Beliefs that Kill
Hello and welcome to my new series! I pray that this series challenges you and makes you want to dig deeper in your understanding of God's Word as well as develop in your personal relationship with Christ.
In this series I share my own Christian misnomers and how God has delivered me from fallacious thinking. Enjoy and as always, I'd love to keep the dialogue going so let's Talk!
Fallacious thought #1-
Accepting Defeat is the Godly thing to do
Accepting Defeat is the Godly thing to do
An article of faith by Evangelist Nidicka Frederick
Many Christians are assimilating to their culture instead of helping the culture accept Christianity. I have said a million times that if I were one of the disciples chosen to “spread the gospel” Christianity would never have made it to the second century! Now I’m speaking for myself when I say I hate that I have become a person so impacted by worldly things and have further allowed it to negatively impact my witness. I will have people who disagree with me when I say this but I know it is true, I don’t pray enough, I don’t share the gospel enough and I don’t rest in God’s perfect provisions nearly enough. I am a person who gets way too wrapped up in my own feelings. I know that this is true because I have made a detrimental mistake as a Christian… I have lived by a belief that can kill. I once allowed the Enemy to convince me that Acceptance and Surrender were the same thing; and they are very different. When you are caught up in your feelings and you give up- you just blindly accept defeat and credit God for the failure by saying things like, “If God wanted me to have it, I would…” and then walk away, you are engaging in a belief that kills.
I “feel” when someone speaks and acts against me, I "feel" when things don’t go the way I planned, I especially get in my feelings when I’m considering life with my two adult sons… I can let the way things “appear” get the very best of me. I’m actually living in a perfect example of how I got caught up in my feelings and how God’s love and mercy lead me to writing this series. I call these my Sarah moments; this is my story…
I was fed up with living out someone else’s vision while everything God had placed in my heart collected dust (1). I had convinced myself for years, despite my husband’s insisting otherwise, that if I left my job at the Commonwealth, I would be stuck and struggling (2). I stayed employed at a place in which racial injustice, hateful interactions, dishonest ideologies , and literal fraud both internal and external were the “norm” for over 9 years and convinced myself I was where God wanted me to be (3). My youngest son was in his senior year of high school and I went in to a place of incessant prayer (4). I’d ask God daily to reveal to me the work he wants to fulfill through me and to give me a heart for living in his purpose. It’s amazing how when we stop and ask God for his guidance, how readily our God is there with a response. It was as if everything I feared for years and every lie the Enemy convinced me was truth was lifted off of me. Within weeks I was “cleaning up” my desk and preparing my retirement. My son graduated from HS on June 4th, 2016 and my last day of employment for the Commonwealth was the day before on June 3rd, 2016. For the first time in 9 years, I was not only free from that job but I was spiritually awakened.
I did not have a job to transition to because I knew that God was not relieving me from one job to start another but instead this time, I was on the road to my destiny. I was going to initiate legacy and I was going to do so in patience and in faith. Eventually, I discovered I did not have enough of either but we’ll get to that in a moment. (5) You see God has never been stingy in sharing visions with me. I have every fiber of my being wrapped up in one Godly cause or another. Charity work, fashion, music, writing, sharing the gospel, organization building- these things remain at the closest regions of my heart; I wanted guidance in figuring out which to do first.
Every dream seemed to require the two things I lacked- time (patience) and money (resources). I have a seemingly “crazy” relationship with money because I don’t long for money; in fact, I despise it to a degree. I would much rather travel as a disciple allowing God to reveal his provisions along the way rather than earn a great sum but when I consider opportunities missed when I want to write a check for disaster relief and I can’t offer what my heart wants to give- its then I realize how I have cut my nose to spite my face. But I digress (6*).
Whenever I would attempt to focus on one vision, I’d be distracted by a lack of time usually because I would work F/T and attend school F/T and try to build my ministry with whatever time was left over. (7) No matter what I was doing I felt I should be doing something else and no matter where I was, I felt I should be somewhere else so this time away from the Commonwealth was worth more to me than any sum of money imaginable. It wasn't until I took a step outside of my daily life routine that I could clearly see where I was trying to go and what was preventing my progress.
I started developing a community service agency in my time of prayer and contemplation. I surveyed community needs, looked at what comparable organizations existed, did financial analysis, and decided this was it. I had found what to do that would glorify God, excite me to wake up in to my life every day, allow me to bless others and receive blessings from others and decided to move in faith. I made a call to our County’s fiscal management department to inquire about the next CSBG (Community Service Bock Grant) and after sharing my vision, mission and purpose on the phone, I had the manager as eager to see this program in development as I was. I was given good news and bad news that day. The good news was the grant was open and they would love for me to submit my proposal; the bad- it closed in two days. I took it as a challenge. Standing on Phil.4:13 I got down to the grants office, received my application, completed all of the requirements and provided the seven required copies by close of business two days later.
I was feeling on fire for Christ! In the wait, I continued to prepare. I prayed, planned; prayed, planned some more and then really prayed some more. I told my husband that for the first time in years I believed that I was exactly where I was supposed to be and decided to trust even further in to my personal life for some unseen blessings. After several months went by, I’d call to receive the very optimistic and upbeat voice of the fiscal manager, “We don’t know yet, but for now, you are still in the running” and those words would feed my soul. I had planned to the point where actions would require the financial provisions of this grant, so I waited in what I thought was graceful patience. It wasn’t long after the new president was sworn in and I started hearing rumors that government start-ups would be affected that I received the words, “Unfortunately, you did not get the grant. Apparently, no startups will be awarded funds this year...” I wanted to be devastated but I couldn’t be. I was so wrapped up in faith and belief that I just knew that if God didn’t want me to get that grant, then I didn’t want to have it. (8)
And this is where you need to pay close attention. I remained in what I thought was perfect peace. I thought I had accepted gracefully the “Not now” from God and was setting a Godly example of patience. Initially, I was. I contacted the fiscal manager who had by now become a friend and confidant and asked what other options existed and was given some other grant options. And then I stopped, almost dead in my tracks or in my place of alleged acceptance I stopped believing in my vision. I stopped believing in God’s provision. I stopped believing in the other unseen blessings to come. Just like Peter when he walked on water with the Lord, I had a moment of weakness where I let the reality make me forget that I was sharing in an experience of faith with the Lord. And I did all of this believing myself a dutiful Christian in the correct frame of mind. (9) How you ask?
I believe it’s because the Devil is cunning. He knows our hearts and minds and sometimes he will get us overtly but other times with a subtle lure. I never came out and said, “I don’t believe”, it was quiet, subtle and unassuming. I found myself “job searching” again and then before I knew it I was placing a call to someone I had met along the way and asking them if they needed any help while I was in my place of wait. I wasn’t really in a place of wait though because I allowed myself to get a full caseload and completely overwhelmed within weeks of placing that phone call. It wasn’t a month before I started feeling exactly how I felt working for the Commonwealth. I was doing work that I didn’t agree with in methodology. I was at the mercy of someone else’s vision and I prayed and asked God, “How on earth did I get here again?!” And he answered, “You accepted defeat and then abandoned me.” I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I answered, “I didn’t abandon you Lord, you didn’t give me what I wanted! You allowed me to believe that I was going to do something special and then you took it from me, just like that- Gone!”
One of the things I love most about the God we serve is that although he could leave us to rot in our stupidity, he insists on showing us mercy and compassion. God answered me with my own actions and showed me not only had I abandoned him in this instance, but I had habitually abandoned him in others and claimed all the long I was doing some holy thing… Just because God doesn’t do something our way or in our timing that doesn’t mean to give up on God all together. Sometimes, I believe God wants to see how we respond in the wait, how we accept the denial before he relinquishes the blessing. I acted the whole fool. I found myself accepting another paycheck out of my destiny, out of my anointing, out of my calling because I was inpatient and unfaithful in the wait. In retrospect, God never said no. When one grant wasn’t an option, another grant was opened. What I had accomplished in two days I failed to do in two months out of self-righteous indignation (frankly, I was mad). God asked me to take a look at what I called “accepting his answer” and what I saw astonished me. In my ministry failure, with my children, with my writing, in anything I attempted, at the very minute it stopped going my way, I checked out (mentally, physically and/or spiritually).(10) I’d hold on in my imagination of what “could be” but I’d stop putting in the work because I thought accepting the defeat was the Christian thing to do.
Family- I’m here to tell you to get out of your own head. Your feelings are probably misleading you and subtly allowing you to relinquish your purpose. Don’t fall for this. Not getting what you want when you want I is the quintessential test of maturity. We may say that we believe that when God closes a door he opens a window but how many of us go climbing through that window? I didn’t. I stood by the closed door and said, “Well, if God opens it again, I’m here and if he doesn’t, oh well” This mentality is not God abandoning me- it was most certainly me abandoning God, with eyes wide opened.
When God spoke this to my heart, I knew I had to share. Do not confuse Acceptance with Surrender. In a place of acceptance, your just “taking” the outcome and you can deceive yourself to believe that by doing so with “grace” you’re doing the right thing but our God is an Awesome God. He is a powerful, miracle working God that does things in his way, and in his timing. Sarah couldn’t believe God when she heard that God would bless her with a baby. When she heard this, she laughed and considered it a pleasure she could not possibly have in her old age. In the natural world, she was absolutely right but what Sarah forgot and what I sometimes too fail to remember is that our God is not a natural world God; he is a supernatural God. Sarah took things into her own hands and made quite a mess of things. She allowed her husband to lay down with her slave to impregnate her out of her own impatience and faithlessness. I was having a Sarah moment when I accepted this job. I created a mess. I started something I had no intentions on finishing and I’m in the process of cleaning up a mess I should never have created. The good news in all of this is God will meet us right where we are when we cry out to him. God removed from my spirit this fallacious belief and set me on the correct path. Although I am still connected to this new job, I have reduced my hours and have gotten to the point of developing my own program again. I am closer now without a grant than I was with the grant because I have been introduced to people who believe in the vision God has placed in me and had ideas with how to get me there.
God is an awesome God. He does not set us up to fail; he allows situations to develop us in him. I’m so grateful for every failure, shortcoming, detour and mishap because it has revealed the true me and that me could not be blessed from God. It has been constant in receiving God’s mercies but it is only now receiving God’s favor as I walk in his truth. Stop accepting defeat and considering it a righteous thing. Stop giving up and waking away and placing a Christian label on your excuses for spiritual immaturity and restlessness. If God has placed a ministry, mission and vision in your heart, do it! Don’t start, regress, star again, get tired, start again and then give up. That is not surrender, that’s accepting failure and how can you accept God and failure at the same time? Instead surrender your heart to his will. Know that if God has provided the vision he will certainly provide the provisions and remember that your timing and your way may not be God’s. Apply this not just to your ministry or business but to every aspect of your life. Don’t give up on your children, your spouse, your health, your dreams, your ambition, or your ability to overcome anything. Don’t be the one who limits God and laughs at his power because it doesn’t mesh well with your worldly interpretation. Instead, surrender your worldly interpretations to God.