By Nikita Haynie
I discovered Sarah Jakes Roberts in 2015 when I watched a interview of her on YouTube discussing her book, Lost and Found. Ironically during this time of my life, the title of her book resonated with where I was in life, completely lost and on the journey to find myself again, but truly allowing God to lead me. Fast forward to 2019 I’ve become a faithful stan to SJR by supporting her podcast Woman Evolve, listening to her sermons from One Church LA, and reading her books (I highly recommend Colliding with Destiny). Sarah Jakes Roberts is breaking down church culture barriers and setting the world ablaze with her authenticity, fashionista style, and transparent candor as a pastor, but most importantly in my head as my “ favorite spiritual homegirl.” Here are a few lessons I’ve learned from SJR that affirmed me along my spiritual walk:
Lesson #1: Testimonies are birthed from tests and those tests exude God’s glory. We often think that our mistakes makes us less qualified to be used by God but every single individual in the Bible that God used made major missteps along their journey. God isn’t looking for perfection; he’s looking for individuals who are available and take ownership of their narrative. James 1:3 says, “Because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance” (NIV). Don’t be ashamed of your story. Each season shapes us into who God desires us to be. Don’t count yourself out. Jesus can use anybody’s story for His glory.
Lesson #2: At the onset of her podcast SJR states fervently, “God can’t bless who you pretend to be.” Many of us spend our time trying to be someone that others will approve of versus being who God created us to be. Audre Lorde put it so eloquently, “If I didn’t define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people’s fantasies of me and eaten alive.” There is no one like you and you are doing the world a disservice by holding yourself back. Operate in authenticity and watch God work.
Lesson #3: Don’t be so heavenly-minded that you are of no worldly good. Translation: Yes, operate from the perspective of the kingdom but also never think you’ve arrived spiritually so that you forget how God transformed you also. It’s important to be in the world and not of it, but also still relatable enough to lead people to God. The aura of God’s grace will be ever present because while you are tuned into what’s transpiring in the world around you, you are also highly connected and secure in God. You can do it for the culture and the kingdom.
No matter where you may be in your spiritual journey, “Let your gaze look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you.” (Proverbs 4:26). And in the words of my favorite spiritual homegirl Sarah Jakes Roberts, “You don’t need all the extra to experience glory.”
Nikita Haynie is a Contributing Writer for the Pedestal Project, LLC. Nikita is a writer, author, and educator. She is a creative that writes content intersecting faith, black womanhood, and culture. Proud optimist. Follow her on Instagram: @thenikitahaynie. Check her out at NikitaHaynie.com
Featured Image by @Shaundajay, nappy.co.