LeBrent Speed - Founder and President of Transform Men International
A few months ago, I was riding with some friends and fellow leaders of Transform men and we were having some compelling conversation about family, life, and work. In the middle of our talk, one of them turns to me and asks me “How did you do it?” Frankly, I had no idea what he was talking about. My immediate retort was “Do what?” He said “How does a guy go through multiple divorces and professional failures to turn it around and now you have a beautiful marriage to a wonderful woman and a successful career?” As I looked at both of them it seemed like a conversation they had before and they were looking for me to give them some insightful answer. God had just blessed me with a wonderful wife and my whole life had taken a dramatic turn, yet I had never contemplated the process of this change.
It was as if this conversation was the impetus for me to really contemplate the steps necessary in order see godly transformation. Only three years prior I was planted on my living room coach dazed and stunned pondering how could my life be in such a horrible place. I was going through my third, yes third divorce and my health and finances were a mess. One divorce is embarrassing, two divorces is unthinkable, but three divorces is indescribable. If someone had told my 16-year-old saved, sanctified, and filled with the Holy Ghost self that in 30 years he would be going through his 3rd divorce I’m sure that statement would not have been welcomed and probably greeted with a harsh rebuke. Despite my outside circumstances at the time, there was a still strong voice that resonated in my heart that God had more for me than this. As a kid, my mom would often recite Proverbs 18:16 to me: “A mans gift makes room for him, and brings him before great men.” She would always reassure me that the gifts that God had given me would grow and one day people would notice. Sitting on that couch I knew that there were too many gifts still locked inside me and needed to escape.
Over the course of the last three years God has done some miraculous things in my life and the process of transformation has been impressed in my spirit. If you find yourself in a tumultuous and turbulent situation and you need an immediate change in your life there is hope.
First, you need to take full responsibility for your life. David, after committing a deplorable sin said in Psalms 51:10: “Create in me a clean heart oh God and renew a right spirit within me.” When going through a tough situation its easiest to blame others because that blame makes us feel better. Although blame serves as a temporary balm, it has no power to offer us the deliverance we need. David pleaded with God to remove his unclean heart and replace it with a clean one. Many of our life bruises are self inflicted yet is easier to blame our exes, our parents, bosses, or the girlfriend from the 7th grade. Our prayer must be focused on our personal transformation so that we can make better decisions. God wants us to come humbly before Him without pride or excuses. This is the only way we can become the person He has called us to be.
Secondly, we must grow our faith. When it seems like all hell is breaking out around us, the first thing the enemy attempts to do is steal our faith. Thoughts come to our minds like, “I’ll never be loved again” or “I’ll never have the business or career that I want” or “I was meant to be addicted because I can’t quit”. Doubts want to settle in our hearts and minds so that we can’t even imagine a life free from this emotional pain. The author of Hebrews tells us in chapter 11 verse 6 that “without faith it is impossible to please God for he that comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him”. Time won't allow for me to properly exegete this text but the Greek word for impossible in this text is the opposite for the Greek word for power. Which means that without faith we are literally powerless to please God. When we wallow in our unbelief and self pity we are telling God He is incapable of rescuing us. This doubt disables God’s deliverance power and isolates us from His love. You must spend your time feeding your faith so that you can have the power to see past your current situation.
Lastly, we must stay away from those who are not helping us grow in God. Psalm 1 starts by telling us that a blessed man is one who does not surround himself with ungodly, sinners, and scorners. I’m not referring to some isolationist mindset but rather understanding that people who are not feeding you faith in God’s principles are robbing you of the freedom that you seek. People often mistake the ungodly, sinners, and scorners for people found in the bar or in the dark corner of some seedy night club but this trio can be sitting next to you in church. As God started to restore me, it was church people who tried to tell me that I couldn’t accomplish my original assignments because of all the failures in my life. It’s not as though they say these things directly but its with coy comments and slick statements meant to diminish the dreams and hopes that still reside in your heart. We often read Psalm 1 and think about all types of people, yet we often ignore the Christian who doesn’t believe God really delivers. There are pastors who have scoffed at the idea of me doing what God has called me to do because of my divorces yet some of them will sneak off to their girlfriends or boyfriends. These are the worst type of sinners. The ones who sin and then judge others who repent. Do your best to avoid these people at all costs.
No matter what your current situation may be, just know that God loves you and He hasn’t given up on you and He still has a plan for your life. I John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and cleanse from all unrighteousness.” There’s nothing too hard for God and what He has done in my life He will do in yours too.
Be Blessed and Be Transformed