“God what am I doing wrong? What am I missing? Am I that messed up?” I uttered similar words roughly a year ago. I did not understand why it felt as though I was hitting a brick wall. I was doing all the things a Christian is supposed to do: reading the Bible, attending church, and praying.
If you don’t know me, I was raised in an amazing home. My parents were in full-time ministry. When I say full-time ministry I do not mean they worked 40 hours a week for a ministry and got paid for it. I mean their daily lives were filled with ministering. Whether it be my mom raising and teaching me and my 6 siblings, my Dad teaching us the Bible and taking time to train us, or them counseling whoever called or stopped by. Their daily lives exemplified their beliefs. It took a little while for me to realize I could not live off my parent’s beliefs. I had to figure out what I believed and why. By God’s grace, He chose me and made Himself real to me as a 14 year old. Fast forward 10 years. I was working at as a manager at a sub shop. I was involved in church. I was reading my Bible, and I was praying. I knew these three things were important, but I did these things more out of duty. Then God decided to pick me up from where I had been and put me in the ministry. I thought, “Great, I’ve always wanted to be in the ministry”. Little did I know I was about to experience some of the hardest battles I have EVER faced. At first things were great. I had a set job to do and it was pretty simple. Then more responsibilities came and then the expectation was raised. All of a sudden, I was in the fire. I kept begging God asking Him what I was doing wrong and why it feel like all hell broke loose. I remember one night when it felt as though someone were on my chest and all I could hear was, “Christi, you are a complete failure. You can’t do this. You might as well quit”. I thought it was all me thinking this. But it was straight from the pit of hell. When I finally woke up, I called out of work. I knew I had to get myself together, and I desperately needed God’s help. I remember hearing the Lord say, “why are you giving excuses when I have given you declarations”. I started to think of the verses that have declarations. “I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me” Philippians 4:13. “We are more than conquerors through him who loved us” Romans 8:37. So, I started to say these things a when I felt as though I could not do anything right. I also wrote down a list of the things I thought I was, and found verse to go with each area I struggled with. Then, whenever I had a thought come into mind like, “You can’t do this” I would say, “Yes, I can because I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”. After this, I felt like I grew a lot. I had to realize that as a Christian, I am in a battle, not a walk in the park. When I was working in the sub shop, there were days when I felt some warfare, but nothing to the extent that I have experienced with working in ministry. It is a battle. My mind is where most of my battle rages. If the enemy can get a millimeter of my thoughts. I can absolutely count on him taking it. He is like the guy you wish would pursue you. He stops at nothing but the name of Jesus.
So, you may be asking, why are you writing this now. This turning point happened in your life over a year ago. Yes. You are right. But I had something happen this week that brought all this to my remembrance. I just got back from a trip this weekend. I got to see my family- which is wonderful. Almost all my siblings are married and have children which is exactly what I thought would happen to me at 18. But, God had other plans. I have to make sure I stay focused when I am home because it would be easier for me to live by my family, and it wouldn’t be as difficult had I had a similar life. So, I get back and I just felt discouraged and lazy. I felt as though I needed to veg out on a movie, or just “enjoy” my evening (I had the walk in the park mentality). So I did veg out on a few movies and enjoy my evening, but it left me empty. When I woke up this morning, I read my Bible and got ready for work. I started to feel like I was hitting that brick wall again. Why am I feeling like this? I am reading my Bible and praying. I started to go through the things I was doing for God (like He should be impressed). Then we had a time of prayer at work today and I felt as if the Lord was saying, “I know you can give me more”. My first reaction was to say, “But God, I do this, that, and the other” and again He said, “I know you can give me more”. I thought of some more things to say to “convince” God that I was doing enough. Then I thought I could compare myself to others. But again God said, “You’re telling me you can’t give me more? Do you want change to happen in your life? You need to give me more.” Then I started to realize how much more I could do to help if I had more of Christ in my life. What if I heard God every single day tell me where to go and who to speak to. What if God had a message for me to relay to someone who was hurting and only God knew. What if there was someone who could be saved because I spent more time with God and knew how to reach them… I confessed right there. God, forgive me. We finished our time of prayer and the burden for my country laid so heavily on my heart. We have taken another step away from God. At this point, only God can turn us around. We will have a price to pay. I know we will be judged for our decisions. I know that I have played a part in this even if it’s because of my silence. This is my country and I am so grieved. We are killing our children, destroying families, and seeking assistance apart from God. God doesn’t need more social media banter. God don’t need Christian’s who think they are, “good enough”. No, God needs us, me to be on my knees receiving more from Him because the days we face are evil. God doesn’t want us to run way and hide. God wants us to, “… lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God strengthen ourselves in Him and run the race with endurance” (Hebrews 12:1-2).
So do you feel as though you are hitting a brick wall today? Maybe it is because God wants to take you deeper. Maybe He is allowing you to hit a plateau because He has more for you. Maybe he wants to teach you (as He did me) to see how the enemy attacks and how to fight back. He does not want you to have the attitude as I have had, “Oh, I am good enough”. I once heard a man say, “Do not let the good rob you of God’s great”. I challenge you today to give more, seek more, and pray more. If we ever needed a revival in America, it would be now.
Forgive me for my attitude. Forgive me for wanting to settle. Forgive me for wanting a break from the fight. Lord, You are my strength. You are my exceeding joy. You are the God who sees and the God who heals. Lord, I am asking you to help me. Help me to seek You as the deer who pants for water. Help me to hunger for You. You say to seek and I will find if I seek you with my whole heart. Lord, help me to daily surrender and daily crucify my flesh. This life is not my own. Please use me as you will. Lord, please bring revival to my life and then revival in the church and then revival in my country. Father, I am weak but you are strong. I ask for You will to be done, whatever that may be. Lord, help me to stand firm for You. In Jesus might name I pray. Amen.