Today, as we wrap up our celebration of the newest books in the InScribed Studies Collection published by Thomas Nelson, I’m so excited to welcome to the blog, Sarah Francis Martin, author of Just RISE UP!: A Call To Make Jesus Famous. This week I’m giving away three copies of Sarah’s book. Details on how to enter are at the end of today’s post.
I met Sarah online several years ago, and then we met in person a year or so after that. Sarah is one of those people who lights up a room when she walks in. Her personality is bubbly, her smile is contagious, and her love for Jesus is so very evident. One of the things I appreciate most about my friendship with Sarah is that she calls it like it is. She doesn’t pull punches or sugarcoat anything, but she always speaks the truth out of love and for your greater good.
Here’s my friend, Sarah…
I love making bold declarations. I think it is just my nature to add many !!! to my life. There is something about making a statement with our words or even our lives in which there is no doubt where we stand.
I remember a time where life was dry. Do you ever have those seasons? Seasons where things aren’t bad, yet there’s not much excitement? I would go about my day with a sense of blah faith and though I knew there was more to life and faith than just blah, I was in no mood to seek for more. Oh yes, I was the good church girl who would still go to church and maybe even join in on the worship with the dryness in my voice and emotions hidden by my smile saying to the world, “oh, everything is fine here.” God is good, though. He began to show me that my emotions (even the lack there of-blah) did not in any way change who He is.
Day after day, I began to show up. With open hands to receive what our gracious God had for me that day, I would show up because deep down I knew one thing: He is WORTHY. He is worthy of my steadfast faith no matter my up and down emotions. He is worthy of my worship even if I don’t feel like it. Day after day as I began to show up in His word and in prayer and in worship with a renewed sense of boldness, something in Exodus 33 spurred me forward.
In the ancient story in Exodus where God leads Moses and the Israelites with a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night, we see an exciting example of boldness. Through a conversation between Moses and the Lord we read that Moses boldly declares how they would not step forward on the journey without the presence of God. We hear Moses ask:
Please, show me Your glory! (Exodus 33:18 ESV)
What followed has always been a story that I’ve enjoyed reading and visualizing. But, something new struck me as I read the bold declaration by Moses. God answered. He desired to show Moses His glorious presence…but on His terms. The Lord proceeds to direct Moses into a cleft of a rock while God covered the face of Moses. Then, only after God passed by would Moses be able to see God’s back, but not His face. For, at that time, we were not at liberty to see God’s face––His holiness was too much for our human-ness to handle. But for Jesus we now have access to our glorious Lord!
You see, Moses was desperate to see God. He was desperate to commune with his Father, his Guide. With boldness Moses declared and the Lord obliged. But, God showed Moses His glory on God’s terms.
How often do we beg to see or hear from the Lord? How often are we desperate with fellowship of the King? How often does our soul cry out during dry times needing holy refreshment?
Yet, are we asking to see God on His terms or in our own preconceived notions of what glory looks like? I often make bold statements though I want God to come through on my terms…my flesh-driven, sin-filled, human, small minded terms.
As I stand on the cleft just like Moses did eager to see God, today I will stand with arms wide open and my heart unrestricted to see God move in my life how He plans and desires. I won’t put Him in a box.
Please, show us Your glory God! We are here. We stand firm in Your word. We come to you with prayerful hearts and minds. Show us your glory!
“Earth’s crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
But only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round and pluck blueberries.”
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Sarah Francis Martin is a wife, mother, friend, mentor, author and wanna be artist. She has a passion to ignite this generation to get up off the couch of complacency and do life differently for God’s kingdom. When she is not typing away at her laptop, you can often find Sarah on date nights with her husband, rough housing with her young son, or getting her hands messy with craft paint. She is the author of Just RISE UP!: A Call To Make Jesus Famous (Thomas Nelson, Oct. 2014) www.liveitoutblog.com
This week I’m giving away 3 copies of Sarah’s book, Just RISE UP!: A Call To Make Jesus Famous. To enter simply leave a comment below sharing one of your most favorite things about fall. Three winners will be chosen and announced next Monday, October 27, 2014.
Giveaway runs from Monday, October 20, 2014- Friday, October 24, 2014 (midnight, EST) and is open to US residents only.
An invitation for you to join Sarah in a 5 week journey full of interaction, renewal, transformation as she leads us to RISE UP! and make Jesus famous.
Just RISE UP!: A Call To Make Jesus Famous Online Study begins November 3, 2014. Details HERE.