I can remember the very first time I ever spoke in front of a crowd of women. I was pumped all week. I knew my material. I knew my scripture references. I even knew a few personal stories and jokes to add in at just the right time. I also self-talked all week how bold and confident I was to do this. The night finally came. The room filled up and it was time to take the stage. With microphone in hand I welcomed the women and then the worst possible thing happened —out of the corner of my eye I saw a woman that didn’t like me and I forgot what I was going to speak about.
This is going to seem like a stretch but go with me on this. There is a story in the Bible about a man named Elijah and a woman named Jezebel. The story is one that always made me shake my head every single time I read it. Elijah, a man anointed and appointed by God, was prepared to do God’s work. He was very bold and confident in what God called him to do, so confident in fact that he called down fire from heaven. It happened and it is a pretty big deal. Then the woman, Jezebel, enters the scene and wants to kill Elijah. Does he call down fire from heaven on her? NO, he runs in fear. Like practically the same day this man went from knowing his calling, knowing God’s ability, full of boldness and confidence — to shutting down and running in fear. Where did that fire caller go? Now to make this story even better you have to read what Elijah said to all the people before he called the fire down and before he ran in fear.
1 Kings 18:21 NIV
Elijah went before the people and said, “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.”
Now, the woman that came that night was not named Jezebel, but the point I want to make is that words that people say (their opinions) can often times become more important to us than God’s words and opinions. We can be so confident in the Lord and His ability to create, love, forgive, restore, reconcile, heal, fix, redeem BUT then so quickly turn off our fire calling ability when a Jezebel enters the scene. Where did the boldness go? Why do we waver between confidence and fear? God didn’t change — same God on his throne looking down watching, waiting, wondering why we waver?! Believe it or not (if you know me) —that night I stood there speechless. At that moment, I was reminded of one of my weaknesses - accepting the labels placed on me by others and the ones I place on myself. Even though the crowd never heard what I prepared for them that night, they ended up hearing something better. I spoke freely and transparent about who we truly are and how labels and words don’t define us. For a moment, I let someone in my head. For a moment, I went from confidence to fear. How long will you waiver between two opinions?