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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!

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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.