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Saturday, August 24, 2013

Understanding His will

I met a rather engaging young lady recently within the course of a 2-day retreat at which I had been invited to facilitate one of the sessions. We had some pretty engaging discussions within the brief series of interactions we had over that period, and she left an impression on me as quite an agile mind. I had promised her a copy of my about-to-be-published book about couples that work together, but once my first book Uniquely Woman came off the press, I thought it fit to also send her a copy. A couple of weeks later, I received a brief mail from her thanking me once again for her copy of Uniquely Woman. She affirmed that she was already reading my book and it had given her quite a bit of food for thought so far. Then she asked if I could shed some light on a few questions that had been playing on her heart and mind as she'd been reading the book Uniquely Woman.

She asked: ‘What is the difference between your will and God's will? How can you trust God when it seems you're the one making plans for yourself? How do you know God's plans for you?’ 

I smiled and thought ‘Wow, powerful questions indeed!’ I had said to her then that I did not think those were questions I would like to respond to via email, and either way, I would not be able to do so at that time as I was preparing to leave one country for another the very next day and was thus milking the very last few hours of my family vacation. I did however promise that once I got back home we could meet to talk through these questions. That said, the Lord has not allowed me to rest those questions and even as I thought through what I would like to share with you in this post, He again brought these questions to my remembrance. Being that one of my key objectives through this forum is to get you and I to see, hear from, and walk with God on a deeper level - within and out of our everyday experiences and interactions, it impressed on my heart to share these questions with you today. Indeed, it strikes me that through this young lady, it is the Lord that is asking these questions of me, as He is also asking of you.

My friend, each of us is on a chronological countdown and as we mature in age, we must more importantly mature in the things of God. As the days go by, it becomes more and more critical that we understand and align ourselves with the will of the Father for our very lives. These questions therefore hit exactly at the crux of the matter in our walk as Christians don’t they? In our constant quest to live lives that glorify God, to walk according to His purpose for our lives, you and I ask these questions of ourselves, of others, and of God - perhaps more often that we would readily admit, don’t we? I know I do, and I certainly am not shy to admit this. To be in the will of my Father for my life; to know that He is pleased with me; to know that the life I live, the things I do and say bring glory to Him… these are my deepest desires. I know that I can only achieve this state if I am mindful to be in His will in every single area of my life. So… back again therefore to the same issue right? How do I know God’s will for my life and how do I distinguish between my will and that of the Lord …so that I do not walk and live contrary to His purpose? Hmmm!

Sis, I could very easily begin to share with you what my beliefs are in response to these questions, but I have a deep desire in my spirit to hear from you first. So today, if you will allow me, Uniquely Woman would like to deviate a bit from the norm and ask, from the bottom of my heart, that you please spare some time to send me your thoughts in response to the questions this young lady has posed. Please respond by way of the comments feature on this site, or send me a mail at uniquelywoman@gmail.com. It impresses on me strongly that I need to hear from you, compile your responses, wrap up with my own thoughts and share these in a further post that I do not doubt will be a major blessing to you and I, as well as to some other precious person out there who the Lord wants to speak to out of this exercise. My commitment to you is to share what I will speak to this young lady as I meet with her in a few days, as well as share with you what I know the Lord will speak to me through her in the course of that interaction when it takes place. I’m counting on your feedback, my friend. I really am! This is a walk you and I are taking together in order that we grow together in Christ… for surely we must grow! 

I have been travelling quite a bit in the past few weeks, through the UAE and currently in China. I wish I could share with you so many of the experiences that I have been through in these few weeks, but suffice it to say that you and I are truly blessed and privileged to know and to serve our Lord, the one true living God. Everywhere you turn, it appears that society is bent on peddling godlessness and an incredible myriad of fleshly dogma, lewdness, immorality, sexual perversions and the like. Everywhere you turn there are millions who are walking in darkness and in utter confusion. Many do not know what to believe, and many who do believe are daily questioning what it is that they do believe.  Sis, you and I do not believe because we are any better than these millions of people out there. No, you and I believe because of the love and mercy of God, and the special grace by which He chose us and saved us, by which He called us into His marvelous light, and by which He has allowed us the honor, privilege and joy of being able to know and relate with Him as our Father and Lord.

As you think through what your responses are to these questions, celebrate your membership in the fold of the beloved, within the royal priesthood. You are only able to be conscious of the will of the Lord because of the gift of knowing Him and His Word. We could as easily have been one of those whom the gods of this world have blinded such that we do not believe. But, we are among the called… the chosen generation! That’s more than half the journey, sis. How incredibly awesome is that? Father, we give You all the glory and we say ‘Thank You Lord!’.

Sis, ‘What is the difference between your will and God's will? How can you trust God when it seems you're the one making plans for yourself? How do you know God's plans for you?’
I pray that as you think this through, the Lord will lead you to a fresh revelation of His will and that as you share your thoughts, you will fulfill even further His mandate to be a blessing in the lives of His people. As you share your thoughts sis, you will be giving expression to another avenue to let your light shine on the world. You never know… perhaps it is through the thoughts you share on this forum that the Lord will speak light into someone else’s darkness and we can all rejoice with heaven as one more soul comes into the Kingdom. 


Be blessed sis… for you surely are!




Ps: I have been unable to post this for the past week of my being in China because Western social media (Blogger, Facebook, Twitter, etc) is very seriously restricted there. One more thing to bless the Lord for... the freedom to speak and share Hid Word!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Confluence of Paradoxes


I had just finished reading some Scripture and was in an atmosphere of worship, thanking the Lord for the revelation He had released to me in that quiet time with Him. As I wound up my praise, I said ‘Speak Lord, for I am listening’. In a flash the Lord said to me: ‘A confluence of paradoxes designed to reveal my glory’.  I wish I could tell you that I had an equally deep super-spiritual response to this, but honestly sis, all I could say was ‘Huh? …a what?’ The instruction came back very clear: ‘Write this down – A confluence of paradoxes designed to reveal my glory’. I wrote this down and then asked the Lord to please explain it to me because I truly had absolutely no idea what it meant. His response came back again very quietly, and so soothing to my soul. The Lord said to me: ‘I make all things clear in My own time. Not everything needs to be known. But, there is a yielding with the flow that is required; a trusting in the move of God! Hmmm! I knew enough to let it rest then, but I kept repeating this expression to myself over the next few days, hoping sooner than later that He would bring me the clarity that I so desperately required.

It started to unfold on a Friday later that week. It was the evening before the 2013 edition of the Return of the Helper (ROTH) conference which is convened by my sista and friend Bidemi. As is our usual practice, my sistas and I gathered at the venue of the conference the night before to pray, to draw a Blood line around the venue against any attacks of the enemy, and to essentially shift the atmosphere in readiness for the move of God at ROTH. Once our prayers were done, we went into a quick meeting to review the flow of events for the next day. At some point, one of my sistas was speaking with a guest who was present, about the fact that all five of us sistas would be speaking at ROTH and how the Lord has positioned us to midwife each other into our individual destinies and life purpose. She said how she is still trying to figure how God set it up such that six strong, independent and entrepreneurial women would come together in such an incredible bond of love, understanding and fellowship with each other and with God, and then she said ‘It’s such a paradox’. Wow! I thought! Amazing that she should have used the word ‘paradox’ so soon after the Lord Himself used that word with me. I shook my head, a quiet smile on my face because I knew without a doubt that God had started to unravel that heavy expression that He commanded me to write down a few days prior.

Fast forward into Saturday and ROTH was upon us. The entire experience of the conference was phenomenal to say the least, but that is not the subject of today’s post. What is relevant today however is that as one of my sistas spoke earlier in the day, she spoke about how women were specially created by God Himself; about how there is so much mystery to women; about how we are an incredible mix of strengths; about how alike we all are, and yet so very different; about the paradox of womanhood. Yes! That word again! Hmmm!
I truly don’t recall how the topic got to that track, but while speaking an hour or so later, another sista talked about the fact that within the confluence of attendees at ROTH were women who while being present for many different reasons, were in the end also all present for the selfsame reason of wanting to get closer to God and to live lives that are worthy of the Lord. At that exact moment it all came together for me and I shared this with the audience as I now share with you.

The clarity that I received is that women are indeed paradoxes – each one of us a beautiful mystery and an enigma unto others (and sometimes to our self). As women, we share contextual similarities in that we are each a unique amalgamation of strengths, intelligences, insights, intuitions and instincts, emotions, weaknesses and frailties. In our individual capacities however, we are each as different from the other as can be –  in our aspirations, experientially, in our perspectives, etc. But therein lies the revelation – that God Himself created each of us to be uniquely so! Our commonality is in being female, yes; but the core of our individual purpose lies in the acceptance of the originality of who we are as distinct from the crowd. Sis, you and I do not have to try to be like ‘most women’ for indeed we were not designed to be. We do not have to conform to societal expectations of what women are supposed to wear, how they are supposed to think (or not think), businesses/careers they are supposed to be in (or not be in), etc. We do not have to measure ourselves (or worse, measure the next woman) by the standards of the society – be it the expectations of the menfolk, or the expectations of some minority (in my view) group of women folk who continue to insist that society describe women in some generic and sometimes very flaky terms. In the place of our originality as God purposed it, we can be at peace with the evident enigma’s that we are individually, and as such we are more able to be at peace with being the ‘one woman’ enigma within the crowd labeled ‘most women’.

In that crowd of women gathered for ROTH was a clear confluence of special God-designed paradoxes. In giving up whatever other activity was otherwise competing for their time, and in choosing to spend that entire day in praise, worship and soaking in the God-inspired messages for their lives and businesses, one thing was central in that confluence – the Lord was being glorified. The glory of God released at ROTH was not just for that day, but for a flow-through unto generations to come, as surely many of those women who attended ROTH will take the Word and principles released and press forward with them to touch more lives for the Kingdom and glory of God the Father.

We hear time and again that women are their own worst enemies, and unfortunately we see one example too many that appears to lend a lot of weight to this assertion. But sis, the Lord is saying to you and I that we need to come up higher. He is saying that we need to look to our right and to our left, in front, behind and all around us. He is showing us the next woman who is in our space. He is showing us that she is a beautiful paradox too, just as we are. He is saying that rather than trying to make the next woman conform to the image of what/who/how a woman should be as we see it, we should learn to appreciate and accept her for those unique differences that He has put in her Himself. The Lord is saying that we need to reach out sis. We really do!

The Lord is saying that when women begin to come together in an accepting, non-judgmental atmosphere of love, with the express and singular intention of holding themselves accountable to birth their destinies and walk the fullness of their purpose; that He is able to use such confluences of these paradoxes to build greater things than any individual woman can on her own; and in the end, we will live lives that reveal His glory – individually and as a group.

Sis, can I just ask that you think about this for a while and allow the Lord speak to you? Is there some woman (or women) in your space that you have not opened your heart and hands to at all, or as fully as you should? Even as I ask this of you, I am doing some soul searching myself. In my sistas I have found one great confluence, yes; but even I know the Lord is also calling me higher so it is clear to me that He expects me to take of the love, laughter, learning and growth He has revealed to me through this confluence of six, and show other women some measure of this selfsame glory that can be available to them. Sis, I sense that as we obey this call, as we hold each other’s hands with a new attitude and commitment to each other, greater things will come out of us. I really believe this! I pray that the Lord will help each of us overcome every fear, concern, negative thinking, preconceived notions, disdain, pride, insecurity, and impatience that stand in the way of our reaching for a higher level of relationship with womenfolk. He will help you sis! He will help me!

Be blessed…. for you surely are!






About Me

Entrepreneur, Mentor, Wife, Mother, Sister, Friend. A firm believer in God. Walking in faith everyday that by His grace, I will achieve harmony in all areas of my life, and make measurable impact in the lives of other women of the world

WORD FOR THE WEEK

LUKE 1:

34“-How can this be, Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” 35The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the Holy One to be born will be called the Son of God

JEREMIAH 2:

5 Before I formed you in the womb I knew [and] approved of you [as My chosen instrument], and before you were born I separated and set you apart, consecrating you; [and] I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.

6 Then said I, Ah, Lord God! Behold, I cannot speak, for I am only a youth. 7 But the Lord said to me, Say not, I am only a youth; for you shall go to all to whom I shall send you, and whatever I command you, you shall speak.

8 Be not afraid of them [their faces], for I am with you to deliver you, says the Lord. 9 Then the Lord put forth His hand and touched my mouth. And the Lord said to me, Behold, I have put My words in your mouth. 10 See, I have this day appointed you to the oversight of the nations and of the kingdoms to root out and pull down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.

1st CORINTHIANS 1:

25 [This is] because the foolish thing [that has its source in] God is wiser than men, and the weak thing [that springs] from God is stronger than men. 26 For [simply] consider your own call, brethren; not many [of you were considered to be] wise according to human estimates and standards, not many influential and powerful, not many of high and noble birth. 27 [No] for God selected (deliberately chose) what in the world is foolish to put the wise to shame, and what the world calls weak to put the strong to shame. 28 And God also selected (deliberately chose) what in the world is lowborn and insignificant and branded and treated with contempt, even the things that are nothing, that He might depose and bring to nothing the things that are,

Colossians 1:

28 Him we preach and proclaim, warning and admonishing everyone and instructing everyone in all wisdom (comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God), that we may present every person mature (full-grown, fully initiated, complete, and perfect) in Christ (the Anointed One).

29 For this I labor [[z]unto weariness], striving with all the superhuman energy which He so mightily enkindles and works within me.