Take A Walk On The Wild Side

Are You Daring Enough To Turn Off Notifications?

Saleama A. Ruvalcaba

Wow…amazing feedback from Monday’s post; A Radical Approach to Blogging This Year! Between blog and Facebook comments the general consensus was a much-needed encouraging word. Much of the feedback consisted of knowing and trusting that we are truly reaching others for God. It made me think; what makes us to doubt? Speaking for myself, I crave feedback. If I don’t receive it, I question my purpose. It’s so bad that I can get eight people in a row, within one hour, to comment in a positive way about something I wrote, yet if it stops right there – with nothing else the entire day, I conclude that it was a wasted message.

Seriously! Am I that dense?

No – it’s more like I lose focus very quickly and allow my fellowship, prayer and trust in God to go out the window in an instant. And that’s the point; trust in God is fleeting instead of unyielding.

Job 31:24-28 “If I put my trust in gold or said to pure gold, “You’re my security, if I have rejoiced over my great wealth, the fortune my hand has gained, if I have regarded the sun in its radiance or the moon in its splendor, so my heart was secretly enticed and my hand offered them a kiss of homage, then these also would be sins to be judged, for I would have been unfaithful to the God on high.”

We consistently excuse our behavior with the way it is in modern times. Every age under the sun had its own “modern times” in which people had the choice to trust God or trust the world. Let’ be honest, when the notifications are sounding all day long it makes us feel good. People need us, or are responding to our message. The notifications give us confidence that we are doing God’s work. It sounds silly. A sound on my phone gives me the trust I need. Not my daily studying of the Bible, or prayer, or being guided by the Holy Spirit – but rather a chirp on my phone.

Psalm 91:2 “I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”

Reading that verse I naturally think of being physically afraid or in danger of something. But could it be we are fearful that God isn’t using us for His purpose? Speaking for myself, I did not grow up with affirmation. I wasn’t involved with sports, or dance or any kind of extracurricular activities as a child. I wasn’t in clubs or groups in high school. I wasn’t involved in anything productive. I never experienced any kind of personal achievement. I didn’t graduate college (undergrad) until I was 40. So I had no concept of patience and hard work early in my life. If I did not see instant success in something I quickly aborted it. When I became a Christian nine years ago, I expected everything to finally go my way. I found out right away that’s not how God works. I had to learn, through prayer and fellowship with God, that He has a plan for me. I had to learn patience through studying and living in obedience. I had to learn that God will use me to glorify His name – but it will be a slow work in progress. However, every once in a while I retreat to my old self and become afraid that I have no purpose.  Every once in a while I believe Satan’s lie; that I’ve never achieved anything and never will. And when the “chirps” stop – I’m afraid that Satan’s lie is true.

Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he make your paths straight. 

My husband coaches high school football. He prayed that God would lead him to a school where he would make an impact and glorify God – and God answered.  First, we were led to our new church. Second, he met the head coach of “John Lane High School”, during a chance meeting one morning at church. Third, the coach just happened to need an assistant. Fourth, my husband went through the interview process and everything worked out. Fifth, a random man from church found out that my husband was coaching at “John Lane High School” and told my husband he had prayed for a godly man to coach there to reach those boys. Sixth, my husband has powerfully influenced the other coaches and students by sharing the gospel with them. Then one day – it happened. My husband noticed he was the only coach on the field during football games without headphones. The headphones were a means of communication between the other coaches during the games. My husband would have known the plays and better able to prepare his players in between plays. Yet, he was the only coach without headphones for the entire season. He felt left out. He questioned his purpose. Headphones made him doubt everything God had done through him. Headphones made him forget the answers to prayer. Headphones made him forget how he influenced so many young men to know the love of Jesus Christ.

Matthew 8:26 “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?”

When we truly understand who God is, and how He is working in our lives, little by little the fear that He isn’t using us will slowly disappear. Yes, I get down, but not for long. Yes, my husband doubted, but not for long. Are you daring enough to turn off the notifications? I turned my notifications off. I now say “I trust in you Lord” when I have the urge to check it – all day long! God saved me! God loves me! God has a plan for me! And that plan is to use me to glorify His name. My man-made phone cannot compete! He has a plan for you as well.  Can you hear God and live out His purpose without checking your phone? Can you coach without headphones? Can you pastor in children’s ministry while waiting to senior pastor? Can you be a housewife, raising godly children, – and never hear “thank-you?” Can you trust God today?

Dare to walk on the wild side and trust that God has a purpose and a plan for your life. And even if you cannot see it or hear it – trust that you are making an impact. You are saving lives all over the world – and glorifying the name of God.

“God’s will as revealed in His promises will be fulfilled as much as our faith allows.” Andrew Murray
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18 thoughts on “Take A Walk On The Wild Side

    1. You’re welcome. Yes. It’s hard but, trusting Him is vital. He is working in us. The numbers can be misleading. We just need to trust that we are being used and He is getting His Word in front of whoever needs it. Thanks for your comment!

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  1. Jesus has used blogging to reveal more and more, the secret places in my heart that crave affirmation from people. Although the process is slow and often painful, I am seeing progress. I am grateful that He can use a sin-prone instrument like me for His glory. Thanks for sharing this important message about trusting God with the harvest.

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    1. You’re welcome. Yes it is a very slow process when it comes to blogging. But I honestly pray over every person who reads my blog and ask God to bless their lives. It can be one person who reads my blog a day or 60. Either way, I pray God will bless their lives. That helps me not focus so much on numbers. Thanks for reading and for your comment.

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    1. Yes. Exactly. We can get so caught up checking status we miss opportunities in other areas. It’s hard but we need to trust God is moving our writing and then we can focus on Him in other areas of ministry.

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  2. Really enjoyed this post! I just finished college about 2 years ago and I’m 40 now. I’m glad God allowed it to happen when it did, I’m certainly not the same person I use to be and I use it as an opportunity to encourage others when they have doubts. He uses us in multiple ways, all for His glory! He’s all the validation we need. Thank you for blessing me with this, I pray that He uses you more and more. God bless!

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    1. That’s wonderful. Thanks for sharing that. At my graduation I felt like I was the old person among many young people. Lol. But very happy for the experience. This post has had a great reaction. I thank God for guiding me to write in a way that glorifies Him. Thanks for taking the time to read it. And thanks for your comment.

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  3. I’ve been a Christian for many, many years now. I am still learning to trust in God as fully as I should…so I still fall short in this area. I want to follow His plan for me, but I am uncertain of what I’m being called to do at times. I just always pray that He fills me with more of His will so my will becomes His. I also pray for the love of Christ to fill my heart so I can see things more so through His eyes. May this always be the prayer of every Christ follower…

    Good post Saleama!
    Steve

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  4. Go Saleama! Two great posts. I love witnessing how God is working in you. Yes we want to know that we are making impact, but we won’t always know, (we do have secret readers). So we have to trust that we are fulfilling what God wants us to do.

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  5. Wow, this was so good and so timely! Just today my husband challenged me to turn off the notifications on my phone … and I did! I did it in part to honor him and in part because the notifications were eating up (what felt like) every second of every day and it was driving me crazy!!! But I honestly loved all the scripture you shared in this blog post. Thanks for the encouragement to keep our eyes on the Lord and trust in him at all times! (BTW, congrats on finishing college — 40 is young, girl!) 🙂

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    1. 😀 that’s awesome! Thank-you as well for your encouraging words. Yes it does eat our time. I home educate my children and I’ll find myself checking stuff before we start then I’m there 30 minutes looking at more notifications! It’s not easy but I am praying daily to have more trust in God and not in constant feedback. Thanks for reading and your comment! Have a blessed day!

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