He lied…and I believed him

I have this amazing Sunking solar lamp that replaced the bulb in my kitchen a couple of weeks ago. A tiny metal fell of the bulb holder and I couldn’t find it. Yesterday as I was emptying my fruit basket to make a smoothie I found it. Up the kitchen counter I climbed to replace the metal. Two screws out and back later, it worked. That took about 45 minutes. Sweaty and blinded by the bright light, another bulb went off in my head. That’s how God speaks to me by the way. With onions, metals, matchsticks, curtains… anything within my vicinity. It’s usually much easier to understand with these illustrations. So God brought into perspective the broken piece I wrote yesterday and the broken piece of metal I had just found. I had no idea I would be able to fix the holder but amazingly I did. I was ecstatic. The room was much brighter I opted to change the bulb but didn’t want another 45 minutes of sweating & holding my breath. I was assured, that God will and is in fact fixing all the broken pieces for a much brighter end product. I believed that, received it in my heart & thanked God in faith for everything He is doing behind the scenes. And just when I was settling into the miracles of the evening…”Pop”, the bulb blew up. And I went to sleep. But I asked God to let me know what that meant. He has used that to heal me of the brokenness of the past few months. It’s just amazing how he works.

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I thank God that in my hurt & doubt & questions, I did not quit on church and fellowship. All that time he pursued me. There was word after word that tagged at my heart. I guess I had gone much further down the drain of hopelessness and the words, as real and meaningful as they were, didn’t make any sense to me. I would have the food in my mouth but without chewing, it just stuck there. My nanny leaving was the beginning of the darts being thrown at my faith. So much more has happened afterwards that I can’t even recall, but they have led me to the point I’ve been: faithless, fatigued and prayerless. When God brought out my failure with the whole Cain story I missed the bigger picture. All I saw was rejection and an unanswered prayer because of failing to do the right thing. And I was wrong. 2nd Timothy 3:16 says that “All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work”.

The devil twisted God’s word and I fell for his lies. I believed that God was mad at me. That I was rejected. That I was the problem. That I had hurt people. That my personality is awful. That am unpleasant to be around and even God himself was casting me out. He did a good job. He got my file out and took the pages of all my past and weaknesses, went to the bank and cashed the check see everything I remembered about my past. He took away my confidence in Christ. For a moment my bulb was on and I was settling in the warmth of it and “pop”, darkness. And that’s all I saw. The devil came in and burst my bubble, with it my confidence shrunk. He filled me with doubt, and just like steam on glass the word of God was erased in my heart and mind. I knew it was there, I just couldn’t see. Nothing made sense anymore.

There’s no scripture that says the word of God is meant to torment and unearth every mistake of our past so if you ever feel that way that’s deception from the enemy. That is meant to derail God’s plans and purposes for your life, to steal your joy and blind you this way: that God’s love and approval of us is conditional to the things we do right, that you will never get over you past, that your mistakes define who you are, that life is unfair, hard, unbearable and the future is hopeless, that God hates you and is out to get you.

The devil is deceptive, that’s his nature. If he’s got you into depression, know that’s not the will of God. If he’s got you stuck in the pain of your past, locked in the memories of the things that tore your your heart apart…he’s got you exactly where he wants you to be. If he’s had you figure out everything negative people think of you…that’s exactly what he wants you to believe.

Guard your thoughts from everything that’s not from God because there’s no grey area. It’s either from God or the devil.

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Fixing feelings before the Wreck

It’s the 30th year anniversary of Ralph being a wrecker and he badly wants to change. In fact it depresses him enough to join a bad guys’ support group. He destroys his neighbors’ apartments and everyone dislikes him for that. Felix is the good guy…he fixes all the wreck and gets the love, the pie and a pat on the back. Ralph has never tasted cake and is never invited to Niceland parties. He intrudes on Felix’s crowning event to promise everyone that he was going to be good and in turn get a bigger shinier medal – after he wrecks the party.

He goes in search of his medal away from Niceland and ‘finds’ it, something wrong happens on his detour and the medal ends up in Vanellope’s hands.. She’s an outcast in Sugarland and has not been able to earn a medal to race because only good guys get medals. She trades Ralph’s medal for a place in a racing game. In search of Vanellope, Ralph finds other girls bullying her and defends her. After settling scores, Ralph agrees to help Vanellope get a racing car and it turns out to be a great bonding venture. Turbo, the king of Sugarland, who is determined to keep Vanellope from racing, sneaks in on her and turns Ralph against her. Ralph being Ralph does what he does best and Wrecks Vanellope’s car in exchange for his lost medal which the king happily hands him back. He goes back to Niceland to find the shock of his life. Spoiler’s end…find “Wreck-it Ralph”…it’s an awesome cartoon that God used to teach me a couple of things.

  1. I don’t need some medal (Perfection, approval, acknowledgement etc.)

When Ralph left Niceland, those who hated him became aware of his value. When he returned with the medal, it added no value to his life. In fact he discarded it. The search of this valuable tag destroyed everything. I used the definite article ‘the’ because I have put certain timelines on some things I think I need to acquire. Leaving Niceland to me is forcefully removing the barriers God has placed ahead of me to get my way. My feelings don’t give way for me to assess the damages because like Ralph, am not aware of the consequences of my action, not just to me but those around me as well. I know for a fact that after getting this medal, I will still remain empty because I didn’t need it in the first place.

  1. Sweet Lies

Turbo sweetened lies with half-truths to make Ralph break Vanellope’s car thinking it was for her own good. He did so with such sincerity I believed him with no shred of doubt. That’s how my feelings persuade me to go after my medal convincing me that everything will be prefect so long as I get what I want. Waiting on God but helping him accomplish what he said he would do seems just about right.

  1. The fixer

It cost Felix to fix Ralph’s mistakes. He went to jail and risked his life, but eventually he fixed things. Reminds me of what we put God through every time we entertain sin. 1st Peter 4:3 says that whatever sin we have committed before coming to Christ is enough…we simply can’t continue to entertain sin. We strive for righteousness and yes we may fall, but the bible says we are renewed daily to his likeness. If we don’t keep trying, we will never get there.

I wrote this post on May 14th after watching Wreck-it-Ralf which had been on my laptop since 2014. Today I struggled with my emotions again; when am angry am either cold or rude, or both. Today I was cold, walked into church cold, walked out cold and now am lukewarm. I am earnestly praying that God will give me victory in this area of my life. The fruit of the spirit has 9 attributes in one (one tree, 9 fruits) and these are love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. This takes me back to my other prayer request of unconditional love – love with no strings attached. With unconditional love, my peace and joy is not dependent on other’s actions. I get to be patient and refuse to get upset/cold (self-control) with people’s weaknesses as I respond with kindness and gentleness. I remain faithful to God’s way of doing things – his wisdom and not mine.

I know the God who filled this desire in me is faithful to accomplish his good – not mine, in me.

 

The waiting season

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There are irreversible lessons in life for future reference and to keep others from falling in the same pit. God forgives and gets us through our mess but the consequences of impatience are ever present.

Am here now, with the realization that as long as I am still on this earth, there are two things I may not achieve: a life of comfort (many yet to receive Christ) and perfection. We can remain in one spot for ages trying to achieve what God desires for us, thus the call to be patient and persevere. While we are waiting for life to unfold, its important to know that:

  • We are waiting on God

Every good and perfect gift comes from God, James 1:17. Not our friends or family, spouses or children. Not the bosses we are eager to please for a promotion. He desires to bless us, the only problem is we don’t know how to protect what is freely given, and the best example is salvation through the death & resurrection of Christ. Waiting as a process molds us to be keepers and remain in awe of what God can do, only if we don’t give in to short cuts.

Being there myself, I know how waiting on God can be a challenge. I have moved on my own where I thought God was taking forever or he simply didn’t understand my circumstances. Big mistakes I made. Some decisions are irreversible and God has had to continuously reassure me that first am forgiven, and he works out all things for good to those who love him and have been called according to his own purpose. What makes this period easier? It’s knowing that:

  • God has a better perspective of our lives.
  • He has amazing plans that will blow our minds, Psalms 139:17-18.
  • There’s nothing good you can accomplish on your own.
  • You can go ahead and work things out by yourself but you can’t drag along fulfillment and contentment.
  • A solid foundation in Christ is the only thing that will keep you focused.
  • We get answers when we are actively seeking…fellowships, prayer, reading & studying the word. That’s the active line of communication with God.
  • Avoid distractions – wrong company and especially one that pulls you away from God, being lukewarm in salvation, negative thoughts and environments.
  • Continue to pray even when you don’t understand. Rant (to explain at length a complaint or negative opinion) to God about your feelings of frustrations and ask for grace to desire him more than your needs.

 

  • Godliness with contentment is great gain

God appeared to Solomon and prompted him to ask for anything he wanted. He chose wisdom and God responded “I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there be. Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for – both riches and honor – so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings,1 Kings 3:12-13.” Solomon in all his wisdom & wealth considered everything meaningless Ecc. 1:1. He considered wisdom, pleasure and toil meaningless. This is how he concluded the book of Ecclesiastes in chapter 12:13 “Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments for this is the whole duty of man.” So there’s one who had everything anyone could ever dream of yet was not fulfilled. What is it that makes us associate one more achievement/answered prayer to contentment? Truth is, if we are not happy in our present circumstances, no car/wife/child/husband/new job/extra cash will give us more contentment. Remember blessings come with more responsibilities.

  • Keep Asking

Have you gone to certain government offices to be served? Well, that’s one place we can practice patience. In my previous work, I had to get tax exemption approval documents from the Kenya Revenue Authority to clear solar lanterns from customs. This usually took between 2 and 72 hours…2 hours when I camped in those offices, 72 when I went back to the office, sometimes less when I followed up with calls. Being present and pursuing those officers meant I was available to block them from their 3 hour lunch breaks, provide and receive any clarification. In Luke 11, Jesus mentioned the story of a guy knocking on his friend’s door in the middle of the night for bread. The one inside was asleep with his children in bed and did not want to be disturbed. The fellow kept on knocking and eventually got his bread because of his boldness. Are you giving God a break after knocking once, twice, thrice? Continue to PUSH – Pray Until Something Happens. I know what this feels like, take a break when you feel your need is consuming you; those moments when you start to question God in line with the unanswered prayer. Talk to people, browse on blogs and listen to the word for encouragement, this will keep you going in prayer.

  • The past won’t tell you anything new

So don’t listen to it. It’s a time waster, a rocking chair that won’t get you anywhere. It leaves you drained. It reminds you of everything God has forgiven and completely forgotten. It draws you back to a place that won’t offer you anything at all, if not more heartache.

  • One day at a time

Part of waiting is knowing you are on the right track. Give each day to the Lord, without wishing you were either more or less. If feelings of inadequate overwhelm, the Holy Spirit is able to bring truth on every doubt. Seek him.

Firstly, know that it doesn’t matter what you want in life, if it doesn’t come from God it will still leave you empty and dissatisfied. God adds no sorrow to what he blesses, Proverbs 10:22. Prioritize on establishing a relationship with God. Remember Solomon’s sentiments…everything is meaningless.

Secondly, know what you want and ask for the will of God concerning it, that is, question if God approves of it. He sent us the Holy spirit to guide us into all truth, John 16:13. If God gives you peace about it continue to pursue that prayer irrespective of the outcome and your feelings. God will provide direction on what to do, who to talk to and so on.

Thirdly, appreciate where you are. You now could be the best moments of your entire life and just because one or two things are unavailable, don’t leave the bird at hand for two still in heaven.

Fourthly, bang on that door. He will only send you away with what you need.

Fifthly, every day counts when it comes to the things you desire. If we spend our time seeking direction from God who has all figured out, there’s little left for detours of worry, discouragement, fear, doubt and the likes.

Lastly, the past is gone with the wind. Don’t go chasing it, opening old sores and creating wounds that won’t heal.

Don’t be stuck behind that wheel, God is saving us a lot of heartache.