You ever wondered why you have trials and wished you didn’t?, better yet have you wondered why you have them at all ESPECIALLY when you’d found your true relationship with Jesus Christ and felt like you shouldn’t? Well, I don’t have the ULTIMATE answer for what you go through and why(only God Himself knows that) however He did give me some revelation as to why some aspects of life are designed the way they are. Have you ever tried viewing a photo that was too light or too dark and just could NOT make out what it was? However with the right balance between the two it looked perfect? -well the definition of this example is called contrast (the state of being strikingly different from something else, typically something in juxtaposition or close association). Dark and light are always in close association, from color, to day/night etc. yet are completely different and must be in perfect BALANCE in order for people to see the picture at full clarity (stay with me I’m going somewhere). Just as day isn’t complete without the night, light isn’t complete without darkness, for without the other, there would be no significance of just one of these entities. Just as the photo mentioned earlier isn’t balanced without the perfect contrast of light, the earth itself wasn’t balanced when darkness covered it until God created light. (Genesis 1:2-3). Now that you know what that means in the original literal sense, we’ll go more into the metaphorical meaning. As you know we are the light of the world (matt 5:14) in the midst of it’s darkness which is a form of ‘contrast’ in the new testament. Time and time again we also see that another form of ‘contrast’ always exemplified in the lives of biblical writers are their trials, for without their trials there would be no testimony, ie without any dark times there would be no light times to shine through. If you’ve realized where I’m going here then you probably understand that the trials we go through are 9 times out of 10 sent by satan (the other times we put ourselves in it, including myself) and they do come to break our faith, but God ALLOWS this not because it’s anything against YOU, He knows He’s placed enough light in His son within you to shine through the dark and wants you to realize it as well. One thing I want you to realize is that the trial that comes to break your faith is not equipped a STANDARDIZED OUTCOME, but a CHOICE. You have a CHOICE to choose whether you will ALLOW this trial to BREAK YOUR FAITH or STRENGTHEN IT by REMINDING YOURSELF that by trusting in Jesus Christ that ensures you the ONLY STANDARDIZED OUTCOME THAT CAN NEVER BE OVERTURNED: VICTORY. However how would you EVER KNOW how powerful our God is if you never had trials? How would you EVER build your trust in Him? It’s apart of contrast - the shining of light in the midst of darkness and God created it this way from the very beginning. I said that to say this, the next time you go through a trial, don’t ask why or wish it didn’t come, look at it as an opportunity to remind satan AND that trial why they SHOULDN’T HAVE COME. My last point that I will make is my most important one. Just as you can’t see a photo that is too light or too dark, a person can’t see the REAL you if all you do is act “too light” as if we never get angry, or never go through trials physically and mentally. Think about this, the nonbelievers that follow you whom ONLY see you tweet ‘extra holy’ as if you don’t live other aspects of life or have bad thoughts at times can NEVER RELATE to you. It’s like your not human, thus they see an aspect of the ‘christian’ as someone they could NEVER BE because they think we all portray ourselves as “perfect” and “higher than them”, but we’re NOT, and we KNOW WE’RE NOT. I tell people all the time, being a Christian does NOT mean I’m “perfect” and don’t deal with any trials or thoughts they may have. It means that BECAUSE I have a relationship with Jesus He gives me the ability to counter and overcome those bad thoughts and trials whenever they come up and He can do the same for them! We as christians must learn to show our contrast in order to be examples to nonbelievers of how God can place His light in the midst of ANY darkness and make them better just as He makes us better on a daily basis.
This is the only thing that’ll keep my lil cuzins quiet
So, you accept Jesus Christ into your heart…. now what? Well, the root of accepting Jesus Christ into your heart is JUST THE BEGINNING. This is the beginning of building your relationship with Him. God has REALLY been dealing with me about what a relationship with HIM truly is. A relationship with Him is not going to church every sunday, it’s not reciting the bible every day for your prosperity. I’ll go even deeper…it’s not ACKNOWLEDGING GOD SIMPLY WHEN YOU OR A LOVED ONE NEEDS HIM MOST. The other day I read a piece written by Gary Carpenter(garycarpenter.org) which really hit on the aspects of us who know God and subconsciously shift ourselves from having an intimate relationship with God to having a corporate one. Meaning we try to work the “principles” of doing God’s work, in exchange for Him supplying our needs. This truly sparked something in me. Then God spoke to me saying “you allowed yourself to let the work you do for My kingdom supersede our RELATIONSHIP, and I told you not to… remember?” God showed me how so many of us get caught up in doing the WORK of the kingdom of God that we allow it to replace our RELATIONSHIP with Him. God said to me, “while what you do for My kingdom is good… don’t EXPECT to be blessed purely because of it,… Just like you can’t WORK for salvation, neither can you WORK for my blessings, healing, or ANYTHING ELSE associated with it.” Then He spoke to me further saying, “your RELATIONSHIP with Me i what means the MOST TO ME, I WANT a relationship with you, but you must realize that you NEED a relationship with me. Prosperity, healing, and anything else you may want is ASSOCIATED with the RELATIONSHIP that you have WITH ME. I remembered why I was asking God, “I’ve been sowing, where’s my harvest? Where’s this and that? I’ve been quoting scriptures etc. and doing everything right?”.. for a while I thought the only thing I wasn’t doing right was working myself to make opportunities available.. Then God replied to me clearly… He said “When’s the last time you TALKED TO ME??? I’m not your STOCK MARKET that you just INVEST in when you feel like SOWING into the prosperity that I have for you!!! Any blessings that I have for you in ANY ASPECT are solely based on your RELATIONSHIP WITH ME” After He said this, I realized many of us as christians become so “accustomed” to God while getting the word and quoting scriptures, that we subconsciously take our relationship with Him for GRANTED!!! God spoke to me again after this and asked “when’s the last time to spoke with the Holy Spirit my Son gave to you when you DIDN’T NEED SOMETHING…..” As I was thinking He spoke again and told me “The Holy Spirit IS NOT YOUR DO BOY!!!” This hit me so hard because I started to see how so many of us start to use the bible, the Holy spirit, and working in God’s kingdom as TOOLS FOR OUR OWN SUCCESS. GOD WILL NOT ALLOW THIS. I further meditated on why many of us as christians aren’t prospering the way we SHOULD BE as we’re in the kingdom of God. Then God then asked me deeper questions. The first thing He asked me was “When you meet a woman, the order is that you get engaged BEFORE marrying her correct?” I said: yes. Then He asked me, “Until then, you’re not allowed to have ANY GOODS, are you?” I said, no. Then He replied to me saying “So, why do people think of Me any different? My word says the body of Christ is My bride, but you must realize once you accept my Son into your heart we’re not MARRIED YET, there must be an ENGAGEMENT PROCESS BEFORE YOU RECEIVE THE GOODS THAT I HAVE FOR YOUR LIFE” I looked up the meaning of engagement. In one of the definitions it stated that to be engaged means that the couple must be embedded into each other. To be embedded means to be built into something. A good example of embedding is video’s within websites. Whenever a video is coded within a website it’s embedded, meaning built into, and no matter who goes to see this video or what time it’s ALWAYS within that site. This is the way God wants us to be with Him. He wants our relationship to be so deeply involved that every time someone sees you they KNOW that you’re EMBEDDED IN HIM. But before we can become embedded(built into) in God, we must first allow Him to deconstruct us of our old ways. After I fully got this concept He spoke to me again and flipped it, saying “When a woman and a wealthy man are engaged, She has no access to his wealth correct?” I replied, correct. “This is because he must determine that her motives are purely to be WITH HIM and not because of what HE CAN DO FOR HER, correct?” I replied, correct. I then thought about this: if I can stay up all night talking with a woman, why not with God? Doesn’t He DESERVE THIS FIRST JUST BECAUSE OF WHO HE IS? Shouldn’t I be able to be in love with Him AND display the corresponding actions BEFORE I meet my future wife??? Upon realizing this it was easy to understand how EASY it is for us to form a relationship with God based upon what we look for Him to DO FOR US IN THE FUTURE without even NOTICING IT!! But God knows our hearts even better than we do, which is why it’s IMPERATIVE that we allow Him to fine tune our relationship with Him by going deeper and deeper. No matter how long you’ve known God, never allow your relationship with Him to become “routine”. God loves us and the relationship He has with us means EVERYTHING to Him… we must never allow it to become any less than everything to us.
How many times have we all heard the saying.. “you need to find your soulmate”? For some of us it’s too many to count. I’ve witnessed many couples who were soul-mates, meant to be together, so in love at one point you couldn’t catch them apart… yet, they end up in divorce. It wasn’t just people in general either, but christians as well. I asked God, “what… happened with them?” He simply responded to me telling me “I never created them as one, they did so on their own, which is why it didn’t last…” It hit me like a ton of bricks and made sooo much sense! WHATEVER God puts together DOES NOT BREAK, so if your relationship does, it’s because you created it on your OWN. So I asked God even further… how do we know if a relationship is made of our own doing and not of you? He returned my question with a series of questions (He rarely does this with me). The first question He asked me was “when you become saved, and accept me into your heart, does this happen in your soul… or your spirit…” my answer: “the spirit”. He then asked me a second question: “And why is this?” my answer: “Because the soul is comprised of your mind, intellect, will and emotions” The third question He asked me was: “And are all of these components of your soul subject to change?” my answer: “yes they are” He then asked me: “does your mind sometimes change? don’t your will and Mine sometimes differ? do your emotions ALWAYS tell you to FEEL like you’re my child and I love you?” my answer: “yes, my mind does change, and our wills do differ at times, and no, my emotions don’t always tell me to feel like I’m your child” His last question was: “But in your SPIRIT you KNOW I’m your father and I love you REGARDLESS of how ANY of these components of your SOUL feel right?” my answer: “That’s right!.. I never looked at it that way”. Then He told me: “This is how your relationship with me will always be and upon these principles is the way I’ve meant it to be with your spouse..” After God spoke to me about this I realized that EVERYONE who gets into relationships with their “soul mate” doesn’t even REALIZE that the components of your soul are subject to CHANGE, whether it’s a day, week, month or a couple of years from now, they’re STILL SUBJECT TO CHANGE. If God didn’t lead you to this person and after 8 years you realize that your emotions that once felt this way about someone for years have changed and your will’s no longer match up it’s because this relationship was of your OWN DOING, and you’ve put in SO MUCH TIME into it that you can’t FATHOM that this would’ve EVER happened to the two of you and you don’t know what road to take. Go back to being single after 8 years with the same person… or stick out being unhappy… God shows us how to AVOID ever being in this situation. These situations occur when we do things out of order, such as meeting someone that our SOUL falls in love with BEFORE our SPIRIT is activated by knowing Christ. Then, once we get to know Him, we have to either “get our mate saved” or let them go. Most of us NEVER initially choose the latter, but must find out the hard way. God wants us to fully KNOW HIM BEFORE we go out searching on our OWN, because when we go out searching on our own we make a MESS of things(in which God can clean up anyway) by searching with our SOULS instead of our SPIRIT. When your spirit knows Christ first, it now knows how to identify whom God has for you by the relationship they have with HIM, because God will be the CENTER of the relationship. You’ll also be able to IDENTIFY whom God has placed the OTHER HALF of your vision in! Not only will your mate perfectly fit your spirit and the description God has destined to be for you, but they will also fit the PURPOSE God has destined you to fulfill because He didn’t intend for you to fulfill this purpose ALONE. Be patient, push the “soulmate” search to the side, and allow God to lead your spirit to your other half. It’ll be well worth the wait.
So you know about God, but right now it’s about you, after-all, college years only come around once right??? You develop a circle, hit some parties here and there, and enjoy the best moments of your life. While you’re doing this you’re telling your conscience, “it’s only for the time being, God knows my heart”. Everything seems fine at first but little by little the boundaries you THOUGHT YOU HAD are no longer there. Things you would never see yourself doing become normal. A little drunk here, a little high there, and the occasional casual sex slip up are no longer out of the ordinary for you. The bad thing is, we never recognize how far from our conscience we’ve really gotten until we take a step “outside” of ourselves and examine our life as a third party looking in. So we tell ourselves, “it’s not that bad, just about every college student does this, I’m sure my parents did this as well, besides me and God will be cool again once I graduate and start a family.” These thoughts are so cliche that many of us use them to justify that bad gut feeling on a daily basis. Some of us even get to the point that we’ll decide to go to church once or twice a month, send a “put God first tweet & a scripture” every now and then just to “balance things out with God”, because I mean let’s be honest, we can’t talk about God on a daily basis. Where would our social class that we’ve worked so hard in college to develop go??? We con ourselves with a conversation with God basically stating “it’s okay if I talk about you on Sunday, (because that’s still socially acceptable.) God you’re cool with that right?” The sad thing is God is saying to us when we do this “I’m NOT your CHARITY CASE, I LOVE YOU, however if I’m not worthy enough to be acknowledged when you’re around your friends,…. I will not acknowledge you when that pivotal time comes(I’m paraphrasing of course). As we get older the inevitable happens,.. we mature. During this time we’ve identified who in our circle is not going on the career path we “thought” they were headed towards and we decide to disassociate ourselves. We tell ourselves “once we get financially stable after graduation I’ll be sure to get right with God”. The bad thing is, once we get financially stable, more of us than not realize that good paying job is one that we’re not so excited to get to everyday. We get no satisfaction from it. So we try to take the finances we make and “ball out” every chance we get. Flaunting, shopping, and partying like there’s no tomorrow just to fulfill the other voids we don’t want to deal with. One of these is realizing we traded of our passions, talents and gifts for financial stability in our career choice and no amount of money can replace life fulfillment, but it’s too late to go back (at least that’s what we think). Once we become stressed enough we FINALLY come back to God asking Him how we got into our situation, how’d we choose money over our passion… and He replies “You never had to choose my child. You never had to “do you” and try to make a life for yourself on your own. Every gift and talent I instilled within you are what I’ve designed to provide for you as well,.. In me you could’ve had not just financial abundance, but life itself more abundantly than you ever could on your own. All you had to do was follow Me,… and you still can….”
The hottest clothes and the newest Jordan’s, if it was available I had to have it. I never acknowledged it but I was NEVER satisfied. A lot of times we use these things as boosts to our self confidence because they supplement the lack of purpose that’s truly evident. We feel our appearance is EVERYTHING. In my case, I felt that it influenced the type of woman I’d attract. During my teen years, these types of women were one’s who were drawn to me because of my gentlemanlike demeanor, but it never ended the way I wanted it to, so I’d find myself buying new clothes to boost my ego after moments of feeling that my kindness was taken for weakness. I had to defend my pride. I had to prove that I could “pull” an even sexier, more intellectual woman than the last just to supplement MY EGO!! However, during this time it was never just one, it always had to be many, just to ensure that my feelings wouldn’t be put in that predicament anymore because of the availability of “options”. Many of us go through this and we haven’t acknowledged it yet. We as human beings were designed to participate in love relationships. Point. blank. Period. Society has deceived us to believe that we don’t need it and that we’re “hard” enough to do without because of the fear of being “hurt” by someone who doesn’t feel the same. This is because the being who does feel the same is the one that we ALWAYS APPROACH LAST,… GOD. So we become subconsciously wrapped up in supplementing love with something that is our habit, whether it’s partying, drinking, smoking, shopping, or something else, it’s a cycle that directly correlates with our emotional pattern. Whatever you do to supplement the lack of God’s love in your life you must first realize that It’s a CYCLE. GOD MADE YOU WHO YOU ARE, NOT YOUR CLOTHES, NOT YOUR JEWELRY, NOT YOUR FINANCIAL STATUS, NOT YOUR POPULARITY, NOT THAT MAN OR WOMAN. For you it may not be clothes, make-up, an approval from a certain person or people, but something more, but that void of self esteem is telling you that you lack God’s love and it will NEVER be fulfilled until you become satisfied with WHO YOU ARE. How can you become satisfied with who you are if you don’t first KNOW AND LOVE WHO YOU ARE? You will never REALIZE how to love who you are… until you first get to know the God that created you. He loves you. He always has, and He doesn’t want His love to be supplemented anymore….
There I was, a seventh grader struggling for his life with shortness of breath and irregular patterns believing that the next minute could be my last. I wondered why I would go through this on a yearly basis… the IV’s, the blown veins, the looks on doctor’s faces when they saw the expressions of a 12 year old boy that shouldn’t endure this. I felt I didn’t deserve it. I felt asthma was just another horrific side effect of us leaving NY and moving to this climate I didn’t agree with. Then, as I gasped for each breath, I watched my mom speak these words.. “I’m not taking you to the hospital anymore, God, take this away from him”. As I looked at her like she was literally insane, thinking this was “it” for me, she laid her hand upon my forehead and began to pray. As She did, my breathing became normal and instantly I was healed. No IV’s. No hospitals. No doctors. After that night I never suffered from asthma again. This is just one of the experiences God showed me that He exists and cares and that anytime you REALLY want to see Him move, all you have to do is have FAITH. God is no respecter of persons. If He did it for me, He will also do it for you. I pray this testimony boosts the faith of any person that reads it who may need God to move in their lives…