Slayin' & Slayed
'“Hold your peace with me, and let me speak, Then let come on me what may! “Behold, my eye has seen all this, My ear has heard and understood it. What you know, I also know; I am not inferior to you. But I would speak to the Almighty, And I desire to reason with God. But you forgers of lies, You are all worthless physicians. Oh, that you would be silent, And it would be your wisdom! Now hear my reasoning, And heed the pleadings of my lips. Will you speak wickedly for God, And talk deceitfully for Him? Will you show partiality for Him? Will you contend for God? Will it be well when He searches you out? Or can you mock Him as one mocks a man? He will surely rebuke you If you secretly show partiality. Will not His excellence make you afraid, And the dread of Him fall upon you? Your platitudes are proverbs of ashes, Your defenses are defenses of clay. Why do I take my flesh in my teeth, And put my life in my hands? Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him. Even so, I will defend my own ways before Him. He also shall be my salvation, For a hypocrite could not come before Him. Listen carefully to my speech, And to my declaration with your ears. See now, I have prepared my case, I know that I shall be vindicated. Who is he who will contend with me? If now I hold my tongue, I perish. “Only two things do not do to me, Then I will not hide myself from You: Withdraw Your hand far from me, And let not the dread of You make me afraid. Then call, and I will answer; Or let me speak, then You respond to me. How many are my iniquities and sins? Make me know my transgression and my sin. Why do You hide Your face, And regard me as Your enemy? Will You frighten a leaf driven to and fro? And will You pursue dry stubble? For You write bitter things against me, And make me inherit the iniquities of my youth. You put my feet in the stocks, And watch closely all my paths. You set a limit for the soles of my feet. “ Man decays like a rotten thing, Like a garment that is moth-eaten.'
- Job 13:1-28 (NKJV)
I typically don't begin a post with a verse and never have I started a post with a whole chapter, but today, today it is necessary.
As many of you know, I have made it my mission to use this blog, my social media platforms, and every aspect of my life to glorify my lover upstairs. Though I accepted Christ at 15, it took me this long to make these decisions (and that's something we can talk about in another post). But I wanted to give you guys a bit of background as to why.
Why did I start this blog post? Why am I going all in for Christ? Why am I willing to let go of everything I have so that I can be right with the Lord? Why am I unapologetically me despite what I think (or what anyone thinks) of myself? Why am I even writing to you this very moment?
I tend to credit these change and these moves I've recently been making to December 1st, 2018 when my grandmother finished her mission on this Earth. See there is a sense of realization you acquire when you realize one of the people you treasure more than life itself cared so deeply about you and your joy that the very words of my homepage are what they left with you. You have no choice but to make moves. Yeah, those words, they have changed my life and looking at all God has done since then, it definitely has been for the better. But that's not why I have been going all in for Christ, especially on this blog.
No, the root of this bombastic Jesus loving savagery comes from the chapter above.
I've been hanging out with Job lately, and he's taught me more than anything I can fit into this blog post. So I'm just going to have to give y'all some quick things I've learned and experienced since my one on one with Job.
1| NO ONE understands why God is putting you through
I'm going to be blunt (like I never am): You will never understand why God is doing what He's doing with your life until you ask, talk, and listen to him! I cannot count how many times I would reach out to my friends, boyfriend (whoever it was), and my family when God would allow events to take place (or not take place in some cases). Like many of us, I would reach out to all my resources before reaching out to the one who provided those resources. It wasn't until I realized how crippling that was. (Hold your horses, I'm not saying that reaching out to your squad and support system is crippling so stop jumping to conclusions.)
See, there's nothing like being able to look at everything going on around you (and within you) head on. You and I have an obligation to ourselves when it comes to how we handle situations in life. I noticed as I have been reading the Book of Job, that when Job lost everything, he didn't go running to his wife (even though he did speak to her afterward) or his three friends (who he does spend the majority of book chatting with). ( Y 'all the man lost it all; we're over here crying over petty things in comparison but hey don't come after me.) The first thing this man did was worship God!
I know, weird right? Like dude, if you told me that I lost everything, including those I love, all in one day...I would be hysterical (I think I already do that, but it'll be to a new degree of crazy). Instead of acting a mess like yours truly would, Job straight up says this:
Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will leave this life. The LORD gives, and the LORD takes away. Blessed be the name of the LORD.
- Job 1:21 (CSB)
Then it says:
Throughout all this Job did not sin or blame God for anything.
- Job 1:22
Through all of this, Job didn't depend on his friends and his wife to make sense of what God was allowing. Instead, he took it upon himself to be humble, respect God, and trust him to make sense of it all. Indeed, what a fantastic lesson in itself right here.
God doesn't need people to speak for him, he chooses to have his Word and his love vocalized through his servants. He's God, he knows what he's doing better than any of us will ever comprehend. Ask your artist what He's painting on the canvas of your life.
2| The struggle is real and inevitable.
I recently wrote a post about some of the things I believe God wants his children to know when they first accept Christ. In this post, I gave a snippet of this point but let's get more rooted in the matter:
It is a lie, an awful fabricated reality, we allow ourselves to believe and live in when we assume that following Christ doesn't come with obstacles. I cannot lie to you guys, and you all know that. I will call myself out in public and just make a fool of myself if I ever hold back the truth. ( I even ask my squad to slap if I'm out of order.).So you know what you're getting with me.
As a part of my honesty, I want to set something straight with you: You will be slain by God!
Y 'all, I'm as serious as I am when it comes to how much I love Cardi B ( I love me some Cardi) when I say that God is going to allow you to go through. It's rough, and many people don't want to swallow that pill but like it or not, God loves you way too much to let you stay broken and dysfunctional.
Don't believe me that God slays his children? Let's go back to the chapter above, specifically the section when Job says,
Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him. Even so, I will defend my own ways before Him. He also shall be my salvation, For a hypocrite could not come before Him.
- Job 13: 15 (CSB)
This verse has been slaying my life since I first read it, and I continue to hold on to the honesty that Job shared. God will allow you to go through. You could be volunteering in every ministry and going on mission trips left and right. You, my dear, may even be ordained or seen as one of the holiest people on the face of the Earth. Oh goodness, you could also get recognition for religious leaders, and I'm telling you that you are not immune to the savagery of God ( I like that phrase; I think I'm going to start using it )!
My pastor said something along these words and I agree with him:
No level of work, sacrifice, holiness, or anything you do will exempt you from being tried in your walk with Christ.
You will be placed in situations that you didn't think the Lord would allow you to be but remember that every battle, lesson, and challenge is building your spiritual muscles. Looking back, I'm in awe of how God has used some of the harshest lessons in my life to shape who I am today. Let him slay you (he'll do it anyway because He's God), and then you'll begin to slay at life! (See what I did there?)
3| You don't owe anyone jack but...
My mother has said this, "Abigail, you don't owe anyone an explanation or anything."
Harsh facts guys. But nevertheless, facts. As a reformed people pleaser, I've come to learn that I really don't owe anyone my two cents or my opinion and thoughts. I know it doesn't sound Christ-like for me to say this but bear with me and I'll make sense.
Job has taught me a lot, but this lesson was taught by God. See though I placed Job chapter 13 as the main Scripture for this post, Job 38 - 42 are my favorite chapters in this book. After Job and his friends kept going back an forth, God comes out with a level of savagery that only God can pull off.
The Lord straight up sat there as these four bickered about why God was allowing all this misfortune to happen and whether or not to leave God. Then He comes out spitting facts like he's in a courtroom. God calls everything out including Job. I just love that because he does that with me!
You don't owe people an explanation, and you don't owe people jack when it comes to why you do things the way you do or what God is doing in your life. What you ought to do is continue to live in your truth because God has asked you but never do anything for the sack of people. There's a difference between loving people and blocking your blessings because of people.
We are called to love each other and respect one another, but we are not called to allow everyone into our intimate lives. That means that when it comes to your walk with God and all that God is doing, keep that bad boy to yourself unless he tells you otherwise! You will be saving yourself a lot of issues that way. Remember that acronym: WWJD? Use this acronym with it: WDTHSTM (What did the Holy Spirit tell me?) Save yourself the trouble, my dear.
As I continue to read more about Job and the experiences that he faced with God, I find many similarities in the walk I've had with Christ and how important faith is. Job teaches us that hardships are a sure thing when we choose God above everything. But he also shows us that integrity and faith (not works and actions) are what pleases the Lord even in the midst of storms. Trust in the Lord in the calmer seasons but also trust in your Creator when it seems like all hell is breaking loose. Prioritize the relationship you have with Christ and let nothing jeopardize it. Keep loving on everyone you meet but never forget you deserve to love yourself too. Be a kind human to everyone and yourself.
Until next time...