“Then the LORD said to him, “What is that in your hand?” “A staff,” he replied. The LORD said, “Throw it on the ground.” Moses threw it on the ground and it became a snake, and he ran from it. Then the LORD said to him, “Reach out your hand and take it by the tail.” So Moses reached out and took hold of the snake and it turned back into a staff in his hand.”
Exodus 4:2-4 NIV
I have been thinking to myself lately where does being a leader come from. Is a leader born into this world or made through experiences? There is a divided answer with this, as some people think that it is a gift and a talent while others believe that it is an evolutionary factor from learning or suffering in life. Many people decide that they are not worthy of becoming a leader therefore, they just settle with being a follower. But the only pro to becoming a follower is that what is required of you is nothing. You can just casually walk behind the leader who has made the sacrifices and took the sufferings to get to the destination they were going after. All that the follower is good for is celebrations. They are living off of somebody else’s victories like it is theirs. So to all the followers let me ask you, do you really want to look back at your life and say I lived off of somebody else’s blessings, victories, and achievements? Most never understand that there is greatness within them that can make them become their own success story. Let me give you two types of ways a leader is made. The first way is by being around other leaders. Being around other successful leaders will give you the learning experience needed to help bring out the inner leader within you. It relates to the phrase commonly known as, “You are who you hang around.” The second way to becoming a leader is by facing challenges. People never realize that the pain and the suffering is not just an unfortunate circumstance instead, you can reverse the effects of it and make it work for your good. It is like another common phrase people say, “What does not kill you will make you stronger.” These are two different roads to becoming a leader but they have one thing in common and that is time. You have to understand that the leader you are going to be will not happen over night. As a result, do not try to rush through this process or you will become what people prophesied for you to be which is not becoming a leader. Let them criticize you with their opinions but continue to stay true to your facts. To be a leader is a transformation process for everybody. You are not born as a leader, you become one. Moses was reluctant to lead his people out of Egypt but God showed him what to do by saying reach for the snake. Just like Moses, it is okay to reach for the snake scared, terrified, afraid, and judgmental. For each of these feelings you will have to learn how to hone them for the snake to become a staff. And when it does, then you are a leader.
What are you going after? This is an important question that people will ask us to see what is it that we are aiming for in life. Most people will have a specific target and know what they are going after while others will be clueless in what that it is they are going after. For the people who are clueless they are just casting their fishing line in the water and waiting for something to bite it. And whatever bites it they will say, “This is what I was aiming after.” But you gotta be careful for having this type of mindset because you will face battles that you can not handle. What you have set yourself to aim for contains battles within it that God has not anointed for you to fight. This is where you will spend years being unsuccessful into something you was not even suppose to do in the first place. For times sake, you have to know what you are going after in life. Do not wake up everyday waiting for something to fall in your lap instead, wake up with an agenda and go get it yourself. I can answer for all of us when I say we want to have money, a nice house, and multiple cars. We want results that accumulates from the productivity of hard work and commitment but we want it now and not by going through the process of what every successful person has to go through. Then days will turn into weeks, weeks into months, and months into years of you lacking a workers mentality. You need to get out the bed, out the chair, and out of other people’s business if you expect to be somebody in life. If you have time to sleep all day and gossip then there is time to be busy and productive. Being busy and productive will not allow you to have free time to sleep a whole day away nor worry about somebody else’s business, as you will have your own to worry about. You need to dig deep within yourself and find out who has God made you to be. When you find that out, then you know what your target is.
“ I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:7-9 NIV
Today, I do not want to discuss with you the great things you have done nor the things that you have overcome. I want to talk to you about a question that is found deep down in your heart that has no answer placed on it. What I want you to think about is what in your life becomes so overwhelming. You can handle the burdens of life as well as the trial and tribulations but this certain thing overwhelms you to the point it feels as if you are sinking in deep water. The question is, What do you do when God says no? You want a miracle but he says no. You asked God to heal you from a situation that is tearing you apart mentally and God still says no. You may even be a great person of faith who can quote more scriptures than there are skittles in a king size bag and he still says no. Why is it that God says no to releasing weight that seems to become so overwhelming in our lives? As a person with this experience I could not find the answer to why. I was confused because I would pray all the time to God, I would give my tithe to the church, I would worship God during the praise service, and I followed according to his will however, he still allowed my heart to feel pain. It was becoming too much for me to the point I was losing focus in my purpose and I could no longer see what I was going after. As a result, I asked God repeatedly to please take this away from me so I can be a better version of my self for him but he still refused with a no. For those who can relate, you know what it is like to receive a no when a yes will be the answer to your problems. You even know what it’s like to solve everyone’s issues and problems but not your own. At one point in your life you have wondered how is it that God who is the giver of peace and joy would allow this pain to settle in between it. We have all wondered this answer but could not find it. Even the Apostle Paul could not find the answer when he was also told no and he wrote the Bible, healed the sick, and spread the word of God across the world. Paul was one of Gods great servants in the Bible and after three prayers God still says no. So Paul wondered the same questions we wonder about today. Gods response to all of our questions were, “My grace is sufficient.” Now what this means is that the grace God puts over you can bare the weight of the overwhelming problem in your life. It is like you standing in an elevator. The elevator will keep its integrity because it can still handle the weight applied to it. A loved one who has died, a marriage that is going down hill, or a family that is divided may seem like it is too much on you but God is not going to take it away as he has given you grace to sustain what you are going through. Always remember that God will never forsake you and leave you by yourself. Your pain is his pain and what you go through is what he will also go through. Therefore, know that he has already prepared your grace for the struggles you will face. His grace will always be sufficient.
“No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse. Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined.” Matthew 9:16-17 NIV
If you are seeking to step into a new dimension, a new chapter, and a new season in your life, you must know that you can not bring in who you were into who you want to be. When you are going after something new there has to be a readjustment in your life. You have to remove what was to have room for what will be. Let me break it down to you like this. This year it has been a battle and a struggle for you to stay a float. The circumstances that you are in causes you to become torn, stressed, and upset to the point it becomes overwhelming in your life. Now here comes a new year and we all know what we say when a new year comes, “New Year-New Me.” We say this without realizing that we can not be a “new me” still being the “old us.” The objective has changed but the emotions still remain the same. When you sign up to go after something and chase after it, know that you not only signed up for a new journey but you also signed up for new troubles. Everything you get is a blessing however, it carries its own burdens. So do not bring your old troubles into your new objective. You will still be stressed and overwhelmed into your new experience when it needs to be left in your old one. You can chase all you want but your potential will never be seen if you do not let the past be the past.
“But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.” Job 23:10 NIV
In the beginning there was two ways to take. Adam and Eve had that option. They could have obeyed God and eaten from the other trees of life, or disobeyed God and eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. God wanted to show them freedom therefore, he expressed that freedom by giving them free will to make a choice. When they made the wrong choice to disobey, God said “they would die” but the fruit was not going to make them die. It was rather the absence of feeding off of life who is God that will make them dead now. Without God you are dead but with God you are alive. For what Adam and Eve have done is in result of what we are born into which is the knowledge of good and evil and not life. That is how God knows the way that we will take. From my birth I have taken that route. I was born free but free with bondage as I saw gold as having money and money as a high standard. However, it took me twenty-one years to figure out that it was just fools gold. Therefore, I saw the other choice that God has given. A choice to be free with no bondages. I took that choice and now I see the highest standard of life along with seeing the vision of true gold. Now just a year later at the age of twenty-two the test is not over. Yes I saw the right choice but I still have the option of going back to the wrong one. Therefore, I am not finished but I fear God too much to go back. My gold is in heaven and heaven is where I want to be.
“I gave you milk not solid food, for you were not ready for it.” 1 Corinthians 3:2 NIV
Before we are saints we are mere infants to Christ. The moment we have declared Jesus as our lord and savior, our eyes become uncovered as we finally see the death that was our past. The old us is now buried and the new us has risen as an infant for Christ. Just like any christian we all wonder what is the next step. And that step is to be fed milk. Spiritually the milk means God feeding your growth and development in key areas as a christian. I call those areas the “Secret Ingriedients Of A Christian” because every worldly person never understands how we practice them daily. We must grow and develop with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control which is the fulness in power of the holy spirit. For us to take those first steps as a christian we gotta have something inside of us that will never come out. Therefore, God will feed us the milk that is the spirit so we may never cry for hunger again. That is the importance of the nurturing God gives us because without it you will still be the same person you were before you made your decleration. A person who did not understand the secret ingredients that gives true life. And without life you are dead. Why not bury what is already dead in bring to life what you kept buried.
Why do I raise my hands? I raise them for balance. I raise them as a sign of submission to God. I submit to him all of my troubles and worries so that he may feel me up with something better. If I don’t raise my hands then I am keeping it in me. Yes, I may be receiving the good but I will be mixing the bad with the good and I will become unbalanced. My hands get tired at times but that is why I have friends to help hold them up for me. That is why I go to church so that it may reenergize me and motivate me to keep them held up… I want balance in my life therefore, I keep my hands raised. What do you want?