Monday, 13 May 2013

It's time to dream again!

It was the early hours of the morning and I was tossing and turning in my bed. All that ran through my mind was the guilt of the things I had left undone, always hiding under my blankets because I didn’t feel worthy enough to continue living. You know after everything that had happened I just felt like there was no need for me to keep pressing in this life that God has called me for. I had failed so many times in the past so I thought that I’ve reached that point of quitting once again. As I laid on bed this verse came to my spirit:  “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear them from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14. The wonderful thing about being called by God is that He is never letting you go. When I had made my bed in despair and hopelessness the Holy Spirit reminds me of the grace of God, if you will just humble yourself and seek God, He will heal you and forgive you. You see we tend to forget that as much as God is our friend and we access to talk to Him casually; He is also God, respected by angels and full of glory. He wants us to take some time aside on our knees in reverence and holy fear acknowledging that He is still God, the Creator of the universe. I got out of bed earnestly seeking His voice in scripture and prayed in tongues asking Him to touch me once again. I felt a little bit of hope. 

The next day I had forgotten about my prayer and found myself trying to impress Kabelo once again. (For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Romans 7:19). I felt like I had reached a dead point, like there was no way forward. I am trying so hard but I end up doing the wrong thing. Could I have been embarrassing myself all along?  Were all those things that God spoke to my life real or was it just my hallucinations? I don’t feel like I can go on, I’m a failure, I can’t do this!! As soon as you have had a personal encounter with God He is never letting you go. The Holy Spirit reminded me of God’s promises and gracious love all the time. I’d wake up in the morning feel undesirable or defeated but it would be like He was just holding me on my back, gently pushing me forward saying, I believe in you, you can do this. This is why I want to urge you that no matter what you are going through or how much you have messed up, don’t push God away, He is the only one who can ever truly love you. People will give you those stares, people will see that you are failing, and they will talk; thing is, when you live your life for God you won’t even mind what people have to say about you. You won’t get defeated by the many times you fall and fail because you know that God is always there to pick you up. Your family, your friends, your leaders in the church will never understand your struggles behind closed doors and chances are, they will never understand, only God knows you and if you call unto Him He will speedily come to your rescue. 

Well, that’s what I did the next morning, I called unto Him. He felt so far away. I knelt but it felt as if there was a border between us. I tried reading my Word but I could not even relate to the Spirit of God. Everything just seemed strange. On the verge of losing hope the Holy Spirit like a close friend, put his arms around me and said: Look at your vision board.” It has been there on my wall and I honestly hardly ever look at it and after so long I looked at it. My vision seemed too big for me, like, how in the world did I ever imagine myself to achieve all this. Yet for some reason I felt a leap of faith in my Spirit, it is not over; the King still has one more move. (Meeting you was not a mistake. I always knew God had a bigger plan for you. You might not see the plan now, there will be days when you feel like God is so far away and He doesn’t see what you are going through. There will be days when you feel weak and want to give up, but God tells us not to be dismayed or discouraged because He is with us. Lesego Serolong Holapfel).  Lord, I believe that you are not finished with me yet.

I went through most days feeling terrible, it seemed as if God was purging me and it did not feel good. But I’m glad that I went through all that because now I know the meaning of humility. I know that whatever I achieve and whatever I do for God it’s not because I’m holier or stronger than another person, but is just the grace of God that keeps me intact. (Why do you call me good? No one is good, but God. Luke 18:19). I have learned not to seek a title or honour from human beings but truly live transparently for God. Whether my blog readers will look down on me today because I’m exposing my flaws, or whether they would cheer me up because I’m exalting myself…that doesn’t matter. Whether I get ten people complimenting me or even one person, let alone none, that doesn’t matter, it is all for God. There is no good in me and I do not want people to look at me and think that I’m some supernatural being who doesn’t experience failure and temptations. I look at my vision board and I believe that I will get there one day, I will stand in front of nations and preach the gospel and lay hands on the sick who will get well. But I want this nation to know that I am a human being just like them. I was tested and went through the fire just like they do. I want them to know that I am not just standing in front of them because I’m ought to make a living out of their offering, or I’m this “perfect” woman who just wants to judge sinners. I would like them to know that being called by God is not easy. You fall and you are expected to get up. You want to quit but the Holy Spirit is holding on so tightly to you because He’s got dreams that only you can accomplish. You feel the urge to type that blog even if people don’t appreciate it; you spread the gospel even if people think that you have lost your mind. I want them to understand that you may go through all the trying times but you can never run way from your calling. 

After so many days of having to bear God’s silent treatment and begging Him to please touch me once again because I can’t do this thing called life on my own, the Holy Spirit led me to the book Of Luke chapter 18. Finally, verse after verse God was speaking to me. (…Men ought always to pray and not to faint. Luke 18:1). So I was on the verge of giving up and God tells me that I should not cease in prayer. Meaning, even if I don’t feel Him responding I should not stop praying because He is working behind the scenes. Now it’s not the time to get weak but to be fervent in prayer. Do not neglect your church because of how you feel today, do not stop seeking God in the early hours of the morning, do not stop being desperate to hear Him talk to you through the scriptures or circumstances because God still has one more move! In this chapter Jesus talks about the parable of the widow who troubled the judge seeking justice, but the judge would not listen t her. The woman did not lose hope she kept knocking on the judge’s door asking the same thing over and over until finally the judge Got fed up and gave her what she wanted. (And will not God bring about justice for His chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? Luke 18:7). Oh thank You God that you took the time to love me when no one was willing to love me! Thank you that you took me out in the wallow of despair when I was tempted beyond measure. Thank you that you held on to me even when I wanted to give up and lived for the wrong motives, but most importantly, thank You for touching me after so many desperate sleepless nights requesting a touch from heaven.

People see me cry all the time. I’m sure my housemates hear my weeping in the midnight hours just like I hear them doing their things. They don’t understand how hopeless I am without the touch of God in my life. They don't understand how desperate I am to see God's dream for my life being fulfilled.

Earlier I said that I learned humility in this process and this is exactly where verse 10 to 14 of this chapter leads me to. The parable of two people praying, the Pharisee and the publican. This is the prayer of the Pharisee: God I thank thee that I’m not as other men are, extorioners, unjust, adulterers, or even a this publican. I fast twice a week. I give tithes of all that I posses. And this is how the prayer of the publican went: He lifted up his eyes unto heaven, saying, God, be merciful to me a sinner. Jesus then says that the publican was justified than the Pharisee. (For everyone that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. Luke 18:14). This took me back to my days before I experienced so much temptation and hopelessness, I thought I had this. I would publicly speak about my abilities, sometimes I don’t say it but I want to be recognised and being followed. We exalt ourselves; we display our dreams on social networks and make other people feel bad? I have learned never to exalt myself again because words are deceiving, you even end up deceiving yourself. How many times have I publicly said for an example, I’m going to the gym and I’m going to lose weight, but I don’t go. Instead I stuff myself with junk food and sit there like a pig. How many times have I said I’m going to write a book but I end up doing something else instead? How many times have I updated “powerful” statuses on social networks but behind the curtains I’m struggling with sin? Man this is not the time to pretend, this is no time to be fake. This is not the time to give a false message to human beings; Jesus has called you to follow him in all sincerity and truth. When you follow Jesus you won’t feel the need to look good in people’s eyes because you are striving to get your own life in order. (Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up. James 4:10). 

So after Jesus told his parables the people around brought their children to him. The disciples tried to stop them but Jesus said, no, no. Don’t stop the children from coming to me, for such is the kingdom of God. (Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of heaven like a little child will never enter it. Luke 18:17). Be like a child. I have been with children in the classroom and when I tell them about the great plans God has for them, I see their faces lightening up. They don’t question what I tell them, they just believe. Yes you’ve messed up, you feel like a mess, you feel like what God has spoken in your life is not true. In your feelings of inadequacy, God says have faith in me! I cried so many times in God’s presence because I didn’t want to believe that He has brought me this far to leave me, and indeed He had not left me.  “Titi, it’s time to dream again!” (The things which are impossible with men are possible with God. Luke 18:27).

I say to you today my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream. ~ Martin Luther King

Later on that day we see that Jesus is passing through the crowds and people are all excited, shouting and all. So a certain blind man asked, what is happening, what’s with the noise? And they tell him that Jesus of Nazareth is passing by. The blind man did not waste any time but he began calling out to Jesus, “Jesus, Jesus, have mercy on me!” The crowed tried to stop him; after all he is just a nobody. But he screams even louder, “Jesus, Jesus, have mercy on me!!” Jesus stopped and gave his attention. He asked, what do you want me to do for you? The man said, I just want to see again. Jesus said, receive your sight, your faith has made you well! The Holy Spirit encouraged me to pray even louder, even more. When facts make it seem impossible for you to reach your dream, call unto Jesus even louder. "Titi!!! What do you want me to do for you?" Oh Jesus, Son of David, have mercy upon me and touch me once again!  When everybody has given up on you and the devil whispers words of discouragement in your, call out louder to Jesus. Never mind the distractions, never mind the failure, you’ve got grace holding you together, just call unto Jesus, because you will receive whatever you have faith for.

It’s time to dream again. It’s time to look forward to what lies ahead and forget the things of the past. For so long I condemned myself for the same sin over and over again, each morning asking for forgiveness. Oh God forgive me I kissed a man, forgive me I tried to seduce a man with my underwear, forgive me because I have a desire to have sex once again. You pray the same prayer every day; don’t you believe that I have already forgiven you? Don’t condemn yourself to the point where your unbelief is your sin and not the act itself. Jesus has forgiven you and wants to give you a fresh encounter today, right now. Believe and receive. 

On Sunday I didn’t feel like going to church but I thought that if ever God is going to use me then I have to act like it. Perhaps today is my day of breakthrough? Perhaps a word from an experienced man will change my life and confirm that God is still in control? I had the privilege of being blessed by Pastor Tommy Barnett, the senior pastor of phoenix First Assembly and the founder of the LA Dream Centre, and New York Dream Centre. Man I’m glad I rose above the laziness of getting out of bed and getting myself to church even when I didn’t feel like it. See, when God has chosen you He’s never letting you go, He will take you at the right places at the right times. Pastor Barnet was just confirming everything that the Holy Spirit has been saying to me, its time to dream again. For so long I’ve been asking God to manifest Himself to me and in this evening He did. While we were praying I felt my tummy tightening up, falling down on my knees, shaking under the power of the Holy Spirit, and praying in tongues I’ve never prayed with before. I could not believe it, I was shocked that God could touch a sinner like me in such an amazing way after such a long time. Thank You Jesus, you did not give up on me. Thank you that you did not forget me when you were raising a mighty army in our generation with dreams and visions. To God be the gory.

I just want to say a special thank you to my friend Poloko Mookaneng  for always taking the time to listen to my sobs and cries, always encouraging me and reminding me of the gracious love of our Lord. Bless you my friend!

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