Encouragement, God's Grace, Motivation, Purpose, Self Love, Self-Esteem, Self-Worth, Throwback Thursdays

Throwback Thursday: An Unlikely Candidate

It’s Throwback Thursday! This EmpowerMoment was originally published on March 30, 2011. Enjoy this blast from the past!

Recently a friend asked me to do something and she told me that God told her to use me. If she were standing in front of me, surely she would have been given the side eye, neckroll, folded arms, lip smack with a loud foot stomp. I tried to laugh it off because I knew that surely God wasn’t using me to do anything. Either she was wrong or God surely hadn’t been paying attention. I think I have been to church two times this year (more if you count my attendance via streamingfaith.com) and I know that my sporadic opening and closing of the Bible couldn’t count for true study of the Word. I do the occasional fast and have talked “about Him” a lot but I only talk “to Him” on occasion. While I yearn for a closer relationship with God, our current casual encounters would not make me the likely candidate…or so I thought.

In the midst of belittling myself and coming up with all of the excuses of why He couldn’t have picked this mediocre Christian, the Spirit reminded me:  God often uses UNLIKELY people to carry out His will and draw them closer to Him!

Joshua 2:1 reveals: “Then Joshua son of Nun secretly sent two spies from Shittim. “Go, look over the land,” he said, “especially Jericho.” So they went and entered the house of a prostitute named Rahab and stayed there. Of all of the people that God could have chosen to use as a vessel for this huge undertaking, God chose a WHORE. Imagine that! I am sure there were other people in Jericho who would have allowed the men to secretly lodge with them as they planned to overtake the city, but God chose Rahab. In return for her cooperation and faith, her and her family’s lives were spared in the destruction of the city.

Saul of Tarsus hated Christians.  “Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off both men and women and put them in prison.” (Acts 8:3) As a matter of fact, he hated Christians so much that he learned about their Christian friends in Damascus by somehow getting the letters they were writing to them in prison. Being the over zealous persecutor that he was, Saul journeyed to Damascus to round up more Christians for prison; however, on this trip God had a different purpose. Acts 9 reveals Saul’s total transformation. Jesus met Saul on his journey and confronted him directly “Saul, Saul why do you prosecute me?” After meeting Jesus on his journey, Saul began to sing a different tune. The Lord blinded him and sent him into the city leaving instructions with Ananias. Responding to Ananias’ doubts of Saul’s transformation, God spoke to him in Acts 9:15. “But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel.”Saul later changed his name to Paul and went from Christian persecutor to Christian missionary.  Paul went on to write 13 books of the New Testament (Romans, I and II Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, I and II Thessalonians, I and II Timothy, Titus and Philemon) I am sure that Paul, when reflecting on his life, found it remarkable that God would choose him with his shady past to spread the gospel and save souls.

There are many “unlikely” candidate stories in the Bible, but as I reflected on these two I realized that this task could be my opportunity to do God’s will and in the process become more than just an associate with Him. It had less to do with the task and more about developing our own personal relationship. It would require that I study the Word, pray, manage my time and have the ability to relay the knowledge He gives me to others. For many this is an easy task; however, my haphazard approach to my spiritual life would have to be restructured. To do this task we would have to spend time together. My task was to write you an EmpowerMoment.

Although I was initially discouraged, I thought about my life and my accomplishments. I have always been the “unlikely candidate.” A mother with mental illness, brothers incarcerated and on drugs, welfare recipient, and the list can go on, but through it all God sustained me while chaos went on all around me. According to the world’s statistics I should have been a teenage mom or at least a high school dropout but God’s plan for my life was different. I was the “unlikely candidate” that graduated from high school, college, got a Master’s degree in Civil Engineering, ran a multi-million dollar organization, got a great job (QUIT!) and am now co-CEO of a company. My “unlikely candidate” testimony probably makes me one of the BEST candidates. Who am I to doubt God?

Throughout our lives God often taps us on the shoulder for “special” assignments but we allow our personal insecurities to hinder us from carrying out His will. “Lord why me?” is the question we often ask. The larger question you should ask is, “Lord why not me?” God is our biggest cheerleader; He wouldn’t give us an assignment without the ability to complete it.  Romans 8:30 proclaims,And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.”  You may be on the flip side of this message. Maybe God has sent an “unlikely candidate” to you with a message but you didn’t receive it because she was dressed like Rahab or their Christian resume` wasn’t strong enough. Whatever side of the table you are sitting on, know that God picks and chooses His own instruments. Don’t allow your personal insecurities or doubts about the messenger cause you to miss out on what God has preordained for YOU.

Dear Daddy,

Help me to recognize the divine assignments You have given me in my life. Cast out any spirits of confusion or doubt that would make me believe that I am not equipped to carry out Your will. Encourage my soul and give me a spirit of discernment so that I can recognize the messages that You have for me even when they don’t come in the package I’m expecting. Lord, continue to increase my faith and order my steps according to Your word. Allow me to draw closer to You and use me as a vessel to bless others. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Today EMPOWER yourself by making a conscious decision to do something that God has been tapping you on the shoulder to do. Whether it’s to speak to someone you haven’t spoke to in years or to take your life in a totally different direction, JUST DO IT! He’s ready, He’s waiting on YOU!

Are you having feelings of inadequacy about a task that God has given you? Share your experience below; we want to encourage you!

Read a related EmpowerMoment: He Sees the Best!

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Ms. Chancee` Lundy lives in Atlanta, Georgia and is an entrepreneur as she is the co-owner of Nspiregreen, LLC, an environmental consulting firm. She is also a dedicated daughter, sister, friend and community servant. She has used her gift of public speaking to lead workshops across the globe speaking to crowds as large as 10,000 people. Her guiding scriptures this week are Philippians 4:11-13 “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

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Black Music Month Series, God's Grace, God's Love

Don’t Let It Go To Your Head!

June is Black Music Month!  To celebrate, each of our EmpowerMoments will be based on Black music for the entire month.  This includes Black songwriters, producers or performers.  Stay tuned as we use various genres of Black music to tell our stories and exemplify the beauty of God’s love!  Happy Black Music Month!  Dance as if no one is watching!

The Lord is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He will not constantly accuse us, nor remain angry forever.  He does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve. (Psalms 103:8-10 NLT)

It amazes me every time I stop and think about God’s love.  He loves me and you so much that He gave His only Son to die to provide us with the opportunity to live.  I don’t have any children yet, but I think about the love I have for my siblings.  I wouldn’t give them up, not even for ten minutes, for people, whose way of showing gratitude is by murmuring, complaining, disobeying and so on.  In spite of our shortcomings, God’s unconditional love continues to flow.  Does knowing that God still loves us cause us to take His love for granted?

Now that you know  
How I feel about you  
Don’t let it go to your head, no  
Don’t let it go to your head, no (No, no, no, no)

“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. (John 14:12 NLT)

Not only is God’s love for us never-ending, but His grace is sufficient so we can perform His will and live by His Word.  That’s why He is not selfish and He shares with us His Power, Dominion, and Authority!

Now that you know  
I can’t live with you, ooh-wee  
Don’t let it go to your head, no (No, no, no)  
Don’t let it go to your head, no (No, no, no)  

Don’t take advantage of my love  
Treat me good, treat me fair  
Treat me fine……..

Do you take advantage of God’s love?  Do you continue to do things you know He’s not pleased with because you know He’s going to forgive you?

“If you love me, obey my commandments.  (John 14:15 NLT)

We expect Him to be faithful, which He is, answer when we call, forgive us, give to us, love us, which He does, and much more. (Low key we expect Him to obey us!!!!)  We must treat God the way He treats us.  We were created in His image and likeness so if we deeply desire love and commitment, so does He!  We must not take His grace and mercy (getting those things we don’t deserve) for granted.  Yes, God’s love is unconditional, but DON’T LET IT GO TO YOUR HEAD, NO!

Don’t let it, don’t let it, don’t let it  
Go to your head, no (Mmm…mmm…mmm…mmm….)  
Don’t let it, don’t let it, don’t let it  
Go to your head, no

DEAR DADDY,

Forgive me for taking Your love, grace, and forgiveness for granted.  I desire to love You the way You love me.  I decree and declare that my relationship with You will shift from mediocrity to excellence.  Father, as I draw near to You, I thank You for drawing near to me.   In Jesus’ name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you not to let God’s grace go to your head!  When you know better, do better!  Lift a standard by showing others how you reverence God by not taking advantage of His unconditional love!

Enjoy “Don’t Let It Go To Your Head” by Jean Carne:

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Ms. Rodnisha L. Anderson resides in Chicago, IL and serves as an elder at Life Redeeming Ministries. She works diligently with the Singles and Intercessory ministries. She is married to the Lord and becomes whatever she needs to become to reach the people for the building of God’s kingdom. Rodnisha truly desires to witness successful single women thriving in the kingdom of God.  Her favorite scripture is 1Timothy 4:12: “Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.”

Black Music Month Series, Encouragement, God's Grace, God's Love, God's Mercy, Inspirational, Self Forgiveness, Self-Esteem

He Sees The Best!

June is Black Music Month!  To celebrate, each of our EmpowerMoments will be based on Black music for the entire month.  This includes Black songwriters, producers or performers.  Stay tuned as we use various genres of Black music to tell our stories and exemplify the beauty of God’s love!  Happy Black Music Month!  Dance as if no one is watching!

Sometimes we can get so caught up in what others think of us or are saying about us that we lose sight of whose opinion is really important.  I no longer allow others’ perceptions of me bother me as much as I have in the past.  However, there was a time when I would internalize all of the negative things people said to or about me.  Allowing someone’s judgments to weigh you down is a tactic the enemy uses to steal your joy!  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (John 10:10 NIV)

The enemy wants us to believe that God looks down on us with disgust or hatred like folks in the world do.  I wrote this Empower Moment today to remind you that God sees THE BEST in you!  For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. (Romans 3:23-24 NIV)

God sees THE BEST in you, when everyone else around you sees the worst!

When people say that you aren’t smart enough, or you aren’t good enough to walk into your destiny and pursue the calling that God has on your life, remember that God sees THE BEST in you!  For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10 NIV)

When you are haunted by the thoughts or even threats of family members and so-called friends that you will be ‘just like your mother’ know that God sees THE BEST in you! Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1 NIV)

When the man you love decides to leave or be unfaithful and blames you for gaining weight, not cooking the right foods, or not giving him enough attention, recognize that those things are irrelevant to the one above who sees THE BEST in you!

Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies.  Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died —more than that, who was raised to life —is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. (Romans 8:33-34 NIV)

God sees THE BEST in you!

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for your unconditional love, mercy and grace.  Thank You for always seeing me as the woman that You created me to be and for reminding me through Your Word that what You see is all that matters.  Please give me the strength to remember, to know and recognize that You always see THE BEST in me, no matter what everyone else may see.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to rejoice no matter what because your Heavenly Father sees THE BEST in you!  Let nothing or no one cast a shadow of a doubt on who you are in Christ and what He has for you as His daughter!

Enjoy Marvin Sapp’s video and song “The Best In Me”

 

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Ms. Tiffany Huff is the devoted mother of two boys, a blogger, lover of food and travel, and aspiring entrepreneur with a passion for helping others live out their purposes. She is looking forward to growing in her walk and honoring God through sharing her EmpowerMoments. One of her meditation scriptures is Romans 12:2: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Black Music Month Series, Encouragement, Forgiveness, God's Grace, God's Love, Inspirational, Self Forgiveness

Even Me?

June is Black Music Month! To celebrate, each of our EmpowerMoments will be based on Black music for the entire month. This includes Black songwriters, producers or performers. Stay tuned as we use various genres of Black music to tell our stories and exemplify the beauty of God’s love! Happy Black Music Month! Dance as if no one is watching!

“Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation.” (Colossians 1:21-22 NIV)

Sometimes it’s hard to believe that God loves someone like me. I look back over my life and often it is easy to ask, “Lord, can you love someone like me?”

As I’ve ministered to women about their personal stories and shared my own, I am even more convinced that God loves us. Testimonies such as these:

“I was beaten and abused. I was raped and molested and grew up thinking that I was worthless. I was ripped of any purity that my friends spoke of and my self-worth was nonexistent. I wondered could God love someone like me.” Yes He can. “I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter, my great army, which I sent among you. You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, who has dealt wondrously with you. And my people shall never again be put to shame.” (Joel 2:25-26 ESV)

“I grew up a promiscuous teen and I didn’t see a problem with it. I have had about four abortions and have slept with clergymen, husbands, and just random people. Can God love someone like me?” Yes He can. “If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness [everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action].” (I John 1:9 AMP)

“I grew up in foster care, shifting from home to home. My parents abandoned me and didn’t care to take care of me. I grew up feeling like failure was my destiny. Can God love someone like me?” Yes He can, and David is a witness. “Although my father and my mother have forsaken me, yet the Lord will take me up [adopt me as His child].” (Psalms 27:10 AMP)

“I’m self-righteous. I haven’t recognized that my life has been spared due to grace and that my reputation has been salvaged because of God. I figured it is all of my doing. Can God love someone like me?” Yes He can, but we have to humble ourselves. “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” (James 4:10 NIV)

“I preach God’s word in worship service, yet I fornicate throughout the week. I don’t practice what I preach. I steal from God’s church by holding my tithes and I cause offense to his vulnerable followers with insensitive counsel. Can God really love someone like me?” Yes He can. Confess with your mouth and you shall be forgiven. “Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.” (Proverbs 28:13 NIV)

“I slept with my best friend’s husband, and she doesn’t know. I’m scared to confess and the secret is eating me alive. I knew what I was doing, but failed to stand for my morals. Can God love someone like me?” He can, and not only does He love you but He can forgive you too. “…Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” And he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” (Luke 7:47-48 NIV)

Can you relate to any of these testimonies? If they do not fit you perfectly, I’m sure we all can relate to at least parts of these. I know I can. What’s interesting about God is that through repentance and submission, God forgives and washes away all sins. God reminds us of this in Isaiah when He says, “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” (Isaiah 1:18 NIV)

Until you can believe that God loves YOU, you will not have power in your life. God loves you beyond your sins and has sustained you through the harsh actions of others. Through Paul, His Word reminds us, “neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8: 38-39 NIV)  This means your past, present, and future cannot separate you from the love of God. Not even the demonic forces (whom many of us call haters) can separate you from the love of God.

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for loving me. Thank You for giving me the opportunity to accept the salvation from Your Son Jesus Christ so that now I can say, “You love even a sinner like me.” Lord help me to realize the greatness of Your love so that I may walk in power, knowing and not wavering that You love me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you to shout from the roof tops, whether figuratively from your spirit or literally from your mouth (there’s even more power in your tongue), tweet it or update your Facebook page that God loves you. Say it with boldness, “God loves even me!”

Allow the ministry of Beyond Words to usher you into worship with this Love Medley by God’s Chosen.

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As a professional, Mrs. Khalilah Burton is a College Biology Instructor. She is also currently pursuing a Doctorate of Education in Higher Ed and Community College Leadership. Khalilah is passionate about her faith journey and uses this key scripture as her inspiration: “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31 KJV) She and her husband serve as Co-Service leaders and Co-Group leaders of SustainedLove, which supports marriage get-a-ways from Family Life. Khalilah also serves as a guest speaker and panelist for various events for women and Christian empowerment. Khalilah resides in Millbrook, Alabama with her wonderful husband Donald Burton, Jr. and their energetic four-year old daughter. They attend Vaughn Forest Church.  Check out Khalilah’s Christian weight loss blog here.

Accountability, God's Grace, Growth/Maturity, Patience

Who Do You Think You Are?

This 40 Days to a Turn Around has been an amazing journey, but God had to check me in the midst of it.  I was beginning to become too confident.  Personally, I was doing well and was on track.  However, I listened to others that had faltered or slipped up.  I was viewing their slip-ups as weakness, but how many times have I slipped up in life?

God had to reveal to me that I will still mess up in some capacity. “How then can a mortal be righteous before God? How can one born of woman be pure?” (Job 25:3-5 NIV) I was born into sin, and it will always be something that we all struggle with.  Who am I to think I’m better than anyone just because I have been strong and focused on this one thing?  There are so many other things that I am still doing wrong.  Perfection does not exist among mere mortals!

I looked at times I had become upset with others for slipping.  I realized that I do not have the right to judge.  I am in no position to look down on or admonish someone else for their shortcomings. 

The spirit challenged me also to take a deeper look at why I was upset with them. I was shocked to find that the root of my judgment was jealously.  I was jealous because I wasn’t the one at the party, I wasn’t drunk and I wasn’t having sex! Those were things that I wanted to be doing.  No sex, but still lusting.  I was not focusing on uplifting and picking those up who had fallen. I was too focused on what they had done wrong.  What if God only looked at the things we did wrong?

It is often times easier to forgive the people in the world that have messed up.  Why are we so quick to forgive sinners, but not saints? We are all the same.  We sometimes make it so difficult to forgive saved people of certain infractions.  However, at the end of the day we are all God’s children and all guilty of sin. So really, who do you think you are?

Dear Daddy,

I come before You asking for forgiveness for ever thinking I was without sin.  I pray that You will continue to work on me and all my faults.  Help me to focus on the things that I need to change.  Reveal to me the sins that I commit that I do not always see.  Lord, open my eyes and reveal to me the things that I need to work on. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Today I EMPOWER you to help your friends, children, loved ones that have faltered.  Uplift others instead of condemning them. Be a positive influence in others’ lives.  Encourage others to know that we fall down, but we do get up!

What is your tactic for correcting in love and not slipping into judgment?

Read a related EmpowerMoment: Remember Where You Came From…

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Ms. Sherita Shelton currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee.  She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s in Professional Counseling and is currently pursuing her counseling license.  Sherita works as a therapist and case manager for children as well as adults.  She facilitates groups for single women and offers mentoring and individual counseling for her clients.  Sherita’s favorite Bible verse is Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lot not on your own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

Encouragement, God's Grace, Inspirational, Trusting God

The Helper

I am a professional and self-proclaimed helper.  I help with problems and I help with solutions.  I help you figure out where to go if I can’t help you.  I help find food for the hungry, shelter for the homeless, and refuge for the abused. Just call me if you need help!  As an employee, I have always been applauded for my excellent ability to help others.  Similarly, in my personal life, friends know who to call when they need help.  However, I was recently tested by a situation in which I felt helpless.  I couldn’t figure out what to do or how to make the situation better.  In the midst of this situation that burdened my soul due to my lack of being able to rectify the problem, I was given a revelation. The revelation was quite clear. I CANNOT FIX EVERYTHING. There I said it!

“Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, in as much as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.” (1 Peter 4:12-13 KJV) Some situations are meant solely for God to work out.  He puts us through various trials and tribulations and if we think that we will be able to fix them all, we are sadly mistaken.

Have you ever been in a situation that seemed as though it should’ve been fixable by you, but you couldn’t make it right? Well, that’s because when God puts you into a situation, He is the ONLY one that can get you out of it.  How often have we found ourselves looking to others for solutions to our problems when God wants us to seek Him?  “For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.” (Exodus 34:14 KJV)

God needs us to realize that some things are purely for His glory.  We must learn to trust and lean on Him in all situations.  It is okay to want to be there for individuals in our lives, but we must also know when to let go and let God fix the situation.

Dear Daddy,

I come before You thanking You for the opportunity to be a blessing in other peoples’ lives.  I also thank You for allowing me to know when I need to take my hands off a situation and turn it over to You.  Life will always have situations that can be rectified by me, but give me many opportunities where I need You to handle them. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

I EMPOWER you to be a helping hand or listening ear when it is your place.  However, I also EMPOWER you to learn how to take your hands off some situations and leave them up to God. Know that if man does not, God always has your back. So put a smile on your face and be uplifted by His grace!

Ms. Sherita Shelton currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee.  She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s in Professional Counseling and is currently pursuing her counseling license.  Sherita works as a therapist and case manager for children as well as adults.  She facilitates groups for single women and offers mentoring and individual counseling for her clients.  Sherita’s favorite Bible verse is Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lot not on your own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

Encouragement, God's Grace, God's Mercy, Motivation, Self Forgiveness, Sin

Keep At It!

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” I Thessalonians 5:11 NIV

One day my daughter and I were at the playground and she wanted to try the monkey bars. She’s a very cautious little soul and a far cry from a “dare devil”. Assessing the situation she says, “Mommy, why when you try new things you fall.” I replied, “Because with new things, you don’t quite know how to do them yet so you have to learn. Sometimes you get help and sometimes you just practice practice practice.” And her proud reply was, “Practice makes perfect!!”

As she dodged the monkey bars and went to the swings I pondered on her question, “Why when we try new things do we often fall?” I thought about some of you, myself, and the women that inbox me about my walk with Christ. Often times when you are either a new believer, or trying to learn a new godly behavior, sometimes you fall. Not fall as in fall from grace, but fall as in stumble, or trip. You don’t quite get it yet.

How many times have you said to God, “Lord I’m going to live right! I am not going to have sex anymore until I’m married.” Only to find yourself lying there in the dark looking at the ceiling, defeated and embarrassed as the guy lies next to you peacefully sleeping. How many times have you said, “Lord, I am not going to deal with gossiping anymore; I am done with tainting my spirit and being an accessory to this foolishness.” Only to find yourself deep into a juicy phone conversation about the relationship you “heard” was about to end in a divorce. Or even, you promised God that you would read your Bible daily, only to remember 8 days later that you forgot about the promise and can’t find your Bible anywhere.

Along this Christian journey there are highs and lows, ups and downs. We try so hard to get it just right and sometimes we even fall. I’ve been there, you are not alone. Even “seasoned” Christians go through these falling periods. If we all were perfect, we wouldn’t need grace and mercy now would we? Don’t be mistaken, you do get to a point where you are able to judge your own actions and determine if it is pleasing to God, but you may miss the mark in your quest for obedience.  Paul even figuratively shares that he was inflicted with a thorn in his side to keep him humble. Your thorn may be a scar, an STD, or some other type of blemish. But God reassures Paul when he says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)

I told my daughter that sometimes you need help with new things. I believe that everyone should have a mentor. I have a spiritual mentor, wife mentor, mom mentor, professional mentor and the list goes on and on. They are people that are not necessarily in “higher” areas of Christianity, but they are more experienced and serve as tangible vessels that God sent me. When I feel like I’m falling, want to fall, or have fallen, my mentors are there to give me godly advice and encouragement. The next thing I told my daughter was “practice makes perfect.” The more you work at, the better you get. I’ve often told my mentees, the more you practice, the louder your Holy Spirit gets. If you are not trying to live a life of spiritual godliness, your conscience is flesh-led. But when you decide to have “help” from the Lord, your conscience submits to the Holy Spirit and it speaks from within. (Read about the Holy Spirit as your helper in John 14.)

Some of you reading this are pretty frustrated with your walk. God told me to write this to you a few days ago, but I couldn’t seem to pull it together until now. I want to encourage you with this scripture, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9 NIV) The Holy Spirit is a helper and a sustainer. You may stumble sometimes in this walk, but you’ll realize that these “stumbles” actually propel you forward to a closer walk with God.

Dear Daddy,

Please forgive me for all of my sins. Those I have committed knowingly and unknowingly. On this quest of living a life more pleasing to You, please plant people in my life that will hold me accountable to Your ways. Help me to recognize Your Spirit and heed to its instructions. When I stumble, help me to realize that You are able to keep me from falling so that I can dust myself off and keep going. These setbacks are just a set up for my blessing. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Sistah Girl, I EMPOWER you today to keep going. Don’t get discouraged or feel that your walk with Jesus is in vain. This walk is a process, “So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.”  (James 1:4 NLT)  When you hand over your problems, your walk, your faith, and your desires to Jesus, you can say, “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy” (Jude 1:24 KJV) KEEP AT IT!! Allow Psalms 121 to minister to you.

Read a related EmpowerMoment: Living Saved is an Inside Job

As a professional, Mrs. Khalilah Burton is College Biology Instructor. She is also currently pursuing a Doctorate of Education in Higher Ed and Community College Leadership. Khalilah is passionate about her faith journey and uses this key scripture as her inspiration: “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31 KJV) She teaches Young Adult Bible Study and Sunday School and also serves as a guest speaker and panelist for various events for women and Christian empowerment.  Khalilah resides in Millbrook, Alabama with her wonderful husband Donald Burton, Jr. and their energetic three-year old daughter. They attend St. Luke Christian ChurchCheck out Khalilah’s Christian weight loss blog here.