Embrace event speaks about pictures, promises
    May 5 2011 by Melissa Lilley, BSC Communications

    “God is faithful to His promises, not to our pictures. We have a tendency to paint pictures that interpret His promises — imaginations gone wild — daydreams — snapshots of what the fulfillment of God’s promises look like. God was showing me the difference between begging Him for the ‘picture’ and instead trusting Him for the ‘promise.’”

    Wise words, yes. But they were not penned in haste. Leighann McCoy, prayer and women’s minister at Thompson Station Church in Tennessee where her husband is pastor, posted these thoughts to her blog after a season of trials and pain.

    McCoy, speaker for the recent Embrace Women’s Ministries leadership training event at Apex Baptist Church, found out last year she had colon cancer. Exactly two months later the church building was damaged from a flood. One month later she found out that her 18-year-old daughter (the daughter who only needed to be disciplined once by her parents as a teenager) was pregnant and moving into an apartment with her boyfriend.

    All this came around the same time she agreed to write a book for Bethany House Publishers about spiritual warfare. As she learned, believers don’t need to go looking for a battle. The enemy brings the battles home.

    Photo by Alexandra King

    Dondra Johnston, right, works on making a bracelet with a resident at Rex Rehab and Nursing Home in Apex. This outreach was part of a recent Embrace training event.

    McCoy shared with those gathered for the Embrace event that through the trials she learned what it means to be given a picture from God, and what it means to trust God even when the circumstances give no indication that the picture will ever be complete.

    For example, for many years the picture for Abraham and Sarah was one of inability to have children; not quite what Abraham expected after being promised he would be the father of many nations. Jacob was also promised numerous descendants, yet there comes a moment in his life when he fears for his life as his brother assembles an army against him. Joseph dreamed of his brothers bowing down to him — and still he finds himself in a pit and in a prison.

    She encouraged believers to focus on God’s promises, trust Him to finish the picture in His timing, and avoid trying to accomplish God’s plan for their life on their own.

    When believers start thinking God has not answered soon enough, they take matters into their own hands. As they try to orchestrate situations to bring about certain outcomes, essentially they are telling God that He “needs a little help getting His own glory,” McCoy said.

    McCoy admitted she often struggled with God’s sovereignty in her life. “I was mapping out the plan and telling Him what to do,” McCoy said. “I felt like a giant bigger than God was on my battlefield.”

    McCoy also found herself, for perhaps the first time, fearing something more than God. “Many Christians fear Satan more than God,” she said. “That which you fear most becomes a god to you. I had allowed my fear of the enemy to supersede my worship of God.”

    As she struggled with her first crisis of belief in 46 years of being a Christian, McCoy learned God was doing some pruning.

    And although that pruning produced cutting and bleeding, she came closer and closer to the vine, letting her roots grow deeper. “I know there’s going to be fruit,” she said.

    “It will come in due season. God is going to complete the picture that He began in you.”

    As one who has been in full time vocational ministry for many years, McCoy knows what it’s like to get into “autopilot.”

    She challenged women to follow through on 1 Thess. 4:1, the theme verse of the weekend, seeking to grow more and more in the Lord and continuing to excel in the work in which He has called them. McCoy reminded women of Mark 4:35-41 and how terrified the disciples were during the storm on the sea.

    Although Jesus was with them in the boat they doubted His concern for them. They forgot that Jesus was sovereign over all things and before getting into the boat had said, “Let’s cross over to the other side of the lake.”

    “If Jesus has told you you’re going to the other side, then there’s not a storm in this world that can drown you before you get there,” McCoy said.

    Visit www.embrace.org.

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    5/5/2011 7:52:00 AM by Melissa Lilley, BSC Communications | with 0 comments

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