#TalkingThursday – If you don’t talk about Jesus who will?
There’s a struggle going on within me, an inner turmoil, you could call it. I’ve been wanting to write for ages now. Just to post something, anything. I’ve scrolled through my notes over and over looking for anything I could expand on. Wondering why I’ve been so lazy over the past few weeks, wondering why there’s been this feeling tugging at the edge of my heart to abandon my calling and be carefree.
Why have I been so tired, so restless, making excuses? Why can’t I return back to doing what I know I love and have been called to do?
You see, I can’t pinpoint the exact moment I fell from the grace of the Holy spirit and started making do with my own will and strength.
It may have started when I first told myself it was okay not to post anything for a week because my soul needed rest. Maybe it was when I started preparing for exams, and then graduation so I “just had to suspend my blogging”, or when my passport expired and I had to rush down to London get a new one, or when my mum was stuck in Turkey during the coup and my heart was too worried to post anything because I was seriously praying for her, or when I didn’t get the scholarship I wanted and had to pack everything and move back to Nigeria.
All valid excuses? Yeah? No? Doesn’t Matter.
- consistent behaviour or treatment.
- the way in which a substance holds together; thickness or viscosity.
- agreement, harmony, or compatibility
Why do we struggle with consistency in our Christian walk?
– Are we getting choked by the worries of life?
– Are the birds of the air plucking away the promises of God from our lives?
– Have we gotten tired and taken our eyes of Jesus?
I’ve honestly convinced myself I haven’t fallen prey to any of these things, yet, here I am trying to pin down why I find myself where I am today.
I’ve been in a dry season since sometime in June. You see, I assumed it would eventually go away if I continued praying and fasting, but it’s not going anywhere, and I finally figured out why.
I’ve been disobedient.
I find that when I’m disobedient, God gets silent and when that happens, everything just gets dry. I still speak in tongues, I can still pray, fast, worship etc, but there’s no freshness, no newness of life, there’s nothing coming forth from the throne room until I go and obey.
God tasked me with doing something for ages now, and I’ve been sluggish because I was afraid, I was afraid of the responsibility and funny enough it came from a prideful place, that if I was wrong about something, I would have to take responsibility for my error, apologise and accept correction from others. I was scared of this, so I didn’t want to take the chance that I could be wrong, I wanted to know it all and be right all the time and in reality, this is just impossible because nobody is beyond reproach.
The other reason I was hesitant was because I wanted a logo and nice pictures to package it and make it look appealing, but all around me on social media I’ve been seeing messages urging me to just obey, not to care about the platform but to simply use the talent I’ve been given to yield a return for God’s kingdom.
So first, to God, I repent.
And from me to you, I’m sorry for not being a better servant.
I’ve retraced my steps, and here are 4 things I want to share about the struggle for consistency. Take note of these things if you want to keep your consistency:
- Don’t Take Your Eyes Off The Prize: Experiences are often the biggest obstacle to our consistency. We are perfectly fine where we are and then suddenly, the flow of life bombards us with an experience we’re unprepared for and in that moment, we forget all about God and begin to look inwards for answers. Consistency is the building block of trust, if you are consistent with God, He will be consistent with you. We never intentionally set out to take our eyes of Jesus, and yet somehow, we do. It may not even be through sin, it may be something innocent like spending too much time with friends. Yes, there’s such a thing as spending too much time with friends. I was a very lonely person last year and I one of my major prayers was for God to bring me friends, and He did. Good, solid Christian sisters, even young ones that I could mentor. It made me overjoyed, but somehow, I began spending more time with them than with God, especially once my exams were over. The time we spend with others tends to either edify or pollute us. I found that spending much time in my day with my friends doing unproductive things like binge watching K-Dramas was affecting my consistency, it was draining me spiritually. Don’t pretend to get together with christian friends, only to end up having useless conversations. When you return home from a day out with friends and you reflect on your experience, does it lead you back into the arms of the father? Does it make you appreciate or long for Jesus even more? Did you learn anything useful from the time you spent with them?
- Accept Limitations: This might be the hardest thing to do but you will lose balance and eventually consistency, when you can’t accept limitations. As a youth, I find that I’m wanting to do so many things with my day, I long to travel, to experience nature, see the world with my own eyes rather than through a laptop screen and yet I am limited, not only financially but limited by my background and experiences (aka my Nigerian passport), and that’s okay. I don’t know it all, I can’t answer it all, I can’t have a ministry as big as Joyce Meyer’s in one day. Rome wasn’t built in a day. You can’t achieve consistency without limitations. If you cannot accept limitations, you will be all over the place trying to achieve beyond your wingspan. Does a chicken have wings? Yes. Can it fly? Well, maybe for about a maximum of 13 seconds, if it tried but ultimately, No, it cannot fly high into the sky like the Eagle. Should it feel bad about that? No! Ladies, we all know what happens when you forcefully expand a new hair band; it cuts. If you forcefully try to expand a new rubber band, it will most likely break, but the best rubber bands, are those that have been naturally expanded over time with constant use. Unlike Icarus, don’t fly too close to the sun, even if you can. Stay within your limits, God placed them on you with good reason. He will expand you as the time approaches.
- Introduce Yourself To Discipline: You cannot maintain consistency without discipline. Consistency is the secret ingredient to a successful Christianity. You must be intentionally consistent about your desires. I often find that if I watch a TV show close to bedtime, I end up waking up the next morning with a desire to continue watching and then I skip and rush through my devotions and quiet time in the morning so I can really get to my desire to watch that drama, and then I justify myself with “yeah, I spent time with God already, so I can watch this show guilt free” but in reality, my day ends up spiraling out of control just because I couldn’t keep one desire in check. Introduce strict time limits to all your desires outside of God and His word. If you must do something that has no spiritual benefit, place a time limit on it. This is a good way to keep track of how you spend your 24/7. If you must watch a movie or series or play a game on the x-box, place a time limit on that activity. I find that the best time to indulge in secular activities/things is while I’m already occupied, for example, I’ll watch an episode of a TV drama while I’m having a meal, doing the dishes or babysitting, so I kill two birds with one stone.
- Declutter: This is the most important step in the Christian walk and not many are used to doing it. Declutter is just another way of saying renew your mind. Declutter means to cleanse or rearrange your mind/mindset. Imagine your mind is like a cluttered room after every activity: clothes, shoes, books and bags are every where, before you can move on to a new activity, it is efficient to get rid of the clutter. Once I’m done watching a movie, especially musicals, chick flicks or K-Dramas, my thoughts tend to be all over the place. I de-clutter either through instrumental worship music (prophetic instrumentals) or audio-bibles. Some prefer to read their bible out loud but I find that listening rather than reading, has a better effect on the mind because it requires less focus. After every movie or drama or school work or whatever has taken my mind off God, I de-clutter by playing audio-bibles, (KJV or NIV Dramatized) I often sleep listening to psalms, it helps me to easily get into worship/devotion mode in the morning once I wake up. Decluttering helps your mind calibrate and helps you change gears, i.e. shift priorities. Consistent decluttering prevents the dirt and hurt you experience from settling in your mind by allowing you to focus on what is truly important. There are many ways to declutter your mind, so find what works best for you.
Hope this blessed you in one way or another,
GRACE & PEACE