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.
New Year, Who Dis?
How is your first week coming along?
As we go into the new year, it is always great to see New Year Resolutions, new businesses, habits, and promises working to come to pass. I often wonder what brings people to a place at the end of December to reflect their year and call it a lost? I see this often on Facebook and I wonder was it really bad as we say it was? We may had bad moments but it should not cause us to throw the whole year away.
So we decide to start afresh with a positive mindset and drive. But by February or March, we get discourage and lose the momentum to keep going forward. Could it be that we never included God in our resolution in the first place?
I usually do not make resolutions but I do make business plans and steps to take every year. I pray over them and modify when the Lord says so. I recently introduced a new component in my business last October that I never had in my original plan. I knew the Lord was moving in this direction. But if I was so headstrong in keeping in the plan I had in the beginning of the year, I would have missed the shift and blessing. What I’m trying to say is remember to leave room for God to shift, add, or change your resolution. If something that you had written down is not working, do not give up. Just stop, pray, listen, tweak, and go. You have to remember that it is ok if that happens.
The Bible says in Proverbs 19:21 says that “Many plans are in a man’s heart, But the counsel of the LORD will stand.” Man will plan so much and have desires in their hearts to do so much, but the direction, purpose, and will of God will always trump and remain primary. It is better to go to God first and to hear His plan and strategy than to exert so much time and energy in something that God does not have a desire to come to pass.
So as you start your new year, remember to put God first. 2017 mistakes has passed away and the 2018 will bring in the new.
When I left the house this morning, I felt the urge to pray. It was hard for me to pray a certain prayer because I knew that it was a prayer against my will and plans. God gave me a word a while back that in a few months, a change is going to occur. Being antsy and tired of the current situation that I am in, I tried to rush the process and the timing of God. I know from experience, rushing the timing of God is never a good thing. So I laid down my will right in the car. I said to God, “I will wait for you. I do not want my flesh to get in the way of your promises for me”.
When I got to work, the spirit of the Lord hit me while getting coffee. I began to cry, “Lord, calm my raging soul”. My soul is trying to get what it wants and I do not want to receive anything God has for me outside the timing of God. I believe that my soul is not at ease because I have not found my resting place in God. Like a baby who is irritated and fussy and cannot communicate to its parent what is wrong, my soul was in the same state. I realized that I needed more than just a vacation or to sleep more, but I need the love of the Father to cradle me and say it will be OK.
In the book, “The Battlefield of the Mind” by Joyce Meyers says that, “The rest that God offers us is not from physical work, but a rest for souls- a rest that operates as we go about daily life and take care of the responsibilities… If you are truly believing God and trusting Him, we have entered into rest (Heb 4:3)… You can speak His word to your raging soul and tortured mind just as Jesus spoke to the wind and waves and said, “Hush, be still. (Mark 4:39)”.
When your soul becomes uneasy, begin to pray in the spirit and tell your soul to hush and be still. “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7). When you have nagging desires and your flesh is trying to rise up and causing you to feel anxious, remember we serve a God who is ABLE TO KEEP you from falling. Stay in the rest and comfort of God for it is your protection and safety net.
Anger can take over a person in an instant. When we act out of anger, we do not think first. We act first. In result can lead to detrimental issues. Proverbs 14:17 says that, “A quick-tempered man acts foolishly, And a man of evil devices is hated.”
The other day, being in a rush, I closed my computer too quickly and the computer shut down completely on its own. In result, I lost a portion of revisions that I was working on. I had never gotten so angry in my life. I was at the church and I could not let anyone see how angry I was. I immediately left and stood at my car. I was slamming things, yelling, about to pull my hair out because I just lost 2 hours worth of work.I could not get in the car to drive because I knew I would speed out of anger. I knew the Holy Spirit was coaching me through the whole thing because as I was driving, there was a sense of ease or calmness that came over me all of a sudden. The whole drive home, the Holy spirit had to coach me through the whole thing. Even though I just lost 2 hours of work, I was going to stay up for hours to catch back up. But the Lord rest assured in me that all was not lost.
When you are angry and emotional, you have to quickly shift to wisdom. Wisdom told me to leave the church quickly. Wisdom told me not to hop in the car and speed off. Wisdom caused peace to go through my mind and body. Wisdom told me that all is not lost. Being emotional without wisdom is mania! It causes you to become crazy and emotionally driven. That is why the enemy fights against us to receive knowledge and wisdom! We need to get wisdom to handle our emotions. Proverbs 14:29 says that, “He who is slow to anger has great understanding, But he who is quick-tempered exalts folly.” God wants to shift us to use his wisdom more in situations and learn how to live in a climate of peace and wisdom.
You have to learn how to resolve anger before it gets out of hand. Ephesians 4:26 says that, “Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger”. Have you ever gotten so angry that you stopped talking to God? Anger causes you to be estranged from God or causes you to be a stranger to God. See how the word “anger” in is the word “stranger”? It pushes you away from God because you are so caught up in your emotions to a point where you will not allow yourself to hear from Him. Anger distorts your view and judgement of everything.
So the next time you get angry, slow yourself and shift to the wisdom of God. Do not run from God but run to God.
(This week I am stepping away from Praying and Fasting and talk about an experience I had recently)
Have you ever sat in church and ask yourself, what I am doing? I had that moment months back. I began to analyze what we were doing as church. Are we being effective in the world? Are we living up to what God wants for the church to be? Looking at the state of the church as whole, I outright said I hated the Church! I got so frustrated with the Church that I was ready to leave. But how could I hate the church and love God at the same time?
Last week I have been under tremendous warfare. Everything that could go wrong, went wrong. I was so frustrated the whole entire week. I take online bible classes and my faith and beliefs has been challenged lately. I could not understand how we as church got so far away of where we originally supposed to be. The Lord led me to the book of Acts and I began to read it from the beginning. To see the journey of the apostles and the persecution that they had to endure is not comparable to what we are going through as a church. Are we really stepping out and putting our lives on the line for the name of the Lord? Or are we hiding behind the beautiful edifices that we have created?
The Lord began to show me the original plan of the church. As I began to pray, God began to tell me that our territory will be enlarged through our outreach. It is past time to go outside of the four walls and reach one another. But before we can do outreach, we must do in-reach. We must make sure that we are exercising what we are teaching. And that is the problem. There is not enough sound teaching going on in the church. There is a whole lot of preaching, which preaching is suppose to be for the unsaved, but not enough teaching. So we as believers are receiving salvation messages over and over again and never moving from the place of receiving God to discipleship. In result, we do not know how to conduct ourselves as a representative of Christ. We never move forward to being what God is calling the church to be.
So what is the charge I am faced with? How can we move from the outside to the streets? What is it that we have to do as church to fix what is in the house before we invite people to house? What good would it make If I left the church? If God has shined His light on His word for me to make a change, how many more has He revealed this to and are afraid to step forward. We are stuck going around in circles and are afraid to progress. We may not be able to reach all the churches and show how things are suppose to be but we can start right where we are. I will start where I am and love the church again.