"He is the Word ever writing upon our hearts and minds! He writes new revelation and wonders of who He is on willing hearts!"
Do You Love Me Enough to Risk Again?
Years ago I left the corporate world to enter into a season of rest and answer the call that God had placed upon my life. It was a time when He set very specific boundaries around my life. I took care of my home, spent time with family and friends, and my church family and to listen to Jill Austin teachings.
He told me to purchase every one of her teachings and listen and wait in His Presence. I would swing in my hammock in the back yard that summer and listen for hours and let the depths of revelation go deep into my heart and being.
Slowly I was being filled, saturated and overflowing with holy fire and desire in new realms from fresh encounters with the Lord.
I remember the struggles I experienced as I left the corporate world and realized suddenly, how much of my identity was in what I did in my field of work.
I had the responsibility for many people in a management position for a national/international company. I worked long hours each week and daily spoke with major architects, designers and corporations around the nation and abroad.
It was in my morning devotions that the Lord spoke to me and said ‘this is the last time I am going to ask you, will you step out of this position and step into what I have for you in this season?’ Will you answer fully the call upon your life the way I am asking in this hour and season. He has been tugging at my heart, whispering to my spirit, but I was hesitating in my soul.
I felt like it was a giant risk, with nothing in the natural to grab onto, only letting go of what I had known and what I had been taught is ‘security’.
There was much to consider, a mortgage, bills, etc…..how would this all get paid. My husband and I both worked for this company, he was one of the Vice Presidents and I was the Marketing Manager. How would this impact him personally, our relationship, our finances, the people that worked with us and for us, the clients?
With all of those questions before me I know the Lord was waiting for my answer.
I responded yes to the Lord, but it would need to be confirmed with him. I went into the office and shared my encounter with the Lord and he said to me, ‘I have known it, but I was not going to tell you, you needed to hear it for yourself’. We entered into full agreement this was God’s direction for my life and I gave my three month notice. I began the process of hiring people to replace me, train them and then I stepped out into the unknown.
What would be next? The invitation to the hammock, listening to Jill Austin’s messages and journeying into knowing His Heart and Voice in deeper ways.
It is here the path of discovering ‘who are you’ began. It was like a cup of cold water in my face. When you no longer get up and go to work in the morning. When nobody is calling upon you for help, advice, decisions to be made. Actually, the phone does not ring. God has called you apart and He is jealous for that time.
I would go to church and bible study and continued in my church fellowship.
But there was a deep groan within me – a cry of who am I really – in Him?
He led me to a book, ‘The Applause of Heaven’ by Max Lucado.
It was from that book that God began to reveal to me, there is only one applause to listen for – His. And that was to be set in the very substance of my being.
It would be tested again and again and again.
He was far more interested in my coming into my true identity as being His and His alone and knowing His delight than any earthly accolades. He was after every place that the fear of man, the flattery or man, and motivations of my heart that were not from His leading. He would begin to lovingly address, heal, deliver and transform these places from time spent with Him.
That was many years ago. The journey continues, deeper ever deeper. To only be moved by His desires, to listen for His applause, to feel His breath and His delight, priceless and precious and worth any earthly ‘risk’.
It has not been an easy journey. He never said it would be. He allows us to be put into situations, circumstances, challenging relationships, trials, to reveal what is truly inside of our hearts. That simply shows us we are truly His, for those He loves He disciplines, He tenderly shows us the places that do not look like Him, that do not carry and release the substance of His nature and His Heart. And then as we respond He transforms our very being.
I have not looked back, by His enabling grace, the eyes of my heart are fixed on Him. I seek to listen for His applause alone.
Risk – yes it was one of the greatest risks I had taken at that time in my life.
There have been many more He has invited me to take with Him.
Some have been quite challenging. There were times I wanted to quit. There were losses of finances, relationships, loved ones, health – and yet there He was, as He promised He would be in each and every trial and circumstance.
The days and weeks of swinging in that hammock bore much fruit in my life.
I thank God for Jill and how intimately she walked with Him and burned with passion for all of God’s children to walk in the experiential reality of this.
I clearly remember at the end of one of her teachings which was presented at a public gathering there was a man who began to play the keyboard as she ministered. I can still remember the words from this prophetic song that flowed like a river – ‘do you love Me enough to risk again?’
I cannot tell you how many times this song has come back to me, either for myself or when I am praying for or with someone. It is as if it was deposited deep within my being and Holy Spirit presses ‘push’ and it plays again. I know that is a wild word picture to present about the Third Person of the Trinity, but it is how it feels to me.
‘Do you love Me enough to risk again’?
Perhaps there is someone reading this who has been crippled with the pain of loss, disappointment – you risked – you stepped out and it did not turn out as you thought it would. The person stepped out of your life who said they would always be there for you. That financial investment failed, chronic pain and sickness in your body, the loss of a loved one, a church split………….the list is endless of the challenges life can bring. They can cause a heart to shut down. We can find ourselves saying, I will never step out again, I will never risk again.
The invitation that Jesus gives to each of us to follow Him and be His disciple involves varied risks each and day of our lives.
Encountering the depths of His Love is what causes us to respond – yes Lord – we love You enough to risk again!
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