Eliminate the Toxins

I have found myself recently in a bit of a quagmire, or in other words a confusing funk. The past year has been a crazy one, but through it I feel like God is showing me my purpose. He has continually been revealing me skills and providing me with opportunity, even during the hard times. I think the same is true for all of us as we really focus in on what God is trying to tell us, we can learn so much if we just stop to listen. So why is it that we get into a funk? This funk being that we have a vision of what we believe God has for our lives, but we feel held back. There’s nothing worse than knowing what you want and not being able to grasp it. It feels like an invisible force is trying to keep me where I am, but it’s not invisible or unknown. In Daystar Kids, this month has been talking about initiative, seeing what needs to be done and doing it, and is exemplified by Nehemiah. The story of Nehemiah is the perfect example of someone who was given a purpose, and uncovered what these invisible forces that hold each of us back and completed his purpose. Three simple things, that not only helped him fulfill his purpose, but eliminated the toxins from his life. The truths that Nehemiah discovered hundreds of years ago, are still the same truths today that will help us live in confidence and step into the vision for our life.

These are things that I have dealt with and still deal with, that’s why I’m sharing what I’ve learned with you. I think each of us have struggles, let’s face it, if you didn’t you would be a super human. We aren’t perfect super humans, we all want to quit, we all have to face opposition, and we all have to make a choice between what we know is worthy and what we know will ultimately hurt us. I say all this because I’m nowhere near perfect, I just have a vision for how God wants to use all of us for something greater than all of us. So let’s step into something greater.

Combating fear.

Nehemiah was afraid. His people in Jerusalem were unprotected because their great wall had fallen, which left them open for destruction. Nehemiah felt the tug on his heart to do something about it, but what could he do? He was a cupbearer for the king, not of noble descent or of any great political power, but he had a vision. That’s true for all of us. Most of us aren’t bajillionares or celebrities (if you are you should totally promote my blog, yo), we are all simple people with a great vision. The sad truth of it is, most of us would just stop here, have a picture of greater things but be afraid of taking the jump to attain it. Nehemiah was brave, he had favor with the king because of his attitude, and decided to approach the king. Now just in case you don’t know, a cupbearer takes the first sip of the kings drink to make sure it isn’t poisoned, a job very low on the totem pole. Nehemiah trusted God and asked to be brave, and it paid off. Not only did the king support Nehemiah’s wanting to rebuild the wall and lead that mission, he supported him with more than he needed to make this happen. This is so true of our own lives, when we trust God and take a leap of faith, he rewards us even more than we could imagine. When we are brave, we combat fear and cleanse ourselves of the first toxin.

Battle the negative relationships.

Nehemiah was opposed. People didn’t like what Nehemiah was doing, he was standing up for what was right and the people in Jerusalem were so thankful, but others opposed him. I know this is definitely true in my life, whenever I try to follow my vision people around me are so quick to chime in on their “opinions.” We’ve all dealt with this, the comment that gets under your skin, talking behind your back, or the lovely you’re not equipped for this. I say again, Nehemiah was a cupbearer, not an architect, yet God used him. Nehemiah’s opposition was way worse than anything you and I have probably faced, they wanted to kill him and the workers on the wall. That’s pretty serious, and would have been easy for Nehemiah to quit and not complete his vision, but Nehemiah had God and a close community beside him. They stationed soldiers alongside the workers on the wall, so as the wall was completed, the guards protected the mission. So often in my life I want to focus on the negative actions of people and I miss the people that God has placed in my life to walk with me. I listen to the words of the enemy when the life giving people are right next to me. Nehemiah prayed to God and said that any curse spoken against the people of Jerusalem would be turned back on their enemies. Nehemiah knew that he couldn’t stop the voices, but he trusted God to handle it and protected his people. We need to give God control and protect ourselves from the negative words. The negative relationships in your life need to go, trust God and eliminate the toxin of life taking relationships. We were made to be so much more than to be trapped in friendships or romantic relationships that hurt us rather than build up our lives.

Dedicate the wall.  

The wall was built and the people were safe, but Nehemiah knew there was one more objective to complete. He had faced all the odds and completed the purpose for his life, and he dedicated his work to the Lord. So often we forget to thank God for the work he has done, we’re quick to pat ourselves on the back and we lose sight of our powerful creator that gave us the passion to begin with. Nehemiah 12:43 says, “and they offered great sacrifices, rejoicing because God had given them great joy…The sound of rejoicing in Jerusalem could be heard far away.” Our lives should be shouting to everyone around us who gave us the strength to be the best we can be, to say that I am powerless, but he has made me brave. The final part to getting rid of the toxicity that holds us back, is to dedicate our lives to the one who created all things.

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In our fear and in the hurt we make excuses as to why we can’t do something, but God says we can. Over and over again we all have a vision of where we want to be and what we want to do, but we are held back by such insignificant things. No matter what you’ve done before, how old or young you are, I think that each of us is made for something so much bigger. We all have a story and we play such a small part in God’s large plan. Even though life may hurt, and believe me it does, there is so much more for each of us. My vision is to help the next generation see that they are so much more valuable than they can even imagine. I want to help you be the best you can be. We all have purpose and we all have to fight daily to be brave and refuse to listen to the toxic lies our enemy uses to stop us. You were made by God to do great things.

Step into your legacy.

-Joshua Thomas

What is your vision? How has God been using you? I’d love to hear from what you guys think. Leave a comment, share the blog, and most importantly, think about it. Thanks for reading!

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