Two of the greatest tactics of the enemy are to cause us to doubt and shame ourselves. If you’re anything like I once was, you probably beat yourself up because of your lack of knowledge of a situation you’ve endured in the past. You may feel as though certain frustrations or pains could’ve been avoided or maybe the situation would’ve ended differently if you would’ve had the knowledge then that you have now. The truth is that yes, you may have been able to avoid that situation but our journeys are all uniquely different. I have learned God still manages to work even the absolute worst of situations out for our good. Even the things that the enemy meant for our downfall have a purpose in God’s kingdom.
Sometimes we jump ahead of God into situations thinking that we know best. We may try to convince ourselves that a particular situation or relationship is good for us when in all actuality it may not be a part of God’s plan for that given time in our lives. What happens when our plans fail is that we sometimes go into this emotional box shutting God out and allow the enemy to fill our mind with lies. He may try to convince you that you are a failure, not enough, purposeless, guilty, beyond repair, a disgrace and so many other devaluing things that are not true.
Once we begin to shut God out, the enemy has us right where he wants us. He was us to be confused and ashamed. He wants us to doubt God’s plan for our lives. He doesn’t want us to know our identity in Christ. However, the truth of the matter is that he knows that those feelings of confusion and shamefulness are not conducive to our walk and growth in God. As long as we stay in that box and bask in our misfortune we are not allowing God to move on our behalf. Once I truly allowed God to have access pass the wall that I had built up, He began to prune or cut away they areas of my life that were not beneficial to my journey with Him.
The definition of pruning is “cutting away dead or overgrown branches or stems, especially to increase fruitfulness and growth.” I began to notice that as God was pruning me that He was cutting off purposeless relationships, friendships, habits, desires and thought processes that were not conducive to the journey. I was at a conference last week called “MegaFest” which is put on by Bishop T.D. Jakes every year in Dallas, Texas. The conference overall was phenomenal but three of the most powerful messages that I received was that:
- No one can steal what God has for you. It is already yours but you have to be willing to allow God to stretch you. Do not allow contention, worry or jealousy to take root in your heart.
- In order to obtain what God has for you, you have to be willing to walk into an identity for which you have no background.
- God is going to underwrite your vision from unexpected places.
These three messages deeply resonated with me because I realized that, that very thing was occurring in my life. Pruning may not always be easy. It can be very uncomfortable sometimes because you may feel out of your element, or at least I did. It’s natural to be hesitant to move from a comfortable place. However, that pruning is so necessary to your breakthrough in your journey with God.
In pruning you God is equipping you with the knowledge and discernment to go forth. God has never failed His children and He never will. I hope to encourage the woman reading this post to submit your hurt, uncertainty and past to God. You are the apple of His eye and He loves you dearly. Allow Him to guide you through your struggles. God has a habit of making a platform out of the very things or situations that were intended to break you.
You don’t have to take this journey alone either. If necessary, get an accountability partner who will pray and intercede on your behalf. God is not a God of confusion. He doesn’t desire for us to battle inside ourselves on our purpose, worth, identity, relationships or friendships. We are so much more than our past hindrances or situations and they will never define us. 2 Corinithians 5:17 NLT states “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!”. When we live in Christ our sins are forgiven. He shows us grace and washes those things away. If He has forgiven us, then we should definitely show grace to ourselves. Again, I just want to encourage the woman reading this post that your purpose is bigger and greater than you could think. We are not tied to our past faults. Allow Him to rewrite your story because there is so much beauty on the other side of our submission.
Romans 8:28 NLT
“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.”
Galatians 5:1 NLT
“So, Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.”
Psalm 139:14 NIV
“I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”