earlier to memorize then I began to feel that it was His leadership toward our gathering. Still, I’d never put the reference with the date. I wasn’t that clever but God surely was. Here’s the verse. See it from the point of view of the person who has decided to put her insecurity behind her:

“put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”

He’d had it all along. Planned it to a tee. Didn’t mean for it to be complicated.  Wasn’t interested in a flawless delivery.  Didn’t even need it to be great. Any jar of clay would do because anything happening on the visible platform was virtually incidental…as long as it didn’t quench the Spirit. All God had in mind to do was cut through the layers of technology until we could see straight into the beating heart of the Gospel: Jesus Christ can change your life.

That’s it. Plain and simple.

I love the mysterious side of God. I love that we can’t figure Him out. I love that He honors us by choosing us and humbles us by not even needing us. I love that He is wholly beyond formulas and manipulations, because goodness knows I’m not.

I love Him.

So, what do we do with all of this since we don’t know one iota more than we did? Just keep doing what we’re called to do. In season. Out of season. When we feel good. When we don’t. Believe Him to do something huge. Trust Him when you can’t even tell He did something small. Keep your heart in it and your big head out of it.

He’s the only one who can make it happen. As for us, we don’t even know what “it” is.

“The Lord our God has secrets known to no one. We are not accountable for them, but we and our children are accountable forever for all that he has revealed to us.” Deuteronomy 29:29 NLT


504 Responses to “The Baffling Calling to Communicate”

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  1. 251
    Charlene Pellerin says:

    I loved SO Long Insecurity. The one thing that has stuck with me since April 24th is…THE BATTLE IS WON IN THE MIND!!
    I knew that was exactly what I needed to hear..and can still hear it in my head every day. That was is true. I am battling with my weight. Although I am now extremely over weight, I still weigh more than I ever have and need to lose at least 15 lbs. I know that when I finally make up my mind about something there is no stopping me, yet with this weight issue I have yet to be able to do so. But I know that word was for me. God will keep hammering me with it until I get it and it drops to my heart. After that the battle will be over and victory will begin.
    Thanks again for your love of the word and for sharing so openly with us all.
    God Bless,
    Charlene Pellerin

  2. 252
    Roseanna Dubinski says:

    Hi Beth, I attempted to write something in response to this post and poof it disappeared. I don’t know what key I accidentally hit to make the reply vanish, but none the less it went away. I won’t let the enemy win this one, because I need to thank you for that post and praise God that He uses you inspite of yourself. I would love for you to pray for my daughter’s boyfriend, Steve, to come to know Christ soon!!!! She has been in this unequally yoked relationship for 2 years now, and we have been challenged on many levels to love him and her well. I do want to share whatever the LORD wants us to share and I know I can’t make this thing happen. I hate that I am impatient and that I sometimes believe the lie that for some Christ seems irrelevant..that there is no way these young ones (20 somethings) will see their sin or acknowledge their need) what a lie from the pit of hell. I know better!! So, please pray and have your precious staff pray as well, that my daughter would step up and desire to grown more in her faith and see that this precious young man she claims to care about needs Christ desperately!!! Thanks so very, very much!!!!

  3. 253
    His Jules says:

    You were used again today my blessed friend. I can not share yet but this is confirmation of a dream that I had last night and I needed it so desperately! I am trying to prepare to teach a ladies retreat for our church this month and this has been one of the hardest times for me. Nothing seems to want to lend itself to the theme that I know God gave me “..going further still” but as I read your words, God showed me that if I do the work – He will do the rest. Thank you,…again!

  4. 254
    triUmphlettmom;) says:


    Thank you for sharing from your heart. I was so taken aback (but excited!) 🙂 to read simply your title for the post! It was timely for me…of course the Lord orchestrates it all and isn’t it WONDER FULL when He lets us know of His thoughts toward us! (Ps 139:3,17)

    Hours after returning last week from the “So Long Insecurity” simulcast, I received a phone call from my Bible Fellowhip teacher asking me to facilitate a discussion on adultery (um…what made you think of me? Glad I just came from SLI or I might be feeling a little insecure right now!) for the ladies in our class the following week. You need to know, I homeschool…and my main outlet for social interaction is with a 4th grade girl, 2nd grade boy and 4yr old! They are my heart and ministry for this season. I would feel completely comfortable with those age groups, but my own peer group! YIKES! I said yes and then during the week felt led to share a lot of what you had spoken to us…lack of worth and security from the Lord being the primary reasons we as women might head toward adultery…looking for those things apart from the Lord.
    Anyhow, yesterday after all was done, I felt myself spiralling…feeling needy for approval and yet, at the same time not wanting it b/c I wanted my security to be in the Lord and not my estimation of my performance! I was really frustrated with my ability to communicate. I just wanted to forget it all!

    Until this morning. The Lord must have loved watching me reach for my iPod as He waited with anticipation for me to open His gift to me! 🙂 Thank you again for your heartfelt sharing. There is no formula, PTL, or we would just be machines! He is sovereign and working in so many hearts at once (including our own!). He used “Warm in Alaska’s” reminder that we are only responsible to present what He’s given us to present, to relieve my burdened heart. He is so good and just that He would trust us with His word for others is enough.

    Reminded of Is 30:15 “…in quietness and confidence shall be your strength.” Oh for that quietness of heart! Not striving, but quiet confidence in Him.

  5. 255

    Loved the post and it blew the socks right off me, love your heart. I read the post earlier this a.m. but I needed to really digest it all before I commented and I am still digesting it all and thinking. After I read the post this a.m. I thought to myself how awesome God is that He alone has changed my life completely and He alone is still working on me.
    Beth you make me fall more in-love with Jesus and everyday I get up and thank Him for giving me another day in this life to do what He has called me to do.
    I love how you wrote to keep doing what we are called to do In season . Out of season. When we feel good . When we don’t. Believe Him to do something huge. Trust Him when you can’t even tell He did something small. Keep your heart in it and your big head out of it.

    Sweet seista and mama seista I needed to hear that I am not in ministry but I am a servant of Our Sweet Saviour and I needed to hear that today, I got teary eyed when I read your post today.

    Thank you for keeping me on the path to my Saviour.
    You keep on keeping sweet thang and I love you so much
    You are the real thang and you rock my world.
    Again thanks for serving us.
    Love Carol

  6. 256
    Melissa Emma says:

    Beth, thank you so much for sharing this post. I was a part of the simulcast on 4/24 and I praise God for it. Thank you for being obedient to the Lord. You are an inspiration to me. Thank you for sharing Deut. 29:29. I don’t recall ever reading that verse before, but I must have. It just really spoke to my heart today. I am currently on Week 10/Day 5 homework for “A Woman’s Heart” Bible study. I turned to page 216 (maybe an hour after I read this post) and what do I see jump off the page before me? I’m sure you know! 🙂 Deut. 29:29 “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever.” I just love how God confirms things for me. He’s just awesome. I continue to stand in wonder. Side note: When you spoke about strong willed children at the simulcast, I felt like I was the only one in the room. Thank you for your words of wisdom and example of what it means to have a personal relationship with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Looking forward to seeing you in October in Massachusetts. 🙂 Melissa
    PS If you want to read my post: God bless you!

  7. 257
    joyinthejourneys says:

    Deut. 29:29…thanks you for that verse. It sums all you said up, doesn’t it??
    Here’s what pierced my heart…
    “You better guard your intimacy with Him like your dying breath.” Thank you Beth, for never backing down from an opportunity to be a vessel. love you~ Traci

  8. 258
    Becky says:

    LOVE it! that God shows up-only when we get out of the way! that is where freedom is! I am so thankful for your obedience to God and to His guidance and that you do get out of His way! There are so many women who are walking closer to God in freedom because of what you have taught. The Word is alive and living in each of our hearts!

  9. 259
    Fran McCurry says:

    Beth, it never ceases to amaze me how you do (seem to) have it all together! I have been to 2 live LPL events and 2 simulcasts and have done almost all of your studies. Every one of them has reached me like you had been rehearsing it just for me! Your faith, intelligence, humor, transparency, and, yes, your darling appearance all blend together to be just the “vessel” I need (along with 300,000+ others)in order to hear, listen to, process, remember, apply and share God’s Word. I have spoken before groups,gone on mission trips, led Bible Studies (yours!), and taught Sunday School, though, so I know exactly what you are talking about here. The main message I am hearing from you today is to just wade in just a little bit and God will take you the rest of the way into the deep water! He can work in me, through me, or around me! After reading this I feel convicted, renewed, encouraged, and excited to receive that next invitation to join God in His work.
    Let me take this opportunity to let you know the deep impact your ministry has made upon my faith journey. I would not want to miss a moment walking this walk with you, dear Beth.
    With love and appreciation,

  10. 260
    Diane Quapp says:

    My dear friend and sister, Beth (I like to call you my friend even though we’ve never met!) One of my first thoughts as I ready your blog was how you walk through so much of the same stuff that we all do and how you allow God to use it to speak to me. How we still have questions about how God works, how is it that such craziness happens the week we have a big event on our calendars etc. I led the Living Beyond Yourself study at our church these past few months and was continually in awe of God as to how the lesson spoke to my heart every week. I had learned so much in our fall study of Esther that I thought I would perhaps not learn as much this time and sort of coast, but prayed that God would work in the lives of the other women in the group. After doing the lessons on joy and peace the very week my brother was diagnosed with cancer I asked God why my life had to be so intertwined with the lessons. His response to me was “why would you expect me to work in the lives of the other women in the group and not in yours? These difficult circumstances didn’t happen because of what you happen to be studying right now but the study is here to help you.” I thought of how God wanted to do a work in me so that I could better relate to my group and it made me realize a little of how much you must go through in order for God to use you to speak to us. May God richly bless you, encourage you, and strengthen you as you bring His truth to me and so many others.

  11. 261
    Kathleen Funk says:

    Thank you for your message Beth. You sure do have a way of writing. I wish I could write like that. I too have a passion for the Lord and I would like to share with you what he has in store for me. My husband and I are going to start teaching 4th graders Sunday School this summer at 2nd Baptist Church in Katy. I am so excited. My husband and I haven’t done this in a couple of years and we both think it is about time we shared our knowledge of God to the next generation. I am looking forward to spending that time with my husband who is a very spiritual and wise man who loves the Lord. I am so blessed to have him.

    Each night my husband reads the bible to our kids and they really enjoy it.

    I hope you and your family have a great evening.

    God Bless.

  12. 262
    patty says:

    ooohhhhh this is good stuff! I can see God turning this into a Bible study all its own. How grateful we are that He is the Great I AM, that He is on the Throne and we can really truly actually honestly walk in the joy of The LORD. Let’s believe it ladies. Let’s lap it up and wrap it around and spoon it over our lives, our children, let us drap our selves in His glorious plan, His ways are not our ways but we get to tag along! Beth thank you for opening up this amazing reality to us in a fresh voice. Sort of a nice way of saying get out of His way and get ready!!!! We love you Beth and your ministry that God has placed on you.

  13. 263
    Laura says:

    And, trust Him and keeping moving forward even when we haven’t a CLUE what exactly it is He’s called us to do (other than that which is clearly outlined in the Bible).

    I am working through this one right now. I’ve been asked to do things . . . but I want to make sure that I do them for the right reason! This exact thought of doing things for my glory and getting all high on my pitiful little self is looming. I really want to do what God has called me to do and do it for HIS glory but I am way, way too aware of how I can get arrogant and start thinking, “look at me, look at me”. Ugh! What a gross thought but it’s my battle.

    Anyhow, I’m hoping He makes it pretty clear what I’m supposed to do and I pray that if I am called to do this “thing” then I do it for His glory and that I stop worrying about whether or not results are made because of “my” efforts. I may not even get to see a thing happen in my time. I realize, intellectually, that that is not what it is all about. My heart…not so good at getting that.

    God is so very mysterious. Honestly, why does He call any of us? Because He loves us!! I want to remember that every step of the way.

    Thanks Beth for putting your baffling thoughts out there. Sorry, I’m a little more baffled than before but still confident HE IS IT! So what if I don’t get it? Doesn’t make Him any less than amazing and beyond words.

    Laura P.

  14. 264
    Pat Weersing says:

    I was one of the site coordinators for 1st Pres. in Bishop, CA and I feel exactly the same way. At our site and on the airwaves of the simulcast, God showed up in such a powerful way that His presence that day was way beyond our praying, planning, preparations, or even the unpredicable. For me it was “immeasurably more than we could have asked or imagined.” There is no formula. This is a mystery. I am grateful to God I could just be part of His amazing work.
    Swall Meadows, CA.

  15. 265
    Terri says:

    I am tremendously glad we serve a God who is so much bigger than any of us He sovereignly chooses to use!! It FRANKLY relieves me in a way that is hard to put into words … that being said … the simulcast was HUGE to our family. My 18-year-old dd attended with me that day (originally gladly, then not so gladly, then begrudgingly as she sat at the BACK of the church while I sat nearer the front because she did not want to sit anywhere near me) … but you know what ??? Our God is bigger than the pain of a hurting 18 year old and He ministered to her in a meaningful way that day through your teaching, Beth. We are in a big hole over here (her 4 high school years have basically resulted in a WHOLE lot of insecurity), but I feel like your teaching that day was like refreshing rain falling upon her head and when I saw her summary of the event on her Facebook I was amazed at what she absorbed and processed and “chewed” on … God is at work and we BOTH needed to see that! Thank you for being the vessel … thank you for being faithful to your calling … your teaching that day was direct from the mouth of God to my dear, beautiful, hurting daughter and she heard truths straight from God’s heart to hers! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! May His rich blessings fall upon you!

  16. 266
    Jennifer says:

    i feel like you looked right into my heart and spoke to the very core of my struggle. am i called, or am i hallucinating?? if i’m called, why don’t i feel like i am making any progress toward that call?? if i’m hallucinating, how vain can i be?? a year ago, i was convinced that God was calling me…now, i’m not so certain. that uncertainty frustrates the hound out of me! am i uncertain because i’m wrong? or am i uncertain because satan knows that putting these doubts in my mind will keep me from glorifying God?

    • 266.1
      Katie says:

      Oh, Jennifer, I so know what you are saying. Your internal struggle is my internal struggle. I have prayed that when God deems it time, I won’t have any other option but follow it becaus I’ve tried to make it happen when it wasn’t and I made me a crazy woman rather than a wise woman. I have finally decided that if anything I say helps someone or has a Holy Spirit anointed meaning, whether it is in my blog, in a Bible Study or on a friend’s couch in a casual conversation, then that is going to be my major victory. I am thankful that even if it isn’t a calling to be a speaker it is atthe very best, a burning desire to share with others what God has shared with us and sometimes daily I go to Him and say, “Are we there yet?” 🙂

  17. 267
    Cathy O'Connor says:

    Yes, Beth, you are correct! There is a mysterious side of God that keeps us wanting more! When we love and are intimate we are enthrolled by the mystery and unexplainable joy that we have when we are with that someone! This is what the Lord desires!
    I had the awesome privilege to be with a 94 year old saint of God last night. She stood for over 2 hours talking/sharing about revival! She mentioned same thing that you did – there is not special whammy it is the Spirit of God. He cannot be bought or manipulated but He wants to be where He is welcome. The stories of a woman who knew so many great preachers and evangelists of the 1900’s! Humbleness and an openness that is willing to hear and obey God’s voice!
    Thank you Beth for saying yes to Our Precious Lord and Savior. Take Care!
    Deut. 10 :12
    Wow Eph 4:24 on April 24th that is God! That is not coincidence!

  18. 268
    Renee Swope says:

    All I can say is thank you. He is so worthy!!!! How my heart needed to hear so many things you have written here, Beth. Thank you for pouring out what He’s been pouring into you. Your honesty and wisdom help me “keep going” when the going gets tough and my heart, mind, body and soul get so tired they just wanna go to bed for a few months. When I have nothing to give, He gives so much more.

  19. 269
    Heather says:

    Dear Beth, So much comes to mind by what you shared here. Many of the same things have crossed my mind when my pastor has had me teach and help others in the Word of God, I feel so inadequate because of my past and the few years I have been saved – 8, and yet God is using me, this flawed vessel. But as I was reading I thought of a few things, you can take or leave them.

    1. While we are to be open to God, we are His tools in this earth and we need to keep our tools sharpened and cared for – you do that so well memorizing Word and studying, and being prepared. All that you did in the past is there to pull from. Even when you feel you aren’t adequately prepared, there is so much Word in you that it would naturally come out.

    2. Maybe God is wanting to show you that you can be prepared, but at times you don’t need to be, you can go where the Holy Spirit wants you to go and maybe go off of program a bit, trusting that God may have a particular place to send you.

    3. No one is unqualified to teach, even a person saved one hour has an experience they can share with an unsaved friend, what brought them to the point of meeting God.

    4. The depth of His Word, and how He loves a good laugh. I bet He was laughing at the 4/24 “Coincidence” which wasn’t. I bet he delighted when you were delighted.

    5. You are so beloved by Him, that He would help you, and that you came through this test and trial with flying colors.

    6. Beth, you are an inspiration to us, and you bless us so much. You have such a heart for women that I know that God will use you for He speaks to the heart, and knows our hearts. I pray God continues to bless and use you to touch hearts.

    You have no idea how instrumental you were in my growth in the Lord, the first Bible study I went to of yours I was still uncertain about God, and we had a relationship where I kept Him at arms length – more like two football fields length. I wasn’t sure I could trust Him. Your studies gave me a love for God and opened up the awareness of His vast love for us. I think that is what you teach the best in all of your studies, the love and relationship that is possible between us and God.

  20. 270
    Amy says:

    I had a CT scan today and I am such a girl when it comes to ivs… I kept saying I am clothed in dignity and strength. I didn’t freak out!

    Praises to God!

  21. 271
    Rachel says:

    Super encouraging…a post to reread often.

  22. 272
    Andrea Porter says:

    Wow, I am forever humbled by Him and it just makes my heart soar. I am so glad I checked in on the LPM Blog to read your May 2nd post. Ephesians 4:24 taught to us on 4/24 which happened to be my 42nd birthday, 24 if you reverse the numbers. He is so cool. I too want to tell my story, my testimony and lead Women’s Bible studies and to most of all glorify Him. I have been blessed to have been able to do most of these things. He has been working in my life for the past nine years of my chronic illness, Multiple Sclerosis. He gets me out of bed everyday, to meet the ever present challenges I face, He ministers to me and my family. What I think I like most, is telling people who ask, why I am so happy and at peace, why haven’t I just given up and stayed in bed when I got this diagnosis? The reason is because He hasn’t given up on me, so I won’t give up on Him. If that helps someone to deal with something not so great happening in their life, then that has brought glory to Him through me. To think He would use little old me, just tickles me and humbles me to no end. Thanks for the post Mama Siesta, I am a willing volunteer for God’s Army and I can’t wait for Him to put me to work. XOXOXOXOXO.

  23. 273
    Kate says:

    What do you do if you know God has called you to a certain position but you feel unequipped? I feel as though I am in this position. I accepted the call, and am trusting God to provide what I need, but it truly is just answering the call and stepping out in obedience at this point. Any insight?

  24. 274
    Vicki says:

    Can I just thank you for being this amazingly vulnerable? I’m in the process of preparing a Mother’s Day message and feeling that overwhelmed, terrified, can I please be sick on Sunday, why did I ever say yes to this feeling. I needed this reminder that it is the Holy Spirit to teaches and instructs – we are just a conduit. Thank you Beth! Thank you Jesus! (And – I’d appreciate your prayers for Sunday! :))

  25. 275
    Shirlea says:

    Precious Beth, you’ve been touching my life for years and too many ways to count here. The simulcast was like more frosting on the cake. I want to be your “mama” at this moment and ask, are you taking your vitamins? are you getting enough rest? I am praying that God will protect you, keep you well, and let us have the privilege of you in our lives for many years to come. You may have guessed that I am one of your “senior” fans. I would love nothing more than to share a “cuppa tea” with you and tell you how much I love you face to face. Another reason to look forward to heaven!!

  26. 276
    Kim says:

    4/24. I missed the simulcast so I could babysit my grandson, except that my son-in-law got sick. By the following Tuesday, the enemy had been on the war-path in enough areas that I needed to deviate a bit from our regular bible study pattern. I started out with a short devotional from Ephesians 4. I had no idea that you had focused on Ephesians 4:24 until some of the women who did attend the simulcast just started grinning and shaking their heads. They explained it to me later. But God is like that – working ALL things together for good to those love the Lord.

    Amen – Miss Beth – Amen

  27. 277
    Dana Nichols says:

    I don’t even know what to say right now… One week ago, my Bible study group, who just finished Daniel (Can I just say..oh my goodness what a ride!), decided to do a pot luck “reunion” and invite all the women in our church to come for fellowship. My husband is the minister at this church and we are moving to a new pastorate in June. Before I knew what was happening, I said, “That’s a great idea! I’ll do a devotion”. What??? Did I say that out loud?? Yes, I surely did! I was just beginning to panic that I have thought 2 different times that I had the topic that God wanted me to use and then thought, “no, that’s not it”. Just yesterday I felt God saying, “I want you to talk about you… and what knowing me has done for you and your life” No, no, no…that can’t be…I couldn’t possibly talk about ME! Yep, that’s it. My testimony, if you will. Never done it before. Oh, I’ve shared blessings at the appropriate times in services and prayer groups, but never as the “speaker” of an event. This post and its timing could not have come at a better time. No surprise there, huh? God is up to something with me. Please pray!! (the dinner is on 5/12) And GOD BLESS YOU and your willingness to share your thoughts!!!!

  28. 278
    Pat Langer says:

    Walking with Him is never boring. He is full of wonderful surprises and confirmations!
    Love the Word, and love how it comes alive through you.

  29. 279
    Happy Heart says:

    4/24 ,WOW!! How sweet of the LORD and so like him!! Thanks for the post today. I have read it over several times today. I sooo needed this and would love to hear more. Sometimes, I wonder if all the things I am going through are normal when I am preparing to speak. 🙂

    Keep shining!

  30. 280
    melinda gipson says:

    Beth, You are such a gifted teacher. I must admit after going through Believing God several years ago, I thought I had nailed down the insecurity thing. But I will say, on the way home from the simucast, the evil one began to do a number on me. Thank God I’ve learned when I’m under attack. After a week of battle I am winning the victory agin. You are so brave to lay it on the line. I will continue to pray for you because if the devil wants to work on little ol me I can just imagine what you must face. Thankyou for your faithfullness to our Lord.

  31. 281
    Becky Kiser says:

    Thank you so much for writing this! I really needed to hear this. So thankful for y’alls ministry!

  32. 282
    Kelley K says:

    How like our Sovereign Lord to lead me to this web site this very night as I have walked the floor to try put a “formula” to it – to try to decipher what God is leading me to when, in His wisdom, He chooses to keep the future around an unseen corner. How wise He is. Thank you Ms. Beth for putting into words what God put into your heart – once again, He has shown up when least expected and given the Word that this girl needed to hear.

  33. 283
    Joy says:

    Oh Beth,
    I have struggled for years with God over my calling. I am a working mom of 3. My calling would require me to go back to school of which we do not have the funds for nor do I have loads of time sitting around for me to use to study. Since January, I have been on a journey of healing. With my insecurities behind me, and I mean “BEHIND ME”, the fire inside to serve and minister is blazing hot. For now I am just enjoying the sweet fellowship that I have with Him now. Thank you for sharing your heart.

  34. 284
    Kelly says:

    I have asked that same type of question. Only mine was more like, Where is the line? Where do I end and the Lord begin? I haven’t gotten a straight answer either. I am hoping I never will. It keeps me seeking Him. I am glad for that. The mystery remains and He gets the glory. AS for the deliverence of the message spoken, I have no idea how that works.
    When I was reading your post, I kind of “saw” Acts chapter 2 where people heard the gospel spoken in their own tongue. I know that this not exactly what you are talking about I think that Father God who knows our every thought and intent would let the Holy Spirit to give to each person what they need when they need it? They “hear” it in their own tongue.
    I have been in the situation where everyone around me was getting their socks blessed off and I am the one standing there going “Hey, what about me?” Then, I am reeled into a supportive type of role. Then, that’s when I get my socks blessed off. I am praying that I understood your post in the way that you intended.
    Kels Redding, CA

  35. 285
    Michelle says:

    Wow! (and I mean that in a postive, good way:)).

  36. 286

    Wow, that was a lot of words. I loved every one. 🙂 Thank you, Beth for being transparent enough and bold enough to be a friend and a leader at the same time. May our good, good Lord Jesus bless you THIS day!

  37. 287
    Kathy says:

    Beth, thank you for sharing your perspective- you are sharing exactly what is being hammered into me- “It is NOT about me!” and what I plan, do, scarifice, offer,beg on and on- it is about Christ and the Kingdom coming into any situation- I have been so programmed to “do” and witness results, well God has shown me- it is my obedience to simply show up, repent, thank him, and claim his kingdom and river of grace through the cross of Christ- my my – I’m being called to focus on Jesus and look directly at him and not be a block between him and anyone or any situation- at my age who knows what all this means- although I do know to remember what Mother Theresa said- “just be a pencil in the hand of God”- blessings dear Sister in Christ, Kathy, Austin

  38. 288
    Heather says:

    Beth, I lift up your words as a bouquet to the God of our hearts. All praise and glory to Him!!!! Everything points to Him!

  39. 289
    moongirl says:

    I wanted to express to you how beautifully and masterfully written this post is. Truly some of your most brilliant work. I could really see the talent of a skilled writer at work. Thank you for sharing your gift. And I think I “get it”. (Another sign that it is well written—a difficult topic to express.) The timing of this post in my own life was immaculate as I strongly sense God guiding me into the beginning of a ministry that I do not yet know where He plans to take it. I am going with Him, but don’t really know what He’s quite up to. Thank you for the reminder to all of us to remain humble and remember it is only by Him that we are sufficient for anything.

  40. 290
    moongirl says:

    One other thought: I must say that i LOVED your emphasis on staying in RELATIONSHIP with Him while serving Him. Amen Sister!

  41. 291
    Donna B. says:

    (sigh), wow Beth…why is it that I’m always amazed at God’s timing? The complexity and simplicity of the message that God placed in your heart yesterday spoke to me on several levels. The Lord has put a message on my middle daughter, Heather’s heart, to share with her peers at her middle school during FCS, and she is on for this Friday. I’ve been searching for a way to encourage her, (aka give her a little “motherly” advice), without her feeling like, well, I’m giving her “motherly advice”. While she may be a little young to grasp everything you shared here, (for that matter, I’m still processing it all) :), I trust that God will help her get what she needs to before she speaks.

    Of all the things my girls do with their lives, nothing makes me more pleased than when they follow the Lord’s leading. I can only imagine how much more our Heavenly Father is pleased. But I do have to step aside and give Him all the glory. I’m sure you would agree that as a mom, (or dad), it can be even harder to keep our pride from getting in the way of God working through our children.

    I’m so thankful that God gave you Ephesians 4:24 on 4/24, and that you heeded His will to share with the rest of us.

    Now I’d like to share with you Beth–1 Corinthians 1:4-6,(NIV), “I always thank God for you because of His grace given you in Christ Jesus. For in Him you have been enriched in every way–in all your speaking and in all your knowledge–because our testimony about Christ was confirmed in you.”

    In Christ’s Agape,
    Donna B.

  42. 292
    Nikki says:

    Speechless. Utterly speechless. Thanks be to God!

  43. 293
    Michele says:

    MamaBeth you did it again! In March when I was taking Hebrews, your series on Trash/Treasure out of Heb 10 was on. When I was working on my Eph 3 exegesis, you taught out of the adjacent passage in the simulcast.

    This morning I started a final paper on Isaiah 7:14 This afternoon on the drive to school I turned on this week’s WwB podcast. You taught on God With Us, and of course the very first verse you used was Is 7:14!! 🙂
    I love it when that happens!

    On a related note – the President of the College & Seminary I go to (also my Galatians professor) told me tonight he thinks I am a good writer!! 😀

    Yea, yea, yea, I know that the whole theme in Galatians is justification by faith, not works (or writing), but to have a well-respected theologian approve of my writing just tickles me TO NO END. And since I don’t get happy about much, I’m going with this one. 😀

    Thinking about your post – While God has gifted me in writing, I haven’t figured out how to do it fast. 10 days, 4 papers, 35 pages, ~8,000 words, yikes! The only way this will work is if God makes it work.

    Expecting a miracle…

  44. 294
    Jacki says:

    So thankful to read this tonight right before putting my head on the pillow! God’s been revealing Himself to me lately more than usual, and I love it!! But I also know that there are those times when He seems so distant, and I find myself just longing for the closeness that I’ve come to know. I’ve learned, though, that even when He seems so distant, He is right there working out details that I can’t even begin to understand. Thank you for articulating your thoughts so clearly. I get it!

  45. 295
    Kathy says:

    I forgot to mention that God “told me” several years ago, that I was toooo dangerous with a method and that he was NOT about a METHOD of ministry to the hurting and sick. I am not to permanently attach to any one particular way of ministry- so therefore he has introduced me to some of his finest servants all over the world in all walks of Christian service and life, famous names and mighty men/women of God who minister quietly behind the scenes in the power of Jesus Christ- I am amazed- there is a knowing when I have the privilege to be taught by one of these wonderful men or women serving and modeling Christ’s way of proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom through the resurrected Christ and healing his flock. (You are certainly one of his finest servants). For me, He is the director and we are in the orchestra to play his beautiful music- there is always a different audience, a different piece to play with many different notes and expressions of his brilliance- but it does seem to be most effective when we are each playing the part we are called to share, even if we change instruments and play a new role under his direction. I’ve participated and observed healing and conversion in every possible venue- Humility and remembering the way Christ moved on this earth claiming the Kingdom and healing the sick excites me about our role. sorry to rattle on- you have really touched a very current issue in my walk after 12 years of “looking under every rock” as to how our Lord works on behalf of his creatures on this earth. God seems to guide me to: Be Available for his direction, Stand Back, in other words, don’t get in the way and Watch him work. Thank you for getting us thinking with your comment and lots of blessings to you and yours.

  46. 296
    Joyce says:

    I needed to hear this. I was a site coordinator in a large Canadian city and had to give announcements from the platform. I’ve always battled the desire to be up front because I grew up doing that with a singing family. The older I get, the more hesitant I am to be there. I left at the end of the simulcast thinking in disgust, “Those women saw way too much of me,” but your remark here hit me dead center: “it’s not about you … self-loathing is as self-absorbed as inordinate self-love.”

    I knew from the start my role as site coordinator was a God-thing. I tried to quit several times, knowing I couldn’t possibly handle the workload, but He wouldn’t give me permission. We planned for 300, we hoped for 1,000. On 4/24, we had 1,000 and even fed them all. It went flawlessly. The team God brought together to make it happen was beyond my wildest expectation.

    And yet, while all this “success” was going on, I was engaged in spiritual warfare more intense than I’ve ever known and lost more ground than I won. Again, I agree with your assessment, it’s not about me. The reality that God chooses to use us in large or small ways isn’t as much about our ability as it is about our obedience. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some laundry to fold. That’s about obedience too…

  47. 297
    Hannah says:

    I have wondered those questions at the beginning, and have often wondered if I should exert the effort to find the answers to them. Thank you for sharing with us!

    I was at Woodstock at the conference, and I did hear God speak through you. Our group from Cullman, Alabama had such a great time, and all learned so much.

    The girls in my bible study who couldn’t come, (you will get a kick out of this), the first thing they asked me is what you were wearing! Not what did you learn, or what verses, but you know us girls, we are about the fashion 🙂 We feel like we know you because of doing some of your DVD bible studies (our most recent was Believing God). I like to refer to you as Bethie (ha! I hope you don’t mind!)

    Anywho, thanks for being there and letting God use you to reach so many women on something that plagues us so!

    PS. If this simulcast had the most viewers ever (at I think you said 300,000 women), what was the most before that? Thanks!

  48. 298

    This writing makes my mind start turning and I think of everyday I have has been numbered, my hairs are numbered each moment is numbered. I wake up because of Him not me. It’s so easy for me to assume every event that is a blessing every pay check I get, every friend I have, every opportunity I get do something special, all the talent I have is assumed forgetting it’s all a gift. And that just to be able to do mundane things is part of life. But, even mundane is a gift. All things are before Him, all. When I feel dog bad on some days sometimes it’s my willful ways and sometimes the heat of his troubling me to cause me to come to Him. It amazes me that nothing passes His eyes nothing I say or do or think is hidden and it all is before Him. This comment may have nothing to do with your post but it brings up things on my mind.
    Love you, Alli (ps 1 year this month!) To God be the glory!

  49. 299
    Amanda K says:

    Wow!! I have chills. I am in complete awe of HIM.

  50. 300
    JJC says:

    Thanks for this post. What has always confused me is (at least I think) along the same lines of what you’re talking about. I’ve always been very performance driven, and a perfectionist. And when it comes to ministry, it seems to me those aren’t the best qualities! So, I’ve wrestled with what it means to realize that I have NOTHING, but at the same time, God uses our gifts, talents, and abilities and we ought to do our best. I think of 1 Cor 9 where Paul talks about running in such a way as to get the prize. So, I for the life of me can’t figure out how much is me and how much is God. But at the same time I know that all is of God! I heard someone say once, “Work as if everything depends on you. Pray as if everything depends on God.” Maybe that hints at what I’m getting at.

    What was piercing to hear was that thinking too poorly of yourself is just as self-absorbed as thinking too much of yourself. Now how in the world to stay in the middle? I suppose in the end it’s exactly what you say – we can’t work it out. Perhaps God intended to leave it mysterious. If we could formulize his blessing, then we would. Intimacy would be lost. We’d be stealing some of the glory. Perhaps the bottom line is that we shouldn’t be looking for visible evidence of his blessing – at least in terms of judging whether or not the thing was successful. We should be striving for obedience and faithfulness, and then after that, simply trust the Lord. Sometimes he lets us in on the blessing by enjoying its fruit, and sometimes he doesn’t. But, our goal is not evidence of fruit, but faithfulness. Is that not the basis by which we’ll be judged (and rewarded) someday? I think it’s easier said than done.

    Thanks again for sharing this post. You raised some excellent points.

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