Step Back

step-back-1

Your worth is what you believe in, how you see yourself and how you speak to yourself. What negative lies have you been saying to yourself or allowing your mind to control? 2016 has taught me the importance of stepping back from certain situations including people; learning not to retaliate but pray instead to keep my focus on track, being aware of the negative assumptions that play my mind, trying to make people happy, most importantly RECIPROCATION! <<When I talk about this, I don’t mean give and it shall be given back on to you because we are taught to give. I am speaking from a relational and friendship perspective because there will be instances where we invest so much in others that we don’t always see the equivalent result or return.

As you develop in life, you also develop in relationships and friendships. There are some connections that you will have with people that may benefit you, or leave you stuck. There are others that may try to make issues worse, but you choose to surpass it and overcome. It takes a lot of strength, wisdom, and discernment from God to keep your Spiritual eyes open and alert of the signs, whilst being able to control and take responsibility for your emotions. When my Spirit is troubled, instead of wasting precious time trying to find out the issue, I pray then step back from the situation to allow God to have His way.

I remember having a conversation with a dear sister of mine; when she listened to what I was saying,  God used her to inform me that I was covering up and trying to make excuses for someone, but she knew that it should not have been the case. What I am trying to say is that when you make an effort with people, and you can sense that the effort coming back is not as genuine as you thought it would be, that is the time for you to step back and see where you stand. It is time-consuming and draining to keep people in your mind that do not have you on theirs; in fact, those who have the time to speak with others but not you is a sign that they have already categorised their priorities.

This is why I will forever love God because He has no favourites, nor does He hold our faults against us. I have been in so many situations where I know that God has told me about a situation and I choose to ignore it making but then ended up broken because I did not listen. Have you been there? It applies to everything in life; relationships is a two-way process; friendship is a two-way process. What you put in should be what you get out. If you have people in your life who are not adding any value, not shaping you in any way or form, not challenging you or bringing out the best in you, please question it.

It is not healthy to have dysfunctional surroundings, pretending to be happy, or fearful that people will leave your life. When God tells you to let go of something or someone, do not hesitate, because remember not everyone will be for you. Not everyone was for Jesus Himself, so what makes you think that everyone will be for you? I’ve learnt to take breaks whilst working on myself and with others because it gives me time to reflect, to really analyse those who have added VALUE AND WORTH in my life. To appreciate those who have invested their time in prayer, fasting, fellowship and socialisation. In fact, I have even learnt to thank those who put pressure on me, looked down on me and spoke about me because it all equates to the strength that God has given me for the road ahead.

Stepping back is good, and should be done once in a while. Never be afraid to let people go, because I strongly believe that what is for you SHALL be for you and nobody can take that away! Remember God sees through our hearts so whatever plans people may have against you, stand still and firm so that God will intervene; He is a just God and knows what He is doing. He will allow people to treat you funny and feel alone just so they can see the Glory of God in you. It is good to be afflicted according to David in Psalm 119:71 because without the trials and tribulations, how will others be encouraged? David had to encourage Himself in the Lord because he knew the anointing on his life. King Saul hated David with such great passion because of the way others loved him, that despite his negative attitude, David chose to surpass it by seeking God in prayer. He could have executed Saul but chose to let go. This takes maturity and a consistent yearning that seeks after God. David was a focused man, not someone that withers like the wind, or changes because people change.

step-back-2

What you go through should be able to encourage another person; it is not meant to be a time to fight the process to get comfortable again. God wants us to move when we are happy, and when we are discouraged. No matter the situation know that everything (good and bad) will work out for your favour (Romans 8:28). I stand firmly on this knowing that every good work I do will return to me 100 fold. We have to believe that our works are not in vain and whether people appreciate us or not, we are not obliged to change for anybody, other than our Father. Learn to appreciate yourself before you allow anyone to appreciate you because your worth comes from what you believe in. Remember that not everyone will honour what you do, but when you can honour yourself that is a perfect gift. God is the PERFECT MATCH-MAKER. He knows the right people in your life and will remove those who won’t add value.

Do not try to force anything to happen in your own strength, it is dangerous. I learnt very much about this. You can help people, but only to an extent. If they appreciate it praise the Lord, if they don’t, thank Him for the experience and keep it moving. God did not call us to make everyone happy. God is the one that understands the hearts of man, so please save your time and mind from being abused. Start from yourself; learn to treat yourself well and allow God to be in the centre. Let Him be your true focus, and remove the negative assumptions that block your mind to enjoy life.

Stepping back is needed; if Jesus was able to step back and pray without His Disciples, surely we too can step back from certain situations that weigh us down to gain strength for a new day. Learn to let go and let God; give yourself the Peace that God promised you (Phillippians 4:6), and most importantly don’t let your heart be troubled (John 14:1). Step back and run to Jesus, He won’t disappoint you 🙂

Peace & Blessings.

step-back

 

My Mind Has A Life

mind-life

We all have our individual lives to live; nobody can take our place. We make decisions, we wake up to attend work, go to the gym, eat, drink, rest, sleep etc. Your life is very precious, so do not take it for granted. Your mind contributes to the success or detriment of your life. How consistently positive is your mind today? The more you use your mind, it is feeding your life in the way you desire it to go.

When you strive to be positive at all times, life also will be positive back to you. The same applies to being good to people, people will also be good to you. You will see the fruit of your labour by doing good. Your life is centered on your mind because they both work hand in hand. It is vital to consider your thoughts, and ensure they are meaningful. Life itself won’t always be fair, I can surely guarantee that. But despite it all, there is something unique you learn about your circumstances. I can honestly that if I did not go through what I went through in my previous years, I would not be the woman I am today.

Thanks to my Father, I can confidently say I am in a much better place than I was back then. My thoughts are becoming like His thoughts, the Peace that He gives me is greater than the storm that tries to overwhelm me. I basically just don’t take any notice of distractions, neither do I try to entertain them anymore. My mind is solely focused on His Presence, and being positive at all times. Before, I could only seek God in bad times, but even when things are going well, I still endeavour to make an effort with Him, because He truly deserves my time.

Who are you giving all your time to? Is that person feeding you positively? Are you gaining anything from them? It is so important that you do not base your life on people and what they say to you. It is good to get good counsel from people, but remember that not everyone has the right to speak into your life. Words itself are so powerful that when it is uttered, it cannot be taken back. Our words shape our character, therefore, our character shapes our lives. When last did you assess your character? Any issues? Be honest with yourself, it will help you.

The human mind wanders on so much, that until we learn how to discipline what we think about, it will overwhelm us and make us complacent. When the storms rise, and people fade away, set your mind on the God who is stable now and forevermore. The fact that God knows your life more than anyone else gives us a very GOOD REASON as to why we must endeavour to keep our mind eyes on Him. He knows our end from our beginning. But just to remind you, that God does not show us everything about our life at a time; it happens in stages. I remember this time 3 years ago, I did not have the vision to write a book and now I am an Author of my latest book ‘It’s Time to Heal’. I am saying that my mindset had changed because I couldn’t keep up with the constant rejection of looking for jobs, and depending on people to help me, so I had to use what I already owned to turn it around for my good. Today, I receive so much positive feedback regarding the book, and I can only thank God for it.

Was it easy? No, it wasn’t but I had to keep feeding my mind with positivity. You will never get where you want to be until you change the way you think. Your mindset is as strong as super glue. Once you use superglue to mend a broken object, you will see how FAST the glue penetrates on it. That is the say way our minds should operate. Our minds should be quick to be positive and fruitful. What kind of fruit are we showing other people? This is another area that we all, including myself, must work on. How do people see the good in us so that they can glorify the Father in Heaven for our lives? We want good people around us right? But are we doing the right things such as serving people, praying for people, giving people a helping hand, supporting people etc? It is very easy to want to be on a pulpit to speak, but what are your motives? What is your mind saying? Do you want people to see you, or see God IN YOU? There is a difference between the two.

Our minds are sensitively critical and we must always learn how to think positively. The best way to do this is to study the Word of God. In your quiet time, take every opportunity to study the Word based on the mind. You will see that a lot of people in the Bible had worrying issues such as Peter who was scared to walk on water for a while (Matthew 14:22-33) or the Rich man who was so reluctant to give his riches away (Mark 10:17-31). This is what most of us are going through today in our generation. We are afraid of certain things, and I am not saying that fear will automatically leave your life once you have finished reading this message, I am saying that when you change your mind around, you will see different results.

If Peter trusted Jesus at the time to walk towards Him on water, he would not have sunk; this also applies to the Rich Man. He was so rich that when Lazarus was poor, he didn’t give him anything. When Jesus said in order to inherit eternal life, the Rich Man should give his possessions away and give your money to the poor, the man’s face fell and went away sad, for he had many possessions. Why are you going to be afraid of giving not even up to 10% of what you have to people less fortunate than you? Because his greed was too much. This is what happens when you have too much of everything. Your mind eventually becomes stingy and hardened that you refuse to help people, for fear of not receiving it back. This should not be so. When God blesses us with finances and our hearts desires, that should be the opportunity where we learn how to give freely. As I stated earlier, people will know you by your fruits, and what you are carrying. Are you carrying positivity around, or a heavy heart?

Your mind has a life, so feed it well and do not go astray. When you are stuck at a crossroads, seek the One that will direct you back to Himself. He knows your life more than you. He knows your tomorrow; you don’t, so allow Him to take control.

Pray for a Godly Strategy!

Strategy 2

“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.

Strategy

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!”. 

Blessings x

Strategy 1

Do you know your real purpose?

I usually get this question asked in some of my group chats on WhatsApp. Me and a few ladies discuss about our purpose and what God has designed for us to fulfill. I remember talking to my work colleague recently about the future, and she asked me a very good question. She said “Esther, what do you want to be in the future?”, I replied and said I wanted to work with women and give back to the community. I stressed the importance to her that life is not just about getting rich, living a self-centred life and then dying, for what will people remember us as? When we leave this earth, how do you want people to remember you? The life you live now impacts your tomorrow!

A dear friend of mine told me about the importance of “serving”. From a worldly point of view, serving sounds belittling, however from a spiritual point of view, serving is what God requires from us. It is a way of honoring God when we serve one another. Give and it shall be given back on to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over shall men also give on to you (Luke 6:38). What is this scripture saying? It states that in all things, we must learn to share and serve others, for one day it will come back to us. Remember that God is not to be mocked; for whatever you sow, that is what you shall reap.

When speaking to God about the purpose He has for me, I enquire if certain people will be involved. I recently gave my friend some advice which states:

“When you know a person’s character, nothing will surprise you anymore about the way they act towards you, because people will always define you by how they met you initially. You just have to keep smiling and move on with your life. Do not allow these small voices to get to you; they are not contributing towards your future goals. YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR OWN HAPPINESS. Stop allowing others to ruin it for you, lest you become stressed and potentially miss the road to your blessings. You are focusing on the wrong things; rather let your thoughts and mind be on the things that are above and not beneath. As my mother always says ‘Things are subject to Change’ and indeed they are! People will change, finances will change, family will change, friends will change, society will change, but God will NEVER CHANGE!

When you truly know the purpose God has for you, your mind will not be on situations that are trying to pull you back. For all I know, some people are very anointed at breaking your happiness. They want to see you fall and never get back up, but as a strong believer of God, why would you let that get to you? Instead, if you know how it feels when someone is trying to break you, why not pray for them? They clearly need it, as well as a deep intimate encounter with God. The people who God has placed in our lives; good and bad are contributing positively towards your future. It may be hard to understand now, but in the end, it will all make sense. We always pray that God should remove toxic people in our lives and replace them with good ones, but the truth of the matter is that we will need both seeds so that we can grow an develop to trust God more rather than ourselves.

With elevation, comes change. Trials are to be expected. NEW LEVEL, NEW DEVIL! When God prepares you for elevation, TRUST THE PROCESS! 

Purpose

For I know that all things (good and bad) work out well for the good of those that love the Lord and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). When we see our neighbor doing something bad, do we find it easier to keep quiet, gossip to someone else, or consult God straight away? I know we all encounter problems, but the way we handle it defines how successful we will become in the near future. Being successful is not easy; so many eyes are watching, ears are tingling, waiting for the day you fall. But all in all, Paul said that even though trials and tribulations come, they are going to be used for God’s purpose and will strengthen us in the end.

Your pain serves a high purpose, so why are you stressing so bad? Yes people hurt you, but we hurt God all the time, yet He is so patient with us. Rather than backbiting and hurting one another with words, why not pray for God to give you the Grace to handle your situation in a mature manner? Life won’t always be a bed of roses; it will have prickly thorns, but you can avoid them. The way you can avoid them is by changing the way you think. If you allow your mind to be robbed by people’s opinions, you will miss your purpose in life. Not everyone is going to like you, but does that mean you should change for them?

Purpose 3

I know how it feels because I have been there, but I can confidently say that God has strengthened me by all the things I went through with my past, and for this reason I am A LIVING TESTIMONY! No matter what someone tries to do to me, I just say ‘God take control’. No matter what happens, God will always WIN!! This is for someone! No matter what you are going through, just know that you serve a higher purpose! You are not here to pamper your emotions or entertain how you feel. Women, be strong; LOVE WHO YOU ARE! Never change for anybody but God! God will always win in all our situations. You never know what one is going through; a lot of people smile because they have been through so much, that all they can do is embrace their circumstances. Lady, keep smiling! God is on your side!

IF YOU SAW THE SIZE OF THE BLESSING COMING, YOU WOULD UNDERSTAND THE MAGNITUDE OF THE BATTLE YOU ARE FIGHTING! 

Let me just leave you with a song to listen to. I hope it blesses you. No matter what you go through, people may try to plan your downfall, BUT GOD WILL ALWAYS WIN!!:

 

Be Blessed! xXx 

Purpose 2