But I’m Not Going That Way

Nicole Headshot in blue shirt

Nicole D. Hayes, Founder, Voices Against the Grain

Nationwide marches. Protests. Rallies. Sit ins. Hundreds of thousands and millions of people gathered to publicly display their positions and views this past week. As a Washington, D.C. resident, I see such demonstrations repeatedly as citizens utilize the public square to stand up against injustices. Who wouldn’t want to be where the action is? Who wouldn’t want to participate in these historical events? Who wouldn’t want a ride to one of these events if offered?

But I’m not going that way. 

I will explain.

Demonstrations, protests and rallies serve as our human efforts to right wrongs; to bring injustices to the surface and hold them accountable. It is a fight to ensure that justice is restored and maintained. It’s part of America’s fabric and that of other nations. Yet, these and all such activities only provide Band-Aids of temporary remedies and not justice eternal. Man can never even the score of what Christ alone can do. Yes, the flesh wounds are real. The injustices are real.

But I’m not going that way. I’m going this way… 

We’ve all been wounded by someone or something and some, more than others. There is no denying this. Yet, I know the Great Equalizer who binds up those wounds and restores what was lost, taken or marginalized. And even in my tenderness and compassion for those wounds, I can’t get caught up in the flesh wounds that would distract my eyes from Christ. If I did, how could I point the wounded in the direction toward healing?

As a dear sister in Christ wrote, “The ‘good’ intentions and injustices should never become the end goal in need of remedy because that measurement is less than what Christ will do. It distracts us from His Kingdom message of return, repent and make straight a path for the Lord.”

So true.

Jesus did not seek to right all of society’s wrongs but He did show love and compassion toward the suffering. He showed them the way to true healing and peace. He showed them that His power is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).  

As one who has been called by God to feed His sheep, to be a “voice against the grain,” to share His truth in love and to provide instruction and clarity where there is disillusionment, I do so by keeping my eyes on Christ.

Vida diaria en Iquique

To say, “But I’m not going that way, I’m going this way,” means that we seek to be Holy Spirit-led (listening for His voice) in all that we do rather than being pulled in the popular direction of the day. This often means that we’ll be walking in the opposite direction of the big crowds. It means that we are guided by a biblical view and spiritual eyes rather than a worldview that galvanizes people to jump on various bandwagons. It often means that few join us on that stretch of road to the Cross. It also means that sometimes my heart needs encouraging when I cry out “How long, how long, Lord?,” as I desire for more people to seek Him, to thirst after Him alone rather than the failed vehicles they chase after for their balm.

For the Believer and the unbeliever, I encourage you to look to the Cross, where Jesus bore it all and won it all for us.

As my dear sister prayed (Thank you, sis), “May we look upon Christ and identify with His cross, life, death and resurrection and the hope of the world to come. May our dependency upon the Lord be like little children and look to His ability to change hearts and provide the increase in their growth.  May we have faith and wait to see how our Father will work to bring His plan to completion! O, Lord, give us the grace to trust you beyond our senses and to look to you for everything! Let us anticipate O, Lord, the new Kingdom that You are creating and Your Sovereignty to create us anew.”

Amen!

-Nicole

Nicole D. Hayes is the founder of Voices Against the Grain, a bold teaching ministry launched in May 2013. Nicole’s purpose in creating Voices Against the Grain is to be light in darkness, to boldly instruct truth amid confusion so as to bring clarity and restoration.

Learn more about Nicole D. Hayes here.

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The Present: Your Inadequacy, His Strength Revealed

Today’s post is from the daily devotional book, Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young. Each devotional is written from the perspective of Jesus speaking to you.  A necessary message to appreciate the freedom and limitations of “now” in a society that strives to live outside the bounds of time.   -Nicole

WHEN SOME BASIC NEED IS LACKING—time, energy, money—consider yourself blessed. Your very lack is an opportunity to latch onto Me in unashamed dependence. When you begin a day with inadequate resources, you must concentrate your efforts in the present moment. The Here and Now comprise the coordinates of your daily life. Too many people miss the present by worrying about the future or longing for a better time and place, forgetting that as humans, they are limited by time and space.

This is where you are meant to live—in the present; it is the place where I always await you. Awareness of your inadequacy is a rich blessing, training you to rely wholeheartedly on Me. The truth is that self-sufficiency is a myth perpetuated by pride and temporary success. Health and wealth can disappear instantly, as can life itself. Rejoice in your insufficiency, knowing that My Power is made perfect in weakness.2 Corinthians 12 and 9 His Strength perfect in our weakness

Accompanying Scriptures: James 1:2-3, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trial of many kinds, because you know the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” 2 Corinthians 12:9, “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” (New International Version)

Walk in God’s Amazing Gift of Grace

Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9- Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (King James Bible)

Ana Martinez, Chef and Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

Ana Martinez, Chef and Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

Something that was said during the March 26, 2014, Voices Against the Grain radio show episode entitled “Celebrating Faith and Family,” truly spoke to me.  One of the guests (Lilly Hayes) mentioned the importance of walking in grace.  I did not truly recognize exactly what it meant to walk in His grace.  I knew I was forgiven, set free and His amazing grace is what rescued me but I still was trying so hard to do everything right.  I can’t change my past or failures and I will continue to fall short—yet I have found hope in 2 Corinthians 12:9, “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ rest upon me.” (King James Bible)

His grace is so precious and so sweet and I am basking in it.  I can feel His peace within me and His grace and strength rest upon me. Once we truly “Fully” walk in His Grace we can see ourselves the way Jesus sees us.  We can walk in truth and know that through Him we are more than Conquerors and He alone is what is holding us togther.  We then must extend that same grace toward others along with mercy to those who mistreat us. By doing this, we are not only walking in grace but living in it.

I leave you with a song of encouragement (play video below):

“In Heavenly armor we’ll enter the land the battle belongs to the Lord

No weapon that’s fashioned against us shall stand the battle belongs to the Lord

We sing glory and honor power and strength to the Lord

We sing glory, honor, power and strength to the Lord

When the power of darkness comes in like a flood the battle belongs to The Lord

He’s raised up a standard, the power of His Blood the battle belongs to The Lord

We sing glory, honor, power and strength to the Lord

We sing glory, honor, power and strength to the Lord

When the enemy presses in hard do not fear the battle belongs to The Lord”

 

Take courage my friend. Your redemption is near and the battle belongs to The Lord!

Ana

About Ana Martinez

Ana Martinez was born in Michigan. When she was age 4, her parents Pastor Juan and Deborah Martinez founded the Potter’s House Christian Fellowship in Almont, Mich.  Ana grew up in the church and in a humble, loving Christian home.  Her parent’s faithfulness and commitment to ministry for over 27 years has been a testimony to her.  In her youth she was like the prodigal son.  She knows what it means to walk away from your call and to stray from the Word of God.  Her life experiences have taught her that God’s way and His principles are worth upholding.  She is a God-fearing Christian woman determined to do the will of The Lord.  Her heart’s desire is to reach the lost and win souls for the kingdom of heaven by sharing the Good News, according to Matthew 28:19. Ana truly believes people are hurting and need to know that there is forgiveness through Jesus Christ.  Matthew 11:28, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give ye rest.”

Ana has served on the Missionary Field, and has served in and led praise and worship, web design, children’s ministry and youth ministry.  Ana’s most recent initiative is Georgia Peach Ministry, a non-profit she founded that serves widows and orphans.  Ana is also on the board of the Potter’s House Christian Fellowship. Ana is a private chef and has worked with professional athletes over the past five years. She is also an entrepreneur and is part owner in an interior design business, a chef placement business, and is entering into the food product industry.