Have you ever been asked to do something and thought there is nothing in my background, my education, my life experiences that has prepared me to carry out this endeavor? I personally have experienced this when I was asked to step into ministry, writing this blog, and now my next project.
What makes it even more arduous is when that still small voice, that nudge from God is pushing you toward that job. In that case, when the Holy Spirit is saying go for it, the decision should be easy, right? It should be because it says in scripture:
I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
Most of the time I still struggle with what I can do, instead of what God can do through me. God can use anyone for his purpose.
The podcast I am reviewing this week is a good one. It is another episode with Lisa Whittle on “Jesus Over Everything, with guest Toni Collier, Season 5 Episode 12.” Toni Collier is a communicator, host and consultant at North Point Ministries (founded by Andy Stanley), on-camera personality at The reThink Group, Fellowship of Christian Athletes public school speaker and co-founder of The Resource Group: A faith based consulting firm.
Toni begins by explaining her backstory. “About two years ago I hit a point where I was waking up with anxiety saying God don’t let me mess this up because for me and my background I came from a super broken family, blended family. My dad was married twice, my Mom was in an abusive marriage she got divorced and married my Dad and had me. My Mom was super sick, stroke, and I grew up taking care of everyone. Anxiety came, I started drinking, smoking, left my parents house at 16, and was just down on a downward spiral for sure. Ended up getting married in my teens, super abusive marriage, so many things and all while this journey of brokenness was going on in my life. You know, I really believe that I felt God saying, no, I still want to use you every step of the way, every mistake every little ratchet club moment. He whispered, I want to use you and I got saved at 21, which was less than a decade ago, and hopped in student ministry, and so many doors opened up.”
Lisa askes Toni this question: “You have a heart to serve. You love women and love ministry, your ministry, Broken Crayons Still Color. What is your mission at this time?” Toni’s response, “I one hundred percent know that I am here to tell people that their brokenness doesn’t discount them. I am one hundred percent tired of this Christian celebrity culture and we are pretending we are not broken and we are chasing after this perfect idea of our lives. I think it is diminishing the gospel. I think it is taking the power of Christ from the throne and replacing it with our perfect lives and perfect reals and perfect stuff. It is making people go into shame bubbles. I am about to scream from the rooftops that broken crayons still color and that God can still use us and that he is still working in us and in our lives.”
This question goes to the heart of racial reconciliation. Lisa says, “So, here’s my questions for you. What do you say about the idea there’s room for everyone at the table, and what is the word of encouragement for the women who don’t feel like they have a place, but they really want to serve God?” Toni’s response, “I would say first I get the opportunity to work with an international peacemaking organization called Preemptive Love. One of the things that I hyper focus on is the research around peacemaking. But one of the things that we started to coach people around is literally this phrase, oh there’s room at the table for everyone. And what we say to that is, it is not enough to invite people to your table, because it is yours. It’s your chairs, it’s your room, it’s your house is the way that you do things. Instead, what we should be practicing maybe is it we’re too afraid to go to someone else’s table that believes differently than us, identifies differently with us, lives and votes differently than us, then what we should be saying is something along the lines of, hey, I’ve got a table you can bring your own chair with your ideals with your ideas with whoever and all of who you are, but the step after that is, get up from your table, and go to someone else’s.”
This is my favorite question that Lisa askes of every guest at the end of her podcast and I believe this is my favorite response to it.
“What is the last thing you’d say about Jesus. If you could only say one more thing.” Toni says, “He has been on the sidelines of our lives. Yelling put me in. And we get to say yes. We get to tag him in. But he is on the sidelines, God is not forcing his way through, but just saying put me in I’ve got some power for your weakness.”
Powerful words! Jesus is always there for us; all we have to do is allow him in. When we are weak, he is strong.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9
Friends what are you struggling with you do not feel qualified for? Do you feel inapt to step into the next thing God is asking you to do? Let’s walk through these challenges together, leave a comment below.
Since May is mental health awareness month I am including a helpful guide from Rebekah Lyons “10 Tips to Improve Your Mental Health.” Hope you find it helpful.
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