Jesus Got Me Thinking

I had an interesting moment with Jesus a few days ago and I can’t quit thinking about it. It followed these three related entries I’d posted right in a row on Twitter:

(1) “I don’t care if it sounds like the opportunity of a lifetime, if they say, ‘But we need your answer right now,’ it probably needs to be NO.” (2) “One of the opportunities I most regret taking was a snap decision over the offerer’s insistence on an answer NOW. No time for prayer? Uh, NO.” (3) “Gah. If I can save you the pain in the neck that decision has continued to be to me for a solid 10 years, please let me.”

I meant every word. Still do.  Good grief, it’s been a pain.  A lot of people hopped on board in response to those tweets and my misery found some good company and, in turn, a few good laughs. Man, I love when that happens.

A few hours later while I was on a walk in the woods, a deep and specific conviction of the Holy Spirit welled up in me unexpectedly. It was a conviction of gratitude: the leading of the Holy Spirit for me to, right then and there and henceforth, give no small thanks to God over the very situation that had been such a pain. If I had to wrap English language around a conviction of the Holy Spirit, it would go something like this:

“You really ought to thank Me for that.”

Sometimes the conviction of the Holy Spirit comes so unexpectedly in an area that we are taken aback. I know. I know. You’re wanting to quote me 1 Thessalonians 5:18 – “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” I get it. And I know it by heart. But we can read those words, quote those words and believe those words to be absolute truth, absolutely appropriate and even restorative and yet have a treacherously hard time applying them to situations that have nearly perforated our stomach lining. Circumstances get infinitely harder to be grateful within than the one I’m talking about in this article. Still, call me superficial but I can’t say I’ve thrown my back out with cartwheels for a thorn in the flesh that got stuck in my skull from diving headlong into an instant yes. It’s been a gift that just keeps on giving.

But that’s just it. I think God wanted me to stand there in those piney woods and consider what a gift that situation had been to me. Of course, for the sake of humility. Nothing’s wasted if it works humility because nothing will get us into deeper trouble or set us up for a steeper fall than pride. We have no greater obstacle to our divine callings than our egos. But that pain in the neck also offered me a second gift. It taught me a lesson I’m pretty sure I won’t soon forget. It seeded a hyper-phobia of snap decisions made under human pressures. These days I can’t shake the word “no” out of the word “now” to save my life.

Pain is the superglue that makes a lesson stick. That’s nothing new. The most basic one-word synonym for “disciple” is “learner.” Maybe you need to know today what I’ve needed to know so many days: learning, for a follower of Christ, is still a mark of discipleship even if you learned some lessons the hard way.

Or the excruciating way.

Or the embarrassing way.

Or the exasperating way.

Or the explosive, expensive or excessively long way.

If it attached you to the Teacher, if it marked you with Him and caused you at all to imitate Him, that’s the beating heart of discipleship.

Here’s the thing. The lesson wasn’t to try hard to dodge controversy. That’s not character. That’s cowardice. Those early followers of Jesus were nothing if not controversial and not just to the world but also to the religious establishment. The lesson was the idiocy of doing anything like that without taking the time to seek the will of God. It sure seemed like something that would be His will. And the folks needed an answer right then. And goodness knows everybody around me was all excited about it.

“Therefore do not be foolish,” Ephesians 5:17 says, “but understand what the will of the Lord is.”

Because that’s the game changer. If we know – I do mean KNOW – we are doing the will of God, if the step we are taking is – to the best of our prayerful understanding – in obedience to Christ, the fallout falls into His very capable lap. We walk in the shadow of the Almighty wherever Jesus leads us. We may still get hit. We may still be hated. For Christ’s sake, we could lose our earthly lives. Jesus did the will of His Father from first breath to last and was hit, hated and crucified. But He was resolute. He knew nothing He could lose would compare to what He’d gain. What we’d all gain. Nothing could stop Him. No demon. No disciple. No dread of death.

There is a key word in this segment of Matthew 16 that stands out to me on the page every time I read it:

From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.

Of course, there’s always somebody close by who will try to talk you out of doing God’s will and with good reasoning and excellent rationale.

22 And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.” 23 But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”


The “learner” part of the disciple Peter might have suffered a few developmental delays but the lesson took. Here’s one way we know. From Acts 4…

17 But in order that it may spread no further among the people, let us (rulers, elders, scribes) warn them (Peter and John) to speak no more to anyone in this name.” 18 So they called them and charged them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John answered them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, 20 for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.”

We’re not Jesus. Ours is finite understanding. We can’t always discern the exact will of God in every detail of a drastic decision. We’re not Peter, who, in his own words was an eyewitness of Christ’s majesty and heard “the voice” of “the Majestic Glory.”  (2 Peter 1:16-17) But we are Christ’s followers now, called to pore over the Scriptures, to seek the beautiful face of God and the saving will of God. And, then, to the best of our understanding and with the fullness of our God-given ability, to DO the will of God.

Gravity holds the soles of our feet to a spinning blue globe. Because all authority has been given to Christ, we can exercise the audacity  to “go therefore into all nations.” With the wide waistline of this globe, why would Jesus send us to the same places with the same gifts to do the same things the same way? Part of His perfection is His pure practicality. He calls this one there, that one here, this one to do that, that one to do this. Mind you, audacity out from under authority is lunacy. But Jesus sent the promised Holy Spirit for the purpose of leading us from the inside out. He makes His will known if we’ll seek Him with all our hearts.

I’m going to be straight with you here after thirty years of ministry and a heap of observation. If you make your secret goal to sidestep controversy and to keep everybody liking you and nobody misunderstanding you, you’re going to lock yourself into such a jail cell of stale air that you will suffocate every last breath out of your calling. Your soul was made for more than three square inches of breathing space. If you’re trying to avoid a label, good luck with that. Social media has sentenced us to label hell. And, since there’s not much changing that, this is the one label we Jesus-followers can try to avoid: disobedient.

Whatever your calling is, it takes guts. Jesus didn’t call us to follow Him to the chaise lounge. We’ve got a globe to cover. Not a couch.

If you’re a follower of Christ, you’re here on this planet to do one thing: the will of God in the spread of the gospel. So am I. We must take the time to seek how. Then, with some hint of clarity, we must do it. Come what may. Whatever others say.

And there we’ll find protection in the secret place of the Most High. There we’ll have confidence even should it get brutal or controversial. There we’ll have comfort when it hurts. There we’ll have fellowship, entering into Christ’s own experience until we make it safely into His arms. There we’ll have the pleasure of God. And nothing is like it. A lifetime of man’s approval can’t compare with a single moment of God’s.

So, you see, that was the missing factor in that ten-year pain in the neck. That was the frustration. I forfeited the confidence and comfort and companionship that would have come with knowing I’d followed Jesus – the best I knew how – where He wanted me to go. Those things would have carried me. Given me peace. Been worth any criticism. Every inconvenience. Or the thousandth explanation. I know that because they’ve carried me other times. They’re carrying me now into entirely new territories that would have terrified me before.

And they’ll carry you because they’re bound up in the heart of Jesus and He, Himself, carries us. Let’s be terrified of this: of missing Jesus. Of missing His will. Of putting the soles of our feet on a safe tidy path undisturbed by His valiant footprints.

Anyway, I’ve got a new outlook on that old pain in the neck. Maybe it’s not so bad after all. Maybe God used it to save me from a dozen other missteps. In fact, maybe – God help me – just maybe, for the very first time, I’m the least tad thankful for it.

Be brave out there.











195 Responses to “Jesus Got Me Thinking”

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  1. 1
    Traci Bell says:

    It is quite amazing to me that this was something the Lord laid on your heart! I just had this very thing happen to me,to which I did reply, “No” to. A verse from Proverbs made it very clear to the one trying to get me to accept their offer that I was not interested.
    Thank you, Lord Jesus, for using Mrs. Moore to affirm to me that I made the right decision!

  2. 2
    April says:

    Amen and amen

  3. 3
    Michele says:

    I love it when Jesus gets you thinking. You’re often in my prayers.

  4. 4
    Betty M says:

    You know Beth I have followed Jesus through your teaching for neigh unto eight years already and I sense your whole life is about staying outta the pit becuz you are well aware of where you once were and are scared to death to go back there and it is where this fear intersects with your obedience that the power of your ministry is founded. Don’t ever forget it. The day you say with a smug attitude that you have conquered all and you will never have to look back will be the day pride will take you for a huge crash!
    You genuine attitude with a generous portion of humbleness is what makes your whole ministry so endearing.
    A heart functioning in the will of God knows peace.
    I had to do a humble form of servant hood lately and it is not what I wanted to do. I had hoped to start working on my memoirs more this fall and take in some writer’s conferences but instead I am watching my new grand daughter four days a week. I won’t get into detail but there is no day care available for this little sweetheart so four days a week I am it. One friend told me not to do it but another told me that she knew my kids are godly and would have prayed about it and ALL of them felt I am the most qualified to do it. Know what? It is not all that bad! It is where God wants me right now in this season. I am at peace. It won’t be forever and what better influence then to be the chief care giver to bring up a godly kid? So I am embracing it for a time and who knows??
    Please know I keep your ministry in my daily prayers fervently ever since I hugged the life outta you in Fargo! To meet you in person showed me you are all you seem to be whether in front of or behind the camera. Bless you Dear!

  5. 5
    Alllison Ashton says:

    New territory, brave soul, I like it! Fear cripples me for sure. Good to read.

  6. 6
    Amy L. says:

    How grateful I am for this post, Beth. I just came downstairs from singing Be Thou My Vision to my little girl, and the verse she always requests is “Riches I heed not / Nor man’s empty praise.” These past few weeks, I’ve been turning over those words in my heart every time I sing them. Thank you again for sharing this and giving me a little light to see by and a loving kick where I need it to get going. 😉

  7. 7
    Karen Miller says:

    Just had to copy and paste….because so good and true!
    “And they’ll carry you because they’re bound up in the heart of Jesus and He, Himself, carries us. Let’s be terrified of this: of missing Jesus. Of missing His will. Of putting the soles of our feet on a safe tidy path undisturbed by His valiant footprints.”

  8. 8
    Kathleen says:

    Great word… God has used these pain in the neck situations with me as well over 30+ years of ministry. Things I thought I wanted (more than waiting on Gods timing) he let me have. My picture is that of the Dad catching the kid smoking the cigarette and saying, if one sounds good, how about smoke the whole pack! (Numbers – abundant quail coming out of the nostrils) But what I have learned is this. Conflict does not create… it reveals. It reveals my heart when other things have my affection more than Jesus!

  9. 9
    Sandi L. says:

    Such a good word! Thanks, I so needed to hear it right now, as one difficult season ends and a new one is staring me down and beckoning to be filled – with many varying opinions of how it should be! I will wait on His now and His where, and His time. We so love Him in you Mz. Elizabeth!

  10. 10
    Diane says:

    Thank you, dear Beth for this post. I especially needed to hear you tell me that trying to sidestep all the controversy and labels was impossible if I’m going to obey the call of God on my life. I am suffocating in women’s ministry trying to please everyone and pleasing no one. Thank you. Please write more on this. Love you much!

  11. 11
    Sarah Marion says:

    Both the Twitter message and this post were perfectly timed for me. Thank you for listening to the Holy Spirit and sharing your journey.

  12. 12
    April says:

    Beth, I am definitely one of your biggest fans. I just love you. I love the way you tell stories, and I love the way you proclaim the gospel unapologetically. I am a Christian blogger, but I have a tendency to try to be everyone’s friend, so this was a super encouragement to me that I needed to hear. Thank you! Please don’t ever lose your accent!

  13. 13
    Katie says:

    Until we are in Heaven, I’m glad to be in good company being humbled on this earth. Thank you for following God’s calling, Beth! It has changed my life and so many others I know. Praying for you to continue fighting the good fight.

  14. 14
    Dionne says:

    Thank You, Beth for this post. God has been showing me from many angles this very truth that you’re speaking of:
    Wait on Him patiently and in prayer–STOP trying to manipulate (even though I think I’m helping)
    James 1:5 ” If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously….”
    Trust His direction (even if it’s not what you want), and again wait patiently
    James 1:6 “But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt….”
    And thirdly, always remember that Joy, and maturity awaits me in ALL trials
    James 1:1-4 “Consider it PURE Joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds….”
    I am forced to realize that trying to do life on my own, in my own “wisdom” or experience is not helping me. But, GOING TO THE AUTHOR AND FINISHER OF OUR FAITH for direction and answers through prayer, Bible study (the Manual for living), and Godly Christian counsel is just logical.

    I LOVE You, Beth and I Thank God every day for your ministry because your studies have been the catalyst (beside the work of the Spirit) that have made my love for God, and my faith in his Son grow to where I am today! Thank You!!

  15. 15
    Suey caldwell says:

    Bethy, how amazing grace of you to be humbled
    enough to explain a humbling battle you are going
    through to us.. Super thoughtful experience and you
    are super sweet .. bibby
    take care.. praying
    The name of the Lord is a strong tower the
    righteous runneth into it, and are safe!
    Prov 18:10

  16. 16
    Karen Todd says:

    Thank you for this because I needed these words of wisdom.
    God bless you.

  17. 17
    Jennifer T says:

    Love this.
    Thank you.

  18. 18
    william says:

    First thank you Mrs. Moore for long blog.The 8 yrs.i have been primary caregiver to mom,now help from siblings.i have felt those thorns in my flesh. i realize i am right where God wants me to be.A new lesson learned. God Bless You.

  19. 19
    Deanne A. says:

    Thank you, Beth, for this sharing these thoughts and words of encouragement!

  20. 20
    Julie Barnhill says:

    Julie Barnhill, first time caller. 🙂 I’ve never written a comment here before but, today…well, today merits just that. Spot on. That’s it. Just, spot on. Thank you for your words, Beth!

  21. 21
    Brittany says:

    Thank you Beth for this reminder and for your transparency. Thankful for the way God uses you to reach other hearts!

  22. 22
    Mona says:

    Thank you Beth for this timely message. Just last evening the school my son is a senior at and that my daughter graduated from came under attack because of the beautiful fact that our principal stands for God and isn’t afraid to show it. We are very likely headed into the battle and would covet your prayers.

  23. 23
    Tara G. says:

    Your willingness to share private moments in your walk have always been so encouraging to me. Thank you, Beth.

  24. 24
    KariB says:

    Let us be terrified of this: of missing Jesus! Thank you for the new perspective on those little pains in the necks! Just what I needed to hear this morning 🙂
    We are called to be mighty women of God! Let us have the audacity to have that healthy fear of the Lord! Bless you Beth and your whole team for such a spirit blowing, life changing simulcast!

  25. 25
    Karen Sanders says:

    Wow…thank you Beth! Profound and true! See you in January!

  26. 26

    Yes, we CAN be thankful for a pain in the neck…especially when a clear head sits on it.

  27. 27
    Denise Ciofani says:

    Thank you so much for this!! I also learned this lesson, although it did not last for 10 years. My decision to say yes to a ministry position (!) lasted four months, but it disrupted my life and marriage for a longer period of time. However, as you said, the lesson stuck. And there was a point when I realized that God was delivering me and that moment with Him was priceless and will always be precious to me.

    I am so thankful for you and this blog and ministry to be “mutually encouraged by each other’s faith” (Romans 1:12).

    With much love in Christ,

  28. 28
    Taylor says:

    Thank you so much for this Mrs. Beth. I’m so thankful for the things that God has taught you and for you having the guts and boldness to share it.

  29. 29
    Linda B says:

    Thank you for this post. It is difficult for me to know the will of God. I pray about it all the time. Thank you for this post and your ministry. It has helped me through some very difficult times.

  30. 30
    Lisa Herbstreit says:

    My prayer is that we continually want to be learners and thus always be working as disciples, as well. Thanks for sharing your personal lesson from God with all of us. Appreciate your humble heart!

  31. 31
    Sara Baldwin says:


    I was just thinking this morning that I needed an attitude adjustment from my favorite spiritual trainer and then I came across your tweet. Convenient how God works huh?

    I get so trapped in my desire to please people and that leads me to second guess every step God calls me to take. I’ve got to tune out the world and keep going.

    Thanks for following God’s call on your life. It significantly impacts mine.


  32. 32
    Roberta says:

    I got it! My life right now consist of taking care of my elderly parents. My heart wants to continue on what my normal days were like, discipling other women, ministering to others and now everyday, all day except weekends I’m with my parents who know the Lord. I sometimes think God has put me on a shelf and yet deep down I know this is His will for me. I accept it and want to continue to do the best for them. Doing unto the Lord. I don’t want to be in any other place other than in His will and that brings me comfort. Thanks Beth for your words of encouragement today. If this brings the Lord joy then that is where I want to be!

  33. 33
    Pamela McDonald says:

    “Be brave out there.” Thanking you many times over for this post today! Do NOT want to miss Jesus!!

  34. 34
    Kim Safina says:


    “I need Thee every hour, Most gracious Lord; No tender voice like Thine Can peace afford. I need Thee every hour, Stay Though near by; Temptations lose their power, When Thought art nigh. I need thee, O I need Thee, Every hour I need Thee; O bless me now, my Savior, I come to Thee.

    Trying to ” BE STILL ”
    Kim Safina

  35. 35
    Marjorie Scheib says:

    Thank you Beth. Especially for the paragraph with “I’m going to be straight with you…..” Just a good old kick in my backside right there. I am so sick and tired of worrying what others will say if I put my Jesus loving self out there in the Podcast world. What a sad excuse for my disobedience.

  36. 36
    Diana B says:

    Dear Beth, you are such a huge bright light to me and everytime i open one of these blogs in my email i am brought right smack in the presence of God and am in awe! i mean it, something happens that i feel my spirit man swell up and i am in literal awe at His presence through the revelation that i am given in your message! i read this and had to put my face in my hands with thanks to God and prasie Him for His goodness through you and His word! i wish i could pick up the phone and call you or text you like a would a dear friend and say girlfriend! you touched me so much with that blog!! so that is why i had to post a comment! i love you Beth and am thankful for you!God bless you my friend!!

  37. 37
    Samantha says:

    Thanks for this Beth! I miss your blog posts!

  38. 38
    Dawn Edgell says:

    Thank you Beth for always sharing with us. Learning from others is a gift sometimes. I am thanful this post came along today. May I humbly ask for your prayers. As Allison Ashton, above, says: Fear can be crippling. I have been “wavering” over a decision to step up and lead the women of our church in a Bible Study. I have facilitated three before, two of yours, Beth, and one of Priscilla Shirer. We loved them all. It’s been a long, long time since our ladies were in a study….then came “WAR ROOM!” Can I get an AMEN!! I wanted this study for our ladies and I have stepped up to facilitate it. I know I am not called to teach, but I do believe I am called to lead women. My heart knows that women need women and I want the women of my little church, Pottsville First Baptist in Arkansas, to be a force against the enemy with prayer. I am so nervous about this Tuesday night when we start. Instead of a 45 minute video, there is a 4-5 minute video. I feel so intimidated that I will have to do alot of speaking and I don’t feel qualified. I know this seems to show a lack of faith but my nerves are real. Please pray for me to not mess up what God has for us through the movie War Room. I have 35 signed up and that terrifies me! Should I be doing this? Prayers please and thank you for listening.

  39. 39
    Debbie says:

    Oh! The beauty of NO and the sweet surrender of YES to His plan. Thank you for sharing Beth

  40. 40
    Denise says:

    Beautiful, helpful, and just thank you!

    Two years ago I felt God call me to open up a private mental health counseling practice in order to offer Christian counseling in my area (a tri-city area in WV with almost no Christian counseling available). Despite my fear (“What God? I don’t know how to open a business! Are you crazy??!) and financial questions, it has taken shape and I officially open in two weeks! But along the way…I certainly dealt with opposition and questions of faith in this calling. God is so good and I have no doubt He will honor this step of faith. My prayer is He will use this to be a light for His Kingdom in this part of the world. He is the one who led me all of the way and I have no doubt He will continue.

    This article was so very timely in my life and brought such confirmation to my heart.

  41. 41
    Jeanie says:

    Just what I needed to hear! Thank you Beth. Abundant, overflowing, blessings to you!

  42. 42
    Connie says:

    Thank you for your “brutal” honesty, Beth. I feel like God keeps hitting me in the same spot and I feel like I can’t take much more, but He is wanting me to be free more than I am wanting to break free and this seems to be the only way He is gonna get me there. I just need to stop feeling sorry for myself and make the tough choices to take up my cross and follow Him… wherever He may lead.

  43. 43
    Joy French says:

    LOVE IT!!! WORD!

  44. 44
    Mary G. says:

    Dearest Beth,
    Thank you for sharing our hearts with us. Did you know I had been thinking we haven’t heard from our Siesta Mama in so long on here, I sure do miss it. Your ears must have been burning! Grin. I am waiting to see my friend again who has gone to glory. This Sunday marks the third anniversary of a workplace shooting where I lost my best friend. The bitterness of grief I feel as the anniversary comes around is deeper than I can express. But as someone so dear to me pointed out to me yesterday – Inot only have to look thru the lens of bitterness, but also gratitude. She said the connection you and Keith had went deeper than a lot of friendships and even marriages ever go. I had a beautiful friend who we could tell anything to and we loved each no matter what, warts and all. It hurts so much right now I can hardly breathe. But I’m also grateful that I had someone so special in my life that it’s been so dang hard to so good-bye to…
    I am tempted to share my other thing I am trying to wait patiently for, what I responded on twitter saying it almost made me burst into tears. You can tell some things to your Mama but not the whole world. Maybe I should write you a letter about it. Actually I did, and then I got embarrassed and tore it up…Sigh. Thanks again for sharing. I love you so much. Mary

  45. 45
    Andrea says:

    Thank you for the point about secretly avoiding controversy. Good to have eyes open on that trap.

    Just wanted to let you know I’m @AndreaHKgo on Twitter. I “atted” you in a post on audacity, simply bc I feel the word is in my vocabulary due to LPL, and the English major in me feels I need to “cite” you, even online!

    So, if that was a Twitter-ettiquite mistake, my apologies. But somebody might get a laugh out of that, so it’s worth sharing to clear the air I suppose!

  46. 46
    eva in tennessee says:

    “Be brave out there.” Thank you for such an inspiring post. I penned a blog post this morning, first on it all year, shared on fb, enemy kept telling me lies and almost convinced me to delete it, but SMV kept telling, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” I chose to leave it up and now seeing your post hours later…just thanks!

  47. 47

    Wow, the Holy Spirit spoke directly to my heart through this. Thank you for following the LOrd! God has been pulling me (gently and lovingly, but sometimes forcefully sort of) out of my comfort zone once again in these last 4-5 months. This time overcoming my greatest lifetime fear. Since elementary school I have battled anxiety of attention on me (mostly in person because my face would get super red, and people would say “what’s wrong with you?” and that made it worse). Anyway, just last weekend my husband who is the worship leader said “I need you to sing with the team today”. 2 backup singers couldn’t make it – one called in sick that morning. Although we sing together at homeless shelters which I get nervous sometimes, I’ve told people, “I could NEVER sing on stage at church” – unless I have a bag over my head. Yet, I wanted to submit to my husband last week. I prayed lots, had to go to the bathroom lots, and God was my strength in my weakness. Through both services (each had 5 songs we sang), I was okay.

    Praise and glory to God for helping the body of Christ heal from our biggest fears. Now, as we follow Him in these things and overcome all fear in the name of Jesus our light of Christ living in us will be shining so much brighter. All Glory to God! Love you Beth and your ministry.
    Amber Paulsen

  48. 48
    Valerie Geib says:

    Great word, Beth! Love you my dear siesta mama!

  49. 49
    Louise Denton says:

    baby steps in progress. Thank you Beth for sharing
    your heart and soul with all us Siesta’s.

  50. 50
    Cendi R. says:

    Never grow weary of doing good!

    Hebrews 12:1-3

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