Onward!

You cannot stay here.

Mountaintops, valleys, running with the wind and running in water, heartbreak and breakthrough, trials and triumph. — It’s been the best of years; it’s been the worst of years. I’ve braved the battleground. I’ve floundered and failed; I’ve pressed on and prevailed.

Sometimes life bulldozes. Stuff happens. Yes, “onward” is my word of the year, and no, the irony of getting stuck writing Onward did not escape me. It’s been awhile. Forgive me. Shame tried to hold me down, but God said, “Rise.”

The longer we stay down the harder it is to get up. The Bible says all things are possible with God, not all things are easy. Not all things are good, but the Bible says all things work for the good of those who love God and His strength is made perfect in weakness.—So that makes me a perfect candidate because God makes messes into miracles and ministries. Our shortcomings are opportunities for God’s help in overcoming. I’m grateful for grace. I fell behind, but God is always on time—nothing takes Him by surprise. He meets me in the minefield and goes ahead of me. He sees me through and will do the same for you.

Perhaps you cannot see the whole way to where you’re going. Sometimes Jesus only lights a little of the path, but He always lights enough for us to take the next step and follow Him.

Do you need direction?

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV)

In this “hurry up and wait” life I’ve found myself living in of late, my helpless state comes into sharp focus. I’ve discovered now more than ever how desperately I need to depend on God’s direction. Not simply in the generic sense of, “God direct my life, but step-by-step, moment by moment, breath by breath, “God, direct me.” M.N. Stroh

Now

“Now,” God whispered to my heart the first time I prayed and asked Him for a word for the year three years ago.

Jesus calls us to step out of our comfort zone, into the unfamiliar—to trust Him as He leads us into His work. He calls us to Obey.

Have you taken a wrong turn or stalled? Jesus is able to restart and reroute your life and steer you in the right direction.

Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” Whenever you turn to the right hand Or whenever you turn to the left. (Isaiah 30:21)

SONG: JJ Weeks Band | Ahead of Me

I’m not supposed to aspire to be anything big. I’m supposed to aspire to reveal God’s bigness. If I serve others in the way God calls me to, I fulfil my call to reveal God’s bigness. I can do that through saving a nation from famine or feeding lambs, so there’s no point getting upset if what I’ve been called to doesn’t feel “big.” If it’s the channel God gave me, it’s big because it’s His. — Pearl Allard, Look Up Sometimes

Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin. (Zechariah 4:10 NLT)

God is writing my story for His glory and each word He gives builds on the others. 

Persist — Pray, Persist, Prevail.

For 2018 God gave me, “Persist — Pray, Persist, Prevail.”

Long-term vision.

Short-term goals.

And a plan for today

And since I don’t want to bring a lame offering, I need to give more than the leftovers of myself to time spent with God and to my calling. Make priority a priority or it probably won’t get done.

God is showing me I do not have to be perfect. All I need to do is persevere. — Toni Willibarger

Ebenezer—Stone of Help

I prayed, and God gave me the word Ebenezer—meaning stone of help, in 2019. A fellow believer and follower sent me the scripture and song below and I repeatedly encountered them throughout the year.

Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.” (1 Samuel 7:12)

And, oh, how I’ve needed Him.

SONG: Come Thou Fount | Caleb + Kelsey

In a world of worry and shifting sands, my God is immovable, a steady reference, a solid foundation. He is my Stone of Help.

Allow yourself to be human, but trust God to be God in your humanity, for He has promised to complete the good work He began in those who are His.

Only Believe ~ I’m going to believe with all I am and I’m going to work with all I’ve got.

Make the choice to believe God’s truth about you. Add a new layer of truth in your mind today. Eat richly of God’s Word. Read it, write it out, memorize it and pray unceasingly. — Hulda Bennet, Hearts Fully Alive

Onward

Our limitations don’t limit God. It’s not about our ability, but our dependence on God—Christ working His will and ways in and through us to bring us to our destiny and use us to touch others’ lives. “Onward.” He said.

I tend to argue and make excuses for not being obedient (like Moses did). But God wants surrendered obedience, like Daniel’s—obedience to His will in the little things as well as the big. — Norma Poore, Faith, Family and Friends

“So, You want me to write for you, Lord. How am I supposed to do this with everything exploding around me?”

“Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit says the Lord of Hosts.” He reminded me.

I am with you. And you don’t ask me for enough.” God whispered to my heart. I need to take Him up on His offer more often.

Don’t allow doubt to derail you from the destiny God called you to. Don’t let your sight cloud the vision God gave you.

SONG: Be Thou My Vision | Caleb + Kelsey

“God, why does love hurt so much? When, God, will they see? …Why can’t I write this next sentence? I am weary; I want to be faithful, but I’m failing You. Send help.”

“I AM your help. — Rise—you cannot stay here. Onward”

Then the LORD answered me and said: “Write the vision And make it plain on tablets, That he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time; But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; Because it will surely come, It will not tarry.” (Habakkuk 2:2-3 NKJV)

Walking on some stormy seas.

Stiff winds blowing and visibility is poor.

But I know His voice, and He said, “Come.”

He said, “Write for Me.”

Him, I see, and He is all I need.

He is all you need too, you know?

“Come,” He says, “follow Me.”

Jesus,

Heart of my heart

Light of my soul

My delight

Fix my eyes on You.

We can cast our cares and place our hearts and those we love in the hands of the One who holds the world. Don’t let others’ decisions deter your destiny. Let trials refine you; let God define you. God is faithful to His faithfulness, to walk us through and fight for us.

Life is relentless, battles abound. But we are blessed in the broken, complete in Him, more than overcomers in Christ Jesus.

Where is your here? You cannot stay there.

What work has God called you to? Remember, success is obedience to God; the results are up to Him.

Writer pick up your pen. Be diligent to write the words He called you to, the ones He spoke to your heart.

“God, help me so I can help others.”

When one falters, others suffer. When one rises it inspires others to go a little farther, reach a little higher. It may be slow going, but keep going. Persist.

My 2019 Submissions Total: 24

9 Rejected – 4 Waiting – 7 Accepted – 4 Contest awards

My 2020: Submissions to Date: 3

3 Waiting… Onward.

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10 NKJV)

Come,” He says, “follow me.

Excelsior—ever higher—onward and upward to honor Him. Ad Astra per Aspera—Through difficulties to excellence. But it won’t be in our own strength.

“Thy will, Lord. I commit all my ways to You. Burn up the dross; make me as gold. Fashion me into the tool You desire for Your glory.”

He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.  (I Thessalonians 5:24 NKJV)

So, straighten slumped shoulders. Lift heavy hearts to the heart healer. Do not let setbacks sideline you; do not settle for anything less than all of God’s will and plan. Start where you are and let Him lead you. Let persistent prayer and obedience propel you toward God’s promises. Revel in the amazingness of Jesus and how far He’s brought you. Praise Him for past victories—but do not allow them to lull you. Do not coddle complacency. Onward to the work He’s prepared for you—to glorify and serve Him as you serve and encourage others. Fix your gaze on the one who called you, calls you his own, and calls you back to brave the battleground. Onward!

“Here’s my pen Lord; hold my hand. Here’s my heart, Lord; have all of me.”

Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3: 13-14 KJV)

Honored (and terrified) to receive a last minute invitation to fill in as interviewee on #PJNET.tv with Coach Mark Prasek on March 16th 2020. Highlights below and click HERE to catch the whole show.

PJNET Live hosts interviews with Christian writers, speakers, and politicians Monday – Thursdays at 9 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., and on Fridays catch Steve Hazard’s “My Perspectives” where he wraps up with a recap of the weeks cultural and political events at 10 p.m. Eastern time. Click here to watch live on PJNET.tv!

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Click here for Victory Chapel Live Stream of services Sunday 11 a.m. & 7 p.m. and Wednesday 7 p.m. Eastern Time. – Replay available afterward.

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© 2020 Rachael M Colby Tattoo It On Your Heart

Author: Rachael M Colby

Born and raised in Jamaica, award winning writer Rachael M Colby resides in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Wife, mom, bona fide beach bum, avid Tweeter, and creator of TattooItOnYourHeart.com—a place for seekers, followers, and writers. Rachael writes to glorify God and encourage others. She addresses culturally relevant questions connecting everyday life with Christianity’s answers through Christian inspirational, motivational, and apologetic articles, devotions, interviews, poetry, and children’s picture books.

18 thoughts on “Onward!”

  1. Your post echoes what my mom would often say that we leave both our successes and failures behind us and start each new day fresh. Thank you for your perseverance in demonstrating “onward”!

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    1. Thank you for your encouragement, Pearl. Glad we’re on this writing journey together. Now, your turn: Onward! (Time for you to post your article on your site that I quoted from in this one!:)

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  2. “The longer we stay down the harder it is to get up.”
    I think we become content, if not comfortable with being down. And the longer we stay down, the more effort we believe it will take to force myself up. Thank God, that Jesus is waiting to pull us up.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Amen, Pastor Masters. Like Peter when he took his eyes off of Jesus and began to sink and said, “Lord, save me!” and “Immediately Jesus reached out His hand and caught him.” -Thanks for stopping by, Pastor!

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  3. This statement reminded me of times I’ve been stuck in what seemed like failure, but later realized God only calls me to obey. “I fell behind, but God is always on time—nothing takes Him by surprise.” Thank you for sharing from your heart and reminding me to keep moving onward.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks Rachel for those encouraging words in this post “Onward” It’s so good to know, that we don’t press on alone. That God is there with us.

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  5. Rachael, it is been said by the others, but in your waiting, the Lord built up a storm-surge of powerful words to saturate us with His Presence, His Power and His encouragement—all through you and your sweet offering of waiting and obedience. Thank you for knowing my “stuckness” and walking me ONWARD!

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  6. Rachael, this post is going in my archives as an encouragement to remember the promises and impressions God puts on my heart. This post made me feel like I was having a conversation with a mentor who understands the journey I’m on. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. OMGoodness. So many wonderful points were made to hold onto in my writing life, I don’t know where to start Ms. Rachael. I’ll simply say “Thank you and thank God for you.” Such an encouraging post ma’am. I’m not much for “annual words”, as I prefer to let God take me where He will throughout my days, but I can sure see how He’s chosen wonderful words to guide you along His path for your life my young friend. God’s blessings; and thank you for your gift of encouragement.

    Liked by 1 person

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