Inner Battlefield (Against Self)
I have been on this intentional journey of not only becoming my best self but seeking God to see what He truly has planned for me.
One area God has been working on within me is my position between my words and actions. About a year or so ago, I read this book, "The Forty-Day Word Fast: A Spiritual Journey to Eliminate Toxic Words From Your Life" by Tim Cameron. I would advise anyone who has not read to get this book. Buy the hard copy, get your notebook, pen, and highlighter and allow this book to truly minister to you. Read it yearly. Trust me on this one.
Disclaimer: Only read this book if you are serious about your journey in becoming better in Christ. This book will open your eyes in unimaginable ways.
This book allowed me to see how my best attempts at eloquently speaking to others were not on par with what God required. It also opened my eyes to see how I have allowed socially acceptable conversations to become a part of my daily routine (things such as sarcasm, judgment, gossiping, etc.). Yall, this book had me saying nothing for weeks. It had me on my knees praying and asking God to purify my words and to better align them with His. It was crazy.
Okay, so after reading this book and getting even deeper in my Word, I felt that I was better. I felt I was one step closer to becoming a better God-ordained Chiquta as I was now able to quickly identify words or environments that were not symmetrical with what God wanted me to say or where He expected for me to be.
Then God, in all of His deity, came back to me again. He was like, "Great. I am happy that you are able to recognize the words and actions that are contrary to me for your life but how about your thoughts?"
What?!? What do you mean my thoughts? Those are my thoughts. People cannot hear my thoughts. That's my personal space.
God replies, "But I too reside there."
God confirmed, "Your thoughts are just as much, if not more, important and impactful as they are what forms your words, actions, and character. You have to kill it at the root sis" (Actual footage of my response on the left.)
This goes even deeper because there is scripture to back this up even before I can question whether or not this conversation was from God. Allow me to insert some realness here…yall, the Bible is ACTIVE, ALIVE and TRUE. At this moment with Jesus and I, I am quickly reminded of Proverbs 23:7, "For as he thinks in his heart, so is he [in behavior - one who manipulates]."
How many times have we said something that was contrary to our hearts? Don't know what I mean? Allow me to provide you with an example. While at dinner, there's that one last piece of chicken. We ask, "Would anyone like this last piece?" knowing good and well if someone says "Yes" we will have an attitude because we actually want the piece but are afraid to genuinely speak our minds. LOL. We are hilarious. We ask [our behavior] knowing that it's not what is truly in alignment with our thought. This is a little example but hopefully, it helps to display my point of what God was telling me.
One thing I have promised to be as a blogger and writer is, to be honest, and transparent as possible. Yall, my thoughts have been ugly toward people, things, events, etc. You name it. I've probably thought of it. Honestly, it all may not have been intentional all of the time. It was just a place where I felt secure in thinking whatever I felt like thinking. I mean, it's a place where I didn’t have to apologize because no one knew what I thought about. My mind was a safe space so I thought. I did not realize this made me a hypocrite and was causing me to war against myself. My words would say one thing but my thoughts would think differently. It caused me to sow seeds of confusion for myself that would harvest fruits of the same sort.
When we seriously position ourselves to earnestly ask God for something, He will give it to us. Brace yourself for the ENTIRE process which may or may not be what you initially expected. What I am actively learning is the change we ask God for usually does not look like what we are expecting. We expect growth to be a continual upward progression. However, everything and everyone that God uses as instruments for His glory must be tested and that path is often riddled with and valleys and hurdles that must be overcome. The changes He manifests in us will generally go longer, deeper and be harder than we expect. We may ask God for growth as an individual but may not expect this growth to include challenges in our relationships, finances, career, emotions and so forth. We get lost in the developmental process of growth and see it as the worst while forgetting the request we initially laid at the feet of Jesus. Even those things, contrary to our requests, are the exact places where God wants us to be and will still turn out to be for our good.
God further reminded me that He is working to do a new thing in me and this new thing requires me to be completely whole. It requires my thoughts, words, and actions to be ALL in proper alignment with my assignment. I cannot act a certain way but speak differently. I cannot speak and talk about Christ and my thoughts are running rampant against who He is. God requires that we surrender completely. Anything other than 100% is 0. There's no in-betweens or half-ways with God. Either we are all in or all out and this includes us internally as well as externally.
Yall, this walk with Jesus is serious. It's a genuine matter of complete transformation by Christ through the renewing of our hearts and minds. Without being fully committed to the entire process, we fool ourselves.
Let's all work to make Psalms 19:14 ever true in our lives - Let the Words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable and pleasing in Your sight, O Lord, my [firm, immovable] rock and my Redeemer.
Let's continue to cover one another in prayer so that we continue to be pure examples of God's love to others.