Korista Lewis is a bi-vocational Lead Pastor of Connection Church in Aberdeen WA. She has been an ordained minister with the AG since 2007 and LOVES the Northwest Ministry Network that she calls home. She is 33 years old, single, has embraced the runner that lived dormant inside her for so many years and is a HUGE Doctor Who fan!
It’s one of the first words we learn.
It’s one of the first directions God gives to Adam and Eve.
Moses heard it, Joshua lived with it, Jesus said it to Pharisees and Disciples alike.
Maybe you are like me. Maybe you have found in our world of excess, our world of yes, our world of more, you are constantly trying to keep up with the woman next door or the Pastor down the street. We so rarely use or hear the word but it is a beautiful word: No.
As women following after our Savior we desire to be people led by the Spirit. Our hope is that God will daily grow the Fruit of the Spirit in us. But there is one fruit we don’t like to talk about. Galatians 5:22-23 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Did you catch that last one? For many years of my life I did not. Patience: check! Love: Most of the time! Joy: YAY! Peace: Thank the Lord he provides it! Kindness…Goodness…Faithfulness….check, check, and check! Yet, SELF-control; wait God, you want me to exercise some sort of control over myself? I skimmed right over it while I fed myself a steady diet of quick foods, processed snacks, over spending my money, my time, and my physical body.
Last year God started to wake me up to the excess in my life. Physically I was extremely overweight. My schedule was jam packed with meetings, assignments, programs that my sluggish body was having trouble keeping up with. My finances were tight, spent before my paycheck ever arrived. This is not easy to confess and I do not say it lightly or from a place of having it all figured out. Yet God started to say one word to me: No. He started teaching me to say “no” to myself which was much harder than saying no to others. In ministry I had been taught to create boundaries. However NO to myself? REALLY God? Really? You want me to deny myself the foods I love, the new pair of shoes, and the 15 meetings a week?
And He said, “Korista, really! I want you to live a life that is available to me and you have so overfilled and overstuffed there is not room for me to direct you, to lead you and to surprise you.”
So last February I started saying “no” to myself. And my life is fuller than ever but in the best, most healthy ways. I love the way The Message translation expounds on “self control” it says “able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.” All my overspending of time, money and physical health was not marshaling or directing my energy wisely.
My beautiful, courageous sisters, my question is this:
Do you need to say no to yourself today? Is there a physical issue that would be cared for with a wise “no”? Is there a relationship that would be healthier if you said “no” to the time you’re spending on it? Do you need to stop comforting yourself by spending constantly on stuff?
My sister, may God give you the motivation and the courage to say no to yourself today, and may His treasure of self control be evident in all areas of your life in the coming days, months, and years!
Cheering for you,