The Power of “No”

No one likes to hear a “no.”  “No” means you’ve been denied something, put on restrictions, cannot receive what you wanted. We dread hearing “no” from our friends, family, potential opportunities, even our lovers. We especially hate hearing a “no” from God.

We’ve been so conditioned to believe that being told “no” means we’ve reached end of our quest for what we sought after, that many times we stop seeking all together OR take a totally different approach in a different direction that we never wanted to go in in the first place.

I’d like to challenge our thinking for a bit.

What if every time you were told “no”, you knew that the next answer would be the “perfect yes”? How many “no’s” would you endure to reach that perfect “yes”?

Diligence:

n. [L., to love earnestly; to choose.]

1. Steady application in business of any kind; constant effort to accomplish what is undertaken; exertion of body or mind without unnecessary delay or sloth; due attention; industry; assiduity.

In order to get to our ultimate goal, there will be doors closed in our face. Too many times we think hearing a “no” means we have failed when in actuality, it gets us a step closer to the perfect “yes”.

When you’re striving for God’s perfect plan for your life, He will give you a “no”. While He loves us and even His Word says that anything we ask for, He’ll give us, He must give us a “no”. 

Why?

Because every “no” from Him gets us a step closer to what we really want. What we think we want, in actuality, we don’t want. And if you ever get a “yes”, you soon realize that what you initially wanted doesn’t even compare to what you received.
 

There is power in the word “no”. It liberates us, gives us the power to know that the next job we apply for, relationship we try, business plan we write, school we seek admission to will get us closer to His perfect will.

I have a good friend who was given her dream job! She was excited and, after not working for several months, felt like her prayers had been answered. A week later, she was let go. No real explanation other than they needed to keep the position “open.” Devastated, she took a couple of days to regroup, packed her “no” in her satchel bag, and kept pounding the pavement.

A week later, she was called to interview for another job that paid more money, required less hours, and had more perks.

Had she never gotten a “no”, she would have never gotten to the perfect “yes”.

What “no’s” have you gotten lately? I challenge you to take them, pack ’em up, and get excited. Your perfect “yes” is on the way!

On the Chase,

Alisha L.

Faith rule. Mind drool.

Throughout life, we who are of the Kingdom of God will be faced with greater challenges, greater levels of faith.

We will have to learn to trust God with parts of our lives that we haven’t relinquished control of because we’re afraid.

We’re afraid that if we make one move something may not work out right. Or, if we pursue what’s really in our hearts, then we may be greeted with disappointment or failure.

Sometimes, though, God puts something in our hearts that is unmistakable. We know without a shadow of a doubt that it is Him moving us, speaking to us, pushing us out of our comfort zones to prepare us for the next level of faith.

God has provided a path for us to walk that has everything we need, but sadly, we let fear keep our feet locked in position, refusing to make a move.

For me, it has always been the fear of not having enough, not being able to care for my kid, having to resort to God-knows-what to survive. I was always taught to never make a move without having something secure in place, but that, my friends, speaks to the logical.

What I’m talking about is faith.

We have to get to the place where we become radical in our faith. Not on some religious, “hold my mule”, 3 holy ghost spins and a Shabach-faith either.

Faith that says:

No matter what is going on around me, I will chase after God.

No matter what is going on in the economy, loss of jobs, lack of financial stability, I will pursue what He has for me.

No matter what my mind says I should do, I will follow my heart, for in my heart lies the inner most desires.

You have to be crazy as Hades to act on those things. But if you’re crazy enough, there is great reward awaiting you.

I want to get to the place where I’m so doggone faith crazy that my logical mind no longer rules. I want my faith to rule and my mind to drool.

Of course, we are not to dismiss wisdom, God’s timing, and using common sense, but when there’s a press to move in something He’s told you to do, just do it. (Nike, PAY ME!) 🙂

As I was writing this, Creflo Dollar tweeted:

@Creflo_Dollar: When u speak words, u are writing them on your heart; whatever is in your heart will come out & manifest in your life (Ps 45:1).

Soon after, Joel Osteen tweeted:

@JoelOsteen: ..I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord. ‘They are plans for good…to give you a future and a hope.’ (Jeremiah 29:11)

You may not like either pastor but, whoo those were right on time!

Pursue God. Pursue His passions. Don’t let money or status or reputation keep you from pursuing your heart’s desires.

The desire you have to do _____________________ (fill in your blank) because HE put it there. That ain’t chu. That’s Him, tugging at you, nagging you, filling your head with dreams and visions of a greater you, a greater life.

Let faith rule.

(to be continued…)

On the Chase,

 

Alisha L.

 

NuMbErS.

I don’t take any occurrence in my life as happenstance or by coincidence.

I believe that everything that I encounter is a result of divine purpose and intervention.

I’m not a religious freak that gives a “God bless you” after every sentence, but I do believe that nothing my friends, is by chance.

Today, I took Ashli to the movies to see Gnomeo and Juliet (great flick, BTW) and as we were leaving the theater, Ashli yelled, “mommy! There’s a $5 bill!” I took a few steps back and sure enough, there was a $5 near the bushes.

A few paces later, I spotted a $1 bill on the ground.

Considering the wind was at a high gust, it was surprising that those bills were lying there, undisturbed, seemingly waiting.

In usual “I’m addicted to social media” fashion, I tweeted our finds to the World Wide Web.

Someone suggested that I look up the biblical meaning of the number 6. So I did.

The number 6 is the number of man; man was created on the 6th day (as was Satan), it is the human number, the number of human labor (devoid of God’s assistance).

After reading that, I thought, I don’t know if I like that. I decided to look up a set of numbers that make up the number 6: 5 and 1.

The number 5 is the number of grace. Grace = favor. Favor to the unworthy (undeserving) = Grace!

The number 1 is the number of independence, the beginning, God is solitary, needs no help.

What, then, does this mean?

In my walk with God, I’ve done a lot of the work. I’ve toiled, labored, hustled, manipulated to manifest what I needed to happen. Whether that was to pay a bill or get an opportunity, I *cough* unnecessarily put myself to work to get things done. I’ve been “sixing”.

Lately, I’ve been faced with trials, been in need, believing God for some things that, in a former life, (you know, when I was a Sixer) I would have been on my hustle trying to make happen myself. I realized today that I’ve been operating at a 5 and 1.

I’ve received favor from God that I didn’t deserve. I decided to take my hands of certain situations, not revert back to bad habits and allowed him to work in solitary.

There’s someone reading this who is a Sixer. They’ve been trying to make things happen on their own for the longest, and while they’ve gained some ground, they haven’t been as successful as they’d like to be.

Stop working under man’s number. Stop “sixing”. Become a 5 and 1.

God’s grace and favor is there, waiting for you to take your hands off it and let Him work alone.

You may say, “I don’t know how to do that. I don’t know how to stop worrying, stop hustling. I’ve been doing it so long, that stopping my work to let HIM work seems backwards.”

His command his simple: Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully. –1 Peter 5:7

Just do it. Be carefree in Him. Doesn’t mean you neglect responsibility and put your best foot forward, but let Him do the work. He doesn’t need our help or assistance and if you mess up, His grace is sufficient. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

On the Chase of 5 and 1,

Alisha L.

Redemption Road.

In recent days, Ted Williams as become an overnight sensation as he gained recognition as the “man with the golden voice”, after being discovered while panhandling on the streets of Columbus, Ohio.

If you’ve been under a rock and haven’t heard this man’s voice, check out the video here.

After over a decade of homelessness, drug and alcohol addiction, and a few run-ins with he law, Williams has several job offers, sealed a deal as the new voice of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, and countless other opportunities to return to a normal life.

I’ve been late to work almost every day this week watching his interviews on the Today Show, and, when asked what would make this part of his life different from the previous years as a radio announcer, the answer was simple. “I have God.”

The difference between my successes of years gone by is that I didn’t acknowledge the Lord or thank him for anything before,” he told [the Today Show]. “This time around, I have God in my life, acknowledging him on a daily basis. I’ve found a new sense of spirituality now.” –Ted Williams

God is a redeemer. He cares not about our past mistakes or faulty history. He is the one who can take a man like Ted Williams and change his life for the better. The desire to chase after and have a heart for God ignites God’s desire to chase after us.

I am crazy enough to believe, however, that William’s experience wasn’t for him. While he reaps the benefit of his newfound lifestyle, God didn’t redeem him on national television for him.

He did it for you. For us. For the entire world to see a live manifestation of God’s ability, power, and compassion.

Every time Williams is on television, he has thanked God, said that it was Jesus that saved his life; millions of people have seen his story, have heard the name of Jesus, and for those who did not believe before that God was capable to do the impossible, now believes.

From Michael Vick to Ted Williams to countless others, God is showing the world through His power that He is real and desires a real connection to us. He wants to remind us that Jesus redeemed us all through His sacrifice and no matter how far away we stray from Him, He is always calling us home, bringing us back through redemption.

 

On the Chase,

Alisha L.

Sacrifice.

sac·ri·fice
[sak-ruh-fahys] –noun: the surrender or destruction of something prized or desirable for the sake of something considered as having a higher or more pressing claim.

I find it interesting that the definition for the word “sacrifice” says that we surrender something “prized or desirable…”

Sometimes we feel like what we have right now is the best of the best. That boyfriend or girlfriend. That job or business. That chunky booty. For so long, we’ve become content with the current and, eventually, we begin to believe that it has become our “prized or desirable.”

The second part of that definition, however, gets to the good stuff.

“…for the sake of something considered having a HIGHER or MORE PRESSING claim.”

Sacrificing, in itself, sets us up to receive better, more, greater than what we had before. Everyone may not have to sacrifice in the same areas (i.e. if you have a great relationship/marriage, you don’t sacrifice that for “greener grass. Sitcho butt down.)

But those areas in which we desire for more, we must lose or surrender something that we may feel is already a prized possession.

Before the clock strikes midnight and brings in a new year,  I want us all to consider what we would be willing to sacrifice to gain what it is that we want. Really consider it.

And Jesus called [to Him] the throng with His disciples and said to them, If anyone intends to come after Me, let him deny himself [forget, ignore, disown, and lose sight of himself and his own interests] and take up his cross, and follow Me. Mark 8:34, Amplified

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. Romans 12:1, New KJV

I like the fact that the bible says that it is our “reasonable service” in Romans 12. Reasonable means to be moderate, something that is capable of doing or expecting.

What God expects of us, when we “sacrifice”, is reasonable, doable, and in most cases, moderate.

Surely, it doesn’t feel that way when we have to give up what we’re used to or what our flesh likes. But when we consider that what we gain is much greater than what we feel like we are losing.

In the New Year, I plan to sacrifice. Yes, it’s going to hurt like hell, but what I plan to gain is much, much greater than what I feel I’m losing.

Join me, wont you?

On the Chase,

Alisha L.

::Four Words::

Mark 11:22 reads:
And Jesus answering saith unto them, “Have faith in Money. Man. The GOP. Cars. Weezy. The Real House Wives. Your boss. Your crazy baby mama. Your equally crazy baby daddy. Obama. Your [insert college/university name here]. Your skills. Who you know. Your family name. Your education. Freeing T.I. Your sorority. Your frat brothers. The NAACP. The BET Awards. Self. Love. Man. Sex in the City 2. Big. Facebook. Their opinions. Your past. Your potential. Your future. Him. Her. Them. Lawmakers. The Feds. The media. The medicines. The doctors. The health reports. Your bank account. The economy. Your job. A book. Oprah. Dr. Phil. Dr. Oz. The Illuminati. Nicki Minaj’s Monster Voice. Drake’s album. Kanye’s ballet dancers. MC Hammer’s diss track. Your father. Your lost innocence. Your mother who didn’t protect you. Your pain. Your refusal to let go. His mistakes. Your failures. Your pastor. Your church. Your religion. A lace front. A Booty Pop. A facade. The fairytales. Prince Charming. The white horse. Lebron. Kobe. Your degree. Your dissertation. Your collegiate “greatness”. Your  gargantuan amounts of supercilious vocabulary. Your iPhone, iPad, iPod, i..i..i.. Your BLACKer the BERRY. People.

God.

On the chase,

Alisha L.