I had to reblog this brilliant piece from resident QF Tendayi Ndoro on here (thank you Sis Tendi for letting us poach your messages!) because I believe we can all relate to what she is saying. If you have ever encountered a gruelling test of faith, this message is for you…
I was having a chat with a dear Professor in Linguistics aunt of mine who has just attained a very prestigious leadership award in the United States yesterday, and as we recalled the extreme challenges that seemed unrelated in a totally different area that she had experienced beforehand, I commented that that was the testing by fire before coming out as gold. As I replayed the type of month that I had experienced she mentioned a phrase that really caught my attention and said “It is time for the Jacob challenges and it looks like the gospel is right on target.”
I don’t know if you like me have had a month or week or a season where you start off so sure where you are going, God has promised you so much, you are on track with your own actions that you have to take and what you want to do and the minute you step in, ready to go, you are met with a huge challenge. Not the usual jump over the hurdle stuff that you are used to tackling but something with a twist that requires advice from good council and carefully applying yourself to the issues. And as soon as that is done, you have something else that shakes up everything that you have been walking towards and believing for a significant number of years; a great shift in the twinkle of an eye in a way that leaves you having to recalibrate your settings and remap your route again.
Such seasons are often met with literally anything and everything that can be challenging or that could go wrong to a point that it actually starts to get your attention as you inquire, “hold on a minute, what is really going on here?” I am always a firm believer that every breakthrough is first met with its great challenges and the need to apply increased force or pressure (in the form of determination, resolve, increased prayer and worship) in certain matters hence the term BREAKthrough. Such times are definitely not the times to back down and quit although some of the battles you face can certainly make you weary and cause you to want to go that way.
We see this pattern in almost everything about life. The attainment of a prestigious degree course is always met with rigorous testing at the end of it, the birth of a new child is met with excruciating labour pains before they are born and hence anytime there is a change in STATUS that is about to take place, you must expect to experience the JACOB CHALLENGES.
So what happened to Jacob then? In Genesis 32 we see him sending his possessions, wives and children ahead of him to meat ESAU and remaining in the camp where he had to wrestle all night with a “MAN”. Jacob prevailed over the battle and the man injured Jacob’s hip that he limped from then onward. But he would still not let him go until he had blessed him. He was asked for his name and when he said Jacob, the “MAN” who was God almighty himself, changed Jacob’s name to Israel, the father of the nation of Israel we see today. This was because he had wrestled with man and with God and prevailed!
So if this is you today, I want you to note a few things about such times when you are contending for your Blessing:
1- It is a place you have to walk alone, no-one else can come into that battle with you although they can encourage and pray for you but this is one you will need to fight yourself with your faith, your work, your focus on what it is that you want regardless of what you see and your experiences of what God has taken you through so far.
2- This battle will change the way you walk forever! Some of the things that you are going through are status shifting things, you will never be the same again. This is a great change and you will not be recognised in the way you had been before.
3- It is just an “all night battle” and although it may seem long whilst you are in the thick of it, Joy is coming in the morning, give it your best shot and do not give up, you were born for this next phase that is coming your way. Keep pressing in.
4- Do not allow God to leave without you receiving your BLESSING! It is easy to go through these storms and come out just wounded and bruised with nothing else to show for the journey we have gone through. Be determined that whatever you entered into that battle for you come out with it! If it is your degree, come out with it, if it is a happy marriage, come out with it, if it is your ministry, come out with it, If it is a cure for your sickness, come out with your healing.
I am encouraging someone out there today
IT IS JACOB CHALLENGES TIME- Do not leave that place without your Blessing!
To read more of Tendayi’s GOD-inspired messages, visit her website on www.tendayindoro.com