Last week I had the privilege of preaching for the first time.
Now, anyone who knows me personally or who has followed this blog for a while may be saying, “You’ve been preaching for years.” But last week was the first time I’d been invited to speak…in a church…from a pulpit…with the express purpose of bringing the Word.
I was nervous and exhilarated and humbled that God would choose me for such an awesome and important task. But the word He gave me for this young adult audience was unique and on-time…just as He is and just as our relationship is.
Gratefully, my dear friend Penny videoed the entire 13-minute sermon. Take a few minutes, check it out, and commit to #bepetty for Jesus.
And I have to give credit to the amazing Awesomely Luvvie who is the genius behind all the “petty” names at the end. Pick up her petty T-shirt here! *And no, she didn’t ask me to endorse this and I’m not being compensated. Just giving a shout out to something/someone who inspired me.
Blessings to you! I hope it inspires you and speaks to your situation.
(I originally wrote this as a Mother’s Day post, but it’s some pretty powerful #MotivationMonday material!)
Stop abdicating your power.
The word “abdicate” means to renounce one’s throne. To vacate.
It’s not as simple as giving up one’s power, because anyone can give up power. The dog walker, the custodian, heck, even the President. Because they are of the world and walk in and execute in worldly power.
But to renounce a throne, one must first be royal and then decide to walk away. Having the status of a king or queen or a member of their family and choosing to leave.
So, mothers, daughters, sisters, Christians! If we are to stop abdicating our power we first must know who we are, and we are royalty. The Bible tells us that in 1 Pet 2:9 NIV:
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
The second key thing that must happen in order for us to stop abdicating our power is we must them make a decision. To decide takes power.
Ever had to decide to fire someone? Break up with someone? Leave that job? Move to that new place? Start that new company?
The word says that faith without works, without actions, is dead.
The reality is that not moving, not taking action, IS in fact a decision.
And I know decisions can be tough. God knows decisions can be tough. But He promises us that when we’re weak His grace is sufficient, His strength is perfected.
I’ll leave you with two examples of women who made decisions not to abdicate their power – even in their most broken, most vulnerable, most hurt, most empty states – but their decisions changed the trajectories of their lives and of ours.
The woman with the alabaster box and the woman with the issue of blood.
Because they decided to push through, to offer their last, to put it all on the line, to use the only power they had, not only were they healed, their demonstrations became examples of how giving God all we have can result in great moves of power on our behalf.
And get this: they didn’t even know Jesus like we do. They didn’t have a relationship him. They weren’t meeting him and falling down crying every Sunday. They had a chance encounter with the king and they DECIDED not to give up the POWER they FELT in that moment.
So how much more so should we fight for, walk in, and own our power because we know the Prince of Princes and the King of Kings? The alpha and the omega. The bright and morning star. The lily in the valley. Our beginning and our end. Our shepherd. Our all and all.
Because He lives, we can face tomorrow.
Because He lives, all fear is gone.
I have decided to follow Jesus. No turning back. No turning back.
Decide today not to abdicate your power, ladies.
Your healing is in the power of Christ. Your promotion is the power of Christ. The legacy of the great women of the bible is in that blood and because of that there’s no pain too great, no problem too big that you cannot overcome.
So adjust your crown and walk fully in the power, authority, and dominion that are your birthright simply because your God’s kid. Monday ain’t got nothing on you!
“The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep recognize his voice and come to him. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they know his voice. They won’t follow a stranger; they will run from him because they don’t know his voice.”
As children of God, we’re His sheep. He calls us by name and we follow him…and Him only. It’s a critical goal of our walk – to learn and decipher His voice from the “noise” of life – but we so often fall short.
In life, so many other things beckon for us and our attention. The enemy wants us to follow the money, or the “in-crowd.” He wants us to follow what feels right or what the world dictates. Chase that promotion. Chase that girl/guy. Follow that high. Walk this way.
The enemy calls our names…but we shouldn’t answer. We shouldn’t follow him. In fact, Jesus says (and I’m paraphrasing here, “Nah, son, they with me. I betchu they won’t follow you. Mine is the only voice they know.”
So if our lives are the only God some folks see if. If we know there is a group of folks looking for a reason to discredit our Father and our Savior, when we choose to listen to AND FOLLOW voices that aren’t our Shepherd’s, we’re in effect calling Jesus a liar.
Now, fret not. God’s gon’ get ALL His glory, whether it’s from you and me or not. (Remember those rocks?) But I can’t help but to think…
Who you callin’ a liar?!
I for one don’t want to be responsible for calling my Risen Saviour a liar simply because I couldn’t control my flesh, or because I thought I knew better, or I couldn’t get past what I wanted for what He has ordained.
Nope. I’m good. Because the last I checked it was the devil who was a liar. See how crafty he is?!
Life is a series of experiences bookended by decisions. (Credit me when y’all take that!)
Sometimes our decisions are between two choices or about a circumstance we find ourselves in. And still other times the decision is more simply wherher or not to trust God.
So how do we know when we’ve made the right choice?
LET’S BE CLEAR: it’s ALWAYS the right decision to trust God.
But if you need more guidance, you’ll know that you made the right decision when after praying about it, feeling consistently led to move in a certain direction, and then taking that action, you’re overcome with an indescribable peace. And suddenly, that situation that had been costing you sleep doesn’t anymore.
A peace that’s predicated on faith. Faith that’s founded on a decision to trust the Word of God over the world. And a Word that tells us that ALL THINGS work together for our GOOD.
Sure, you may still have questions about how it’s all going to work out. But HOW is none of our business; that’s God’s domain.
Our concern is only the WHO – God, our Lord and Saviour – whom, once we seek first, has promised to take care of everything else.
You’re so busy kicking that closed door that you (1) can’t see the one God’s opened behind you or (2) you’ve lost sight of God’s plan choosing instead to pursue things the way YOU think they are supposed to go.
Here’s how I know:
“A man’s gift makes room for him, And brings him before great men.”
For everyone with a case of the Mondays today. God gave me this this morning to put the J-O-B in perspective — and to call me out for my hypocrisy.
(And as I write this, knowing there are many other ways that Christians are hypocrites, I reserve the right for this to be the first in a series. Anyway…)
HYPOCRITE, STOP WORRYING!
Oh, God’s your source? Then why is it that every time you need something, or it looks like your bank account is getting thin, you start thinking of ways to make ends meet IN YOUR OWN STRENGTH and using YOUR OWN LOGIC?
The Bible says in Prov 10:22 ESV: “The blessing of the Lord makes rich, and He adds no sorrow to it.” And, in the footnotes and some other translations it goes further to say of 10:22b, “And no toil/work adds to it.”
See, your job is an assignment, it isn’t your Source. You can’t work your way wealthy. So do what you were sent to do, get what you were sent to get, and give what you were sent to give.
Tithers, we’ve gotta stop panicking every time our money gets a little funny — or looks like it will be. Considering second jobs, taking on unnecessary side hustles, pursuing the wrong clients, and all kinds of things just to get what God has already promised to provide.
As tithers, Malachi tells us we’re covered, and God’s our Source anyway! It’s our birthright.
Stop telling people “God won’t put more on you than you can bear.”
That’s not Bible.
The truth is that He WILL put more on us than we can bear. It’s how He grows our faith and trust in Him. If He didn’t strategically and purposefully allow adversity in our lives, we wouldn’t come to know His power for ourselves and then trust Him more and more. And if He didn’t allow situations where we were forced to trust Him, how could we ever come to a place where we could have faith for the “exceedingly abundantly” He’s already promised us?
I mean, how could you trust God for that bill being paid, that job, that car, that house, or that healing if you hadn’t already learned through experiencing Him yourself in your challenges that He’s able?
If He didn’t put more on us than we could bear, we wouldn’t need Him and we certainly wouldn’t need Jesus. Heck, we’d be our own saviors every time.
This is why the Bible says we should rejoice in our weaknesses because it gives God a chance to show Himself strong, to show up and show off on our behalf.
With the things I’m fighting, the things I’ve been through, the things you’re up against and been through, you would have lost your natural mind, maybe even taken your own life BUT for God.
I absolutely believe that God puts more on me than I can bear — not overcome, but bear — because otherwise how will He prepare me for what’s to come? What testimony would I have if I never had to cry out to Him in my dark places? And what kind of faith would I have if I didn’t have to believe — while I sat in those dark places, even as tears streamed — that He’d purposed that moment to bless me only AFTER He guaranteed that the weapon wouldn’t prosper and that I would win, it would all work to my good?
I don’t know who else I’m talking to right now, but know this: you ain’t always gotta be strong. He wants you to let Him be your strength. To grow you, to grow your faith, and to increase your expectation in Him.
God’s got more for you on the other side of this — no matter what your “this” is.