These days, whenever I think about prayer and worship, I always see a very clear image in my mind.
I’m always in a room — rolling on the dirty floor and banging my fists to the ground while crying out to the Lord with a plea of desperation to settle my heart and calm my spirit.
Prayer no longer looks like those few words I used to say at the dinner table before eating a meal — words I would sometimes forget to say when I was too hungry to or when the meal felt too insignificant or when we are in a fancy restaurant and people were looking.
Prayer has become talking to God — for real, for real.
In times of deep heartache and despair, one does not need to be reminded to pray. Prayer becomes all-encompassing — an absolutely necessary component of daily survival and existence. Talking to God to make it through the hours of the day becomes just as important as, if not more, than breathing and eating and water itself.
Yet the more we commune with Him who created us, the more we yearn to know and understand His character, the more we desire Him, the more He begins to change our perspective about Who He is.
Could this almost literal chasing for His presence be what the Bible meant when they described David as being a man after God’s own heart?
I used to think I knew what I was passionate about and what my purpose in this life would be. I used to feel so very grateful that I was one of the few among my friend group who knew and had always known exactly what she was going to be when she had grown up ever since I was just a little girl. While the medium by which I wanted to pursue my passion had expanded and morphed, the purpose and its complementary interests had always stayed the same. I, Kimberly Tozana, was put on this earth to do finance, economics, and everything in between.
I firmly believed in my mind that this was what I had been called to do because as I grew older and older my interests in these two complementary domains only intensified. I started to do my ACCA and realized just how interesting accounting was as well and how fundamental it is to understanding finance in any regard. I started my qualification with an underlying sense of trepidation because, well, we all know that accountants are boring and I was not about to abandon the exciting world of derivatives and investing for what I so thought would be mundane debits and credits.
But much to my great surprise, accounting was just as fun — if not even more. There are always problems to solve and decisions to be made. Your data impacts how these decisions are being made in real time. You have influence, and with that, you also have great responsibility. ‘Yes!’ I would think to myself, ‘This is definitely what God wants me to do. This has to be why I enjoy it so and all things adjacent, such as accounting, so very much!’
In light of this, I also knew that purpose apart from God was not really purpose. Without God, it was an illusion, and more pervasively, a distraction. So I tried to squeeze God into these pre-determined interests. Yes, I was going to pursue finance and economics…but I was going to do it for the glory of the kingdom of God.
But don’t many of us do that, take our interests, the things we enjoy, the things we are good at, the things we love, and try to add God into them as a footnote — our passions coming first and God’s will coming last. If we cannot fit Him in, then oh well as long as I am helping or doing something good then God will still be pleased with me, right?
The reality is that many people can do good things and many people do — take for example Bill Gates. But as children of the Most High God, we have not been called to do good things, or to right the world’s wrongs, or to fight for justice for the masses.
We have been called first and foremost, and above all other agendas, to serve the Lord and to do His will.
Would it not be the biggest disappointment of our lifetimes to do all these ‘good’ things on the earth and one day stand before the Father on Judgment Day to be told by the Son, ‘I knew you not.’
We approach His Almighty Throne, the Creator of the Heavens of the earth, the Alpha and the Omega, the Omnipotent God with a heart posture that says, “God, these are all the things I am going to do for your kingdom. Let me tell you the plan. Trust me, it’s going to be great!”
It’s almost laughable, isn’t it? But we do it more often than we realize.
I was the same, in fact, its something the Holy Spirit is still working on in my life. Pride — that is what it is. We think we are smarter than God and while we will never say it out loud our actions sell us out.
In alignment, my passion in life should be to live for the glory of the kingdom of God. And my purpose is to worship the Lord. There is no greater calling than these. And how these manifest could be through finance or it could be some other way. If I were to go blind and could no longer read or write, maybe I would no longer be able to pursuit finance but I would always have my passion and I would always be able to fulfill my purpose.
When God looks into our hearts, may He see in us His throne right in the midst. When others see us, and they look into our eyes, may the marvel at the light of God that exists within and is all that makes our being.
A pastor at our church once said a statement during a message that absolutely shook me to the core. He insightfully noted that the problem of the world is not injustice or poverty or deprivation or sickness. The problem with this world is that we have lost connection to Him who created us for His glory.
Like Eve, in the Garden of Eden, we have believed the lies of the Prince of the Air — he whose only battle aim is to steal, kill, and destroy
For me, life without God is not only meaningless, but it also is not worth living. Life is so tough, so so very hard, and without Him, why are we even striving to exist?
I now realize that life is the second greatest gift God has given to mankind. The first was salvation — the means by which though we were sinners, became reconciled with God. The medium by which we were engrafted into the vine of His great story for all of mankind. If I lack any other reason to praise the Lord, I will always have this.
Even at this moment, I am still praying and pleading to the Lord. Now more than ever, I feel compelled not to pray against the spirit of poverty that plagues my continent of Africa as I might have done in the past.
The problem with this world is not economic depravity or increasing inequality or devasting poverty.
It is actually a people problem, that needs a Person solution — and His name is Jesus.
I pray for all those who don’t know Him that they may begin to know Him and join me on this journey.
Even right at this moment while I pray, I am still breaking. But instead of trying to get out, I hear God saying to me to just…embrace the breaking — to keep on breaking till there is no more to break.
I am re-discovering purpose. I am breaking, but the Lord in all His goodness and grace is drawing me closer to Him.
They say that when you kick a dead man he won’t move. So the real question to be answered here the becomes:
If I’m still moving, have I truly died to self yet?
“Let every breath, all that I am
Never cease to worship You”
Shout to the Lord, Hillsong Worship