What comes to mind when you think of public speaking? Imagine you’re invited to speak to an audience of twenty-two hundred people at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada.
If God asked you to step on stage and speak outside of your church community, would you ask for a different assignment? I’ll go to Africa, I’ll teach High School students, I’ll give up Starbucks, manicures, and chick flicks!
I believe we can pursue God’s Kingdom purposes and accomplish extraordinary things for God. Now, here’s my confession—it’s easy to write a pious statement until God puts you to the test.
Yes, I’ll be speaking next month to men and women from all over the world. I’m not a “professional” speaker. I just obeyed God’s leading and competed in a Toastmasters speech contest.
Life was good until the August competition date got closer to stage time. My thoughts began to wonder. I didn’t want to fail my district or let people down. The magnitude of stress was unprecedented. Finally, I was sick of feeling fearful. (I needed to find my brave.)
Have you ever voiced an SOS prayer? Lord, this was your idea, please walk me through my emotions. I need perspective.
Whom Do You Serve?
After praying and reading chapters of Bible verses, the Holy Spirit revealed my heart. Whatever you think about becomes your master.
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God reminded me that our thoughts could unknowingly serve another master. I was serving fear instead of God—ouch! Let me share this personal observation (and this is not a pious statement). Heavenly presence is greater than worldly pressure.
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Sometimes, the obvious eludes us when we give wrong emotions a voice. We have to confess and replace these thoughts with God’s Word but don’t be discouraged if you have to do this more than once. Eventually, your heart will be still, and your soul will rest.
What is Success?
I have full confidence I will succeed, but I’m not talking about winning a trophy. The crown trumps the trophy–every time.
Success is being obedient to the Lord, even when it means speaking in front of a huge audience. The outcome is up to Him. In the meantime, we can redirect our freaky thoughts and find peace in His presence.
Thoughts to Ponder
How do you measure success? Have you experienced failure? Perhaps it was a success in God’s eyes. God can use our situations in more ways than we could ever imagine.
Have a blessed weekend.
UPDATE: Las Vegas Review-Journal
Taylor, K. N. (1997). The living Bible, paraphrased. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House.