I was that type of Christian who got saved every Sunday. Felt right. I meant to post Bound on 31st Dec. I didn’t want 2016 to be the year of shelving God. I didn’t backslide over the recent years, I just shelved prayer & reading God’s word until I was too dry to feel Christian enough. The bible refers to Christians as trees; either bad or good, nothing in between. ‘Every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit’ Mathew 7:17. I examined the fruits of the spirit within me (if any at all); joy, love, peace, goodness, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, self-control and patience…The bible specifically addresses each in various ways. Thessalonians 5:16 says ‘be joyful always….give thanks in all circumstances…’ I was certainly not ALWAYS joyful. I complained, anger had been my portion when certain situations arose, hopelessness drew in some days and as a result I shelved prayer from my lack of Joy. There was no self-control to hold back my words, lies, thoughts, and actions. I still lack unconditional love (1 Corinthians 13); love greater than people’s action and myself. I wasn’t always faithful in prayer and devotion. This spoke much of the tree that I was/am/short of. With all these thoughts rummaging within me I still expressed to God my desires of seeing through His eyes and in a dream I was referred to Psalms 139.
“…you have searched me and you know me….you perceive my thoughts from afar…before a word is on my tongue you know it completely…”
I had mentioned that my love for God drains me. I feel drained in pursuit of Christ’s righteousness – to live a holy life. God continues to pursue my spots, wrinkles and blemishes that sometimes I retrieve. Psalms 139 continued to say “Where can I go from your spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens you are there; if I make my bed in the depths you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast….”
I was also reassured that God knew what He was dealing with when it concerned me, for He “created my inmost being, knit me together in my mother’s womb…my frame was not hidden from Him when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth…”
I was put in the campus evangelism ministry in November of last year to serve in 2016. We are a team of 12 in different dockets. Our work is to share about Christ in campus; organize and lead crusades, preach, outreach, nurture new believers with numerous extended meetings of praying, fasting, sharing, planning and organizing among others. Before I knew in details what I was called into I said No, I asked for someone else to replace me because I was busy; mostly caring for my family (that’s why we need to serve God more when we are younger; when we have the time and less responsibility). God responded.
Before I knew it I had a nanny to assist me and I was attending a 3 day prayer retreat to dedicate the work ahead to God. There were certainly other things holding me back, some came up in our bonding session with the rest of the team.
- Fear of going out of our comfort zone
Most people, including me, prefer the comfort of warming church seats listening to a sermon. We don’t consider being the preacher, spending hours in prayer and digging the word. We can’t stand on our feet in the ushering ministry, join praise and worship, visitation, Sunday school ministry and missions. It takes too much time and we are busy with work, school, entertainment and family. Its equally difficult to leave the safety of our caged insecurities in attempts to serve God, but where is God in your comfort zone?
- Fear of Sacrifice
I mentioned to a friend that a good public speaker is not necessarily a good preacher. He disagreed. I know from experience that you can have the knowledge of Christ when sharing and that’s all you will share. God’s word is specifically ordained for a purpose and a season, we have to seek Him in prayer to ask for the right message and utterance for the audience He has provided lest we speak what we think people ought to hear. When we preach, it’s not our word changing people but the spirit of God convicting hearts. If we don’t seek Him, He won’t be present to do so. Walking with God will also cost us big time, some have paid the price with their own lives. Jesus in Mathew 10: 35-38 says that he has come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against his mother. A man’s enemies will be the members of his own household because anyone who loves his mother, father or child more than Him is not worthy of Him. He says this because nothing kept Him in Heaven when He had to die for us; not even the love of His father.
The life of John the Baptist speaks of the ultimate sacrifice. He was born for a specific mission; preparing the way of Christ. He lived in the dessert – he must have been lonely without his family, he fed on locusts and wild honey. It’s great to preach about the love of God and His mercy, it comforts people. Instead he had to solely preach about repentance. He was imprisoned for upholding truth and the Christ He championed seemed to be setting others free, except him. It must have been so hopeless for him to doubt the truth he had known; the Christ He had laid his life for. He was beheaded as a gift to a king’s daughter. When Jesus heard that John had died ‘He withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place’ Mathew 14:13, because it troubled and saddened Him. He knew the scripture had to be fulfilled and just like His death, He could not have stop John’s.
- Fear of Inadequacy
Am not good enough. That has been on the table for me; I have fed on this I know how it tastes and smells, I can perceive it from afar when am asked to pray or lead a service. The only way to counter this is enriching myself with the word of God; learning to pray in spirit as my roots get deeper and as I develop boldness in Christ. I have to continuously be present, seek his face wholeheartedly as I learn to focus on Christ and not myself. There’s no shortcut in being confident in Christ other than surrendering FULLY to Him.
- Fear of what people will say
We have evangelism week coming up in February. I will be part of my team preaching in open places, will go door to door seeking students for Christ. I will meet my friends who perhaps in that moment will not want to come closer for the usual hugs.
- Fear of the unknown
I was to hopefully work this year yet I feel I want to focus on this given ministry more. It will be great to activate my faith in God’s provision – faith and trust are areas I have been praying for God to help me with, especially when things are out of control or am in dire need of a breakthrough.
Will God want me to maybe work in ministry full time? Will this stand in the way of my dreams of a bigger family? Does this mean I will have no fancy career to pursue? Will I still travel the world like I want to? Can I be committed? What if my nanny goes, will I stop everything halfway? Can I sacrifice it all?
The word in bold is Fear, because among other things that will keep many outside the gates of heaven is the fear of grasping the opportunities set before us – the opportunities to truly receive and share Christ. The bible says that the race is not for the swift but that time and chance happens to us all. The other day I was afraid to take food to a homeless man; just in case he was crazy and he happened to chase me away. He turned out grateful and hungry too. Am glad I stamped on fear and blessed a heart, three in that case; mine, his and that of Christ.
Today God inspired in Me.…Salvation is a journey of Faith one day at time.
Just to share – Am on a journey (again) of reading the bible from Genesis to Revelation. Found it easier to start with the New Testament, drawing inspiration from the life and sacrifice of Jesus Christ, and am looking forward to it. Will find a way to share the milestones as God inspires in me. Blessings.