There have been a number of things on my heart lately, a few different issues that I’ve been burning about, but haven’t quite known how to bring them together in a cohesive way on this blog. I had a little spurt of clarity a few days ago that is at least a start.
Something that has been personally weighing on me lately is that I have felt a challenge from the Lord to live my life with no excuses. While I’ve written about “no excuses” before, this is a significantly different topic. Here’s what I mean. I am very prone to finding excuses for stuff I am intimidated by (or too lazy to do). Some of my classics — some of which are potentially legitimate, but not usually for me:
- I just need some alone time right now.
- I’m too tired, I really should rest.
- That’s just not my personality.
- I’m going to let this sort itself out.
- I’m not that good at it.
Yuck, yuck, and yuck. I was struck a few days ago with how lame it is to live that way. I decided I’m sick of it, and so my new commitment — by the grace of God — is to live with no excuses. I have no excuse not to reach out to people around me. I have no excuse not to throw myself into the pursuit of God and the cultivation of spiritual disciplines. It’s pretty ridiculous to be always looking for a back door out of ways to grow in love and fellowship with Jesus. It’s a terrifying commitment to make, but at the same time, it’s exhilerating. I’m on the lookout now for those little excuses here and there that add up to really cost me in my inner life. I’m sure I’m in for some bumbling along the way, but at least I have remembered that I’m in a real war and I need to stay awake.
This leads into the second thing on my heart. After Daniel Lim’s incredible message on Sunday, and an exhortation Mike Bickle gave to the worship teams on Monday, I am so aware of the urgency of the hour. Things are getting really dark in this nation really fast. Things are going to continue getting darker unless we get massive breakthrough of revival. Even so, there still is a coming seven-year period that will see the culmination of human wickedness — and I believe it is not that far out from coming.
In other words, we really don’t have time for excuses. We don’t have time to haggle with the Lord over how qualified we are or are not, how eloquent we are or are not, or how much influence we do or do not have. We don’t have time to protest about how many people will or will not listen to us. The earth is hurtling towards a day when it will rally behind a wicked global ruler. We can’t afford to drag our feet when the Lord tells us to run with the message. We must give ourselves to prayer, fasting, and the Word. We must have clarity of vision and clarity of message. We can’t burn time by making excuses as to why we can’t do it.
Which, conveniently, brings me to the third point I’m brewing on… Being a woman is not a legitimate excuse to not be a messenger. One day, I am going to stand before the throne, and the Lord is not going to be asking my father, brother, husband, pastor, the “royal they”, or anyone else what they think of my life. And when I am standing there giving account, I will not be able to point to any of the abovementioned people and say, “Well, they told me it wasn’t my place,” and have that carry any weight if God replies, “But I said you should.”
Ladies, I want to be plain: God did not accidentally give you the wrong gender, nor did He give you the wrong calling. He’s not up in heaven slapping His forehead, saying, “A preaching gift? What was I thinking? She’s a girl!” (insert whatever gifting you have into the previous statement). He knew what chromosomes you had and He knew what journey of love He wanted to lead you on.
This is not to say don’t be teachable. This is not to say it is good to rebel against authority. But it is to say that I think many of us have used our femininity as an excuse, hiding behind it to shield us from doing the scarier parts of our calling. I really get the feeling that this is why the subject is so heavy on my heart right now. I’m not interested in egalitarian apologetics, but I am very passionate about seeing the church — male and female, old and young, all races, all backgrounds — rise up and actually be a witness in the earth.
So there it is, with its limited cohesion — my brain in print. At least I’m finally done poking around with it and actually hitting the “Publish” button. 🙂