Hello once again!
It has been a very long while since I wrote that first post. To be honest with you, after writing that first post, I got discouraged and tried to disqualify myself from being an effective communicator through blogging. I do this quite frequently. In fact, I believe that we all do this more times than we need to. See, when we try to disqualify ourselves, we are letting in doubt. This is interesting and I know that the Holy Spirit is at work here so I am just going with it. The reason I tried to disqualify myself is that I started to compare myself to other bloggers. This is really the first blog I have ever done so I should not have expected it to go viral and attract hundreds BUT, I am human and as humans, we look for instant gratification and acceptance. I was convicted of this and God revealed to me that He did not want me to start this blog to attract large numbers. In fact, I felt so convicted that I chose not to write again until my heart was in it for the right reasons. I had to remind myself what I am passionate about and why I am writing this blog. So, I reread the first post because I was fired up about getting a blog going.
I do not care if I help one person or one hundred people. I only care that what I say and how I live has a positive impact on others and gives them hope. I am a motivator and encourager by nature. However, when it comes to my own life, when I encounter problems and struggles, I become very reclusive and allow doubt to creep in. My wife will be the first one to tell you that I am usually a very negative person and she sometimes, only sometimes, wants to punch me in the face. This is hilarious because I just figured this out today and my wife responded with “….but I still love you.” Now, my wife is a very positive person and she doesn’t beat me (although she probably could because she works out and has big muscles), but she gets frustrated that I allow myself to become so reclusive because I try my best to encourage and motivate others, but when it comes to my own life, I become very negative and forget all of the things I share with others that are struggling through the same things. So, just the other day I was feeling pretty reclusive, and my wife was trying her best to encourage and motivate me (By the way, always encourage and help your spouses no matter what. The minute that judgment or blame comes into play, that is the enemy’s playground and he will cause so much havoc. Remind each other that you are on the same team!) She was bringing her positive kool-aid and I just was not having it. So, she shared something with me that I posted the day before about trusting God when seasons of losing are occurring and knowing that God is not a God of losing. My wife is very resourceful and she knows me really well. She understands how passionate I am about helping others through motivation and encouraging and so she started pulling things that I have shared to remind me of that passion. She knows that the enemy attacks my self-worth and will try anything to get me to be distracted from allowing God to work through me. I thank God for my wife because she can recognize what is troubling me and instantly helps through encouragement and prayer.
This is where revelations and breakthroughs happen. When we are passionate about doing something for the kingdom of God, the enemy will attack that very thing because he is trying to distract us and turn us away from making an impact for the Kingdom! However, God will use the relationships around us to encourage us and help us through our struggles, not to justify why they are occurring. This requires a choice. A choice that many of us struggle with. We can either continue to be reclusive and focus on our struggles, or we can know that God has big plans for us because the enemy is trying to get us to doubt ourselves. Let’s take a look at what the Word of God says:
“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose.”
“For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”
“The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.”
Each of these verses has a common theme to them. They are all full of God’s promises to us. The verse is John is also a reminder of the purpose of the enemy. So, when you are going through struggles and doubt is creeping in, be encouraged of God’s promises to those who love God and want to pursue his calling for their lives. The minute that we decide to pursue God’s calling, the enemy will do everything to try and stop us. I do not say this to discourage you, but to warn you that opposition will happen. This is why it is so important to surround ourselves with people that will encourage us and help us through the struggles. God is a God of relationships and if we surround ourselves with the RIGHT people, the presence of God is there as well. Matthew 18:20 reiterates this:
“For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.”
Basically, when we gather in the name of the Lord, good things will come out of it. Sure, opposition is going to happen, but God is faithful and his plans for us are for good and not disaster. Some of you may be saying, “Yeah, but Shayne you have no idea what I have been through. How can I be struggling so bad right now and think any of this will turn into good?” There is some truth to this. Some people may never be able to relate to certain situations because they may have never experienced it themselves. All I can tell you is that I have been through some big struggles and trials that I never thought I would see the light. I do not say this to boast or say my problems were worse than yours, I say this because I wish that I never had to go through those struggles. However, because of the people in my life that God has used to encourage and help me through and because of the promises in His Word, I know that everything I have experienced that was so dark and depressing while be used for good, to bring glory to God. So, if you are going through some similar situations and you feel like the bad is only going to get worse, be encouraged. I want to share some characters in the Bible that struggled through the same things. For the sake of turning this into a book instead of a blog post, I will just share the Scripture reference and hope that whoever is really wanting to experience change will open the Word of God and let the Holy Spirit work in their lives.
The life of Joseph – Start reading in Genesis 37
The life of Job – Start reading in Job
The life of Samson – Start reading in Judges 13
To be honest, just open the Word of God and let the Lord guide you. We are all imperfect people and allow doubt to creep in from time to time. But God only uses imperfect people because NONE of us are perfect. The only perfect person to ever live was Jesus. And guess what? Jesus died on the cross for YOU and ME. So, the next time the enemy tries to allow doubt to creep into your lives, remember that Jesus was the Ultimate Sacrifice. Jesus chose to die on the cross because he knew that was the only way for us to get to the Father. Jesus thinks we are significant and worthy. It is time that we all started thinking the same thing and realize that God will always make beauty from the ashes in our lives (Afterall, a diamond is not a diamond until it has been refined!)