March 30, 2013

When God Says, "No!"

Imagine being 31 years old and at the apex of your life and you are growing in your relationship with the Lord, praying fervently to seek His will and for your desires and heart to mirror His. Alas, that is me. I crave God. I simply am infatuated with His son, Jesus and how He died for me on the cross. There is none like him. Simply none. And because I desire to become more like Jesus, I am adamant and intentional about my relationship with Him. It feels so good to be in love with the one who first loved me. I chase him. I pursue him. I am a follower of Jesus. There is no shortcut I will take or detour I will make in pursuance of my God. Even when I can't see God's plan unfolding, I still believe in His promises. So picture this......

Last year in November I was battling with a lot. I had been in a year of pruning as God rearranged my life and renovated my heart. At the start of 2012, I had asked God to "REMOVE and REPLACE." Allow me to explain - God had birthed a lot of visions in me and He was showing me glimpses into my future. The only stipulation was that I OBEY Him. Easy right? Exactly. So I asked God to remove all "impurites and people" in my life who did not mean well and to replace with "Godly people." Well, God did that. And I was surprised at how I was left with one friend. Over the course of the year, I met good people and this year I met two amazing people (I love you Cory and Tai) whom I had such a spiritual connection with that I was flabbergasted. God answered my prayers so imagine when He told me, "MiMi, you need to stop getting your doctorate degree and trust me to give you a new degree for MY purposes and not the world. I have something better."

"WHATTTT GOD?  I have a year left before I am Dr. Atkins. I worked so hard for three years to throw it all away? You mean you want me to give up my "worldy" label and title to pursue a "Godly" label?" 

God should have laughed at me at that moment because He is not hung up on silly little titles and positions as we are. He cares for your heart and your fervor for Him as His servant, not about what the world values. His desires are clearly not aligned with that. Clearly.

"Really. God replied, "No kidding. Really. My plans are PERFECT for you life." 

I was stunned and I thought on how I had spent the past three years working on becoming Dr. Atkins and now God was answering that prayer with a resounding, "NO! You need to take up your cross and follow me!" And if we recall when Jesus said this to his disciples, there was no back talk. Either you come or you don't. So, I trusted God and I gave up pursuing my pleasures for His and when I look back on it, all my reasons for pursuing the degree were carnal. I started the degree when I wasn't saved or I was "lukewarm" so I just wanted the title and the increase in pay since I am a teacher and that is the only way we get pay increases besides years served. But God had something else in store for me.

As soon as I quit my degree, God assured me that I would walk into my calling as an evangelist and other areas of ministry but He needed my total attention and heart on the works for His Kingdom and how I could use them. He showed me how easy it was to abandon Him if I was tied to "carnal pursuits." 

"Can I move, God?" 

"Not now," He responded. 

"WHAT? You mean I still have to work at this school? Live in this slow town. I am a city girl at heart, God. I like diversity. I like culture. I like museums and shopping. I like coffee shops. This is NOT in my comfort zone. I like diversity and there is too many black people here for me. You know I like a melting pot, God."

Then God told me that it was not time for me to make a major move that I had to stay at the high school I was working at to be a Godly example to the students there because they looked up to me and desperately needed my Christian influence. I started crying because "I" wanted to move and get out of the small city I am in to live in a bigger city and eventually do mission work. God told me again, "THIS IS NOT ABOUT YOU, MIMI BUT THE GLORY I GET FOR MY WORK THROUGH YOU! YOUR SCHOOL IS YOUR MISSION FIELD RIGHT NOW. IN MY TIME YOU WILL LEAVE."

I conceded and I began to walk in what God wanted for my life  and suddenly things began to happen just as they should. Areas that I was weak in began to reveal themselves and God started transforming my mind and heart. I began to look like Christ. I stopped looking at the fact that my students cursed and disobeyed at times. Or my town has only about ten good ethnic restaurants. I was being petty and selfish. My heart started to beat for others again and I could feel the compassion swelling and that's when God gave me permission to open the online Christian store he gave me visions of last June. He said, "MiMi, your heart is right and now you dress modestly. I am ready to use you for that mission. You can open EcclesiasTees now. Last year, you were not ready and I told you, "Not yet. I never said, No!" I just had to allow room for you to grow in me, first."  

I began to think of my job and how I had more than enough money to take care of my daughter and I felt it would be selfish to keep all the money from EcclesiasTees for myself. I wanted to share Christ's second of the two most important commandments: "The second is equally important: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' No other commandment is greater than these" (Mark 12:31).  Even when I was lukewarm, I always had a big heart and wanted to help those less fortunate. That has always been who I was. The more I thought about the mission of EcclesiasTees (Wear. Share. Live. Give. Christ.), the more I envisioned those orphans in Haiti who I donate ALL proceeds of my book, to and I decided to donate a generous amount of ALL proceeds from Twelve to them, too.

"MiMi, keep chasing after me," God said.

I smile now because had I still pursued that doctorate degree, I'd be up late nights, tussled hair, endless research, drinking coffee, and struggling with APA and its craziness. Those days are gone and I will never have a doctorate degree for worldy success but I gained God and chased Him instead and I have no regrets as John 7:17 declares, "If anyone’s will is to do God’s will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority." Because I obeyed God, I can sleep and have peace of mind and rest in God's promises for my life.

Understand, if you are reading this that when God says, "No," it is because it is not time or He has something better so trust God and His timing. He created us so He knows what is best for our lives. We are not here on Earth for our pleasures but to serve God and share Christ and we should pursue whatever avenues it takes to fulfill that as 1 Peter 3:17 tells us, "For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God's will, than for doing evil." Pursuing our desires is totally dangerous and being carnal is morally dangerous according to 1 John 2:16-17, "For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world.  And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever."

I pray this blog blessed you in some way and if you are interested in learning more about HaitHero.org and how you can help just click on the name and if you would like to buy from my online store or purchase books to help the orphans click here. God Bless You and trust God and chase Jesus like crazy. And remember "you cannot become [a] disciple without giving up everything you own" (Luke 14:33).




18 comments:

  1. absolutely love this post. Blessings sis..

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  2. Love this hun

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  4. Love this! It blessed my soul

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  5. I needed this so much today, Mimi! Thank you for sharing your story. I'm trying so hard to accept God's NO right now. Say a little prayer for me if you feel so led. Blessings, LeeBird

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  6. I will! His "No," means that he has something better. That's all.

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  7. Its really hard for me to understand God saying No..I typically associate the ''no'' voice with fear, so I fight against it...I really don't know how to work around that...How do you discern the voice of God? It seemed so simple for you Mimi...*sigh*

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  15. Love this post Mimi. Thanks for sharing. Note to self: Obedience is better than sacrifice!!! x

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