HEALING BROKEN HEARTS AND WOUNDED SOULS

Posts tagged ‘Grace’

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 God didn’t tell you when you got born again

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That there will be days He seems so far away

That on some days you’ll feel so distant from his grace

That you’ll wet your pillow with tears some nights

That the sun will scorch you in the wilderness some days

That the devil will come after you like a roaring lion

That you’ll have to defeat the giants before you enter the Promise Land.

This would have scared you away from His ultimate purpose for your life.

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But do you know…

That His grace is sufficient and ever present?

That He will never leave you nor forsake you?

That He brings water out of rocks in the wilderness?

That you have authority over that roaring lion?

That, like David you can slay that giant and get the victory?

Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

(Romans 8:37)

When God does “dumb” things, Grace is at work

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Say God sends His prophet to marry a whore…why will God ever do such a dumb thing?

God wants to send home a message to His people and that message is that He loves them; that it hurts to love and not be loved in turn. The message of love (grace) is more important than upholding the law.

So God sends His prophet to go get a taste of unrequited love and rejection.

God makes us a message so that we can speak the message with first hand experiential knowledge.

There is something about preaching your message, your own experience.

Prophet Hosea should be stoned for calling himself a prophet of God, yet playing around with a harlot. That is my own judgment on the matter. I’m a human being.

No! He won’t get a death sentence. His is an instruction directly from the throne room and grace from that same throne covers him. There is no telling what could happen to you if you try to get for yourself your own harlot.

We can imitate people’s actions but not the grace of God upon their lives.

  • He slept with a lady, killed her man and married her (David). He is the man after God’s heart.
  • He killed an Egyptian and fled into the desert (Moses). He is the great prophet and leader of Israel.
  • He ruthlessly and heartlessly persecuted and killed Christian (Saul of Tarsus). He is one of the most impactful people in history.

So what is this God up to?

It was never by qualification or self-righteousness. Our own righteousness is but like filthy rags in His eyes (Isaiah 64:6).

Say you do something really dumb, terrible and repugnant. Then you quickly retreat into your bedroom, fall on your knees and start imploring God’s mercy and forgiveness. But all this while you are actually begging Him not to release the thunder bolt and hailstones He’s preparing to rain down on you. You are trembling with fear, shame and guilt and you can’t look God in the face. You cry out in despair “Kill me Lord, I’m not worthy…I’m no good.”

While you are still kneeling there and waiting for the verdict you hear a sound somewhere deep within your spirit “…It is well, it is well with my soul…”

You quickly rebuke yourself for being so “stupid”. How can I be singing such a song when I’m supposed to hang myself for what I just did? You even apologize to God for such a bad conduct. Yet that song won’t go away. You feel like a miserable criminal awaiting a life sentence but your spirit is singing another song.

That is grace. Pure and unadulterated. Will you receive it?

I used to fight that gentle voice with every ounce of energy in me. Imagine I’m reeking of fear and then I hear my spirit singing “fear not…” I’m feeling really guilty and then all I hear is “it is well with my soul…” I’m dead worried about paying the bills, then all I hear is “all things are possible to those who believe”.

Then one day I realized I have been fighting against God’s grace. That “contrary” song welling up from within me is God’s message of grace to me in that situation. I don’t need to feel like that song before I can accept, believe and sing it. I just ignore my emotions and start to sing it out loud.

Grace does not condemn. It encourages us to say “yes” to God’s love.

I came from a background where I had to earn it all through hard work and good works.

Receiving God’s unmerited favor was quite an issue for me. I didn’t understand why God should just give me things, do things for me or pardon my folly without me having to do something to earn it. I always wanted to do something in return. Then one day God got tired of my wrong mindset and came up with a strategy just for me.

He let me mess up so badly and so many times that I thought “woe is me, I’m undone…I’m no good. I’m an embarrassment to you Lord; kill me so that I don’t bring more shame on you…”

I was kneeling there like a condemned criminal waiting for my sentencing. You know what? I instead heard that song “…it is well, it is well with my soul.”

You will ask me, does God condone sin then? No! His grace is bigger than His anger.

God will suspend one of the laws for a season, for a reason and for a person so that a bigger purpose can be achieved. That does not make Him unrighteous. It makes Him sovereign and very merciful.

 

When I waited for condemnation and all I got was love, I began to understand the depth of God’s love and grace for me. I’m a product of grace and I’m sent forth to spread the message of God’s grace.

When I expected rejection and rather got another round of God’s love that is when I began to understand the God I have been “serving” for years. I just realized I never knew Him before.

Since I was the kind of person who always wanted to fix it all on my own, God allowed situations in my life that neither money nor relationships, nor talents nor networking could ever solve. I mean impossible situations. I fought, I networked, and I prayed and fasted…no solution.

Then I learned the song… “I surrender all…”

For how long has God been trying to bring you to the end of yourself so that you can start trusting Him? For how long has He been trying to bring you to an understanding of His grace? How much longer will He stand with outstretched hands while you run about trying to fix it all by your own effort?

I invite you to sing with me…”I surrender all…”

You hate the white flag. You don’t want to see it, let alone use it. But for this situation God is telling you “pull the white flag my child. I can’t come to your rescue until you pull that white flag.”

Don’t try another recipe; ask for God’s own recipe.

 

 

Grace: Have you ever experienced it?

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Only those who have received of the grace of God are able to show grace and mercy to others. You can’t give what you don’t have.

If you have never known and experienced God’s grace, you could be unnecessarily hard on others because you do not know just how merciful God is.

When you open your heart to His grace he will pour out so much of it into your heart that when you open your mouth to speak, it is grace that will flow.

Grace is so deep, so unique that we tend to misunderstand it.

Sometimes we fight against grace (God) because we can’t handle the kind of blessing grace has bestowed on us.

Those of us who have always got it by hook, crook and work find it hard to just settle down to the fact that this time we got it all for free, by His grace.

Those of us who have messed up so badly in the past and have paid dearly for it find it hard to understand why God will just forgive us without us paying the price. (Jesus paid that price on the cross).

If you fail to understand grace you could spend your entire life fighting against God’s will for your life.

Knowledge of the grace of God will free you from a lot of headaches and heartaches in this life.

When God does “dumb” things, grace is at work: part 4

 

When I waited for condemnation and all I got was love, I began to understand the depth of God love and grace for me. I’m a product of grace and I’m sent forth to spread the message of God’s grace.

When I expected rejection and rather got another round of God’s love that is when I began to understand the God I have been “serving” for years. I just realized I never knew Him all this while.

Since I was the kind of person who always wanted to fix it all on my own, God allowed situations in my life that neither money nor relationships, nor talents nor networking could ever solve. I mean impossible situations. I fought, I networked, and I prayed and fasted…no solution.

Then I learned the song… “I surrender all…”

For how long has God been trying to bring you to the end of yourself so that you can start trusting Him? For how long has He been trying to bring you to an understanding of His grace? How much longer will He stand with outstretched hands while you run about trying to fix it all by your own effort?

I invite you to sing with me…”I surrender all…”

You hate the white flag. You don’t want to see it, let alone use it. But for this situation God is telling you “pull the white flag my child. I can’t come to your rescue until you pull that white flag.”

Don’t try another recipe; ask for God’s own recipe.

 

 

When God does “dumb” things, grace is at work: part 3

 

I came from a background where I had to earn it all through hard work and good works.

Receiving God’s unmerited favor was quite an issue for me. I didn’t understand why God should just give me things, do things for me or pardon my folly without me having to do something to earn it. I always wanted to do something in return. Then one day God got tired of my wrong mindset and came up with a strategy just for me.

He let me mess up so badly and so many times that I thought “woe is me, I’m undone…I’m no good. I’m an embarrassment to you Lord; kill me so that I don’t bring more shame on you…”

I was kneeling there like a condemned criminal waiting for my sentencing. You know what? I instead heard that song “When peace like a river attendeth my soul…it is well, it is well with my soul.”

You will ask me, does God condone sin then? No! His grace is bigger than His anger.

God will suspend one of the laws for a season, for a reason and for a person so that a bigger purpose can be achieved. That does not make Him unrighteous. It makes Him sovereign and very merciful.

 

When God does “dumb” things, grace is at work : Part 2

 

Say you do something really dumb, terrible and repugnant. Then you quickly retreat into your bedroom, fall on your knees and start imploring God’s mercy and forgiveness. But all this while you are actually begging Him not to release the thunder bolt and hailstones He’s preparing to rain down on you. You are trembling with fear, shame and guilt and you can’t look God in the face. You cry out in despair “Kill me Lord, I’m not worthy…I’m no good.”

While you are still kneeling there and waiting for the verdict you hear a sound somewhere deep within your spirit “…It is well, it is well with my soul…”

You quickly rebuke yourself for being so “stupid”. How can I be singing such a song when I’m supposed to hang myself for what I just did? You even apologize to God for such a bad conduct. Yet that song won’t go away. You feel like a miserable criminal awaiting a life sentence but your spirit is singing another song.

That is grace. Pure and unadulterated. Will you receive it?

I used to fight that gentle voice with every ounce of energy in me. Imagine I’m overtaken by fear and then I hear my spirit singing “fear not…” I’m feeling really guilty and then all I hear is “it is well with my soul…” I’m dead worried about paying the bills, then all I hear is “all things are possible to those who believe”.

Then one day I realized I have been fighting against God’s grace. That “contrary” song welling up from within me is God’s message of grace to me in that situation. I don’t need to feel like that song before I can accept, believe and sing it. I just ignore my emotions and start to sing it out loud.

Grace does not condemn. It encourages us to say “yes” to God’s love.

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