I wanted to share with anyone who might want to hear it the talk that God gave for me to present at the women’s retreat. I have no doubt after Saturday morning and the wonderful response that HIS talk received that it was HIS doing. I don’t know that it will affect others who visit this blog in the same way, but I share it anyhow. It is HIS and so here it be with all my disclaimers and so on..I will share it in parts over the next week.

When I was first asked to share on Gratitude, I was excited. “I was born for this!” I plunged eagerly into my study, ferreting out bible verses on the subject, comparing the greek word for gratitude with other words translated similarly. My study was incredible and rich! I read books and chapters of books on the subject, scoured the internet to see what my favorite authors and speakers had to say on the subject most recently. I even designed a diagram and had a transparency ready…you would take notes and YOU WOULD BE BLESSED!!!!

Yes, you would be SO blessed by having the privilege of having ME impart to you all the “factoids” I had gleaned about gratitude and the way God intends for it to impact our lives.

A week ahead of schedule I congratulated myself for being ahead of schedule! I practiced delivering the talk including the amazing 🙂 diagram that I had so carefully constructed.

Something unexpected happened. God convicted my heart. I could almost hear Him. No…I couldn’t, but it was so powerful an impression.

Our “dialog” about this (again, prayers and impressions, really), went something like this:

“Child…this is NOT what I want you to share.”

“Excuuuuuse me, God?”

“Precious child, you are outside of my will if you share the message you have prepared.”

“But, God! I have visual aids, comparisons of greek words found in the New Testament—Lord, I even have a skit to launch the talk! And I found DISNEY songs to play to illustrate truths in your word! LORD what I have is PERFECT!!!!!…I mean…You must be kidding! I have a multi-media, multi-learning modality talk all planned—even Beth Moore would be envious of how incredible this talk is!!!”

“Child…I am not forming ‘Beth Moore’ in you. I am forming CHRIST in you. THAT is what I want you to share with the women…”

“Oh no, Lord…you don’t mean…I have to…like be *vulnerable*…You mean, I have to share …stuff?”

“Yes, child.”

“But then they will know how petty I am…how rotten I am…instead of how polished I can be and how amazing a speaker I can be! God, I was BORN for this!!!!!”

“Child…share my Word…the LIVING Word…Jesus…and how He is being formed in you…”

“I don’t wanna…”

“Child, this is a retreat about a heart of gratitude…”

“I still don’t wanna…”

I can honestly say that God and I continued to argue a bit about this…well, *I* did the arguing, even up to moments before the presentation. I had hoped so much that he would say, “HA! Just kidding! I wanted to see if you were willing!” You know…sort of provide the ram in the thicket kind of thing before I had to really follow through…?

No such “luck.”

So if you are disappointed at all with what I share, you get to take it up with God…it is HIS fault! 🙂 The talk *I* was going to give was really *good*. 🙂 And because it is HIS talk, I will rely heavily on my notes. His talk is much longer than it should be. 🙂

The Problem

It all boils down to a simple thing, really. This entire dialog I have shared with you between God and myself even demonstrates the problem. Even when I have a clear leading from God without a doubt anywhere in sight:

I want to do what I want to do when I want to do it.

Even that which is good, honorable and possibly godly…when HE doesn’t call me to it, for me to insist on doing it…it is NOT “good, honorable and godly!”

Doing this talk the way HE wants is just an example of this problem in my life. I have struggled with this before. But before I share it with you and stick my neck out 🙂 I have God’s permission to ask you to turn in your bible to Numbers 4.

…. to be continued…