I’m in love with a stripper.
Several years ago I attended my sister Keysha’s ordination message. She greeted the crowd, thanked everyone for coming, and gave the topic to her sermon – ‘I’m in love with a stripper’. The congregation nervously gasped. T-pain’s song ‘I’m in love with a stripper’ was hot at that time. I’m radical and like to push the envelope, but even I was thinking, “Where is she going with this?” LOL
The average Christian hears thousands of messages, but only a few are life changing and memorable. This message was life changing for me. Keysha talked about how God prunes us. He tears away from us things that stunt our growth. It’s a concept likened to gardening.
We sing songs saying God have your way – God I’ll do anything for you – Use me how you see fit – I’ll walk through whatever I have to, to get to you. WE DON’T MEAN THAT ISH! We scream and cry when He tries to remove things from us. We blame the devil for interfering with our lives and think it’s demonic interference. While it can be, many times God is simply drawing us to Him, which equates to pulling us away from other things. These ‘things’ can be relationships, jobs, hobbies, time wasters, or anything else that’s taking our attention off of Him.
It seems to happen in seasons. Now I recognize when I’m going through a pruning season. Like a person getting ready to be arrested by the police, I assume the position, and let God have his way. Fighting Him prolongs the process. Besides, we only fight Him when we don’t believe He loves us and has good plans for us like His word says in Jeremiah 29:11.
We grow from glory to glory. Every new phase or season we step in requires us to let go of some things. For example, when a single person gets married they have to let go of some relationships, furniture, hobbies, or interests. Maybe as a single person they enjoyed hanging out with friends every weekend. Nothing wrong with that, but it doesn’t fit their new life. Old habits, processes, and mindsets can’t go into new seasons. It’s like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.
Keysha’s message has been on my mind lately. I feel God stretching me again. I’m in a transition period and I feel like a bad juggler. The minute I improve in one area I fall off in another. I’ll be transparent and give you an example. I’ve got multiple projects going on in addition to working a regular full-time job. One of my projects is launching a new ministry. I’m struggling to do everything. When I accomplish tasks for the ministry in that same week I fall off on my exercise or morning devotion. When I get my exercise on track my meal prepping falls off. Some of my relationships are changing. I started forgetting important tasks- things I never would have forgotten before. And on and on. I quickly realized the way I operated before will NOT work in this new season.
IF I’M GOING TO SURVIVE IN THIS NEW SEASON I HAVE TO LET GO OF THINGS THAT NO LONGER SERVE A PURPOSE OR FIT MY LIFE NOW. I HAVE TO LET GOD STRIP ME.
One day (before my great epiphany) I was whining and telling God I needed a break. He got smart with me! His response was, “If you can’t handle this, how are you going to run multiple companies?” Ouch! Touché Holy Spirit – touché. LOL
As painful as that statement was, He was right. It’s frustrating, but some things have to change. I can’t hang out with my friends the way I want. I miss a lot of things, because of how often I have to work. However, I recognize that I’m in a building season. The building season requires a lot of sacrifice. It requires the ability to sacrifice now for what you want later. I’ve asked God for a lot. He’s trying to get me there, but the process is painful. It takes as long as it takes. God can’t be manipulated. I can’t put in a complaint and speak with His supervisor. It is what it is. The process can’t be rushed, but it can be delayed with disobedience. My advice to you is to stop fighting the current and ride waves. Remember this season is temporary.
Whatever you encounter in life, know that God will use it. Pain is a vital part of growth. If you allow God to prune you none of the pain you experience will be in vain. Too whom much is given, much is required.
I don’t always understand God’s ways, but I know He loves you and me and has good plans for us. And for that I love Him. So…
I’M IN LOVE WITH A STRIPPER.
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