"God prepare me for the war, comfort be the thing that can make a King fold." -Andy Mineo
It seriously amazes me sometimes how God will place certain things in our spirit that prepare us for something that we don't even see coming. Meanwhile we think oh its just a coincidence or it's funny that song came on that I haven't heard in awhile. I imagine God sitting back, chuckling even, as He already knows the seed that is being planted and the fruit that it is going to bear.
So let's chit chat! I remember when I first heard the song Oceans by Hillsong...I didn't like it. I know, I know, feel free to stone me and accuse me of blasphemy for disliking one of the best worship songs ever. I obviously needed to have a come to Jesus moment but I digress. I eventually fell in love with the song and obnoxiously kept it on replay while thinking of myself as the female Peter walking on water as I belted "spirit lead me where my trust is without borders. Let me walk upon the waters, wherever You would find me." As with all songs that you love, you have a tendency to play that bad boy to the point where you say I love you, I do, but I have to set you free (caw-caw). Needless to say, I played oceans out so I stopped listening to it for a couple of months and then recently I heard it on the radio. Then I heard it again mixed in with other songs and I thought to myself, "self," self said "huh?" "we need to revisit oceans" and self said "yassssss."
As oceans was dropped back in my spirit, a new song I fell in love with, You make me brave, was also on replay. I could literally feel the words of these songs tugging on my heart to the point that I started to wonder, God You're up to something aren't You? Now fast forward just a little bit; Andy Mineo has a song called uncomfortable that I legit keep on replay in my car and it has convinced me that there is a rapper on the inside of me. I listened to an interview that he did where he was asked to explain some of the lyrics from the song. The lyric that really got my attention was the first verse where he says, "God prepare me for the war, comfort be the thing that'll make a King fold." So Andy, we're on a first name basis, says the verse came about from King David's story in 2 Samuel 11. He talked about how it was custom for the King to go to war with his soldiers but it tells us in verse 1 that "King David tarried in Jerusalem," while his men were at war. As we continue to read, we see that David gets out of his bed and looks out of his window and what does he see? Bathsheba in all her glory and nakedness. He begins to lust after her and sends for her to be brought to him. He ends up sleeping with her and she becomes pregnant. Oh, I left out one minor detail...Bathsheba is actually Mrs. Bathsheba; she is MARRIED. So fast forward, King David has her husband Uriah put on the frontline at war to be killed, their baby die, and all other sorts of lovely mishaps occur. Andy says he was asking God to prepare him for where he needs to be (God prepare me for the war) even if it makes him uncomfortable because the comfort of David staying at home instead of going to war as he was supposed to, led to him falling into all sorts of temptation and sin (comfort be the thing that'll make a King fold).
So now that we're all up to speed, let's talk about being uncomfortable! Have you ever been in a position that you just felt so uncomfortable and just to make things a little bit more interesting it seemed like as you went from one uncomfortable situation, a new one popped up. You want to escape this season yet it seems like there is no way out. You think you see the light at the end of the tunnel, but no it was just the beginning of a new uncomfortable journey for you to go on. You think to yourself, "it is always something!" It feels like you can barely keep your head above water and you just want something to give because life just seems to be too much. Friend, I know it seems like it would be easier to give up then to try to pull from what appears to be the very little strength that you have left but giving up isn't an option and let me remind you why.
In 2 Samuel 11:1, it tells us that the soldiers typically went to war in the spring time and this is important to know because Israel's rainy season was usually in the winter. It was better for them to go to war in the spring when the roads were dry because ultimately the conditions were better for them to be successful. If they were to go to war out of season they would've been in conditions that would've been detrimental to them succeeding in war. So what does this have to do with you, you ask? Well you have to understand that there's a purpose in you being where you need to be. Oftentimes when God is trying to shift us to a place that makes us uncomfortable, our immediate reaction is God I don't want to have to fight this battle! We fail to realize that God is leading us there because He knows that the conditions are set up for us to be victorious. There's purpose in you being where you need to be but you're willing to abandon that purpose just because it leads you to a place that makes you uncomfortable. You have to understand that God has already set a provision in place prior to sending you to your current destination. During the winter, when it was rainy, that's when crops were planted and in the spring time those same crops were ready to be harvested which created a food supply for the soldiers who were going to war. The war was in the spring but the provision was made before they set out for war. There are seeds that God has planted in you and it may seem that you continue to encounter storms but those storms are just a part of the provision to water the seeds that are going to be harvested later on. The storms might be uncomfortable but trust that God isn't allowing you to face those storms without a purpose in mind for your benefit (Romans 8:28).
I'm sure you're thinking, that sounds all good and dandy but it's easier said then done. Trust me, I know! I have been in an uncomfortable place for months and as I'm encouraging you with this I am also preaching to myself. God has used this time to show me that Instead of fully trusting Him, I go into fix it mode and try to figure out how I can change this or that or make it right. He reminded me that Hebrews 11:1 says "faith is the substance of things hoped for but the evidence of things not seen." As He reminded me of this scripture the question was then proposed, how uncomfortable is it to walk in obedience when you have no idea what the outcome is going to be? It's not easy and it's extremely uncomfortable....but that's faith. Faith is saying God, I want to be where You are even if that requires me to be uncomfortable right now. I want to be where You are even if that requires me to be in a broken dry place that I don't quite understand. I don't want to miss out on what You have for me simply because I would rather be comfortable versus being uncomfortable and in Your will. God, prepare us for the war even if it's difficult; even if we get our feelings and egos hurt in the fighting/pruning process. We can't afford to allow our desire to live an easy and comfortable life to lead us to miss out on where God desires for us to be. I can honestly say that I have absolutely no answer for how this season is going to come together or when, even if, it will end. What I do know is in the moments when I am worried and even afraid, I'm sweetly reminded of the song You make me brave. When I'm questioning why I have to deal with x,y, or z, I'm reminded of myself singing "Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders," and wanting the lyrics to be more than just a song. God knows what He's doing, I promise you He does. Trust Him in this uncomfortable season because although you may not understand, He has a plan to use it for your good. Don't get discouraged.
Since I’ve been doing videos more, I haven’t been writing as much but I decided to write this one out instead of doing a video, so can we talk? Can we have a heart to heart? Alright, let’s chit chat…
Have you ever been in a place where it just feels like you’re by yourself? It’s beyond the point of a season of loneliness because it’s not really a time where God is stripping things from you but it’s like there’s not even anything for God to take away…because you’re by yourself. You have all these different things going on and you want to talk to someone about it but you don’t really have anyone to talk to. I mean you could talk to this or that person but you don’t know how they would receive your crazy…or you don’t want a pity party. You don’t want it to seem like you’re complaining or you just feel like the person that you would normally talk to can’t relate so you just keep it to yourself. You internalize all of these things to the point that you can feel them slowly brewing on the inside of you. It seems like no one sees, no one cares, and you just kinda feel stuck. You feel by yourself.
It’s a weird season to be in; it’s an awkward place to be when you are known as being the one who encourages, inspires, pulls it together in hard times, remains calm, keeps the peace, is slow to anger…it feels as though you always have to be this way. It feels like you have to say something encouraging, positive, and uplifting all the time. In other words you always have to be “on” even when you’re feeling off. So you get used to pretending; it is so exhausting pretending. You smile, you respond to emails, you post encouragement and scriptures all while you are dealing with things that are rocking your foundation to its core. You question God, you doubt your calling, and you ask why this is your portion and you deal with all of this by yourself. You want to talk about it, you need to talk about it, but you don’t…because you feel like you’re by yourself. It’s almost like you want someone to realize that you’re not okay without you having to walk around with a sign on your forehead that says “yoo-hoo, hey over here! I’m not okay.” You want someone to genuinely check in on you without you having to say something first.
If I can be honest, I’ve experienced all of these thoughts/feelings at some point throughout this year. I’ve been experiencing an interesting season and the reason why I say it’s interesting is because it’s a season that I’ve been in before. To be honest, I’m not quite sure why I am here but that’s okay. I initially didn’t feel the need to talk about it because I’ve done so many videos on it and I figured there wasn’t much more to say on the topic however, after watching videos/reading blogs by people that touched on this area I decided to talk about it.
It has been somewhat of an awkward season of transition for me. I’ve been in a place where literally everyone around me is either in a relationship, engaged, or getting married. It’s interesting because I don’t have the desire to be in that season right now, but it’s becoming more evident to me that they're pairs and I’m by myself. I don’t mean by myself in the sense of not being in a relationship but more so just figuring out where I fit in when it comes to pairs and groups. It's not coming from a place of jealousy, coveting, or comparison but just more so an evident reality of being just one amongst a bunch of pairs. Hopefully that makes sense. In addition to this, when I’ve been dealing with different things I’ve chosen not to talk to the people that I usually would for whatever reason which led me to internalize a lot of things. It got to a point where I was so angry about different things that was going on that this rage began brewing inside and eventually it poured out in different areas of my life. So this led me to do a soul detox (which I’ll be sharing later this month for the Changed Hearts: Kill My Will for August) to help me to see my heart and to let go of some things because I did not like the person that I was becoming. Throughout this time, God has revealed some things that I'm telling to myself while also sharing them with you.
A lot of times during a season of loneliness or when you’re just in a place where you feel like you’re by yourself it doesn’t seem like something that you would welcome. Trust me I know! But what if you looked at it as an opportunity versus a point of opposition in your life? James 1:2 tells us “when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy” (NLT). Now if you just stop reading right there you would be looking like uhm #ByeJames! Why would I take delight and joy when I’m facing things that are making me feel empty, broken, frustrated, busted, and disgusted??? Those are not happy words so come again! But when you keep on reading verse three says, “For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow” (NLT). Now I’m sure you’re like, Angel what does this have to do with me feeling by myself girl?!? When you’re in a place where you are by yourself it gives you an opportunity to really give your attention to God. The issue with this however, is that the enemy also realizes this so he will send different things your way to aggravate and irritate you so that you fall away from God instead of turning towards Him and allowing Him to grow you. You have to realize that when you are in a place where you are feeling alone and by yourself, God is oftentimes trying to get your attention.
A lot of times instead of giving God our attention we end up pulling further away from Him and we get in these moods and funks and we get irritated with ourselves because our attitudes have become so nasty. We have no patience, everything gets on our nerves, and we don’t feel like getting into our word or spending time with God because we’ve allowed all this gunk to get into our hearts. If we do attempt to spend time with God we feel so disconnected and it’s almost like we don’t even know where to begin. So now it appears that not only are we alone in the natural sense but it also feels like God has left us by ourselves. Can you say a test of faith?
The question isn’t really why are you in a season of loneliness or why do you feel like you’re by yourself but the real question is what are you going to do now that you’re in that place? Are you willing to press through the test? Are you even willing to take the test? I know that it can be difficult when you’re in a place where you feel like you’re by yourself and it would be so easy to sit here and say it’s only a season, seasons change, in due time, etc., but the reality is sometimes it might be awhile before your season changes or it may not even change. Very encouraging, I know…but it’s the reality. Another reality however, is that God never puts you in a place without a purpose in mind. So what if that purpose is to grow your faith in Him and give you the strength that you need to endure? You don't want to miss out on that opportunity simply because you got frustrated and distracted in the midst of the test. Know that God is for you even when it seems like you're by yourself, you have no one around, things aren't going in the manner that you would like, and whatever else. Sometimes when you're in that place of feeling by yourself it is easy to forget that God is for you. Don't lose sight of that and don't allow your current place to make you forfeit the destination that He has for you. Stay encouraged.
Sometimes you have those days where you just don't feel good. It's not just a matter of you not feeling well physically but you also feel spiritually empty and tired. Tired...almost like you have nothing left to give yet you know that you can't tap out. You try so hard to keep on going but you don't want to keep going on like this. Pretending. Hurting. Angry. Frustrated. Empty...
"You've brought me to the end of myself and this has been the longest road. Just when my hallelujah was tired, You gave me a new song."
You're tired. You're so tired of hitting that hard brick wall every single time that you try to go forward. You're tired of the setbacks, tired of the fall throughs, tired of trying and feeling like it's not good enough. You just want it to be different this time. You want to let go and fully let go this time yet it always seems to remain clenched so tightly in your hand.
"Now I'm letting go. I'm letting go. I'm letting go. I'm falling in to You."
You feel as though you don't know where to go from here. You want it to be different this time but deep down inside you're scared that it will only remain the same. That little voice inside tells you that you won't come out of this, you will continue to stumble, it will only last a week or so and then you'll go back to the same old same old. Those lies begin to get LOUDER than the word of God that says otherwise. You feel defeated. You believed for a moment that it would be easier to give up than to get through this. You considered throwing in the towel but something inside of you tells that there's still something worth fighting for. Something has told you, maybe even faintly, that you can't give up. I know this because you chose to read this.
"I confess I still get scared sometimes but perfect love comes rushing. And all the lies that screamed inside go silent the moment You begin."
I know that life can happen sometimes and the unexpectedness of it all can bring you to your knees. No matter how strong you are in your faith, you will face some days where the opportunity to give up will present itself in such a way that it almost convinces you that it would be easier than pushing forward. Can I be that soft whisper for you today? You can't give up friend and the reason you can't give up is because what is on the inside of you is worth fighting for. Please realize that if there was nothing in you or about you that was worth fighting for satan would not be working overtime to get you to break! He is fighting you so hard because he realizes that there is something so great on the inside of you that he does not want to come out.
"You remind me of things forgotten. You unwind me until I'm totally undone. And with Your arms around me fear was no match for Your love and now You've won me."
Can I remind you of something? Did you forget what 1 Corinthians 15:57-58 says? Well here’s a quick refresher: “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” Victory already belongs to you because of who you are in Christ. Have you forgotten this fact simply because you're facing things that are making you feel less than victorious right now? No one and nothing can take away the fact that you are victorious in Christ except for you. Don't you get it? Satan wants you to knock yourself out of a race that you've already won! He can't take victory from you because it's already yours through Christ Jesus, so instead he tries to get you to give it to him by giving up. Don't you dare give in and give up on what is rightfully yours.
While you are sitting here looking at the very things that are trying to take you out and thinking that it is so hard, the enemy is looking in the future and he is scared because he sees who God has predestined you to be! He sees you walking in boldness; he sees you whole in Christ; he sees the overcomer that was on the inside of you now walking boldly on the outside; he sees the less frustrated peaceful you; he sees the confident you; he sees the souled out for Christ you; he sees you walking in your anointing; he sees you impacting and changing people's lives; he sees you pleading the blood of Jesus and breaking generational curses; he sees the best part of you....that you can't even see in yourself right now and that's why he wants you to give up. Satan isn't attacking you because you're an easy target. He's not distracting you because he sees you don't have purpose or that you're going to be defeated. He's not fighting you because you're a lost cause. Quite the contrary! He knows that your current state is not your final destination. What he also knows is that if he can get you to believe the lies while you’re feeling defeated, feeling like you lack purpose, and feeling like a loss cause, that you will abandon the very thing that is on the inside of you. You will forfeit your purpose and Gods plans for your life. Satan wants you to focus on where you are and not where Gods will is for you to be. Don't allow your current circumstances and frustrations to lead you to make rash decisions that will impact your purpose and destination with God.
"If I lived a thousand lifetimes and wrote a song for everyday, still there would be no way to say how You have loved me."
You say “God I'm tired.” God says, My grace is sufficient for you. I will carry you through this. The enemy wants to steal what God has planted on the inside of you and the only way he can get it is if you give it to him. I hope and pray that you realize that even though you may feel tired, what is on the inside of you is still worth fighting for.
Have you ever been in a place where you felt as though you were striving to live for God; you weren’t perfect, but you were really trying. You were seeking after God and you were intentional about doing things the right way. You were really trying, yet you had this issue…this thorn in your flesh as apostle Paul called his, this thing that you just couldn’t seem to shake and with a heavy heart and tears in your eyes you asked God, “Why won’t You take this from me?” “Why won’t You heal me?” “Why won’t You help me to overcome this?” “God, why won’t You do this for me?” The thing is, you’re not coming from a place of anger or even pride, but it’s from a place of brokenness in your heart. You think to yourself God I’m not upset with You, I promise I’m not angry with You. I believe You to be God and I know that You can do this…I just don’t understand why You won’t God. I don’t expect You to fix it just because I’m living for You but I have faith that You can God and I just want to know that my faith isn’t in vain…God I trust You and I believe You to be who You say You are…God please take this from me…
Have you ever been in that place? It might be hard to admit that you have been but there’s a beauty in being real and honest with God. In our honesty with God, He reveals Himself to us and answers our questions in ways that we likely did not expect. I had a moment today where I asked God why won’t You do this for me. Why does this have to be my issue? Why does this have to be my thorn in my flesh? God…why won’t You do this for me? His response was in the form of a question as well; am I not still God even if I don’t? If I don’t do this for you am I not still God? Sometimes in the midst of our hurt, pain, frustrations, and everything else that our little emotions like to pull on, we forget that the fact that God has not done it for us is not equivalent to Him not being able to. We know that He can do all things but that's not really the question at hand. The real question is what are you going to do if He doesn’t do it? How are you going to respond even if He does not move on your behalf during what you feel is your time of need?
Let’s take a moment and look at apostle Paul as he talks about having a thorn in his flesh.
If I wanted to boast, I would be no fool in doing so, because I would be telling the truth. But I won’t do it, because I don’t want anyone to give me credit beyond what they can see in my life or hear in my message, 7 even though I have received such wonderful revelations from God. So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud.8 Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. 9 Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 10 That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong (2 Corinthians 12:6-10, NLT).
Apostle Paul begged the Lord, he pleaded with the Lord, to take this thorn away from him. God, why won’t You do this for me? Every time His response to Paul was “My grace is sufficient for you.” Each time that Paul asked God to take it away I can imagine God saying Paul, don’t you understand? Do you not get it? My strength is made perfect in your weakness Paul. I see what you’re going through Paul. I feel what you’re going through Paul. I know you’re uncomfortable Paul. I know you don’t understand why you have go through this Paul. I know you want Me to take it away from you Paul. But I want you to know that My grace is all you need Paul. Now put your name everywhere that you see Paul’s name…
God is asking us do we really believe that His grace is sufficient? Do we really believe that it is still enough as we go before God asking Him why He won’t do this for us? God needs us to realize that it’s enough. It is more than enough. In the moments of weakness, it’s enough. In the moments of pain and discomfort, it’s enough. In the moments of frustration and uncertainty, it’s enough. It is enough; His grace is enough; God is more than enough. Trust me when I say I know it can be difficult to be in a place where you feel like you keep running into a brick wall as you keep dealing with the same issue that it seems like it just won't go away or get better. But are we responding as though we believe that God's grace is sufficient and that it is made perfect in weakness? Just as we have faith that God can change the situation or make it better, we must also have faith in His response that His grace is sufficient. We must really believe that it is enough...even for our issue. Until God gives us a different response we must learn to rest in the truth that His grace is all that we need.
As people who are self sufficient it can be difficult to be in a situation that you have no control over. It can be beyond frustrating to have to face a situation that you cannot fix or make right yourself. God says My grace is sufficient. He wants you to know that you don’t have to carry this weight by yourself. Stop holding on to it and all the mess and emotions that come with it. Give it to God today and tell Him whether He does this for you or not He is still God and you trust that His grace is more than enough. For when we are weak, then we are strong…