I don’t know about you, but for me, sometimes walking in obedience to what God is calling me to do is hard. Not long ago, God put in front of me the opportunity to speak at a women’s retreat in Michigan and truthfully, it scared me. Fear began to rule my heart and I started listening to the lies being fed to me about “not being good enough,” “that people didn’t want to hear from me.” The more God prompted me to step forward, the more tension I felt in my heart.

One morning, in late winter, I took a walk on some trails near my house and as I rounded a corner, there was this tree that caught my eye. It had so many branches going in so many different directions. As I stood looking at it, God spoke to my heart saying, “Lisa, see these branches? They are like my Word.

When those I send out walk in obedience, my Word goes out in every direction and soon, there will be new life that will be visible living for my kingdom.” Those words stung my heart because I knew I was not wanting to walk in obedience with this opportunity. I knew God had written the stories in my life that were exactly what this retreat was looking for, God and I had actually written a book about it (“Dropping Anchor”). So, there I was, standing at a crossroads. Do I step out in obedience or do I let fear rule my heart and my behavior?

Last weekend, I spoke at that women’s retreat in Michigan and the presence of God so filled my soul that joy spilled out through every pore! At the end of the retreat, I was one of the last people to leave. As I stood looking around the room one last time before leaving, I noticed that someone had left their program book and glasses on a table. I opened the book to see if there was a name written on the inside and there, on one of the pages reserved for note-taking, was God’s confirmation to me that He was pleased with my obedience. The woman, whose book I found, had written about my first message and here is what she wrote: “Lisa is always a joy to listen to. She brings such knowledge of who God is, who and what He means to her. When I listen to her speak, I feel closer to God with her words that I understand; what she is teaching us.” Tears slipped down my cheeks as I thought about the opportunity that I could have missed out on by letting fear win.

This morning, after returning home, I took another walk on those same trails to reflect on the weekend. I turned that same corner and there before me was that same tree full of new life! God’s words replayed in my mind as I stood there in awe. It was a reminder to me that I had walked in obedience and God’s Word had gone out in every direction. I pray for that new life that may come from the messages that God had me bring, but even as I pray, the joy that fills my heart now is worth every step I took, in fear, to be obedient.

What is God calling you to step out in obedience to? Know that He will equip you to do it fully (Hebrews 13:21, Exodus 4:10-11) and the joy that will come will be worth it.

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