Why God says “NO” to sex before marriage. #issaWORDfromGod.

 

I’ve contemplated plenty, before writing this post, how much is too much to share. Any one who knows me, can attest to the fact that I’m pretty straightforward and extremely transparent, in person…mainly because I’m just a real one. Something about writing this, sans the intimate experience of a face to face conversation, gives me pause.

So for starters.

I have NOT had sex in 7 years (May 2017 was the mark of SEVEN). Like for real. Not. At. All. IN SEVEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEENNN YEARS. Lord Jesus, ain’t that the year of COMPLETION. Is it over yet?! AM I DONE?! Side eye emoji. BUT in all seriousness, though this journey has not been easy, God has been faithful, He has filled me with PEACE every step of the way and has PROTECTED me, throughout the journey of honoring HIM with my body.

Abstinence has been choice on my part. I haven’t lived in a bubble in these past 7 years and temptation has been present throughout, but I have maintained a conviction to HONOR the LORD with my body and I want to discuss why and what God’s WORD says regarding sexual immorality.

What propelled me to abstinence?

Sometimes it saddens me that this question has to even be asked. Like the most obvious answer is because I am a Christian, read follower of Christ, and because God said so, through HIS WORD.

 No discussion. No debate. That’s what it is.

Unfortunately the reality is, we live in a WORLD full of Christians and non-Christians alike who have created a culture where abstaining is perhaps recommended, sometimes necessary until an appointed time of comfort and trust, but where it is not REQUIRED. I lived in that understanding for a long time. I knew from childhood, based off of conversations with my parents, that sex was reserved for married couples and engaging in the act before hand was considered sin to God. I had a head knowledge of that reality for a long time. THIS KNOWLEDGE did not keep me from having sex. What my head knew to be wrong, my body felt was right. (cue R.Kelly, nawww turn that off).  But this one scripture hit me like a brick one fateful day, as I was reading my bible. Before I tell you this scripture, I want us to have a fuller understanding of what sex is to the Lord.

What does God’s word say regarding sex?

So poetically the bible refers to sex as becoming ONE FLESH. The implications of “one flesh” are pretty amazing;  the fitting together of the sexual body organs and the emotional and spiritual bond that happens during sex, is like some physical and spiritual jig saw puzzle that can not be taken apart again. There is a melding together, physically, spiritually and emotionally.

We can look to the account of the first man and woman to see how they responded to the call of becoming one flesh:

Adam proclaimed, after receiving a revelation that Eve belonged to him, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman’ for she was taken out of man.” THAT IS WHY a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his WIFE and they BECOME ONE FLESH. Genesis 2:23-24 (emphasis added).

Eve BELONGED TO HIM. And ADAM BELONGED TO HER. THEY WERE MARRIED.

In a MARRIAGE, when two become one flesh, God describes this as a BELONGING.

“The wife DOES NOT have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. IN THE SAME WAY (because mutuality people) the husband DOES NOT have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife.” – 1 Corinthians 7:3-4 (emphasis added)

Again in the marriage union two individuals now BELONG to ONE ANOTHER.

“And he answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be JOINED to his wife, and the TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH’? So then, they are NO LONGER TWO BUT ONE FLESH. Therefore WHAT GOD HAS JOINED TOGETHER, let not man separate.” – Matthew 19:4-6 (emphasis added)

“MARRIAGE should be HONORED by all and the marriage BED KEPT PURE, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral” Hebrews 13:4

Even if you aren’t a believer, there are plenty of culturally expressive verbiage that demonstrates just how people view their sexuality.

There is a sense that something BELONGS TO THEM that they are now GIVING TO ANOTHER. Phrases like “I GAVE her the D”, “I GAVE him SOME”, “I LET him HAVE it” “She LET ME hit” “She WANTS the D” make it very clear that there is something being BROUGHT FORTH, something being PRESENTED, something being OFFERED, and it is OUR BODIES.

The reality is:  SEX UTILIZES THE BODY AND ITS ORGANS, God speaks about the flesh/our bodies, throughout the word. Sex is absolutely an ACT OF THE FLESH, which God pours HIS spirit on, during a marriage covenant.

 God has even more to say about OUR BODIES, outside of marriage, as they relate to sex.

Using terms like sexual immorality and adultery, it is CLEAR that there are many sexual acts that do NOT HONOR God.

We don’t have to do a history lesson to know that temple sex read ritualist sex, pedophilia, bestiality, homosexuality, orgies and incest were a prevalent part of the surrounding cultures.

Galatians 5:19 says “THE ACTS OF THE FLESH are OBVIOUS: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies and the like”

God CONTINUED to remind HIS PEOPLE throughout the scriptures that they were to BE SET APART, a HOLY PEOPLE BELONGING TO HIM (Leviticus 20:26; Deuteronomy 9:29; Psalm 100:3; 1 Corinthians 3:23)

Colossians 3:5 “put to death, therefore, WHATEVER BELONGS to your earthly nature (my translation: those things you did naturally, before God’s SPIRIT made you new) SEXUAL IMPURITY, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.”

….and can I just drop the mic with a scripture that let’s us know God’s will regarding SEX plain as day:

“IT IS GOD’S WILL that you should be sanctified (made holy, separate, dedicated to God): THAT YOU SHOULD AVOID SEXUAL IMMORALITY; THAT EACH OF YOU SHOULD LEARN TO CONTROL YOUR OWN BODY IN A WAY THAT IS HOLY AND HONORABLE, NOT IN PASSIONATE LUST LIKE PAGANS WHO DO NOT KNOW GOD and that in this matter no one should wrong or take advantage of a brother or sister. The Lord will punish all who commit such sins, as we told you and warned you before. For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a HOLY LIFE. Therefore anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being BUT GOD, THE VERY GOD WHO GIVES YOU HIS SPIRIT” – 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8

God desires that those who believe in HIM would avoid (steer clear and away from) sexual immorality and NOT TO REJECT HIM, by ignoring HIS desire, as if it were optional.

So what was the verse that changed my life?

THE ONE THAT MADE ME HALT.

THE ONE THAT CUT ME DEEP.

THE ONE THAT OPENED MY EYES TO JUST HOW SERIOUS THIS THING WAS….

Let’s just READ THIS SLOWLY TOGETHER.

Do you not know that  your BODIES are TEMPLES of the HOLY SPIRIT,  who is IN YOU, whom you have RECEIVED FROM GOD? YOU ARE NOT YOUR OWN,   you were BOUGHT at a price. THEREFORE Honor God with your BODIES.” 1 Corinthians 6: 19-20

Selah! For mad long…meaning pause, ponder, meditate, let it sit.

So prior to this, I’m out here giving away something THAT DOESN’T EVEN BELONG TO ME and LORD you are trying to remind me that my body actually houses YOUR VERY PRESENCE?! *somebody insert that krusty crab meme here*

krustry crab

The word BECAME LIFE to me when I read that scripture. Like EVERY TIME I HAVE GOD DISHONORING sex (outside of marriage) I am directly sinning against the HOLY SPIRIT that LIVES INSIDE OF ME.

The moment I said “Christ I will follow you”, I was held responsible by God to “Deny [myself] and pick up my cross daily” (Matthew 16:24, Luke 9:23) and to “die to self and live for Christ” (Galatians 2:20, Colossians 3:5, Romans 6:11, Galatians 5:24).

Translation: This life isn’t about me. This life is now DEDICATED to the Christ living THROUGH me. This takes a considerable amount of HUMILITY to put into practice, but that’s what it is.

Vs. 20 says I was BOUGHT at a PRICE.

What PRICE?!

That price was the DEATH OF JESUS CHRIST ON THE CROSS. The consequence of SIN is death and He PAID it (Romans 6:23).

God’s RIGHTEOUS judgment for man, that does not FOLLOW THE LAW (His standard of Holiness and Righteousness), is JUDGMENT and that judgement IS DEATH. Christ WHO HAD NO SIN, BECAME SIN SO THAT I COULD BE BECOME THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD IN HIM AND SPEND ETERNITY WITH HIM (2 Corinthians 5:21).

$$$$ God purchased me BACK on the cross, so that instead of BELONGING to the enemy of my soul, who desires that I follow every DICTATE of my flesh’s DESIRE (Galatians 5:16), I would BELONG to the LORD because of my faith in HIM (Philippians 2:13; John 3:16; 1 John 3:1-10).

God LOVES you, listening to Him is not a punishment.

Jeremiah 31:3 The LORD appeared to him from afar, saying, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness.

Psalm 136:1 Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good, For His lovingkindness is everlasting. Give thanks to the God of gods, For His lovingkindness is everlasting. Give thanks to the Lord of lords, For His lovingkindness is everlasting

Proverbs 3:12 For whom the LORD loves He reproves, Even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights.

SO WHY ARE WE STRUGGLING TO ABSTAIN?

confused girl meme

Scripture is clear about the reality that OUR LOVE FOR GOD IS DIRECTLY TIED TO OUR OBEDIENCE TO HIS WORD:

1 Samuel 15:22 “But Samuel replied, “What is more pleasing to the Lord: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams.”

John 14:23-24  Jesus answered, If a person [really] loves Me, he will keep My word [obey My teaching]; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home (abode, special dwelling place) with him. Anyone who does not [really] love Me does not observe and obey My teaching. And the teaching which you hear and heed is not Mine, but [comes] from the Father Who sent Me.

Proverbs 21:3 (NIV) To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.

Luke 6:46 “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?

1 John 5:1-5 “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.”

If we only believed God that His command was a delight and not a burden.

Questions that need answers:
  1. Do we really love Him?
  2. What are we doing that’s hindering us from SEXUAL PURITY?

God’s word to the church of Ephesus helps us to see a bit more clearly what can happen to the people of Godt, if not careful ( the book of Ephesians was also written to them by Paul).

Revelation 2:4-5 But I have this [one charge to make] against you: that you have left (abandoned) the love that you had at first [you have deserted Me, your first love]. Remember then from what heights you have fallen. Repent (change the inner man to meet God’s will) and do the works you did previously [when first you knew the Lord], or else I will visit you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you change your mind and repent.

If we are HONEST with ourselves, some of us were never here, this place of LOVE for God [a love that DESIRES to do HIS WILL above all] And a lot of us are struggling to stay in LOVE WITH GOD. Speaking from personal experience, seriously.

We have made it our subconscious mission to do what FEELS RIGHT and continue down paths that are self focused. We adopt cultural NORMS and no longer feel any CONVICTION for activities, that if God came and sat down next to us, we would feel ASHAMED about participating in -_- why man?!

Scripture tells us why, very plainly.

James 4:4-5 (AMP) You [are like] unfaithful wives [having illicit love affairs with the world and breaking your marriage vow to God]! Do you not know that being the world’s friend is being God’s enemy? So whoever chooses to be a friend of the world takes his stand as an enemy of God. Or do you suppose that the Scripture is speaking to no purpose that says, The Spirit Whom He has caused to dwell in us yearns over us and He yearns for the Spirit [to be welcome] with a jealous love?

That’s it, RIGHT THERE.

We are a bit too friendly with the world. Like imagine your boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse giving you a kiss and saying how much they love you, only to turn around and grab a hold of another person, squeezing them extra hard, kissing them on the cheek and being like I love you too! Besides your hands feeling a strong sensation to make contact with the back of their head, you would be like “ummmmm there is no REASON for my spouse to be THAT friendly with (whoever said person is)”.

So if we desire to be a FRIEND of Christ and break off our friendships with the world, what must we do?

1. Repent: meaning turn the other direction. Acknowledge your SIN to God. Mannnn, SAY SORRY! lol You now know that what you have engaged in has hurt Him, does not demonstrate your real heart for Him and was rooted in pleasing self.

1 John 1:8-10 says “ If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

Confess MEANING, agree with God, by acknowledging YOU ARE WRONG and HE IS RIGHT. And TRUST THAT He has given you everything you need to DO RIGHT and HONOR Him with your body. (2 Peter 1:3)

2. Cultivate a sincere relationship with God. YOU CAN NOT LOVE, OR CALL SOMEONE FRIEND,YOU DO NOT KNOW.

“We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands” 1 John 2:3

 This means DRAWING NEAR TO CHRIST.

I mean how do you come to love the people in your life? You hit them up to spend time; you talk on the phone; you are there for them; you are vulnerable and pour out who you are to them in conversation; you listen to them etc. God wants that same relationship with his children.

What does this look like?

Spend time with “friends”: reading His word, singing worship songs to Him, talking to Him about what’s going on, going to church to spend time with the BODY OF BELIEVERS He loves so deeply, meditating on scriptures that relate to your situation, keeping your mind focused on Him.

Being there for “friends”: Going to God’s word concerning the issues of culture, your life, areas where you are unsure about His standard and how you can overcome your natural propensity to do the opposite of what he says. You want to do His will, so ask God to teach you what that is and how to do it with the POWER of His Holy Spirit.

Being Vulnerable and Pouring out who you are to “friends”: God just wants you to TALK to Him about EVERYTHING. In Revelation 3:20 God says “Behold, I stand at the DOOR knocking, if you hear MY VOICE and OPEN the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends”. God is so near. He wants to sit at the table of our hearts and commune with us ALL THE TIME. So much so that HE placed His spirit inside of us to dwell with us at ALL TIMES.  God has an answer for our DEEPEST longings, including our longing for sexual fulfillment.

Listen to “friends”: This is my favorite one. Who doesn’t love a good word of encouragement, blessing, counsel and correction from a LOVING FRIEND. God speaks people. He speaks through HIS written word, He speaks through prophecy, He speaks to our hearts, He speaks through dreams some times and speaks through His church.

Testimonial: I recall the first time I ever CLEARLY heard the Lord speak to me, in May of 2012. I was on a 3 day water fast, I was face down in my scriptures SEEKING direction and God answered me in faith. It was more like a stream of words being spoken to my heart/brain that I would NEVER think to say on my own. It was first person and IT CHANGED ME FOREVER.

The reality is God had ALREADY spoken to me, years before this, in HIS word. I was just too distracted by my friendship with the world, to really understand or hear. 

IN SUMMATION:

 God just wants our hearts. Sexual PURITY is not a burden. PLEASING GOD IS NOT A BURDEN. The enemy wants to convince us that we are MISSING out on something and that God is trying to keep things from us, when the reality is God is offering WISDOM AND PROTECTION.

This is the same lie, he convinced EVE of in the garden. Saying that the only reason God told you not to eat this was because He knew, you would be like Him knowing good and evil. What Eve sounded like “So God knew how bomb this tree was and what it would offer me… it won’t kill me, let me see what’s good!” STOP LISTENING TO YOUR FLESH.

What we sound like “God knows how close I will feel to my partner if we do this”; “we not married…but we are headed that way”, “Man! God knows I can handle having sex and not get in my feelings”, “God knows I’m super HORNY, we only gon’ do it once and no more”. “We are safe from consequences; I always use a condom” and the list of reasons why God should understand and why it’s OKAYYY goes on.

I KNOW WE CAN FIGHT THIS FIGHT. I know because I have fought it and the FIGHT OF MY LIFE IS AHEAD OF ME! *cue rocky theme song*

I’m in LOVE and in a long distance relationship. I wrote this out of a heart that desired to remind itself of who I BELONG to, why I am submitting myself to God’s word, why HIS WAY IS BETTER and what my responsibility is to HONOR His Spirit inside of me.

**I want to talk more about compromise in another post, because that’s A WHOLE other BATTLE that threatens to take from the foundation of OBEDIENCE in Christ**

I pray this word, CUT YOU AND HEALED you. That’s what my DADDY does for me and in a culture that seeks to soothe every wrong, I always WANT God to break my PRIDE, with what’s RIGHT.

PEAACCEEEEEEEEE.

 

God can see DEAD PEOPLE!

caravaggio-thomasThe Fear of the Lord is the beginning of Knowledge..and right now ya girl is looking BASIC!

God’s word is so ALIVE. I appreciate the fact that God can literally impart something on my heart, reveal a truth in my spirit making it real for me and convict me to repentance just by reading scripture.

I onncceee was looost and nowww I’m found….and now I’m LOST again -_-  (at least it feels that way). I have most certainly lost something and God is pushing me backwards to find that thing again. So here I am, on the ground, broken looking for LOST CHANGE….oh Yes, this journey with Christ is COSTLY *le sigh.

There was a time when I was on fire for God. Like David, I was consumed by my zeal (Psalm 119:139) experiencing spiritual victory and walking really close to Christ. God had me DESPERATE for understanding and humbled in His presence. Somehow I became wise in my own eyes & now I’m looking around confused wondering why I am messing up so bad.

GIRL YOU KNOW WHY!!! BESIDES YOU BEING RATCHET, you:

1. You haven’t been consistently in your word (reading your bible)

2. Your prayers have been getting shorter and shorter, half the time you’re not so sincere!

3. Besides you not praying you have not been watching! (Matthew 26:41)

God has told you long ago that you would do well to honor HIM. God has confirmed for you in His word that there is wisdom and riches and fullness and friendship with him when you fear (respect and honor) him. (Psalm 34:9, Proverbs 22:4, Acts 10:35, Psalm 25:14)

You are right, but God loves you and He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you can bear so just bear with Him, ok? cool.

I sincerely think that we do ourselves a disservice, as believers, by only focusing on one aspect of God’s character. All the things that warm our hearts about God like His loving-kindness, graciousness, mercy, faithfulness, the fact that He is beautiful, awesome, amazing and FORGIVING, pretty much consume my mind when I think of God.

ummm DON’T SLEEP on God the ALMIGHTY, Pops is HOLY, He will not stand for sin, evil of any kind, nor disobedience. He did not stand for it in the old testament and while He offers the BLOOD of His son to cover the sins of believers, He STILL CAN NOT STAND SIN!

I would be a fool to believe otherwise….CASE AND POINT= My flesh is the fool, the damned fool who somehow believes otherwise and who is going to find herself looking foolish by herself cuz I’m leaving that HEAUX at the alter by herself. I gotta keep walking with God and she can’t come with because she doesn’t know how to ACT.

I know that God will NOT allow me to walk in sin, but somehow I’ve gotten good at pretending God can’t see me.

GIRLLLUH,  GOD CAN SEE DEAD PEOPLE!!!!!

The wages of sin is death. (Romans 6:23)

While I may not out-rightly, in the natural, deal with the consequences of my sin, my soul pays EVERY LAST CENT. I pay when I’m dealing with doubt, lack of faith, condemnation, feelings of unworthiness, distance from God, lack of spiritual discernment and and difficulty hearing from God.

I PAY. I ain’t got nooo endssss, I’m OUT HERE BROKE!!!!

Broken over my sin.

Exactly…where…I..NEED…to…be.                                                         0_o. huh?!

The beauty of this crawl with God (I was walking, but the struggle is real right now) is that in the STRANGEST way I KNOW (intimately) that I am exactly God intends for me to be.

All things LITERALLY work together for good for those who LOVE God and are called according to HIS purpose. (Romans 8:28)

God has me BROKEN. The sacrifice… the price that God is calling me to pay during this season is simply my broken and contrite heart, that HE WILL NOT DESPISE. (Psalm 51:17)

While I am waiting for God to put me back together, I am just happy that God can SEE DEAD PEOPLE.

PETER: THE MAN WITH THE PLAN.

jesus-and-peter-walking_on_waterI’m going to be REAL. I never paid Peter much of any attention when I read the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, much less did I realize that Peter wrote 1 and 2 Peter o_O. His story line was pretty irrelevant to me until God forced me to identify with his character.

I always pictured myself as a Paul, pressing on with something burning on the inside because Christ has LITERALLY taken A HOLD OF ME. (Phillipians 3:12) Paul is the picture of excellence, discipline, structure, grace, diligence, humility and maturity; qualities that I strive toward daily.

And THEN there is John. My mannnnnn! I just picture this, precious older man, slightly cooky, a grandfather figure, full of wisdom and strength. A leader with this gentleness, that you must actually spend time with him to see and I mean this man had the honor of being CALLED to TESTIFY about the Savior of the World (John 1:7). I want to be like him too; fearless, serious about other’s spiritual growth and a living walking testifier (did I make that word up?!) to the Christ who will come again!

BUT my oh my did God have me in for it with Peter of ALL PEOPLE! I’m not going to lie, my perception of this mighty man of God was skewed at best. All I remember about him was that he was the fooool who had the nerve to deny MY Jesus, not ONCE, not TWICE, but THREE painstaking times as Jesus was being tried, for NONSENCE, by the Jewish court. I dismissed him.

Soooooo Peter.  Jesus meets this brother fishing, straight up says “I will make you a fisher of men, Follow me” and without HESISTATION Peter goes. (Matthew 4:19-20).

Let me just jump right into why I NOTICED Peter, for real, for real. Matthew 14:22 tells the story of Peter walking on water. I’ve been inspired by this story before, BUT God has given me a “come” story of my own. Peter is sooo ready to walk out in faith, inspired by Christ, he sees God in all His awesomeness walking on water and naturally wants to follow, literally, in God’s footsteps. (How many times do you read about God’s work and He places that same desire on your own heart, and then you just wanna walk around like, “I’m just stuntin’ like my Daddy?!…no? it’s just me that sings that song?! hah) So….After God tells them to calm down, it’s all good. Peter is like well, let me BE SURE. He says, “IF IT’S YOU GOD, TELL ME TO COME TO YOU ON THE WATER”. In other words I need you to tell me do something that will require FAITH, because I already know that’s the realm in which you operate and I need some confirmation right now on if this is really you out there. I’m relating to Peter, because I stay asking God for confirmation like yea that sounds good, but Jesus if it’s you LORD say “chicken” 3x and then I’ll do it. hahahah BUT oh so serious! Ok I def don’t ask Him to say chicken, but you know I need specifics, I’m still trying to discern HIS VOICE from my own, OK!

Jesus gives him His confirmation “come” and Peter, in obedience, steps ……OUT. I can see Peter, almost tripping over himself in excitement to get out of that boat and walk on that water, NO FEAR because God already confirmed it was Him by directly answering Peter’s question.

BUT

When them windssss started howling, he looked around himself and said HOLD UP, WHAT AM I DOING?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He took his eyes off of Jesus, looked around at the wind and BEGINNING TO SINK, cried out “LORD, SAVE ME!”

IMMEDIATELY Christ takes A HOLD of his hands, catches HIM, SAVES his LIFE AGAIN ( hahah …cuz you know the first time was when He came into the world and Peter believed and then. now…..yea. ha….see what had happened was!)

What challenged me was that, here I am like yeaaaa Peter shoulda kept his eyes on Jesssusss, but I get it, He got distracted.

But Jesus ain’t let him off as easy as I did, He reprimanded him saying YOU OF LITTLE FAITH, WHY DID YOU DOUBT?!

Why did you doubt?! I picture the mental commentary of Jesus going something like this “ooh so you just gon’ follow me and doubt me?! I have to continue to prove myself to you, clearly I got this!”

HOW MANY TIMES HAS GOD given you a word of “go-ahead” “this is the right way, walk in it” (Isaiah 30:21), “yes it’s me”, a vision so mind blowing you know you couldn’t have come up with the thought on your own, or even confirmation by experience to “give that to me” I don’t want you messing with that anymore (sex, drugs, liquor, relationships, partying anybody?!!) Unlike Peter I find myself not even being as obedient as he was initially, and doubting from onset. THEN there are those other times, where I’m soo enthusiastic, so passionate and sooo zealous about taking a leap of faith before God only to backtrack when God doesn’t make the trek as easy as I had anticipated. I figure God said do it, so yea I already know He has walked before me, establishing my steps, I know God’s promises so I ain’t even worried about it………UNTIL, stuff gets………….. really ………………..UNCOMFORTABLE (consciousness of stress or strain, uneasy).

[What does uncomfortable look like for you?!]

Makes me think of something T.D. Jakes once said “The calling of God is never easy, if it looks easy He didn’t call you”.

Do I think Peter thought walking on that water was “easy”. NO. WHAT I do know is that Peter only took a step into that water because He knew God was IN IT. When Peter allowed the visible chaos around him DISTRACT him, from God’s presence, he inevitably began to SINK. God was STILL THERE, right on that water, His presence encouraging him like nemo, “just keep swimming, just keep swimming” (in this case he is walking, but you catch my drift), the LORD will encourage us on our way. Yet Peter still couldn’t get past the fear of those winds. Here we have the “LIGHT OF THE WORLD”, the “BREAD OF LIFE”, THE WAY, THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE”, “THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE”, “THE GOOOOD SHEPHERD”, standing before Peter, and all Peter can see once he takes his eyes off Jesus, is the howling winds around him. Like HOW CAN YOU POSSIBLY TAKE YOUR EYES OFF JESUS?!

Yet we manage this. DAILY.

In our strained efforts to FOLLOW HIM, and DIE TO OURSELVES daily, God shows us this AMAZING GRACE over, and over, and over, and over, and over again. In a way that opens our eyes and inspires us more and more to just DO IT! The reality is that He “tells us the truth” His GRACE really is sufficient for us. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

Jesus saved Peter despite his doubt that day. How many times God saves Peter throughout the Gospels! I’m slowly forming this picture of Peter, the man, as I continue to read about him.

He is passionate, outspoken….a little naive about the real cost of following Christ, but following just the same. He is too quick to speak sometimes, but pretty convinced about his Love for God.  A love that he coming into a new reality of as the days go by.

He is a picture of us all at some point in our journey with Christ. Sometimes we are all passion with limited basis. God desires our enthusiasm, but what He really wants is our Hearts.

You never FULLY give someone your heart that you really don’t KNOW, or whom you have lingering doubts about. You may find enjoyment in their presence, encouragement from their stories, longing in their absence, but life goes on!

When we GIVE, HAND OVER, RELEASE our HEARTS to God life simply WILL NOT go on WITHOUT HIM!

I’m striving for that place. The more I SPEND time with Him, in His word, I’m finding that I’m NEEDING Him in ways I never THOUGHT possible.

Christ gave Peter, ROOM FOR ERROR. And boy did he ERROR talking bout “I don’t know the man!” (Matthew 26:72) he MUST’VE  been out of his mind, I WOULDA SLAPPED THE BELT FROM AROUND HIS WAIST, talkin bout he don’t know my Jesus….I digress, but yeaaaa GRACE MAN! Grace. LOL

GO DEEPER:

1. What has Christ been calling you TO or AWAY from for some time now?If you have been obedient, may I exhort you to continue to press pass the discomfort of this new space and think about the victory set before YOU, but also how your walk is inevitably encouraging THOSE AROUND YOU.

  Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

2. If you have taken your eyes of GOD, and are SINKING in the fear of what taking that leap of faith will have you giving up or taking on, remember that we are living demonstrations, glorifying God in our weakness. Let HIS light shine as you struggle through this thing. KNOWING full well that You can’t do it without Him, connect with HIM as if YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON IT, because IT DOES.

   2 Corinthians 12:9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

3. What area of your life have you deemed God untrustworthy in? Where are you scared to let Him touch? (This is a loaded question, but essentially we hold back from God because at the core we don’t have faith, or trust Him in some way, or we are scared to TRUST Him.)

Isaiah 26:3 You will keep the man in perfect peace whose mind is kept on You, because he trusts in You.

Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding

Peter leaned on his own understanding… In this understanding, wind and walking on water didn’t go together. Our understanding is SKEWED. Trust God! HIS WAYS ARE NOT OUR WAYS!

Isaiah 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.

I will be continuing this study of Peter. I find his passion extremely intruiguing, I gotta get to know, the man with the plan. His plans didn’t necessarily line up with God’s, next post we will look at his outbursts and see where God’s snaps on him, yet again! haha

What is it keeping you from spiritual Growth?!

I am so greatly concerned about your spiritual growth. Often times we become stagnant… knowing about God, but never fully entering into the place of Knowing WHO God truly is. Why are we tip-toeing around God when He asks us to come boldly into His presence as we approach Him in faith?! [Hebrews 10:19-25]

Christ is one for transforming our Hearts first and then working out Righteousness in and through us on His behalf.

Sometimes we approach God trying to do right on our own accord, but not allowing Him to transform our innermost parts for lasting change. There is no power in that, He is our power. So what are we doing trying to move without Him?!

I sincerely would love to know what are some things keeping you from leaping into a DEEPER, more serious, intentional, intimate RELATIONSHIP with your savior?

Some things that have been a crutch for me:

*My flesh (lust, masturbation, porn, you name it)

*Day to Day distractions, trying to get from point A to point B on my own, because I ultimately want all control

*Approaching God as a servant, with a to-do list and ready for tasks. Forgetting He is my father and He just wants my heart.

So come on, let’s leave the preschool fingerpainting exercises on Christ and get on with the grand work of art. Grow up in Christ. The basic foundational truths are in place: turning your back on “salvation by self-help” and turning in trust toward God; baptismal instructions; laying on of hands; resurrection of the dead; eternal judgment. God helping us, we’ll stay true to all that. But there’s so much more. Let’s get on with it! [Hebrews 6:1-3] MSG.

Please don’t be shy: we are charged with helping one another mature in Christ. [1 Thessalonians 5:11] How can we do that if we don’t know what’s going on with one another. I would love to explore many of the topics that will inevitably be brought up, in hopes that we can be encouragers of one another, not pulling eachother away from faith…but deeper into it, by the grace of God.

WHYYYYYYYY?!!! *Kenan Voice*

Romans was written by Paul, who is my favorite man of God in the bible. I actually think we would have been friends had I known him way back when. He could have been my husband for all I know! LOL He was stern, but loving. Passionate and zealous for God, yet maintained his relationships with people. He was a mighty good man, with a past worth side-eyeing, but God made him a new creature. Paul is my dude! To the subject at hand….I’m completely, 100%, no doubt about it with Paul and his assertions in Romans 7. I’m just as baffled as he is, why do I do what I don’t want to do?! Let’s explore this chapter.

“For I do not understand my own actions [ I am baffled and bewildered.] I do not practice or accomplish what I wish, but I do the very thing that I loathe [which my moral instinct condems].For what I do is not the good, I want to do, it is no longer I who do it , but it is sin living in me that does it.” Romans 7:15,19

I am a God fearing Woman Sinner. There are some things, which I am not at complete liberty to reveal about myself, through which God has worked, almost completely out of me….yet I creep *cue TLC…I dance*. This thing These things I do, are often times preceded by statements that sound like this: You know you wrong! Whyyyyyy?! Don’t do it, please don’t do it, if one of us goes in then we all go through it (I think that one is the Holy Spirit, definitely ain’t Drake!). These are met by promptings to pray, which I may or may not ignore. If I do follow through they are half-hearted prayers through which I know I’m probably going to end up doing it anyways so… Girl you fake! I feel like a failure.

I’ll just throw it out there….I don’t fully know God [perceive, recognize, understand and am acquainted with Him] 1 John 2:4, but I can say I am getting to know Him more and more everyday. He has transformed me from the inside out in ways where I look back at the old me and I’m like whoooo are you?!! I digress, but ” I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot perform it. [ I have the intention and urge to do what is right, but no power to carry it out].” Romans 7:18 In Romans, Paul explores the differences between life under the law and what a life in Christ offers.

LAW                                                            CHRIST                              

*Life dictated by Flesh vs. 5 * Life dictated by spirit
*Operated by natural power (wills of flesh) vs. 5 * Operated  by Holy Spirit (promptings of spirit)
*Bears fruit of death vs.9 * Bears fruit of Life
*Reliance on self to carry out; usually ends in failure *Reliance on Christ who enables success
*Helps me recognize that I sin *Offers me salvation, justification and righteousness before God despite my sin
*Sin lives *Sin dies
*Holy, Just and Good *Holy, Just and Good

I’m finding that I am still operating as if the law is my master and not Christ.

Paul pretty much has an epiphany towards the end of Romans chapter 7, through which I also delight myself in and that is I have two opposing spirits dwelling within me; Sin and the Holy Spirit [ Law of God]. My new nature–Christ which now lives inside of me (Holy Spirit), supports and finds joy in God’s law, BUT my flesh [body, wills of flesh] finds itself subjected to an opposing set of evil demands–ie. the things I do in secret, which I am ashamed of, in light of my status as CHRISTIAN.

I join Paul, crying out O unhappy and pitiable and wretched man girl get your life! Who will release me from this body of death?! Romans 7:24 We rejoice together saying Thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. I have a deliverer who, by His Spirit, offers life and freedom from this bondage of sin!

I’m trying to do right ya’l. Next post will be an exploration of Romans 8, which discusses this Life through the Spirit!!!