Being Led

Picture by Kevar Whilby @ Unsplash

Being led by the Spirit for me is a sensitive topic, which means to die daily to myself, a feat I am working at achieving daily by faith. However, like Paul, when I fall, I depend on the grace and mercies of Christ, and I stand. I am therefore publishing this post, not because I am perfect at it, but to shed a little light, based on my experiences recently. This post contains my humble thoughts, and I ask for more insight from you, my readers.

“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.” – Romans‬ ‭8:14‬ ‬‬

The Holy Spirit asked that I take up writing as my career. Was it my hobby, no, but He was specific about it. I have always wanted to climb the career ladder, but climb it and do what? Being a C-Suite executive had lost its appeal after I witnessed what internal politics could do, everywhere. Writing though, this was never an option for me.

Late last year, the company I work for informed us they were getting ready to close, they were bankrupt. This news was shocking; people started taking immediate action, resigning, and looking out for their greener pastures. God told me to stay and be still.

Now, I realize why I went through a period in the company after that communication went out. The company kept paying staff who had stopped doing any work because there was no work to be done at that point, full salaries for almost nine months. Where is that done? God allowed it for me; He was taking me through a process. It was a daily process of learning to hear, submitting my fears to him, and he consistently provided me with the truth that always came at the point of my need.

In those nine months, I changed. I may not have fully understood, but God had taken me through small storms that did not overwhelm me, and I learned through those storms. So, at the end of nine months, I changed my status on LinkedIn to ‘Aspiring Writer’. To me, that was career suicide, who does that? But I did because my life just got real.

In August 2019, the company finally closed its doors to everyone, even the staff and we all went home. Some people had found other jobs, but God said He would take care of me. At this point, the reality of my situation hit home. I asked the following questions:

  • How was I going to explain to my husband, how would I support him financially?
  • How would I tell people I was learning to be a writer, at my age?
  • How long would it take before the writing career sustained me financially?

I realize now that I asked myself these questions and not God because I came face to face with them again in my discussions with a great woman. Meanwhile, while in the company, I had built a self-learning habit, and I had excellent resources to write. So, I started with a daily schedule at home and took it a day at a time. How did my husband take it, you ask? God shocked me, as of today, my husband is 100% in and fully supportive of my career change.

Earlier this week, I went to see a woman I believe God directed me to, (not by signs and wonders) I just felt I could get advise. She told me the following truths after I told her my story.

  • I need to deal with the shame, of losing my job, being jobless, and being a Christian writer. I never looked at it as shame, but if I couldn’t post one of my blog publications on LinkedIn, what was it?
  • I need to deal with my present reality as a writer in God and include Him in every aspect of my life.
  • I have to allow the Spirit structure and lead the writing process.

That meeting further confirmed to me that my calling is to write. God was leading me in the way.

“For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” – Romans‬ ‭8:13‬ 

I learned that day that it is easy to live in the flesh (your wisdom and understanding) in matters that affect’s one’s life. Yes, God had called me, but I had taken the baton and continued without Him. Romans 8:13 says that we put to death the deeds of the flesh by the Spirit. So on my way home from my insightful meeting, I asked for forgiveness. I asked Him to take over and lead the way while I follow. My merciful God showed me how, He used the Google Maps application, which I needed for directions home.

Once I asked Maps to be directed back home, the following happened:

  • Direction on the paths to take to avoid traffic and to get home on time. I acknowledge I knew other roads, but Maps got me back faster than I would have.
  • I seriously doubted the paths as directed, because I didn’t know the roads, but Google did. So all I did was follow directions and landmarks, and I was home.
  • I got step-by-step directions until I was at my final destination. All I did was obey, through my doubts and misgivings

God will get us home; the Holy Spirit is our assurance of that. Now is the time to fully believe and submit totally to His guidance and direction.

“Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” – II Corinthians‬ ‭3:17-18‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Till next time, be transformed!!!

Faith

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My Story

‘For we walk by faith, not by sight.’ – II Corinthians‬ ‭5:7‬ ‭

I have a four-year-old daughter, and I love her dearly. She is on her way to primary school/first grade, I believe. I have not been with children that young in a long time, so permit me to say that I think she is simply brilliant. She speaks so fluently, has mastered her facial expressions to match her words and feelings, and even calls me out when I make mistakes, her version of errors.

I noticed her struggling with school, and I was shocked. The same child that is so out-going, independent, with the perfect speech, struggling? I didn’t take it seriously at first and allowed her to be, even turning a blind eye to her playing with her iPad on school days, because I believed she would iron out her classwork problems quickly. 

Now she needs to take an exam for her next level, her first examination and I got scared. So, since schools resumed in September, I have been tutoring her and giving her assignments to do, she is fast and catches up quickly, but soon forgets. Today, I felt a sense of hopelessness as I asked her a pre-school question, and she couldn’t answer. Now, I am aware there is nothing wrong with her mentally; my problem is the sense of hopelessness I felt.

I have realized that though I talk about faith and walking with God, sometimes I don’t adhere to what I know and write. I have therefore gone back to scripture to remind myself of this truth –

‘And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.’ – Romans‬ ‭8:28‬ 

Yes, ALL things, even this one. Before I go into my study, I wish to thank God for bringing me to the place of realization, to stop moving forward in falsehood and to start to trust Him. You see, this applies to all areas of my life, where I worry and have fears and doubts. It is time to hand them entirely over to God.

I will start with the following well-known verses:

  • ‘Now, faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.’ – Hebrews‬ ‭11:1‬ ‭NKJV‬‬
  • ‘By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.’ – Hebrews‬ ‭11:3‬ ‭NKJV‬‬
  • ‘But without faith, it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.’ -Hebrews‬ ‭11:6‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

To walk with Him is to see the things we hope for and have not seen as already ours. Now, I don’t mean praying for a mansion from your mini-flat, no! God will lead you on your path of faith. For me, it just means handing Him all that concerns my beautiful daughter’s life and education, knowing in Him, all things will work out for good.

For my fears, worries, and doubts, I have called in Jesus Christ, the Word of God to take control. Now, I am learning to be even more intentional about my walk. The liberty of walking in the Spirit brings peace, and the weights are lifted off. It is simple, carry your burdens yourself or cast them on Jesus, you chose. I chose life! I chose life over death, freedom over oppression, redemption over slavery, peace over worry, and fear. I have decided not to labor, not to carry the heavy burdens; I chose Christ.

So today, I am retracing my faith steps. I am checking all the nooks and crannies in my mind where those fears, hurts, and doubts are stored. I will then present them to my master, Jesus Christ. I can, and I have the following verses of scripture backing my boasts. They are:

  • ‘Come to Me, all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.’ – Matthew‬ 11:28‬ ‭‬‬
  • ‘Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.’ – I Peter‬ ‭5:6-7‬ ‭
  • ‘For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.’ – II Corinthians‬ ‭10:3-6‬ ‭

I am going to stand in Christ, my Peace and live. Are you with me?

Till next time, be transformed!

#faith #rest

Liberty

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A Short Story

‘Now the Lord is the Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.’ – 2 Corinthians 3:17

Ruth was a woman with little or no control over her temper; with certain people, she seemed to lose it. She was a Christian and understood the implications of her actions; she also felt sorry for them once she calmed down.

Her husband, Jonathan, would call her to order on different occasions because of the way she spoke to and treated other people, mostly the House help, Rona. Ruth would argue that Rona was always at fault and refused to see that there were different ways to deal with people’s weaknesses.

One day, Ruth went to see her mother-in-law, Esther about her health. Now, both women were not close and tried their best to live at peace with each other; however, Esther was bitter. She had been sick for months, and Ruth hadn’t bothered to call. Ruth knew nothing of the illness, but because she had not taken the time to call Esther, the fault had was duly assigned. During the visit, Esther was cold to Ruth, hardly acknowledging her greetings and compliments. When Ruth was done with her visit, deciding to cut short the trip to hell, she got up to leave. At that point, Esther had had enough, and she made Ruth know it. Esther flew into a rage and lashed out at Ruth, not only to hurt but to correct, Ruth was stunned. Not just at the anger but the words coming from Esther’s mouth. In the end, Ruth left without a word, deeply hurt and angry.

On her way home, as she spoke to God about what she had experienced at Esther’s. The Holy Spirit reminded her that she had been treating people the same way for a long time. He led her to a verse in scripture, Galatians 2:20:

‘I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.’

She understood that she was still alive and in control, though she should have died in Christ and allowed Him total control of her life. The more she reasoned with the Holy Spirit, the less she blamed Esther, as she realized that all that had happened was to teach her.

On hearing what had happened, Jonathan had wanted to speak to his mother, but Esther stopped him from taking action. She understood that God had allowed it for her good and asked the Holy Spirit for ways to make amends.

As she prayed, the Holy Spirit highlighted different verses in scripture that showed her the error in her ways:

  • ‘So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman but of the free.’ – Galatians 4:31
  • ‘Stand fast therefore, in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.’ – Galatians 5:1 
  • ‘For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another! I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. – Galatians 5:13-16
  • ‘The Lord GOD has given Me The tongue of the learned, That I should know how to speak A word in season to him who is weary. He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear To hear as the learned. The Lord GOD has opened My ear; And I was not rebellious, Nor did I turn away.’ – Isaiah 50:4-6

She had believed she could not be free or control her temper, but the Holy Spirit was teaching her that walking in Him, meant walking in self-control. She was at liberty to live like Christ and had the power to do it by the Holy Spirit. She realized that the God she served was first and foremost, the God of love and that to walk in God’s Spirit, was to walk in love. Without love was to walk without God.

Her words were indeed Spirit and Life and were intended to give life and not death. In Christ, she had died so that she would live in obedience and total trust in God. She recoiled at who and what Rona would be praying about and asking God for help.

Armed with this knowledge, Ruth went back to Esther and apologized for not showing her love. Ruth also prayed that the Holy Spirit would guide and remind her to love and care for Esther, not as a duty but as a child of God. She started learning to walk with the Holy Spirit by faith, and as this continued, she built the habit of talking to Him more about other daily issues that she encountered.

It has been a month, and though Ruth still finds herself about to revert or rarely reverting to her dead self, she walks with the Holy Spirit literally, and He guides her way.

What weakness do you see yourself exhibiting in the flesh, have you taken it to God?

Till next time, be transformed!!

#liberty #lifeintheSpirit

GUEST POST: IF YOU HAVE A PULSE, YOU HAVE A PURPOSE!

Truth!

The Godly Chic Diaries

I’m a firm believer that if you have a pulse, you have a purpose. I say this with my whole heart, Everyone needs a blessing. And if you have the ability to bless others, be a blessing. And when you are a blessing to others, you will find “joy unspeakable” in the process….

I’m so pleased to welcome my featured Guest Blogger: Matik Nicholls

Matik Nicholls who was born in the twin Caribbean islands of Trinidad & Tobago. He grew up climbing trees and frolicking in the waves, surrounded by the vibrant creativity of soul music and the pageantry of his island people. He is part businessman, part churchman, part author, part surfer. His passion is to inspire, equip and empower people to walk in their purpose and fulfill their potential. He is happily married to his life partner; Tricia and together they have a beautiful blended family of five…

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Death

Picture by Mads Schmidt Rasmussen @ Unsplash

Hello,

My last post on self-righteousness ended with the call to die to self.

As ardent followers of Christ, death is the starting point to live with Him in glory. But when I say death, do I mean a physical end? No, I mean the death of the flesh/senses, so that the Spirit of God has an enabling environment to work in my life. Though He is the Spirit, He will not push or use His power to get me to submit; He needs to be provided with the platform to work as we offer our lives to God.

Galatians 2:20 states that ‘I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.’ – NKJV

I was born into a Christian family and raised to be a Christian, but the truth found in these words did not make sense until recently. I came face to face with circumstances I could not control or make right, and I gradually concluded, that I am irrelevant. Thankfully, those circumstances have brought me to the point where I can declare that I no longer exist to be who my family wants me to be, to live according to the will of man, or to live as governed by a blood connection! I live only for the will of God (John 1:12-13). So, every day I wake up, I must be doing what God wants, when He wants it and how He wants. One will then ask, how do we know the what, when, and how? We must, therefore, strive to build a relationship with the Holy Spirit. 

John 14:26 states that, ‘But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you’ – NKJV

1 Cor 2:9-10, 12 states that, ‘But as it is written:

“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,

Nor have entered into the heart of man

The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.

But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. 

Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.’- NKJV

The Holy Spirit was given to us in Christ as THE Helper. To teach us ALL the things we need to know about God and His son, His word. In these times, it seems hard to remain a Christian, because the system of the world seems to be overwhelming the church. We see hardships, pain, trauma everywhere, and people ask, where is God?

Early this year by the mercies of God, I started a new walk with Him. He has continually allowed me to go through different situations where I saw Him as God. In all these situations, I continuously face death (total submission to God, where my decision process is in complete alignment with God’s will). I realize that as a priest of God, (Revelations 5:9-10) He is taking me through the process of death in every area of my life.

John 12:24 states that, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.’ – NKJV

I now understand that if God does not complete the process of death, I can never experience the glory in Christ fully. So daily, I submit to the Helper, and in obedience, I am taught and led. I have come to understand that darkness will never comprehend light, no matter what we go through, no matter the pain or hurt. God alone can give peace in any situation as we submit to Him, believing He is God.

Now, do I pass through pain, poverty, shame? All the time. I am learning that I can only do so much in any circumstance, but when I submit everything to God, life comes out of it. So let death work in me, that the life of Christ may manifest through me.

What are the challenges for today?

  1. Do you have a relationship with God?
  2. Are you being led by the Holy Spirit, so that you can seek God’s kingdom and His righteousness above all else?

Till next time, be transformed!!

#deathinChrist #ledbytheSpirit

Self-Righteousness

Picture by Thiago Cardoso @ Unsplash

Hello,

Today I write on Self-righteousness.

I write about my experience as a warning to others to take heed to their Christian race, lest they fall (1Cor 10:12).

Wikipedia defines Self-righteousness (also called sanctimoniousness, sententiousness, and holier-than-thou attitudes) as a feeling or display of (usually smug) moral superiority derived from a sense that one’s beliefs, actions, or affiliations are of greater virtue than those of the average person. Self-righteous individuals are often intolerant of the opinions and behaviors of others.

If you had asked me if I was self-righteous before today, I would have quickly responded in the negative. In Christ Jesus, I believe that I stand in His righteousness. However, the truth is that there are aspects of my life that still exhibit self-righteousness, and because I did not understand this, I did not tackle the issues.

The Gospel Coalition’s article, Self-Righteousness Wears Many Disguises states that the scary thing about self-righteousness is that we usually don’t recognize it in ourselves. We think because of our religious practices that we are okay with God. We think because of how we pray that we are trusting in him, not in ourselves.

In my self-righteous state, I did not recognize that;

  • Wrong treatment of people regardless of their status/age was condemnable.
  • Trusting in myself or my abilities in any way was wrong
  • That I talked about other people in bad light because I thought I was better than they are
  • Secluding myself from people who were not ‘spiritual’ enough is not why God called me. 

The list goes on, and this is the way I have lived for a long time.

Forerunner Commentary attributes the following characteristics to self-righteousness:

  1. Balaam’s self-interest in Numbers 22:20-22: 
    • Have I shown selfishness over what I know God expects from me in different situations and circumstances? 
    • Am I hustling to live for God or for me? 
    • The successful life I seek is it according to my understanding or from God’s word to me.
  2. Israel’s disregard of God and spiritual exclusivity from others in Is 65:1-5: 
    • Regardless of people’s status/age/religion, do we offer love and support as we diffuse the knowledge of Christ?
    • Do we feel that we can live independently of others because we are better than they are?
  3. Job’s self-righteous evaluation of himself in Job 32:1-2
    • Are we quick to blame people and circumstances for what God allows in our lives?
    • Do we take out time to examine ourselves with the lenses the Spirit of God provides? 

How should we be before God (From the Forerunner Commentary):

  1. Poor in Spirit (Matthew 5:3): In his commentary, The Sermon on the Mount, Emmett Fox states that “poverty of spirit occurs when a person empties himself of all desire to exercise personal self-will, and just as important, renounces all preconceived opinions in a wholehearted search for God.”
    • Our state before God should continuously be one of, “not my will, Lord, but yours be done.” – Luke 22:42We are to continually trust in Him and let go of our understanding of life, people, situations, etc. – Proverbs 3:5-6
  2. Humble (Luke 18:9-14): The Pharisee, considering others as nothing, treat them accordingly. It is typical of human nature to elevate itself while putting down others. The Pharisee compares his flaws, not with God’s infinite perfections, but with the imagined more significant flaws of others. His pride has made him bankrupt of genuine compassion and concern 
    • Are we aware that as we judge others, we cannot show them compassion?When we elevate ourselves above others, we become as gods unto ourselves?
  3. Seeking His righteousness (Romans 10:1-3): 
    • Are we continually living in the righteousness of God, or do we slide in tradition and culture when it suits us?Do we lifestyles founded on God’s word to us or on how we think we should live?
  4. Regularly examining our lives with light from God’s word (2 Cor 10:12): The word of God is a discerner of thoughts and the intents of the heart (Hebrews 4:12). Continuously submit your thoughts, words, and actions under the scrutiny of the Father and have your life examined by Him.

This all comes down to death of ‘self’. I have to die, so Jesus Christ can live through me. Therefore by His mercies, I am redeemed today from self-righteousness, and all justifications of self and I say so!

Till next time, be transformed!!

#selfrighteousness #theredeemed

Links to the articles included are below:

  1. https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/trevin-wax/self-righteousness-wears-many-disguises/
  2. https://www.bibletools.org/index.cfm/fuseaction/Topical.show/RTD/cgg/ID/264/Self-Righteousness.htm

Identity

By Ben Sweet @ Unsplash

Hello,

Today, I want to write about identity.

What is it, why is it essential that we know and understand it?

Wikipedia defines identity philosophically as whatever makes an entity definable and recognizable.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it as the distinguishing character or personality of an individual; a person’s individuality.

I prefer to use Wikipedia’s Social Science definition, which is the qualities, beliefs, personality, looks and/or expressions that make a person or group

In my earlier blogs, I have written about self-image and self-esteem. I believe that knowing your identity helps you understand and develop these terms.

I grew up as a person from a specific family (nuclear and extended), from a particular place in a country. That was enough to identify me at a time. After a while, my external definitions were not enough.

I questioned my identity as a scholar, as a worker, as a mother. Was I just on earth to be what my physical environment dictated that I was? My questions stemmed from the films and books I had read and watched since childhood, was I born to be a girl, then a woman, then a mother, maybe grandmother, and then die? Or was I here for something else more significant than me?

My identity is from the word of God. Over time, it is helping me become the person God called me to be.

“For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified”– Romans 8: 29, 30

The verse above states that God knew me before I was born. He knew me, He planned a destiny for me. After I was born, He called me, then justified me in Christ and put His glory over me. These verses are very different from what I grew up understanding, which means there are different realities to dwell in, the physical and the spiritual.

The spiritual says that God who knew me before I was born, also planned my life out at that time. He has activated that plan on the earth by calling me, justifying me, and the end product is His glory. So, the question now is, how does a regular person put these two identities together to live the life God called us to out?

First of all, make the decision. Where do you choose to dwell, in the physical or in Jesus Christ? Now when I say physical and in Jesus Christ (spiritual), I don’t mean to leave the body and exist in a space-like environment.

“Therefore, brethren, we are debtors—not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God”– Romans 8:12-14

To live in the physical is to live and be ruled by the flesh or by our senses. To live in the spiritual is to be led and governed by the Spirit of God. The scriptures say that if the Spirit leads you, you have life, and that makes you a son of God.

“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God”– John 1:12, 13

John also confirms it, that in Jesus Christ, we have the right to be God’s children; all those not born of blood, nor the will of the flesh, nor the will of man, but of God (His Spirit)

I daresay that’s my identity right there. By the death of Christ on the cross, I am a child of God, being led by His Spirit. The following now applies to me:

  1. I chose to live in the spiritual, which means being led by the Spirit of God at all times
  2. This state helps me to form the qualities of God, features, and characteristics. I take on God’s personality
  3. My belief system changes from the prevalent or popular order to God’s. I believe the word of God as taught by God’s Spirit
  4. I am part of a group (God’s children) who have this identity, so I am not alone.

“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”– John 8:32

I have seen that in life, to attain peace is not guaranteed in any state; in wealth or poverty, employed or jobless, healthy or sick, married or single, having children or being barren. Life has taught me that who I am in Christ, is who I was created to be and that truth has brought me peace. I believe that wholeheartedly.

So what are the challenges for today?

  1. Do you know who you are?
  2. Are you at peace with it?
  3. Do you want to find peace?

Till next time, be transformed!

#identity #peace