Sometimes we feel foolish dreaming the sorts of dreams God puts in our hearts. Our truest dreams always look too big for us.
We may be afraid of how bizarre we will look trying to achieve them. We might start out trying to paddle a kayak alone to islands many miles away only to find the task much harder than we ever knew. Nonetheless, we can be confident that He who began a good work in us will bring it to completion (Phil. 1:6).
Scripture says Paul prayed for the church to have patience and endurance (Col. 1:11). Sometimes we give up too quickly. I might have given up when my kayak idea turned out to be laughably inadequate. I might have given up when our first real boat sunk and we found ourselves shipwrecked.
Never mind the boats—I might have given up on Mozambique in general many times before that. I might have given up when people shot at me or when gangs were chasing me. I might have given up when we were in deep psychological distress after friends of ours in the Congo were dismembered with machetes in a church. I might have given up when I was reported in the newspapers as a drug dealer because of mistaken results at a lab, where they were testing some vitamins that were donated to us. I might have given up on the fifth, sixth or seventh occasion when crowds began to stone me for preaching about Jesus.
Most especially, I might have given up when my husband, Rolland, got cerebral malaria and suffered a series of microstrokes that almost killed him. Though he was eventually healed, for two years he lost his short-term memory and was totally unable to function in ministry or administration.
The only reason I did not give up any of these times was because I know the One who placed His promises within me. When you know Him intimately, you never give up, because He is worthy!
You have to wait a long time for some promises. I was 16 when the Lord told me I had a destiny in Africa, Asia and England. It took me over 20 years before I reached Mozambique and began to step into that piece of my calling.
Truthfully, I am being overshadowed more now than I have ever been before. At times it is still very uncomfortable. There are days when I feel terribly stretched as God’s promises grow within me, but even those days are a joy because I long to birth what God has given me.
Continue to carry your promises faithfully. Nurture them as they grow. It does not matter how old you are. It is never too late. The Lord wants to take you beyond who you are and what you can do. God is the One who can take a barren woman in her old age and make her fruitful for the first time, just as the angel told Mary: “Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. For no word from God will ever fail” (Luke 1:36-37, NIV).
Two things will come from being overshadowed. The first is a particular promise from God that is naturally impossible to fulfill. The second is a general promise from God that nothing is impossible with Him.
Our God is the God of the impossible. He can take a barren ministry and breathe His Spirit into it. Even in your old age, He can breathe over you and cause you to bear a ministry, a promise or a revelation—a beautiful gift that will carry His glory to the ends of the earth. He can take the most barren and broken life—even the kind of life that has aborted its own promises many times—and in it plant a glorious new promise, along with all the strength needed to carry it to full term.
We have a mighty calling to carry God’s heart and to reveal His glorious love to the world. None of us can fully imagine or expect what the Lord has for us or what the journey to its fulfillment will look like. I don’t think Mary was expecting to carry a child before she was married or to give birth to the Son of God. She could never have anticipated the magnitude of the call or the price she would have to pay.
If we are wise, we will make the choice to say yes to God many times a day. We say yes to taking the time to worship, to having a positive attitude, to releasing people, to stopping for people when we might be in a hurry, to trusting God for a seemingly impossible financial situation. Our yes is a daily choice. There is a daily sacrifice and a daily joy as we participate in God’s dreams for this world. As we do this, we participate with Jesus in the sacrifices He too made for the joy that was set before Him. What an awesome privilege!
Adapted from Birthing the Miraculous by Heidi Baker, copyright 2014, published by Charisma House. In this book Heidi Baker weaves true stories from her life and ministry together with the biblical story of Mary’s pregnancy with Jesus to show you how to become a catalyst for God’s glory here on earth. Learn to believe for the impossible and watch God do the miraculous through you. To order your copy click here.
Prayer Power for the Week of 3/31/2014
This week choose to say yes to God every day. Declare that you will submit to His will in your life as He reveals and unfolds His promises. Thank Him that His plans for you are perfect and that you can trust Him to do the work He promised. As we enter the Easter season, pray that hearts will turn toward Him as His story is told through church services, television programs and motion pictures. Ask Him to use you however He can to carry His love and message to those in desperate need. Remember those who have lost loved ones, either through natural disasters such as mudslides and fire or the Malaysian plane crash. Pray that God would accomplish His purpose through Israel, the spread of the gospel worldwide and our own nation. Col. 1:11; Phil. 1:6; Jer. 29:11.