“What killed your spirit? What happened?” This is the question I felt the holy spirit prompting me to meditate on this morning as I reflected on the journey that is my life. I’m in a stage of life where I KNOW I’m called to do more than go to work, raise kids, retire and die. All of these things are blessings and fulfilling, and I have found a way to remain content, but I know there is more. I haven’t yet tapped into my purpose; that thing God put me here for. You know, that thing that if you didn’t have to worry about bills, tuition, groceries, mortgages that you’d do for the rest of your life. I can do a lot of things, and can learn to do even more quickly. However, I’m still looking for that thing. Somewhere along the line not only did I become content, I will admit I became discouraged. I’ve had ideas, but I let them die. There has been vision that I’ve allowed to fade. Somewhere along the line I accepted the lie that says “I can’t.” “That dream is too big, no one will listen, no one will care.” That lie came in the form of words from others who have killed their dreams so can’t possibly understand how I can accomplish mine. It came from the layoff, dead-end relationships, and the family member who every time I’d mention a dream they’d tell me I couldn’t do it (in so many ways). It came from seeing people defeated by setbacks and failures; these things became planted seeds in my mind that I allowed to take root in my heart in the form of worry, doubt and fear.
I used to have fire – if there was anything I wanted to do, I set out to do it and saw it come to fruition. I wanted to graduate college, I did it. I wanted to join a sorority, I did it. I wanted to go to graduate school. I did it. I wanted to work at certain places, I did that too. Let me take that back. God did it. However, I’m convinced that the reason he did these things was because my heart was aligned with his will for me to do those things. I never let fear, doubt or worry cause me to war with this will for me to accomplish whatever he inclined on my heart to do. Therefore, when I prayed about all of this, when I took action, he moved and opened the doors. Being the awesome God that he is, he even opened unexpected doors along the way. I wasn’t at war with the spirits of doubt and fear that I allowed to become internal whenever God put it on my heart to do something. I didn’t care what the “facts” or circumstances looked like. God put it on my heart, I prayed, I moved, it happened. As simple as that. It reminds me of the following scriptures:
“Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. “If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.” John 14:13-14
“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Hebrews 11:6
Listen, I don’t know about you, but those two scriptures are HEAVY. They are truth. Whatever you ask in His name, he will do it. Why? Because you asking in His name means he gets the glory. He loved you so much he sent his Son as a first-fruit sacrifice and example, why wouldn’t he do this? Second, we can’t come half-stepping in our asking. One of many reasons things go unanswered or unfulfilled is because we lack faith. You can’t come asking and praying for something, while at the same time believing God can’t and won’t do it for you. It says clearly that anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. You seeking him and his direction with faith brings rewards! This is why it is important for you not to let negative thoughts of worry, doubt and fear take root, then becoming an issue of the heart. Once it reaches the heart, I’m telling you it is an uphill battle from there. Your prayers then become confused. That’s what happened to me. The fire was diminished because I allowed negative thoughts to become issues of the heart. So now when I prayed, I didn’t fully believe God would answer my prayer. I felt like he didn’t love me anymore. I wanted to believe, but I was at war with those spirits in my heart. Thus, he was unable to move in the full capacity that he used to. Things used to happen quick. Now it seemed like I couldn’t get anywhere. I am thankful for his mercy, because in all of this he taught me some cool things about Him and myself. I’m stronger, I’m more aware, and I can see the limits I’ve placed on him slowly be lifted.
Because people. People. Whenever you face opposition, it almost always happens through people. This is why it is important to guard your environment with 3 rabid dogs and an electrical fence. You can do this in two ways: 1) Surrounding yourself with positive and like-minded people who aren’t dream killers. 2) Stop running your mouth about everything God has told you to do. When you surround yourself with people who are on a mission to live out their purpose, they will inspire you and even help push you along. You won’t hear “you can’t” and “you won’t” from them, because they too understand the importance of the seeds negativity can plant in one’s life. The tricky thing about negative people is, they never come in the form of strangers. It’s your family, close friends, even spouses who can speak word curses on your life without realizing it. I remember the day I left Kansas, it was my grandmother who told me “I don’t know why you are moving, God said you’d be back in 6 months.” This was particularly unnerving because the people I thought would nurture my growth were the ones trying to kill it. Had I listened and let that seed plant into doubt and worry, I supposed I would be. Instead I pressed on because I knew what God spoke in my life to me, and I knew it was the best move. Almost 2.5 years later I’d say I was right.
I do want to make one thing clear; a person with a negative mindset isn’t necessarily a bad person. It just means they have not allowed themselves to see around the limits and boxes they placed upon themselves. Somewhere in life, they allowed something to kill their spirit. Maybe, you separating yourself and living your purpose without limits can be the very thing that gives them hope again. But, you just have to let them do that over THAT way. Way way that way.
Lastly, stop running your mouth. I know at times we get ideas and vision from God, and we are so excited that we want to go share it with the world. This may not be the smartest thing to do for a few reasons. I want you to think about these scriptures:
“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
“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8
Some may not agree, but the spiritual realm is very real. In fact, we are spirits living a human experience. There are forces that exist to make sure you live a life far from the potential and destiny God has planned for you. Any time there has been something going on in my life that I have been fairly silent about, things went according to plan with little opposition (little, not none). It’s when I wanted to tell everyone, share my ideas and thoughts that I was in for a fight. The enemy comes to destroy everything God has in store for you and he does so through people. When you put your dreams in the ears of the wrong people, they will either discourage you, steal your ideas, or do something to sabotage your efforts. Be silent, and move strategically. Share your ideas with people who believe in you, who you trust, and that you know will cover you in prayer. You have to check your motives; are you wanting to move forward with your dreams to be seen or recognized, or because you truly feel God put it on your heart to do? If it is the latter, then you won’t care about who knows or sees anyway. Just a thought.
In closing, as I reflected this morning on these things, I felt a new sense of clarity. I felt like God has been here all along and has been trying to light that fire and faith in Him I once had. I truly believe the coming season will be a great one and what lies ahead will be greater than anything I’ve imagined. My hope is that as I share this journey and clarity with you, you too will be able to find out what killed your spirit and be able to rise above. God is in our corner and wants us to win. We just have to step forward boldly with faith no matter what is happening around us. You don’t have to fit a mold that society creates for you; break it and make your own way with God’s leading you. Believe in yourself and dream big.