Have You Ever Accomplished An Intangible Goal?
On a surface level I immediately felt like trash and felt like I hadn’t done anything meaningful. This is how I felt after reflecting over my 2018 as it is rapidly coming to a close, but something suddenly came over me and told me to look deeper. Deeper within myself. I did exactly that and the outcome was revealing.
This year went by so fast that I wasn’t aware that I had accomplished three out of the five goals I wrote down, which were:
Become a better writer. Read some of my articles from last year and you will be able to tell the difference.
Grow my website content and audience. I didn't. That’s solely my fault because I stopped writing for a couple of months, and when I was writing; I wasn’t consistent with it.
Travel The World. I did. Well, I didn’t quite travel the world; I traveled through it which landed me in Shanghai, China, what an experience that was.
Get another job. I didn’t. I did get a raise, though. I hope that didn’t make me complacent. Ugh!
A goal that I didn’t psychically write down but was written in the tablet of my mind was a goal from 2017 that made its way into 2018 which was, To know God, myself, and this world on a level that I had not known before.
I was thirsty to know. Want to know what’s so mind blowing to me about this goal and why I believe it tops all my other goals aforementioned above? I accomplished it without putting any conscious effort into it. I guess when your goals are in line with God you don’t have to, right?
I believe God put Pastor Michael Todd of Transformation Church in my path to help me accomplish this particular goal. I came across one of his sermons on Youtube in January of this year and he has been my virtual pastor and teacher ever since.
The way that he breaks his sermons down into series has not only helped me to know God and his character on a level that I hadn’t known before, but has allowed me to spend more time with God. Here are just a few things I’ve learned from Pastor Todd:
He says there are two controllers in your life. Spirit control and Sin control. Your spirit make decisions against what your sinful nature wants and vice versa.
For example, and this is an example from my own life: Making decisions against my natural self. My natural self (sinful) wants to be selfish. The opposite of selfish is what? Generous, which is what my spirit wants. This model can be applied in almost every area of your life.
He went on to say that,
Every time you wake up in the morning there’s a fight for YOU (between your spirit and sinful nature), but you decide what’s going to control it.
Self-control is something that has to be produced by the spirit. Self-control isn’t you controlling your life but who you allow to control it.
If you’ve read some of my older pieces you know by now that I grew up in church. My siblings and I was the church, we were in every single church service, we attended Sunday school, revivals, participated in plays, and sung in the choir. Yet, in retrospect, the only time I remember hearing about Gods grace or knew what it meant—kind of—was when we sung “Amazing Grace.”
With the help of Pastor Todd’s “Grace Like A Flood” series I know what it means now. It is the unmerited, underserved, unearned kindness and favor of God. There were and still are moments when I reflect over my life and my shortcomings and wonder why am I good enough to stay in Gods grace? Now I know why.
That’s why I sing, “Amazing Grace” a little different these days.
Worship Is More Than A Song
To be honest, that’s all I thought worship was, a song. Singing a song to honor God. Pastor Todd taught me that, it is, but that’s only part of worshipping God. We also honor God—at least we should be—with our lives by our words, gestures, and how we behave.
God Don’t Bless Who You Pretend To Be
Be honest with Yourself and God.
A Day Without Prayer Is A Boast Against God
Sometimes when I pray to God about and for the same things over and over, I feel like that is me telling God I don’t trust him.
I just imagine God saying, “Girrrrrluh, I heard you the first time. Why do you keep asking?” “You don’t trust me?”
I’m just being honest.
But...I concluded that’s just me getting tired of hearing myself because God wants us in constant communication with him.
Pray continually. - 1 Thessalonians 5:17
Prayer lets God know that I can’t do it without him....and I won’t.
Sometimes Following God Can Be Frustrating
When my reality seems stronger than my prayers it feels as though God doesn’t exist. This in turn causes me to question my faith, become agitated with God, and not want to follow his ways.
But Pastor Todd reminded me all that is, is
Our expectations being frustrated by our experiences.
Don’t let rebellion be the result of your frustration. Bring your frustration to Jesus. He is not offended by the realness of what you feel.
I Don’t Need To Strive
Strive: To exert oneself vigorously; try hard.
But...I do need to
Stride: long decisive steps in a specific direction.
When you stride you’re moving at the pace of Grace: the rate of movement, the progress of growth that God sets and supernaturally provides for.
We live in an era that tells us be at a certain point in our lives by a certain age and to get more and more - to strive for it. But do we really need more? Most of the time “more” and “statuses” is to satisfy others and insecurities. To be validated by society and people.
When you’re in the pace of grace you don’t have to strive, you can stride. Because the little that you do and may have is much in God’s hands. He will work it in your favor. His strength is perfect in our weakness.
When I’m scrolling on Instagram and find myself comparing my life to my peers, I have to remind myself that I’m God-made not man-made, therefore, I’m on Gods time not mans. I don’t have to try and keep up.
When God Has Your Heart Your Habits and Behavior Will Change
I learned this from his “Wait ‘Til I Get My Right” series.
I know this to be true because I use to give just because it was the right thing to do. I felt forced. I was not giving from my heart or a sincere place. As a result of getting to know God more that changed. I recently gave because I truly love God and appreciative of how he’s been moving in my life that I wanted others to experience Gods goodness through me. Not just monetary either.
God has a grip on my heart.
Getting to know God on a deeper level allowed me to know myself and my capabilities. My spirit has grown, heart has been changed, I have a better idea of who I am, and why I do some of the things I do or don’t. I also feel like I’m getting closer to figuring out what my purpose is. As I’m learning more about myself the more I’m learning about the world and the people in it.
The reason why I felt like I hadn’t accomplished anything intially because I was looking at other peoples accomplishments and comparing my life to theirs. Yuck! I’m disgusted with myself that I even did that because it goes against everything I say I’m about.
I’m glad I was able to look deeper within myself and realize that I had accomplished something this year that is “un-Instagramable” or I can’t juxtapose to another persons success and life. Only mine.
That intangible goal all boils down to...wait for it...Spiritual Growth.
Thank You, Pastor Todd.
We’re All Damaged Goods
We are all damaged. Something or someone damaged us that gets in the way of how we respond and react (or lack thereof) in our day to day activities and in life period. But we don’t have to because we are not defined by what happened to us or what someone said/says about us. We have the spirit of God dwelling on the inside of us. The spirit that lives in each one of us is greater than the spirit that lives in the world.
Joy is Unmovable. Joy is an Anchor
Happiness is a feeling that is decitated by what’s happening on the external and by circumstances, but you can never control that. Joy is something that comes from the inside. It’s the posture of your heart.