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EXPECT TO RECEIVE

September 17th, 2011

 

No doubt you have been warned, “Be careful what you ask for; you just might get it.”  So have I, and today I am getting a taste of just what that proverb means.  I am familiar with the Bible verse that begins with the words, “Ask and you shall receive,” and being a woman of faith, I take that promise seriously.  Therefore, when I ask God for something, I stand on my faith and believe I will receive it, so long as my request lines up with His will for me.  And I am always delighted when I actually see Him bring about the manifestation of my heart’s desire.

Today I am delighted to see Him fulfilling my heart’s desire, as I look back ten years to when I first started penning little stories and conversations with God.  Back then, something in my spirit said my stories were good, but I did not have the confidence to fully grab hold of that.  I knew the Lord was calling me to write, and I knew the Holy Spirit would come alongside me to produce something that would glorify Jesus.  After all, “every good and perfect gift comes from above.”  So, I took my writing more seriously, and I began to expand more little snippets into stories and parables.  I was reminded about a prophetic statement I had read a few years earlier, a word about books coming out of the bellies of God’s people.  I told God then that I wanted that word for myself; no doubt it was already part of His plan for me. 

I shared my stories with my mentor, who encouraged me to share them with my friends and family.  They encouraged me to continue writing and to save the pieces.  My initial plan was to collect enough stories to make a book for my children.  One friend even suggested that I start a blog.  Now, that sounded way too ‘out there’ for me, since I have very limited skills when it comes to things electronic.  Anything outside the basics of Microsoft Word is like a foreign language to me.  However, as I prayed about it, the Lord led me to a person who could put together a website, and the end product was:  Karen’s Parables.    

My heart’s desire, as I wrote and posted my pieces, was that the Lord would draw more and more people to my site, that Jesus would be glorified in my writings, and that I would be able to watch the numbers increase.  So, that was exactly what I prayed for.  I especially longed to reach those who did not yet know Him.  I was pretty excited, thinking about the possibility of communicating with lots of people I didn’t even know. 

For several years I bumped along, carving out some time to post a piece every now and then.  For the moment, I was content with having only a few visitors each week; I knew the numbers would increase in time.  After all, if God had called me to this assignment, then He would draw the people of His choosing to come and read my stories.  Every now and then I would celebrate over having five or six hits in a single day. One month I had more than fifty viewers, and I was ecstatic.  Later I learned that someone I knew had shared my website with a number of people attending a conference, and many of them logged on to check it out.  As the months passed, I noticed a small increase in the number of visitors, and that made me smile.  I wanted to have a greater impact on the Kingdom, but for the most part, I was quite comfortable with a gradual increase in readership.  I knew I was not being very productive, and if the visitors increased significantly, I would certainly be under more pressure to do a better job on a regular basis.  But, is that not what I was praying for?

Since I was not finding much time this spring to post new material, I was also not checking my daily visitor totals.  Then I posted a piece in July, one I thought was significant, and I shared it with a friend.  He too thought it was an important writing, and he began praying over my website.  My webhost was having server problems, so for a short time I was unable to view my daily totals.  When the server issue was fixed and I logged in to check my numbers, my mind began to spin.  I could barely speak as I told my husband that more than five hundred people had visited my website in July! 

For the next few weeks I seemed to be in a state of shock, and I rechecked those numbers over and over.  Could this really be happening?  I was amazed and thrilled by what God was doing with my blog, so I did my part and posted another piece.  Who could know, perhaps some of them would come back again.  I was so preoccupied with the July numbers that I did not pay much attention to the August daily totals until well in to September.  I must admit, I was not prepared for what I was about to be see.  I finally pulled up the August totals, and I nearly lost my breath when I looked at the chart showing almost two thousand visits for the month!  Words cannot describe my excitement… immediately followed by stark terror.  Oh my goodness, what have I gotten myself into?  God had just given me the desire of my heart, and here I was, hyperventilating!

Suddenly I found myself not knowing exactly what to do with God’s answer to my heart’s desire.  What does this mean?  What do I do now?  I must admit that for the past number of months, several of my friends had been ‘encouraging’ me to make my writing more of a priority.  My excuse was always that I could not seem to find the time.  So there I sat, reminding myself that God was giving me what I told Him was the desire of my heart, and I was quite unprepared for it.  In my mind, I could see Him smiling, saying “Okay, I did My part.  Now what are you going to do?”   My spirit rose up and I said to myself, “I know exactly what I am going to do:  I will not be intimidated by the numbers.  I will joyfully run with the anointing God has given me.  I will put more skin in the game.  I will ask the Holy Spirit to teach me more discipline.”  In my flesh, I must admit that I do feel the pressure of performance and the fear of failure.  However, I know God did not give me that spirit of fear.  I will continue to resist the fear that wants to come against me, telling me that more will now be required of me and I will not be able to keep up with the demand.  To that accusation I reply, “From the beginning, I was never smart enough to write stories and parables that would touch people’s hearts.  It was the Holy Spirit speaking through me, giving me stories, and refining my words.  And I will allow Him to continue to speak through me for as long as He likes!”  (I pause and wonder, how does one experience victory of the spirit over the flesh if he does not know the Victorious One?)

For the past few years I have desired that someone would share my website with someone who publishes books, and that person would want to put my collection into a book.  Now I have to ask myself, “Just how much do you really want that?  Do you have the courage to ask for it?  What would you do with it if you were to get it?  How are you going to make time for yet another commitment?”  I do not have all the answers, so I am pressing in, asking the Lord to align my heart’s desires with His will.

Today God is teaching me that when I ask Him to bring forth the gifts and anointings He has placed in my spirit, He is delighted to grant my request.  He will make it happen, but He loves me so much that He will wait until I am ready to receive it.  My God will never participate in my getting in over my head.  In truth, I can do that quite nicely all by myself.  Once I prepare a place in my heart for His gifting and anointings to reside, He will activate them, and the more room I make for Him to work in me, the more He will do just that. 

I know God has called me to this ministry of writing, which He has confirmed on numerous occasions.  Last year, my husband and I were prayed over by a very trusted prophet, someone who knew nothing about us.  When he looked at me, in the spirit he ‘saw’ a pen and gold ink writings on a paper.  He said the gold signified that the writing was a treasure.  He also sensed that I would write small books, the size of children’s books.  He said the biggest problem for great writers (his words), like great musicians, is in the getting around to sitting down to compose, and once I sat down to write, it would flow smoothly.  We just looked at him and smiled, knowing he had read me well.

Lord, I pray that you would teach me how to produce the gold, how to search out that which is treasure, and how to eliminate that which has no value and will be soon forgotten.

 

II Timothy 1:7       

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

John 15:7               

If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.

Matthew 7:7          

Ask, and it will be given you; seek and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

James 1:17            

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.