Learning To Trust God

Trust:

4 Dictionary definitions (DD)

  1. Firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something.
  2. Allow someone to have, use, or look after (someone or something of importance or value) with confidence.
  3. Acceptance of the truth of a statement without evidence or investigation.
  4. Have faith or confidence.

At the end of January 2018, God really started dealing with me about learning to trust in him. Prior to that, there were many times I would confess with my mouth, cry out in prayer, and write about my desire to surrender and trust God with all my heart.

But my heart’s posture did not line up with my words. I would say, “Lord I trust you and above all let your will be done.” But I never really meant that last part. Truthfully, most times I would come up with my own plans, I would not seek God’s will concerning them, and ask God to bless them. There’s nothing wrong with creating plans, but we should be creating our plans with God.  Habakkuk 2:2 is a favorite for people who love to plan. “And the Lord answered me to write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it. That was my scripture! But I forgot to read verse 1.

I will climb up to my watchtower and stand at my guard post. There I will wait to see what the LORD says and how he will answer my complaint. Habakkuk 2:1

Many of us are writing out the vison for our lives, but is it God’s vision for us? Have we sought God in his presence before making plans for our lives? Have our plans come from a revelation after spending time in his presence, and waiting on God like the man of Habakkuk 2:1?

(DD 1) Do you have a firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability and strength of God? (DD 2) Have you allowed God to look over your life with confidence? Have you given your life over to him? – beyond a prayer of salvation; your day to day life. Have you died to yourself?

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20

The truth is, learning to trust God is a process. We don’t reach a place of complete trust and surrender instantly, but we must continually learn to trust in God more and more. Walking out the process isn’t easy, but there are things we can do daily that help and strengthen us through the learning process:

1. Spend time in the word and meditate on scripture.

We should read about people in the word who trusted in God. 1 kings 17-19 is one on my favorites. Elijah moved when and where God told him too. (DD 3) He accepted the truth of God’s statements without evidence or investigation. But I also like Elijah because we see in 1 kings 19 that his journey wasn’t always smooth, but he still trusted in God and was obedient to God’s instruction without needing an explanation.  

As for mediation on scriptures, what I do is keep scriptures in a visible place where I’m bound to see it multiple time a day. Galatians 2:20 is my phone screen background, and Proverbs 3:5-6 is up at my desk.

  1. Pray

Like I said, I would cry out in prayer and say it with my mouth, but trusting God was not my heart’s posture. But I continued to pray and confess it, and now it is my heart’s desire to trust God more and more. If you’re struggling with learning to trust God, he wants you to ask for his help in learning to do so -we really can’t do it without him regardless. But it’s not black and white, where we either trust God or we don’t. We have to learn to trust God more and more. I still cry out in prayer for God to help me trust him more, and I find myself learning to depend on God more. I no longer ask God to fulfill my plans, but I ask God “what do you want?” THEN I write the vison, make it plain, and pray on it.

That being said, we don’t always need a revelation to pray in accordance with God’s will. Sickness and disease is not God’s will. His son paid the price for that.

2. Live a lifestyle of worship   

A few years ago, I was at a worship service and I got a picture as I was worshipping. Let me paint the picture for you:

You know when someone puts their hands behind their back, and someone else sticks their hands through their arms and pretends like their hands belong to the other person? It was like that, except the person with their hands behind their back had their hands up in worship, and the other person’s hands belonged to God.  

When our hands are up in worship, it allows for God’s hands to come in and work on our situation. And not just worship with songs, but worship with our whole lives – How we treat other people, how we treat our jobs or businesses, what we do with our time, and finances.  

This isn’t being lazy, but in fact, as we trust in God we should have a spirit of discipline (we can ask for help with that too) to carry out the work he has given us with excellence.  Our hands up in worship in everything we do, allows us (DD 4) to show that we have faith and confidence in God to do what he said he will do.

Learning to trust God isn’t easy, but it’s a process that’s definitely worth going through. 

The Purpose of Righteous Living

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Ephesians 6:11-13 

I like how Paul (the author of the book of Ephesians) says “therefore” when saying to put on the armor of God. He’s saying that because there is a battle going on, we NEED to put on the whole armor of God. He’s not saying to do it simply because it’s how God desires for us to live, but he is saying it is necessary based on the situation.

Many times, when people look at what it means to live a life of righteousness, they choose not to do so because it seems like a difficult standard to live by.

But if we understand the purpose or righteousness, we’ll understand it’s for our own good and it’s not God putting restrictions on us. In describing righteousness, Paul chooses to use the breastplate.

Ephesians 614 … with the breastplate of righteousness in place”

The purpose of a breastplate is for protection in a battle, and likewise living a life of righteousness is for our own protection. We go to battle every day whether we like it or not.

12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12

Who do you think is going to be in a better position for a battle? The one who goes in with no gear and is unaware of what’s going on? Or the one who is suited up and knows there’s a battle going on? Living a life of righteousness is not an easy thing to do. But we have the Holy Spirit to help us. As the Holy Spirit works on the inside of us, we become more yielded and submitted to the Holy Spirit, and righteousness becomes a  lifestyle instead of something we have to strive for.

I see the Holy Spirit as an activation for the armor of God. In a superhero movie, a superhero can have their suit on but have no power. They might need to press a button or do something to activate the power of the suit. If we try to put on the whole armor of God, without God himself, we’re wearing a suit with no power. Living a life of righteousness takes God himself, and he has given us the Holy Spirit to help.  Also, it turns out living out a life with God is actually an incredibly fun and life-transforming experience.

Learning to live a life of righteousness and becoming more Christ-like is a never-ending process, but it’s one that’s worth going through. The spiritual battle continues regardless of our choice to be submitted to the Holy Spirit or not. It is important we have the right gear for the battles we will face in life. The good news is that with God, we’re fighting a rigged war.

 

My Experience As A Young Black Female In The Workplace

I’ve spent the past 6 months working at a small consulting company. Like really small. It’s an awesome place to work, especially compared to what I’ve heard about other companies.  I’m the youngest person, the only black female consultant, and the only one with my job title (small company)-all the other consultants are in more senior roles. My company is quite unique and inclusive. I definitely work with a great group of people! I really have no reason to feel left out or awkward but listen to the story I’m about to tell you. Or read it. Whatever.

We had an important meeting today with about 75% of the company. I was looking for opportunities to contribute to the conversation, but I found myself scared to do so. Why? The voices in my head. (Stick with me, I’m not crazy!). Throughout the meeting there was a conversation going on in my head. It went something like this:

You’re young. What do you have to say that they don’t know? You’re black. Don’t say something stupid that will make black people look stupid. You’re a woman. Sit back.

Then the voice of Sheryl Sandberg joins the conversation and she tells me to lean in and speak up! My boss’ voice pops in as well (from a conversation a while back) and he tells me he’s happy to have the younger generation in the office, and we make valuable contributions. I hear the male black consultant say something (out loud, not in my head this time 😊), who also happens to be fairly new. Yes, he’s older and has more work experience, but his contribution was encouraging to me.

But what’s a conversation in head without my own voice? So the voice of Adebosoye (that’s me in case you’re not following this craziness) chimes in and says “Yes, you’re a young, black female but you’re not solely defined by your age, race, and gender. You’re you. The company saw something when they hired YOU.” Or something like that.

So I spoke up.

My first contribution was simply supporting someone else’s point. My second contribution was bringing up an idea that got shot down. But even though it got shot down, something I said drove the next part of the conversation. It didn’t feel good to get shot down, but it did feel good to step out of the box I was confining myself too.

When I first started my job I had a hard time settling down. I don’t exactly know why, but I was mildly depressed, anxious, and had trouble sleeping. I think a part of it was the enemy trying to come for your girl because you know I prayed fasted to get this job! Another part of it was me comparing myself to others, setting unrealistic expectations for myself, and being acutely aware of my differences. I compared myself to my senior colleagues. Even though they all have more work experience than I do, I was expecting myself to be just as good as them. I was so keenly aware about being a young black female that I made myself feel unnecessarily awkward compared to my slightly older white male colleagues. There were days some of the guys would ask me if I wanted to go with them to Chick-fil-A (I live in the south y’all) and I’d say no. Although I knew they were asking out of courtesy, I said no because of my age, race, and gender. Yes, being a young black female in my workplace separates me, but there are times I’ve definitely separated myself.

I’ve overcome the anxiety, depression, and insomnia these days. I’m also good acquaintances with my colleagues. I would totally take up a Chick-fil-A invite. But I haven’t quite dealt with the voices in my head. I constantly over analyze my work and tell myself I’m stupid, and doing a terrible job, even though I’ve been told the opposite. There are many time I still see myself negatively as a young black female as I did in the meeting today.

But I’m learning to fight the voices back. I’m overcoming the negative self-talk by telling myself I’m meticulously created by God and I have a purpose and calling that goes beyond my job.  He loves me and what He has to say about me is what I live by. I tell myself that my worth isn’t tied to my job but who I am in Christ. God sees me as more than my race, age, and gender. I should too.

The workplace separates young people, black people, and women. But there are times we might get the narrative so ingrained in us that we separate ourselves. We shouldn’t get so caught up in systemic treatment that we limit ourselves in spaces we’re not limited. We shouldn’t get so caught up in how we see ourselves that we forget how God sees us. There definitely needs to be systemic change to increase representation in the work place, but we also have power to change the narrative where were at.

God, If I’m Being Honest… (An Open Letter)

God,

This is my honest letter to you.

I know you’re all knowing and ever present, but there is a part of me that thinks I know better than you. A part of me thinks I can plan and  execute my life better than you can. I know, it’s crazy. But this is my honest letter. Sometimes you take too long and I prefer to take matters into my own hands and make things happen myself. I know what you’ve called me to do so I made plans to fund the calling on my life and started a couple business ventures without you. I want to live out your purpose for my life, but your girl doesn’t want to be broke doing so. Your girl has plans of being wealthy. So I think it’s a good idea to  pursue wealth first, then go ahead and do what you’ve called me to do. That way everything you’ve called me to do becomes optional and I’ve still got wealth. Don’t worry, I plan on helping people and starting non-profit organizations with my wealth. God if I’m being honest, I’m grateful you saved me, your love for me is amazing, your joy in my life is unshakable, your peace really does pass understanding, I want you at the center of my life, but the thing is, I don’t want to depend on you. I’m just being honest.

But here’s what I’ve discovered. Living a life dependent on you is actually the sweetest thing. I don’t know what you did to me in the last week of January (Yes, your girl only learned to surrender a whole 6 weeks ago – and still learning) but you came in and made surrender my heart’s posture.

One question someone asked changed it all. “What would your life look like if it was God’s plan for your life and not your plan?” 

And it was like every song, scripture, and sermon I encountered the month after was about surrender, obedience, and doing what you want. This series especially.

I’ve discovered when I try to do it on my own, I mess it up. Apparently, you fund your ideas and don’t really need my fundraising business campaigns. What I discovered is that I can still get the business, still get the wealth, but your timing, your plan, and your way is so much better.

But if I’m being honest, what I want more than what I want, is what you want. God, I want a life dependent on you no matter what that looks like. I want you to get the glory out of my life. I want my life to leave a track record of miracles, a track record of your power, your grace, and your hand on my life. I want it be so evident God was here. Let people look at my life and be forced to say, only God did that. God come in and have your way. When I wrote my most recent blog post about setting goals for the year, I was setting goals without you.

Well God, I’m here to say I’m sorry. Take my goals, my plans, my ideas, my selfish ambitions and make them yours. I drop every plan that was made without you, and I say Yahweh, have your way. This life is yours.

Sincerely your daughter,

Adebosoye – The crown has returned to the throne 

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. – Galatians 2:20

 

Goal Setting In 2018!

It’s that time of year again. The time when we look forward to the coming year and resolve to make it better than the last.  

It is goal setting time!

All too often, January comes around and we get excited about making lasting change in our lives. But for some reason, many of us never quite see our goals through to the end of the year.

That needs to change and it starts with how we think about our goals.  

Habukkak 2:2 says ” And the LORD answered me: “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it.”  

We need to write out and clearly define our goals. We should look at and recite our goals daily and refine them weekly or monthly to adjust to changing circumstances. Refining your goals on the first of every month is a good way to get started.

We also need to make sure we are frequently praying over our goals. We need to speak the word over our lives and all that God has for us to accomplish in this world.

We need to use the power of our mouths in prayer and proclamation to bring a manifestation of our goals this year.

God desires for us to live out a life that brings glory to his name. We should work towards becoming better versions of ourselves, and helping others become better. We should use the gifts God has given us to be all that we can be, and help meet the needs of those around us. We need to live a life on purpose and be intentional about the decisions we make.

When your goals are clearly defined, and they are in alignment with the word of God, there is nothing that can hold you back! Be intentional!

Living A Life Of Gratitude

Life can be tough sometimes. There is always something to complain about. But you know what? There is always something to be grateful for. Which one will you choose to focus on?

While my mom was visiting recently, there was a day we were out running errands. We stopped at the grocery store to pick up a few things. I remember being a little annoyed at how long she was taking to pick out a couple items. I was hungry and wanted to go home and eat. I was getting frustrated, but then I stopped and told myself to be grateful. So I said to myself,  “I’m grateful I have a mom. I’m grateful I have an awesome mom who cares about me. I’m grateful I get to see my mom so frequently. I’m grateful I have a grocery store to shop in. I’m grateful I have a car to drive home. I’m grateful I have a home. I’m grateful I have food to eat at home.” I wasn’t annoyed for much longer. It’s funny how being grateful can shift your view of your situation.

Of course, the situation isn’t always so simple. Sometimes life hits you really hard and it’s tough to find something to be grateful for. I want to encourage you to find something to hold on to no matter how difficult life is. No matter how hard it is, no matter what you’re struggling with, you can always find something to be grateful for.

What you think is a struggle can actually be a blessing if you look at it from a different perspective.

The perspective of gratitude.

How Are You Viewing Your Life Journey?

Contentment. What does it mean to be content?

The dictionary definition says, “ the state of being contented; satisfaction; ease of mind.”

I like the last part; ease of mind.

Earlier in the year, I was praying for a new job.  It took a while, but I finally got the job I had been praying for. But lately, I’ve been dissatisfied. I find myself desperate for the weekends, and when the weekend comes I’m discontent because I know where I have to be on Monday. The funny part is I actually like my job, but I also know I want more in my life.  But what I’ve discovered about myself is that I’m hardly at ease, and I’m always eager to get on to the next thing. I hardly take the time to enjoy my current situation, and really take in where I am. Whenever I’m giving a presentation, or talking to a group of people, I’m always told that I talk really fast. I honestly think I talk so fast because I want to get whatever I’m doing over with. I always want what’s next which has caused a lot of dissatisfaction in my life and puts my mind in a whirlwind.

But ease of mind.

I want that for my life.

I want to be content where I currently am. Not that I don’t want more for my life, but I want to experience every part of my life. I don’t want to reach the end of my life and realize that I was constantly chasing the next thing,  and never actually enjoyed the journey of life itself.

So how am I going to work on being content? By working on my thoughts!

For me,  I know my thoughts are my greatest enemy when it comes to experiencing contentment in my life. But I also know they can be my greatest strength. So from now on, I’m going to be all about 2 Corinthians 10:5

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

Every thought that’s not letting my mind be at ease is getting snatched from my mind and coming under submission to the word of God! The thoughts that tell me it’s my current situation that’s not making me happy, and I’ll be happier in the next stage of life. The thoughts that tell me I’m not doing a good job during this stage of my life. These thoughts and more will be replaced with thoughts that are obedient to Christ. 

I know God has so much purposed for us and I know he’s going to do so much in all of our lives. But every season of life has a purpose. We shouldn’t be discontent, just because we’re not where we want to be yet! 

Father, I thank you for who you are. I thank you for how far you’ve brought me in my life, and I thank you for where you’re taking me. Please help me to be content with where I am now while being expectant about my future! Thank you Lord!

Contentment is ours!

Who’s in your crew?

Who are you surrounding yourself with?

Who are your friends?

Who are you letting speak into your life?

Are they people pushing you forward or holding you back?

Are they people who will encourage you in your purpose or are they pulling you down?

Are they people that are keeping you stagnant or are they driving you forward?

Who are you letting influence your destiny?

It is so important that we are aware of the people that we are surrounding ourselves with.

It is important that we are intentional about the relationships we have with other people. It’s very easy to slip into a routine and let the people who end up around us just be the people who end up being around us. But when you know that your life has purpose, and you know that purpose needs to be fulfilled, you can’t just let anyone who shows up in your life have influence in it. We have to make sure the people we surround ourselves with are people who are encouraging us to live out our purpose. We want people that will encourage us to keep going when we’re tired. We want people that aren’t envious of us but are cheering us on. We want people that are adamant about living out their purpose as well.

We all have ideas about where we want to be at a certain point in our lives. But the next stage of our lives is dependent on the decisions we are making during this stage. The decisions we make depend on how we think and the words that we speak. Who are you letting influence those thoughts and words?

When times are hard, are the people around you encouraging you in the word? Are you building each other up?  Or after you tell them about what you know God is going to do in you and through you, they shut you down and tell you it’s not possible? Are the people around you building your faith?

 I always put my life in this perspective. When I’m 80 years old and looking back on my life, what do I want it to look like? 

I know I want to live a life where I fulfilled the purpose that God had for me in every season of my life. I want to look back and know that I poured out everything I had and know that I was a good steward of the time and the resources I was given.

There’s so much that goes into fulfilling purpose, (especially making sure that God’s voice is the most important one in our lives!)  but one important aspect has to do with the company we keep.  God has a purpose for everyone single one of our lives. We should all desire to be used by God for every purpose he has for us in every season. Let’s make sure we’re surrounding ourselves with people that will encourage us to maximize our potential and walk in our purpose!

“Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.” Proverbs 13:20

His Sweet Sweet Love

 

Why does God love us so much?  

When I sit down to think about how God is working all the intricate details of my life together, I can’t help but think why me? Why do you care so much about me? Like Psalm 8:4 says,  

                                       What is man that You are mindful of him,
                                         And the son of man that You visit him? 

One thing I know for sure is that I don’t deserve it; his perfect unending love for me.   

When my relationship with God started getting deeper, it was because I wanted to see some prayers answered. I used to be frustrated and full of anxiety because of what I was praying too see take place in my life. But as I grew closer to God, his love filled me more and more. My relationship with God went from being about what God  could do for me, to what God was doing in me. His love overwhelmed me, and I learned to have peace even when my prayers seemed like they weren’t going to be answered. I learned to be filled with joy, wake up with a smile on my face, and say “Good Morning Lord,” simply because of who he is.  

The love of God brought contentment to my spirit. Then suddenly, God answered my prayers and my relationship with him still hasn’t changed. I haven’t strayed away because my prayers have now been answered. The same love that saw me through and molded my heart to be more like his, is the same overwhelming love I feel everyday.  God used the time when it seemed like my prayers weren’t  going to be answered, to process me. Now not only have my prayers been answered, but I am filled with his love, which was really the best thing to have received in the first place. I also realize that God didn’t answer my prayers just for me. I know he wants to use me to spread his love and to be a blessing to others. My relationship with God isn’t only about what’s he doing in me, but what he’s doing through me. 

I pray that Christ will live in your hearts by faith and that your life will be strong in love and be built on love.  And I pray that you and all God’s holy people will have the power to understand the greatness of Christ’s love—how wide and how long and how high and how deep that love is. Christ’s love is greater than anyone can ever know, but I pray that you will be able to know that love. Then you can be filled with the fullness of God. 

Ephesians 3:17-19 

I don’t understand why he loves us so much but I know it’s the best thing I have ever experienced. I know I can never go back to the way I used to be. Circumstances can change. More prayer request will come up and there will be more things to stress about.  But the love of God can never be shaken in my life.  

Thank you for loving me God. Thank you so much for meeting me where I was. Thank you for processing me. Thank you for your love. 

Women In Leadership Roles – Lets Get It

Women. We’ve been counted out. We’ve been thought of as less than. We’ve been told we are not smart enough, good enough, funny enough. But what is enough? The Holy Spirit works in and through all of us, men and women, making us better and more like Christ. So, if Christ is in us, we are enough.

When we talk about the roles of women in Christianity, we usually talk about women in marriage. Being a submissive wife is great, but I do not believe it means an end to our roles as leaders in society. Just look at Mrs. Proverbs 31. Boss lady! Then let’s quickly hop on over to Ephesians 5. The way it talks about how a man should love his wife is powerful. If a man loves his wife that way, and she is submitted to that man (what submission means from a Christ centered perspective is a whole other topic), she should be setup to let every gift in her flourish. Of course, submission isn’t based on a man showing love first. It also doesn’t mean a man is free to behave however or do whatever he pleases. Truthfully, I can’t really speak much about the roles of men or women in marriage, because I’m not married.

But what I do think we should talk more about in the church, are the roles of women in the workforce, business, politics, ministry, and other areas outside of marriage. With women being half the population, I think it is important that we talk about our roles as leaders in society.

There are great gifts in all of us that God wants to see used for the glorification of his name. One of my favorite women in the bible, is Prophetess Deborah (Judges 4). Boss lady! With her being a leader over Israel (Judge), the people of the nation looked to her for advice to settle arguments. One day, Deborah sent a message to a man called Barak and told him to gather soldiers to go and fight.  He said that he did not want to go to if she wouldn’t go with him. So, Deborah went with him and based on her instructions from God, Barak was successful in battle. And yes, Deborah was married, and probably a submissive wife! Out in the streets casually leading her country to victory.

As women, it is important that we cultivate the leadership skills in us and in the generations after us. God did not create half the population to not be utilized! It’s important that we are intentional about the life we live, and mindful of how we’re influencing those around us. We are all leaders in one way or another. Whether we admit it or not, someone is always influenced by what we are doing. Whether it is as a business owner, sibling, student, coworker, boss, wife, and/or mother, we are all in a position where someone is being influenced by what we do. No matter how big or small we think our positions are, we need to rise up and lead to the best of our ability.  We need to make sure that everything in us is poured out before we leave the earth. And if we let God lead us, whew! We’ll be unstoppable. There’s nothing like being a leader (male or female) and letting God lead.

Now let’s talk about those corporate and political leadership roles that men have historically occupied.  Society has often made us feel like we’re not capable of being in such roles, but we most definitely are. There’s a gift and a purpose in all of us. If we want to be leaders in a business, an organization, politics, or ministry, then we should be. There’s no doubting that it takes hard work, dedication, and a continual desire to keep learning and growing, but it’s no different for men. Of course not every woman desires to be a leader these areas. Regardless of what our roles are, we’re all leaders in one way or another. We should let our relationship with God equip us to be the best leaders we can be.

Let’s make sure that when we leave this earth, we leave it having poured out everything in us!