Follow by Email

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Moving on

It’s the last day of January. Can you imagine this? I mean… already? Where did the time go? Seems like it was just a couple of weeks ago we were giving each other Hi-Fives and hugs to usher the New Year in. Many of us were just getting used to writing 2015 on our docs/cheques and now we also have to deal with changing the 1 to 2 as we write our dates. Hmmm! I feel like I might as well go ahead and wish you a ‘Merry Christmas’ this morning sis, because with a certainty we will be in Christmas mode sooner than we realize. Feel I’m stretching it a bit sis? Well, maybe but not really. At least not for me! As I look at the reality of my having to be away for half of February, 10 days in March, two weeks in June, three weeks in August, a week in October and ten days in November… well all I can say is, Christmas isn't as far for me as it ought to be. That said, I give all glory to God Who has created the opportunities and responsibilities that require me to be away so much in this year; Who provides the resources I need to be alive to my responsibilities and assignments; Who grants and will continue to grant me safe passage; Who preserves my family in my absence; and Who grants me the good health and sustained mental agility that I need to be successful through this all.

Set to begin my quiet time this morning, I had a sudden overwhelming surge of emotions as I wrote the date in my journal. It was so strong that I sat back a bit to reflect on why this would be so. I realized that I felt a weight of sadness on one hand, and a weight of relief on the other. Why? Well as I thought about the answer for myself, I understood that indeed I had every reason to feel sad. You see, January has been quite a trying month for me, particularly emotionally, and though I kinda ‘got my groove back’ in the last week, I am in that sense very glad the month is over. I was sad because it felt like such a waste of time to have spent the beginning of the year embroiled in things that ultimately appeared to have added no value to anyone; to have wasted precious time wallowing in the midst of an emotional roller-coaster, zeroing in on myself and on the challenges rather than keeping my focus on God… and understandably then losing my peace. Yes sis, I forgot to practice what I know and preach...for a while I surely did, and this morning was a sad reminder of the fact that God had told me clearly at the beginning of this year to plug in to Him like never before, so that I would not be overtaken by the distractions the enemy would try to send my way.

At this point I would have happily organized a week long pity-party for myself sis, but the Holy Spirit was having none of that and He very quickly asked me to analyze the sense of relief I had, which was clearly different from the sadness. The devil is so cunning isn't he? This is exactly what I wrote about in my last post of 2014 and he was trying to steal that from me. Thank You Lord, for once again disappointing the devices of the crafty! 

So where was I? Yes, as I reflected, I realized that my relief was borne out of the fact that all things above said and done, January was an excellent month for me. In January, both my boys flew safely back to Canada and are progressing well in their school; I started to write again more consistently; I started and completed a particular fast (a difficult achievement for more reasons than one); I reestablished consistently with my quiet and prayer times; I went on an excellent training which situations around me almost deterred me from; I started exercising again consistently; and I lost 3kg (6lbs)… woo hoooo! Even on the business side of things, there were a whole new set of challenges in January, but we have survived and thrived and also ended up signing a major agreement which we had been prospecting for way too long to mention now. Yes sis, it has been a busy month, it has been a challenging month… but in the midst of every challenge, there have been significant victories and my relief is that by the grace and mercies of God, I have made it through with my perspectives in the right place. Thank you Lord!

This brings me to what I believe is the core message I have for you today sis. Life is passing us by, at least on this side of eternity. We do not have all the time in the word to sit and to dwell on anything that does not move us forward into Kingdom position and purpose. You and I know that life comes with a myriad of challenges. Hey, many of us are right in the middle of more than one challenge or the other today, weighty ones too. This is our reality. Life is not a bed of roses as the cliché goes, and how apt that cliché is. One thing that is clear though, is that those who will truly win on this side of the divide are those who are in Christ; but more importantly, it is those who are in Christ and who allow truly Him overtake their thinking and perspectives, their choices and actions; those who are intentional about seeing His hand of blessing and grace upon their lives NO MATTER WHAT!

I believe it is important for us to stay close to the Lord and be assured that even when life pushes at us, somewhere deep down inside we are able to keep Christ as our anchor - this being the one way we will not be swept away with the tide; this being the only way we will be able to look up after the storm has passed and see that even in the midst of it, He was our stay. I believe it is important that we are able to spend time in personal reflection and ask the Lord, as I am doing now, what He would have me do with the learning’s I took from the challenges I faced in January. Yes, my flesh may think time was wasted, but my spirit knows better that out of the challenges I faced… even where I didn’t handle them as well as I should or could have, I built some physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual muscles for my next levels. My prayer now is that the Lord will help me discern where those muscles were developed so that as I move on into the rest of the year, I will be able to flex them when and where needed – for myself, or for someone else that the Lord will position along my path for this very reason.

So sis, if like me you have had a tough start to the year… chin up! And if you haven’t, take the learning anyway for you will need it somewhere along the line as the year progresses. Realize that God does not intend for us to dwell continuously around one mountain. We must and will eventually move on, and when we do we must adopt the right perspective about the mountain. We must see it as a growth phase, and we must be able to see the blessing even for the time we contended with the mountain. We must realize that ultimately, the sum total of our experiences is for the benefit of our future, and for the lives and futures of others known or as yet unknown. We cannot fulfill God’s mandate on our lives to be a blessing if we are not fully equipped sis. And nobody promised that the equipping would be easy.

So here I am on the 31st day of January 2015 able to say to you that I am stronger at the end of the month because of my weaknesses in the course of the month, and because of He Whose strength was magnified in my place of weakness. When I called, He answered and when I fully submitted, He resolved everything and gave me His peace. When I reminded myself that I was a daughter of the King, He smiled and embraced me even tighter. When I finally let go, He reminded me that He had always been in control. He reminded me that He had called me to be a gatekeeper and that meant that I would have to be discerning about which battles were worth fighting. Yes, He chastised me, but He also showed me the bottle… the bottle in which He had lovingly collected the tears of my trials, and He reminded me of His word concerning my tears…and as He reminded me, I smiled. Then He asked me to enter fully back into His rest and to move on, trusting that as always He would work all things out for my good because I love Him and because I am called after His name. Without hesitation, I ran into His embrace sis. No better place to be, that’s for sure! I’m back fully into His rest, a big smile on my face and in my heart, fully expectant for the next months of my due season year.

Sis, hear the Lord speak those same words to you today. Examine your heart, your situation and circumstances, and purpose to leave it all to Him and move on. Somehow I can’t say much more than this. Leave it to Jesus and move on sis! Move on in love, move on in forgiveness; move on regardless of the frustrations, the hurts and the disappointments. Move on in absolute trust that God is on the throne and He has got you fully covered. You will never look back and not be able to see that He was with you through it all sis. Know this and believe this with all your heart!

For once, I am not sure what I have said or not said today, but I sense in my spirit that this has ministered to you exactly the way the Lord purposed it to. My prayer is that He will help you to know and discern that which He has purposed for you to know and discern sis. And as always that He will help you, as He is surely helping me.
Be blessed sis…. for you surely are!





Saturday, January 24, 2015

No Reward for Pretenders

I think it’s absolutely remarkable how God programmed the human mind. Simply fascinating! One of my current reads is Dr. Eric R. Braverman’s ‘Younger Brain, Sharper Mind’ and reading this has been quite the learning process for me. Coincidentally also, Kenneth Copeland’s guest on his show over the past week has been Dr. Caroline Leaf who is a renowned neurosurgeon and brain specialist. I've loved listening to her explain how the brain operates especially in line with God’s Word, and how finally science and scientists are slowly seeing alignment between their research and things which the Bible has already made quite clear.

I have especially loved the information regarding how memory is formed, the different kinds of memory, and the word associations and connectivity patterns in our brains. Since this is not a scientific blog, I will spare you the details. And much as my flesh would at this time love to try and impress you with some of the scientific jargon I have added to my dictionary recently, I won’t go there. I promise! So why did I start talking about it then? Well sis, I had an experience yesterday that made something I had read and heard recently so much more real to me than it had ever been before, because I could practically visualize from my learning’s just how that connection happened.

I was in attendance at a seminar on the economic outlook for the country in 2015 and I was pretty enthralled by what was a brilliant and highly practical presentation by the country head of JP Morgan. Towards the end of his presentation and while making recommendations of how best to hedge in 2015, he said ‘If it is a luxury purchase, then make sure you can afford it. There will be no reward for pretenders in 2015’. I blanked out for a couple of minutes after this and it took everything in me to pull myself back to the present moment so as not to lose the other key points he was making.

You see sis, as he made that statement, my mind made an immediate connection to the Kingdom of God, to eternity in Heaven, to what the Bible says about there being many surprises on the last day and about the first being last, last being first.. I heard clearly in my Spirit ‘The reward of Heaven is not for pretenders to the Kingdom’. Wow! In those few minutes that I ‘spaced out’, the Holy Spirit ministered so many things to my heart sis. He did! This is what I hope I can share with you today. It wasn't about the science of the mind connection per se. I mean, I could only reason that aspect out after the fact. And it certainly wasn't about the economics of oil prices, liquidity, politics, business and investments, etc that I had been listening to. No sis, this was about life… the truest form of life… the one we expect to be translated into when our time on this side of eternity is over.

I have mulled this over time and again since yesterday and I know without a shadow of a doubt that this is as much a message for me as it is for you sis. It is either a message we need to hear ourselves, or one which perhaps we need to preach to and share with someone who is close to us. The reality of life plays out - in my view, as an adaptation of an age long cliché. So, we can fool everyone most of the time, but we can’t fool everyone all of the time. We can even fool ourselves some of the time, but we certainly cannot fool ourselves all of the times. And then, we can fool everyone else, ourselves included, most or some of the time… but we can never fool God even one time. Yep! We can only always NEVER fool Him, for He see all things and knows all things. Hey sis, this is the God for Whom the darkest of nights is like day right? The One Who is Himself light?  The One Who knows our thoughts afar off? The One Who is all seeing, all knowing and all powerful? The One Who knows the end from the beginning? The One Who sees and knows the secret things in the deepest darkest places? Hmmm! How do we want to think we can ever fool Him sis? How? Absolutely always Never!

‘If it is a luxury purchase, then make sure you can afford it. There will be no reward for pretenders in 2015’. There will certainly be no reward of the Kingdom of heaven for those who are pretenders in Christ. It doesn't take much to see or understand this does it? Or does it? Hmmm!  We cannot be casual about our Christianity this year more than ever before. I don’t know why 2015, but really this is one caution that doesn't need us to ask why. We should never be casual about our Christianity anyway, so if the Lord chooses to chastise you and I about it even more today, then so be it, sis. So be it! I have since personally spent some time trying to see in what areas of my life I might be positioning as a ‘Pretender to the Kingdom’ and you know sis that as I examine my life, I also ask you to examine yours right? Yep! I certainly do. You see, the plan is not for me to make Heaven and leave you behind, or vice versa. Oh no, no, no! God helping us, we will both be hugging each other in heaven one day, in Jesus name, Amen.

One thing that ministered to me as I was ' in the zone' is that there are so many things that constitute pretense in the Kingdom. For many, pretense will be about secret sins, hidden aspects of their lives that they don’t want people to see - deep hurts, abuse, shame, a dark past (or present). It will be for many about sins of the flesh – sexual sins, lusts and perversions. But the Holy Spirit showed me that Kingdom pretense is also as much about the true state of one’s heart, and the motives and intents for whatever a person does or says; about who we really are when no one is watching; about how deep our love walk with Christ really and truly goes; about pretending to walk in love whereas one’s heart is black towards a person, but role-playing because we need that person to fulfill certain needs in our life, or perhaps because being associated with them elevates our social, business, or even Kingdom profile  and status in some way or the other.

It ministered to me that pretending in the Kingdom as a business person means outwardly profiling as a Christian, while doing dirty deals, giving and receiving bribes and the like in the name of  moving forward and making money - after all ‘it’s just business’. Pretending in the Kingdom would include positioning as a Christ follower and yet secretly consulting oracles and diviners, or dabbling in the occult through one means or the other. Pretending in Christ would include deciding to compartmentalize certain aspects of one’s life which are lived out according to the dictates of flesh, the world and society; and then only allowing God control to some degree in certain other aspects of one’s life – especially those which are more visible to the brethren and which give an outwardly apparent picture of holiness. Pretending in Christ's Kingdom would include singing and playing gospel music every Sunday, yet listening to music with lyrics that are sexually explicit, glorifying sex, drugs, violence and even rape, every other day for the rest of the week; spending money God gave you to grow a perverse industry while maintaining a hardened heart towards giving of tithes and offerings to further the work of the Kingdom. 

Pretending in Christ would include indulging an addiction to pornography in one's personal spaces, choosing to see it as just harmless ‘fun’; forgetting or choosing to ignore the immoral and outright demonic aspects of the pornography industry that clearly do not glorify the Christ you profess (not to mention ignoring the fact of human trafficking and sexual slavery are the backbone of this industry in our time, and that by buying and watching such movies, one becomes a participant in promoting and progressing these atrocities and sins). Pretending in Christ is on one hand outwardly professing Him as Lord and savior, claiming to trust Him to work all things out for your good; and then cheating during tests and examinations; sleeping around to get opportunities and promotions; backbiting, gossiping, and indeed fabricating stories to put others down, stealing other peoples work and claiming as your own so you can be favored or get ahead in the work space or school setting, etc etc etc. 

You get my drift sis? Some of the things that constitute pretense where God is concerned are hard stuff that we can all readily relate with and indeed point our fingers at others for, but many Kingdom pretenses are quiet, unseen, unspoken, but there nonetheless. It is those little foxes that you and I need to search for and purge ourselves of, sis; those little foxes that we can only discern with the help of the Spirit. It is not that we will not fall or fail on occasion sis. No, it's not that. The Bible does say 'though the righteous man fall seven times...' So we will fall once in a while. But something is clearly out of line when our fallen state becomes our comfortable space, and we make absolutely no effort to move up and out of it, even knowing grace and strength are available to help us out. 

Bottom line? Pretending in Christ is about not truly living in His image and likeness, and worse still… being casual about it. We are not perfect sis, not even anywhere near that. But we are also meant to grow in our walk in Christ. Hell is a luxury we can ill afford to ‘acquire’, and Heaven is the one luxury we can more so ill afford to miss. The onus is on us to decide daily and sometimes several times in a day, which reward we will choose. ‘I set before you life and death.... choose life!’ With each passing day we need to very consciously examine our thoughts, words, actions, motives and intents and work diligently to align them more and more with what we know will please and glorify the father. True, as children of the living God, it is not by our works that we are saved (lest any man should boast), but surely by our works we will either attract, or repel, or keep others who are in darkeness indifferent to God and to His Kingdom. This would be a major failing on our part as far as the mandate we have to be salt and light, spreaders of the Gospel, fishers of men, is concerned.

There is also the fact that we ourselves need to be sure we are walking in alignment with God for ourselves. We cannot be casual about our salvation and God’s work of grace in our lives sis. We cannot! If we do, what happens is that we become immune to our sin, and at some point we don’t even notice that the glory has departed and we are no longer hosting the Holy Spirit of God in us. No, we cannot allow this sis, for surely none of us wants to be among those to whom God will say on the last day ‘Depart from me for I know you not’. It would be too sad and too late (eternally so) for anyone to find out that while they were celebrated on earth as being a good (dare I say 'Great') Christian, that in the eyes of God they were only ‘Pretenders to the Kingdom’, undeserving of a the reward of a place in Heaven. May this not be our portion in Jesus name, Amen.

May the Lord help us to stay alert sis. May He help us truly see any area(s) of our lives that don’t really look like Him and where we have gotten so used to not looking like Him that we don’t even notice it any more. May He show us areas where we have become immune or complacent to something that does not glorify Him, and may He give us the strength to stand strong and make whatever changes we need to make in our lives - relationships we need to end, businesses we need to forgo, habits we need to drop, etc so that nothing on this side of eternity will stand in the way of our receiving His crown and entering into His embrace on the last day.

The Lord will help me sis, and He will help you. By the mercies grace and power of the Holy Spirit, we will not make the Blood which Jesus shed on the cross of Calvary and His ultimate sacrifice for our sakes to be of no effect. No sis, as you and I recommit every area of our lives afresh to God daily, as we draw closer and closer to Him in this year, our assurance will always be that indeed we will not be classed among the pretenders to the Kingdom; that we will daily conform more and more to His glorious image; that by our very lives we will draw men unto Him; that our lives will be truly pleasing to Him; and that in the end we will make Heaven in Jesus name, Amen.


Be blessed sis… for you surely are!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Confidence in your corner

Something told me that all was not well with her. There was a calm about her that was almost surreal. She smiled outwardly, but I could see pain mirrored deep in her eyes. I guess it’s a kind of gift for me, the ability to ‘see’ into people. So while she might have fooled everyone else, I knew better. Of course, at the earliest opportunity I pulled her aside. The more I inquired, the more she tried to laugh it off and convince me that I was imagining things. To me however, her laugh was hollow and there was emptiness to her smiles. The more she tried, the stronger my conviction became that I was on assignment from the Lord where this young woman was concerned.  Quietly I asked the Lord to give me some insight so that I would be able to speak to her situation in specifics, and amazing Father that He is, He came through for me. I had an immediate knowing deep inside and I spoke to her from that place.

The Lord reminded me that she had earlier told me she was going to a meeting called by one of her previous teachers who also has a ministry for young women. As He reminded me of this, the Lord showed me that she was dealing with a weight of negative comparison, instigated by spirits of oppression and depression. As I was led, I asked her how that meeting had gone. Her response was ‘fine’. I asked who else had been at the meeting and she said a few old classmates had also been in attendance. Then I said to her: ‘So, you spent time at that meeting comparing yourself to the heights your mates appear to have attained and you came out feeling like a failure, right?’ She didn’t utter a word rather, in response tears immediately welled up in her eyes and began to flow down her face in a steady stream. I gave quiet thanks to God for this breakthrough and then also offered a prayer that He would help me discern the things which He would have me speak to her.

As I began to speak, I asked her where she thought she would have been and how much more different (for the worse) her life would have been had her adopted family not brought her into their home. I reminded her that she had said to me more than once in times past, that she would most likely have been married off at a young age to some petty trader, carpenter, driver or some other very lowly status person, and would likely have had one child too many at a young age as did some of those she had grown up with earlier in her life. With her adopted family she had grown up in the big city, finished her secondary education, been privileged to travel to several countries around the world, is living in comfort and in a style her own immediate family can only dream about, etc. She had been sent on a skills training program and was doing excellently well at it, and she was being groomed on creating a proper business out of this training.  She is in a home where she is treated like a daughter, and most importantly, is in a Christian home where she is able to know and experience and grow in the love of God herself.

So what was or is the problem? Well, she has not been able to get into a ‘proper’ university. She has taken the qualifying entrance exams three times but has not made the cut off for admission. Indeed, in the interim her adoptive parents have put her in a state-run higher institution but she has her sights set on attending one of the federal universities. This is not a problem because her parents have once again bought her the admission forms for her to take the exams a fourth time. They have also tried to encourage her to consider going for a full-time higher diploma in catering and hospitality management as she has shown incredible passion for and dexterity in creating meals and entertaining generally speaking. She has shared with them her desire to one day own and manage chains of restaurants and hotels, and they have advised her that a regular degree might not be her first priority, but rather a specialist catering course that she could then follow up with various executive masters and certifications in business management to support her ventures in the food and hospitality arena. Bottom line is that she has a hope and a future, and adoptive parents who are more than ready to support her through the process of making a success of her life out of her passions and gifting’s - in line with God’s word that our gifts will make room for us.

So sis, I hear you say again ‘So, what is the problem?’ Well, the problem as the Lord showed me, and which she also confirmed, is that somehow she has still settled in her mind that her ‘classmates’ who are in their second and third years at various universities are ahead of her, and that - in her words: ‘My life is not moving forward’. Hmmm! I can’t go into enough detail on the things the Lord helped me to share with her sis, except to say that He helped me show her that the enemy was trying to deceive her in the worst of ways. I shared with her that in life, it is truly not of him that runneth or that willeth, but of the Lord that shows mercy. I was able to use my own life as an example of the fact that we each come into our own at various times and seasons of our lives – as the Lord wills, and that we are not to compare ourselves to the next person but to run our very own race.

I reminded her that the streets are lined with university graduates who have been unemployed for ten years, or who are working as drivers, as waiters or waitresses or security personnel. I reminded her of graduates who have died and are only being remembered by their classmates at reunions. I reminded her of graduates who have found themselves working for and being managed by people who left school a decade after they did, etc etc  Suffice it to say that in the end, she calmed down and was clearly looking at things from a different perspective. I challenged her, as I did in my last post, to count her blessings every time the enemy comes knocking, and simply shoo him away with a recital of all the great things the Lord has done and will continue to do in her life.

This is that young lady’s story, sis. But you and I know that more often than not, we allow ourselves drive pegs to secure our tents in ‘camp comparison’. We find ourselves dwelling more on those things that have not been, as they compare to the things that appear to ‘be’ in the lives of our ‘mates’. We forget that being in the same class, year, school, age grade, family, etc has no bearing whatsoever on destiny and purpose. We forget that our assignments are unique to us and should not be colored by the assignments of those who we determine (through fleshly eyes) to be our contenders in and through this journey of life. We sometimes spiritualize our discontent, trying not to color it as envy; but really and truly questioning when God will do for us what He has done for others….instead of looking more intently on what He has done for us already and how we can use that to be a blessing right where we are.

And how the enemy loves it when we are in this space! In the space of discontent, frustration and depression, our minds are totally bowed down in pain and we are unable to see or to think properly. In this space, by our very thoughts, actions and countenance we make the word of God – that which we otherwise know and believe to be true, to be of no effect. And the enemy loves this. This is the space where he brings doubt and confusion and despair and so on. This is the space where he convinces us to try to ‘help’ God by helping ourselves. This is the space where he is set to derail us from that which the Lord has for us, by blinding us to the things that we should otherwise truly see with the eyes of the Spirit. I could go on but you get my drift right?

Sis, with each passing year of our lives the demand for us to take charge of our thoughts and perspectives grows. As we grow also as Christians, there is an increasing demand for us to focus on God, to trust in Him, to lean not on our own understanding – especially at those times when we truly do not understand, when things look very far from what we would like them to be. You see, all we ever see is our one tiny corner of a very grand and beautiful picture sis, that’s all we ever truly see. But… if we hold firm to God’s word that His plans for us are good and that all things work together for our good; if we hold firm to seeking God and trusting Him to be faithful to His word that He rewards those who diligently seek Him; if we would walk in and celebrate the uniqueness of our lives and situations, and cease to compare ourselves with others; if we would just trust Him… if we would just trust Him! Sis, if we would do all these, our lives would truly be grand and peaceful, purposeful and restful, and ultimately daily fulfilling. What more could we ask for?

It’s a New Year sis. There’s perhaps no better time than now to make a commitment to run your own race, to not allow the enemy hold you down with his negativity and distortions of the reality of your blessed life, for indeed your life is blessed because you are here …and because you are here in Christ. This year, commit to making peace with your corner of the grand picture, sis. It all eventually adds up, of this I’m more than sure ….not by sight necessarily, but by faith - of a certainty! I’m more than sure of this because I know in Whom I believe, as should you.

I leave you with this sis… ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your path’. Please let these words take on a new and deeper meaning for you in 2015. Trust Him with your corner of the big picture, sis. In the end, all of us who set our eyes on Him alone will get a remarkable and eternal prize; a prize that is not dependent on how we fared compared to the earthly ‘successes’ or ‘achievements’ of others.  We get a prize that is dependent on how well we have run our own race and fulfilled the purpose for which we were each sent, sis. How beautiful is that? The Lord will help you through this year sis, and He will surely help me. With this same assurance and with the confidence in our God Who is our source, I command the fire of God to consume every spirit of comparison, of despair, of frustration, of depression, that is looming around you, in Jesus might name amen. I speak a fresh measure of understanding into your spirit, in Jesus name – that you may truly discern and walk confidently in that which the Lord has purposed for you and you alone. Enter afresh into the rest of God, sis. In the place of His rest, it is surely going to be an awesome year for you and I, in Jesus mighty name, Amen.


Be blessed sis….. 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.