Don’t Box with God!

A little over a year ago, I listed a house to sell. In a short time, I was heading out of the country and really wanted to be in contract by the time I left. No problem! I just KNEW it would be an easy sale. The house was only a year old! I prayed, had it staged, invested in a great marketing system, and scheduled my OPEN HOUSE dates. I honestly expected to only have to do one OPEN HOUSE though. I knew this particular floor plan was limited in this development and was in high demand.
The most ridiculous things started happening. And I do mean ridiculous. I fell out of contract before the ink had a chance to dry. At that point I had been in real estate for twelve years and had never heard of such a thing that happened, happening. JUST BIZARRE!!! Then, there was all of this interest, but no bites for no particular reason.
I go out of the country trying to manage phone calls while I’m a whole day ahead and busy with a full schedule. When I returned, the client was in danger of losing her deposit and another house that was being built, because her offer was contingent (upon the sale of this subject property). It was a MESS that made NO SENSE!!! I WAS STRESSED OUT!
Finally, one Saturday morning I prayed, “Father, I need you to show me what is going on. In warfare I have You on my side and I don’t struggle like this. I’m out here getting mollywapped, and that is leading me to believe I’m not fighting the enemy, but that I’m fighting YOU. I know I can’t win a fight with you! Am I fighting You? Are You keeping the house from selling???”
*ding*ding*ding* I had finally asked the right question. I offered the right prayer. He revealed the house hadn’t sold, because He wanted ME to move into it. Only this meant a relocation. A relocation I hadn’t planned for. A relocation I didn’t want!
I asked Him to confirm it while I was out of town that weekend at a prayer retreat. I vowed I would obey His answer, I just needed to be SURE. He confirmed. I cried for a week before asking Him to deal with my heart concerning the matter. I was expecting to relocate, but I thought it would be to Dallas or LA. I wanted my heart’s desires to match His. I didn’t want to obey grudgingly.
Two months later, I was out!!! And let me tell you this. It wasn’t until the morning after I spent the first night in the house that I walked out of my bedroom and realized I NEEDED the move. I had been suffocating and didn’t even know it. I had become so used to my atmosphere, that I didn’t realize the season was up, and that staying longer would have put me out of alignment with the next leg of my journey. Time was of the essence. There were connections that needed to be made, and relationships that needed to form. And my face needed to be in the new territory for the hand shakes and dinner dates to happen. If you’ve ever traveled, you know that “connecting flights” are critical and are the reason you do or don’t get to your destination on time. Sure, we’d all like a direct flight, but sometimes paths need to cross, a person critical to our journey is flying out from a different airport, and is en route to wrap up an assignment in a city we aren’t designated. The connecting flight the two of you have in common reveals the next move to and for you both!
Lots of supernatural occurrences happened throughout this transition, but I will abstain from sharing for now, due to the length of this post.
My point: Because of our humanity, we don’t like to suffer. We don’t like discomfort. And often times when we encounter discomfort, setbacks, suffering and/or a lack of fulfillment, we assume it has to be the enemy. Not so!
Sometimes it is God! Sometimes, He’s pushing us to higher heights, deeper depths, and a place of humility and service that is outside of our comfort zones and realms of familiarity. We’re being pushed out of the nest! Sometimes the pain and inconvenience is TOTALLY GOD!
Look at Jesus! NOTHING was comfortable or convenient about His trip to the cross, yet it pleased and glorified God.
Submit, surrender, and don’t give up. He’s got a plan for you, and it is GOOD even when the process FEELS contrary.
Oh and let me tell you this…. the house that wouldn’t sell? Yeah, the one I live in! There hasn’t been ONE month that has passed since I submitted and moved in, that someone hasn’t called to buy the house. Some are rather aggressive asking when it will be back on the market! What can they offer!!? When God holds something up, He holds it up! When He releases it, He releases it! He holds the POWER!!! When we strive with Him, we WILL NOT win!

Guilty!!!

I’m guilty. I don’t just mean in the past, but lately. I’ve been guilty of frustration. Guilty of impatience. We do know that patience isn’t waiting right? We’re going to wait regardless when it comes to what only God can release. Patience is actually waiting with the right attitude. We can murmur, complain and pout while we wait, or we can trust, praise and rejoice in the promise that is on the other end of our wait.

I became frustrated, because I couldn’t understand the point. I couldn’t understand why He has revealed some of the things He has, if CLEARLY some of the things aren’t coming to pass any time soon. Sometimes, when hope hurts, you’d just rather not know. Ignorance can be bliss at times. But when He reveals His plan and purpose you have to deal with the burden of conforming to His divine schedule. So I ask questions like… why did you show me if I was just going to remain irritated by the process? Why did I even have to know?

He had a talk with me today to remind me that it isn’t about my conveniences, but His purpose. And He also reminded me that cooperating with Him during the process is the same as cooperating with Him for the plan itself. A sous chef doesn’t get the credit, but certainly has responsibilities and must take orders and execute as the meal is prepared. The longer a sous chef works beside an executive chef, the more they learn, and the better they become.

So AGAIN, my heart has been restored. I needed it restored AGAIN. And I told Him tonight, that I commit to his purpose AND His schedule (ARRRGGGGHHHH it’s KILLING ME…. I guess that’s the point). I desire to execute my role in His plan with complete synchronicity, virtue and excellence. I am walking this out WITH Him. It’s His plan., so it will be accomplished in HIS time. Inhale… Exhale… Inhale….. Exhale…

Psalm 119:133 is my anthem right now. No iniquity!!! No iniquity tied to doubt, fear, frustration, impatience, bitterness, intolerance, pride….. NO INIQUITY!!! (If you read the scripture you’ll get what I’m saying)

We should feel honored to have a role at all!

Perspective is key….Selah

I’m Unraveling….Join Me!!’

I’m a planner. I like order. I create forms, checklists and systems to make my life flow easier. I write things down and organize. I believe in preparation. There is so much beyond my control, so I try my best to make sure that what is in my control is taken care of and properly planned. If things go awry, I’d rather it be because God allowed it or wanted things to go differently than for it to be because I didn’t prepare well or  complete my tasks. I don’t like suffering when it is MY fault- talk about depressing! So I try to use good judgment and I’m careful with decisions. All of this is just a quirk in my personality, but it’s Kelsi all the way. When my home isn’t clean, I get anxious. I don’t like the way clutter makes me feel. I like seeing lines in my carpet (from the vacuum cleaner) and unclean bathrooms (anywhere) send me THERE. I don’t move (residences) a lot and I pray before EVERYTHING, not only to honor God, but (I’m admitting) to minimize regret. I like SURE moves because they are STABLE. Stability is important to me. Even before salvation, for me, Vegas was never a place for gambling (I think I did nickel or quarter slot machines ONLY), simply because of the risk involved. If I was going to spend my cash, I wanted to have something to show for it. 

In case you haven’t noticed, all of this is about maintaining my comfort, and SANITY. Well, recently I’ve decided to yield my comfort, sanity to God on a deeper level. I have ASKED for an opportunity that is going to challenge my systematic, methodical, “plan everything out so nothing messes up” self!!! 

You see, I want to free fall so that He can catch me. I’ve learned to live on a little after having much more. I’ve learned to sacrifice the “look”, the “clothes”, the regularly scheduled hair appointments, the “only shopping at this or that store”, the “never repeating an outfit to church more than once in a year”, the “switching purses everyday”. All of that seems so silly to me now. Don’t get me wrong, I STILL like nice things, but there was a time I put more concern and energy into my image, than I did my actual walk or prayer life. I’ve been broken and stripped in ways people would never know unless I told them. There are so many things that were “important” to me that had to become less significant so that I can keep in CLEAR VIEW what is REALLY important. It hasn’t been easy, especially when you watch others, and comparing is NEVER wise. It has been downright humbling and painful BUT what it has done in my walk with Him, cannot be measured. What I have experienced in HIM cannot be bought!!! Besides, I KNOW the day will come when all is restored. 

Again, I’ve decided to go DEEPER, because I want so much more of Him. No matter what I’ve lost, or where I stopped working, how lean my bank accounts are, or how much less my yearly financial contribution at church is (has anyone else ever been embarrassed by that and then convicted by the Holy Spirit, realizing the pain of it is really about pride), I realize that with all the things I’ve learned to live without….I can’t live without Him!!!! And I want MORE of Him.

So I’ve asked for this particular opportunity that is going to challenge the area that I’ve still held tightly and kept so neat….everything and everyone concerning my personal space. It’s going to challenge me and I’m going to look for Him and to Him at every turn. When I feel like I’m going to lose my mind, because I can’t “plan and prepare” concerning this, He is going to find it (my mind) and continue transforming it!

Anything that ceases to grow & produce is dead!!! 

I’m yielding….DEEPER LORD!!!! 

I challenge you today to think about what you’ve been protecting. Think about what would make you come completely unglued and give it to Him. There is nothing wrong with our personality quirks! He created us to be individuals!!! It’s just that EVERYTHING concerning us, every quirk and aspect of our personalities, need to be yielded to the instructing, shaping and character molding of the Holy Spirit!!!

#kelsimarie

Sometimes You Have To Eat It…..

I could write a very DIRECT status, but instead I will put this in laymen’s terms.
God taught me a lesson a LOOOOOONG time ago that I’ve never forgotten. I, Kelsi, I (emphasis on me) injured a sister at my church and in her pain, she basically yelled it from the mountaintops. Some of what she told people was the truth and some of what she told people were lies. C’mon she isn’t the only one to ever embellish a little due to the sting of pain. In my pride, I was appalled. I began to tell others….”How dare she go around telling people these things!!! She is ruining my reputation! It is so mean for her to tell others what is between she and I- and now she’s started lying!!!”
One day in prayer, the Holy Ghost impressed upon me to STOP and He showed me my fault- my fault alone. At that moment, I realized that the genesis of ALL of it was my transgression against her. I basically overlooked what I had done, to be angry about how she “mishandled” it. With my own sin illuminated before me, I sincerely repented and didn’t look towards her faults anymore. And guess what? In return, for my [now] clean hands, the parts that she shared that were lies, were eventually exposed (yes, it took YEARS). GOD HATES SIN no matter who the culprit is.
You cannot step over your mess in hot pursuit of pointing out someone else’s (Matthew 7:5). You cannot set your own faults aside to deal with how someone else is handling your faults. Your pursuit should be to live above reproach and a life worthy of your calling. With clean hands though, you can plead mercy, especially if others can be hurt. Yes, all of us have been lied on, and someone bearing false witness is a different topic. Here I am referring to when you KNOW you have done wrong, but choose not to take responsibility, all the while, playing victim, angry and upset that someone shared it.
The next time someone gossips about you, before becoming indignant, repent for whatever TRUTH there is in what they are saying, next become resolved that you will not give the enemy anything else to work with, and finally, ask that the truth of the matter be exposed and any lies dispelled. I learned this SOOOO early in my walk with Christ. And I will teach here that you CANNOT be a mature christian without understanding this fundamental element of integrity.
Sometimes if you don’t start none, there won’t be none….. (improper use of english language noted)

Some People Will Never Ask Me To Preach….

Recently I was given a very valuable test…an examination of my heart. Y’all do know that your heart can deceive you right (Jeremiah 17:9)?
I preach and teach the gospel of Jesus Christ (no surprise). If you know me, you know that I have given my life to the furtherance of THIS gospel. Since ministering is what I was created to do, I want to excel in ministry and be the best I can be… and not just on the exterior! I have no interest in a polished public life and a dull private life with Him. That just isn’t real to me. Moving on….
I mean… who doesn’t want to be excellent and effective at what they have committed their life to right? Who doesn’t want to be successful? And right here is where we get all tripped up if we aren’t careful. We forget to define success by biblical standards. To be successful in God is to maximize your potential and be EFFECTIVE in what He has called you to do. Think about it. If He called you to evangelize, but you’re too afraid to appear “fanatic”, so you choose to pastor, how effective are you being in comparison to how effective you CAN be through obedience? And if He has called you to pastor, tend to and shepherd souls, but you like the freedom of evangelizing and choose that form of ministry for yourself, how much are you REALLY pleasing Him in your disobedience? You see, pastoring and evangelizing are great, but not as good as doing what He has specifically called you to do. If he called you to brighten people’s day by being a florist, activist, doctor, waitress, or teacher, than nothing you choose to do will be a better fit for you. Haven’t you heard about people who perform (what to others may just be) a job and exclaim it is their calling? What if Nehemiah had aspired to be a warrior or royal guard instead of a cup bearer? His position is what gave Him ACCESS to the king and the resources He needed to change a nation! As a creation, our purpose is to obey the Creator. Every good thing isn’t a “God” thing. The God thing is His will for your life, His timing included. Ouch.
Now that we have established the fact that even in ministry and “good things”, our selfish hearts can sway us towards the comforts of our prideful agendas, we can focus on the fact that we are not exempt from temptations that disguise themselves as harmless opportunities… even Godly opportunities.
There are three sinful and sneaky dispositions mentioned in the bible that I want to interject here, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life (1 John 2:16). I call them sneaky, because these demonic agendas can attach themselves to the most well intentioned minister of the gospel. Let me tell you, we must CONSTANTLY keep our hearts under the magnifying glass of God’s word!!! We must constantly ask ourselves and God WHY we want what we want. Motive is everything.
I’m getting to my test…..
An opportunity was presented to me five times in about six weeks. I’ll share some of the questions posed to me: Don’t you want to be on television? Don’t you want your name to be in lights? Don’t you want to preach to nations? Don’t you know you can spend so much time on a plane going to and fro to teach the gospel that you’re rarely at home? Don’t you know that you can become very wealthy doing this?
I’ll be very CLEAR here, there is nothing wrong with any of the aforementioned in and of themselves, however, something becomes very wrong when they are opportunities that God didn’t create and were presented to me to lure me through any temptations to be successful, popular and comfortable. The prideful aspect of our personalities like attention. The prideful aspects of our personalities cause us to crave success for the wrong reasons. I had to stop and ask myself a question… Isn’t my sole motivation to please God; be effective and do good works ON HIS TERMS (Matthew 6:33)? This being the case, I had to acknowledge Him, even in what seemed like a good opportunity and allow Him to “direct my path” (Prov. 3:5-7). We can be so excited about being popular, rich and admired, that we will walk through a door without ever asking God if it is a door He presented and whether or not the next dimension of His will is awaiting us on the other side. It can get really tricky if the opportunities presented are in line with opportunities He promised. Have you ever heard of the term “counterfeit”? Okay, so you know there are things that don’t carry the integrity of authenticity, but look like the real thing. Moving along…
When I took this opportunity before God in prayer, I expressed that if He didn’t send it, I wanted no parts of it. I was resolved that I would rather stay right where I am until HIS appointed time, than step outside of His will to have access to all that my flesh would desire.
The truth is that there are some who will never call me to preach. I’m not being negative, let me explain. The insight God has given me empowers me to preach the uncomfortable charges expressed in the gospel with clarity which leads to a CHOICE to be delivered. In case you didn’t know, choosing God over what is comfortable is… well…. UNCOMFORTABLE. Many people aren’t interested in THAT level of discomfort. He gives me messages that challenge and expose FALSE CORE BELIEFS & FOUNDATIONS that have been the building blocks of relationships, marriages, paradigms and ministries for most of people’s lives. I TOTALLY understand why many don’t want to hear such an uncomfortable charge- even if it is purposed to make them free. Any place God permits me to go is a place where He has already prepared the hearts of the people for the root work He desires to do through the ministry He’s entrusted to me. If I go anywhere before He sends me, anywhere they aren’t ready for the message He sends, how effective could I be? Remember that operating outside of His timing, places you outside of His will. I must always be cognizant of the fact that this ministry inside of me is HIS vehicle and not my own. I will wait on the Lord in all things concerning my life. There are lives hanging in the balance and people depending on me to be properly postured and positioned. My life is not my own.
I have written this to encourage the others who are waiting on God. You may be obeying and watching others moving faster and more often. They may be securing engagements, marriages, properties, and opportunities while you are YET waiting. I tell you today to WAIT ON!!! Wait for the provision that comes from HIS hand. You don’t want the opportunities that just look good…you need them to be FROM God. In obedience, you cover much more ground with less effort and hiccups. We spend too much time finding fault in leaders that fall and ministries that fail, when we should be asking God to expose where the culprit of their demise is lodged in our own hearts. Many times esteemed positions and ministries were being fueled by impatience, pride and the lusts I mentioned earlier. Is anyone really above those things? If your private lives and disciplines (or lack thereof) aren’t consistent with your public persona, don’t make excuses, just ask for His help to dispel the lie you are living. Holiness should be preached AND practiced. When someone is off track, there are always indicators, circumstances and relationships present that reveal the condition of the person’s heart. God calls people to BE what He has called them to do and there is a process in becoming.
Some people were advanced to high school with all of the perks and privileges of being an upper class man, while they were only reading at third grade level. It is truly embarrassing to fail a high school exit exam when the scores are published to the public. This is the same type of humiliation leaders experience when they have been promoted by men, but skipped their private tutorials with God. The virtue isn’t in the popularity, but the authenticity.

Wait on the Lord, let Him go before you and clear the paths you will walk. You will stumble a lot less!

I’m excited about the things God will do, and the doors He will open. And until then…I’ll wait.

Do not love or cherish the world or the things that are in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world- the lust of the flesh [craving for sensual gratification] and the lust of the eyes [greedy longings of the mind] and the pride of life [assurance in one’s own resources or in the stability of earthly things]- these do not come from the father but are from the world [itself]. And the world passes away and disappears, and with it the forbidden cravings (the passionate desires, the lust) of it; but he who does the will of God and carries out His purposes in his life abides (remains) forever.
1 John 2:15-17