Thanks, but I'll Take it From Here, God

Are you too dependent on your own strength?















Stuck somewhere between numb and exhaustion, I stared out the window. Lord, how did I end up here? Please forgive me.

Been there before too? If so, you’ll want to read my devotion today at Proverbs 31 Ministries’ Encouragement for Today.

In today’s devotion, I share about a time several years ago when I started first started speaking. Assuming every opportunity was an opportunity from God, I said yes to each one. We’ve been taught to pray for open doors, haven’t we?

What I wish someone had taught me was that open doors are another opportunity; another opportunity to seek God’s wisdom. I said yes to all those invitations and wound up exhausted.

Open doors are another opportunity.

Another opportunity to seek God’s wisdom.

Opportunities mean we need to seek God's wisdom.

Early this fall, I found myself in a similar situation. Having not written a book in two years, my working life had slowed down considerably. Then, two contracts were presented to me simultaneously. Based on my prior experience of too much too fast, this time I assumed the opposite: this couldn’t be God. I told my husband I was going to say no and headed into my office to construct the email.

As I entered my office, I saw my chair, where I start each day with the Lord and I sensed the Holy Spirit nudging me to slow down; spend some time with him.

Thanks, God, But I'll Take it From Here

I headed to my “normally scheduled” Bible reading for the day which was Romans 15:5 – 6 “May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had,  so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (NIV)

I have read Romans I don’t know how many times, but honestly I can’t say that I have seen God called the God who gives endurance. This is who He was revealing Himself to me on this day: the God of Endurance and Encouragement.

Here is what I wrote in my journal on August 24, 2016. I wrote as the Lord speaking directly to me in my spirit,

“I know that you feel like you can’t do this. That’s my point. You have done things before in your strength. Your ideas, your hard work … you. This? This is Me. I brought these opportunities to you. This will be My heart for women and girls. This is the one thing that will bring You and I closer because you will be dependent on Me. This is for My glory; not your’s. I’m in this. This is me. Trust Me. I’ve got You.”

My answer: “Your kingdom come; Your will be done. Thank you, Jesus.” (I wrote this with a great deal of trepidation!)

And I then I emailed “yes” to both contracts.

So next August, my first book for tween girls, ages 8 – 12 years old will be released: Brave Beauty: Finding the Fearless YouI have had to find the fearless me to write to this age group. God was spot on! I have had to be so dependent on Him!

Brave Beauty: Finding the Fearless You

Next fall, Make Your Move: Finding Confidence Despite Your Fears and Failures, an Inscribed Bible study and video curriculum for women will release also.

That means every day, I am crying out to God to give me His words for these two books that I am writing at the same time!

What I am learning is that God wants us to come to Him each time with the decisions we make. Sometimes, He wants to prevent us from situations that will be overwhelming. Other times, He wants us to know Him as the God of endurance and encouragement. Which time is which time is His decision to make. Father knows best. May we have the wisdom to go to Him and the humility to listen and obey each and every time.

Are you in a season of needing to make a decision? Share in the comments below and let’s pray for one another today!

Merry Christmas, friends!

May YOU know Him as your God of Endurance and Encouragement

in the days ahead!

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Brave Beauty Make Your Move 

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  1. Wanda Bowman says:

    Oh this was a welcome read and marinate on this morning for me! In this now and this so this brings all into perspective. Thank you God! Thank you Lynn, 1 of my sister’s name.

  2. Rebecca Kennedy says:

    Your message and verse came at just the right time in my life. I was just telling God that I didn’t have the endurance I knew I needed when I came upon your blog due to your bible study on Something nudged me to click on your blog and there boldly before me was God telling me that he would give me endurance. Thank you so much for taking the time to listen to God that you may be an encouragement to others.

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      Wow, oh, Wow, Jesus! You amaze us EVERY TIME!

  3. Cindi Bilanski says:

    I recently went through a brutal divorce and lost everything. I currently am attending nursing school and attend an amazing church. Unfortunately, after this month I have no where to live. I have been praying for the Lord’s guidance and wisdom and for Him to open doors for me for almost a year. I want to stay completely in His will, but I can’t hear Him. I depend on Him for everything and I keep trusting, but I still hear nothing.

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      Cindi – One thing I have seen with God over and over again is that sometimes He answers our prayers last minute. He wants to reveal Himself as the God who can do everything and gain our trust for this time and for the future. Keep trusting, Cindi. He has you.

      Father, Cindi is Your daughter. I know You will care for her because You love her so. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

  4. I am really going through a tough time right now financially. i feel as though i hit a wall. I have pulled myself together some and then I find your blog post. I have been so disconnected with HIM, and have not slowed down to pray to ask for guidance. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      Dear Lord, draw Tara in. You are a good father and a good father desires to provide protection and direction. May she turn to You for that. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

  5. I do not know how to try to tell what decisions I feel I am facing &/or will need to face in the ?near? future, without giving an in depth explanation & history of events. To be completely honest, I’m not even sure if they are, which are, to be considered a “decision”. So, I just going to very briefly some it all up to needing guidance with these aspects of my life (which is pretty much my WHOLE life right now, so it’s quite exhausting)… my marriage, what is best for our daughters & our family (the 4 of us), and mainly our current living situation & my relationship with my parents & one of my brothers. Please pray that I will be open to what God’s will is & that he will guide me to make the right choices when I am faced with decisions.

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      Lord, You tell us in James 1:5 if we lack wisdom we can ask of You and You will give it to us liberally. That is what we pray for Courtney and her family – wisdom, guidance and the strength to walk in 100% obedience to Your ways. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

  6. My husband and I are considering a move and career changes…we are waiting on a phone call following a recent interview. Today’s devotion was wonderful! Thank you!! Please pray for us.

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      Dear Lord, please make your pathway clear to Julie and her husband. Change can be very hard, but when we know You are behind it and behind us, we can be at peace. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

  7. Love this, Lynn! Seek God first in all our decisions. We all need this reminder. Prayers for endurance for you!

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      You are such a sweet supporter, Julie! God – pour our a blessing on Julie and her family more than she can contain! Amen

  8. After 10 years of working with a dysfunctional work team, we are being “spun off” into another organization and leadership. My will whispers and says “I deserve this, and that” but God has whispered to me to stay with this team in the past. With the pending change, I have a choice to stay and experience this new leadership, etc. but remain with the same “sheep”. I feel so unsettled and long for a new pasture with a more professional…everything. I am so thankful for the perfect words today. To humble myself, to have the God of Angel Armies reveal His will in this situation, to be thankful and grateful for my job and hear God whisper “I’ve got this”. I feel a more open channel of communication with Him this morning. Thank you!

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      I feel encouraged with you, Cindy!

      Lord, pour Your favor out in Cindy’s life. May she see Ephesians 3:20, “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,” Amen and Amen!

  9. Good morning! Although it is Saturday and due to my busy day yesterday I did not have an opportunity to read your devotional or blog until today. I thank you for being transparent and sharing your life experiences with us. I do want to share some encouragement to those that are waiting on God and learning how to trust Him in everything. Back in January my position of 10 years at my former job was eliminated due to no fault on my part. However days later the truth was revealed. My supervisor actually took my job. But God had a plan.

    So after months of job searching praying and waiting on God I am now returning to a career that I put on the shelf without asking God. At the end of this month I will be restarting my career as a Music Therapist. God has a way of allowing His soverignty and will to prevail in our lives.

    In the meantime God has provided steady employment and we never lost our home and our children even received a scholarship for a portion of their tuition at their private school.

    As I study for the music therapy board exam for the 4th time and have grown weary at times. God has even provided 3 women for me to study with 3-4 times a week. In Galatians 6:9 we are given encouragement, “Don’t grow weary in doing good, for you will reap a harvest if you don’t give up. ”

    Lynn I will pray for you as you write these two books. And I ask that you pray for me as I will be taking the board exam on December 15th.

    God bless you all!

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      Airen – all I can say is WOW! My daughter’s best friend and roommate is changing colleges here at semester to purse Music Therapy. She is scared and sad to have to make the change that she feels is best for her. Reading your comment is encouraging to me that at the tender age of 20 she can make a move that is hard but good.

      Lord, You have all knowledge. You have gifted Airen with all that she needs to succeed. We pray for You to empower her on December 15th to bring forth all knowledge that she has poured into her heart. In You, she can do all things. Amen

  10. I have recently had to ask my brother, who has lived with me for the last 18 months, to leave for his wrong choices in life. I feel at times it was the right thing to do because he wasn’t listening to anyone but other times I feel I have abandoned him. I have consulted with my elders at my church but I want to hear from God that this was the right decision. I love my brother and pray that God would turn his life around. Please pray for us.

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      Lord, family issues are the hardest of all. They pull on our hearts like nothing else does. Help Karen to know, Lord, that she can and does hear from You. Give her that James 1:5 wisdom she longs for and You promise. Amen

  11. Lonni Briles says:

    Thank you, Lynn, for your transparency! One would think that after walking with Jesus for most of my life, (40 years), I wouldn’t have this kind of problem. But I do! Primarily when my husband is home. So I pray that this time I will be faithful.

  12. Thank God for your life Ms lynn, I subscribed on your daily devotion, and it really inspiring and helps me to know God more. Most of the time, your devotion is timely in my situation. Thank you for the encouragement. God is really great!

    I also need a wisdom from God. Me and my Fiancé is needs to hear God’s voice for the right date of out wedding. Though we already reserved a venue on April 9,2017, we still have a doubt if we will push through on that date, this is because of lack of budget. We are still praying for God’s provision. Please help us to pray on this area. 🙂

    Thank you Ms Lynn.

    Monica Hidalgo

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      So glad to hear from you, Monica.

      Lord, show Monica and her fiance what your best is for them. Pour Your wisdom into their plans and help them to know if they should “go” or “slow down”. Amen

  13. Pam Alcala says:

    I have been reading all these blogs, and praying for each and everybody who has been going through some real life challenges.If anybody is out there please pray for me, I have filed for a divorce because my husband is verbally abusive and my husband allows his 31 year old son and his son’s girl friend live in our house together. I have moved out and filed for a divorce, but my husband wants me to drop the divorce and try to get back together. If I go back into the marriage I feel like it would be going back to the same old thing, and I am emotionally and phsically exhasted over this who;e thing. I have been praying about this and I truely belive God wants me out of this mess. Please if anybody has any kind suggestions. I would love to get some feed back on this.

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      Pam, I am so sorry it took me so long to discover your comment.

      My heart goes out to you and this very difficult situation. I, too, have experienced many situations in my life when I just didn’t know what to do. I keep going back to James 1 where God says if we lack wisdom, we can ask Him and He will give us the wisdom we need.

      Sometimes that wisdom comes through reading His word, Godly advice from those I see living according to His word, worship songs, even dreams. I believe God will speak to you and give you the strength and the wisdom you need for your life as well.

      Father, I ask you to please give Pam the wisdom she needs for the next steps in her life. Show her Your way; give her clarity and the strength to go forward. Amen

  14. I am looking forward to getting a copy of Brave Beauty for my oldest! Thank you also for sharing not only what God is doing in your life but also how your learning to hear Him better and better – it’s encouraging!

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      Thanks so much, Julia!

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