I didn't say anything. We were just visiting and it seemed out of 'turn' to speak aloud during this time of prayer and meditation, as a visitor. After the service as we were all filing out of the room this very young woman approached me. She introduced herself and quite bluntly but lovingly asked: "Did God give you some word for us?"
My eyes grew big as plates and I said, "Well...actually...yes, He did."
"What did He say?" she asked me.
"Proclaim my name boldly!" I told her exactly as God had stated.
That was our brief exchange. I did explain to her, after she asked, why I didn't feel I should speak it aloud. She didn't judge me or 'scold' me thankfully, because I am not receptive to that kind of "encouragement". Instead she just took the information, smiled and thanked me.
I thought I had learned God's lesson about this...but this morning as our church prayed corporately together, God once again gave me words to speak, and again...I didn't speak them aloud.
God's words to me, His prayer for our church today was a simple but vital reminder that we did NOT choose Him, but He chose us. God continued from this lesson in John 15 and said that He is the vine and we are the branches and His desire is that we bear good fruit! He is prepared to 'cut from the vine' that which is NOT bearing good fruit.
This comes at such a vital time in our church, as we step out to be a church that truly does impact our community through love and service. I didn't 'withhold' this information out of anything other then fear resulting in Satan's victory to 'shush' anyone who is speaking God's truth! I like to think of myself as someone capable and willing to be used by God...in whatever way He chooses to use me. I pray that God would make it so uncomfortable for me to remain quiet that I would be "forced" to move forward and speak the very words He asks me to share. The obedience of this action is more important than the words to my church.
I know this test will come again and I pray that when it does, I will not be silent anymore.
Forgive me today Father for knowing what I know and doing what I did.
Sunday WordsJohn 15:16-17 "You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you. This I command you, that you love one another."