“Do not despise these small beginnings…” Zechariah 4:10
On the life long journey of purpose, sometimes we can get discouraged because in our eyes our endeavors seem so small and insignificant in the larger scheme of things. I have felt this discouragement many times along the way. I knew I was on the right track, but what good was I doing? I wanted to be a blessing. I wanted to have enough to give away and take care of my family. It seemed as though I was doing neither. Have you been there? If not, you will be at some point. Here is where the power of the Word sets us free. God gave me the above scripture and told me to be thankful for my present postion. Anything worthwhile and lasting begins small and goes through a process that may take years. But when that thing is at its full stature, it is an amazing testament to the power of God.
Jesus teaches this in a parable about the Kingdom of God: “Then Jesus said, “What is the Kingdom of God like? How can I illustrate it? 19 It is like a tiny mustard seed that a man planted in a garden; it grows and becomes a tree, and the birds make nests in its branches” Luke 13:18-19. The process of growth is invisible, but it is constant and the results will eventually manifest in the visible. It takes patience and consistency to allow the process to come to a strong end. Meanwhile, being thankful at every step ensures that the gardener will not grow weary and give up, allowing discouragement to stunt its growth or kill it altogether.
Be grateful. It is the most powerful weapon you have against discouragement. Do I still get down? Not as much, now that I understand the principles of growth. Gratefulness ushers us into the presence of God where there is fullness of joy and great delights to sustain our souls in the hardest of times. Remember this in the new year ahead.
There is more. Two years ago I was awakened to this truth about my life. I couldn’t see the full picture at the time, but I felt that God wanted me to expand my life beyond the level that it was. I didn’t know what that would look like or even what it meant, but I understood that something had to change, that I was being called up higher. That call came from God Himself. I thought I was answering the call by starting my own sales company through multi-level marketing. Little did I realize when I began that endeavor that my call had everything to do with what was already inside, not sales.
God orchestrated events to place me in the company of my mentor, Alain Dagba, who opened my eyes to the true reason I was created. Once the light dawned on my spirit and I accepted God’s purpose for my life, new seeds were planted and I began the process of watering and nurturing those seeds in order to produce a harvest of blessing for the world. As my life moves forward, I have joy unspeakable doing the things God has specially fitted me to do.
What about you, my friend? What is your purpose? I believe purpose is the journey to destiny. Get on your journey and find something more.
And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose. Romans 8:28
Faith is the opposite of fear. What does the Bible say about faith to help us understand what it means? Hebrews 11:1 says: “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” What do I have confidence in? God’s Word. His Word is truth.
Fear, on the other hand, is a lie. Think about it this way. Some years ago I was visiting a friend in Phoenix, AZ. While we were out one night her house was robbed. When we came home we found it ransacked. I went to bed that night terrified that the thief would return. The terror was so real, I could almost hear him walking outside my window. I locked myself in the bathroom and spent the rest of the night in the tub. All of my senses were telling me that someone was in the house again. But my senses were wrong. The illusion caused me to behave irrationally and took the joy of the visit away.
All our fears are this way, until the truth comes into focus and we place our confidence in it.
My greatest fear was not having enough money to live on. How did faith conquer it? It’s a complicated story, so I’ll just share that I needed to believe two things: Who God is and what He promised. I did. I no longer have that fear. God is enough. His care and love are real. Jesus calls you this very day to a life that is not an illusion, but a reality: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10. Think of fear as the thief that has come to steal and kill and destroy. Jesus offers a life free of fear lived in His perfect love.
“God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” Romans 5:8
The end of the year always brings reflections of the past and pondering about the future. As I look back over the past year, I rejoice in all that God has done in my life and the work He has given me to do. I have learned many lessons along the way. There are four reflections of 2015 I want to share with you for the remaining weeks of November:
a) Fear: The number one killer of dreams
b) Faith: The call to abundance
c) Purpose and destiny
d) Do not despise the day of small things: Gratefulness
Fear is a state of mind rooted in a belief system created by pain. When dreams arise, they are immediately squelched by fear and justified by the self-created belief system. I lived this way for most of my adult life. The dream God planted in my spirit before I was born was buried under the wounds of life I received. If it tried to rise, my erroneous beliefs would make sure it was buried again. I am a writer with many good things to share through the written word. Now I share freely. But there was a time when fear kept me undercover, hiding my stories where I thought they were safe because I believed that nothing I did was good enough for the world to see.
Though I was a Christian, saved by the grace of God and going to heaven, there was something I lacked that allowed the fear to take over my life.
I lacked the truth that would set me free.
Does your life feel as if it has no meaning or purpose? Lydia Green, the main character in my story Rise, is at that point when the story opens. As a wife and mother in her mid-thirties, she can find no reason to live. Her purpose is buried under years of physical and emotional abuse and it seems to be destined to stay there. The only sunshine in her day is her teenage daughter, but sometimes even that light is extinguished by the abuse. It gets harder and harder to imagine another way to live when she is so full of despair.
Long before your eyes opened to the world outside your mother’s womb, God planted a seed in your soul. That seed holds everything you need to fulfill your purpose. As life goes on the seed remains dormant, buried in the struggle of everyday living. How does it find the light of day? The only One who can uncover the seed and pour light upon it is the One Who put it there in the first place. Think of where a huge oak tree begins: a tiny acorn. Everything the tree needs to grow is contained in that seed. Given the right conditions, that tree will eventually rise out of the darkness into the light until it is strong and unshakable, a mighty oak. This is the acorn’s destiny.
Your destiny is that seed, the seed of the perfect will of God for your life. You are not stuck where you are, even if it feels as though nothing is going to change. It doesn’t matter if you’ve lost your way and gotten into a hole so deep you cannot see the sky above. Jesus came to rescue you from your sins, from aimless wandering and to uncover the real you. All you need to do to begin this journey is to come to Him and believe. “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:6-8.