We thank you for another blessed day and new week, as you go before us may we follow and be obedient to your instructions, where we will fall short ahead, we ask that you forgive us and straighten our path to do what you have called us to do, despite all the noise, voices and any fears that may creep in. Father regardless of what happens, we pray to be consistent and bold in all we do now and forever more. Amen
Today I want to talk about something that is very close to my heart and that is the importance of consistency. Let’s take it back to basics and look at what it means to be consistent-
‘To be consistent is a quality of condition of doing things with excellence, on time and in accordance with facts. Agreement with what has already been done, or expressed. The conformity with a practice that produces results on time.’
Consistency is very, very important I cannot stress that enough, to be consistent means you are working at a pace that ensures you partner with the Holy Spirit to do all you were created to do in stages, able to reach targets, manage deadlines and produce nothing less of excellence.
Consistency can only happen when you make up your mind to be great and do great, it takes you from a place of little to a lot and it helps you prioritize and put in order things you do day to day to allow yourself to stay on top of everything and not have everything stay on top of you.
When God calls you, He knows what you can manage, He equips you in the area of capacity He knows you are graced to do. He will never dump on you and leave you, and so if in all this God is, has been and always will be consistent. We shouldn’t be inconsistent at all. But rather we must lead by example to have others follow Christ, be encouraged and learn from ways we haven’t always got right, but were willing to work at it and are getting it.
One thing I can relate to is being overwhelmed at times and all that I share, are for those who are in 9-5’s, creative’s, those in ministry, those who work for themselves etc. For me I tend to take time out on Sunday and Monday to plan for the week ahead, make deadlines for that week for things that need to get done and do a mid week self check/ analysis of the week so far and how far I’ve gone. It helps to be able to have things written down and prayed over for the week ahead, to stay on track with things, be consistent and not overwhelmed – although that’s not always possible.
SOME TIPS I WANT TO SHARE ON CONSISTENCY –
- Pray over everything you do and let God guide you, so that you are not overwhelmed with everything.
- Take time out on a Sunday evening, to plan out what you need to get done in the week ahead.
- Have a diary to keep up to date with the deadlines you have to meet.
- Do checks mid week to see how you are getting on and what you may need to amend to get things done.
- Always revisit goals and see how you can achieve them, by doing consistent actions that will help you get there.
- Accountability is also important to make sure what you say you will do, you will do.
Hope this encourages and blesses you to take consistency up a notch in your life. Be blessed
Empowered United Women
THE IMPORTANCE OF COMMUNICATION…
We thank you for being our Father, loving, forgiving and always there for us to be able to call on in all that we go through. Father I pray that in all things we will learn to go to you first, and not get distracted by the things of this world or others, may we never be led astray by our thoughts and in all things prayer and the word will always be first and never last. Thank you Father for all you do for us, Monday to Sunday, 24 hours a day you are there for us always, you have not gone on leave and love us all the same. Thank you Father in your name we pray. Amen.
Learn to delve deeper to get to the root of why you are the way you are, the effect of the past is very important, to not let it affect your ways, going back to old ways and staying in those bad habits.
God has shown me the importance of communication with others and why as relational beings we need to be able to do so, though uncomfortable and hard to take in- reason why I say this is because before I had the mentality that if you don’t call me I won’t call you, if you don’t reach out to meet up I won’t. In the past I have always been the one to reach out regardless and when I wasn’t always getting it back, it hurt and I stopped doing it and just lived with the mentality to put me first and save my time. So when God was showing me this it was difficult to hear as I have always been one way as opposed to reaching out to others whether they do it first or not.
Having that mentality in the past was quite tough to shake off for a while, God just instructed me to not do any work but just to seek Him, refocus and get direction. The main thing He wanted me to understand is that communication is key in the kingdom but many of us do not communicate well and division occurs. Because of the cliques formed many are used to those they are close to and not others outside of that clique, so they stay knowing that once they are close to those people they are comfortable with, that they do not feel the need to interact with others.
God went on to help me understand that when He called me into ministry one of the things I needed to do more of is to show love and support and to communicate with people better. I can’t make it about me all the time. Everyone is going through something and many are battling in secret, so a simple call, text or meet up goes a long way to help a sister or brother in Christ. The moment we became born again all our personal desires and self-ways had to part from us, we no longer made it about us but about those we are called to serve. So it is selfish of me to think about myself and be kept bound by the past experiences.
QUESTIONS TO REFLECT ON….
HOW WOULD YOU RATE YOUR COMMUNICATION SKILLS WITH THOSE AROUND YOU?
ARE YOU HAPPY WITH HOW YOU COMMUNICATE WITH OTHERS?
DO YOU PRAY OVER THIS AREA AS MUCH AS OTHER AREAS?
Was speaking to a dear sister of mine about this area a while ago and all she said was just confirmation for what God had showed me. One of the main points she highlighted is that relationships are suffering in the kingdom, people need to go back to the basics to build on relationships, what happened to the days where we kept it basic, and cut out all distractions, went for walks, went to each others places to talk, chill and pray. What happened to the days where people actually cared and wanted to genuinely know about your issues, your day and how you are doing? It is like people have jumped from basic level to advanced level in knowing people and all of a sudden you are sisters and best friends. But we are missing out on major parts of communicating to really get to know those we call sisters.
Do we check on people? Do we make time to see them? Do we believe that we are good friends when it comes to communication/ time catching up with others???
There needs to be more transparency, love, support and unity shown, how can we grow together and develop together and do what God has called us to do if we still have this me mentality, closed nature and one not embracing of others and how they feel? Change has to come, not only for our generation but to leave a good example for the upcoming generation. It is important to keep this in mind pray over it and make that change.
This is an area I have heard a few people talk about but another thing it reminds me of is that we are all fast to complain about what is not right but never step out to make that change due to many factors such as fear, doing it alone, people not understanding you name it. But you see you do not need to have the affirmations of man. If you strongly believe change has to come go ahead and make that change, pray over it and let God use you.
One thing the EUW ministry strives to bring is unity amongst us all, there is a lot of work that needs to be done, but change must happen, strong units must be developed and people need to be assured that they are not alone, they do have people around who can pray and encourage them, but not to take it upon themselves to try to do it all alone.
Do not punish yourself because you feel that you will be a burden to someone, pray and let God reveal to you those who you can open up to and will help you. Do not suffer in silence behind the good clothes, make up, nice hair etc. You deserve to be at peace, you deserve to get the strength to defeat those strongholds, you deserve to have joy, you deserve the blessings of the Lord and you deserve to grow and be used to make a change in others’ lives.
Here are a few scriptures to do with communication to encourage you –
-JAMES 1:19 ‘My beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.’
EPHESIANS 4:29 ‘Let no corrupt commmnication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.’
-PROVERBS 15:2 ‘The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright, but the mouth of fools pours out foolishness.’
-PROVERBS 16:23 ‘The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth, and addeth learning to his lips.’
PROVERBS 13:17 ‘A wicked messenger falls in mischief but a faithful ambassador is health.’
I WANT TO LEAVE YOU WITH THIS LAST POINT TO PONDER ON… WHEN COMMUNICATING WITH OTHERS, ASK YOURSELF –
IS IT TRUE?
IS IT KIND?
IS IT NECESSARY?
GOD BLESS YOU ALL AND BE ENCOURAGED.
STEPPING OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE!
Thank you for each and everyone of our lives, for growth, strength, lessons learnt, your mercy that is renewed every morning, direction, new beginnings and the right people in our lives you have blessed us with. May we all continue to seek you in all that we do and trust in you to guide us along the way. In your mighty name I pray. Amen
Comfort zones – A place we have all found ourselves in, fearful of stepping out, not knowing what to expect, doubting our capabilities, doing things on a routine basis, you name it sure we have all been there. But it is important to recognise that comfort zones as much as they are comfort to us, puts a strain on our walk in Christ, limiting us to receive greater things and limiting our growth in the process.
The bible doesn’t encourage comfort zones, for example when it speaks in matthew 16:24 to take up our crosses and follow God in all we do, this act alone is not comfortable because it will require you dying to self, dying to own plans, changing your mind-set, putting all self thoughts and control aside and seeking Him in all things you do. Where God places you most of the time it will not be comfortable to contain. But it is not about us, but helping to build the kingdom to serve.
There will come a time where all Christians should take that leap of faith to step outside of the comfort zone and who they are comfortable being around, and to avoid doing limited work daily. We must have the confidence in God that the same way He took us out of that comfort zone, is the same way He will equip us along the way to do more and be bold doing it. His grace is sufficient for all and He will never leave us nor forsake us.
Our walk in Christ has no room for comfort zones, but I find that, that is what we have known over time, doing what we are comfortable with, being around the same people, putting off things which need to be done, exercising control over what we choose to do and ignore. It is when those comfort zones need to be broken that the uneasiness starts too. It is like someone who has only ever known London, to then be called by God to go and do missionary work abroad and they are doubting it, making excuses and stating reasons they wouldn’t be the right person to go along and do what God has chosen them to do.
When God calls you He already knows what is going to happen before we get there, and it is a test of our faith in Him and the patience to endure that really stretches our character to the core, to work on areas that need to be dealt with the right way. Do not worry about material things or the future because the God we serve always provides for us. Because we are called to live a lifestyle radically different and effective from the way we were once living before.
One thing that struck me about comfort zones is that it is the complete opposite to how God wants us to live, in comfort zones we are controlled by fear unknown to us, we don’t take risks, we don’t tend to try new things, may say it but don’t actually do it.
When we receive salvation it is saying bye to the old ways and welcoming the ways of God to live by. We find that our natural inclination is to rely on ourselves before anyone else, that we are good and able to lead in all things. The moment we give our lives to Christ it shows us leaving those comfort zones to surrender fully to God Himself, to have faith in Him alone, deny self and align ourselves with His word. We step away from the wrong crowds, we leave old habits behind, sin no longer controls and our story changes, there are soo many beautiful benefits, that we no longer will need to go back to the world to live as we once lived. God will do things to cause us to step out of that shell we have become comfortable to be in.
EXAMPLES OF COMFORT ZONES..
Fear of the unknown
Friendships that encourage comfort zones
Wrong relationships that feed our flesh
Settling for less than we deserve
The sense of having control over all things
Being comfortable in a job simply because of the money
We know that comfort zones need to be broken for growth, wisdom, elevation and right Godly counsel in our lives.
EXAMPLES POST COMFORT ZONES-
Changes in our day to day lives
Stepping out in faith
Changing the company, we keep – some are only good for comfort but do not edify you and offer Godly counsel
Evangelising – reaching out to people you wouldn’t normally talk to
Being in places you would not have attended before.
Spreading the good news to family and friends
One thing I stand by is that doing the work of God is not supposed to be comfortable hence why total dependence, faith and trust needs to be in God and not man. So even though it will be uncomfortable it is still worth it because when it is all said and done it is no longer about us, but how we are winning souls to save the kingdom.
Matthew 19:27 Peter says ‘See we have left everything and followed you. What then will we have?’ Because they literally gave up all they had to serve God, and in this willing state they would face many persecutions, doubt, worry, etc. But yet it was all worth it because they were covered, protected and no longer on the same level doing the same things. It was no longer doing things based on their routines but beyond that, out of their comfort zones. If this should teach us anything, its that as Christians who have picked up our crosses and following God, we must have the mind-set of not entertaining comfort zones anymore, but doing what God requires and serving wholeheartedly.
All decisions made must be aligned with what God says to us, once they align with His there will be a renewed mind and spirit to know what to do as well as what not to do. The comfort level will decrease because it is not about comfort when serving God, the more you move in comfort shows you are moving in the flesh and what you want to do more. Do not hold back when it comes to serving God because He has not created us to be weak and on the fence doubting everything and what He says to us.
SERVING OUTSIDE OF YOUR COMFORT ZONES. THINK ABOUT THESE POINTS-
HOW CAN MY GIFTS BE UTILISED?
HOW CAN I CHANGE MY WAYS TO NOT FALL BACK INTO COMFORT?
THE GRACE TO BE ABLE TO MINISTER TO EVERYONE AND NOT BE SELECTIVE.
WHAT IS HOLDING YOU BACK?
WHAT ARE YOU ALLOWING WHICH YOU SHOULD CUT OFF?
ARE THERE ANY STRONGHOLDS STILL OPERATING IN YOUR LIFE?
DO YOU REALLY BELIEVE IN YOURSELVES AND LOVE YOURSELVES?
DO YOU BELIEVE THAT YOU ARE CAPABLE TO DO WHAT GOD HAS ASKED?
BELIEVE IN YOU – GOD DOES..
God bless you all
I want to thank you for our lives, I want to thank you for your strength, love, guidance and forgiveness. There are times when things don’t always go our way but it is important for us to keep you at the centre of it all, pray read the word and walk in obedience. There are many times we fall short of your glory and try to do things in our own might, but I pray that in those darkest moments you will strengthen us and cause us to follow your will with patience and wisdom. So help us father in all that we do. Help us to remain firm in the word, help us to learn, help us to grow, help us to love and help us to walk in the spirit at all times. In your name we pray. Amen.
We can all relate to the fact that we will go through things that will hurt us, change us, cause bitterness, anger, life changing moments and more. But it is in those times that I have learnt the importance of self-development, strength, patience and maturity. You see it is easy to smile and give God thanks when all is going well and we have everything under control. But the moment things get tough, or don’t go our way then we begin to panic, become anxious and doubt why it is happening.
One thing I always remind myself of is the fact that to get to the good one must first pass through the bad. You need to have your character refined and endure the process to be able to be trusted by God with what He wants to share with you, the works He wants you to do and how to be relational with others. What you pass through is not for you alone to say that you overcame it and are much stronger, but for you to be an example to others out there who are also going through similar and are assured that they are not alone, but the same God they serve is the same God who did it for someone else.
So what is encouragement?
Yeshua told His disciples ‘In this world you will have trouble but take heart, I have overcome the world.’ John 16:33
Yeshua made them aware that troubles will come – this walk isn’t easy and trials and tribulations can’t be avoided. You will be mocked, hated, spoken of badly. But remember each time people try to bring you down, that are set apart and created in His own image- Gen 1:27, you won’t be liked by everyone even though you do good. Pain will come and cannot be avoided or complained away or cried away. But thank God He is greater than all we face, that alone is encouragement for us all to stand firm on.
When I think of God’s encouragement it makes it easier to go on in this messed up world, knowing He has me and will never leave me or you, and will continue to guide us to walk in holiness and righteousness. It is also a reminder that He loves us despite our mistakes and falling short of His glory.
He is there for us, don’t doubt this, trust and believe and know that you are a conqueror and will never lose.
Joshua 1:9 ‘Have I not commanded thee? Be strong and of good courage, be not afraid neither be dismayed for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.’
Notice here that God starts off by reminding Joshua, ‘Have I not’- serves as a reminder to show that He is not only reminding us, but commanding us to be of good courage. He commands us to be strong, in saying this He expects us to pull through, to not be afraid, anxious or distressed. He is assuring us that He will always be with us wherever we go- knowing that we will face trials but are always able to overcome those trials.
Our darkest moments are not a punishment, but the fact that He commands us, shows the seriousness to follow and align our actions to His- not emotions – not people – or things. But sadly when trouble comes we are so fast to do the opposite and rather than go to the word and go in prayer, we become fearful, distressed, low, bitter and negative. We are humans and so emotions do run wild when the going gets tough, but we must learn to cause those emotions to submit to the word of God for peace, wisdom and understanding. Yes we read the word, but in our darkest moments of family issues, friends issues, work disappointments, relationships ending etc do we still seek God and pray? Do we still read the word? Do we still worship God?
You see many of us have carnal minds, which are in need of being renewed to refocus on the word of God, so that when a dark moment comes we are equipped to read the word and fight in prayer, to get your peace and direction.
Psalm 34:4 ‘I sought the Lord and He heard me and delivered me from all my fears.’
Another word for sought is to seek – when you seek you are attempting to find something, help, shelter, answers, direction etc. This scripture is telling you to therefore seek the Lord, here we are told to do this one thing, and in this same scripture we see that God does two things in return for us. He first of all hears us and then He delivers us from our fears.
You see God knows what we will go through, He knows we will have bad day, He knows we will complain, BUT with all this He assures us that what He will do will be to bring us through all our trials to the end- But we must seek Him. You cant expect God to do these things if you do not seek Him and put Him first. Now if we were to look at the opposite of this scripture one can say that it could say ‘I fled and sought help in people and things and was temporarily free from my worries.’ We tend to distant ourselves from God when dark moments come, because we have the I can do it my way mindset, but when you pray and seek God remember it will be His will that is done in our lives at the right time in His own timing not ours. So when you take it upon yourself, though things will happen quicker doesn’t mean it will lead to peace of mind and healing from that dark moment, if anything you will make it worse and go around in circles.
You need to get into the habit of running to God for everything and in every moment, not just in the good moments but the bad moments too. For assurance, help, comfort, healing, strength, wisdom, guidance and direction. Our ways will always fail, but His never will. It is also very important to remember that each time we read the word we need to pray for understanding and fresh revelation, to read the word with our spiritual eyes, because if you read the word with your natural eyes you will become more aware of the issue rather than the solution (God’s word) you will begin to doubt yourself and even God and by doing all this will distance yourself from God.
He delivers us from our fears because we cannot say we serve Him and also fearful too. Light and dark ways can’t mix. Fear will have you doing the opposite to the word of God to get quick results, leading to a dead end of no fruitful results. As it says in 2 Timothy 1:7 ‘For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of POWER, LOVE and SOUND MIND. So the moment you feel fear, anxiety and worry creeping up on you go into prayers and let God have His way in renewing your mind and outlook on the matter at hand. After all He does say that we can do all things THROUGH CHRIST WHO STRENGTHENS US- Phil 4:13.
Proverbs 16:24 ‘Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.’
The soul consists of the mind, will and emotions, with this God bring healing, strength, wisdom and guidance, instruction, protection and answers. We need to be careful of what we feed our souls with because not all things that are said to us and information out there provided is good for us. You have to guard yourself (Proverbs 4:23), don’t fall victim to being led astray by false information appearing real, or what people say which doesn’t align to the word of God. Not all sources are genuine. We cannot go to people to fill the voids only God can fill, because He knows everything about us and what we need as opposed to what we think we need. He has all we need and even if you lose everything and all the people around you, He will always be enough for us.
We have it in mind that when something happens we are to go to our friends, pastors, family etc but then we don’t go to God first rather He is usually the last resort. The people around you can help only to some extent, we are all limited resources they can only do so much for you. They may mean well and have your best interest at heart but God’s word gets to the root of the issue, heals, edifies and equips us- His way will always work for us.
Go to word of God every day, at all times to get your own understanding, apply it to your issues and learn to walk in obedience. This will help you to seek out the error of your ways and live a Christ like standard, not to people please, but to God please in every action and thought.
Whether it is a sickness, friendship issues, job cuts, death, whatever disappointment it may be, God is not smaller than those issues and will see us through each time something we can’t handle alone arises. The enemy is very crafty, as we all know he comes to kill, steal and destroy John 10:10. He always works to turn our thoughts around to go against what God says about us, to cause a distance from Him and please ourselves rather than living to please God.
But we must remember that ‘Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against rulers, against the authorities, against cosmic powers over this present darkness against spiritual forces of evil in heavenly places.’ Ephesians 6:12. So with this it serves as a reminder that it is not just matters of worldly things we face but the battle spiritually- so the encouragement in Christ provides the strength, willpower and spiritual armour to overcome. Ephesians 6:10-18.
When we are discouraged we shouldn’t – take matters into our own hands to try to handle it, we shouldn’t stop praying and reading the word and we shouldn’t distract ourselves from God. Look at Elijah, one of the greatest prophets who struggled with discouragement 1 Kings 19:3-10. So it doesn’t matter who you are, discouragement happens but it can be defeated with the word of God always.
FINAL POINTS OF ENCOURAGEMENT-
· The spirit of rejection is very common and many are battling secret battles which need to be addressed not ignored.
· Our darkest moments are for a purpose too – Romans 8:28
· Just because you don’t believe it in the moment doesn’t mean it won’t change or get better – Must work on the mind (Romans 12:2) and guard your heart (Proverbs 4:23).
· Life can be so difficult but we must not fall into the victim mentality and get depressed.
· Never give up – God makes all things possible in His own time
· In all things whether good or bad there is always something to learn
· God calls us to be faithful, and gives us the power to be faithful
· Like Elijah God will always meet our needs at the right time. Psalm 183:3 ‘As soon as I pray, you answer me; you encourage me by giving me strength.’
· He is our strength when we are weak
· God loves us and will keep us – He won’t leave us
GOD BLESS YOU ALL