“This Must Go”

Nicole D. Hayes, Founder, Voices Against the Grain

Nicole D. Hayes, Founder, Voices Against the Grain

You’ve heard it. I’ve heard it too. As Christians, there are times when we distinctly hear the Holy Spirit tell us that something in our life “must go.” As we grow in Christ, the Lord purges us of things that ensnare; things that hinder our promotion to the next level; things that prevent our effectiveness in God’s Kingdom. Ultimately, the purging and “this must go” is designed to transform us more into Christ’s likeness (2 Corinthians 3:18).

When you hear God say “this must go,” how do you respond? Do you immediately obey given your love for Him, or are you reluctant to lose the thing or an activity you’ve enjoyed?

The “this must go” items could include removing secular music from your playlists, abstaining from alcohol, not going to the dance club (particularly if your growth is still immature and unable to handle fleshly temptations often present in club environments), distancing yourself from certain people who are not aligned with your Kingdom calling, not watching movies or TV shows because of their cursing, violence or overtly sexual content, etc. It could be bad habits, foul language, thoughts or deceptions. More items could be listed but you get the point. For some, our devotion to the Lord enables us to say “bye bye” to whatever it is, realizing it will impede our spiritual growth. However, sometimes when the Holy Spirit tells us that “this must go,” it can be like prying the favorite toy from a crying toddler. Yikes!

toddler tantrum

One of my “this must go” items was dumping the R&B music I previously enjoyed. Primarily, R&B music with overtly sexual overtones produced by such artists as H-Town, Jodeci, 112 and a HOST of others! For a while it was difficult to rid myself of these songs that I liked dancing to. Not so much for the lyrics but the beats. Soon after, my playlists became more infused with Christian music, gospel music and my appetite for the previous went away. If I hear it today, it’s like “yuck” and I have a visceral reaction to it. My body, mind and spirit are fixed on godly things!

Clear out clutter

What I know to be true is this: If you struggle to let go of something that the Holy Spirit has said to you “This must go,” I understand. Flesh wants what it wants. On the flip side, if you desire to grow in Christ, you have to clear out the clutter. Clearing out the clutter makes room for the new things God wants to pour into you. You can’t put new things in a jammed closet. Clear out the old and clutter from the closet. The clutter will indeed hinder you, despite Satan’s lies telling you that “you can have a little.” Our goal is to be more and more like Christ;  to “throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles” as told in Hebrews 12:1. The more we fall in love with Christ, the more we lose an appetite for the things of old and gain an appetite for the desires of Christ. 

When God asks us to do something, He gives us enough grace and forgiveness to accomplish the task. God works with us even in our flaws. God gives us grace, forbearance, forgiveness, gifts, to support His objectives. Without His grace, we’d never achieve His objectives. We never go at it alone. He is with us.

When God tells you “this must go” it’s so you can go forward.

God bless you,

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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Enduring Temptation

Jason M. Alexandre, Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

Jason M. Alexandre, Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

Your temptations are no different from what others experience. Yet, God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure. 1 Corinthians 10:13

“Why me Lord? Why is this only happening to me?” While it may seem that your temptation is unique to your life situation in the way that it affects you, others have experienced it before you or are currently enduring the same. To endure essentially means exercise patience through trouble or suffering. You are not alone friend. The dark moments of our life will last only so long as is necessary for God to accomplish his purpose in us.

You say, “What good is there in my temptations and sufferings?” If you trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, you are now being molded and transformed each day into His likeness. For 2 Corinthians 3:18 says, “So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord-who is the Spirit-makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.” As painful as it may sound, that means even sharing in the suffering of Jesus Christ. Yet, take courage for we have One who understands fully and will meet our every need. “For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.” -2 Corinthians 1:5

God assumes full responsibility for our needs when we obey him. The Bible says that he will show us a way out so that we can endure. But our hearts must be in tuned with the Spirit so that we can listen carefully to his will for our lives. One of God’s requirements for maximum usefulness is brokenness. This is also a way to be in tune with the Spirit through prayer. This walk of faith, I urge you friend, don’t walk it alone. Call up a Christian Brother or Sister in whom you trust and share your valley experiences with them. The truth is, we learn more in our valleys than on our mountaintops.

Find joy in obeying Christ today. For one day, we will be rewarded here either here through our blessings on earth, in eternal life, or at our Savior’s return. “So think clearly, and exercise self-control. Look forward to the special blessings that will come to you at the return of Jesus Christ.” -1 Peter 1:13 Amen

Jason M. Alexandre

About Jason M. Alexandre

Jason Melchizedek Alexandre was born on November 29, 1989 in Brooklyn, New York. However, at two years old he and his family moved to Philadelphia, PA. Later, Jason moved to Limerick, PA where he now resides. Jason is currently working toward obtaining his Master of Social Work degree at Widener University. Although Jason’s career is Social Work, his spiritual passion is missions. Jason believes in actively answering the great commission call Jesus gave all Christians for the gospel to be spread from nation to nation. On a yearly basis, Jason primarily goes to Haiti on a mission trip with Haiti Christianity Inc. Each year Haiti Christianity visits different cities and/or villages in Haiti bringing children educational supplies, clothes, and medical supplies. They also facilitate conferences in which bible study, budgeting tips, financial planning and most importantly evangelization takes place. Jason is currently their public relations director. Jason’s vision is for the gospel to continue to be spread throughout the world and believes it is Christian’s responsibility to carry out this mission effectively.