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Relationships

    Freedom in Christ

    February 7, 2017

    My natural tendency is to hold back from things I feel God nudging me to do. My reasons are probably very similar to ones that hold you back.  I’m not qualified. I’m not good enough at that. People will think it’s a ridiculous idea. I’m the only one who feels that way.

    After following Christ for 40 years, I still fall for these weak excuses the evil one throws at me. Honestly, I’m not even sure he throws them. Sometimes he doesn’t need to throw them since I’ve kept the ones he’s thrown before. I can pull them out at a moment’s notice.

    God still nudges. If I were the almighty, I’d have given up a long time ago on me. In fact, in many ways, I did.

    But God still nudges.

    Shackles come when I feel the push, but don’t move. “That might not be God. It may just be my own idea.” Cha-chunk, the handcuff goes around my wrist. “He’s probably not asking me to do that. He may be asking me to support someone else who should do it.” Click, the lock secures. “I’m too busy.” “I don’t really have a plan.” “I’d probably mess it up.” “No one would be interested anyway.” Clink, clink, clink, the chains bring me to a standstill and I feel trapped.

    Every now and then I get a glimpse of freedom in Christ, the freedom that feels like I’m soaring on eagles’ wings, running without growing weary, walking without fainting. Those moments happen when I feel God’s nudging, say yes and go for it.

    Most of my hesitation comes from not having a 10-step plan in place. God gives me an idea, but no details. I feel a burn in my heart and a longing to follow, but the lack of a 3-d satellite map keeps me from taking the first step.

    This past weekend a few women gathered in our home to experience IF:Gathering 2017. The event took place in Austin, Texas, and in homes and other venues around the world. In the very first teaching session, founder Jennie Allen explained God’s plan for spreading the gospel. It involved his close followers telling people they knew and encountered. Some of those conversations led to life conversions. Then those people, told people they knew and encountered. Some of those conversations led to life conversions. Then those people…  You get the idea.

    The internet has opened up such possibilities for us to connect with so many people we may never meet. And God has and can continue to use technologies for his glory. But the tried and true plan of being discipled and then in turn discipling someone else continues to be his method of choice.  More social – less media.

    God used IF:Gathering to give me a much clearer picture of deliberately, intentionally building relationships with a few people in my life. He encouraged me to disciple them, as I’ve been discipled by Steve Niccum, my parents, Maxine Jones and Helen Astrike. You don’t know those people? (smile) I hope you have people like them in your life, people who showed you how to love Jesus, or to love Jesus more.

    For a few months, I’ve been planning how best to relaunch my blog, grow my platform, build an email list – basically, how to maximize my reach. Why? Because that’s what I heard a blogger should do. (Insert eye roll) I don’t blog for money. In fact, my total lifetime income from my blog = zero moneys.

    This past weekend I nearly disabled Leave the Dishes for good. It was good timing. Since I haven’t published anything for a year, chances are very good no one would notice.

    But I think I’ll keep it. The point of this blog has always been to empower Christ-following women to make deliberate, intentional choices that lead to deeper relationships with God, family, friends and communities. Why would I stop that?

    Will you intentionally journey with me? If you need discipled more than through this place (you know, like, in real life), I encourage you to pray for God to lead you to someone who can mentor and disciple you. And if you’re ready, I challenge you to step into someone else’s life and lead him or her into a journey with Jesus, or lead them further down the road.

    I would love to encourage and disciple you as much as I can. Can I pray for you? Will you pray for me? Can we journey together? In Matthew 28:18-20, Jesus says, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

    The authority is in Jesus. And he is with us. Let’s build relationships for God’s glory. Amen? Amen.

    If I can pray for you, or if you have a questions or ideas for our journey, please use the comments section, or email me from the “Contact Danita” page.

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