Tagged: determination

Are you ready to be naked?

He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.
Isaiah 40:29

Sometimes our determination to appear strong and resilient, slows down our deliverance.

I’m not encouraging victimhood, but transparency before God. Some of us have even made “faith” a barrier between us and God.

“I’m “believing” God”

“He will do it in His time”

– which at times, are not expressions of true faith in God, but simply caveats for inaction, prideful complacency and ignorance posing as faith. Preventing us from being real before the one who knows the fabric of our souls.

So what does all this have to do with getting naked? In the garden of eden, when God created Adam and Eve, He made them naked, and they seem to be unfazed by this. But after they sinned and their eyes were “open” , they hid from God, in their most vulnerable state. They didn’t consider that God was accustomed to their nakedness, but instead they hid from Him.

Adam and Eve’s nakedness wasn’t the issue, their naked, exposed physical form wasn’t what separated them from God. But their reluctance to be naked, vulnerable, transparent, before God – that separated them from Him.

Ask, where in my life am I trying to present the “best” version of myself to You (God), when You can see every crack, fracture, bulge and brokenness?

My weaknesses, my weariness cannot separate me from God, but my false pretences can.

David was the second king of Israel, chosen by God and yet he made numerous mistakes. He impregnated another man’s wife, committed murder, sending Uriah to his death on the battlefield. He was greatly bereaved, losing a child days after birth, and he suffered ongoing conflict within his own immediate family. But flaws and all, David was always quick to appear naked before God. Whether in his praise or repentance.

In 2 Samuel 6:14 -23 we see this demonstrated. David’s response to the comments made by his wife Michal, further emphasises this point:

20 When David returned home to bless his household, Michal daughter of Saul came out to meet him and said, “How the king of Israel has distinguished himself today, going around half-naked in full view of the slave girls of his servants as any vulgar fellow would!”

21 David said to Michal, “It was before the Lord, who chose me rather than your father or anyone from his house when he appointed me ruler over the Lord’s people Israel—I will celebrate before the Lord.

22 I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes. But by these slave girls you spoke of, I will be held in honor.”

2 Samuel 6:20 – 22 (NIV)

 

I like the term undignified – ask, how undignified is my praise, my worship, my surrenderance, my prayer before God? Many of us have become too good at “keeping it together”, that we cannot be broken before God – so He cannot heal us.

If you are familiar with the story of Hannah from 1 Samuel – you’ll recall how her petitions for a child made her appear unhinged in the house of God. To the extent that the priest Eli asked her, isn’t it too early for you to be drunk?

Imagine if it was this day and age, how many of us have the desperation of Hannah within us, and yet we are making “pretty” prayers before God and man. Jesus clearly says in Luke 4:16 -21 He came to set the captives free.

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
Luke 4:18

In Luke 5:31 He rightly said that those who are “whole” do not need a physician, but they who are sick. The truth is that none of us are whole, but only some of us are willing to acknowledge this before God, so only some of us experience the fullness of His grace.

Make up your mind today, and every day here on, to be completely naked before God and He will be your covering. He will clothe you with His grace. He will shelter you from the elements of this life – if you acknowledge your vulnerability. As Paul said “When I am weak, the I am strong”.

Teach us how Lord in Jesus name.

9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
2 Corinthians 12:9 – 10

God Loves A Trier

‘And were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen.’ Luke 24:53 (KJV)

‘Stop crying: don’t let your eyes fill with tears. You will be rewarded for your work!’ Amen Jeremiah 31:16 (NCV)

Whilst listening to Premier Radio, I fell asleep after a predominantly lazy day in doors. I woke up to a sermon about truly being a child of God, delivered through Pastor Brian Broderson, the sermon really increased my understanding of Christianity as a lifestyle and not simply another religion, I was fortunate enough to have been a listener. The sermon that followed was perhaps what I needed in that very moment, as I had taken a day off from university to regain my strength and optimism because of the challenging days I’d been facing.

‘Consistency is the key to break through’Creflo Dollar

When I was listening to Creflo Dollar, deliver a sermon about prosperity, I realised that Christianity in a sense, is a life of trying, yes you are incapable of being perfect by your own efforts, but you can be perfected through Christ’s saving grace. So long as we try, I mean really try, how can we fail in Christ Jesus? I’ve heard the saying so many times, failure is not an option or you only fail when you stop trying, and I never understood what that truly meant until this particular evening. God loves a trier, its so easy to say actually, I think I’ll settle with my failure thank you very much and wallow in self-pity for the rest of my life. But finding the motivation to continue, to rise and rise again, reaching a new height every time; that takes courage, that takes humility and it takes God’s grace falling upon the spirit and giving us the strength to continue.

Every time I was challenged in whatever I was trying to do, I’d say to myself, that’s it Dami, God doesn’t want you to succeed here, move on. But then I came to the realisation that if you are able to give up so easily, you didn’t really want or need that thing, and if God gave it to you with ease, you may have misused it or taken it for granted. Take for example Will Smith’s character in the film, The Pursuit Of Happyness, how short would the film have been if he’d given up after his wife had stopped believing in his aspirations? Or perhaps if he’d given up after hearing no once out of the several times, when he went to give proposals. It doesn’t surprise me that the Novel by Chris Garden, should be a bestseller, because we somehow think that there is some secret to being successful, however I think its a combination of God’s grace + trying = success = happiness. Equating financial success to achieving happiness is another debate entirely, however reaching one’s goals can cause happiness, even if it only lasts a while. There is however one success that guarantee’s happiness, and that is submitting to Christ, loving God.

It is important to note that there are several triers in the bible, from Jesus all the way to his disciples, to Moses, to David, and the list goes on. Jesus tried to save the church, by presenting himself as the living word, and every time he was doubted, he would try and try again to give glory to God. He tried with such determination that he faced crucifixion for our sake, that we would one day have the opportunity to try, to overcome sin, to overcome the wickedness and weakness of our flesh, to be forgiven when we fall, so we can continue to try. Moses continued to fight for Israel’s freedom with the God given strength he possessed, and if he had given up, I hate to imagine what could have been – but I doubt God would have given him such responsibility if he didn’t have the courage to try. David continued to try to do God’s will, despite being pursued by Saul, he submitted to God’s will in his life, he trusted God, and fought battles until he was victorious through God’s blessing and made king of Israel. Whilst reading Luke 24, I came to understand, by God’s grace, that even the disciples were not always obedient and strong in faith, however following the resurrection of Christ, they were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God – Luke 24:53. Emphasis being on the word continually, not once in a while, not until they sinned and then they gave up, but continually (KJV), all the time (NCV).

We are surrounded by inspiration to try, in the form of numerous biblical accounts,  successful business establishments, careers, strong families, the abolition of slavery and racism, the overcoming of persecution, personal fears, once again the list continues. So when you feel like giving up, then you should pray to God for strength, to continue to try, with the hope of victory to come – Jeremiah 31:16. Amen.

Remember, consistency is the key to break through…