Following Nudges

Lately, I’ve been experiencing that; something in my heart and my gut, but my head hasn’t exactly got it figured out yet.

The thing in my heart has something to do with justice and whatever my role in that is.  My daughter Chloe and I have recently changed our shopping lifestyle to help people who are doing business in ethical ways, and we’ve stopped buying items that come from slavery-type factories.

While I’ve been working on this, slowly extricating myself from this shopping trap, I started reading the book of Isaiah.  At the same time, IF:Table introduced a Bible study they were selling called Arise: a Study On God’s Heart For Justice.

The book of Isaiah is all about justice, and my daily Bible reading was dovetailing with the Bible study Arise.  It was amazing.  I could not deny that God was speaking to me about justice, which is His heart.  Because He is love, He is about justice, about making things right.

“‘Because the poor are plundered, because the needy groan, I will now arise,’ says the Lord; ‘I will place him in the safety for which he longs.’”
—Psalm 12:5

One day, when Jesus was in a synagogue, He was handed a scroll to read and this is what He read about himself: “…to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke.”
 —Isaiah 58:6

None of the injustices on earth are hidden from God.  He sees what’s happening in every nook and cranny.  His heart breaks for the way we treat each other, us humans.  His heart goes out to the ones who are most silenced in any society.

I believe that the heart of God should be our heart.  What He cares about should be what we care about.  And God is the Restorer.  Not just for the victims of injustice, but also for the ones who cause it.  The victim and the victimizer, each can receive healing and forgiveness in the heart of God.  “Even the most dark and hardened human beings are no match for the Gospel.” —Arise.  Jesus is our Redeemer.  He came to seek and to save the lost, the victim and the victimizer.

Through the Arise study, I was introduced to an organization called International Justice Mission (IJM).  They exist to bring justice where there is injustice.  They are an amazing Christian organization that opened my eyes to more injustices in the world but also gave me hope that we can do something about them.

All this to say, I’m on a journey that I didn’t choose for myself.  I believe God is taking me on it.  I don’t know where it’s heading exactly.  I just need to pay attention and go where God leads.  I’m taking steps to change my lifestyle away from materialism.  Not easy!  But I want my life to be about what God wants it to be about.  And it seems lately that He wants me to be aware of what is going on in the world and to care the way He does for all the hurting people.
I’m only one person, but God is big.  And as I allow Him to do what He does, I believe He will take me from being part of the problem to actually helping people somehow.
And that’s where I’m at.  I don’t know what exactly to do with all this inside me.  I’m trusting that God will show me.  First, He has to make us aware of a problem; then He can show us what it is He wants us to do about it.

But now that I’m aware, I must act.  I must change; I must do something.  If I do nothing, I’m in disobedience to God.
God doesn’t call you to do the same things He calls me to do.  He has different jobs for us, different things that He puts on our hearts.

I once spoke at a meeting for volunteers who teach kids about Jesus in after-school clubs.  After the meeting, a woman said to me, “I can’t believe everyone who says they are a Christian aren’t part of this!”  She meant teaching children in the after-school clubs.  I said, “There are Christians doing all kinds of things!  They are meeting needs all over the world.  They are helping people.  They are sharing Jesus in so many ways.  This club is one way to share Jesus.  But if everyone were doing this, what about everything else that needs to be done?”
I mention that because I don’t want you to think I’m saying you need to get on board and be part of what God is speaking to me about.  No.  God is very strategic, and He places each of us in different circumstances, around different people, to minister in those places, to be light in the darkness.  He puts different things on our hearts because there are so many needs in the world.

But He absolutely has something for you to do.  It’s the thing He keeps nudging you about. With the nudging will come some awareness about something—or someone.  And after some time in prayer, you will know what to do.
Sometimes you just take a step in that direction, and see what God does, what He opens up.

He is with you and will guide you as you let Him direct you.
There is a lot of pain in the world, but there is hope!  Jesus is our hope, and He will fill your life with love and joy as you share his hope with the people He brings to intersect your path.

Meet Tammy Bailey

Tammy Bailey serves at Hillcrest Church with her husband, Rick. Although her kids are grown, she is still learning and growing in her relationship with Jesus. She is an awed child of God.

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