My husband and I were discussing where to place a fence in our backyard. He said we need to enclose a smaller portion of our backyard around our patio. I said “but we don’t live beyond the fence” arguing for fencing the entire backyard.
I can’t shake the words “we don’t live beyond the fence”. These words speak deeply to my heart. We don’t live beyond the fence. We like to stay in our comfort zone and no one knows that more than me!
I’ve known for a while that God has been calling me to teach a Bible study to people who don’t know how to start reading their Bibles. I hate to admit this but I’ve been ignoring Him for a long time with all kinds of excuses – I don’t know enough, I’m not ready, No one will come, etc., etc., etc. However God has been turning up the heat this year and I could no longer ignore Him or put Him off with my lame excuses.
In my own faith walk, not knowing how to read the Bible was my largest struggle. I’d open my Bible and start reading and get overwhelmed. So, I’d close it and walk away feeling dejected and worse than before I opened the Bible. I knew this wasn’t the feeling I was supposed to have with God’s Word.
Then one day, God opened my eyes with a botched surgery. I had a routine surgery and wasn’t even supposed to stay overnight at the hospital. I’m still unsure what happened during the surgery but I ended up staying in the hospital for 3 days unaware of what was going on around me. When I got home, I was on the couch or in bed for the better part of 3 weeks. I can look back now to that time and see what a blessing it truly was. God’s hand was all over it. See, it was during this time in February of 2008 that I learned how to read my Bible. As I was laying on the couch during the daytime when I normally would have been at work, I found a wonderful Bible teacher on TV whose show aired every weekday morning. He taught verse by verse and explained the difference between law and grace. During this time the words in Hebrews 4:12 became very real to me and I haven’t stopped reading God’s Word since.
For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
I want this verse to penetrate everyone’s heart. I want to teach the Word of God to all who hunger for it. However, I am not a very outgoing person. I am an introvert and have a hard time when I’m thrown out of my comfort zone. In retrospect, I can see now how God has been grooming me for a teaching ministry. I can look back over the past 8 years and see God’s hand working in my life boldly and lovingly as He placed people in my life who strengthen me and encourage me to be the disciple that God has called me to be. People who not only build me up but they also teach me along the way. I have great cheerleaders within my family as well. God built this support system for me so that Jesus Christ could be glorified when I teach His Word.
He has pushed me beyond my own fence. I recently started teaching a Bible study class in my home to people who have a desire to seek Jesus. My heart overflows when I see the Scripture come alive to others as it did for me. I am asking God to continue to expand my ministry beyond my fence. I want to teach all who have a hunger to learn about how awesome our Lord and Master truly is. My desire is for God to expand you beyond your fence as well. Pray bold prayers. Speak the Word of God over your life and see things happen! Reach out to those around you and share the wonders of Jesus. After all, this is our mission in this life. As we each expand beyond our own fences, we’ll be able to change the world. Remember these words from our Savior Jesus Christ:
Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Here is my prayer for all of us as we grow beyond our fences.
Thank You for expanding us beyond anything we could ever do on our own. Thank You for continually working in our hearts and spirits. Thank You for not leaving us where we were and for not leaving us where we are. We are always growing in Your love and grace. Push us beyond our own ability. Place dreams and desires in our hearts to share You with everyone. Nurture and grow the gifts and talents that You’ve given to each of us. Let us all create a ripple effect within our own circle of family and friends. All this we ask in the mighty and powerful name of Jesus Christ.
Stay in the Light and the Love always,