Life shifted once I decided to raise the bar in three, specific aspects. First, I had to address my faith, then myself, so that I could finally evaluate the individuals I kept close to me.
There was a period of my life when I stopped praying. It was as if I didn’t need God in my life anymore. I allowed the enemy to convince me that I could do things all on my own. I had turned away from God and chose to indulge in the world. It didn’t take too long before I hit rock bottom. Straying so far from having faith in God, it was difficult to even speak to Him. I didn’t feel worthy. I struggled to even imagine how God would listen to anything that I had to say. It was my fault for my downfall, and it was my choice to seek guidance from everyone else except Him. Initially, speaking to the Lord was more like begging Him to forgive me. My prayers were timid and childlike. It felt like I was asking Him to accept me for who I had become. Now that I am maturing in my relationship with God, I smile at the way He worked on me as I turned back to Him. God provided me a dear friend that showed me what being led by faith in God looked like. That dear friend will always hold a precious place in my heart for all the wisdom I gained throughout our friendship. As I grew in my faith in God, a higher standard was required of my faith. I was no longer timid or insecure when approaching my God. I read in His Word about how mighty and powerful He was and how that mighty power was in me by the presence of the Holy Spirit. My prayers became more specific and strategic. I thanked my God in advance, because I was confident that if I prayed something, it was already done. I held my faith to a higher standard, because I grew to know better. Having faith in God leaves no room for fear and doubt, because fear and doubt do not come from God. Be encouraged today that God is all powerful. No matter where you are in your faith in Him, He believes in you and He loves you! Set the bar of your faith higher than you ever have. Understand that God will guide you to a higher level of faith in Him. He will help you grow in your walk with Him. Let it begin with you holding your faith in God to a higher standard. When you aim higher, you confuse the enemy. Decide to no longer be complacent in your faith.
Building on my renewed faith in God, I held myself to a higher standard as a woman of God. I desired to not only believe in God, but to be such a light in this world, that others saw the God in me. This required some major changes. Some changes were much easier than others. The music I chose to listen to changed. Song lyrics that didn’t bother me before suddenly made me flinch. I became intentional with what I allowed myself to be exposed to. My wardrobe changed. Not only did my clothing have to fit properly, but it had to align with the way I wanted to carry myself honoring God. The way I spoke changed. This involved what I spoke over myself as well as over others. I had to stop being so judgmental. I chose to be encouraging instead. This also required lots of moments of silence. I had to learn to speak less. Incredibly, that major change led me back to my love of writing. My God has a great sense of humor in how He worked that one out. Be encouraged that sometimes a huge change in your life is only preparing you to live out a much bigger purpose. The way I thought changed. Look, negative thinking is not of God. I spent way too much time involved in negative thinking. It didn’t get me anywhere that God intended for me to be. I still have negative thoughts that cross my mind. I’m only human. The difference is now I quickly recognize them for what they are–tactics of the enemy to derail me from my righteous path. I rebuke negative thoughts in the name of Jesus! I quickly focus on something that inspires me instead. My transformation into a strong, courageous woman of God took a lot of work. I’m still working on being the woman God has called me to be. The decision to do so started with my personal choice to raise the bar. I held myself accountable to a higher standard in order to honor God in my daily walk with Him. Be encouraged that you too can build yourself up to be a mighty man or woman of God. There are so many promises God makes for His chosen people. I don’t know about you, but I want to inherit what He has in store for me. So, it begins with you making a decision to do better so that you can be better.
Although I value my time alone, maybe even more than the average person, I do enjoy the company of others. Striving for greatness is a journey that has taught me that it isn’t for everyone. And, more importantly, not everyone that started the journey with you is going to make it to the finish line with you. Setting the bar higher for my faith and myself was tough enough, but inevitably, it required me to hold others to a higher standard, too. I didn’t want to risk surrounding myself with people who would bring me down. When you decide to challenge yourself in ways that you haven’t yet, it becomes a delicate situation to involve too many people along for the ride. I spent a great deal of time isolated. It helped me focus. Then, when I felt confident in my righteous walk, I could interact with others without being easily discouraged. Holding others to a much higher standard won’t guarantee that everyone around you knows best and always does the right thing; however, it definitely helps you to gauge who is allowed in your inner circle and those you should keep at a distance. Be encouraged that as you grow in your walk with God, you will learn to discern who is meant to be close to you and who is meant to drift away. I am not afraid to be alone, and I enjoy time by myself. I truly believe it begins there. Love yourself first, then extend that love to others, after you have made certain they are qualified to receive it.
Know that you only need to make the decision to aim higher for yourself. Ask God to help you get there. You are destined for greatness. It is intended for you to be victorious. It begins with you. Be encouraged today that you Kandu It!
Psalm 68:35, Acts 1:7-8, Philippians 2:13, 2 Peter 1:3-8