Wise Waiting

Wait

Quoted from The Wait book New York’s Best Times Seller from DeVon Franklin & Meagan Good:

“The wait is a time to heal when the only one that matters is you. Some of the world’s largest greatest success stories are about people who knew that nothing they did could influence events in their favor, so they chose to wait for conditions to shift”.

When I read this, I had to re-assess my mind pattern and ask myself if I met this criteria. When things doesn’t go the way we expect it to be, do we position our minds to be at rest, or do we stress ourselves thinking that it will eventually sort itself out? The only person that can handle problems is YOU. You are in control of you thoughts, decisions, and circumstances that come your way. People who are intentional are the very people who know how to roll with the punches of life. They know that life will not always go the way they planned it to be, so they learn to adjust, and this is what some of us including myself needs to activate in our lives.

I have been in many predicaments where over-thinking did not do anything for me other than make my attitude bitter and negative. If you do not tackle the problem now, it will affect you so much that anything you plan on  doing will fail, whether its to study a book or confront an issue. Your character won’t allow you to do these things because your mind is being abused. Why do I say your mind is being abused? I’ll inform you. It is being abused because you are not giving it time to heal; you are desperate to find out why people hurt you, so you abuse other people with the hurt you received from others. Overtime, you will develop a character that people will be afraid of because you choose not to wait for the right time for your breakthrough. No matter who you are, you will never get everything your way; that is a fact. Show me a man or woman today who has received everything at a time they planned for it to come, and I will show you someone who did not have it easy but worked hard to receive all they have.

Ladies, there is no short-cut to success! Some people want to take the easy route and dodge most of the pot holes, but unfortunately, there will be bumps and side roads along the way, and we must learn to adjust to these issues. Unless you try to shift your way to the top with bad motives, you will still face the consequences because it truly takes time to be successful; it is not an overnight thing. A lot of people today glamorize success by the amount of money you have. That is not the only way to define success, so do not stress yourself over your financial status. There is more to life than being defined by your financial stability. If your calling is to be a leader, it is going to take time to operate, not only for the benefit of yourself, but because God has entrusted you to lead His people who you are going to make an impact towards. If I may ask, what are you waiting for? Are you aware that having a family takes time, being self-employed takes time, writing your first book takes time, but what matters is that you stay consistent with a positive attitude all at the same time. This is called wise waiting.

An influential philosopher St. Thomas Aquinas said that:

“A person is said to be patient, because he/she acts in a praiseworthy manner by enduring things which hurt him/her here and now and is not unduly saddened by them”.

I will not forget these few words “praise-worthy manner”. If that is all I can get from this statement, it is fine by me. Now I know to some it seems weird to have a praise worthy manner when the odds are against you, but compare yourself to a person that despite the odds against him or her, they refuse to give it to their emotions because they know they could end up doing something foolish, relative to someone who has been attacked and still managers to keep it going with a positive attitude. Imagine we all had this mannerism that regardless of what comes our way, we still remain in the attitude of praise. What impact will it make towards those around you? Do you not realise that your character rubs off on others who are in your life? Your inner circle is influenced by the way you speak, act and think. It does take time, however to know who you are (your character) you must learn to face these attacks head on because how you handle your situations will determine how far you will go in life. Who are you really? Are you a nice person on Sunday morning when you arrive at church, then switch into a bitter individual on Monday going to work? I know it is not always being who you are around people, but if you have to change for people to like you, I suggest you re-assess your friends. I would strongly dislike to be in an environment where I have to constantly keep changing just to please people. For those who are struggling to know their friends, this is for you. I waited approximately a year to have such good friends, and cannot thank God enough for them all. True friends are very rare these days and I had to wait scared, worried, anxious, but it worked out for me.

It takes wisdom to wait patiently, particularly when it is something that not only benefits you but those around you. Your level of waiting will determine your ability to succeed in life. God Himself requires us to wait on Him, even if it means not doing what our usual schedule is. A song that gets me excited when I’m feeling overwhelmed is called Wait on the Lord. The words go like this: “Wait on the Lord, He knows what you need, He’ll give it to you just in time, wait on the Lord. They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, wait on the Lord”. (Isaiah 40:31). When it feels like everything is against me, I just take time out of my busy schedule and wait on Him patiently. I must discipline my mind to stop going ahead of Him and allowing my “got to do everything now” mentality to rest. Yes it is easier said than done because God does require us to take responsibility for some circumstances, but NOT to constantly worry about them.

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You can be one of the politest person but you will still face attacks, no-one is immune to attacks. We will encounter problems in different stages of our lives. God does not require us to wait to punish us. Before, when I wasn’t a mature Christian, I would assume God to deliberately allow me to wait, as I would always see other people’s statuses on Facebook about how God brought them out of their personal situations and how blessed they were to have their first job after graduation, or getting married, or even setting up their own business. I looked up to Heaven and said “Lord, what about me”, He said “Keep waiting”. Do you think this was easy to hear? No, it wasn’t, but instead I obeyed. I didn’t question the Lord because I was convinced in my heart that He knew what He was doing. Take it like this: you have run out of batteries, you have plugged in your phone and now there is nothing to do but sit and wait. Whilst waiting, you know it really only takes a matter of minutes, you start to feel tense and anxious, wondering how long this could possibly take. Have you been in this position? I have many times. Charging your phone is not always comfortable especially when you need it desperately. But this is where our test comes from. God is not testing your ability to wait, He is testing how well you BEHAVE while you wait. It is easy to plug in a phone and leave it to charge whilst you have another task to do, but when your task involves using your phone, He will see your true intentions and test your ability to see how long you are willing to let to phone charge without allowing your mind to wonder.

While the majority of us is in a hurry, God is not usually in a hurry because He knew us even before we were in our mothers wombs (Jeremiah 1:5). God tends to be slow when it comes to blessing His children because only He knows when we are ready for it. God will not give you what you cannot handle; He knows what you can take and what you can’t take so learn to be content with what you have, and wait for the best to come. The problem with waiting is not having all the details. From our perspective, we have everything figured out and we want God to move within our time-frame, but this is not always going to be the case. We should not perceive the Father as Santa Clause only going to Him when we need a gift, but should be a time where we express our trust in Him knowing that He is working everything out for our good whilst we wait. God always has good reasons for making us wait. Waiting is a part of life and one of God’s tools for developing people. Yes it won’t be easy, but this is where your true character comes out. Are you someone who can wait wisely? If you do not have a journal, I suggest you buy one. Write out all the times where you were tempted to complain and compare it to the days where you were happy. See which one is most popular and determine your level of waiting from the results.

Moral of today’s blog post:

  1. Waiting reveals our true motives
  2. Waiting builds patience in our lives
  3. Waiting transforms our character
  4. Waiting builds dependency and intimacy on God

Wait 2

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The Power of a Closing Door

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Hello everyone and welcome back! Happy New Year to you all, and I really hope you enjoyed your Christmas and is having a great new year so far? Woah, for me I enjoyed New Years. So many blessings that are being birthed which I am very excited for! But before I go ahead to my topic, I want to let you ladies know about the first Empowered United Women’s Ministry Conference that will be held on Saturday 13th February 2016. More information can be found via my Facebook Page (Esther Jacob), Twitter Page (@queenstar2711) and Instagram Page (QueenEsther2711). Registration is required so please sign up via Eventbrite. The link will also be on my Facebook page too 🙂

 

So today, I want to speak to you about ‘The Power of a Closing Door’What is so special about a closing door you may ask? Would you suggest I am talking about the physical door we open and close on a daily basis? Well, it could be used to explain a situation metaphorically. But I am talking about the things we pray for that don’t get answered, our tears we cry at night that no-one is able to understand. Our personal one-to-one time with God will surely reflect the amount of doors He will open for you an I. You can be a church-goer every Sunday, but not have Him in your heart throughout Monday to Saturday. You can keep on giving your tithes and offerings until you don’t have much left and still feel broke. The power of a closing door today speaks many volumes especially in this new season we are in. When I was weak in my Faith in 2014, I honestly thought God did not like me. I struggled so much with job applications that it frustrated me to nearly giving up.

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I still remember a time I applied for a Marketing position for Gum-tree. Spoke to a lovely lady on the phone regarding the position, and she required me to bring my passport and bank details which I did. Upon arrival, a lady informed me that they have found a suitable candidate for the position. That day I was wearing the most tightest black shoes that my toes couldn’t breathe! It was more than a two-hour journey! As soon as the lady told me, I humbly walked out, went to the train station and I could feel the heavy tears falling from my eyes. I was listening to gospel music, but to no avail, the tears started to come. Personally ladies, I don’t cry in public, but this one was just too strong. I did not even have the opportunity of introducing myself and why I applied for the role. I felt it was a two-hour wasted journey, but I know that God didn’t. He saw it as a set-up, because I strongly believe ladies, what you have been struggling with the most, will be your greatest triumph.

The funny thing about us today is that we don’t want to struggle. In other words, we don’t want to go through the process, we just want to arrive at the destination. But can I tell you something? You learn MORE in the process rather than at the arrival of the destination. My mind-set before was like “When I get the job, when I get the money, when I get the car etc I will enjoy life”, not knowing that these things do not produce happiness. Being happy is about focusing on what you DO HAVE and being content with it. There are certain things I don’t have at this moment, but it does not mean I should behave in a way that is discontent and miserable. Imagine one of your close friends that constantly complains and compares with other women who may have it all. But the question is, what is ‘having it all?’ Is it about working full-time earning £50,000 per annum? Is it travelling around the world 5 times in a year? Is it having the best make-up and hair? Don’t get me wrong ladies, these are beautiful blessings; I see them as bonuses, but are they the real tools that bring about happiness?

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How about your friend who is currently struggling to find her inner-self? She keeps wallowing in low-self esteem, and you are there complaining and being bitter about not having enough money. Which one is more detrimental to the soul? Personally, I would choose low self-esteem. Some kill themselves due to this, because they have not made the effort to discover who they truly are, instead they allowed society and friends to dictate who they are. Have you ever been in this position before? Every struggle is a strength because in your weakness, it teaches you something that you would not have known. The struggle to find a job can be seen as a strength. For example, if you are constantly looking for Marketing jobs, and nothing is coming your way, shouldn’t that be a sign that you should position your search somewhere else? Somewhere that you will benefit from and grow! You do not just apply for jobs because of its title or pay. The employer does not want to recruit someone who just wants money. The employer needs an experienced and qualified candidate who proves that they are capable of handling the job.

Likewise, God will not always grant our hearts desires simply because we may not be ready, so instead of rushing, He wants to work on your inside. Lets jump back to the woman with low self-esteem. If God who is all-knowing, can see His daughter struggling with who she is, fear is gripping her, her mouth speaks negatively, she doesn’t see the best in herself, how can God bless her? This is a challenge to some of us today. When I studied Romans 12:1-21, it talks about how we should present our bodies as living sacrifices. Down along the line, we see Paul stressing about not being accustomed to this world and its habits. Most women today feel the need to imitate others, and never feeling fulfilled until they become like other celebrities. Now apply this in your own personal life my dear. Are you currently in a predicament where your mind is not at rest? Do you feel the need to dress a certain way or look a certain way for people to love you? If God takes that man away from you, will you STILL be able to stand?

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The power of a closing door is not everyone’s cup of tea. Some can endure it, but others cannot. Where I am now at this time, I can honestly say I am getting there. I am not where I used to be (praise Jesus!), but I am SO GLAD that I am getting there! It won’t be an overnight thing, some will take months, some years, but regardless, length of time has nothing to do with the importance of a closing door. Do not time destroy your blessings by counting the number of doors that close in your life. Some closed doors are blessings because I strongly believe that God will never give you a task you cannot handle. A book that TD Jakes wrote previously in the years is “Can You Stand To Be Blessed?”  A lot of people today cannot enjoy their blessings because they do not want to hurt or offend their ‘friends feelings’. I am not going to buy into that, because a GOOD FRIEND would celebrate you and be genuinely happy for you. I smile when I think about the relationship that Jonathan and David had, because Jonathan was much wealthier than David, HOWEVER Jonathan knew that David was capable to be King, so instead he HUMBLED HIMSELF and allowed David the opportunity. Now I do not know how many would humble themselves just to exalt their friend.

Despite the closed doors, the rumors, the heart aches, how many of us are still willing to see our friends be blessed? I know it won’t be easy when you have struggled more than your friend, but won’t you be glad to see your friend happy? Because I remember hearing that when God starts blessing your friends, it means He is around your neighborhood to bless you too :). For me personally, a closing door is very powerful in this new season we are in. I assume that some of you have already made new year resolutions, and some may not have been what you expected. On the other hand some may not have been answered, but that does not negate the fact that God is not present. Remember ladies, do not confuse the existence of your problems to contradict the absence of Gods presence. God will always be with you, no matter how long the door is closed.

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We will not always get everything we desire though, and it is for our good. Too much of everything isn’t good! Honestly speaking. If God was to give you everything at once, you won’t know how to handle it, because it will be too much. This is why God puts us in S-T-A-G-E-S. Most of us disregard stages with a passion, but knowing the power  of stages will enable you to reach your destiny. It may not get you there quicker, because a lot of women today just want to arrive at their destination and neglect the process. It cannot be this way. God wants us to be GROUNDED in Him (Refer to TD Jakes – Ground Level Zero via YouTube). Yes it may look like you haven’t got anything, but I tell you it is better to start with God and have nothing than to fight your way to the top without having God, because eventually you will fall. This is why I thank God for taking me the S-L-O-W R-O-A-D. Not a lot of us have the patience to go the slow-road. I remember a dear friend said to me that she told a few people about something that she planned on doing. Eventually, she realised that her plans did not prosper, so she learnt that saying things pre-maturely is dangerous. I too had to learn from that word ‘pre-mature’. We shout, jubilate and say we have this and that, but what if it does not come when you want it to? How embarrassing will it be for you? This is why it is better to allow God to close certain doors that are not relevant in your life, than to embarrass yourself and blame God for it. 

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GOD IS NOT IN THE BUSINESS OF EMBARRASSING HIS CHILDREN! HE IS FAR FROM THAT!

All He wants is your heart! Are you ready to give Him your all this year 2016? Or do you want this year to be a repetition of 2015? If you keep doing the same thing, you will always have the same result. Do not expect God to change your world if your only talking to God about your blessing, and not taking any action. Faith without works is DEAD! (James 2:14-26). Remember that ladies! It is your works AND the Faith together that will move God to bless you. Yes you believe with your mouth but what is your mind saying? Are you ready to have some doors closed on you this year? Brace yourself queen, because some will happen when you least expect it. You have to be ready for the trials, tribulations and silent struggles that will come in your life. Don’t expect everything to always be rosy, because I tell you, God can easily interrupt your plans! Try not to go ahead of Him because He is ordering your steps. God always works behind the scenes!

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Quote: I’m thankful for my struggle because without it, I wouldn’t have stumbled across my strength (Author: Alex Elle).

Remember there is power in a closing door; do not lose sleep over what you lost, instead thank Him for what He took out of your life 🙂

Blessings x

Door

Quick-Fix Solutions

Quick fix

“We want the instant solution, the ‘quick-fix’, but some things cannot be disposed of so readily; they can only be accepted. Go will keep us by His love. By His Grace, we can rest in Him”

Most of the time, we tend to experience delay, rejection, and heartache that we did not expect to happen. You just wake up, prepare for the day to find out that you lost your job, to find out that your loved one has passed away, to find out that your friend betrayed you, to find out that you have an illness. How much pain can one take in this life? Why do we go through these problems you may ask? In a world that is so influenced on getting quick solutions, we are tempted to forfeit the process and leap to our destination. But this should not be so. No matter what you want to achieve in life, it requires PATIENCE. It is not going to be easy, because what God has planned for us will take time, but waiting for God to intervene in our lives will grant us so much Peace in the process.

In time of trouble say:

FIRST: God brought me here. It is by His will I am in this strait place. In that I will rest.

NEXT: He will keep me in His love and give me Grace in this trial to behave as His child.

THEN: He will make the trial a blessing, teaching me lessons He intends me to learn, and working in me the Grace He means to bestow.

LAST: In His good time He can bring me out again – how and when He knows.

Where you are in life is by God’s divine appointment, in His keeping, under His training for His time. Every one of us has an appointed time for everything; a time to get married, a time to start a business, a time to study, a time to have children. There are so many of us today that moan and groan about where we are and not willing to make a change. I used to look at my situation and think it was hopeless. It took me over 3 years to find a job, but within those three years of struggle, God taught me about the importance of contentment and how it is so vital to appreciate the little that you have. It is not the fact that I did not get the job I wanted, it was God teaching me THROUGH THE PROCESS that being grateful is the way He can open the door for me. It was not about getting my way quickly, although this would have been my ultimate solution because the frustration was so severe.

I eventually came to realise that maybe He did not want me to work full-time, but to embrace the season I am in right now. It is not always about getting what you want especially when you want it, but about using the resources you have to keep you going. I remember TD Jakes saying in one of his sermons “God does not need anything you don’t have to bless you”. In other words, what you are demanding and frustrating for, God does not require that to bless you. He can expand the little you have, IF you know how to use it wisely. Those who work and receive a good salary may not know how to use their finances if they are not trained well. A friend of mine told me about a new driver who purchased a car for £1,500 and was working part-time hours, paying for the insurance, the petrol and the MOT. As she got on the road, she was not able to park her car properly. What am I trying to say? If you do not have patience, you will commit yourself to something you cannot deal with. I could sense that this person was very eager to be on the road, but when you don’t have the confidence to handle your blessing, it becomes a burden that only you will have to undertake.

I am just so grateful with the time I have right now, and do not take it for granted. I am able to continue my journey with YouTube and having friends in my channel to discuss about every day life. I am also blessed to have made my first wig/lace frontal (I’ll talk about that very soon on my channel) which I would not have had time if I did not reposition myself to think positive thoughts. I was always thought that not working is painful, but it really is rewarding when you know how to use your time wisely because you can do so much. You do not feel like you are being tossed about, because you are not liable to anyone. I thought me getting another job just to earn a regular salary would make me happy, but God has other plans. I may not be like the woman next door, but what I do know is that I am thankful for all I have, and want to use it as an opportunity to educate the ladies today who are struggling with one or two things. Know that GOD HAS YOU! Believe that where you are is where you are meant to be. Do not be ashamed of where you are. You may be 30 years old and single. Sister, do not look at your age, look at how far you have come. Embrace your single season. Remember it is a “season”. Do not allow anyone to dictate your decisions or make you impatient that you surround yourself with doubt and fear and make a decision you may regret later.

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Do not rush the process because the greatest lesson is what you learn along the way. Quick fix solutions are for those whose Faith is shaky. In order to experience GODS BEST FOR YOU, you must learn how to operate on His timing, not your own. Remember, we are all going to leave this earth one day, and nothing you have toiled or strive hard for will be coming with you. We must learn to set our minds on things above and not beneath (Colossians 3:2). Please do not get me wrong here, we do need finances, we need shelter, we need food, we need clothing, but worrying ourselves won’t make any difference. I wonder how many times the statement “I’m worried about…” is spoken each day. Millions of people use this phrase, but what is the point of it? Does worry change anything? No, so why keep doing it?

Start listening to yourself and other people, and each time you hear “I’m worried” say to yourself “WORRY IS USELESS, AND I REFUSE TO DO IT”. If we thoroughly realize the foolishness of it, maybe we will stop saying it and start doing it. Worrying about how your finances are going to get better is only giving too much energy on your situation. Instead cut back on spending rather than getting a loan. On top of that loan you know interest will be added on top so why think about that route? Replace your negative thoughts with “I TRUST GOD”. When you say you trust God, His power is released to work in your life. Endeavor to study God’s Word and look back on His Faithfulness in past situations and be determined to stop wasting your time worrying. When you reflect on all the good things He has done for you, it will make you think twice about rushing your process.

What you think you need is what someone requires elsewhere. You may be assuming that your friend has everything, she has no problems, but people know how to cover up their pain well. It is not everyone that is willing to be vulnerable and transparent about their issues, but when God puts those people in your life, do not take them for granted because it took them STRENGTH to be naked with you. We must understand that looking at other people’s progress will not stimulate ours any faster, but understanding that we are all in an individual race is what will keep us going. Never fight the process ladies, yes delay will come, disappointments will come, frustration will come, but be positive and embrace yourself for it. Develop a good pattern of thoughts that will impact those around you. Do not ever speak defeat in your life because you should already be aware that your words are seeds that has the power to grow.

Educate yourselves in being patient. (Read my recent post on “Are You Disciplined”). The process is teaching you something significant that you may not have learnt if you got everything your way. Avoid quick fix solutions; they make you end up where you originally started. Never try to want what somebody else has, you are wasting time doing that. Appreciate your lane, appreciate your struggle, and more importantly appreciate your LIFE. Your life is precious, it does not need any added stress. Work hard, see good results, sleep well, eat well, socialise, MAKE TIME FOR GOD, be positive! Most of the times we just want to see God work on behalf of our prayers and motives, but is that the only time you call on Him? Do you see the Father as a ‘Santa Clause’ you require when you want something and just live your own life? This should not be the case. He loves you so much and wants you to be honest about every attack you face. Do not try to hide it, but let it all out. Stop trying to solve everything on your own, it will only drain you. Learn to speak out and let a loved one help you. These “spin around three times and shout Jesus” is not the only solution to solve problems, but learning to endure in the process is God’s way of saying “I am going to help you”. Be still (Psalm 46:10) knowing that He is God is more than enough encouragement to keep you going. So I say today, BE STILL QUEEN. Sometimes God requires you to do nothing, but pray and keep still so that you can hear what He is saying.

There will always be two voices that will speak; (1) God’s voice and (2) Your voice. Do not confuse the two! Learn to communicate with the Father; when He is speaking you listen, and when you speak He will listen. God is a solution-maker, but He is not one you go to for your problems to be solved. He also created you to worship Him, so before you come to Him with your concerns, embrace Him; tell Him how grateful you are for sustaining you. The more you praise Him, the more He will bless you (Psalm 67:3). Remember ladies, when God is in it, there is NO LIMIT!

Quick fix 2

Are you D-I-S-C-I-P-L-I-N-E-D?

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Discipline is an art that requires knowledge, skill, sensitivity and self-confidence. In other words, discipline is the different behaviors in accordance with rules of conduct and order that is maintained by training and control. There will come a time in each of our lives where discipline will be used to teach us a lesson. Discipline from a Biblical perspective is what God desires. It says in Hebrews that “God chastises those He loves” {12:6}. In other words, He disciplines and if possible rebukes those He loves lest they fall in the wrong hands. When studying the Bible, there are different components that teach us about discipline; I am going to use all these fruits to relate to the term discipline in reference to (Galatians 5: 22 – 23):

So we should know that there are 9 fruits in total and they consist of:

  • LOVE – We are aware that LOVE is the greatest commandment of all. From a personal perspective, when I ponder upon the love of God, it is unconditional; no matter what I have done in the past or what I do now, God will never hold it against me. When I relate discipline to love, I can think of times where I found it quite hard to love others, particularly those I did not get along with; however I have come to realise that if God can love me despise all my flaws, how can I not love others? There is a level of discipline that God Himself will deal with us to the extent of showing us our vulnerabilities where it seems hard to love. There are some out there that may not always get along with their family. There is a saying that goes ‘you can choose your friends, but you cannot choose your family”. Our family is what brings unity, if we know how to work with one another. God also teaches us from a Biblical perspective in reference to the way we treat strangers (Hebrews 13:2). What about the people in our church who we see every week but have never spoken to? They too are ‘strangers’ to us. It is important that we talk to God honestly about our fears and discomforts in loving others so that He can discipline us and help us remove whatever barriers we have. Love should be something that is worked on every second of our lives, we should not take it for granted because our world today is so corrupt that all they want to see is genuine love. Yes love can have limits because when you love too much it can leave you feeling used, however the LOVE OF GOD is unconditional that you can’t get enough of it. It is not always easy to love especially when people do take your kindness for granted, but look beyond that and love them anyway. If God can love you despite your flaws and mistakes, I am pretty sure you can do the same too.
  • JOY – Joy is something that starts within ones heart; it is not dependent on circumstances or materialistic resources. A lot of us today depend on our jobs, our financial status, our friends, our cars and possessions to grant us joy, but real joy starts from within. It is crucial to discipline yourself in how you feel; your emotions, what makes you angry, what makes you happy etc. Joy is knowing that the Lord God is on your side as well as being happy with where you are right now although you are not where you want to be. It is so important to discipline your mind to be joyful at ALL TIMES. Remember the devil our enemy prowls around like a roaring lion seeking whom it may devour (1 Peter 5:8). When you are joyful in all situations, the enemy has NO POWER to come into your heart and distract you because that is his plan from day one. If someone was to ask you how to define joy, what would you say? Would you say it is dependent on your mood? Well, if you say that the answer is no. Happiness is dependent on how you are feeling at that very moment, but joy is an inner feeling of delight that cannot be compared to possessions or status of life. We have all got the love of Jesus in our hearts, that should be enough joy in our day to day lives and should be utilized to the best of our ability. We should not wait for our circumstances to change before we enjoy life, we must engage in joy now.

Self control

  • PEACE – John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid”. Peace is also another expression that we possess when used effectively. Peace should only come from the most High God, and not from external resources. When I am overwhelmed with so many problems, I discipline my mind and ask God for His Peace. His Peace surpasses all understanding Philippians 4:7. We all can experience the Peace of God if we put our minds to it and control the way we deal with our issues. Sometimes it does not even require you telling people your problems but just seeking the Father. There may have been a time in your life where you received a letter of rejection regarding a job or a course or your health condition, but regardless of what the world says, we can still have it in the back of our minds to be at Peace knowing that there is someone greater and MIGHTIER than our problems who can fight our battles and grant us His Peace. Psalm 23:2 says that “God makes us lie down in green pastures and leads us beside the STILL waters”. Having Peace requires being still for a moment. You will not always get your way if you keep solving problems with your strength. Being still and seeing the Salvation of God will equip you to know of His Peace and actually experience it.
  • PATIENCE – I remember the Lord telling me to be patient about a situation that was having such a heavy impact on my mental state. Just thinking about the issue brings tears because the wait was too long for me. Having had the patience to wait on Him, I honestly cannot look back but look forward and thank GOD that He did not bless me at the time I wanted it to arrive because He knew the right timing for me. Ladies, I cannot emphasize enough on the power of being patient; there is so much satisfaction in waiting. A song that keeps resounding in my head reads “Wait on the Lord, He knows what you need, He will give it to you just in time, wait on the Lord; they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, WAIT ON THE LORD!” The ability to discipline yourself in any situation that you are surrounded in is what David cultivated. This is what he said in Psalm 37: 7-9 “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices! Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil. For the evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land”. This is what it means to have patience; being STILL IN HIS PRESENCE is one of the ways we experience His Patience in our lives. Even when we do wrong, God is YET PATIENT with us and deals with us in His manner of love. Despite the evil ones around us, we can be sure that as we discipline ourselves to be patient for God to intervene, He will come when we least expect it.

Self control 3

  • KINDNESS – I used to keep telling myself that in as much as God has given me a bubbly heart, is it healthy to keep people who drain you in your life? I really question this because God’s greatest commandment was to love. Referring back to the Spirit of love (fruit), I spoke on the importance of family and how we cannot choose them. Instead, we have the power to be kind, not just to our family but also to those surrounded by us, and that means our work colleagues, our church friends, our neighbors and in particular strangers. Hebrews says that we should not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. {13:2}. Being able to show love to strangers and be kind to them is one of the ways in which we can get our minds off ourselves and be a blessing unto others. It is not just about us, but those that God has placed around us also. When we feel tempted to give up on someone, we must have this fruit at all times and use it to Glorify God. When I think about the times where I have not been Faithful to God, He has shown me all manner of kindness especially the ones I did not deserve. His Grace for example is sufficient for us; we do not deserve it, but it is because of His nature that He grants us this kindness that cannot be bought because it is expensive. So the next time you are tempted to give up on someone, remind yourself the amount of times where God took you back into His arms and was kind to you. Not only that, we can also be disciplined in the way we treat others through the help of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will prompt and guide us into the kindness that we must show others, but still being aware of the devices from the enemy, we can choose to still love those who bring so much pain and pray that God will change their hearts, as He also changes ours.
  • GOODNESS – There is so much that we can do for someone, but it takes the WILLINGNESS OF GOD to continually be good to others. It says in His Word for the Lord is good and His mercies endures forever! He is a good God and there is nothing we can do that can measure His level of goodness towards us. One of the scriptures that really captured my heart was Psalm where David said “I am confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living” {27:13}. David knew that God’s goodness was all over Him and for that reason He was able to show goodness towards His enemies, in particular King Saul to destroy him. David was disciplined enough to know that as God was so good to him when he committed murder and adultery, he had to apply it towards King Saul because God is always forgiving. God would not want His children to become bitter because of how people treat us, instead He wants to discipline us and follow His path to treat people well. Being good is not just only when your friend is celebrating their birthday and you decide to buy a gift; you can also be good in the church through serving the children or joining the choir or cleaning the church every weekend. These are different ways to be good as well as being disciplined because it will teach you how to be responsible for your future. Being able to manage the way you do good to people is a big responsibility that not a lot of people are willing to take on because unfortunately, some are still living with the “me me me” mentality. Until they have truly experienced Gods goodness in their lives, they will feel inadequate to help others, and one of the reasons that goodness is not being utilized effectively is because we can be self-centred at times. But this can be managed through discipline and sacrifice; being able to take time off work or volunteer for a weekend to help your local community group or treat your neighbor to lunch are ways of expressing goodness.
  • FAITHFULNESS – Have you experienced a situation where your friend said yes to something you asked for, and then later on received a no? God stated in His Word that His promises are yes and AMEN! God’s plan for us is perfect and complete and because He is so Faithful, He will enable it to come to pass. When I speak about God’s Faithfulness, I am referring to His truth, His character, His loyalty. God is not someone who would lie Numbers 23:19; His Word is forever fulfilled. Because of who He is, we are created to give Him the Glory. When everyone else have failed you, God will show Himself strong and be Faithful to you. His truth alone will set you free from man’s fragile promises. The promises of man will fail, but the promises and FAITHFULNESS (TRUTH) of God will never fail. It is highly important to discipline ourselves in the way we depend on people, because we are all limited resources and can only do so much, but God in His MIGHTY POWER can do all things because He is perfect and full of truth. In Deuteronomy 28 we read about Gods Faithfulness evidently: “And if you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God. Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field. Blessed shall be the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground and the fruit of your cattle, the increase of your herds and the young of your flock”. When you are Faithful to God, He will be Faithful to you and show Himself strong in your life.
  • GENTLENESS – Words! The first thing that came to mind is our words. Our words are seeds that germinate and can have a profound effect on the human mind. When we communicate with people, we must firstly check our motives (our hearts) before we open our mouths. Once something has been said, it cannot be taken back. This is why it says in Proverbs that “A perverse person stirs up conflict and a gossip separates close friends” {16:28}. This is happening so much in our world today because too many people are getting involved in situations that do not concern them. Our words must be gentle towards our loved ones, because no matter how tough you think you are, there is still a weak spot inside you that when a friend critiques you about your vulnerabilities, it can break you. So we must be sure that our words and speech is like God Himself. Even in His wrath, God won’t curse or say vile things to us; instead He waits patiently until we are ready to surrender all to Him. Titus 3:2 on the other hand says “To speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people”. This is so applicable today because when we become angry, we are genuinely eager to speak negatively about someone, but in this instance, it is advising us to be gentle and show hospitality towards ALL people, not some, not few. This is the discipline that God grants us when we literally feel like giving up on people. God has to give us the Grace to be gentle towards others and be honorable, because what you do unto people is what you do unto God.
  • SELF-CONTROL – The last fruit! Ahh self-control, where do I start with you? There is so much DISCIPLINE in this area that not a lot of people are mature enough to understand (including me) at times. Self-control is the ability to take action for your emotions, desires and actions. It enables you to stop doing the things that you usually do or deem as ‘okay’ but you still crave for it. For example, when you have one malteser, you say only one but really you mean 10 lol! Yes I have been in that situation and is an activity that I have learnt to manage and take full authority over. From a Biblical perspective, self-control is what God desires us to have. It not only benefits you, but benefits those around you because people are watching. How does it benefit those around you? I will explain. In Proverbs 25:28 it says that “A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls”. In other words, no one wants to be in an environment that they are not comfortable in. People would be afraid to trust you because of your vulnerabilities to manage issues. Lets say you received a letter to say that you were not qualified to take on a course, and you take it out on others around you, do you really think they would want to be around you any longer? No, because so much can happen in a minute. One little match can spark a fire that can take a long time to burn off. It is so important to know how to manage your emotions as it enables you to manage the way you relate to people. Discipline yourself to control your own mind and see how beautiful life would be for you. Why does God put so much emphasis on self-control? Because He knows how it can affect ones mind especially towards the things that satisfy us, but must still have authority over, so for example eating consumptions; this can be controlled but at times we get too addictive to food that it makes us lazy; some on the other hand use it as ‘comfort’ when we don’t always get our way. This should not be so, instead we should pick up our Bibles and study it, so that our Spirits are fed well. We must also learn to deny ourselves and take up our cross daily as this is a high requirement of Jesus. (Luke 9:23). Daily our ‘self’ produces desires that should be denied and controlled especially if they are not according to His will. On the contrary, self-control does not dictate being harsh toward yourself or living a limited lifestyle, self-control is a sign of inner strength and control of yourself, your actions, and your reactions.

The importance of discipline is that it will help to improve ones concentration and mental state in controlling what comes to the mind. Exercising and utilizing discipline in all areas of life will strengthen your relationship with your family and loved ones, but most importantly with God. He really wants to get into your heart, so allow Him to heal your broken pieces, heal your addictions, and help you overcome procrastination and stagnation. Self control is one of the important ingredients of success because it expresses itself in a variety of ways:

  • Perseverance!
  • The ability not to give up, despite failure and setbacks!
  • Self-discipline!
  • The ability to resist distractions/temptations!
  • Trying over and again until you accomplish what you set out to do!

self control 1

The Choosing of Team Members

Team

In your different stages of life, there will be people who like you because of the way you treat them, some may love you for who you are, and some for what you do for them. On the other hand, you will encounter those who don’t like you because of the way people love you. This is called ‘everyday people’. You and I are the everyday people. Be completely honest with yourself, do you really like everyone around you? Let us be sincere here. God loves honesty. One of the things I battle with is not loving people because I genuinely love those around me, but my concern is the way in which I perceive them to be. I can say I love everyone around me, but when a certain name is called, am I free or does my Spirit feel stiff?

I have come to realise that if God was to treat me the way I treated other people, how would I be able to stand? God is so loving that regardless of what we do, He still looks beneath our flaws and mistakes and washes us afresh. There will be times in our lives where God will test you according to the way you treat people. Treating people with all honesty brings blessings, not only to you, but to those around you, even your future!. If you are someone who loves working with people, surely it would not be a problem because you have the character in maintaining a team; in comparison to those who prefer doing things independently. Doing things by yourself is not always a problem, however when it comes to projects that must be fulfilled, you will need people. I will give an example: Jesus had the Father as I would say ‘His EVERYTHING’. Jesus was able to have fellowship with the Father, as well as His Disciples also. He had 12 Disciples, and there were times that He wanted to have fellowship with them (the time where Jesus was tempted and asked His disciples to stay awake and pray; Ref: Matthew 26:36). You see, it is very good to have a team of people you can relate to because at that time, Jesus needed support the most, but the issue was that His Disciples did not pray, instead they slept because they were tired.

Have you ever been in a serious situation that all you wanted was a few people to listen to your problems? To call you when you are down? Yes, I have too, and it has not always been easy because when I was at my lowest, nobody was around. However I knew someone who was up in the Heavens watching over me, comforting me and saying that I hear your cry. God hears your cry today Queen. You are not alone in your struggle. Sometimes God will give you the opportunity to choose your friends wisely. Not everybody you laugh or go to university with is your friend. Sometimes we think we know who is for us, but this discernment comes from God Himself. If God was to give us all the discernment to know who is sincere and nasty to us, this world would be all over the place. God can only give discernment to those HE TRUSTS. If God has shown you someone who is potentially going to betray you, He does not expect you to confront them in a harsh way and pounce on them. Instead He wants you to be mature enough to go into the secret place of the Most High, kneel down at His feet and pray for that person. He also does not expect you to go around telling people about what happened. Vengeance is not ours ladies, it is simply the Lord’s.

In other words, we are all ONE BODY IN CHRIST! When one member is down, we are all down. I experienced a moment where I found it really hard to accept people back into my life. It is not that I was a mean person, but my Spirit just could not connect with it. I prayed over it, and half of me felt like accepting it, but the other half was saying no. I was so confused because it seemed like at one end God was speaking and at the other end my emotions were speaking. One thing I have come to realise is that when your emotions overshadow the voice of God, do not expect God to speak because He won’t. He is not moved by your pity, He is moved by your Obedience and Faith. It is not about how you feel in that instance, but truly about what He tells you to do. I know at times it will feel uncomfortable, but the Peace you get from obeying is something not to be missed! Apostle Paul emphasized in 1 Corinthians 1:10 “I appeal to you brothers by the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ that all of you agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgement”. This scripture expresses the power of unity, because when unity is utilized to its potential, NOTHING can come in between, not even the demonic spirits in high places. Remember that your enemy the Devil prowls around like a roaring lion seeking who he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). The enemy hates unity, but we must use it as warfare against it.

As the Body of Christ, we must make sure we encourage our brothers and sisters, especially when they are weak and need our assistance. You are not the only one that has problems; we all do. Being transparent in the Kingdom is something I personally learnt to do in September 2015. I found so much freedom and peace in being open to people, their needs and personal issues. This is what generates a solid team, because true teamwork comes from transparency and selflessness. It does not come from pride or thinking you are better than everyone else. Your team could consist of 3 people, that is fine. Some have 10; Jesus had 12, although He had two intimate friends; Peter and Judas, who along the lines did betray Him. It is painful, but this is the life we live in and we learn from it. Choosing your team requires the wisdom of God, for Him to give you direction on who to keep close.

Nonetheless, I have come to realise that those who hurt me are the very same people who gets me to my knees to seek God further. There is nothing as powerful as seeking the Face of God when people treat you bad. Remember it is not about them, it is about your brokenness in the eyes of God, and how He can use that brokenness to mend hearts. We all have our own signature of being broken; being broken is not a curse, nor is being alone. Sometimes your team can consist of you and God alone. It says “Greater is He that is in Me than he that is in the World” (1 John 4:4). It is much better to walk with God rather than to be of the world and walk without Him. I have experienced greater trials and triumphs as I walk with God, and more is yet to come, but in the end I know that all things will work out for my good (Romans 8:28).

Team 1

Ecclesiastes 4: 9-12 reads “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken”. There is power when two people unite as one, because when one is in need, the other can supply. Having no one at all to lift you up when things go wrong is something that must be checked with God. Maybe pride is getting into the way of your breakthrough? Maybe unforgiveness is kicking at the door of your heart? What about that time you were gossiping about your friend and laughing at her situation thinking that it would not catch up with you? These are the things God hates; He does not want His children being lukewarm or taken advantage of. If two can come in agreement and make a decision together, no evil shall befall them because the decision cannot be easily broken. A problem shared is a problem half solved so the saying goes. It is important to share your problems because as iron sharpens iron, so does a friend sharpen his/her friend (Proverbs 27:17).

In Hebrews 10:24-25 it reads “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near”.  Sometimes situations occur that prevent you from meeting up with people. How can you identify your team without getting to know them on a deeper level? When I think about the people God has placed in my life today, it did not just happen overnight. I made an effort to introduce myself to them, and they also did the same. It really is reciprocal. The same with God, when you draw near to Him, He shall draw near to you (James 4:8). This is self-explanatory. We must be able to make the first move with others so that we know what they are like, their character; the same with God. God already knows us, but He is waiting for us to discover Him on a deeper level beyond the Cross. From then He will reveal your team to you. You cannot choose from a flesh-based perspective or how they treated you in the past; choosing your team members has to be authentically revealed from God. I know it can be easy to choose your team based on the way they treat you, but it is deeper than that. Being in a team is not going to be a bed of roses, there will be quarrels and disagreements. You don’t quit just because they did not choose your decision; instead you compromise and agree on one outcome. When we can praise people for who they are it is regarded as high quality so that the team will continue to make an effort for next time. It is teamwork that enables common men to do uncommon things. 

In as much as I have spoken in reference to friends and teamwork, it can also be the teamwork of family. When it comes to family there too can be conflict. The story of Joseph in Genesis 37, he had two brothers that was envious of him because of the dream Joseph told them. Now it is even more painful when you share your dream with a family relative that turns against you. This is what happened to Joseph and eventually was sold into slavery in Egypt. If Joseph held a grudge against his brothers, do you think he would have been the King of Egypt? Sometimes God wants to test your heart. Are you happy for those around you, or do you harbor envy? Joseph was mature enough to ignore what his brothers did to him and forgive them for their own sake. This contributes to effective teamwork. The respect that Joseph’s brothers had for him was humbling. It takes strength to turn the other cheek but is very worth it.

Ladies, we are meant to bring out the best in people, not the worst. Everyone has flaws; you and I have made countless mistakes. Yes you may be healing from your past and the activities you got involved in that were not healthy for you; however it does not give us the right to condemn someone who was in your shoes before. Instead relate to their struggle and help them up. That is true teamwork. One of the problems in the church today is its failure to function as a team. Too frequently we have situations where a few people, often very gifted, are trying to do all or most of the work. Other times, it can be situations where we have gifts such as singing but always demands to hold the microphone. Just because you have a mic does not make you holier than someone who sings without one. This is completely contrary to Scripture and always leads to inefficiency and disunity. No matter how gifted or capable you are, the ones who think they need no one else or that they are fundamentally indispensable, are immature. No person is an island. A teamwork mentality is a vital quality of maturity.

If we are going to function as a good team member, it would be wise to examine our own lives to determine what God has called us to do as a member of His team, the Body of Christ, as well as those around us. For this we should know ourselves in reference to our gifts, talents, abilities, and burdens in that we can examine our own motives, seek input from others, and prayerfully seek Gods’ leading direction. Secondly, it would also seem wise to take inventory periodically and examine where our priorities ought to be according to the standards of the Word. Our responsibilities and priorities change to some degree through the various stages and circumstances of life. As we are aware, circumstances can change and may move us in different directions with regard to what we do as members of the Body of Christ.

Team 2