Last year at end of the #waymakerseries in @ElevationChurch, we were asked to choose a word to proclaim over ourselves and our household.
I chose the word “Commitment”.
I was determined to get re-committed to the Lord and was extra pumped to go back to the way things used to be in my life before it got crazy. Little did I know that the plans the Lord had over my life were not to take me back to how things were, but to bring me forth to a better essence of life, much more developed than how it used to be.
I had become so disappointed about a month ago thinking out loud how I had failed to be as committed as I had dreamt to be back in Dec 2017, when I decided that I wanted to read my Bible more often and pray more often and study His word more often. Not because He desired this from me but because I felt I could never measure up and so I was constantly chasing after trying to fulfill this spiritual emptiness my way. But what I learned during the course of this year was that God’s not looking for religious people. He is searching for those who are broken and in need of saving.
Now I didn’t know I needed saving for I grew up “born and raised” in a Pentecostal church and my grandpa and my mom (even I) were always leaders in the church. I had already professed the Lord as my Savior and had gotten baptized in the waters. But deep inside my heart was always a sense of loneliness, fear, and depression. Several factors contributed to those feelings, <
feelings of neglect, separation, abuse, rejection, guilt, low self-esteem, being bullied, belittlement, libido, indifference, worldly attractions> factors I will not discuss nor focus on as they no longer effect me, however, it was important for me to acknowledge them and leave them at the foot of the cross. I realized I kept carrying a heavier load than I was meant to bear.
“Worry doesn’t empty tomorrow of its sorrows but empties today of its strength”Corrie Ten Boom
I was carrying the troubles, worries, anxieties and stressors of tomorrow on yesterday’s strength which was leaving me empty and lacking on a daily basis.
I thought that if I could just force myself to wake up earlier, maybe go to sleep a little later, force the Word into my life-maybe, just maybe! The Holy Spirit would have no choice but to show up in my life.
Sure the Lord spoke to me. Not because I did those things and eventually fell short, as at the end, I was looking to pay back the Lord for all He had done when nothing I have done or could do will ever measure up to the forgiveness and the wonderful grace I’ve received from God. He spoked to me because He needed to tell me I was doing it all wrong. He was going to help me incorporate His word in my life through other means… by having an authentic relationship with Him and NOT through religious rituals.
If there is anything I have learned and have deeply understood for some time since being on my own-is that repetitive religious rituals were not and are not going to get me the real relational reverence required to live out grace. (This is not to say do not pray or read the Word. We need those tools in our lives more than ever, but what I’m trying to convey was that my motive behind doing such things in mindless repetitions were not aligned with His purpose).
Grace is, according to Webster dictionary: in reference to Theology,
- The freely given, unmerited favor and love of God.
- The influence or spirit of God operating in humans to regenerate or strengthen them.
- A virtue or excellence of divine origin: the Christian graces.
- Also called state of grace, the condition of being in God’s favor or one of the elect.
Plainly stated: grace is undeserved favor, yet it’s what the Lord gives us when we give ourselves to Him. In exchange for our temporary sorrows He gives us eternal joy. For our earthly chaos He gives His divine peace. And for all our anxieties He gives us everlasting love. His blood washes away all of our sins-past, present, future! No sin too great that can keep us from receiving His abounding grace. And with the help of some of my favorite preaching and teaching podcasts, the Lord was able to open my mind to a greater and much deeper understanding of His love for me and for everyone around me. When you learn to live life knowing you are loved by an eternal Father, nothing on this earth can take away your peace or purpose. In the mist of earthly troubles that are real and want to choke you out, shake your faith and make you question your beliefs, you get a sense that the Lord is in total control and makes everything work for the good of those who love and fear Him.
Once I gave the Holy Spirit the room to work within me, I was able to see the fruits of His labor upon me. Looking back to how much I had changed this year for the better good, to see how far the Lord had brought me from the depression that held me captive for so many years into His merciful and abundant love; the many beautiful souls embodied in the groups of people that have become my support system and seeing how devoted I became, not just to His word but to my church and my community through volunteering, I had become the commitment I had so longed for.
For the new #gamechangerseries this end of year at church, I have decided on the word “Courage” because I plan to grow my faith and take the leap into something more beautiful, wonderful and amazing this 2019, not just for me but for my family as well. ♥️
What words will you declare over your life for the new year? Let us know in the comments below 🙌🏽
“And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose.”
ROMANS 8:28 AMP
“Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.”
Romans 8:26-28 MSG
“But first and most importantly seek (aim at, strive after) His kingdom and His righteousness [His way of doing and being right–the attitude and character of God], and all these things will be given to you also.”
MATTHEW 6:33 AMP