I have big dreams and huge aspirations of someday becoming a well known fiction author for the kingdom of God. In my mind’s eye, I can actually see myself enjoying the material blessings afforded by God’s graces:
– Book signings at Borders
– Enough money to finally be able to buy a home to comfortably accommodate my large family
– A state of the art laptop computer, to cart around and use whenever the urge to write strikes
– A reliable vehicle.
I can also envision the impact my stories could have on new christians, and even those who haven’t decided to follow the Lord, yet. How grand it would be, to shake the hand of a new christian who found inspiration through the stories God used me to write. How awesome it would be, to see family members come to Christ after seeing the impact he’s made on my life. How fantastic it would be, to see evidence that God is using me to spread his word through my stories.
I can see it all, as clearly as if it has already happened. But…my problem is, my faith. At times, I grow impatient, having seen no progress in myself. I tend to backslide into the trap of believing that my works alone will grant the success I desire. And then there are the days when I even question what my true desires are. Do I really want to do this for the Lord, or am I really focusing on my own selfish wants?
With these doubts looming, I realize the one thing I have neglected to do, in my walk with Jesus. I’ve forgotten to claim my victories; I’m talking about actually, physically, whole-heartedly claiming the victories. I’m speaking about lifting my hands to the Lord and giving him praise for the blessings he has already bestowed upon me, and for the blessings that I know are coming my way! I’m claiming it, like I already have it…in the name of Jesus!
This is a new practice for me, because Satan had me convinced that I was not worthy to ask specifically for certain things. Despite being saved, despite being annointed, despite my personal relationship with Jesus, I still allow Satan to whisper negative-isms into my heart from time to time. Those negative thoughts hinder my ability to claim my victories over the devil himself.
For instance, until recently, I had a real problem praying to God and asking him to bless me with wisdom and knowledge. I actually felt guilt in asking God for such a gift. I know that the word says, “you have not because you ask not”; I know that Solomon asked for knowledge, and it was granted to him; I know that God wants us to ask for gifts; but I was somehow paralyzed into thinking that I wasn’t worthy enough to ask for these gifts.
Satan kept me from whole-heartedly asking God to help me. Sure, every once in awhile I might throw out a small request for something like, “God could you help me write a short story for the weekly challenge?” But even those requests were done half expecting God to leave me to my own devices, because I wasn’t worthy of asking for anything.
I think my epiphany came one Sunday, after listening to my assistant Pastor (bless you Kenny Lambert) speak about the graces of God. Pastor Kenny spoke with such fervor and spirit on the gifts God wants his children to enjoy. He wants us to grow in him; to become better christians, that we might take the gospel and spread it to those who need to hear it. I found clarity in the knowledge that God has to bless you with the gifts in order for you to be able to minister to others. And above all, he wants you to ask for his gifts. If you don’t ask, you don’t receive. If you don’t receive, you don’t grow.
I don’t want to be where I am forever! I don’t want to remain stagnant, in this portion of my walk. If my spirit doesn’t change from this point in my life, my outward life doesn’t change either. I choose to ask God for the blessings and to claim them, before I have them. And I plan to do so, whole-heartedly.
Let me rephrase that last statement, just in case you didn’t catch it: I am asking God for the blessings, and I am claiming them, even though I do not have them yet! I’m claiming them in the name of Jesus!!
Woo-Wee, I feel the spirit pouring through me even as I sit here at my desk typing, y’all!
I claim the blessing in store for me, in the name of Jesus! I’m claiming it, like I already have it! AMEN!