One thing I’m learning lately is that just about the time you think, “It’s over, there couldn’t possibly be anymore the Holy Spirit could want to work on inside of me”, the Holy Spirit says, “Let’s look at this.”
Just last week, it happened again. At first, I didn’t understand what was happening. All I could see was a lot of things were breaking and needed replaced. It started in our personal lives but then, it moved into our ministry lives when my MacBook Pro—the computer where I do all of my writing and do all of the Mantour Administrative work and book-keeping, began experiencing issues. The screen was flickering, the “T” key kept falling off, but worst of all the battery was having issues. When I took it be repaired, I was informed that the computer was “vintage” and Apple wouldn’t let them touch it.
My spirits sank. The ministry is on a tight budget. We’d taken some steps of faith this year, and now it seemed like we’d stepped too far. How could we ever afford this unexpected expense?
And so I did what I do—I worried, I stressed, and I made myself sick trying to figure out how to deal with this issue.
Then, I went to our annual board of directors meeting. As we discussed the unbudgeted computer expense, our advisors encouraged me to stop stressing, let people know what was happening, and watch God provide. They even said, "I bet the need is met by the end of the week."
On the outside, I agreed, but inside, I was thinking, "Yeah, right… that's not how life works." But I did what they wanted and made a post online telling my computer's story and asking,
"If the Holy Spirit leads, we would greatly appreciate any help an individual or a church can give to help our ministry meet this need. All donations are tax-deductible, and Assemblies of God missions credit is available. Please help my laptop rest in peace, knowing it's replaced and we can keep doing what God has called us to do! Message me if you can help."
Because I'm a great woman of faith—I didn't expect much to happen.
Boy, was I surprised when two days later—two days—the need was completely met. I could hardly believe it!! While I am thankful for the computer, I'm even more grateful that I don't have to stress and worry and try to figure out how to solve this problem on my own. What an incredible blessing! Now, I can rest in peace at night, no longer worrying about how the ministry will pay for this necessity. Thank you, Jesus, and all who gave!!!
However, God providing what we needed is not the end of the story. Instead, the Holy Spirit used this incident to point out a new issue—a new stronghold—that I need to remove from my life.
Again, this happened at our board meeting. During the discussion, one of our advisors mentioned something about a "scarcity mentality." Even though their comment wasn't directed toward me, it stuck in my head.
What did this mean?
The next day, as I was praying and asking God to help me decide on a personal household purchase, all I could feel was fear. Even though I mentally knew that God had provided someone to fix the problem at an UNBELIEVABLE—almost miraculous price—I was petrified of making a bad decision. "What if I made the wrong choice and the replacement item didn't last? What if God didn't provide a miracle the next time it needed to be replaced?" My mind was spinning so much that I felt paralyzed to move forward.
As I prayed, the only thing that came to my mind was this phrase, "scarcity mentality." So I decided to look it up.
OH. MY. GOODNESS. That was the problem!!!
It was as if the Holy Spirit put a spotlight on my heart and said, "This is the problem causing the feelings of panic and fear, sickness and the feeling of wanting to cry. The things that are breaking aren't the problem—they are just a normal part of life. The real issue is getting this stronghold out of your heart."
As soon as I saw it, I wanted it gone.
Immediately, I asked God to forgive me and help me remove this mentality from my life. I asked our advisor, who was talking about it, to recommend resources so I could learn what it is and how to get over it. My new prayer hasn't been, "God, please provide… it's been God please help me overcome this issue in my heart."
And God has been answering on both ends.
As I said before, God provided a computer. He led His people to give to provide for His ministry. Once again, I am mind-blown!
But He also led His people to speak truth into my heart so I could overcome a stronghold of fear that has held me in captivity for far too long. The Holy Spirit has shown me that this was a fear passed down from my parents, who both grew up in poverty. After experiencing financial trauma in my own life, the fear was reinforced. No matter how much God provides, the fear cannot be expelled from my life until I recognize a stronghold in my life, identify where it came from, agree with the Holy Spirit, and use God's Word to tear that stinking, stupid stronghold down.
So that's what I'm doing—again.
I recognize that there are thought patterns in my life that are not God's. Just because my parents grew up with these thought patterns and passed them on to me doesn't mean I have to live the rest of my life with them.
Instead, as a daughter of God, I am responsible for recognizing ungodly ways of thinking, taking them captive, throwing them out of my mind, and intentionally replacing them with God's thoughts as revealed in His Word.
God's Word says:
And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. (Phil 4:19)
So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 6:31-34)
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. (Psalm 23:1)
These are just a few Scriptures that say God will provide our needs. However, I'll be the first to say that believing these things isn't always easy. But that doesn't mean we should give up and wallow in a pathetic state.
Instead, we must do whatever is necessary to tear down the ungodly thinking in our minds until we do believe it.
In the meantime, we must take steps of faith and live as we believe it, even if we have doubts.
That's what I've been doing:
I am working on replacing my "scarcity mindset" with God's "abundant mindset."
Reading and studying the Bible and the resource our advisor recommended.
Taking crazy thoughts captive and saying, "I don't want you here anymore…get out and don't come back."
And taking steps of faith to see what God can do.
It was a significant step of faith to share our need on social media—I prefer to be independent. Yet, when I took a step of faith and obeyed my advisors who said, "You need to allow God to provide this need," He did.
I could not be more grateful for the amazing provision of a computer AND the work He is doing in my heart. I'm writing this not just to say "Thank you," although I am so thankful, but to encourage others to keep pursuing all the freedom and healing God has for you. Never say, "Enough."
Never be satisfied to live with old, ungodly mindsets. Instead, be open to the Holy Spirit providing healing and freedom. Let Him teach you God's ways and walk in them. It's what I'm doing, and it's been an incredible journey.
Adessa Holden is an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God specializing in Women's Ministry. Together with her brother, Jamie, they manage 4One Ministries and travel the East Coast speaking, holding conferences, and producing Men's and Women's resources that provide practical Biblical teaching for everyday life.
When asked about herself, she'll tell you, "I'm a women's minister, a sister, and a daughter. I love to laugh and spend time with people. My favorite things are chocolate, the ocean, sandals, and white capris, anything purple, summertime, and riding in the car listening to music. It is my absolute honor and privilege to serve Jesus and women through this ministry."