“The moment you accept God’s ordering, that moment your work ceases to be a task and becomes your calling. You pass from bondage to freedom, from the shadow-land life into life itself”.
(Henry Clay Trumbull)
I am sure the majority of us have great plans for the future right? If you do that is such a great start to the year! As a woman who is influential and hard-working, I always make a determination to ensure that my works speak on my behalf. I do not understand today why most women say what they want to become, and never work towards their goals. Personally, I strongly agree with the saying ‘Actions Speak Louder Than Words’, because too much talk is procrastination. Today in our society, we list everything down that must be accomplished, to find out along the line that our inconsistencies in lack of delegation is making us start from scratch again. Honestly speaking I have been there and it isn’t always easy to get back up due to past experiences or even fear. One thing I have come to realise, especially recently in this new year that no matter what you work towards becoming. If it is not in the Lord’s Will, don’t expect an answer. A dear sister of mind wrote on her status not long ago:
“When God gives you a vision and darkness follows, wait. God will bring the vision He has given you to reality if you wait on His timing. Abram went through THIRTEEN YEARS OF SILENCE, but in those years all of his self-sufficiency was destroyed. He grew past the point of relying on his own common sense. Those years of silence were a time of discipline, not a period of God’s displeasure. Just wait upon God and be grounded in Him”.
When I tell you waiting is painful, IT IS PAINFUL!!!! I am actually lost for words by this statement! It really does speak volumes because a lot of us today have very good plans, but the real question is are we willing to wait for God to approve of them, or do we just rush the process for it to produce a fragile blessing? Most times, when I pray, I don’t usually get an answer straight away. I thought to myself why does this always happen, but I realised that God does not need to always give me reasons; all I need to do is to humble myself and allow Him to make my paths straight so that I wont break! It is easier said than done, but honestly speaking it is not easy. Some have plans to start a ministry, some are looking for jobs, different careers paths, some are planning their wedding, some are even relocating to another country! All these movements won’t always be comfortable, and not hearing what God has to say can be fearful at times.
When Abram came to himself, he realised that he did not have any other choice but to lay down his ‘intelligence’ for God to speak. There are times why now I remember God did not speak, because I was doing everything in my own sufficiency. It really wasn’t meant to be about me, but all about Him. This is why I cannot stress to you ladies enough that being GROUNDED in God is the start of a beautiful seed that is yet to be birthed, and this will take time. Some will reap faster than others, however once you ask God to make your paths straight, He will surely keep you grounded, focused and firm in Him. You must realise that when your season feels withered, it does not exclude Gods presence in your storm. He watches you every second!
I’ve also come to realise that without works, your Faith is dead! (James 2:17). You may have a lot of “FAITH-STRATEGY” but if you don’t invest in “GODS-STRATEGY” you are preparing for failure. Faith and Works go hand in hand, but if your works are based on your own strategy, no matter how strong you are in the Faith, you won’t reap anything. For example, if you know God has called you to be a motivational speaker or leader for women, that is your works. Okay now, having Faith is believing God to bring a strong team that will follow you along the way. However, if you are not investing quality time in PRAYING, supporting or even mentoring other women, or you are not getting involved in activities such as women’s conferences and events, then you should not expect a harvest. Your Faith is strong, but your works are weak. What is your works?: It is being able to SACRIFICE your time to pray and meet up with other women and get to know them. Although your intentions are good to support women, remember that you can’t always have a one-way strategy. Your one-way strategy will not get you the results, because God doesn’t want man to give you the Glory; it is not about you in the first place. Instead you will need to show God that you are serious about this commitment and stick to it so that He will continue using His strategy rather than your own. If you work on behalf of women just to claim a title, honestly speaking please sit down. Your works won’t speak for you with that kind of mentality. Regardless of the critics, you still have to let go of your strategy and let Him take over.
Your intentions are good to help women, but your motives are wrong. Why do I say that? Because you are focusing on other women’s ministries and not your own. You are trying to be like other people and God did not create you to be like them. How can we expect God’s strategy to be revealed if we are blocking Him out? We can’t do anything by ourselves; we really need His guidance so we must know when to pack it in. We also need to position ourselves to pray and ask God to reveal His will on how He wants to use us in women’s lives. It should not be for publicity or attention, but for the edification and the Glory of God. We are living in a society where jealousy and envy does kick in, even in ministry which is quite disheartening, but it helps me to know that there are strong solutions to end this, and that is PRAYER and FOCUS!
Please do not misunderstand me here, although it is very good to have a strong reputation where people know you for doing good, we must have at the back of our minds that we are here to serve Christ. Galatians 1:10 says “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ”. Ladies, always have it at the back of your minds to please God. He knows how to bless you in abundance; you don’t need an audience to see how blessed you are or the works you accomplish, but we must make sure what we do is for His Glory ONLY. We do not want to live a life of pleasing man. I am a strong believer in higher levels, but if I am going to a level where my ego will get the best of me then I do not want it. It says in Matthew 5:5 “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth”. Imagine how powerful this scripture is!! Humility will take you a long way; whether you feel blessed or not, YOU ARE BLESSED! Your humility will open doors that your own strategy won’t take you to. No eye has seen, no ear has heard, neither has it entered into the heart of man the things that God has in store for you and I (1 Corinthians 2:9). As I keep stressing, you may have a plan for your life, but you must make a commitment to lay it all down at His feet because you are not here to please anybody. Unless He acknowledges your plans, it won’t happen.
In all your ways know, recognize and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths”. (Proverbs 3:6).
It is so easy to start making a plan instead of waiting on God to give us His plan. Sometimes we are so entrenched in our own plans that we don’t even sense the leading of the Holy Spirit. But the Proverb says to acknowledge God in ALL our ways, and that means to care about what He thinks and submit our plans to Him for approval. Having a plan is not a bad thing, but we can simply say to God each day “Lord, I have a plan/strategy for today, but I acknowledge You in it. And if you don’t approve of any part of it, then I am willing to change and do what You want”. If you truly care about what God desires, He will direct you in the way you should go if any changes need to be made according to your plans.
To add on to that, most times we will need to discipline our minds so that we can conform and submit to His ways only. It is not meant to sound like rules and regulations, however submitting is saying YES TO HIS WAYS AND NO TO OURS! Just as we need natural disciplines in our lives such as the discipline to work, the discipline concerning our appetites, our finances and so on, we also need spiritual discipline such as prayer, Bible study and confessing God’s Word out loud. As we discipline ourselves to do these things, they will become habits. Then we will see good results just as we see good results from any other discipline applied over a period of time. For example, the ladies that attend the gym 2/3 times a week will see change, however it is highly dependent on your eating habits. So there will be areas that you need to be aware of, and some things you will have to say NO to so that in the end, good results will be our portion (I am a sweet tooth guys Lord help me).
Discipline does not produce immediate joy, but it is an investment that will pay great dividends in due time. In addition, DISCIPLINE AND STRATEGY are the ingredients that produce GODLY WISDOM because it teaches you that life is not your own, and that you must learn to commit every plan to Him. In other words, it teaches those who are wise that what they are doing now will be of great benefit in the near future. It is wise to discipline ourselves in all areas of life so that we can have a clear direction of where God wants us to be at a certain time. Remember this song “I give myself away” by William McDowell; let this be your personal prayer today. Ask Him to take your heart and your life as a pleasing sacrifice; all your dreams all your plans, place them in His hands. You don’t know your tomorrow but God does, so save yourself the hassle and surrender your strategy for His Peace.
Psalms 37:25 “I have been young, and now am old, YET I have not seen the righteous forsaken or His children begging for bread”. May you not beg for bread in Jesus Name, but come to a realization that when surrendering all to Him, He will not leave nor forsake you. His plan is greater than your own dear. Save your tears and be happy with where you are now, because He is shaping and pruning you to be THE BEST VERSION OF YOU! He is preparing you for where He is taking you in the near future. You will come to a point where you realised why your strategy did not work in the first place, and when you give God your plan, I guarantee you won’t struggle the way you used to.
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope!”.