July 8, 2019 by Kgalalelo
The schools are reopening tomorrow after the winter holidays; and we are supposed to be in the heart of winter but the cold has been bearable so far. Most people often believe that when the schools reopen, heaven unlocks the frost and snow bank but I differ slightly as we have enjoyed many winters where it was not so. I believe that the declarations of our mouths, coupled with intense feelings of worry and fear, contributes to the manifestation of the negative conditions happening in the world today including calling forth severe weather conditions because that’s what we constantly talk about. We need to be prudent in how we use our tongues in matters pertaining to the affairs of the world and our own. Proverbs 21:23 says, “Those who guard their mouths and their tongues keep themselves from calamity”.
Collective consciousness, yet, is powerful and if we declare the negative with force, that is, with a single mental focus, we are bound to experience that which we confess. We can begin today, to think and act differently about the conditions we wish to see happening in our lives.
We know that for as long as heaven and earth remains, seasons will always be, as specified in Genesis 8:22, "As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease”. Every season is beneficial for the proper functioning of the universe. God is gracious and merciful and tolerable winters are possible too.
I was sitting and thinking last week about those dry moments where you can’t seem to connect with God and wondering what could be the reason. Out of the blue, it feels like there’s a spiritual brick wall in front of you, though you are praying and reading the bible. You try to shake that feeling of aloofness but it refuses to budge. Do you try harder to make things right with God? Do you need to repent, go to church more often, double your bible study time even though sometimes you don’t quite feel like opening the bible? what exactly do you have to do to get yourself up there again?
I know that my questions are yours too and countless people have those kinds of experiences every day. We are all in this journey of life together and often times take different twists and turns. We find ourselves in spiritual wilderness on occasion where springs of fresh water are nowhere to be found even though we know what the scriptures say in Isaiah 43:18-21:
“See, I am doing a new thing!
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.
The wild animals honour me,
the jackals and the owls,
because I provide water in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland,
to give drink to my people, my chosen,
the people I formed for myself
that they may proclaim my praise”.
We even know Isaiah 41:18-19:
“I will make rivers flow on barren heights,
and springs within the valleys.
I will turn the desert into pools of water,
and the parched ground into springs.”
How ironic that these scriptures seem to be on the same stanzas and saying the exact same thing. We know all of them and they have been recited from the pulpits every Sunday and yet we still feel that emptiness which is hard to fill.
It reminded me of two young ladies that I once sat with over coffee after a women’s conference. I was chatting with them about waiting for the right person to come into their lives as they were desperate to get married and as I was quoting scriptures, they completed my sentences and started laughing. I finally kept quite as they knew it all and yet remained single. I realised that we can be robotic in the way that we know the Word. We get used to the Word of God that it loses impact in our lives.
We can be casual in how we take the Word because we’ve gone through bible school and discipleship classes, home-cell groups and other bible meetings and the Word of God becomes just that, another line in the novel. The two ladies are still unmarried ever since that encounter two years ago and another has a baby. She couldn’t wait any longer and so decided to do things her own way because prince charming wasn’t coming along. It really made me think deeply to say, ‘are we being arrogant about what we think we know, that we can’t take in more knowledge anymore?
In my situation, I realised that my fault laid in getting caught up in other things, like my work and studies, focusing on other people and what they were doing or should not be doing and less on God. You could say that I was wandering far away from God. There were just too many things occupying my mind that were coming in between me and my God time. As much as some things are important in life, they should never take precedence over God. I try to introspect whenever I think that things are not going as they should in my life instead of blaming others. When you change your perspective about others, you begin to love them as they are and not who you want them to be. In that way, you focus on yourself and the things that matters to you the most.
My attention was on other people more than God. I was too concerned about what I thought others should be doing and how they could modify what they were already doing and conducting their lives. My mind was not correctly aligned with God though I was praying and meditating. Things were simply not connecting as they should and I lacked the inspiration that drew me closer to God. The more I concentrated on people and all other things, instead of God, the bitter I became because I was observing others having things that I wasn’t and jealousy and envy rose from inside of me, I was upset with others though they didn’t know it, I wanted to stop them from fulfilling their God-given assignments because I was struggling to figure what mine was even though I had a job and intended to further my studies.
I could see the right path but couldn’t walk in it. I stayed by the wayside with no fulfilment at all as I was not perfectly aligned with God. It is only in your perfect alignment with God that you truly love and accept people as they are without seeking to change them or who they are. It is only in your perfect alignment with God that even your partner is okay just the way that she or he is. You don’t seek to change him or her, you don’t expect too much from him or her, you don’t expect him to make more money and get a better job, you don’t expect her to cook for you but make means to eat if you are hungry or fix dinner yourself.
When you are in perfect alignment with God, even your children are perfect just the way they are, even if they don’t do a very good job in cleaning their rooms, you simply pick up that stuffed-animal from the floor without making a big deal of it and pick up their shoes and place them in the closet without yelling.
When you are perfectly aligned with God, your colleagues don’t annoy you when reports are delayed by a few minutes even when your boss is nagging.
You come to a point where you know for sure that God doesn’t hold anything against you but rather wait for you to get your act right and walk on the path that He has set for you. The bible says that, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psalm 119:105). You go back to the Word and read it with the intensity that it has and all you can say is, ‘thank you Lord for your patience and unconditional love for me’.
People will judge you as they see all of this happening to you and will enjoy how agitated and obnoxious you are because you reflect where they are in their lives as well. As they struggle too, to keep up with certain things, it becomes easy for them to compare themselves with you and feel good about their inadequacies by attacking and gossiping about you. They will say things to make you feel bad instead of lifting you up and only God will pull you up. He specialises with those situations when you find yourself down and cannot get up. He understands that in those moments, that’s when you need Him the most.
I think most of us know Footprints in the Sand poem written by Mary Fishback Powers. It is one of the most powerful and beautiful poems of all times. God does carry us in our times of sadness and moments of stupidity, arrogance and pride and when we are side-tracked. When our consciousness is far away from Him, He simply carries us. Psalm 91:11-12 says, “For He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you in all your ways. In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone”.
God never gives up on His children and He reminds us of our way home. When you realise that you have become a bitter and ugly person inside, whether people notice or not, work a little harder to find your way back to the feet of Jesus with a heart full of repentance. Always remember that Jesus saves, rescues and delivers us from things that might harm us, whether now or long term. You can never fail when you find your way back to God.
He will never judge you, only people judge and condemn. Make a real effort no matter how hard it is and you will never regret it because the longer you stay away, the harder it would be to get back up again. Backsliding should never be an option because it is in the moment of your relapse that the devil takes advantage of you. Don’t let him rejoice that he got you where he wanted you. Make right with God before it is too late and let Him mould you into the person that He wants you to be.
Footnote: Scriptures taken from the The Holy Bible, New King James Version, 1982: Nashville, TN, Thomas Nelson, Inc. & The ESV Global Study Bible®, ESV® Bible, Copyright © 2012 by Crossway. All rights reserved & The Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™
Kgalalelo Saane Mphephuka
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