Today’s Truth

Jesus replied, ‘Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching’ (John 14:23a, NIV).

Friend to Friend

There is a feature on my cell phone that allows me to decline an incoming call. There are a thousand reasons why I might choose to hit the “decline” button when my phone rings. Sometimes I have a deadline to meet. Decline. Sometimes a call comes in when I’m mid-conversation with a friend or when I’m connecting with my family. Decline.

Similarly, there are times in my life when I try to ignore the promptings of the Holy Spirit as if I were declining a cell phone call. Times when I just don’t feel like doing what I know God wants me to do. Times when I don’t want to hear the still small voice that whispers to my soul: “forgive him” – “release your anger” – “humble yourself” or “trust Me.”

One such time took place several years ago in Tennessee. It was after the final session of a ministry event. I was focused and fervent, determined to head home to my family as quickly as possible. I busied myself packing up my resource table and prepping to leave. While I was mid-busy, a woman came up to me with her friend. I was courteous to them, but in a “see-you-later” kind of way.

Not getting my subtle clues, this woman inquired excitedly about the book I was writing. I lifted my head with surprise as she said, “I can’t wait to read your book! I just know you have an amazing testimony!”

Then she and her friend stood there expectantly. Decline.

Okay, feel my pain here. It was day three of a three-day event! I was exhausted. So, I did what any normal fleshy woman would do. I told God, Not now, Lord. I’ve done what I came to do and now I’m going home to my family. I’m tired, slightly grumpy, definitely hungry, and done. I can’t tell these girls about my abortion right now! Nope. Please don’t ask me to!

I looked up at these two sweet women and, with a forced smile, said, “Yeah, I’ve got a doozy of a story, but don’t we all? Thank God for grace.”

There! Now they should leave me alone, I thought.

But God kept nudging my heart. Tell them, Gwen.

Before I had a chance to continue my chat with the Lord, another couple of women came to join the conversation. I was so not amused.

God, are You kidding me? We’re done here!

But He kept nudging.

I finally conceded and shared my testimony with the six women who had gathered. Within minutes, two of the six were crying. They’d had abortions as well and for years had lived under the weight of shame. We instantly became a bonded band of blubbering sisters. The story of my redemption from brokenness and the beauty of healing I found in Christ had become a tool in the hands of God that afternoon.

What had once been a wound became a weapon… but only because I accepted the call.

Jesus told his disciples that if they loved Him, they would obey His commands and teachings (John 14:15-27). A simple if-then statement. If you love Me, then you will obey. He also told them that when He returned to the Father in heaven, He would send the Holy Spirit to teach, to guide in truth, to convict of sin and to remind believers of what Jesus taught (John 16:7-14). To help us. To empower us.

The Spirit of God lives within every believer. He equips us for each task as we yield to His leading. When God prompts us to do something on His behalf, He is faithful to lead the way and to bless our obedience – for His own glory.

It’s all about His glory.

He simply wants our willingness and obedience.

Friend, God’s plans need to be our plans … even if His plans seem to “interrupt” our plans.

Let’s be women who accept His call. Are you willing today?

Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, I’m sorry for the times I’ve chosen my plan over Your plan. Align my will and heart to Yours. Help me to live responsively to the promptings of Your Spirit, for Your glory.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn 

Is there something God is calling you to do today?

Spend a few minutes in prayer about it.

More from the Girlfriends

Portions of today’s devotion are excerpts from Gwen’s book, Broken Into Beautiful, which features her testimony, along with Scriptural truths and stories of how God brings restoration to the hearts of those wounded by painful life experiences. Explore God’s healing and hope for your life today as you read Broken Into Beautiful. To order the book, go to Amazon or for a signed copy, order from Gwen’s web store.

Get 20% OFF BROKEN INTO BEAUTIFUL today when you order from Gwen’s website and use the coupon code: 20OFF

© 2022 by Gwen Smith. All rights reserved.

4 Responses to “Not Now, Lord”

  1. Avatar photo María says:

    This devotional touches my heart! I too have been ashamed of my past abortions, 2 of them. I have been unable to talk about it, even to God. I don’t remember anything about it and can’t even feel the emotions I think I should feel.
    I just tried to buy your book in your website, but it is out of stock. I will try again later because I need to heal my heart in order for God to work in me and through me.
    I thank God for using you, Gwen, to speak to my wounded heart today and offering me hope and redemption.
    God bless!!

  2. Avatar photo Jo Hudson says:

    Gwen, I read Girlfriends every morning but when I see you have written I am always excited. Your readings are so inspiring to me, maybe because l can relate to many of them. I have conversations with God many times a day and some are to decline but when I listen, it always turns out so well. It sounds like you are a very busy lady but please keep on sharing. Have a great day. Jo

  3. Avatar photo Mary says:

    Thank you, Gwen, for sharing this today. I read a book of yours many years ago which was an encouragement to continue sharing the story of my abortion. Such painful experiences are difficult to talk about but doing so, when the Spirit leads me, brings healing. I am so grateful to women like you who have listened to God and obeyed His voice.

  4. Avatar photo Tiffany says:

    Gwen, thank you for sharing part of your story and your time and effort in this devotional today. One line that stood out to me was how our wounds, whatever they may be, can become a weapon.

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"We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well…" 1 Thessalonians 2:8