HEALING BROKEN HEARTS AND WOUNDED SOULS

Posts tagged ‘Christ’

For Christ’s sake only (2 Corinthians 12:10).

After talking about the weakness he’s made to endure, after showing how he takes pleasure in weaknesses, reproaches, persecutions and distresses, Apostle Paul says something that really becomes an eye opener for me.

“For Christ’s sake.”

The only reason he will take the shame, the pain and the rain is for Christ’s sake. If it is not for Christ’s sake he won’t take it.

If we Christian people aren’t careful we could accept anything, anyhow, anywhere and from anybody with “joy and gladness” thinking we are being very spiritual.

The only reason that authorizes you to endure suffering is for Christ’s sake. If it’s not for that reason, get out of there.

If it’s not for the name of God to be glorified, if it’s not for the gospel to reach the uttermost parts, if it’s not to help a brother/sister in distress, get out of there.

 

HOW I DISCOVERED MY CALLING AND PURPOSE (My Testimony)

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This post is in response to a request from a fellow blogger and reader based on the last post I published titled “Why I got out of bed this morning”. In this post I said my life took a completely new turn (a positive turn) when God showed me my purpose.

My fellow blogger wanted me to share my experience; how I came to discover my purpose. I will just give a run down of how it all started up till this moment.

The early part of my life was littered with verbal, sexual and physical abuse. I’ve known rejection, disease and acute poverty. This to me was the normal since I didn’t have access to another kind of life.

Due to these conditions I became an adolescent and young woman who suffered immensely from low self-esteem, inferiority complex and insecurities. I hated myself, and the kind of choices I made later in life simply confirmed my state of mind. I became frustrated by my choices and the inability of others to understand what I was going through.

I gave my life to Christ while studying to become a professional teacher. I came to Christ with a heavy load of troubles. My life was meaningless and dirty in my own very eyes.

Although I was envied by many for my academic success, I hated myself so much.

Once in the church, things did not get right immediately. There was a battle for my soul. God had rescued me but the devil wanted me so badly. This opened up the avenue for constant spiritual warfare. Very early on in my Christian journey I learned how to fast, pray and rebuke evil spirits (They were all over me).

I had to seek solutions, and I sought them wherever I thought possible. I attended crusades, bought books and tapes, asked to be prayed for and then fasted and prayed on my own. But this didn’t prove to be the magic wand I expected.

Little did I know that God had destined me to be His servant and that all what I was going through was part of the training for ministry. Sometimes I thought God didn’t care about me. I then wanted to die. I really wanted to end the stress and trauma because that is all my life comprised of.

During the early stages of my conversion I began to have these “strange” dreams and visions wherein I found myself ministering prayer, healing and deliverance to people. I later understood through the teachings I was exposed to that God was showing me my calling. At that stage I didn’t understand much of it.

Also, I once heard a sermon that really shook the foundation of my Christianity and pushed me to seek God deeper. The preacher challenged Christians to stop being those who “sit and watch” while others serve in the church.

I must admit that I didn’t like the way he described those of us who were not in active service in God’s house. I felt a holy anger in me that sent me on my knees asking God what He wanted me to do in His house.

I attended foundation classes for new converts. There, I learned the difference between general service and specialized service. The former is for those who do not yet know their particular area of calling and the latter is for those who already know exactly what God has called them to do.

I was challenged and I began to serve in the church. I have served with the cleaners, the hospitality team; I’ve been a Sunday school teacher, an intercessor, the intercessors’ leader, a member of the women’s ministry among others. Then one day when Pastor was transferred I was asked to assume the interim until a new Pastor was sent to the church.

I learned a lot in these various capacities. This general service established my foundation as a Christian and gave me a base for ministry.

As I continued serving in the church and spending time in intimacy with God He began to show me my area of specialization. This was facilitated by the books I read, tapes I listened to, sermons I heard, other men and women of God I observed, prophecy, and then seminars and workshops I attended.

I never missed any opportunity to attend conferences and seminars even if I had to forgo other needs just to afford the transportation I needed. I was hungry for more of God and He honored my hunger with deeper knowledge about Himself and His call on my life. I always came back from the events enriched and refreshed.

But I still had issues. Only gradually did God take them away one at a time.

I’ll like to cite a few of the resources which among others really helped me during my search.

  1. Your season is getting ready to change by Pastor Paula White (tape).
  2. The Assignment, the Dream and the Destiny by Dr. Mike Murdock (book).
  3. Maximize Your Potential by Dr. Myles Monroe (book).
  4. Tough Times Never Last, but tough people do by Dr. Robert Schuller (book).
  5. The confident woman by Joyce Meyer (book).

I accessed other numerous resources by servants of God like Bishop T.D. Jakes, Arch Bishop Benson Idahosa, just to name these few. (I’ve read a mountain of books and I’ve bought a great number of tapes. I’ve been to so many conferences and I’ve sat down to talk to not a few servants of God).

In the end God made me to understand that He let me go through hell so that I would help others come out of hell. I’m a survivor called to reach out to others and help them survive.

But in all these, God’s grace has been superabundant in my life. I owe it all to His mercy and favor.

If not for His grace, there’s no other reason why I should be alive today.

What I can say is that it takes patience, intimacy with God, the willingness to learn, to sacrifice and endurance, when things seem to go directly opposite to what God had promised you through dreams, visions, prophecy and especially His own Word, the Bible.

I’m still searching and I’m still learning. I agree with the Apostle Paul:

Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,

I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:13-14).

I hope and pray someone is inspired by this resume of my testimony to seek God more and to get to know Him in a deeper dimension.

You are blessed in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

 

What is your Isaac?

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In my previous posts I have been talking about laying your Isaac on the altar. I have talked about the importance of surrendering it all to God so that God can reveal Himself through you.

But what is your Isaac? That is the question I will attempt in my own humble way to address in this post.

You might just be wondering whether God will ask you to kill your own child. NO! Our God does not require human sacrifice from us like the heathen gods do. He sacrificed His first and begotten son once and for all for us all and that sacrifice is enough.

But now, why does He yet ask for us to sacrifice if Jesus’ sacrifice was just sufficient?

In this post we will see the difference between what Jesus did and what the Father requires us to do today.

We all have different kinds of Isaacs in our lives and my own Isaac might not be the same as yours. An Isaac is that thing, that person, that situation or place that you so much love and cherish and will not want to be separated from. It is that thing you will never willingly give up if you had a choice. It is that thing you think you can’t do without (although God knows you can).

Let me share my experience in this area.

I still see myself weeping profusely and telling God I want to die, I can’t take it anymore; that it’s just too painful for me to bear.

He had asked me to lay Isaac on the altar.

At that moment I thought I could never be happy without that thing He wanted me to lay down on the altar.

At that moment I was convinced in my soul, (not my spirit), that I can never be happy without that relation: yes, it was a relationship.

You know what? He wasn’t some heathen or someone who didn’t know God? That would have been easier to handle. I would have easily understood why God wanted me out of there. NO! he knew God, but he lacked some salient points that were very necessary for the kind of relationship this was supposed to be.

Having been called to be a Christian leader and Minister of the Gospel, God was telling me that I can’t get married to a man who has no respect for what I’m called to do; and who will willingly tolerate behavior which I considered sinful. This may look minute, but when one is called to God’s vine yard, no error is ever too small to spark a wave of unholy scandal.

But because this man was loving, caring, generous and possessed all the qualities I ever asked God for in a life partner, I suddenly became willing to overlook his faults and to forge ahead in a serious relationship. The answer from God was a resounding NO!

How I cried.

My emotions were screaming in a different direction but God loves me too much not to just stand by and see me get into a mess.

So you see? Your Isaac could be just anything. It might even be something God Himself gave to you. (God gave Abraham Isaac). But if that thing becomes a hindrance to His greater purpose in your life, He could ask you to lay it down and let it go.

So what is your own Isaac?

Is it your habits? Your way of dressing, your relationships, the places you love going to or the things you own? Is it a particular hair-do that God doesn’t approve of but you just won’t let go?

It could look insignificant but know that it is not just about staying away from something or somebody. It is more about putting God in the first place and obeying His voice for obedience is better than sacrifice (1 Samuel 15:22).

The Bible says we are Christ’s ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20). Therefore anything that will make us not to adequately represent Him must be laid on the altar.

When God puts His finger on a thing in your life, don’t try to justify your choice. Just let go and you will see His glory. He will take you to a new dimension.

Remember, Isaac didn’t die physically on that altar, but the moment Abraham raised that knife to slay the lad, Isaac died in his soul, and that is what God demands from us; that some things die out of our souls so that He can be glorified in our lives.

How hard she tried to earn his love!

Coming from a background of rejection Peggy knows how far one can go to earn love and acceptance. Growing up and feeling unwanted and unworthy she quickly became the kind of person who will endure all, do all and receive all…if there was even a slight chance of “getting some love and acceptance.”
When she came to know God in a more personal way, she wanted to relate to Him the same way she’s been relating with other humans. She grew up working hard to earn almost everything. So Peggy thought if she worked real hard God will love her more.
The consequence of the low self-image she suffered was that she thought she could gain esteem by working harder than everyone else. This will make her a better person, an accepted person.
She did a lot of things for God, not because she had to but because she thought it will make Him love her more and accept her. She thought by adding her signature to anything that had a Jesus label on it, God would be so happy. So Peggy ended up with accumulated errors and mistakes.
At that time, giving, fasting and other Christian activities were not done as a response to God’s love for her. They were done to earn that love.
She was really too hard on herself; and when God didn’t answer her as she expected Him to do, (as response to her hard work), she felt very dejected and let down.
Then God took her on a journey; a journey to know Him; a journey to receive love and acceptance without “paying” for it somehow.
As if to shock her out of that wrong mind set, God started using her at a time she was still feeling very “unworthy.” In the end, she realized it’s not how much she does, but how much God had done through Christ’s death on the cross.
She was freed from that bondage and she’s been free ever since. Peggy never tries to earn anything from God any longer. She now knows all things are hers because Christ paid the price for that.
Peggy is now living the Christian life as God wants her to live.

“THAT MIRROR IS INSULTING ME”

Have you ever had the impression that your mirror is mocking you? Have you ever felt like throwing a stone at your mirror and shattering it to pieces? Have you ever been traumatized by the image staring back at you from your mirror? How did you react to that experience?
Today I will talk about mirror, not the kind of mirror that is found on the wall in your bedroom or bathroom. I will talk abut “human mirrors”. Let’s get it through an anecdote.
Once upon a time I had to work in close collaboration with people who do not share my faith in God and others who were Christians, but who had a different style of worship than mine. Others acknowledged the existence of God but didn’t care much about giving Him honor and respect.
As a Christian and believer in Christ I naturally had my own convictions and inclinations which did not agree with the general atmosphere around me. There were activities I could not participate in because the Holy Spirit won’t let me. Some times I would force myself into them but then I will spend a miserable time watching others “enjoy” themselves. I finally decided to just follow the Spirit and honor God by staying away from a whole lot of things.
Curiously enough most of my colleagues began to show hostility to me just for the fact that I won’t take part in some of their activities. No matter how hard I tried to mind my own business I always seemed to be stepping on someone’s toes. Why was my presence becoming unbearable to them?
I soon realized that simple acts of obedience to the Holy Spirit that I posed were provoking very strong reactions from my colleagues; for instance, rendering a service for free to people who have previously been paying for it.
Without boasting about my spiritually, I however noted that some of them started following my example; for instance they would speak out against the use of obscene language and other wayward behavior. When this happened, instead for those concerned to check themselves they reacted by becoming even more hostile towards me.
There were times I almost walked up to them to let them know I have no hand in that; that I wasn’t the one inciting the others to speak out against their wayward manners. Put I thought better. I had nothing to apologize for, and it the cap fitted anyone, what they had to do was to wear it or get rid of it for good.
Now, back to mirror. What was happening here? There was a mirror on the wall; some people didn’t like the image they saw in it.
As Christians, we are mirrors on the wall. When people observe our lifestyle they either acknowledge their need for God and His righteousness or they hate us for giving them the image they do not want to acknowledge.
Instead of changing their lives in order to get a better image from the mirror, they try to change the mirror or throw stones at it. These are very futile options.
But that is what it means to be a Christian; presenting Christ to the world even on hostile grounds and being ready to receive stones for the sake of the Kingdom. We are not to conform to this present age, but to God’s own standard (Romans 12:2); then we will be able to show forth what the will of God is; we will be the lighthouse that directs people to God.
What is your own experience at your job, in your neighborhood, family…? What battles do you fight on a daily basis as you strive to present Christ through your words and lifestyle?

CHEER UP!

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Cheer up, fear not.

The Lord has not abdicated His throne.

He is still in control of the universe.

HE WHO MADE ME WELL… (John 5:5-9)

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One day Jesus saw a man who had been sitting near a pool for 38 years waiting for and expecting healing from God. Everybody knew about him and no one did try to help him out. Everybody seemed to think that somehow, there was nothing wrong in him being there. He had become a part of the natural décor of that environment; it had become normal to see him there year after year and decade after decade.

Then one day something different happened to him. Jesus showed up, gave him an instruction and his story changed. “Glory to God, a notable miracle has happened. Our God has done it again…” This should have been the reaction of the leaders of the church. They should have been happy to see another testimony pointing to the greatness of God. No! They had other priorities at heart.

“Why are you carrying your bed on the Sabbath? Why did that man heal you on the Sabbath?”

It is like that prostitute who goes to church feeling so depressed…more depressed than the state of her dress; but then all we can see is her short skirt and heavy make-up. We then fail to appreciate a notable miracle; the fact that someone like that has made up their mind to stop running away from God.

I like the response the man gave to the Pharisees when they desired to know why he was crying his bed on the Sabbath.

“He who made me well said to me, ‘take up your bed and walk (John 5:11).’

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I don’t know who has been breathing down the back of your neck and giving you five reasons why you shouldn’t be doing what you are doing. “As long as you live in my house, it is unlawful for you to pray. You are a former drug-addict and I won’t let you see my daughter; you used to be a sex worker, I can’t attend your church; you got born into the wrong family, you can’t have a break in life…”

This is my encouragement to you. Look at them in the face and say…”He who saved me told me I could make it…He who rescued me from the pit said to me ‘you are fearfully and wonderfully made…’”

At the end of the day, it’s not about pleasing men; it’s about doing the will of God and making it to heaven.

 

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