Tell me something. Have any of the following expressions ever escaped from your mouth? “Awe sucks, that didn’t work!” “What came over me? Why did I listen to them?” “I should have known better. I thought that person was wise!” “I should have followed my first thought and used Google. Google knows everything! Right?”
WRONG!! I, TOO, HAVE BEEN THERE AND DONE THAT!!WHAT A WASTE OF TIME!
Seemingly, people in today’s world are constantly seeking words of wisdom from supposedly dependable and intelligent people. But as it turns out, often then not, they are chasing down a rabbit hole. In other words, they are becoming engaged in a process that is particularly strange, problematic, and difficult to accomplish, especially as it develops or unfolds. Realistically, there is no way to know if you can even trust the source. I found that out the hard way. Let me explain.
SINCE WALKING IN THE LIGHT…
Thanks be to God, I have learned that true wisdom comes from God and is characterized by the fear(*) of him. Whether you are seeking spiritual or secular advice, you should always rely upon the acronym WWJD.
WHAT WOULD JESUS DO?
When I was a young novice entrepreneur, I ventured into a very popular multi-level marketing skim which was based on a lot of hype, false advertising, and disillusions. I invested and lost thousands of dollars and ended up with a garage full of unused and useless products. And the sad part was, I had persuaded a few other people to follow in my footsteps. I regret and repent my actions to this day.
Ironically, wisdom is priceless and cannot be found in a person’s mind neither in a book nor on the internet. Wisdom comes from God in heaven and disclosed in the Bible for mankind to uncover. But sins and atrocities committed by people on earth can have an effect on your gaining access to wisdom from heaven. So, beware!
MY PRAYER FOR YOU:
Dear Heavenly Father, I truly want to make my thoughts obedient to You and to focus them on all things that are beautiful and good and right so that my life will reflect Your peace. I also realize that one day You will enable us to see everything more clearly and to fully understand Your purposes. Thank You so much for increasing my joy in my decision making process because I have now learned to be more mature and god-centered in my thoughts on Whom to trust. Your continued blessings I ask in the Precious Name of Jesus. Amen and Amen.
(*) NOTE: ‘Trembling’ fear. The kind that envelopes respect, reverence, and worship.
Scripture Lesson: “Where then does wisdom come from, and where is understanding located? It is hidden from the eyes of every living thing and concealed from the birds of the sky.” Job 28:20
(Click below to hear this gospel song by the Staple Singers on how to reach Jesus.)
There is a popular bank commercial that starts out with the announcer asking, ‘What’s in your pocket?’ Next, he goes into a litany of benefits as to why you should consider applying for one of his bank’s lines of credit, whether it is through a credit card, loan, or debit card to supply your needs. All his message is after is that in the end, he is successful in shackling you to become indebted to the bank he represents.
There is another popular Announcer out there softly and tenderly hawking His products to the masses that He claims will bring you great benefits if only you will try them. His question to the populace is, ‘What’s in your heart?’ He is suggesting that you plug into His 4 “P’s” — Presence, Power, Perception, and Purpose. And the way to do that does not require you to apply for anything. All you must do is to ask, seek and knock though the act of prayer.
The good part about the second Announcer is that He is willing to help you accomplish your goals. All you must do is to find a quiet, secluded place with few distractions. And begin praying with the understanding that He already knows your heart’s needs and desires before you ask. So simple use this acrostic while praying: A.C.T.S.
A = Ask C = Confession T = Thanksgiving S = Supplication
A True Story…
Some years ago, I was in my kitchen preparing dinner when I heard a very troubling report on the radio. I immediately stoped cooking, turned off the stove and began to pray about the incident. All of a sudden, I heard a voice whisper: ‘Get on your knees.’ As I began to kneel down, very gently, ‘Somebody‘ pulled my legs out from under me and placed me faced down flat on the floor. The floor tile was extremely hot against my face. I begin to pray with all my heart and with all my soul.
The message that I received from that above experience so many years ago was that if you really want to learn how to pray for certain situations, do not take God for granted. Prayer is a powerful tool to use when seeking God’s help. In prayer, you are seeking God’s four “P’s”…his presence, his power, his perception and his purpose. Allow him to orchestrate and implement your posture as he sees fit.
I have witnessed those in deep prayer to weep, dance, twirl in laughter, speak in tongues, remove their shoes, stand, tremble, kneel, sit and faint.
My unadulterated prayer for you is this…
Precious holy Spirit, you know how much we all struggle to pray. We humbly ask that you please teach us to pray earnestly according to your will and your way. And if we do not manage to get it right, please, please, pray and intercede on our behalf to our Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus. Amen and Amen!
Scripture Lesson:“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7
This week I am studying the Book of Job with my 6:00 a.m. Bible Study Group. And what an eye opener the under lying chapters have been! If you are familiar with this Old Testament book, you know that Job was afflicted with body sores, and he lost all his wealth, family, livestock, and servants because of a Spiritual battle between God and Satan. Even after all this devastation, his wife condemned him, too.
The reason for me to categorize this book as an eye opener is simply because as I examine my own life over these past years, I now realize that I have encountered many family members, friends, strangers, and associates that have expressed to me similar experiences that they have gone through that were like Job’s. Of course, at the time, these people did not realize that they were paralleling a story from the Holy Bible, nor did I, at the time, connect the dots.
But two weeks ago, all of what I had been living through during those past few years when counseling others on this matter, came home to roost. Without betraying a confidence, let me try to explain what happened. A new friend of mine engaged me in an unsolicited conversation about my (…and I am quoting her) calm mannerism, quiet disposition, patience personified (because I love to work puzzles endlessly), always displaying an inviting smile and willingness to listen to everyone’s problems. She went on to say that she wished that she, too, had some of those qualities. But in continuing her assessment, she confided that she just can’t take it any more. She feels she has succumbed to life’s struggles. What is more, she has begun to take out her frustrations on others by speaking harshly to them and sometimes even hurling insults at herself and calling herself stupid and other bad names.
Oh, how her words pierced my heart, spirit, and soul. And I wanted to take her in my arms to comfort her. But I did not. Instead, I gave her my undivided attention and began to speak softly to her with encouraging words. I did not quote any scriptures or point her to our Lord because I did not…. know to whom I was dealing with. And furthermore, we were in a public place where other people were now noticing us. I did, however, get her to compose herself and offered up a quick prayer for reassurance. We parted understanding that we would continue our discussion at another time.
Now, fast forward to the Book of Job!
This week, as my bible study group came to Job chapters 6 and 7, I began to see my distraught friend in the life of Job. These 2 chapters voice a bonified complaint by Job against God about life in general. In his torment, Job is indicting God’s dealings with mankind. Job is unaware that he was a pawn in a spiritual warfare conflict between God and Satan. So now you see why I could not engage my friend in a conversation about God’s sovereignty when she already seemed confused about why such a good God inflicts such misery on mere mortals.
Now that the Holy Spirit has heard my cries through prayers and supplications on her behalf, and has given me the examples and solutions experienced by Job’s predicament, I am better equipped to minister to her. Please pray that the infusion and comfort of the Holy Spirit will be with me as I continue ministering to her and that she will profess her allegiance to the Holy One’ wisdom and her dependence, through faith, on the One who cares.
Dear Heavenly Father, I sincerely praise You for the weapon of the sword of the Spirit. For He points me to my Bible which I can use to resist all the attacks of the Evil One. Knowing that with your Word, it will bring about victory for all those who use it as a weapon to fight spiritual wars. Amen and Amen.
Scripture Lesson:“Remember Your word to Your servant, for You have given me hope. My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life.” Psalm 119:49-50
Who are you? How many “selves” do you recognize? Which of your “selves” is the most dominant? And finally, which one of your “multi-selves” is the least dominant?
Now, you might ask, ‘Where is she going with this?’
Well, the goal I am trying to accomplish is this. I believe if a person knows who they are when they wake up; who they are at noon; and who they are at bedtime; then they will be able to concentrate on their character “selves” that associate with positive emotions rather than counteracting on the “selves” that associate with negative emotions.
Are you following me? Let me explain…
God’s remedy for negativity is to count your blessings and name them one by one. So, the first thing I want you to do is physically count the number of “selves” you see in yourself as it relates to your health and well being. Don’t slight yourself. The more character roles you can identify–such as son or daughter, wife or husband, niece or nephew, aunt or uncle, student, artist, lawyer, doctor, friend, Indian chief–you get the message, etc., the less likely negative emotions such as depression will consume you and as a result, which could effect your overall health.
So, if any one of your “selves” is depressed during the day, you should immediately control your mind to think on that dynamic self that is a writer and start composing (in your mind or at the computer) the next electrifying blog that you will post. All those positive emotions that fill your heart about writing just could actually offset that negative disposition that is trying to flood your soul.
My prayer for you is that you memorize a few of the scriptures listed below and recite them when you are feeling low and despondent. Only believe and have the faith that everything will turn out all right.
1. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. Philippians 4:8
2. Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. Colossians 3:1-2
3. My son do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity. Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man. Proverbs 3:1-4
4. Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing, and perfect will. Romans 12:2
5. Therefore, if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Philippians 2:1-2
6. Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-19
7. My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body. Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil. Proverbs 4:20-27
8. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Ephesians 6:18
9. A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. Proverbs 17:22
10. May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14
Don’t forget…let’s remember that we are not a product of ‘one’. The Good Lord made us a composite of many dispositions. Let us engage with the ‘self’ that best represents the character of Jesus Christ in all of our dealings with life’s situations.
And again I say…OOPs! For this week’s blog title, I have used an antithesis form of speech. Why? Because I thought the title above would infuse the curiosity of my readers more than the title: “God Uses Opposites To Express Himself On How To Obtain Righteousness”.
Now I ask you…did it work? Are you still with me? Have I piqued your interest enough for you to read this blog all the way through?
Well, if nothing else, you’ve learned the definition of a new word…Antithesis! That word refers to the juxtaposition (two things with contracting views) of opposing or contrasting ideas. And we all know that the Bible is full of opposites expressed not only by God in the creation story in Genesis, but also by Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul, and many other New Testament writers.
Below I have listed a few examples found in Genesis Chapter One that depict an antithesis form of speech or writing:
Light and darkness
Day and night
Earth and Sky
Morning and evening
Land and sea
Sun and Moon
Male and female
Now let’s apply scripture to the proverb that God disposes but man proposes.
“Many are the plans in a human heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” Proverbs 19:21
“To human beings belong the plans of the heart, but from the Lord comes the proper answer of the tongue.” Proverbs 16:1
“The Lord works out everything to its proper end—even the wicked for a day of disaster.” Proverbs 16:4
“In their hearts human beings plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.” Proverbs 16:9
If you wanted to compose a sentence to share that will better explain the antitheses, you could say that even when man gives his very best to a project, in the end, it is up to fate whether man’s efforts will work out or not. Thus, Man proposes, but God disposes (brings things to fruition or extinction).
So do not be discouraged when you read opposites in the bible. Rather, get wisdom and in all thy getting, get an understanding about God’s word. Study to show yourself approved and allow the Holy Spirit to show you how to rightly divide the word of truth.
The moral of the story:
Recently, I was invited to teach on several scriptures from the Book of Hebrews. The assignment called for me to first read a short story found in Our Daily Bread magazine and use it as the basis for my scripture teaching. Because the magazine story did not fully blend in with the overall theme of Hebrews, I had to pray hard for the Holy Spirit to help me connect the dots. This is the message the Holy Spirit communed with me: Do not reduce holy mysteries to slogans and catchy stories, my sister. In trying to be relevant, you are only being cute and in violation or misuse of what is regarded as sacred. Having a knack for generating ‘amens’ from your audience won’t get you anywhere with the Master. In fact, you will reap what you sow. You can imagine, I stuck with the overall theme of Hebrews…the Old Covenant vs the New Covenant. I was careful not to propose anything in my teaching that the Lord would dispose.
My prayer for you:
Dear Heavenly Father, we give You all the glory, honor, and praise for loving us so much that You sent down the Holy Spirit to teach and instruct us in the way of righteousness. For you used juxtaposition terminology to instruct us in how to recognize what is life-generating and what leads to death-infused conduct. Basically, we must embrace faith, exhibit love and practice endurance as we live out our lives and administer hope to our fellowman. It is our prayer that You will continue to shower us with Your wisdom so that we might become more like You. We ask that all of these various teaching methods be a blessing to others…in the mighty Name of Jesus we ask it all. Amen.
Scripture Lesson:“Whoever pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honor.” Proverbs 21:21
Did you know, my friends, that intended evil deeds can eventually become intended good deeds in God’s hands?
Certainly not the people in New York or any other American city on that horrific Tuesday morning, September 11, 2001. For as you know, on an annually bases, every September 11, we commiserate this attack on the United States of America, which was carried out by a militant Islamist group known as al-Qaeda. A series of four coordinated attacks were planned, but one failed.
This particular year, 2021, should be especially notable for Christians who like to equate such memorial events to biblical prophesies and related scriptures. For we are reminded in Hebrews 13:14 (NIV) “For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come.“
Another biblical comparison to the timing of this event that we are celebrating during 2021 are the events that occurred in Genesis 37:1-36. There we find the tragic events around Joseph being sold into slavery by his own brothers. Just like the events of 9/11, this incident, too, was meant for evil, but God meant it for good.
“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” Genesis 50:20
Joseph’s brothers thereafter had to live their lives in fear filled with lies and deceptions. However, Joseph’s life found fulfillment and rewards and eventually his life flourished in the midst of this tragedy with only a few exceptions. For 20 years later after being abandant by his brothers, they had to come to him in Egypt for judgement.
Just how did Joseph flourish in the midst of tragedy imposed by his brothers? We don’t have to speculate. Some 20 years later the roles were reversed. Joseph was now the overseer of Pharaoh’s Egypt. Joseph was the strong one and his brothers the weak ones. They came to him in dread for their survival. They feared he would settle the score and throw them into a pit of his own making. But Joseph didn’t. And in his explanation we find solace in his inspirational forgiveness statement quoted in Genesis 50:20.
This year, 2021, marks 20 years since that dreadful day when America lost so many lives and uprooted so many families and generations to come. Let us remember to keep the faith and to hold on to God’s unchanging hand and give place for the words in Hebrews 13:14. For every true Christian should be looking forward to that blessed city not made by hands.
Scripture Lesson:“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
How many friends, family members and acquaintances do you know that addresses people not by their given names, but rather by using a euphemism (a mild or indirect word or expression) that in most cases depicts an endearing term that shows hospitality and love?
For example, I often greet family and friends by saying, “Hello Lovie. How are you?” If a conversation pursues, I’m guilty of peppering my sentences with “Lovie” a few more times to make a point. Now, I’m not saying that this is all bad. I’m just saying that this week my eyes were opened to the realization that perhaps I might want to just curtail using the expression of “Lovie” as a substitute for addressing a person by their legitimate name.
Here is why…
This week my bible prayer group started reading 1st Samuel, a book in the Bible. A very popular story in that book is the one about the young lad, Samuel, who had a dream while living in a priestly commune (temple) with the prophet Eli. Samuel was awakened from his dream twice by someone calling him. Samuel thought it was Eli so he got up and went to Eli. Since Eli had not been the one who called unto Samuel, Eli instructed Samuel what to say if he heard his named called a third time. Finally, the Lord did call his name again, but this time He called out, “Samuel! Samuel!” and He got Samuel’s attention. Samuel’s response was, “Here I am Lord. Speak, for your servant is listening” (1st Samuel 3:1-10).
I am very familiar with that story as I am sure you are too. But this time Samuel’s encounter with the Lord really got my attention and I wondered how many times was a double salutation used to call somebody in the Old and New Testaments. My research revealed that throughout all sixty-six books in the entire Bible, only nine people and one city were addressed by calling their names twice.
I immediately called upon the Holy Spirit and asked if we could have a little conversation…
In my spirit I began to realize that every time an individual was called by name twice, he or she was elevated to a greater and higher position of importance in the scheme of things in the Bible.
Abraham! Abraham! He became the Father of Many Nations . (Genesis 22:11-13)
Jacob! Jacob! He became a great nation siring 12 tribes. And his name was changed to Israel. (Genesis 46:1-4)
Moses! Moses! He was assigned to become a deliverer of God’s people. (Exodus 3:1-10)
Samuel! Samuel! He was young at the time, but God was grooming him to be a priest, prophet, and judge. (1 Samuel 3:1-10)
Martha! Martha! She was the sister to Mary and Lazarus. Martha was taught from being anxious about many things in life. (Luke 10:38-42)
Simon! Simon! Also known as Peter. He learned to rely on Jesus instead of his own self. (Luke 22:31-32)
Saul! Saul! Also known later as Paul. He changed from persecuting Christians to teaching them. (Acts 9:4)
Lord! Lord! This was the title people began to use with their lips but not with their hearts. (Matthew 7:21-22, 25:11: Luke 6:46; 13:25)
Eloi! Eloi! Definition for “My God, My God” that people still call on today. (Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34; Psalm 22:1)
Jerusalem! Jerusalem! The name given to the only city in the Bible that was elevated to prominence. (Matthew 23:37 and Luke 13:34)
This is the conclusion of the matter…
If and when God calls your name TWICE, will you recognize him and answer the call? Will Jesus get your attention? I truly believe that God has a place and an assignment for each and every one of us to perform. He is no respecter of person. What he has done for others, he will do for you! So, for goodness sake…don’t miss it when God calls your name…TWICE!
My prayer for you…
Dear Heavenly Father: First of all, I want to thank You for knowing our names and just where we are at any given moment. We also wish to thank You for Your divine organizational structure, for it is written in Ecclesiastes 3:1-3 that “There is timing and purpose for everything in God. There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven…And a time to heal.” So, dear Jesus, please find all of us in good health, good spirits, good moral living conditions, and good hearts for service in Your vineyards. May we all use good common sense and good judgment and be submissive to the instructions of the Holy Spirit and to always remember that love never fails when carrying out Your decrees and directions for our lives. We humbly come laying these prayers at the feet of Jesus. Amen!
Scripture Lesson:He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, (2 Timothy 1:9 NIV)
It’s my fault. I guess this time, I went too far. Even in knowing that God is a God of his Word, I was still surprised and pleased when he allowed Jesus Christ to honor my latest prayer request. And just as His promises are His bond, I put Him to the test…and asked for a brand-new Apple iPhone 11 for Mother’s Day! And guess what, I received one!
My bio-logical son gifted me with this awesome piece of technology that can do everything, but bake a cake!
Also, while giving thanks for my marvelous gift that will soon have me stepping up to the plate as a ‘tech-key’, I ran across another one of Jesus’ parables in Matthew that will help me to witness to a dear friend who is experiencing some remorse as to the manner in which he spoke (or as he put it), berated one of his older sons for carelessly exposing other members of the family with Covid-19. This friend spoke at length in a vehemently mannerism and indicated to me that he intends to continue the discussion with his son the next time he sees him.
At the time of this conversation with my friend, I was in no position to prayerfully witness to him, nor was he in any state of mind to receive any words from on High. But after reading and meditating this week on the following Scripture passages, I will make a concerted effort to re-rehearse our earlier conversation and offer him, with the aide of the Holy Spirit, a more civil way to engage his son in conversation. For it is written in Matthew 7:1-6 TNIV:
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in someone else’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from the other person’s eye.”
Now, let’s get back to my new iPhone 11.
This week, I am prayerfully asking you guys out there to send up a special partition for me and any other persons who have just received some sort of communication device that they will be using to lead or draw someone closer to Christ. First pray over the instrument and dedicate it for the use of the Kingdom. Rebuke all wicked and evil spirits from flooding the atmosphere, highways and byways with disruptions, confusions, misspoken words and gossip. Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to lead and guide you to make a concerted effort to be in contact with those persons whom He desires to communicate with. Thank Him for loved ones, friends, family members and provisions that make it possible for everyone’s needs to be met while we are still here on earth, and our traveling days are not yet over. Please pray to the Lord for us and ask Him to forgive us for at times, finding it hard to share our faith with others. Help us to always be able to witness freely and in a godly manner about You and Your words of wisdom and understanding. In the precious Name of our Lord and Savior…Jesus Christ. Amen!
Scripture Lesson:“So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me His prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God. (2 Timothy 1:8)
Have you ever been elevated to a position of leadership when your audience or subjects were composed of persons older than yourself, who were far wealthier, accomplished, prestigious or deserving of that same position? Were you made to feel intimidated because of this? Did it effect your leadership ability and cause you to treat certain people differently than others? Such as categorizing people into groups and effecting your judgement of others impartially? Or being reluctant to institute certain directives that could further the positive accomplishments of your assigned duties?
Be honest! Face the music! Admit your frustrations!
Why? Because if you make a concerted effort to bring your burdens and cares to the Lord Jesus Christ and leave them there, He has the power to deliver comfort, wisdom, reassurance and peace to your soul. There are so many biblical scriptures recorded on this subject in the New Testament that can be used as your guide, if you will just avail yourself to them. Following is a verse that mostly reveals this truth:
1 Peter 1:17 “And remember that your heavenly Father to whom you pray has no favorites when he judges. He will judge you with perfect justice for everything you do; so, act in reverent fear of him from now on until you get to heaven.”
Not everybody lives by that verse.
Let’s review the godly requirements listed above in order to receive this confidence. First, you must be in active communication with the Father through practicing a regular prayer life. Second, you must trust the Father’s judgement. And third, you must carry out your acts of duty knowing that you, too, will be judged on how you impart them.
There was a time in my life when I found myself in a precarious position that fostered envy and strife. Back in the day of deep segregation towards minorities, and when I had just graduated from high school and had finished an additional two-year secretarial course, I was hired as a clerk/typist at the General Motors car division headquarters building in Detroit, Michigan. At that time, my typing skills were 90 wpm, and my Greg shorthand skills were 140 wpm. My supervisors in the typing pool, acknowledged my sharp and fast skill abilities and often ‘loaned/assigned’ me out to other departments whenever they needed extra help; but never allowed me to be considered for promotion to a higher paying clerical position mainly because of my race.
Usually, a clerk/typist/stenographer with half of my skill abilities was promoted out of the typing pool in less than 24 months of being hired to a higher paying position in the company. But my superiors detained me for more than six years in the typing pool for no other reason than the color of my skin.
Finally, due to outside political pressures, and the good insight of a godly human relations department manager at GM, I was promoted out of the typing pool and assigned to work as secretary to a junior executive of General Motors. As it turned out, I worked in an open office area with 3 other secretaries who clerked for their own executive. However, the other secretaries disallowed me to interact with them and did not share the norms of their inner circle office environment with me. Nevertheless, because the executive I clerked for was the senior executive among the other 3 executives, my boss set the standards for office protocol, assignments and office clerical duties. Guess what…that made me the distributor of those duties.
You can imagine how my assignment responsibilities were received by the other 3 secretaries in the open office area. When the secretaries did not perform their work that I re-assigned to them to do that would benefit their bosses, the girls lied and said I never gave them their assignments or that I was incompetent in my directions or even challenged my authority to engage them. Eventually, I was called into my bosses’ office and reprimanded. He told me if I could not perform my duties in supervising the other people, he would have to get somebody else to do my job who could.
Now, what my boss did not know about me was that I was a praying sistah! My prayers had finally lifted me out of the original typing pool where I had languished for six years and elevated me to my current position as secretary to a junior executive. And if he thought that I had lost trust in my Savior’s judgement and had become weak and timid in executing my authority, he was badly mistaken. Before leaving his office, I had assured him I had a plan that would produce positive results in a matter of weeks as to how the otter offices would perform in a positive and productive manner that he would be proud of.
Well, for weeks thereafter, I emerged myself in reading 1st and 2nd Timothy and found encouragement in the words of wisdom Paul imparted to young Timothy. I prayed and asked God to empower me like he did Timothy. God reminded me that there is great gain in performing my duties with godliness and in contentment, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. So, you, young woman of God, just know that I am a lifter of heads, and just as I lifted you out of your earlier predicament six years ago, I can do it again. Have faith, walk upright, and wait on the Lord.
Honestly, within one week after I continually prayed that prayer and waited on God, the Holy Spirit entered the work force and softened the hearts of those other people in the office and they overcame their opposition to me and in due time, all went well. I never held their prior conducts against them nor showed impartiality. When my boss and the other executives openly complimented me on my office skills and expertise, I received them gracefully and without braggadocio. Those early employment years were rough, but with the Lord’s help and presence, I made it through. God reassured me that he was no respecter of persons, nor did he have favorites. Thank you God for being a heart fixer and a mind regulator!
My prayer for you: “Dear Lord, thank you for making us children of the light who will from this day forward do what is good and right and true: Help us to expose sin in the workplace and be willing to work on our own relationships with other people in an impartial mannerism. In the precious Name of Jesus I pray. Amen!
Scripture Lesson:“You were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth). Ephesians 5:8-9
Do you believe that prayer changes things? I do! That’s why, when consoling my family members, friends or acquaintances after learning about what ails them, I often ask them that same question. Most of the time their response is, ‘yes…but’. Next, I usually hear replies, or shall I say excuses, of why things just didn’t work out.
Now, about this time, I can see that my work is cut out for me. So, I must tread lightly. Generally, I pose questions that generate a response that the person really wants my help or opinion concerning the matter they are dealing with. I might throw in a joke or two, that signals to them that together, we can come up with a workable solution. But the biggest help I depend on are the lyrics to Nina Simone’s song. Just click the website below, close your eyes, pat your foot, and enjoy the beat:
After hearing Nina’s message silently in my heart, and sending up my own quick prayer, I re-introduce my ‘charge‘ to the Master of all things that seem impossible. Gently, I began to explain the obstacles that arise in our daily lives that can so easily fracture our relationship with God. I remind them that sometimes our own unconfessed or deliberate sins can build up an unimpeachable wall that can prevent a prayer from getting through. For as you know, the society that we live in today can fool a person into thinking that what actually is wrong and not pleasing to God, is right in man’s eyes. While at the same time those things that are right is foolishness and non beneficial to you. Sadly, Christians have all too often become used to this way of living.
So, if the person you are consoling is honest and agrees with your message this far, you may want to encourage them to voice out loud any areas in their immediate life where unconfessed situations have not been brought to the throne of grace. Encourage them to deal with those things first. Ask them if you can help them to pray about these conditions prior to lifting up their most recent cares to the Lord. You will want to emphasize that God’s laws and preceptsdo matter and that they do play an important part when expecting new mercies and new blessings. God wants us to obey his word and commandments because this type of discipline keeps us close to him.
Offer yourself to others and let them know that you are available as a support friend that they can come to for encouragement and strength without fear of condemnation. Invite them to engage in a bible study group or offer them a devotional book for spiritual instructions. Let them know that staying connected to righteous living and unwavering faith is not easy. Share some of your own missteps that will foster hope and reassurance.
In conclusion, following is a suggested prayer model: “Dear Heavenly Father, please forgive your child for becoming so accustomed to this world that unconfessed sins and misdeeds no longer seemed offensive or disturbing to You. Please, Lord, show us through Your Word and the examples of Jesus Christ, Your will for our lives. More particularly, Dear Jesus, please lead and guild ________________ during these turbulent times. I ask all these blessings in the Precious Name of Christ Jesus. Amen!”
Scripture Lesson: “If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.” Psalm 66:18