Today’s lesson sums everything up very nicely and speaks to my heart’s desire – TO DO THE RIGHT THING, according to the word of God. When I fall short, as I often do, what brings me back into alignment is knowing that’s God’s expectation for me. That supersedes what I may want to do and society justifies. My goal is to live a decent, morally (not politically) correct life before God and my children. I’m human, fallible yet today I’m ever willing as I pray, “create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10
Tag Archives: Hope
Only I can validate me, my own life and existence this side of Heaven by what I do here on earth. What I don’t want to do is leave a legacy of pain and dysfunction for my children to inherit. I’ve come to realize that the work that I do on myself has a monumental effect on my children and everyone that I come in contact with. Walking through the fire of purification, feeling the pain of disconnecting from the attachment to this world is the only way to get to the other side – healing for my soul. I don’t know if this makes any sense…the pain that I felt putting bandaids on my deep wounds and pretending everything was all good was far more painful than the pain I feel from allowing God to heal me. Going through His healing process is a good hurt albeit painful as well. I can’t imagine believing and serving a God who didn’t have the power to deliver me and radically change my life. To me, that would be stupid. Why would I purposely set myself up for more hurt, suffering and disillusionment. I’ve had enough of that to last my whole life through.
The whole purpose of going on this 40 Day Soul Fast, was to get rid of all the residual junk in my life so that I can experience God in a deeper more profound way. I want the life that God says I can have not something that I settle for because I don’t have the guts to leap from the window of my life into the arms of God. What I want, I don’t want just for myself. I want it for my children and everybody I know. Especially, those that I’ve watched suffer for years and have been unable to tap God and break free from the things that they are held captive to. I just see existing. The depth of my relationship with God depends entirely upon me. I believe that in order to tap God, I have to aspire to be like Him. I don’t believe that I can be empowered by Him and live any way that I want to. The Book says that He is the same yesterday, today and forever more. He hasn’t changed. His word has not evolved to the point of supporting wrong living in His name.
BEING SET APART
For me the 40 Day Soul Fast is the foundation of my personal sanctification. The more time that I spend time with God through His word, the clearer the picture gets. The process of sanctification is the catalyst to Spiritual Empowerment. It is the only way to the standard of righteousness required to fulfill the call of God on my life and to leave the legacy I desire to my children. The spiritual legacy that I’ve been given has been a buffer from the world. I believe that it’s the only reason that I’m still here. I lived to testify about it, when so many that I know are gone; lost to the world in one way or another the opportunity to get it right with God gone. My children have had the opportunity to see me on both sides of the fence. They like me better on the right side I use my experiences on the wrong side as a tool to highlight the benefits of right living – righteousness. There are some things they will never do – my suffering was not in vain! Nevertheless, I can’t live their lives for them. Some things they’ll have to experience for themselves. All I can do is set the bar – it’s a high one for them to reach for. That coupled with living a good Christian life before them. Setting a standard for them to follow – to pass on to their children. My greatest hope – my continuous prayer is that the baton will not be dropped but will continue to pass on to generation after generation – continue.
BLACK OR WHITE
My mother is very simplistic in her approach to life. The lens in which she views the world is either black or white. My mother used to always say that I would reap what I sowed. A simple phrase that reflected her displeasure and disappointment with my then life outside of the will of God. She’s not well read, so I doubt that she’s ever read this quote
“Sow a thought, and you reap an act; sow an act, and you reap a habit; sow a habit and your reap a character; sow a character, and you reap a destiny” Charles Reade
MY MIND WAS AN EMPTY FIELD
When I consider Charles Reade’s words, I can look back over my life and see my successes and defeats from a different perspective. Things that I didn’t understand make perfect sense now. I now have the answers that escaped me to the “whys.” At one point in my life my mind was but an empty field. At some point, no doubt before birth the cultivation of it began. Seeds were sowed into it from various sources (mom, dad, siblings, teachers, neighbors, etc) and my thought of myself and the world around me began to take form. Those thoughts were fertilized or deprived nutrients as I grew that brought about certain behaviors. As the garden of my mind was tended and sharecropped by the educational system, some weeds were pulled, others overlooked all growing up together to produce a myriad of habits. Some of these habits stymied while others flourished creating the character that’s now present- visible for all to see.The character as long as it remains unhindered in its current state by the undesirable parts of itself that grew up along with it will walk into destiny. Now, that quite a bit of food for thought.
SOMETIMES I STRUGGLE
Sometimes, I struggle because of the seeds that have been planted in my by God and the world. Sometimes they war against each other. The challenge is continuously pulling up the world’s weeds i.e., it’s ideology, habits, etc.;and nurturing, watering the seed of the word that is planted deep within me that has had to struggle to survive amidst the tares.
Stepping into God’s capacity, His plan is a bit overwhelming. It requires of me complete trust in Him and being comfortable with being uncomfortable. Being willing to ride or die with Him beyond the finite possibilities of my own mind into the infinite realm of possibility that is beyond any impossibility that I could ever imagine. Beyond my desire for myself into His desire for me. I cannot realistically imagine the future that awaits me – that’s already been shaped, formed, sculpted by the Creator of the Universe. To become who I already am!
I grew up being told all of the things that I couldn’t do. I guess that’s what limitation does to people. It kills individual dreams as well as stymies the hope and possibility of generations to come. Lack and want can definitely be a distraction to fulfilling purpose – destiny. It beats you down to the point where you can’t see past your circumstances. The only tangible thing to look forward to is the next meal. I’ve known since I was twelve years old, that I was called to ministry. At that time Joyce Meyer, Beth Moore, Juanita Bynum and the like were still in obscurity. I imagine they were somewhere in a fight for their lives; desperately trying to hold on to the dream God had placed in their hearts. Women didn’t minister, they were missionaries. It’s hard to believe that in year 2014, there are still some folks who still believe that women should be relegated to certain roles in society. Usually those that don’t usurp authority over men and are without any personal power or financial independence.
The Book says that in order to find my life, I must be willing to lose it. I’ve finally lived long enough to understand the meaning of that verse. The simple fact is that I can’t do life successfully, unless I’m working with God’s plan. In His will for my life. I’ve tried my plan every way I can think of, it never works. I always end up in a place that I’d never thought I’d be. When I think about one more trip, aimlessly wandering around the mountain I created; or the unbearable heat – the parchedness of my desert, I shudder. I get clear, focus, right away. Those seasons in my life were just that bad. Eventually, I always ended up back at square one. The same choice being repeated – my way or His? So now, the work is bringing God’s plan into sharp focus. To do that, there’s a lot of unlearning that is happening. A lot of perceptions and mindsets that I’ve acquired over the span of my life that are incorrect, self- defeating. They have been the giants in my life that have made accomplishing the mission virtually impossible. Probably because I didn’t put them in their proper place. I put them first. I could never quite find enough time to devote to the things I knew God had asked me to do.
To gain clear focus and put my life in perspective; I had to go through a radical process of elimination. I completed all projects previously committed to. I cancelled all projects that were pending, that didn’t line up with the vision that God has given me. I postponed the projects that I know are God’s will, but out of His timing. The most important thing before me now, is to focus on getting my soul realigned with my spirit. Getting right with God. I need to be operating from a place of true spiritual empowerment. A place that God can work effectively through me. My singular focus is doing the necessary to execute the plan as prescribed. I’ve fallen headlong into its fire and have been set ablaze by God’s consuming passion. After many a year of patient wooing, God has finally won my heart.
Each time that I’ve evolved to a new level of accomplishment, being, change – I decided to with resolve. It was necessary. I was determined to and so it was. Was the catalyst for the change that happened in my life God or me? In some instances, I’m not sure. Especially, since I find myself struggling to break the plane of mediocrity into the dynamic, divine realm of Spiritual empowerment. Sometimes, I feel as if my car has slipped down unto an incline on soft soil. No matter how hard I hit the accelerator, I’m slinging dirt from up under my wheels. My car isn’t going more than a few inches before it slides back to exactly the same spot. I’m not sliding down hill, but yet I’m not moving forward either. At least not in the way I want or need to.
So the question before me is why have I only been able to accomplish some of what God has tasked me with? Why haven’t I made leaps and bounds in the kingdom? Why am I not yet a living legend but rather still a legend in the making? Perhaps because greatness can only be achieved by engaging in faith that is activated by a real belief in God. That’s what the great ones possessed. Noah, Abraham, Moses, Elijah, David all had this in common. I cannot be convinced, that I don’t believe in God! That’s the fundamental element of who I am. With My basic belief being established, perhaps my real issue is selective believing. Believing in a God that’s comfortable to me. However, can I believe Him all the time for things that are outside of my ability to see with my natural eyes? Can I believe Him to accomplish things that I can only be done with His undergirding and empowerment? Things that He has to bankroll in the spirit. I’m not talking about the presumptuous faith, given in many examples that compares it with a chair. I sit in any chair, without checking its structure, because I’m sure that it’ll hold my weight. I do this, because I know, that based on my experience that I can assume that any chair will hold me.
I hate listening to this example every time I hear it. It’s not a good example. It over simplifies my relationship with God. God cannot take me past where I believe I can go. He may plan to, but if I cannot envision myself there – it won’t happen. My active belief is required. It cannot be static. What it boils down to is, do I in fact believe the God that I profess to believe? The truth. If I believed that God is who He says He is; and that He can do what He says He can do. Then I in turn would believe, unequivocally that I am who God says I am. I can do what God says I can do. I would not be drowning in the lake of mediocrity right about now! Real belief in God happens through deep, meaningful relationship with Him. How else can I really get know Him? In this relationship with Him there are boundaries. If I continue to behave independently of Him our relationship doesn’t fare well. My relationship with Him has been only limited by me. It would be a cop out to say that it didn’t work because of Him; then blame Him for my shortcomings and failures. In actuality it’s been my lack of commitment to the relationship that has stifled me. Sometimes, my spirit hasn’t even been willing coupled with my flesh being weak. If I can just tell the truth, there were many things that I enjoyed doing in the world. It’s been hard to give some stuff up, pick up my cross and follow Him. So my challenge is to BELIEVE the God, I profess to believe! Not when it feels good or is convenient. I have to believe He is who He is and means what He says when it means reordering my life and submitting myself wholly to Him. Believe Him enough to trust that the things that He’s asking me to give up aren’t conducive to the healthy, productive lifestyle that I want my children to model. There’s no comparison even where I am now, not having attained God’s optimal life for myself to my best day living in the world. I believe that the only way to live a life of true authenticity is through Christ.
When I was younger, travelling in a southern state visiting with my mother’s kin folk, somewhere in the conversation I’d hear, ”you look just like your momma, girl!” At times in my life, when I wasn’t acting the way my mother thought I should, she’d say, “you’re just like your daddy!” You reckon?! Undoubtedly, all such declarations were true. When I was conceived, through DNA replication my parent’s cells were duplicated and disbursed to me. I didn’t have the least bit of control, over what physical or character traits I received from either of them. I’m sure if I did, I would have chosen different ones from each. I used to resent those remarks, as my children do now. So I make it a point never to make comparisons to my children of their father or me. At least, I try not to. However, at this point in my life, I’m not mad about it. I am okay with who I am. The interesting thing is that I haven’t heard my mother make those remarks for many a moon. I’m her daughter now!
Through my conversion experience, I was born again. In other words, I was given an influx of new DNA by God via the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. In theory, I took off the old Melba and was made brand new. In actuality, during the transference process; I was not made fully aware of exactly what I was given. I didn’t know who the new me was supposed to be. Nor did I know, what I had. This new DNA contained God’s essence. Everything that He is. His IMAGE. The problem was that my behavior didn’t change at least right away. In some respects it got worst, just as someone who has received a kidney transplant. As the kidney is acclimating itself to the body, often times the body rejects it. The body recognizes it as a kidney, but not the same malfunctioning kidney that it’s accustomed to. The new, functioning kidney is foreign. My biggest barrier to change has always been the unfamiliarity of it. It just makes me feel funny. Change has been good in my life, nevertheless uncomfortable. At times it’s been so uncomfortable that it was easier going backwards than forward.
What I love about Christianity is that it’s all inclusive. God extends the invitation of sonship, figuratively speaking, to anyone who wants it. I don’t have to be an Ivy League graduate, nor do I have to provide a bank statement. All I need do, is come from wherever I am, just as I am. God will receive me with open arms. However, His expectation is that I not remain the same. It would be a tragic end, after all that I’ve been through in the world, to end the journey in the same condition that I started it. To not grow. With all of God’s vast, unlimited resources available to me, to not tap into them. The question is, how do I do that? This is a question that I’ve personally pondered for some time. As a matter a fact that’s why I’m on this 40 Day Soul Fast, because I haven’t quite got there.
When I had gotten down the road a ways on this journey, I realized that something very important was missing. Something was wrong. Although I attended church regularly, my life was still not working. Part of the reason was my process in studying the Bible. I read it not to extract its truth, but looking for loopholes that would allow me to keep doing what I wanted to do. I wanted to redress my old lifestyle. Just pretty it up a little bit. I skipped over the parts that I didn’t like. The parts that highlighted the stuff that I was doing, that I knew was wrong. I began asking a simple question of every person, I thought I should know. The people that seemed thoroughly enmeshed in church. I asked ministers, deacons, and old people. I got a different answer from each. None of the answers I received, answered my question. I had no choice, but to do the research myself. One day I went to a half price book store, near a college campus and found just what I needed. It was a Thompson Chain-Reference Bible. Once I started studying it, I’ve never had to ask anyone that question again. I started studying to fix myself. Whatever, I was going thru, I sought and found the answer there. My process of healing had begun. It brought me thru deliverance, healing for my body and allowed me to restore my sanity.
On Day 14 of this Soul Fast, it’s the tool that I delve into at the beginning and end of each day. Gleaning from it the trues of who I really am in Christ. What it means to carry the DNA of the King of Kings. What it means to be an heir to this kingdom – this Royal Priesthood. Discovering what it means to be made in the image of God. What that actually looks like by His standards? What characteristics should I be exuding on a consistent basis? What is my greater responsibility in this world as child of God? After all, it’s not about me. God has called me for a great and noble purpose. One that I intend to fulfill.