“For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possession. These are not from the Father, but are from this world.” NLT 1 John 2:16
Are you aware that we are the modern day Israelites living in spiritual bondage wandering in the wilderness of what is familiar, keeping us distracted from our purpose?
I wasn’t aware of this until very recently. I have had questions come up in my head over the years, but I was always able to dismiss it and move on. It wasn’t until recently when I climbed closer to forty, and I was in a time in my life where my circumstances have settled for a bit, that this feeling climbed right back up in my soul.
I grew up most of my life chasing the dreams of success. Sound familiar? I had something to prove to the world growing up in subsidized housing with very little money, in a dysfunctional home. I didn’t want to be labeled so I worked my butt off to prove to the world that I have what it takes to be successful. And I did it! Here I am, against all odds, holding a B.S. degree from a State University, and regarded as a Senior Leader in one of the top 10 “Best 100 Fortune companies” in the bay area. My children are going to private school and I have been able to provide them with whatever their heart desires even as a single mother for years. I should be happy right? Quite the contrary.
I did everything the worldly book told me to do and for some reason I still felt this empty burrow in my heart. I took pride in my achievements and possession. But when I reached a certain point in my career, I had no desire to continue moving up. I witnessed and experienced things in the work place that didn’t make me feel good in my gut, and at some point I woke up and realized that I was living up to someone else’s expectation of me. I was spending all my time and energy working towards someone else’s dream.
Does your time and effort reflect what you truly value in life?
We are busy busy busy. We work our butts off to make ends meet. Our actions don’t match our priorities and we are constantly feeling like we are running out of time. Every year goes by in a blink of an eye and we are suddenly scraping pennies to put Christmas presents under the tree again. We don’t know how to stop until a crisis takes place in our life that offers a new perspective on how precious our life really is.
Why wait for the crisis?
Jesus says in NIV Luke 19:40, “I tell you, if they keep quiet the stones will cry out”. Jesus refers to the stones as our spiritual keeper. He is saying that if you conform to the ways of this world, our natural being will cry out. We cannot hide what our spirit calls for. We may feel empty, sad, confused, depressed, stressed, anxiety, etc. All of these are spiritual warning signs that eventually impact your physical state.
What if I told you you don’t have to work that hard to LIVE. No matter what your circumstances are or used to be, it’s all a matter of perspective. You don’t need to be rich in money. You need to be rich in spirit. Our mind has the power to heal and our spirit holds the power of truth. We must uncover the true desires of our heart by letting go of the false desires that hold us in bondage.
You were made for an extraordinary purpose. You and I have gifts that are waiting to be used. In scripture, God reveals stories time and time again of people fulfilling their purpose with his protection, provision and guidance. Yet for some reason we don’t believe this to be true for ourselves.
Wendy Blight from Proverbs 31 Ministries asks it best in a First 5 App devotional: “Who sits on the throne of your heart? Your boss, your husband, your teacher, your coworker, your celebrity? To whom do you give your allegiance? Your first best? Who do you want to please?”
Do you want to know what your connection is to the world?
Before God could bring you to know your purpose, you have to remove the things in your life that take the place of Him. That thing that you depend on for happiness. That thing that you get up every morning for and chase. The thing that you stress and get anxiety over. The thing that comes second to God. Like an addict who is so fixated on that thing that he loses reality of life. In my life the physical thing is success, money, recognition and promotion. In the emotional it is pride, impatience, anger and selfishness.
NIV James 4:13-14 says, “Now listen, you who say, ‘today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money’. Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.”
Our culture encourages us to make decisions for tomorrow before tomorrow even comes. We live in an overconsumed society, where we purchase things before God has provided us the means to have it. Living this way not only suggests that we have the power to provide for ourselves and we don’t need God, but it also offers us up as a slave to the lender (NIV Proverbs 22:7). And as long as we are a slave to the lender, we will NOT be free. We will need to continue working that job, making that money so that we can pay off the lender. And once we pay the lender, we will wait for that promotion so we can pay off the future debts that we have yet to consume. I am exhausted just thinking about it. Yet this is reality and this is how we live today.
“Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.” NIV 1 Timothy 6:9
I am not suggesting that you leave your job tomorrow. Everyone’s journey is different. What I am suggesting is that you take a deep, hard look at what it is that is holding you back from fulfilling your destiny, your purpose, your legacy.
What is binding you from being well and happy?
When you leave this world, what do you want people to remember about you?
How do you want to respond when you are at the gates of Heaven when there is a recap of your life?
Our life here is temporary and we should be living each day with a focus on the eternal. We shouldn’t just talk about it, we should BE about it. Set the example. Walk ahead. Lead. Investigate and Discover His calling on your life.
Our provision doesn’t come from man – it comes from God. Once we truly believe this in our mind, body and spirit, our options will expand, and we will have choices before us that we never knew we had.
I choose to “walk by the spirit, and not gratify the desires of my flesh” NIV Galatians 5:16. Granted, this is easier said than done, but I still choose to Walk ahead, to Set the example, to Lead. It all starts with a choice.
What do you choose?
20 thoughts on “Week 1 – Breaking Routine”
Great post.. the lives we are taught to live benefit the evil empire that rule us in the shadows.. food, drugs, education, and religion they force feed to us disconnects us from ourselves, our families, and mother earth.. what we need to realize is that they need us in order to rule and we should not give in to all the temptation they put in our face.. looking forward to more of your posts and will be sure to spread the word so we can slowly win back our souls..
Beautifully written from beginning to end. Thank you Sis for caring & sharing your experience in your walk with God. I pray through your journey that others will jump on the train to fulfill their purpose & calling from God. I’ve been fighting it within myself Sis, I’m scared & worried about the future & the unknown but to believe in him I must trust him & have faith. Thank you Sis for shsring a piece of the puzzle for me. Love you
Thank you sis for reading and supporting me on this journey. Let’s remember in 2 Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power, love and self-discipline”. Anything else is not spirit produced. We rebuke any Fear and worry that may hold us back!
I am so amazed at how spiritually in tune you are with yourself and with your wisdom. You encourage me take a deeper look into myself and my spirituality. I’m so grateful you shared this with me.
Thank you auntie. I’m so grateful you visited my page.
I’m so proud of you Jen the little that I got to read today was amazing please keep me appraised.
Well spoken my love!
Continue to pursue your dreams thru HIM and utilize the skill set and many gifts bestowed on you not for the needs of a corporation, but for the good of mankind and the followers of Christ.
So very proud to call you my wife…
Can’t wait until the next post.
Your loving Husband
Thank you too honey for standing by my side and believing in my crazy aspirations. We reap what we sow and I’m very fortunate to have you in my life to support me every step of he way. I couldn’t live my dreams without your support.
Jen that was awesome. You know me and all the shit I did to myself and my family. I’m doing awesome but there is always something I desire in life. To get ahead and keep it pushing on the positive note in life. My wife and kids are first that’s how I see it but I know that I need to be first to get them ahead. Thanks Jen for that your awesome.
Mike that is so awesome to hear. We have been through a-lot and it’s amazing to see you continue to push forward. He has an extraordinary plan for you. Keep fighting the good fight brother!
Many people in Western culture are striving for success. They want the great home, they want their business to work, they want all these outer things. But what I see is that having these outer things does not necessarily guarantee what we really want, which is happiness. So we go for these outer things thinking they’re going to bring us happiness , but it’s backward. You need to go for the inner joy, the inner peace, the inner vision first, and then all of these outer things will appear.
Agreed Mara thank you for your insights.
Praise God sis! Thank you for sharing!
Congrats on your blog and the new beginnings. Proud of you, Jennifer. Love, Auntie Baby
Beautifully written! Keep us inspired!
I truly believe that God’s divine intervention has brought us together through your Hanalani ministry. I love your passion for Christ and your beautiful soul. I look forward to walking with you and our Lord in this journey in discovering our purpose/calling. It couldn’t come at a more perfect time. Of course, it was all in God’s timing. He is definitely using you for wonderful things. Amazing blog, Jenny!
Thank you Romelle for your kind words. I am so grateful our path has crossed at just the right time. I love meeting with you every week as you inspire me the same.
Sis, you bless me. This is my 40th yr and although, by Gods divine grace and mercy, my life seems flipped around in the past couple years, He still provides my stability, my foundation and my sistas… you. I look forward to sharing this midlife journey with you, however way He allows. Thank you for following His calling. Love you.