After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, [a]your exceedingly great reward.” Genesis 15:1 (NKJV)
Lately I’ve been feeling helpless, trapped and weary. Lately I’ve been wanting rest. While God has been elevating me, taking me from glory to glory in all areas of my life, this journey has not been easy. In fact, I’ve been at the end of myself December of 2017.
Its so funny how we pray certain prayers like “Lord empty me of me” then once He does you come to the realization that your worn out. No seriously, my relationship with and love for God is the ONLY reason I haven’t lost my mind. Being that right now I’m in a transition season and being pruned for purpose like we talked about a few blogs back (read here) …. this transformation is painful. I’ve asked God to be more like Him without counting the cost. I’d really like to look forward to better days right now, but I cannot see them. I’ve got Cloudy Vision, we talked about this same thing this time last year.
The first time I met God as a child he promised me some things you wouldn’t believe. I just had to keep my CRAZY faith. While I’ve been faith filled, that’s not exactly what I want to talk to you about.
Recently I’ve come to the realization that its time for me to grow more fruit of the Spirit. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, [a]gentleness, self-control.” Galatians 5:22-23 (NKJV)
For context, I want to let you know that I grew up in poverty and as a result for a long period of time I had a poverty mindset. My basis for desiring to have a relationship with God came from that period. My environment caused me to look at God like a genie in a bottle. I was thinking from a place of lack. Now I feel like God is stretching me so that I can expand my horizons.
For several months now God has been trying to get me to understand that He is my reward. Its real cute to say that all you need is Jesus when you’re fresh off the alter. However, your “all I need is Jesus” will be tested. So, get ready. I’m telling you from personal experience.
You may be asking…Tiffany, where are you going with all of this? Ok…so let me let you all up in my business. For much of my professional career I’ve dealt with atrocious supervisors and toxic work cultures. At my old job, I went through so much with my coworkers. Yet, I felt led to bless them and I was so nice to them. I smiled through a lot of abuse and mistreatment. Like Jesus taught us, I turned the other cheek.
In the New Testament, Jesus taught us to go the second mile: “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also.” Matthew 5:38-40 (NKJV)
I did all this to please God and pass the test, but my motive was wrong. So I passed the pride test but I failed the heart test. Like any other person I wanted things to get better. I was behaving in a Christlike manner, but my heart was still not right. I was focused on improving my own life. I should have been focused on bringing glory to God, but I didn’t know any better. I was focused on the promises and not the Promiser. I lacked understanding and now I’m trying to share with you so that you can pass the test.
Don’t take this the wrong way, but a lot of us look at God like a genie in a bottle or a sugar daddy. Its true that our life goes in cycles – seed, time and harvest. “While the earth remains, Seedtime and harvest, Cold and heat, Winter and summer, And day and night Shall not cease.” Genesis 8:22 (NKJV) However, we are likely to spend a lot more of our time than necessary in the waiting (time) cycle if we don’t grasp this principle. God is our reward.
Real talk why do you tithe? Why do you attend church? Why do you volunteer in your community? Is it to please God or to reap rewards? I know you wanted some encouragement, but God sent me to rebuke some folks. He sent me to correct some folks because we must change our hearts. STOP SEEKING GOD FOR HIS HAND AND NOT HIS HEART.
Stop asking God to take the pain and trials away. Why not grow through some things? Yea I said it! Why not suffer a while? Suffer for His Glory. Stop looking for your own glory. Stop looking for a way out. Stop catastrophizing when you don’t get your way. Stop worrying about religion and focus on relationship! Focus on Jesus! I’m not just talking to you I’m talking to myself. A lot of us have a chip on our shoulder thinking God owes us something. Guess what? He doesn’t owe us a thing…but He loved us and sacrificed his only begotten son for us. Why isn’t that enough? Stop seeking earthly treasures above the love of God! He has everything you need. Child of God isn’t Jesus enough for you?
I have something in my life right now that I’ve been toiling over for years. I’ve been working and working but my results are not reflecting all the hard work I’ve been putting in. It’s taken me years to come to this realization, but I hope you get this today. I’ve been working for victory instead of working from victory through Christ Jesus. I’ve been doing all the right things and getting disappointed when I don’t see progress. I had to learn that God is my reward. You can do everything “right” and still come out with wrong results. Stop toiling child of God. Rely on Jesus. My favorite preacher recently spoke on this – the battle is not yours it’s the Lords. What if the pain and the pressure is for His Glory?
I know you want to be pacified but this is not that type of message. I know you want your way, but this isn’t that type of party. You may even be desiring a name it claim it message from me but I’m fresh out. It’s time for us to become true worshippers of God. It’s time for us to recognize the King of Kings and honor Him.
You’ve been abstinent, stopped smoking, stopped cussing and now you’re waiting for a reward? God is your reward. Renew your relationship with Jesus. Get back in right standing before Him. Honor Him. He is your reward. He is all you need. Stop striving and get to the feet of the Father! The next time we speak (God willing) I promise to tell you more about God and why He is your reward.
I promise to discuss these things with you:
- His Presence
- His Lordship
- His Love
- His Promise of Eternity
However, right now I’m going to pray with you. Let’s say a prayer to get back into right standing with God.
Heavenly Father, we come to you today seeking your forgiveness. We have been focused on the wrong things and you deserve the throne of our hearts. Please lead us back into your presence. Lord Jesus guide us by the power of your Holy Spirit into right relationship with you. We’ve gotten swept up with worldly worries. Open our hearts to receive the realization that you are our reward. God, we need you and we desire to receive every bit of understanding that you desire to share with us. Carry us God! Our eyes are on you. Our hearts are on you! May we continue to live in this world but not conform to it. Give us the wisdom and strength to choose you. In the matchless name of Jesus, amen.
The Word: After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, [a]your exceedingly great reward.” Genesis 15:1 (NKJV)
The Story/The Lesson: You’ve been abstinent, stopped smoking, stopped cussing and now you’re waiting for a reward? God is your reward. Renew your relationship with Jesus. Get back in right standing before Him. Honor Him. He is your reward. He is all you need. Stop striving and get to the feet of the Father! The next time we speak (God willing) I promise to tell you more about God and why He is your reward.
Bonus: It’s time for us to become true worshippers of God. It’s time for us to recognize the King of Kings and honor Him. Let’s celebrate the living God with praise and worship via For Your Glory by Tasha Cobbs Leonard.
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