Ever since last Friday night, I’ve had the overwhelming sense that God is preparing me for something beyond my imagination. On that Friday, after 2 1/2 hours of unthinkable traffic, completely flustered, and irritated to no end… I finally reach the doors and get seated comfortably at the APEX conference just in time for Vickie Winans to grace the stage. It’s crazy how quick my irritation turned into praise as I stood amongst people who gathered for the same purpose… to give honor to God. I was having a good time but it wasn’t until Smokey Norful took to the mic that I realized why God saw fit for me to be there that night. He was on the stage for at least an hour and the most powerful words he spoke took all of 30 seconds to recite.
Let me paraphrase… “Many of you are going through a rough period right now. Everything seems to be going wrong and you’re wondering when things will turn in your favor. You’re wondering when you will smile again. Well have you ever thought that the enemy may be wreaking havoc in your life because he sees more in you than you see in yourself? He recognizes your potential and the impact you can have in the world and is doing everything in his power to destroy you. His purpose is not to wound or merely hurt you… his purpose is to wipe out your very existence!”
I soaked in those words like he was speaking them in slow motion. It felt like that Word was spoken directly to me because God knows that I have been challenged in so many areas this year. It’s been an extremely difficult, emotional roller coaster type of year! And it was in that instance that the “hood” came out of me. Bet you didn’t think that’s where I would go with this! I’m serious, I got angry at the thought of being taken out without a fight. I envisioned the enemy of all enemies skillfully forming his web so that I trap myself in my own ill-fated, self destructive thoughts. Needless to say, I left the conference with more wisdom, more praise in my heart, and more fight than ever. I was refreshed with a renewed attitude!
As if that wasn’t enough, this past Sunday my Pastor spoke on how God raises up someone in every generation and gives them instructions on how to lead His people to the next level of living. He encouraged us to learn how to follow instructions, those that we hear directly from God and those that are given to us by the people God placed in our lives to help us along the way. He quoted the scripture…Prov. 14:12, “There is a way which seems right to a man and appears straight before him, but at the end of it is the way of death.” I began to think about all the times I acted on what seemed right to me…
It seemed right to… jump out the car with a crowbar on the dude that called me out of name and threatened to vandalize my car (yeah, that was me a few years back!)
It seemed right to… cuss out the police officer who spoke to me in a condescending tone after my home was burglarized. (yeah, that was me just this past summer!)
It also seemed right to… give into the pressure of love and compromise my walk because that’s what relationships are about right… compromise? (can you say, dumb days?!)
How many things can you reflect on in the past that seemed right at the time but looking back you realize it was so far from it?
I know that we can chalk it up to youth and an inquisitive mind but when I think of all the times that I missed it, I can’t help but want to kick myself! I was so busy trying to fit into what people my age were doing and not listening to that voice inside me that told me to set myself apart and be an example. Well, I can’t erase the past but I sure can shape the future and I’m doing it one day, one decision, and one step at a time.
Let me encourage you to try a few days listening for the voice of God and following His instructions… no matter how out of touch from reality they may seem, know that God will never leave you nor forsake you. He’s with you through it all; we just have to acknowledge His presence. Try to avoid rationalizing His words with your way of thinking. Like a child who has never drawn a picture can connect the dots to create a masterpiece, so are we able to follow the instructions of our Father to live out a life that we could have never envisioned for ourselves.
Tuesdays with Bianca