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Showcase | Fellowship | Inspire
Nikki Washington shared:
"An Inside Job"

I read a quote the other day that said, “My prayer is that the church will be a place where people belong…long before they behave.” –J. Smith.

When I read it, it immediately resonated with me for two reasons: 1) Because of who I am. 2) Because of where I’ve been…

Although I’ve had my share of trials, temptations and test, for the most part my life has been pretty straightforward. When I re-dedicated my life to God at 18 yrs-old, I made it my mission to live “upright” to the best of my ability…and in that last statement alone was the error in my thinking. Trying to live and do in MY ability instead of His. In retrospect, what I thought was righteousness, was pride at best. I prided myself on the fact that I wasn’t a “rule breaker.” That I’d never drank, had sex, smoked or did drugs. It gave me some sense of achievement to say I worked diligently in ministry. Yet over the years, I would become so consumed with following a list of rules, I would miss the heart of God in so many other key areas.

So often we think salvation is about maintaining rules that we never take time to look beyond legalism and into the heart. And for me, it wouldn’t be until God began the internal work that I would soon discover although I wasn’t always wrong, I wasn’t totally right either. Which meant in the end…I was still wrong… See I believe if we’re honest with ourselves, ALL can admit there have been things we have said or done SINCE we’ve been saved that weren’t pleasing to God. And I believe God is calling for a transparent church. I also believe that in order to experience the grace of God, we have to first acknowledge we need His grace.

Lord knows I did…and still do…

I know we never hear leaders admit fault, but no. No, I need Him every hour. Really, what good is my obedience if it’s performed out of legalism rather than love? Who can I bless with the Truth of His Word if I’m continually presenting the truth with judgmental undertones? And how will I ever be a light in those dark places if I take on the “spiritual elitist” mentality of not associating with those whom “The Church” deems unchangeable…

See, at the end of the day I don’t want to be a hypocrite. And long gone are the days of pointing the finger at people who don’t meet our “acceptable sin” standard yet never dealing with our own character flaws. Long gone are the days of privately condoning the sins of our friends yet openly throwing rocks at others that operate in the same offense. And no more are the days of excusing the sins of people with talent or notoriety yet disassociating ourselves from the ones who aren’t on our “VIP” list or meet our man-made morality meter.

And trust. In sharing with you, I first speak to me. See, along my journey what I discovered was although I desired to please God, my ways weren’t always God honoring. I needed to learn how to value people in a greater way. I needed to learn a deeper level of humility. I needed to grow in grace, love and patience.

I discovered that right motives with wrong methods never equal right results. Really, it doesn’t matter how correct we are, if the presentation isn’t palatable it’s unlikely to be received. And I share with you some of my transparent truths in the hopes that someone doesn’t make the same mistakes I made…

That’s all.

I can’t speak for anyone else but to the heart of me, I just want to please God. I want to live a life that points to The Cross. Yet what I discovered is I can’t do that if I first don’t learn to examine the truth of my shortcomings, repent and allow God to correct me. It’s like I once heard someone preach, “Dangerous is the leader without a mirror.” In short, we as leaders have to be able to see ourselves and allow the Truth of His Word to correct us that WE might strive to do better and be better. And I refuse to live all my life in church and then die and go to hell because I wouldn’t allow God to have His perfect work in me. No, when all is said and done, it won’t be said that I was perfect, but it will be known that I loved the Lord with all my heart and strived to live a life that pleased Him.

So, with that I thank God for His grace. I thank Him that when we admit our faults, He is faithful and just to forgive us. But most of all I thank God for the old me. Without her, how would I ever be able to tell a dying world of God’s conversion power? Selah…

Keep growing…

Nikki Washington

The Chaste Life

This inspirational word is brought to you as a program of Yes Lord Radio, your place for Gospel Internet Radio.

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