Monday Motivation: “It’s not easy trying to please everybody. Nor is it possible. It’s exhausting and wasteful. The truth? You’ve spent too much time jumping hurdles and turning backflips for those who drain the promises living in you. Coworkers, family members, and friend circles have held your purpose hostage for far too long. Change your story. Escape your weary mindset. Walk away from harmful spaces. Dare to chase after and clinch the determination God is stirring up in you. It’s a new season, a new day. A new beginning fixed on pleasing God, the Almighty. Change your story. God is your help. You Shall Live!”
Lately, I have been reminiscing on the early days of me and my husband’s ministry. One of those memories takes me to the Bible Studies & Prayer Meetings in Sunnen Chapel at Washington Metropolitan AME Zion Church (St. Louis, Missouri), led by Rev. Lillie Fenderson, a minister on staff. The studies and prayers were transformational, visibly ushering many to journeys of healing and deliverance. The Holy Spirit would often sweep across the small crowded altar and fill the entire chapel with breakthroughs. One night was as unforgettable as it was the first time I saw my husband wrestling with giving way to the Holy Spirit, releasing control of all he wanted, for what God wanted for him. At one point in the evening, it was as if Rev. Fenderson was only ministering to him. We all felt the rushing wind of the Holy Spirit in that chapel. No one could deny it. We all prayed on one accord for God to break yokes in the room. And God did. There were tears and shouts everywhere. And on the face of my husband with eyes water-filled, evidence of relief. Once we arrived home, he was able to share what we both already knew. His humility of prayer and openness to God’s Way afforded him sweet communion with the Holy Spirit, which continues to show its might in our 20-year ministry.
The world seems to be caught off guard with what is now becoming one trauma after the next. But those who profess Jesus as Lord & Savior and are familiar with the power of the Holy Spirit should not be. We recognize the signs of the times, so we gather together, on one accord, to seek God’s Way in prayer. Our seeking subsequently directs us to turn from our wicked ways. God forgives and heals the land when these prerequisites are met. Until God’s people practice the full scope of humility, the world will continue to suffer the penalties of greed and all the trauma it brings. We can’t fool God.
“If my people who belong to me will humbly pray, seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.” – 2 Chronicles 7:14
“Make no mistake, God is not mocked. A person will harvest what they plant.” – Galatians 6:7
“I never thought I would live to see the day.” Lately, in our country’s present and not-so-distant past, I find myself repeatedly saying these words. One tragedy after another, one heinous statement after another, one injustice after another, leaves me wounded in these United States of America. Most look to some form of respected leadership for answers and guidance during tumultuous times. Unfortunately, I, as well as others, are finding disappointment in touted leaders whose influence goes no further than a photo-op and witty social media post.
The persistent turmoil in our nation requires much more than what we have offered as a response. It requires a courageous confession, earnest prayer, patience, obedience to God, and openness to a movement that refuses all manner of injustice and embraces peace.
In our most difficult moments when we wrestle with the impossible, we must muster the strength to plead the words of Psalm 5:1-7,
“Hear my words, Lord! Consider my groans! Pay attention to the sound of my cries, my king and my God, because I am praying to you! Lord, in the morning you hear my voice. In the morning I lay it all out before you. Then I wait expectantly. Because you aren’t a God who enjoys wickedness; evil doesn’t live with you. Arrogant people won’t last long in your sight; you hate all evildoers; you destroy liars. The Lord despises people who are violent and dishonest. But me? I will enter your house because of your abundant, faithful love; I will bow down at your holy temple, honoring you.”
Give yourself permission to hang on to hope. Leave room in your heart to trust God no matter what it looks like. A glorious new day is in view where God is lifted high. It is so.
“So what are we going to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us?” – Romans 8:31