humble

You Have A Title, But Do You Know Your Name?

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For years, I was so focused on having a “quality ” job. When I was in college I strategically planned out my professional career path. I wanted to make sure my resume was golden. I packed my life with extracurricular activities, leadership positions on campus, and other things for accolades. I wanted to prove I was worthy of an awesome job. I saw how my older sister struggled to get a quality job right out of college during the recession and I vowed to myself to never let my circumstances determine my outcome. I had paid internships at large companies, became an RA on campus and during my last year, I decided to squeeze in a second job. In other words; I was a hustler.

All this paid off, and when I graduated from college in 2012 I had a great job, awesome benefits and a salary making over $40K- straight out of college! I was at the prime of my life. I was 22 years old living the “American Dream.” Until one day my “American Dream,” my job, was shaken. Everything I knew was in a state of uncertainty. My faith wavered and the enemy got into my head. I was diagnosed with depression and my doctor put me on an anti-depressant. I felt like I was living without being alive. It was a very dark time in my life and really felt distant from God. Since I was down I was unable to seek God, I decided to chase another job. One with more money and more security…..so I thought. I ran to a job that paid $50K a year. The money was great but the work was not. It was a sales job, and they were more concerned with profit rather than people. There were some unethical things going on. I only lasted there for a few months before I finally decided to leave. So long story short I went from making 40k, to 50k, to being unemployed in less than a year.

I’m not going to lie, I was torn up! I had to move back to my parents’ house in my hometown, sleeping in my childhood bed. At 23 years old I was at my lowest point. And that’s when God began to break me. For weeks, I didn’t sleep regularly. I stayed up all night and day applying for jobs. I kept trying to get out of my current situation, without seeing God as my main source of help. Even though I was going to church, reading scripture I wasn’t truly applying it. So when I was applying for jobs I got turned down each time. It wasn’t until God revealed to me what my underlined confliction was- Pride.

I prided myself on my job titles, my accolades, and all my other accomplishments. I thought surely if I held these job titles at other companies, another company would want me. When job hunting got me nowhere, God had to humble me. He had to show me I do not control my destiny, He does. He had to show me a job title was not my identity.

“Pride leads to disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” Proverbs 11:2

I read scripture after scripture on pride and humbleness. I also had to read about plans and patience. Then I began to fast and seek the Lord in prayer. I didn’t realize what a strong hold pride and patience were for me. By being unemployed for a few months, I was blessed with this time to grow spiritually. Even though it didn’t feel like a blessing at the time, I now know it was all in God’s plan. God was keeping me the whole time.

Now I know a job title doesn’t define me- it’s whatever God calls me that matters. He titles me and gives me a name, which is way greater than any title a job can give me.

7 Names God Calls Me:

1. He calls me chosen. 

“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.” (Colossians 3:12)

2. He calls me beloved.

“The beloved of the Lord dwells in safety.” (Deuteronomy 33:12)

3. He calls me His child.

“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.” (1 John 3:1)

4. He calls me friend.

“… but I have called you friends…” (John 15:15)

5. He calls me His workmanship.

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10)

6. He calls me His treasured possession.

“The Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for His treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.” (Deuteronomy 7:6)

7. He calls me His daughter.

“And I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to Me, says the Lord Almighty.” (2 Corinthians 6:18)

So sis, before you let a job stress you out, before you go chase the next job with a more prestigious title remember this- God has already named you. You are a child of God. Don’t forget that.

Love you all!

Stay blessed,

Patrice McKenzie
patrice@areyoushe.com

Source- http://www.whatjoyismine.net

Photo-Create Her Stock

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Deeper Into Worship.

I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m a worshiper. I feel the most freedom when I’m in my zone worshipping God. It’s just me and Him. It’s a humbling experience to be carefree and honor God for all He’s done for me. A few weeks ago, a few of my sisters in Christ and I were talking after a worship service. We were just talking about how good God is and how He has moved in each of our lives. Right then and there, we started to blast worship music from the car and just freely worshiped. Right there, in the parking lot. It was amazing. The clouds were orange and the moon was vibrant. It was a worshipbeautiful night. It was so much fun just to praise God for Who He is.

I wasn’t always this way. I didn’t understand worship. When I went to church, I would clap here and there, especially if the choir was singing a song I liked. But I didn’t understand how God was moving through people and why they lifted their hands and cried. I’ve always been a shy person and never liked putting myself out there. I remember not wanting to lift my hands because I didn’t want people to watch me lift my hands. I find it rather silly now, but I’m sure there are some of you reading this that can relate to how I felt. Perhaps you may relate by not really understanding the point of truly worshiping.

Well, what is worship?

In the past, I thought worship was just lifting your hands in church to praise and worship songs. That is, in fact, one of the many reactions of worship, but there’s more to it than that. Worship is a response we have to God’s Presence once we truly understand Who Christ is and what He’s done for us. When we understand that Christ died for our sins and truly understand worship, we can worship Him freely.

Christmas Eve Concert

Christmas Eve Concert ’13

The Word illustrates what worship is and what it should look like.  God desires us to honor Him with our lives and bodies. When we honor Him with our lifestyle, we are worshiping Him. — “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” Romans 12:1 ESV

Honestly, as you develop and grow in a relationship with God, you start to realize how amazing He truly is. As I started to grow spiritually with Him and developed a deeper relationship with Him, I couldn’t help but lift my hands and worship Him. I know Who I serve and I know He saved my life so I want to give Him my all. God is Holy and because of Who He is, He is worthy of all of the glory, praise, and honor. — “Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe;” Hebrews 12:28 NASB

I feel so much freedom when I’m worshiping God. All my problems, all my stress, all my frustrations go away. I feel carefree, I feel His Presence. It’s amazing because I never thought I would be that person to praise God for everything.

God wants us to know He desires us to worship Him. He’s looking to and fro for those who have a heart for Him and will worship Him. — “But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” John 4:23-24 NASB

I challenge you to take time daily to spend with God. Block out everything and everyone that may distract you, and worship Him. Turn on some music that glorifies Him and allow Him to take you deeper.

For more ways of understanding worship, check out Sydni’s post: Why Worship Takes Me Higher Than Weed.

By Ashley A. Johnson
ashley@areyoushe.com

Photo: The Word War Movement & macedoniapgh.org

Dark Days To Humble Nights

The greatest gift we could ever receive is salvation. It is the ultimate gift from God.

It’s humbling to know that while I did not want anything to do with Christ, He still loved me. Although I knew Christ, my lifestyle rejected Him. The darker my life got, He drew me closer and closer to Him. His love truly collided with my heart and humbled me.

In our darkest moments, He still died for us. Knowing every thought, every action, and every sin we would ever do, He still paid a price we could never pay. He died for our sins to free us. He finds us where we are and restores us.

His love is unstoppable.

By Ashley A. Johnson
ashley@areyoushe.com