Tag Archives: Growth

Realigning to the assignment:

I previously wrote about being out of line with my spiritual leader. If you missed it, be sure to read about submission or stubbornness. I could console myself that though I was out of line, it was mostly ever so slightly. Yet out of line, no matter how little is out of line and I needed to recalibrate and realign.

Realignment is not as simple as I expected it to be. I thought I would pray and get over it, but alas! It was so much more. God led me on a journey that brought all my pride and self-importance to the surface and then crumbled it one piece at a time. He exposed my sense of self and unveiled the ugliness underneath it. He uncovered the deep hurt and fear that made me build walls and showed it up for what it was: hiding.

How could I hide these things from myself for so long?

The unveiling of myself was somewhat painful but not hard. Realigning was the challenge. I had to acknowledge that distraction had moved me away from my assigned path. I was so used to my leader that I had forgotten how to listen, respect and honour him. 

In teaching, Apostle Selman explained that we are all multi-dimensional. We receive grace from people based on the dimensions of their lives we acknowledge and how we interact with them. So if I see my lead as a friend, I only receive friendship and friendly advice. If only a brother or sister, that is what I receive. If I see them as a prophet or priest and engage with that dimension, I will partake in the prophetic and priestly. However, to fully receive all that is mine, I must understand how God views them and their assignment and respond appropriately.

Ah! Indeed I was off track because I had become lax in my dealings. 

I expected my lead to understand when I did not show up as if I was showing up for him. I expected him to check on me and pray for me always. I expected others in the team to understand when I did not participate fully. I forgot to pray for him and the work he does. I missed learning opportunities because I had heard him speak so often that I was less engaged when he repeated teachings. 

My first port of realignment should have been the knowledge that God assigned me to His servant and work. I needed to reconnect to why God attached me to this particular leader. My behaviour was a great reflection of my relationship with God: a mirror of the importance I had given Him. My inconsistency and flippancy said a lot more about my walk of faith than I could imagine. 

The only remedy was total recalibration.

I asked God for sight, healing and restoration, pleaded for mercy and grace; I sought a pathway back to wholeness. God graciously gave them all to me. However, the work was still incomplete without an apology to my leader. It did not matter that I was one of the more consistent ones. It did not matter that he was not upset or frustrated with me. It only mattered that God had shown me my error that I had to correct. 

The apology brought me to my knees, head bowed by the weight of my actions. I had a clear picture of my faults and those of the team. I could see how our actions had short-changed many of us. Only God can understand what I saw that day and the weight of it. I understood how important honouring God’s servant appointed to lead us is.

Honour is a door to dimensions we would otherwise not know. It is the foundation of growth in all aspects of life and the key to revelation and insight. Honour cannot be traded or demanded. Honour is purely by the revelation of who the person is and what they represent in God. Honour is about obedience to divine instruction and not manipulation to get a blessing.

Honour bears rich and valuable fruit.

I received a verbal blessing for realigning, a lighter spirit and peace in the depths of my soul. Certain things that weighed me down and confounded me shifted. Major decisions I had made but could not keep became possible. My eyes opened, my ears popped, my mind connected to concepts then my hands produced good work. Now it was clear that the sense of stagnation I had was partly because of where my heart and mind had been. There are dimensions I could not rise into when I had dishonoured or been lax with the servants of God.

Do not be like me and live so flippantly that you miss your divine reality. 

My change has come as I have learned to believe the word of God fully. The shift has settled as I have begun to see my leaders for who they are in God’s sight. I have become watchful of the leads I serve and now understand the truth of who they are. I have changed how I interact with my leaders. The measure of grace I receive from them has also changed. 

Sometimes we wonder why things are not working. Doors to opportunities remain shut while the promises we are waiting for remain unmet. Has something in this article challenged you? Good! Now have a conversation with God; ask Him to show you the state of your heart, what is off track and how to turn it around. 

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I submit to you willingly

I submit to you willingly

Knowing I have never known this connection

I have never loved this deeply

I have never been this honest

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I submit to you willingly

Knowing this is my assignment

Knowing my healing is in this place

Knowing only God can secure my heart

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I submit to you willingly

Knowing I don’t need power here

I need the love of God

The love that flows through you

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I submit to you willingly

Knowing we are stronger together

I am whole, you are whole

We are whole

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I submit to you willingly

Knowing God has ordained this union

I know I am safe in this plan

Our lives will count as gain to the Kingdom

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I submit to you willingly

I submit to you.

I will stand by you,

I will support you,

I will honour you,

I will love you

I submit to you.

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I will support your calling

I will support your work

I will be your backup

I will stand with you

I submit to you.

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I am in your corner,

I am your support,

I am your backup,

I am here for you for

I am staying as long as it takes

I submit to you.

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I submit to you

I will ensure grow

I will protect God’s word over you

I will trust the process

I will work diligently

I submit to you.

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I love you

I do not always understand its depth

I do not always know how to express it

I do not want to miss out on my assignment

I will love you as long as it takes

I submit to you.

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The Transforming Power of Belief

As I thought about moving from unbelief to belief, I realised that my early life had shaped my perspectives when I learned how to interact with people and what to expect. The shift happened as people decided to go on with their lives and keep growing. It became clear that I could not count on most of them because they had things to do that made me unimportant in their scheme of things. 

I had always assumed that everyone wanted me to see myself grow and become better until I learned that I had to take care of myself and my growth. I was perplexed because this did not look or feel authentic to how I wanted to be loved and appreciated.  

My ability to believe stuttered because of what I had experienced.

It took a while to understand that I am the total of my thoughts. My convictions and beliefs show in my words because they are inner work. In my reflections, I remembered Joseph, Esther and others in scripture who went through hard times but did not leave the faith. I also thought of people who went through hard times in this life and walked away from the faith.

I understood the dangerous notion that if we walk with God our Father, life should be stress-free and struggle-free but is that true? No, it is not. Show me anyone who did great things for and with God without some hard times in their lives. I have looked around but cannot find a single person whose life spoke to the enormity and goodness of God without going through something difficult.

But guess what; God never leaves us alone, especially in trying seasons.

God always steps in for His people and gives us a way out. We see this when he rescued Israel from Egypt using Moses and his crew and sorted Abraham by making it possible to have a child in his old age. God strengthened Mordecai to support Esther so she could go before the king and sent four unshakable Hebrew boys into captivity together so they would stand and keep each other accountable. He sent Ananias to anoint Paul after the Damascus experience and sent Phillip to interpret scripture for the Ethiopian eunuch.

God never promised us a good and simple life. He promised to be with us and manage things as we lean on him. God declared that he would stand with us and walk the journey no matter what happens, how long, how far or who walks with us. He promised to provide a way out in times of trouble like he did when Paul and Silas were in prison when the people prayed.

Faith is the certainty that God is on the throne and in control.

Belief now means a few different things to me:

  • I will stand on the word of God because it is reliable. 
  • Nothing will change or shift my position or faith in God.
  • I will align with people who encourage me and hold me to account for the journey.
  • I will speak the words of life to my heart and over my life.
  • I will remind myself of His goodness every day.
  • I will write a memorial of how He has come through for me.
  • I will align myself with His purposes for my life.
  • I will surround myself with people with a deeper understanding of divine principles.
  • I will remember that God is aware the state of affairs and all is well. 
  • I will stand on the plan for my life as designed in heaven.

Shifting to belief has meant that I must re-wire my mind to our new state and position. 

Scripture has become my foundation and strength. It encourages me daily to remain truthful and on course despite the situation.

  • And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
  • In the world, you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. John 16:33
  • Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh. Matthew 12:34,
  • Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen (Hebrew 11:1).

Do not despair in your situation, God has a plan for your ultimate good. Shalom.

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A Subtle Shift

I wondered how the deal fell through

I wondered why the relationship was strained

I wondered who was walking with me

I wondered if anyone cared

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I wondered where food was coming from

I wondered if I would have water to drink

I wondered when the fruit would ripen

I wondered how I would live today

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I wondered when the darkness would end

I wondered when the cold would lift

I wondered when the sun would shine

I wondered if the moon would rise

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I wondered why the winds were so strong

I wondered why the dust was so much

I wondered why the plants were dying

I wondered if God could see the destruction

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I wondered if God was listening to me

I wondered if he would answer my prayers

I wondered if he would delivery my requests

I wondered if he was even there

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One question at a time

One step at a time

One disappointment at a time

 One fear at a time

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One sob story at a time

One jibe from people at a time

One hard choice at a time

One fear at a time

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Unbelief sneaked in

Shrouded in a dark cloak

Covered by the darkness around

Settling in before I realised

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Unbelief took root

Shifting every solid foundation

Cracking every pillar in life

Challenging every thought I had

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Ah Papa, help me

I cannot live like this anymore

Your word promises strength and grace

I need help to walk away.

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Ah Papa, help me

Break this weak foundation

Recast a new foundation

I need help to walk away.

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Ah Papa, help me

To shatter every misconception

And replace it with your wonderful truth

I need help to walk away.

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Ah Papa, help me

Rebuild the foundation for longevity

Strengthen my resolve to stay the course

I need help to walk away.

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Ah Papa, help me

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Conquering Unbelief

Recently in a conversation with God, he asked me, “Do you actually believe?”

What??? How could that be the question? There is a back story here. It was on the back of a question about a promise that seemed late. As a family, we received a clear word from God more than a decade ago, but we are yet to see its fullness. I was in a tizzy because I couldn’t understand why we were so stuck and were not arriving at our destination. So, imagine my surprise at God questioning my belief. 

Let me laugh at myself. Of course, God knows all and sees all so the gap in my beliefs is evident to him. The shock was that I had never seen it. I could not imagine that I could have such a gap. When did my faith get this low? What happened to me; how did it happen? What should I be looking at in my life? Like all divine encounters, all one needs is the desire to see, and He will open your eyes.

I saw it! Where? I confessed the promise but always had a niggling doubt in my mind or heart of its fulfilment. I spoke the promise but questioned the process and timeline. I confessed the word, but whenever trouble hits, I look for a way, a plan B an option.

Sadly, I honestly didn’t believe unequivocally. 

Belief is much stronger than anything I know. It is beyond decreeing and declaring the word. It goes deeper than stamping my foot in confidence as I talk to others. It is much more than anything I knew about myself and my life. It is about a depth I was unaware of and unwilling to admit until that end. 

Belief turned into something so much bigger than me. It showed up as trust, faith, and confidence that started deep within me. It is certainty in God even about things that seem impossible to me. The word that holds my attention is a certainty. Certainty is a firm conviction, meaning that no matter what happens, my mind will not change, and I will not doubt or wonder if things will happen as said. 

Belief is an undying commitment to a word so strongly that I will remain steadfast in the face of all things, including adversity, like the three Hebrew boys, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, aka Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Certainty is the only way out of unbelief.

How did I stop believing?

My life path had been treacherous for so long that the depth of my faith shifted. I had allowed the things that weren’t working or seemed delayed to destabilise my position. The shift had been so gradual that I did not see it happening. I did not see my faith waning, my heart moving or my mind changing. I didn’t perceive the pain was slowly chipping at the pillars of my faith until it was almost all gone. 

On the surface, I said I believed, and it appeared so, however on the inside, there were lots of doubts. I denied the questions and fear. I rejected the notion that I possibly had no foundation or base anymore. I couldn’t admit that I had moved out of my place of rest into a situation of works and machinations in the name of remaining true to the path to bring the will of God to pass. My words and inner actions were totally out of sync. 

The solution is that I return to the place of rest.

It became clear that unless I return to rest and trust God truly, nothing will work. Nothing is possible without a complete recalibration. I can now see why the questions I asked my mentors didn’t make sense to them or seemed shallow. I now understand how some comments I made got me strange looks from others. I acknowledge the sag in my shoulders is because I lost confidence in my walk but camouflaged it well.

The beauty is that God doesn’t leave us in unbelief. 

When we ask, He sends us help. I attest that assistance has shown up for me. I realised that He is a Father who never lets His children die. He is gracious enough to reach out or send us people to support. He will never leave a child who is calling Him stranded. He responds to a responsive and committed child.

The journey back to a strong belief is still going on and has taken several things:

  • Acknowledging what I had seen in myself. 
  • Repenting for getting distracted by the troubles of this world.
  • Creating a new pathway with Papa. 
  • Speaking the new path out loud so my whole being can hear. 
  • Repeating the new pathway to myself when I feel my faith is waning. 
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Take Responsibility

Take responsibility

No one makes you mad

Even when they taunt

You choose how to respond to their jeers

Take responsibility

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No one makes you fall into sin

Even when they tempt you with the benefits

You choose whether or not to do it

Take responsibility

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No one makes you attack them

Even when skimpily or suggestively dressed

You choose to let your urges overshadow you

Take responsibility

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No one makes you fat

Even when they ply you with food

You choose to keep on eating

Take responsibility

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No one keeps you unhealthy

Even when they encourage you to skip your workout

You choose to remain on the couch

Take responsibility

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You only get one life

So live it to the fullest

Make choices that count for you

Take responsibility

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So little has changed.

This week I had a conversation with some teenagers that upset me.

One of them shared how in their school, the girls must pull their socks up and under their skirts all day so that no part of their legs is visible. Apparently, the sight of their legs can cause their male teachers to be distracted. Really?

Why was I so upset?

If you cannot see it, let me explain. Why are we making fourteen-year-olds responsible for the behaviour of adult men? Why is it their responsibility, yet it is the men who should know by now how to control their urges? This story upset me because I heard the same thing as a teenager. At the same time, the boys around weren’t taught anything about managing their appetites until they were older.

Why do we make men’s behaviour the responsibility of women?

I understand that men are visual but are we saying they cannot control their appetites? To say that they cannot control the attraction and subsequent action is to say they are wild animals; that is not true. My experience has been that as we tell girls to be decent and control themselves, we are not telling the boys anything.

It is sad to hear boys put girls down or misunderstand their actions. As a result of this misinformation, when a girl says no, many assume she means yes. When she is assaulted and raped, it is her fault. If she wears a short skirt or form-fitting dress, she asks for something sexual. When attacked, the first question is about what she wore that day. Why?

This narrative must change!

We must teach our sons to be responsible for their thoughts and resultant actions. Man is created as the priest, protector, provider and leader so that the women are under his care. How can he demand that the one he should protect is responsible for his protection? How does he turn around, assault her and make it her fault? How can he say that she is the reason he did something so nasty to her?

Let us teach our sons their role; to stand up for their sisters and not gaslight them into shame and fear. Let us train the men to stand up and defend the women and girls before they are preyed on by others. It is time to make the men responsible for their actions and those of their brothers. They must hold one another to account for their appetites and the outcome of their actions.

Today I am just sad because, on this matter, very little has changed.

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Joy is so much

Joy is an astounding thing

It is not happiness

It is not a warm feeling

It is not the usual thing

Joy is the reality of God as the driver of everything

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Joy is found in understanding

Understanding the path is ordained

Understanding the route is set

Understanding there is a way

Joy is the reality of God as the driver of everything

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Joy is found in understanding

Understanding the purpose of God

Knowing that He has ordained it

Knowing that He is reliable always

Joy is the reality of God as the driver of everything

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Joy is found in peace

Peace is a choice to believe the word

Peace is the presence of the Father

Peace is the confidence of the word

Joy is the reality of God as the driver of everything

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Joy is found in waiting

Standing on the word of God

Standing on the hope of His word

Standing on the path of righteousness

Joy is the reality of God as the driver of everything

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Joy is found in Christ

The author and perfector of our faith

The firm foundation under our feet

The pillar of strength in our Father

Joy is the reality of God as the driver of everything

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Joy is found in the knowledge that God is the centre of everything

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The Reality of JOY

A while back, I showed up to see a friend with a sad face. A long conversation ensued about where I was on the journey. We spoke until I could see what he meant by sadness should never take root and I should never get used to it. Funny how I hadn’t seen it before. 

How could I, a child of God, have so many sad days? How can the weight of sadness be so settled and not lifted? Did I miss something in my journey? Did all the people feeling down miss something too? How could such sadness take hold of the people and never seem to let go? Some days we smile to cover it, while on other days walk away and hide. How could such pain coexist with faith?

A lot of the sadness we carry is often from relationships. 

Life can be challenging because of how we interact with people and then how we expect them to deal with us. We hold onto those feelings and even project them onto others unrelated to that pain. It is possible to be so used to sadness that it becomes our cloak and identity. Other times, sadness is a tool in the hands of God to teach us to press into him and earn of him. It could be the place to create compassion for others. 

As I write, I see how I choose the cloak I live in; I am astounded. Everything works together in God for my good and His will. I must understand the importance of how I feel and turn it to Him. God is in control because nothing is impossible with Him. Everything happens according to his purposes and plans. 

It then struck me that JOY is critical to life, but a choice.

It is not the absence of sadness or a feeling but rather the reality of God as the driver of everything. Joy is understanding His purpose with this season and then walking with confidence. Joy is grounded in God and only understood through Him. Therefore, I must choose to connect to the Father and remain hidden under his wings. No matter how hard the things around me have been, I make a definite choice. I choose to listen; I choose to follow; I choose to become. 

I find strength in several scriptures that I will share here today:

He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings, you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. Ps 91:4

The joy of the Lord is my strength, Nehemiah 8:10

For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us. 2 Cor 1:20

The name of the Lord is a fortified tower the righteous run to it and are safe. Prov 18:10

…as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises… 2 Peter 1:3-4

…Weeping may endure for a night, but [a]joy comes in the morning. Psalms 30:5b

A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength. Prov 17:22

My journey in God is founded on and grounded in the realities of His word and His work. The promises of God will never fail. 

Shalom.

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