the Ships - Abandon Plan B!"
By Anne Ballard
In the month of May, God is encouraging us to have unwavering faith and relinquish our backup plans. He is qualifying us in the places where we feel we lack talent or experience. He is purifying us and inviting us to surrender
any area of compromise, and He is guiding us into perfect truth. This month, take time to focus on His presence and allow His goodness to remind you of who you are in Him.
Burn the Ships
"But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.
Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do." (James 1:6-8)
There are seasons in life when we need to stand in faith and take a risk in what God is leading us to do. Although
the world's wisdom would tell us that we need to have a backup plan, that's not what faith encourages us to do. Even when it looks foolish, faith encourages us to put all of our eggs into one basket—the basket of believing in God. This isn't to say that
we should go through life unprepared without ever making plans, but rather that our primary plan begins with trusting God.
We know that without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews
11:6). In James 1:6-8, James states that if we ask God for something, and then doubt, we are double-minded and unstable in all we do. That's a strong way of saying, "You need to hold on to faith!”
One example from history where unwavering faith and commitment to a cause was displayed is the story of Hernan Cortes. In 1519, as he landed on the shores of Mexico, he set out to conquer the Aztec empire. To ensure that the men whom he brought
with him were committed to his cause, he destroyed the ships that they had arrived on. Although many think he burned them, he actually sank them.
While this is not a commentary on who he was
as a person, or a justification of his conquering, I do want to note his commitment. He was so deeply committed to his cause that he destroyed any means of retreat. And he was ready to die in order to ensure that his men would be as committed as he was. This
is an example of unwavering faith and commitment to a cause.
God is inviting us to partner with Him with this same unwavering faith and commitment. What has God said to you or called you to
do? Have you recently quit your job or been fired? Is everything "on the line" in an area of your life—a relationship, a court decision, your livelihood, your home? God is inviting you to press in and hear His heart for you in this situation, and then
stand in faith.
Abandon your plan B. It's time to go all in on God's plan for your life. If you have just made, are in the midst of making, or are considering making a risky decision...BE BOLD.
You know where you're feeling led, therefore leap. There may still be a part of you which says that it's unwise and you should have an alternative plan, but it's time to muster up your faith and STAND. Commit your will and your heart to God's plan for your
life. Trust and do not doubt so that you don't get tossed about.
will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye." (Psalm 32:8)
In the past, I have been paralyzed by the idea that I don't know what I'm doing—I've
never done__________(fill in the blank) before, therefore I can't do it.
This feeling of paralysis can come up when dealing with things that are unknown. However, our lack of experience doesn't
matter at ALL to God. In fact, God often uses the most unqualified to accomplish His purposes. If God calls you, He qualifies you.
Sometimes, we can allow our own experience and training to
give us confidence rather than trusting God and His leadership. God wants to partner with you in the process of where He's leading you, teaching you to rely on Him to get you where you need to go. I love how David phrases it in Psalm 32:8. God will guide you
with His eye. That means that we are constantly looking to God in order to see Him lead us—a true partnership.
God is guiding us and leading us through situations we've never been in
before. He's opening doors and making a way for us to move into new arenas. Because He is leading us, we can trust the path that is opening up.
This word is for those of you who have been intimidated
by something you are feeling led to do because of your lack of experience. Your world will be marked by a completely new season for which you feel unqualified. However, God will use this season to draw you closer to Him and develop the skills you need.
Watch God's eye. Pay attention to how He's leading you, and don't focus on how you feel or your lack of experience. Focus on Him and what is opening up before you. Follow the nudges He gives you, for
that is evidence that He's leading you. Trust that you are hearing Him and take a step!
A Spotless Bride
"...'You shall be
holy, for I am holy.'" (1 Peter 1:16)
Jesus is returning for a spotless Bride. We are stepping into a new Great Awakening, where people will return to the heart of God and darkness will be
exposed. Many have become corrupted or compromised—including many in the Church. They are on all points of the spectrum, but compromise starts with a justification of sin. This is what justification can sound like: "This isn't that big of a deal—it
will be fine," or "They're doing it, and I respect them," or "I need this, and God wants me to be happy." Through these seemingly small moments of compromise, we are giving the enemy a foothold in our lives. We also allow the enemy a foothold by partnering
with fear, unforgiveness and hatred.
If we are truly God's people, we need to be holy as He is holy. When this feels impossible, we need to remember that He wouldn't require anything of us
that He didn't make a way to accomplish. In our weakness, He is made strong (2 Corinthians 12:10). God gives us the grace to walk with Him and become like Him. This isn't rigid perfection, rather a beautiful invitation to become more like Jesus. Focus on God's
nature—His goodness, kindness, gentleness, worthiness, and all that He paid for on the Cross, so that we could live.
This is a pivotal time of knowing Jesus personally and aligning ourselves
with Him. It's also a very important time to evaluate if we have idolized anyone in our lives, be that a favorite pastor, ministry leader, celebrity, or sports star. It is important not to elevate anyone into our "God spot"—that special place in our
hearts that is intended only for our Creator. He is worthy of all our worship, honor and praise.
God is opening people's eyes to see the truth—those who want to know the truth and have
a heart to worship only Him. He is uncovering the truth that's been hidden. He is allowing us to see when we've allowed offense, fear, hatred or unforgiveness to dominate in our hearts, and to repent from this. He's also drawing us closer to righteousness
and His goodness.
This word is for those who have been convicted by sin in their lives recently, whether that is putting someone on a pedestal, partnering with fear, or even allowing offense
or hatred to rule in their hearts. They will know this word is for them because they will feel the sweet conviction of the Holy Spirit (John 16:8), and they will experience a willingness to repent and soften their hearts.
One sign of knowing that this word is for you is that when you experience righteousness or kindness in another person, you melt, or even weep. These are indicators that God is softening your heart into
a place of repentance. Take the time to evaluate your life and choices with the Holy Spirit. Allow Him to convict when necessary, then repent as you feel led. Wipe the slate clean, submitted, to begin again. Renounce any lies that you've believed.
Lovers of Truth, Arise!
"My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from
being priest for Me; because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children." (Hosea 4:6)
God is using truth, knowledge and wisdom right now as a way to accomplish
His purposes and expose the plans of the enemy in an unprecedented way.
So many have been deceived and even brainwashed by a narrative put forth by people who don't have their best interests
at heart—only their own. God does not want His people to be ignorant of the enemy's plans against them, or of truth. Becoming knowledgeable takes initiative, effort and prayer. Learn how to research the things you hear, if you don't know the truth already.
If you tell God that you want to learn the truth, He will be faithful to guide you into all truth (John 16:13).
Our God is a relational God; He wants nothing more than for us to pursue Him.
He promises to lead us (Jeremiah 33:3). Some who have been awakened to the truth have been hesitant to speak up because of their fear of relational conflict or tension. God is calling those who are awakened to the truth to RISE UP. There is a greater benefit
to be gained by speaking truth (even with the casualties of those who don't believe) than there is for you to keep silent. It is time for you to come to the front lines and FIGHT.
God is strengthening
the conviction of the people whom He has guided to the truth. He's calling them to rise up and use their voices to speak the truth. He is opening others' eyes and ears to receive the truth. He is preparing hearts to see the truth.
This is for people who have felt like they've needed to say more but, for a variety of reasons, have not. Ask the Holy Spirit how and where you are to speak the truth. He will guide you and lead you to know what to share, at
what time and with whom.
• I am going all in on trusting God—no backup plan.
• God is qualifying me for my calling.
• I am surrendering all fear, lack and unforgiveness.
• I have been made pure and holy; I am the Bride of Christ.
• God is leading me into all truth.
By Anne Ballard
The Crowning Jewels
528 Ellsworth St. SW
Albany, OR 97321