Updated: Dec 15, 2022
I always thought that I was a fighter. In the beginning of my walk with Jesus, I had an attitude and a personal catch phrase when told that I couldn’t buy a house as a single parent or I wasn’t qualified for a job and Oh, can I say it, “My ethnicity and economic standing would stop me from achieving success.” A list of what I could not or should not do according to the standards of this world. Spoken out of someone else's fears. I would say to myself, “Let me show you what my God can do!”
I watched the Lord move in so many ways in my life but the testing of my faith intensified with every step that I made. When someone would go through hard times in life, my grandfather would say, hard winds have hit that person. The test led me to the battle of a lifetime. My catch phrase changed to, "Lord where are you?" The winds that hit me, were tornados. The most power ride of my life. Going through it was hard. Looking back, it was the best things that ever happened to me.
A few years ago, I was awaken to the question, Are you a contender? A contender for your purpose, a contender for your inheritance, a contender for the promises in the word of God. A contender for the faith. A fight, aggressively in pursuit of an expectant end. Diligence, persistence, perseverance are the ingredients that make up the characteristics of a contender.
The dream or the knowledge of your purpose is only the first step in the journey of seeing it manifested. The pilgrimage of the Israelites charted by the promise, the testing in wilderness, the wars, yielded the fruition of the promise. There are many casualties in pursuit of your destiny but those who persevere to the end will see the promise fulfilled.
I started my first business several years ago. The progression of my business did not work out as fast as I thought it should. Driven by the scripture in Proverbs 3:6, In all your ways acknowledge Him, He shall direct your paths. I cried out to the Lord for guidance. His response, FIGHT! After many obstacles and prayers, I would get the same answer, FIGHT. I remember thinking to myself I am tired of fighting.
Frustration can be the fuel to get you to the next step, level or growth. Discouraged by the repetitive instructions to fight, this time I asked, “Whom am I fighting?” Clear as day, I heard the Hittites, Amorites, the Jebusites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, Girgashites, all the ites.
All of the obstacles that were blocking me from getting to my destiny, including myself. I was shocked and excited at the same time. During that time, I was reading the bible story of how the Israelites had to fight to obtain the Promised Land flowing of milk and honey. My fight was spiritual and tied to the journey of my calling and dreams.
I can honestly say that the majority of my spiritual journey was surgical. The transformation of the heart and character. The renewal of the mind. I closed that business feeling like a failure. Stuck, licking my wounds and feeling sorry for myself, I went to the Lord in prayer and fasting. I asked, “Why did I have to go through all of that just to fail?” By the way, humility was something else that I needed. Through the grace God, He reveled to me that it was all a TEST. The testing of my faith to where He was trying to take me.
Something wonderful happens when you get a word from the Lord. For me personally, it always comes with a boost to keep going and a dash of faith. The test lasted six long years. When it was over, He said that I had more land to conquer. I understood the test but land to conquer? After the close of the business in a three year period, we moved to Houston TX, Long Island NY (for a couple months) back to Houston and then on to San Diego, CA. The wilderness migration was also part of the journey and our reward was in San Diego.
If I had not stopped to ask the Lord for direction and solutions to my problems, I would not have known that I was in a battle of a lifetime and I needed to fight to get the victory. I was truly ignorant but in hindsight, I understand James 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall in various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But, let patience have its perfect work that you may be perfect and complete and lacking nothing.
The journey to your promise is not for the fainthearted. The knowledge gained through experience makes the ride smoother. The test and the trials made me a prizefighter. Living out the manifestation of the word of God.
Contending for your faith takes work. Jude 1:3 - Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. The scriptures also tells us that faith without works is dead. Failure is a place that some find themselves frozen watching and waiting. We cannot stay on the sidelines no matter what has happened in our life. Sulking over bad decisions, investments and ideas can cripple you and leave your mind parked and replaying in a never-ending loop. Time will move on without you.
Your next move must be to shake yourself free from complacency and mediocrity. Put a plan together and redeem the time. Proverbs 24:13 says- For a righteous man may fall seven times and rise again, but the wicked shall fall by calamity. We have to keep getting up, revise our plans and fight for the promise.
In 1 Kings 18 God told Elijah after a 3 year drought that He was going to send rain. Elijah sent his servant to go up and look toward the sea. In verse 43-44 He went and looked, and said, THERE IS NOTHING. And SEVEN TIMES he said, “Go Again!” Then it came to pass the seventh time, that he said, “There is a cloud, as small as a man’s hand rising out of the sea.
When God gives you a promise, you have to contend until you see it manifested. If you failed, get up and Go again. If you are a procrastinator, starting and stopping, Get up and GO AGAIN! If life has gotten in the way, Get Up and Go Again. Isaiah 55-11- So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.
Joshua 21:43-45 So the Lord gave to Israel all the land of which He had sworn to give to their fathers, and they took possession of it and dwelt in it. 44 The Lord gave them rest all around, according to all that He had sworn to their fathers. And not a man of all their enemies stood against them; the Lord delivered all their enemies into their hand. 45 Not a word failed of any good thing which the Lord had spoken to the house of Israel. All came to pass.