January 12, 2013

Confession of an 'Out of Work' Encourager

Waiting on the Lord is a Biblical concept. I have waited many times throughout this journey in the Spirit. A few times, I have even waited well;  filled with patience, brimming with words of faith, exuding confidence in the King of Kings to bring justice to my situation.

    Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary,they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31

But this week, I was convicted of making Him wait on me. He was waiting for me to seek Him. He was waiting for me to sit still. He was waiting for me to listen. He was waiting to fill my cup. 

Two conversations with hurting friends led me to realize that I was not where I needed to be. I was overwhelmed by diseases and treatments and not able to deliver the aches of my friends directly to the Healer for them. I was clogging up the pipeline instead of working as an experienced encourager. God was ready, but I was not.

Ten years ago, the Lord called my name and assigned me to a ministry of encouragement. I wanted to fully understand what that meant. After seeking and studying, I learned that I was not allowed to say empty words to cheer people up and tickle their ears. I would not see people walk in freedom or deliverance that way. I would feel better, but they would not be stronger. Encouragement ministry was not about me feeling like I helped. It was about the power of God communicated to believers; to go into battle beside them.

The Lord led me to dig into God's Word and speak only His Words into hurting hearts. As a talker and a communicator, that was difficult. I could write some powerful, inspirational speeches, but they were empty without the Holy Spirit backing them. My words were temporary band aids. My best encouragement evaporated before it could refresh.

An experienced encourager is not new at this lifelong battle with the enemy. If I am an out of work encourager, I must have called in an excuse one too many times. He offers me everything I need to stay close and to hear His voice, but I confess that I have missed appointments with God's plan to work through me. I feel queasy when I pull away from Him and realize that He has been waiting on me. 

Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6

He can and always will send His message of freedom. He can and will work around me if I don't want the job. Therefore, I have rerouted to His presence. He was there, waiting on me to resume work.  He has called me to pepper my conversations, my prayers, my parenting, and my unspoken thoughts with God's Word. 

So, Friends, how can the Holy Spirit encourage you today? I just work here.