Updated: Jun 6
April 17 2021, ~10am
Over the last 48 hours I’ve slowly been watching a sermon that is quite frankly changing my life. God is beyond mindful. I genuinely cannot understand it. In this sermon it talks about Isaiah 43:18-19, a scripture always quoted for advancement and restoration. However, that’s not what Apostle JS focuses on. He talks about how when God has such a grand plan for people, he pulls them out of an environment that will hamper their mindset and prevent them from receiving the gifts He has placed in their future.
Think of it this way, you live in a market where everyone lives in absolute poverty. People don’t think much about the future, they are simply just trying to get by. Even if they did, they speak very negatively and the general consensus is they are damned to absolute poverty forever. However, God gives you a revelation of who you are in Him and who you are going to be. He shows you that you’re actually confident, bright, wealthy, and should you walk with Him you will possess all the things you desire. He gives you a new vision of yourself and a reason to lift your head high. As a result, you stop believing that poverty is all you’d ever be stuck with and start believing you can actually achieve wealth – you can be more, can have more, you can be more than your current situation. This renewed way of looking at yourself spurs on confidence in you. You are keen to partner with Him and grow yourself so you can attain the promises he showed you.
Now back to the marketplace. Imagine walking back into that marketplace with a new bold attitude, a new set of clothes [maybe even some heels and a new bag] and a new voice. You walk in with this “new self” into an old place with people who do not share your perspective. How do you think that will work? People will snicker right? It’s likely they’ll mock you or tell you that you’ve run mad. Perhaps even rob you of your new items or try to hurt you! I mean, if you consistently bash an item or a person over and over, eventually, they will break.
So I ask you this – what good is a new mindset in an old environment?
Now hear me out, there’s a time and place where this could be ones reality. And if this were the case, God provides the Grace for a person to go through this. He clearly states this in Ephesians:
“But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.” Ephesians 4: 7 (KJV)
Think about Paul who had the heavy task of delivering the Gospel to the gentiles. He was given a SPECIAL GRACE to do this. Peter wasn’t apportioned this Grace. So there are nuances to that statement.
Anyway, back to my story. Taking a new mindset into a old place can be dangerous. It’s the reason the Israelites took 40 years for an 11 day journey. They carried the baggage of the old into the new promise. The sermon speaks about how when you’re moving forward, you leave behind EVERY SINGLE THING – past failures AND successes, and keep your eyes on God and look forward. Your past failures will yield discouragement whilst your past successes will yield complacency – both of which are vices which will not produce good results in the next phase. Deep? I know.
He explained something else that BLEW. MY. MIND. He uses Rahab as an example, a prostitute who lived at the wall of Jericho but was also a direct decent of Jesus Christ. Yes, you heard me right. She is in Christ’s lineage. A prostitute. Yes. By letting the spies who wanted to overthrow Jericho stay in her home, she negotiated that God should spare her family and they will not be killed too. But let’s go deeper. God granted this. God KNEW He would use Rahab. Rahab even being bold enough to negotiate her freedom speaks of a renewed mindset – a forward looking one. When Jericho is overthrown, her life [and family’s] is spared but everyone else is killed.
With those people killed, I can guarantee Rahab would have felt confident to walk in her new beginning. And no, just to be clear, I am not campaigning for murder. I don’t believe this is what the sermon is saying. It’s speaking about THE LENGTHS THAT GOD WILL GO TO TAKE YOU OUT OF A PLACE THAT KEEPS YOUR MINDSET IN A SUBOPTIMAL STATE. It’s not just Rahab we see God taking out of a familiar place. Ever heard of Abraham?
“The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.” Genesis 12: 1 (NIV)
We all talk about David, sweetie to get to his destiny he had to leave Bethlehem (his birthplace) to take hold of the promise God had made over his life. I can go on and on. My point is, out with the old, in with the new. Why am I talking about this? Well simply because as I go through my transition I realised that I’m terribly afraid of drastic change. I like change to happen “small small”. But what happens when this isn’t what God wants to do. We pray for advancement and supernatural speed. With such prayers, where does “small small” come in? Drastic changes like switching into an unfamiliar path, moving countries, starting a new relationship – all of this can be somewhat frightening. Though I do not know what God’s final plan is as I wait, He reminded me that He is good. That He is faithful. That He never disappoints and never will. He also reminded me of the sermon I just explained and how to take hold of the beauty of the new, you must let go of the old.
I sighed. I don’t know what the future holds, but I rely on His grace to let go of the past and press on towards the future. Letting go doesn’t mean you’ll suddenly have a hazy memory and forget all that happened (that would be strange???!) but you don’t dwell on the events of the past. Keep moving!
So today I say to you: Keep moving. There’s an old saying that before a rainbow appears, a storm must have occurred. I have been there. Storm after storm. It was like a storm battle / contest to see which one will drown me. But alas! As declared in Isaiah 60, The spirit of the Lord lies within me [and you] so my Lord will lift me [and you] up. Don’t let the hurts of the past keep you from looking expectantly at the new. It will be beautiful.
I end with this scripture:
““Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?” Luke 11: 11-12 (NIV)
The rainbow is near and it will be beautiful. Stay strong!