My Comparison Confession

A year and a half ago, God began giving me more confidence to share my faith online. As I began sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ through social media, I soon noticed a very prominent speaker preaching the Gospel and encouraging the youth generation in their faith in Christ. This popular speaker was shockingly beautiful, smart and anointed to ignite a fire within the hearts of the youth for Christ through her ministry named Kingdom Ambassadors. Some of you reading this may know her as Caitlin Nunez.

It soon came to my attention that I seemed to have a problem with this person and as God increased my influence online I began to increasingly compare myself to this young lady who did not even know me. Concluding that something just didn’t seem right about her, I grew more and more suspicious and sceptical about this person and their relationship with God. Each time I saw them post a photo or a tweet on my newsfeed I would scoff. I felt very uneasy and uncomfortable about this young lady’s posts and concluded that her ministry was for personal gain and self-exaltation rather than for Christ. My heart harboured resentment towards this innocent girl who sought to kindle a love for God within others.

 One day, I was led to pray and was suddenly confronted by her face that abruptly appeared before me in a vision. God wants me to pray for her deliverance from vanity and pride” I concluded smugly. My thoughts were swiftly interrupted by the Holy Spirit who rebuked me saying:
“You are jealous”

Excuse me? I laughed “Jealous?  No I am not, I don’t FEEL jealous at all God”

“You are jealous, do not be deceived by your feelings” The Holy Spirit said. “This negative feeling is not discernment it is jealousy”

In that moment I truly had to support my jaw from dropping to the floor and really digest what Holy Spirit had just said to me.

I realised that this uncomfortable feeling was the result of comparing myself to this woman of God. I had accused her of having pride in her heart and yet it was revealed to me that pride was actually in mine. Comparison had become my companion and together we had opened many negative doors that had poisoned my perception of the girl and clouded my vision of who this person really was.

I repented and truly began to pray earnestly for this individual. With all of my heart I began covering her in prayer and witnessed my feelings considerably soften towards her. I had been jealous of her portion, popularity and influence that God had given to her. Comparison had robbed me of celebrating my sister in Christ’s success and more importantly God’s work that He was doing on earth. The more I had compared myself to this girl the more I had made the work of God a fleshly and carnal conquest. God had opened my eyes and I now longed for her to impact more people and touch those who perhaps I never could.

Over the year, I grew to love this lady from a distance and God began to place timely and accurate words of encouragement upon my heart during prayer to share with her when necessary through private direct messages. God’s love led me to financially sow into her ministry and continually pray for her fruitfulness. A year later, she reached out and asked me out to lunch! In her own words she said “I can tell that your heart is so pure.” I remember reading her message and laughing because if it had not been for Jesus Christ, the condition of my heart would have still remained a sinful mess.

The next year during 2016, a similar comparison scenario occurred when my boyfriend told me that he had considered being with someone else before we had officially decided to be together. He didn’t have to finish his sentence. I was simply fixated by the fact he had considered being with anyone but myself. Despite the fact I had definitely considered other candidates before entering our union; he had no license to do so in my eyes and I demanded to know who it was. When he told me who this person was I began to compare myself almost instantaneously. To add insult to injury she was in our friendship circle and my partner told me that he had actually been attacked with lustful dreams about this person too. I frantically counted all of my personal qualities on my fingers that I esteemed far greater in comparison to her. This was a common comfort when I compared myself; I would find flaws in the other person and thrive on their inferiority. However this time it felt as though I was grappling for match sticks. This girl was incredibly beautiful, her skin was flawless, hair simply fierce, her boldness for God jaw dropping and her voice had the ability to usher any soul into worship.

 In many regards I couldn’t really see much difference between the two of us and this aggravated me because I wanted to be better. Comparison had taught me that her beauty was not only a threat but that it also stole and robbed me of my own. As I bowed my head in disappointment the devil gave me his shoulder to weep on, snarling “you know if you weren’t with your boyfriend he definitely would have chosen her instead.” Hopelessly punched in the face by this comment, I sat and received the blow, allowing bruises to form as I sat there and accepted this lie as the raw truth.

I began to choke on the poisonous fruit that comparison was birthing into my life. I would think about how she would say things compared to how I would, analyse both our laughs, compare our cuteness and observe how we were both received by others. I thought about her potentially marrying my partner until I made myself cry. “Well, I can find someone better if it happens” I consoled myself. “Lauren this, Lauren that” every time I heard her name I would feel resentment brewing and an inferiority complex beginning to spawn.

The truth about comparison is that it promises to be the fuel to drive you forward to success but in fact it is a thief that exhausts you and leaves you ever dissatisfied, unqualified and void of peace.
When we choose comparison we either fall into pride or insecurity; two spirits that incessantly feed off of each other and systematically destroy their victims. However, Jesus was calling me to choose Him. I could either cling to comparison or Christ Jesus my hope. God purged this toxic insecurity from my heart and actually told me to become close friends with this girl. She is now a sister to me that I love so dearly and constantly show off on my social media singing. I am without comparison, I am not threatened.

Be wary to not grow so accustomed to comparison in your life that you stand in agreement with the demon telling you that this is just a part of you you are.

Understand that seeds in your heart are constantly being sown, however you have the choice to water or uproot them.
I had added fertiliser, water and given much attention to a garden of lies that had formed in my mind. However, God in His mercy shut down this pity party. It’s time to shut down yours.

1. Scrolling on Instagram and making yourself miserable due to other people’s lives is watering that seed.

2. Constantly checking and comparing your followers on social media and Youtube to others is watering that seed.

3. Comparing your preaching, friends, boldness, confidence and ministry to another person’s is watering that seed.

4. Peering into other people’s relationships and comparing it to yours is watering that seed.

5. Incessantly looking at people’s internships, job offers, university grades and businesses ventures whilst condemning yourself for your clear lack of the above, is watering that seed

 Your revelation of God’s love is not complete if you compare yourself because it means that you do not know your worth through the eyes of your creator. This was evident when I first entered into a relationship with my current partner who I resented due to the fact God was using Him in miraculous ways that I could not see in my own life. I therefore did not love myself or him at all. God was using me in amazing ways prophetically in many people’s lives but because I did not see healing miracles like my boyfriend, rivalry sparked within my heart. He knew people around him were jealous of his healing testimonies and in all honesty I was one of them. Why was I not being used to heal the sick yet? However, I did not understand that whatever my partner was doing God was using him as a pattern for what He wanted to also establish in my own life. I now see miracles, but God asks me, without such signs and wonders in your life would you still believe that I love you? Would you continually compare? Would you be content with your portion?

 Lisa Bevere once said God uniquely created your DNA and knit your frame in secret so He could surprise the world. Comparison cheats us of this. God’s intention was to make us in secret and to then reveal us to the world as STUNNING. Stunning not by beauty standards but by having the power to STUN the enemy and make him flee due to how sealed and submitted we are in our self-worth that is found in Jesus.

My Prayer for You: I pray in the name of Jesus for your heart. I remove every seed of rejection, self-pity and comparison. I revoke the authority you have given to the enemy to crush you through comparison. I disrupt every distraction from God’s love currently within your life. I release you in Jesus name from sinfully coveting what is not in your possession and by the power invested in me I declare endurance and patience to see the fruitfulness that God will produce through your own life.

Your Turn: Father Lord Psalm 139:1 Says, O Lord you have searched me and known me. Father you made it your concern to search me and know me because I cannot be sought out or found in anyone else. I cannot be compared to another, I cannot be replaced and no one can express Your glory in the way that I can. Thank you Father that my worth is in You rather than my credentials and the qualities that I possess. I repent of comparison in Jesus name. I bar it from entering and possessing my life in any form. I focus my eyes on Jesus Christ alone. In Jesus name I pray, Amen

Please if you have a friend who you know will benefit from this. Please show them Christian or not. 

nia

 The Hush Series:  Secrets of a Christian Heart Disclosed 
This blog post is part of a new transparency series of blogs that I have launched, disclosing the sin throughout my walk with Jesus. Many people keep their flaws “hush hush”  once in Christ, but I desire for Christians to understand the power in transparency, that I’m not perfect and how grateful I am for grace!

Want to contact me?
Email: crownedinfaith@gmail.com
Follow my Twitter or Instagram for encouragement and my honest diary of my walk with God: @niacerise

or visit my youtube channel: Crowned in Faith

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MY MAKE-UP ADDICTION

Two years ago I remember removing my make-up and crying into the mirror that told me that my face would never be clear enough to expose. I choked it with concealer and foundation, applying power upon powder to prevent my mask from melting. Each scar and pimple accused me, and arrested all thoughts of ever exposing my skin. “When they go, I won’t need make-up” I’d convince myself. But the scars faded, the spots cleared and still, I refused to reveal my face. My skin was my obsession and the idol that I longed to please, but it was never satisfied. It continually compared me to others, it told me to work harder, apply for longer, take endless pictures and post them online for affirmation.  It demanded my energy and simultaneously sought to exhaust me: A car window, a shop mirror, a glass reflection; any opportune moment to receive affirmation from my appearance.  A ferocious vanity and violent insecurity left me crying in my bed. The extent of the problem dawned on me once I began to place myself at risk. Fire alarms would go off within my university accommodation at dawn and I would remain in bed ready to allow myself to be consumed by the flames rather than revealing my face to my housemates. No one would see me without my eyebrows filled in, and if my bare face ever left the confines of my room I would refuse to look people in the eye if stopped to converse. My flesh longed for a compliment when I had a full face of makeup on and under countless makeup wipes my naked face had only night time to breathe. I didn’t wear make up for fun, I wore it for fulfilment that never lasted long enough.

But then something happened. Jesus found me.

I thought I knew Jesus, but then I truly found Him in a university kitchen and fell recklessly in love with my Saviour who had died for me on the cross. He told me that I should place my faith in Him being my foundation rather than the one I found in the shop. That He wanted me to be transformed by the renewal of my mind not my makeup. That my radiance came from my heart, not my highlight and that He would contour me into His image rather than the worlds’.

I decided that I wanted to give Him my all, to live a life devoted to Him. To go to war torn countries and preach the Gospel for the rest of my life. I wanted to be a missionary! “But where would you have access to makeup on the mission field in a war torn country?” I asked myself. “Won’t your husband more or less see you without makeup all the time? You don’t want to scare him do you?” Such thoughts warred in my mind to dissuade me from my purpose and quenched the voice God who had called me into a new life with Him.

It was clear that I was serving two masters. I would go to bed and dream of God crushing my eyebrow pencil. Again and again God would send me this dream and show me the scripture of Ezekiel 30:13 “I will destroy your idols.”  I would see Jesus continually breaking my mascara and yet I would refuse to address the insecurity and hardened my heart to God’s voice. I feared to receive prophesies in case the Lord revealed to them my addiction to make-up and the safety I felt from having my eyebrows filled in.  I sang songs at church about “surrendering all” but my heart knew full well that I had not surrendered all. Ezekiel 43:8 resounded in my head: “They put their idol altars right next to mine with only a wall between them and Me” Only with me there wasn’t even a wall, I had erected an idolatrous altar in my heart dedicated to worship my Make-up right in front of God and refused to let go. Make up waged a jealous war against God. It controlled my mind and tongue. Please understand this: Whatever you submit to will control your thoughts and this shall eventually manifest through the things you say. If you submit to the thoughts that tell you that you are ugly and weak you shall eventually begin to vocalise this and speak such things into existence. I found myself thinking about how ugly I was and eventually found myself reigning curses upon myself with my mouth “I look so ugly all the time,” “I look a complete mess,” “no man is going to want me.” I would run into the arms of the Lord and His truth and then give myself over to the lavish lies of the devil. I would spend intimate time in God’s presence, receiving peace about my image and clarity of who I was and then recoil into the den of the enemy that tormented my mind. Back and forth I went standing confidently in who I was in Christ only to lapse back into my insecurity.

The problem with vanity is that it is forever famished. Vanity is ever hungry and feeds off affirmation and the approval of man. People encouraged me and told me that I looked good without makeup and that fed my starved ego that yearned to be soothed. Their words subdued the yearning for man’s approval but it wasn’t the cure. Countless cosmetics purchased to keep my skin clear lest man’s opinion of my face changed.  What I needed was to be secure and to receive my approval from something greater than man’s view. I needed something higher. I needed God, to break this. I repented for my idolatrous sin and the Lord who had been crying out for me comforted me with His love.

He told me to do a special type of fasting: He told me to fast from my reflection and from make-up. For one month I would not look at my reflection in the mirror and I would not wear a drop of make-up on my face. Instead I chose to look into a new mirror; the Word of God to see myself through the eyes of Jesus Christ. I went into the shower each day, closed my eyes whilst I brushed my teeth, I didn’t look in the mirror whilst I dressed myself and would be reading the Bible each day and night in between my university lectures. God showed me that I had believed a lie: I thought that constantly checking my reflection brought about wholeness but in fact I realised it had torn me apart. He showed me that my  freedom was found by feeding myself on the Word of God.  This burden that plagued my life would be driven out with the power of the Word of God, fasting and prayer.
Make up had crippled me, Jesus comforted me
Make up exhausted me, Jesus energised me
1. I wrote letters to myself about where this problem had stemmed from in my secondary youth.
(You must address the crux of the issue)
2. I spoke about the problem to my family and I declared my freedom from this addiction.
(You must be transparent with someone so you have people praying for you and/or encouraging you.)

3. I would listen to uplifting gospel messages and worship songs that taught me to love myself: Leah Smith: Beautifully Made

God who has loved me with an everlasting love, who is completely ravished by my inner beauty said to me; “You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride; you have stolen my heart with one glance of your eyes” Songs of Solomon 4:9. And He’s saying it to you.

I continued to looked into the scriptures and found a God who saw my beauty in my heart rather than my aesthetics. He told me “The LORD sees not as man sees; man looks at outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart” 1 Samuel 16:7. God has healed me and I AM DILIGENT to guard my heart with the truth to ensure the situation doesn’t return 7 times worse. I am not against make-up, I still wear it however, I always check my motives behind my application, I want it to be fun not forced. Please ensure that you do the same:
Do you have to tell the whole world when you don’t wear makeup for a compliment?
Do you moan and joke about how your face looks without it?
Do you only post a snapchat picture when your face is done and cower away from the camera when it is not?
Do you pack your make up bag for safety?
Do you feel uncomfortable and forced to wear makeup if everyone else around you is wearing it?
Do you have to sneak off to apply make up to your face before people see you in the morning?

Do you have panic attacks if you know you will see  people from your past without make up?

We must self-reflect and take these things to God!

I must guard my heart! About a month ago I found myself indulging on compliments about my appearance. Then I lost my make-up bag and was furious; my money had gone down the DRAIN and now I had no make-up to wear. Friends told me I didn’t need make up and I found myself feeling comforted by that. During prayer however, the Holy Spirit highlighted that He is my comforter, not man. This mishap was a miracle. I chose to continue going without make-up for another month and it became so natural that I continued for 2 and spoke at a public speaking event without any on with complete joy. I am so grateful for what the Lord has helped me to defeat. I am so thankful that I love the skin that I am in. Humbled to learn that my adornment is not outward but inward and blessed to be able to look at people straight in the face with and without blemishes on my face. However, the best blessing is having located where my worth comes from: Jesus Christ.

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My Prayer for you: Lord, I pray for Your child, I pray they will not live for man’s opinion but for Yours. I pray that any hidden idols in their hearts may be exposed in the name of Jesus. That hardened hearts may be softened and convicted into repentance for anything that has exalted itself above You within their lives. I pray Your children learn to love you with all their mind, soul, heart and body and for addictions to break in the name of Jesus Christ.
Your Turn:
Father, search me. I repent of my idolatry, reign supreme and have Your Lordship over my life. Take every part of me and break everything that is not of You whether I know it or not. Flood my mind with Your truth and the reality of what You have done for me on the cross. Remind me that no person or thing could have ever done for me what you did and therefore I cancel the lies of the enemy and pronounce You as my Lord.

Please if you have a friend who you know will benefit from this. Please show them Christian or not. 

 The Hush Series:  Secrets of a Christian Heart Disclosed 
This blog post is part of a new transparency series of blogs that I have launched, disclosing the sin throughout my walk with Jesus. Many people keep their flaws “hush hush”  once in Christ, but I desire for Christians to understand the power in transparency, that I’m not perfect and how grateful I am for grace!

Want to contact me?
Email: crownedinfaith@gmail.com
Direct Message me privately on Twitter: @niacerise

Follow me on Instagram for encouragement and my honest diary of my walk with God: @niacerise