If I am Heading In The Wrong Direction, Please Help Me!
I was driving Saturday morning heading to a meeting and listening to the local classical channel. On Saturdays they have young people from around the world perform live on the broadcast. There was a young violinist who was very talented and gifted. After she played so skillfully, she was asked about an incident of her very first and only piano recital. Coming from a family of musicians, she decided to pick up the piano after seeing her mother conduct lessons and she concluded that it looks so easy to master! After weeks of practicing the left hand and then the right, when put together, it was a train wreck!
When the recital came, because she wasn’t so good as she expected to be, she had to have her mother play the right hand she played the left. After the recital, her supportive grandparents told her that even though we support you in everything you do, you have to give up piano because it is not for you. The grandparents suggested that she play the violin and she became one of the greatest violinist in the family.
Just imagine doing a task or picking up a hobby with such pride only to be told you need to give it up? How many of us are in situations now that we are not good in but we have no one to tell us to give it up and let me help you find your lane? I’ve been around people that talk so bad about how someone is not good at doing hair, teaching, playing football, or whatever it was, and then turn around and applaud them for doing well.
There is a difference of developing your talent overtime and becoming better and just being in the wrong lane when it comes to your talent. Have we ever see someone do something such as the piano or give a speech and say instantly, I can do that too. If not even better! When it came down to it, you were terrible! Pride will cause us to jump at things and having no knowledge of what it takes to becoming the best. Pride is mistaken for confidence all the time and destroys a person every time.
“Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before stumbling.” Walking in humility is the key. We have to remember everything we have comes from God.Our talent, ability, gifts and skills comes from the father.- Proverbs 16:18
It is the goal to have people around you that you trust to tell you the truth. I rather have someone tell me that it is not working out and provide my suggestions or instructions, rather than wasting time and resources in an area that I will not prosper in. It is all about discerning the grace over your life. If God has not given you the grace to prevail in an area, you will know it because things will not work out and you will not hear the instructions of God. But I pray that you walk in your purpose and embrace the lane God has you in.
So last week i talked about the 30 day fast The Lord led me on in the month of July. It was probably one of the hardest fast I have been on because of the tough lesson I had to learn.
I often get asked what kind of fast do I partake in? Do I do the Daniel’s Fast? No food at all? Well, it really depends on what The Lord leads me to do. I’ve done many types of fast, but this time I did what I called a 19:5 fast. I fasted for 19 hours of just water and then had a five hour window to eat. Where did it come from? The Lord! I am still a vegetarian and I recently limited my dairy intake from little to none. It was very tough in the beginning because when the five hour window opened up, I was eating whatever I could find. I began to realize that what I was eating was not good for the body and needed to make wiser decisions since it was the only meal I was able to eat. I started eating a little bit more cleaner and when I had very long days I tried waiting until I got home which made it tougher. But when I began to think that what I am doing is for The Lord, I was able to make it through those long days.
I went through an emotional roller coaster in which I could not really tell anyone about. I was a mess. There were some days The Lord called me to the floor of my prayer room and there were days where i just laid in the bed meditating. During that time, The Lord was teaching me about the doctrine of laying hands and walking in power and authority. I heard so many confirmations from others I encountered throughout the fast and when the power of laying hands broke out in the church, The Lord said, “This is part of the reason I placed you on the fast”. To see the power of God move throughout the house in everyone and not just one moment but a week by week encounter is a sight to see. The fast was not just for me but to pray and help push people into their next phase in their spiritual walk.
In my book, Praying and Fasting: Still an Effective Kingdom Principle, I talk about the power of praying and fasting for others. I still get joy out of fasting and praying. Right when I ended my fast, it seems like the enemy was waiting right there waiting for me. But I was not afraid because I heard the Holy Spirit in the midst of it encouraging and comforting me through it all. As I type, I am in peace. Even when the seas of life are raging around me, I meditate on Psalms 27: 13-14 that says, “I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.
What was my take-away from the fast?
As I mentioned last week, The Lord has been working on my heart. The kingdom is about building a community and loving one another. The Disciples spent just about every waking moment together and we as disciples should do the same. Pray for one another. Talk, teach, and to learn from each other. It is definitely a new place for me but I am coming around.
I am definitely in a season of praying and fasting. It has been very interesting to partake in. Nevertheless, i am grateful The Lord finds me faithful do go through. That encourages me even more to keep pressing and praying. I could not tell you why this mandate is on my life, but I will stay the course. It is not pretty and fun but at the end it is rewarding.
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In the month of June, The Lord told me to prepare for a 30-day fast in the month of July. I knew that the fast was coming because then I was feeling very emotional and burned out. I was not connected to God and I know when I feel this way, The Lord wants my attention. I have been more preaching and teaching than usual and in that, every time I finish preaching or teaching, I would feel discouraged and would be very hard on myself. So imagine preaching 4-5 times in one month and feeling down after each event. That was taking a toll on my emotions. I began to question a lot of stuff include His existence. I remember at the end of 2017, I felt the same way and The Lord shifted my life tremendously by showing Himself to me. So I knew something was about to happen during this 30-day praying and fasting moment.
So before entering the fast, I had an expectation that God was really going to show Himself to me! I mean a tangible moment. Little that I knew, the Lord began to show me myself! Ugh! The Lord began to show me what was really in my heart. He was showing me how to become a better leader. When I am faced with situations and they do not go as well, I am always very hard on myself. The Lord ALWAYS jump on my case about handling situations better and be the bigger person in an argument. Even if I am in the right! That was the hardest because I felt since I am in the right, I do not need to apologize. I did not even need their apology. I said what I said. Well, that did not sit well with The Lord and told me fix a situation that occurred during the fast. I said to The Lord, “I will not apologize!” Instantly I felt the anger of God and I heard, “You will not have good sleep until you do”. For two days I did not have good sleep! He literally placed me in a situation that I had no choice but to apologize and it literally shook the mess out of me! But once I apologized, The guilt from myself and anger of The Lord went away.
From this, He began to teach me about leadership. I would always say you will never know what type of leader you are until you are placed in situations to be a leader. I realized in many situations that I was not a good leader. Even though I had people looking up to me, I just did not handle situations in a godly manner. Even if peers around me agreed, God did not agree! God told me the one thing that I was missing in my leadership style was LOVE & COMPASSION! It was not like I did not love the people that I was leading, I did not have a drop of compassion when it came to them not carrying out assignments. My motto was: You only have one chance to mess up big or not complete an assignment when told. That sounds tough but my belief was we are all adults, we should not have to be told twice to do something and if you have a problem, lets talk about it. If you need help, let me know. God began to show me that there are levels to maturity. There are people that will be vocal with their concerns and there are those who will sit there until someone approach them to see if they need help.
If we expect the church to fully operate in its capability, we have to love one another. Love rules all! God is love. We have to show love and compassion toward one another. As leaders we should always position ourselves to learn and we should always be in a position to assist and teach. This season of my life, God is teaching me about love, and I will teach about loving others. Even the most difficult people we encounter, we must love them as well. Even the people that talk about you in your face and behind your back, we must love. My heart is constantly being changed and The Lord is always showing me to myself. I am able to slow down in situations and hear from The Lord what to do rather than reacting so fast to the point where I would miss the instructions of God. What God suggest always goes against the human grain. But I know for sure, whatever God suggests, it is right and good. It is God!
Next week I will talk about what my fasting and praying entailed…