Rolling up our Sleeves

If someone would have told 15 year old Ashlee that she would be where she is today, she would have laughed at them with a shy grin and probably wouldn’t have even looked ‘em in the eye. God absolutely has a sense of humor and managed to transform me into someone with a loud mouth, bold speech and at times, the clothes I wear are just as loud. Those that didn’t know me when I was younger, find it hard to believe that I would ever be nervous talking in front of someone, but I can remember being so nervous to present a science fair project in front of my class in middle school I almost puked right there on the hypothesis of which brand of bubble gum blows the biggest bubble.

God gave me great bosses when I worked in the “corporate world” that poured into me professionally and also personally…He placed me in roles and situations outside of my then profession that required me to go outside my comfort zone. Most importantly, I have always had friends and family that encouraged me and supported me. For that, I am thankful. God put me where he wanted me all those many years ago to prepare me for today and also for my future. Now, did always choose to do what he wanted me to do? Absolutely not. Sometimes, it took me a little longer to get somewhere because I chose to go my own way instead of just following Him, but even in my careless decisions, He still had a purpose for me. Do I believe that His purpose is fulfilled and He is finished with me? Absolutely not. He will use me as long as I will let Him. I just got to trust Him and not be afraid.

Paul says in 2 Timothy 1:7, “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love and sound judgement.”

Lately, I have doubted my strength. I am scared to say things that maybe God would have me to say, because…well…everyone gets offended. We live in a day and age when you can’t say something (even if it is scripturally based and truth from the Word of God) without a comment or clap-back from someone voicing their opinion. Why ruffle feathers when I don’t need to, is what I find myself saying a lot. I’ve also written words on a page to rip them up and start all over. But…

Aren’t we called to speak truth in season and out season?
Aren’t we called to be salt and light?
Aren’t we called to be bold and unwavering?
Aren’t we called to run with endurance the race set before us?
Aren’t we called to speak truth in love?

It’s hard isn’t it?

Well, that’s why I love this scripture so much from 2 Timothy. It tells us that fear doesn’t come from God. From Him comes power, love and sound judgement. I know we all struggle with some type of fear. It may be fear of flying…it may be fear of public speaking…it may even be fear of rejection or fear of confrontation. To deal with those fears, we must know that they don’t come from God. It could be our personalities or a weakness that we have, but fear is not from our Father in heaven.

The enemy seeks to paralyze you with fear, but God wants to mobilize you with a purpose!

In these days boldness matters, just as it did when Paul was writing to Timothy. Without it, we can’t fulfill God’s purpose for our lives. His purpose for our life isn’t making money, being entertained, getting everything want, being comfortable, buying the nicest car or having the biggest house.

It’s about using our lives to touch His people and help a needy world. A needy world without a hope.
God expects us to take his power, love and a sound mind and go out and spread the Gospel. He works with our personality, but He can also mold our personalities for His purpose!

Timothy was maybe a timid man with a large responsibility…but he also could have been a man with normal courage who had a gigantic responsibility.

That’s you and me. We may be shy or maybe we aren’t…but we have an enormous responsibility before us. Sometimes it needs to be developed over 25 years and then other times it may come easier, but nevertheless, the mission is still the same.

If God has placed a calling on your life, walk in it boldly and unapologetically. You must not fear.

You have the power of God within you and refuse to be shaken from the lies of the enemy. Roll up your sleeves, shake your fist at him and stir up the gifts that are within you!

We have work to do for the Lord! This generation needs women like us to bridge the gap between the world and a Savior named Jesus.