Dear God, thank You for life. In the midst of a difficult season, what may even be considered as a storm, I am blessed to have You on my boat. God, I just want to say thank You. There are things right now that I am dealing with that only You can fix. God I know that there are people who will read this, that need that same grace and mercy. God I know that it will follow us for the rest of our days. God I ask that You heal that room and everyone in it. I ask that You touch and anoint everyone that comes in contact with this room. Whether visiting or working, God please give them the wisdom to do Your will. God, I thank You for being with us in the midst of the storm. Forgive us for our sins. For Your glory, Amen.
“The sun’ll come out Tomorrow Bet your bottom dollar That tomorrow There’ll be sun!”
These words have rang in my mind for weeks now. As I have found myself in a dark moment for these past few weeks. While looking for the sun, I remembered something crucial to my faith. Even when I do not have the sun shining in my life; I still have the son in my life. Everything that I could ever need comes from Him. In the moments that my life is dark, He is my light. Rather the sun comes out today, tomorrow, next week or next year… I can rest in knowing that the Son is with me.
But Who Are You As You Wait On The Sun (Son)?
Within these past few weeks my mind has been all over the place. While waiting on the sun, I have felt weak, sad, hopeless… But God. The one thing that has kept me grounded is my faith in Christ. Faith that has replaced my fears. I am stressed, but I am reassured in those same thoughts. God is so good, that He breaks through those negative moments and fills them with positivity; things like love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. He gave me fruit. Random Bible verses that I have put into my spirit, come to the forefront of my mind as I struggle through the days. God was with me. God was for me.
God has proved that even when waiting on Him, He is still there. His grace and mercies are new everyday. God is good to those who wait on him, because something happens when you wait. I cannot explain it fully, but what I can do is use moments my life as a testimony. As I have waited on God, I have learned just how dependent I am on Him. I was trying to make sense of this feeling that helped me stay content, even though I was going through a storm. Then God put Lamentations in front of me. This verse sums up everything that I had and have been feeling God do for me each day. Lamentations 3:22-25 says, “22 The steadfast love of the Lord NEVER ceases; His mercies NEVER come to an end; 23 they are new EVERY morning; great is your faithfulness. 24 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in Him.” 25 The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.”
When you look into the mirror, trust and believe that you are looking at someone who is given new grace and mercies everyday. Trust that even when the sun is not out in your life, that the Son is still in the midst of everything that you have going on. He is with you and He is for you!
You got this pops! Love you dad!Joy is coming soon. The sun will come soon, but until then remember that the Son is with us. Wait on the Lord pops, He will renew your strength!
Dear God, thank You. Please allow this to resonate with people, so that it may mold their lives. Gone are the days where we let the pressure of being perfect weigh us down or distract us from our true purpose. Your Word, says that You use all things for those who love You. God help us realize that it is all being used for our good and there is no need to fake it any longer. For Your Glory, forever and ever. Amen.
When you look back at your life, how do you want to remember it? Would you want to remember it as a life that seemed beautiful from the outside, but internally faced turmoil OR as a person that was honest about their ups and downs? They both will have an effect on your life, but one feels like freedom while the other feels like a burden.
The Burden of Faking Perfection
This may step on some toes, but that is okay. To become aware is the first step of change. Faking Perfection can be one of the worst burdens to carry. It adds pressures to your life that only God’s grace is equipped to cover. You become fixated in developing the character that you are betraying. In return, you lose focus on the purpose that you were born to fulfill. Wait, you do know you were born with purpose, right?
I asked that question, because the devil tries to destroy, distract, and discourage us. He wants you to feel like you do not need God to be the best version of yourself. He is trying to lead you to your demise. That is the danger of committing your life to faking perfection. You are allowing the devil to take you away from who you are truly supposed to lean on. In fact, 5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6) You may not realize it, but the reason that you are faking perfection is, because you do not trust the one Who is perfection. You are depending on yourself to fix those things that you lack, which leads to the inevitable… NOTHING CHANGING! Yet as a person who once cared that people thought I was perfect; I know that even when nothing changes… I could trick myself into making it feel like things were getting better. Again, it all came with committing to the fake character that I wanted people to see.
Are you to blame for people wanting to fake perfection? Allow me to address the judgmental Christians real quick. You play your part in people feeling like they have to be perfect or they will be condemned. The church is supposed to be more like a hospital than a courthouse. Yet, when people walk into the church as they are, they are avoided or belittled, by you. Little do you know that your interaction may have been what they needed to not only feel better, but meet God. I heard something the other day from Jonathan McReynolds, he said, “As Christians we feel like we have to make Jesus more famous, but really our goal should be to not make Him infamous.” As Christians ask yourself, would someone who does not believe in Christ, see your life and think, “Man, I see how (insert your name) is living and if that is what being a Christian is about, then I am good.” or “Man, I see how (insert your name) is living and what he is doing, I really want to get to know Christ for myself.” Are you leading people to God or giving them a reason to stray further away? (Luckily for them God will open up their heart, but you could have been the spark… BUT YOU WERE TO AFRAID TO STAIN YOUR REPUTATION AT YOUR CHURCH.) I felt led to really speak up for those people who fake perfection, because they are fearful that they will be invalidated for being real about their journey.
Remember this walk is a journey.
The Freedom of Showing Progression
Showing your progression is not always easy. We live in a day, where people do not value the steps as much as they do the outcomes. Social media shows perfection, stunting, and the highlights of people’s life. Don’t get jaded in thinking that the highlights matter more than the moments of progress. Without failing, falling, and losing would any of us truly know what it takes to succeed, get up or win? As I have grown; I have learned the importance of transparency. There is a certain freedom that you get from being the authentic version of yourself. Guess what sets you free–31 Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. 32 And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 33 “But we are descendants of Abraham,” they said. “We have never been slaves to anyone. What do you mean, ‘You will be set free’?” — the truth. I found it ironic that this verse talks about knowing the truth, not telling the truth. It is when you know Christ, that you are free. So, it is in knowing Christ, that you are free to tell your truth. Yet, in this verse the people thought that the only way to be enslaved, was physical. Unfortunately, you can be in a mental prison, in a faking perfection prison, or in the prison of feeling like you cannot be who you were made to be. I have good news though, just by knowing and believing in God, you are set free!
Why should you be okay with showing your progression? Allow Romans 3:23 to explain, “23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” The reason why, is because we all have fallen short. From the pastor to the person on the corner, from the jailhouse to those in church on Sunday’s for worship. We all have sinned and fallen short. The beauty of telling your testimony, is that you allow for God to get the glory. You allow for His power to be seen. You also get the devil off of your back. The devil tends to go after the things we try to hide (though there is nothing that you can hide from God.) In knowing that we cannot hide anything from God, who’s opinion matters most. Why do we still allow ourselves to fake perfection? Why are we fearful of showing our progression? How else can we expect people that do not read the Bible, to understand how great God is?
So today, let’s hold each other accountable. I have your back, if you have mine and regardless of that God has both of our back. Today let’s agree to start showing our progression. Show it even if it is only inside a notebook or notes that you stick on your mirror. Sometimes the person who needs to see your progress the most, is the person that stares at you when you look into the mirror. Once you grow past that, start publicly sharing the power of the God, we serve. Remember your testimony could be the spark. Also, let’s vow to no longer fake perfection, but instead give it to God. Allow him to fill those areas that you feel incomplete.
The Cycle of Faking Perfection vs The Transformation of Showing Progression
More importantly than anything that I have written, by chance that you do not have a relationship with Christ today, say this aloud:
I now believe that Jesus Christ is Your only begotten Son, that He came down to our earth in the flesh and died on the cross to take away all of my sins and the sins of this world. I believe that Jesus Christ then rose from the dead on the third day to give all of us eternal life.
I now confess to You all of the wrong and sinful things that I have ever done in my life. I ask that You please forgive me and wash away all of my sins by the blood that You have personally shed for me on the cross. I am now ready to accept You as my personal Lord and Savior. I now ask that You come into my life and live with me for all of eternity.
Father, Jesus – I now believe that I am truly saved and born again.
Thank You Father. Thank You Jesus.”
Maybe you had a relationship with God, but life happened. Today is the last day that you will allow yourself to fake perfection.
Say this aloud:
“Father, I come to You in the Name of Jesus Christ. I confess that I have fallen away from You. I confess that I have sinned against You by backsliding away from You, Your ways and Your Word. Like the prodigal son, Lord, I humbly ask for Your forgiveness for the evil I have done. I repent and turn away from this evil life that I have lived. I miss You so much!
I now recommit my life to You, Lord Jesus. I just want to come home. I want You to be the Lord of my life now and forever more. Please forgive me for wandering and walking away from You. I’m so sorry that I have hurt You. I ask that my sins be washed away by Your Precious Blood. I thank You for the price You paid so that I can be cleansed from all my sins!
Lord, fill me once again with Your Holy Spirit that I might live unto righteousness with You. Create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me O Lord. I choose on this day, a new life. As for me and my house, I choose to serve the Lord!
Thank You, Father, for restoring me into fellowship with You. Thank You for the Blood of Jesus that has cleansed me. Thank You that, like Peter, I am restored to fellowship with You, and I ask Lord, that we would continue our walk again. Flow through me to advance the Kingdom every day of my life. I ask all these things in the Name of Jesus. Amen and Amen!”
If you said either of these aloud and you believed it in your heart. I would love to personally congratulate you and welcome you to the family. He led you to this post for a reason. He used it to open your heart and ease your burden. Never forget that He loves you and has plans for you, that you have not even planned for yourself. Let Him use you. Yield yourself, so that He can show you the plans He has for you. All it takes it just a little trust, in Matthew 17:20 the Bible says,“Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
Hey God, thank You for another opportunity to spread Your word! I never take these moments for granted. I truly am blessed to be both entrusted and used to give people a message from you. I realized that in order to do this, I had to give You my heart. Make You the center of my life. That was the best decision I ever made. I pray that you help people see how important the decision was and how it changed my life forever. For your glory, Amen.
Mylife changed when I uttered the words: You Can Have My Heart.
As I am growing in my faith, I have realized how important it is to have your heart focused on the right things. In fact Proverbs 21:2 says, “A person may think their own ways are right, but God weighs the heart.” This verse showed me that there is NO TRICKING GOD. Again it is about the Heart! Say it with me,”God weighs the heart.”
Now let’s unpack this verse.
“5Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart and lean not unto your ownunderstanding;” This verse will come up again and again as you are making decisions and trying to decipher “your” choices as you walk with God. Trust is such a vulnerable thing. In fact trust means that you put confidence in said thing, that you believe in the reliability, truth, or strength of said thing. So my question to you is… what is keeping you from putting ALL your trust in God? Did he not wake you up this morning? Did he not give you the ability to read this post? Did he not show you mercy after leaning unto your own understanding. Is His grace not sufficient? Did he not let you go through a storm, just to show you how strong you truly are. Did he not let you wander off just to chase you down and show you how much he truly loves you? Did he not send his son to die for our sins? Did he not help you make something out of what you already deemed as nothing? Did he not…? (Fill it in with the problem that he brought you through. Fill it in with the reason why you should probably put ALL your trust in Him.)
So, what is keeping you from putting all your trust in God? Take your phone, laptop, or tablet with you to the closest mirror and look at yourself (if you are on a desktop computer bring a mirror to you). Now say “devil I will no longer let you keep me from trusting God with all of my heart!” See we have to remember it’s a heart thing. Stop letting the devil get between you and what God is trying to show you. The reason I am not going to blame you, is because the devil is here to steal, kill and destroy. He wants to trick us into thinking that God does not love us. That God does not want our heart. That God is judging us. The devil is a liar. But when we are battling our flesh, the devil understands that we are weak. It is when we are battling our demons, that the devil sees an opportunity to cause confusion. But today, if you have not started already, DECIDE THAT YOU WILL TRUST IN THE LORD WITH ALL YOUR HEART.
Doing this makes verse 6, so much easier to apply to your life. “6In ALL your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. One thing that stuck out, was a word that is consistent in both verses,”ALL.” It just reminds me that when I think I have given enough, He does not want just enough… but He wants it ALL. With ALL my heart and in ALL my ways, I trust Him and I will give it to Him. Will it be easy? Honestly, not at first. Especially when you are still leaning on your own understanding. But when you truly submit your life to God, you will see Him work in ways that you could never imagine. You will see Him bring things out of you that you didn’t even think existed. You will see Him begin to use you to bless others. Why? Because when you submit yourself, you give Him the opportunity to show you your purpose.
See depending on your decisions you are giving away two opportunities with your life. You can do what you want (lean unto your own understanding) and give the devil free reign to steal your joy, rob your peace, destroy your relationships, kill your confidence, and the list could go on forever. BUT GOD! This is why I love the God that I serve, because just by believing in him, I know that the devil can only try me as much as God allows (Read Job). I know that even if the devil tries to take me through hell and back, God is with me. God is my strength, God is my peace, God is my relationship goals, God is my joy. Why? Because I have trusted in Him with ALL my heart and I have submitted ALL my ways unto Him. As result, I can be at peace knowing that wherever I am or whatever I do, it is through HIm.
So my question to you, is can He have your heart? Not a sliver, not a piece, not a half… BUT ALL of it!
I want to start by thanking God for allowing me to witness this life-changing, faith-altering, demon-shattering song at the live concert. This song changed my expectation of praise and worship forever.
When I heard this song on January 15, 2020, I had no idea that it would turn into my first ever, blog post about music. I had no idea that it would be the turning point in my faith. I had no idea that it would create relationships, that help keep me on the right track. I had no idea the power that this night or song, would have on my life.
THIS IS WHAT I KNEW:
This song capped off one of the best nights of praise and worship, I had ever experienced. This song allowed me to witness a level of praise and worship, that I never knew could exist. It was the most energy that I had ever felt in a room before, and I have been to numerous concerts. Nothing compared to the energy in the room that night. I had never felt the presence of God, the way I did that night.
What would you do, if he walked into this room? I look to my left and right, and see people dropping to their knees. What would you say, if he walked into this room?” Screams begin to fill the room, “Jesus, Master, Oh God, Thank You Lord, and any other praises you could imagine.” With my hands raised and my head looking up, I begin to give praise like never before. If you were in the room with me, and you heard, “He’s here right now, the King is in the room. Your Healer’s in the room. Your Savior’s in the room. Your Provider’s in the room. Your Redeemer’s in the room. Your Champion’s in the room.” You had to feel chills all over your body, and most likely had to pinch yourself to make sure this moment was real. Then finally, you come to the realization that this is indeed real, and probably the best experience that you have ever been a part of.
Another thing I knew, was that I had to find out who that guy was that sung the covering of Christ onto us. Well his name is Isaiah Templeton, better known as Zeek. (@zeeksong on Instagram) A billboard Gospel Artist in his own rights., with hits like, Everything Will Be Alright. Zeek allowed his voice to be used to build the kingdom of Christ. I am blessed to have been able to hear Zeek sing on a few occasions at the Elevation Ballantyne location. Each time more of a blessing, then before. I would like to take this moment to personally thank him, for helping me grow within Christ.
Zeek, I want you to know that our very intentional God, knew that I needed to be in that room. He knew that you had to be the person to deliver that song, for me to get the deliverance I needed. Thank you for allowing God to use you. I truly believe that I am not the only one with this testimony. Now, that the album is out, I believe the you will be used to touch, change, and mold many lives. More than you could have ever imagined, before moving to Charlotte.
This moment was the beginning of my transformation. I knew that if God, could allow music to bless my spirit like that night. Then the blessings that I would gain from reading His word and watching sermons, would be endless. I was not wrong about that, because of this song being the spark plug for my fellowship with Christ, I have branched off to writing the words you are reading now.
When you are changing and growing, you try to find the moment that everything begins to click. That moment for me was this night. Ever since, January 15, 2020, I have been on a pure fire for Christ. Elevation Church, thank you for using the resources you have to grow the kingdom. You allow people to feel comfortable coming to church, as they are. Church is not a Christian hangout. Church is a hospital, that should be dedicated to saving and healing souls for the glory of God!
Please everyone who supports me, go download, stream, and buy; Graves Into Gardens by Elevation Worship. You will not regret this decision. Close your eyes and prepare your heart to praise God like never before.
Before I start writing this, I pray that God anoints each word, to help you with whatever you are holding onto in your life. Do not be ashamed, I have been there before as well. I pray that He uses this to help you Stop Holding It. I pray that he gets all of the glory. Amen.
When you are trying to grow within Christ, you begin to notice things that pull you away from the purpose that He wants you to fulfill. Why do we struggle with letting go of these things that bring us so much pain?
For some of us that answer is simple. I cannot let go of that hurt, because I use it as the motivating factor for my life. There are many problems with turning pain into purpose. One problem that I have been facing, is realizing that I will never be able to overcome the pain if I keep using it as fuel. Imagine having a car that takes only premium gas, but you put regular gas in it. What does that regular gas do to your car as you continue to use it? Well, it eventually destroys the engine, but even worse while the car still works; it never gets the chance to reach its full potential. Why? Because the fuel is insufficient.
I am not sure about you, but many times I have allowed into my spirit; the heartbreak, the mistrust, and the judgement that I have received from others. I allowed each of those things to limit the capacity that I could live up to.
What this sermon allowed me to see, is where I was making my biggest mistake. I wanted to let it go… AT FIRST. Until I became comfortable with living with my dysfunctions and insufficiencies. So comfortable, that I stopped running from pain and started gravitating toward things that I knew would cause pain. I was in that dangerous place of holding onto everything from my past, while thinking that I left enough space to be able to get something positive out of my future. BUT, that’s not how life works, because what I thought I was holding eventually began to hold me back.
The mistake that I made was holding everything while still expecting to be able to catch blessings from God, even though my heart, soul, and hands were full. I was at a point that I started blaming God that nothing was improving in my life. I started going to those things that were holding back me more than I ever had. I started losing myself, and it became so bad that I remember the day that I told God, “I am letting it go. I will no longer do this alone. I will trust you and I know that you will fill the void of everything I let go. God, I promise you right now, that I will Stop Holding It.”
Here’s the truth though, even after you have given it to God, you still have your moments that remind you of your pain. You still feel those temptations trying to creep up on you, BUT the difference is now you are no longer fighting your battles alone. You are no longer focusing on those harmful things. You have mustard up the courage to be able to stay focused on Christ! So now, when someone or something tries to interrupt your focus; you know that you are protected by Christ. You know that you are covered.
Say it with me, “I KNOW THAT I AM PROTECTED BY CHRIST! I KNOW THAT I AM COVERED!
Now take time and gather your thoughts, and make a list of the things that you are holding. If it gets too painful then you tear that list up and make a vow with Christ, not me, that this is the last time that you will hold on to any of these things. “God I will Stop Holding It!“