Almost anything, if not everything, has good and bad. Last night turned from good into bad for me.
I spent the evening reading and watching a couple of episodes of Friends, but as I started writing in my journal I began to reflect. Honestly, I got more sad and disappointed the more I wrote and thought about my past. To say the least, last night I fell asleep with a silent prayer and tears streaming down my face.
I haven’t been myself in the past couple of years. But what I was pondering last night was whether I had actually always been this way or if I give credit to the boy who broke my heart years ago for who I am now.
And it’s not only my personality that bothers me, but I often feel incapable of reaching my goals and dreams. Compared to everyone else, I don’t have as much experience, perhaps I lack passion or ambition, I’m not as pretty, or maybe people still see me as a child. I don’t know, but I never seem to meet expectations.
Key words: “compared” and “expectations.”
This morning I went to Elevation Church, as I do every Sunday at 11:30 a.m. Pastor Steven Furtick spoke about measuring up to others versus how God measures us. The message was an answer to my prayer. I now write this in hope that it will be an answered prayer for you too.
So many times we measure ourselves with a stick, a ruler. We measure height, success, beauty, income, everything. This is all superficial. Unfortunately as cheesy as it sounds, that’s not what matters because what matters is on the inside. God measures the immeasurable. God measures the substance, what it’s made of.
In this life we look for purpose, for reasons, for explanations, for answers. You cannot and will not find it by comparing your intellect and abilities to someone else. Maybe they got to a place in their career by doing x, y, and z, but maybe you need to go through x, y, z, and 1, 2, 3 (if that makes sense) to get even further. Do not measure the price of things, physical appearance, popularity, or income.
Now, for an impatient person like me, it is hard to go through life not knowing if I’m taking the right steps toward the place I want to end up. But know this: it’s not about you, it’s not up to you.
God filled us with the “richness of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His spirit in the inner man” (Ephesians 3:16, NKJV). Ephesians 3:20 goes on to say, “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.”
Wow, we can’t even begin to IMAGINE all that God is able to do in us. Pastor Steven explained that doubting yourself and discouraging yourself by measuring up to others is like walking away from what God called you out to do. That was a very powerful moment for me.
As believers, we are expected to be obedient to God. Whatever we accomplish in this life isn’t for us, but for Him to glorify himself through us. Always remember that the Bible is full people who were imperfect, sinners, murderers and God used them for His greatness. You are not the judge of what God can do in your life. “The assessment of others will discourage you from opportunity,” Pastor Steven said.
For I say through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt each one a measure of faith.”
So how do we measure results? God measures by weight. He sees your substance, as he has filled you with his glory. Don’t carry the weight of a bad decision. You are not defined by the past. Glory weighs a lot more than any of it.
“My purpose outweighs my pain. My destiny outweighs my history. God wins.”
-Pastor Steven Furtick
It’s up to you and I to let go and let God take control. When faced with discouragement, it is easy to forget messages like this one but I encourage you to write it down somewhere and keep it on you always so that you can pull it out and be reminded of God’s promise. His love is tremendous. He will not let you fall or fail without the promise of raising you back up again.
For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.”
-2 Corinthians 4:17
I pray that you will receive this message with open arms, an open heart, and an open mind. Read your Bible. It is full of life. It is so beautiful. As we start this week (and soon enough finals for students), I pray that we keep this message in our hearts. Failure and a few steps back cannot hold us back forever for our God has all control and has filled us with His glory so that we may succeed in Him.
I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of your calling with which you were called…”
(This chapter is very powerful, I recommend reading it all.)