You’ll have to forgive me for this long post, but this is a chapter of my life story.
Over a year ago, I found myself in a situation where I had to do stock-taking of my life, and how I have spent the past years in my service for my King. Most times we just rush and engage into different services for God and wanting to occupy ourselves all the way in His service. In all that, wisdom requires we stop and take stock of what we have been doing and measure how far we have been tracking either positively or negatively. There is also need for refilling because after you have spent most of your time pouring out, at a point, you become half empty and finally all empty if you keep on going.
Most of us think that getting overly busy always having no time to rest or fellowship with people is the best way to live. Even God rested after six days of creating the earth. And remember God made us for fellowship. There should be time for recess and refilling, to avoid getting burn out half way through or towards the very end. I have been so busy in almost every other department in my church for the past five and the half years, serving in more than two departments every Sunday continuously for over three years. Don’t get me wrong, I love serving in the church, but at a point, I had to ask myself if I am giving myself entirely and faithful to all three departments. But the answer was no. I was surprised but deep down within me, I know I wasn’t faithful because, with all that, I find myself convicted most times at the end.
While in that situation a phrase came to my mind which I heard from a Pastor about three years ago. He said something that is still alive in my heart. He was so full on busy with different services for God that he barely had spare time. He said a friend told him one day, “you are burning the candle at both ends.” That was a turning point for him. That’s when his eyes were open to the truth of what he was busy doing. He then had to do some stock-taking and evaluate his life and service for God.
Where am I going you ask? I have also asked myself something similar when I felt the urge to pause and stock-take my life. I told myself so many times that I don’t know what am doing. It’s a place of vulnerability where you can sit back and see yourself at that point. No one outside needs to tell you this. Because when God starts convicting you about your ‘works’ you’ll do better to fall at His feet asking for mercy and guidance rather than proving stubborn. When I now look at all those ‘services’ and ‘works’ I was involved in, I can tell without a doubt that 75% or more wasn’t for God but rather to please people so not to be in their bad books. I wanted to be ‘Miss please everybody’ and see me ‘I can do it’ attitude, rather than surrendering sincere devotion to God. I was more into eye service than God service. I am honest here. As much as I want to cover it up, I can’t anymore, because I am on a journey where am learning how to be open and vulnerable, laying everything out to God.
God is just so loving beyond our imagination of what He can do. Because of His love for us, He tries in most cases to get our attention, to correct the wrongs we are doing, so not to hinder our relationship with Him. Remember God cannot behold iniquity. He loves us so much that He will warn us when we are about drifting away and getting cold in our relationship with Him. He doesn’t come out with a rod of punishment at our backs anytime we mess up like our earthly fathers do most times. I grew up in an environment where the rod corrects a child every time, so I know how it feels.
Going back to my story of God taking me through this stock-taking journey, I wish it happened earlier on, but I guess I was too busy to hearken to the signs and signals. It’s always good to step back and evaluate. Sometimes for you to have a good view of the situation requires you walking away from it and then looking at it from a far angle. This way you see bigger, brighter and clearer than when you were in the centre of it. So I got to the point that I had to step down from a ministry I loved so much. It wasn’t easy for me to step down, but I got to a point where the very instrument required for that department was falling apart I meant breaking down. But I will tell myself that I needed some rest, and that will fix it. So I have been gradually doing that for over two years until when finally I realised that wasn’t helping to recover fully. I prayed and trusted God for healing but not sure what was happening, so I felt helpless.
Tears filled my eyes when I see people stirring and singing beautifully with their voices while I was struggling with mine. I’ve asked the question so many times, what have I done? Was it my fault or something I did to get to this point? I cried and sobbed so hard that it hurts my head. No one seems to understand me. The Only Person who knew me seems quiet in my judgment. I felt then God was not doing anything about it, and the situation was unbearable. I could feel the ache in my heart. In the still of the night, I had to cry myself to sleep. I can’t seem to find the missing puzzle. Where else do I go from here? I asked myself. Who can see beyond my physical appearance into my hurting soul?
Stepping down from this ministry opened my eyes to so many things that I wasn’t ready to see and admit. I saw how ‘human pleasing’ I was rather than God-pleasing because I didn’t want to offend people. I see how manipulative I’ve become rather than just surrendering to God. I saw the ugliness of my character and how judgemental I have been. I just saw an ugly soul that needs God’s mercy, grace, and healing. Oh, how I thank God for showing me myself and the person I’ve become in those past years. I had stood on the altar singing praises to my King while my heart was busy judging someone else in the same place. I have been in the depth of worshipping while condemning someone in the congregation who seems to have not been participating in the worship session. I got to a point where I couldn’t do it anymore. I had to ask God to change me, to take away the ugliness of my soul and give me a clean heart and a right spirit.
It doesn’t work my dear princesses. You can’t serve two masters at the same time, even Jesus said it. You can’t sit on the fence, you’re either in for God or not. My heart couldn’t handle the situation anymore. I can’t be standing to worship God when I had jealousy for the sister right next to me or hatred. I am not making this up love; it happened, and I got to a point where I couldn’t contain it any longer. It was piercing my soul. I had no idea when my spirit became that ugly. I had opened a door carelessly or unknowingly which gave the devil access in my life so much so that I got blinded at some point.
Today I am so grateful to God that He has started changing me from the inside.
I know that I am a ‘work-in-progress’ and that God is still working in me, but girl, believe me, that the outcome is going to be glorious and beautiful by the time God is finished working in me. My life is still a clay in the Potter’s hands, and He is remoulding me for a greater glory.
My point is this; stock-taking is very essential; you can ask the accountants. Without stock-taking, a lot of businesses are doom to fail or lost count of their progress in the marketplace. Using the analogy of the balance sheet calculation, which most accountants use in stocking-taking, let’s see how it relates to us. The balance sheet consists of three parts. The statement of assets, owner’s capital/equity and liabilities.
Assets: These are your resources.
What are the resources God has given and deposited in you? The resources could be our God-given talents, and skills. The giftings, the career, and the great ideas He has given you. Identify all of them; they are your assets.
Liabilities: These are your accountabilities/responsibilities. The assignments apportion for you to execute.
Owner’s equity: This is your balance/left over after you have used your resources trade with them to carry out your accountabilities and come back with an additional surplus. The Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25:14 -30 is the best illustration.
Applying the balance sheet to our Christian life, how balance is our relationship with God, the career He gave us, the talents and gifts and with the relationship between our fellow brothers and sisters? If we calculate the balance sheet of our lives now, will we be found on the surplus profit or the loss scale? Will you and I be found balancing, in excess, running over with the fruits of the Spirit or will we be considered short and in a loss?
This principle can also help in our work with God, and to evaluate and examine if we are still in tune with Him or what remedy is required. It will help us to know how far we have gone in our relationship with Him, How much of His character and conduct we have in us, as a result of spending more time with Him.
Dear princess, how balanced is your relationship with God and the resources He has given you?
Comments are welcome!