Wealthy in Love

Today my sweet sisters in Christ Jesus I want to explore with you Paul’s letter to the church in Philippi found in Philippians 2:1-11.  The church was experiencing many of the same challenges you and I face as believers.  Conflict, unforgiveness, pride, selfish ambition, vain conceit, dislike, and false teaching had found it way into the church. 

Paul opens his letter in this way… “Therefore, if there is any encouragement and comfort in Christ as there certainly is in abundance, if there is any consolation, comfort, support of love, if there is any fellowship that we share in the Spirit, if there is any great depth of tenderness, affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, having the same love toward one another, knit together in spirit, intent on one purpose and living a life that reflects your faith and spreads the gospel—the good news regarding salvation through faith in Christ.” Verses 1-2 personalized  Paul is pleading with them to resolve the tension and seek to heal any brokenness found.  He says if that can be accomplished it will make his joy complete (verse 2).

Paul further describes the condition of the church with these words “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit through factional motives, or strife, but with an attitude of humility being neither arrogant nor self-righteous, regard others as more important than yourselves.  Do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.”( verses 3-4) 

Put simply you cannot claim to love God and dislike, hold bitterness for others.  The question arises “Why do people do the things they do?”  I believe that we have not fully comprehended the suffering and sacrifice Christ made for us…that day on the cross in which supernatural love was poured out for us…Loving others is so costly only Jesus’s costly love for us can move us to bear the cost.  Jesus has a radical love for us! This love is so profound, so expense…it is a mystery so deep we can only know it in our spirit!  If we can grab hold of this love, we will be so rich in love we will be forever changed, unable to dislike or hold bitterness.  In our humanness…our mind and body cannot ever understand!  This love is spiritual and supernatural! When we step into this love it is spiritually supercharged.

I want to try and bridge our lack of understanding by helping you and I to understand exactly what Jesus did that day.  Most of us can easily say these words “Jesus suffered and died on the cross for me” however that is so limited.  The depth of Jesus’s love for us is revealed on the cross not so much in the physical suffering but in how society looked at this form of death.  What does it cost for God to love us? We know He sent His only Son to earth for the purpose of leading us in knowing God and restoring his relationship with us, revealing who we really are and redeeming us through Jesus’s death.  Philippians 2:6-8TPT says “He existed in the form of God, yet he gave no thought to seizing equality with God as his supreme prize.   Instead he emptied himself of his outward glory by reducing himself to the form of a lowly servant to be exploited. He became human!  He humbled himself and became vulnerable, choosing to be revealed as a man and was obedient.  He was a perfect example, even in his death—a criminal’s death by crucifixion!”

The cross was consider to be the most degrading form of death, the people of Jesus time saw crucifixion differently; the Jews saw it as being cursed by God, ultimate insult, shunned;  the Romans used it much like the Mexican cartels today who hang their victims in a public place as if to say “don’t mess with us”;  the Greeks saw it as humiliating, scandalous, disgraceful, further evidence that God could care less about humanity; to all it was an abomination, degradation, torture fit only for a slave. There is no other death in which the individual’s life could be destroyed that has the same impact and yet Jesus took the weight of the world, the sin and suffered this for you and me.  I don’t know about you but just writing these words is making me nauseas and tearful.

What great love…I will never fully comprehend while I walk this earth.  This is where love is revealed…we must let this revelation lead us into understanding how much we are loved and redeemed by a risen Lord.  And for this reason alone…verse 9-11TPT says “Because of that obedience, God exalted him and multiplied his greatness! He has now been given the greatest of all names!  The authority of the name of Jesus causes every knee to bow in reverence! Everything and everyone will one day submit to this name—in the heavenly realm, in the earthly realm, and in the demonic realm. And every tongue will proclaim in every language: “Jesus Christ is Lord Yahweh,” bringing glory and honor to God, his Father!”

You see, the Father, the Creator of us all acknowledges what Jesus has done for love!  We are rich in love!  And so now I leave you with this question can you love as He did?  Philippians 2:5 leaves us with these words…”And consider the example that Jesus, the Anointed One, has set before us. Let his mindset become your motivation.”

Blessings, Sister Laurie

This writing came to me after watching a teaching on Real Love by Pastor Akshay Rajkumar the lead Pastor of Redeemer Church in New Delphi, India.  It is available on RightNow Media.com

Confidence

GERARD DOU PAINTING OLD WOMAN READING A LECTIONARY BIBLE – REMBRANDT’S MOTHER

People today live-in fear of death. There are organizations all over the words spending millions on research that will extend life and even prevent death. People are choosing to be frozen in hope that their body can be restored at some point in the future.

Isaiah talks about his body being a tent which is folded up as it dies. In 1 Corinthians 5:1NASB, Paul says “For we know that if our earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made by hands, eternal in the heavens.”  I share this scripture with you, because our flesh was not created to last and in this fallen world it is even more vulnerable to the wear and tear of life.  That is why God uses the word “tent” or in some translations “tabernacle” which was also made of canvas to describe where our spirit lives here on earth.  It weathers, grows rigid, and is torn as time goes by…yet God wants us to have confidence because our everlasting existence is found in our spirit.

We find ourselves distracted by this fear, making bucket lists, living indulgent lives trying to get it all in.  Paul writes to the church in Philippi these wonderful words while in prison…Philippians 1:23-26TPT, “So here’s my dilemma: Each day I live means bearing more fruit in my ministry; yet I fervently long to be liberated from this body and joined fully to Christ. That would suit me fine, but the greatest advantage to you would be that I remain alive. So, you can see why I’m torn between the two—I don’t know which I prefer.   Yet deep in my heart I’m confident that I will be spared so I can add to your joy and further strengthen and mature your faith.  When I am freed to come to you, my deliverance will give you a reason to boast even more in Jesus Christ.”

Notice the words in italics…Paul knows that his task of equipping, discipling and loving believers is not yet done.  He even says his desire is to be spared so he can add to their joy and strength as well as grow their faith.  He knows the wonder and pure joy of going home to be with Jesus, yet his spirit knows that his time on earth still is full of purpose.

The thief on the cross heard these words from Jesus…”And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come into Your kingdom!” And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”” Luke 23:42-43NASB

Death is better than to remain in the body, however, to stay in our temporary tent and serve God is to live in the joy of sharing Jesus with those we encounter.

Paul has found how to live in confidence, he keeps on living because he is compelled to continue teaching, serving and loving those God has placed around him.  We must pattern ourselves after Paul…

Paul knew with confidence that Jesus breaks the power of death in two ways;

  1. We live in confidence because Jesus destroyed the fear of death by breaking sin and death’s power over us through His death and resurrection.
  2. He gives eternal life to you and me when we make Him our Savior, in that, we now live with confidence to see Him face to face in Heaven.

Now with confidence embrace this truth… “In Jesus, my sisters, after listening to and reading in God’s Word the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of the promise,  who is a first installment of our inheritance, in regard to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.” Ephesians 1:13-14 NASB personalized.

In closing my sisters in Jesus Christ, I urge you to live for Christ, make the most out of every day.  For not only is your time short but those around you time is short as well.  Embrace them in the love of Christ.

My prayer for you is that when you feel anxious or fearful, ask God to give you the confidence to live for Him and be set free from the fear of death.  Speak with the authority of heaven and cast out any spirit of anxiety in you!  Ask God to increase His power within you to say as Paul did…”For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”

Sister Laurie

This writing came to me after watching a teaching on Real Confidence by Pastor Akshay Rajkumar the lead Pastor of Redeemer Church in New Delphi, India.  It is available on RightNow Media.com

Friendship

Friendship is a precious part of life. Real joy comes from friendships established with Jesus Christ at the center.  Much like marriage God has a plan for true friendship.  God put it on Pau’s heart to l write to us in Philippians about the significance of God centered relationships. Our friendships should be a reflection of our relationship with Christ.

Today, social media has changed the face of relationships, instead of personal interaction…sharing a coffee or meal, watching a movie, taking a walk or just quietly sitting together enjoying someone company our relationships have been reduced to how many likes our post, tweet, photo receive.  Social media is a platform to create a fantasy, a false you.  How many of you have observed someone creating an untrue image, an exaggerated condition, even a totally made-up situation to gain attention. People are using social media to hide what’s really happening, they filter their photos so that people can’t see their true self.  Suicide has risen because people have become isolated using social media to express some of what they are feeling yet those responding somehow are unable to decipher their true desperation, their feelings of hopelessness. We answer with an “I Care” emoji, or even “I’m praying for you” these empty responses are so swallow without any true cost.  Texting is causing indifference and further isolation.  There is a price in godly relationships…time, comfort, even financial at times. What if when that distressing tweet, post, text came to your attention you got in your car and showed up?  It is in our nature to gather, have physical contact, true affection, pray together, share our sorrow…this is friendship.

Before we take a look at Paul’s opening words in his letter to the Philippians let me share a little background about this intimate letter of love and friendship.  Paul wrote this letter to the Philippians while he was in prison, he had visited and established a church in Philippi among the gentiles which within itself is one of God’s miracles, Paul was a Pharisee before coming to Christ and the people in Philippi were gentiles so a relationship between these two was very unlikely in fact gentiles where seen as unclean. Yet God’s love and truth broke the social barrier creating a deep love for these people in Paul.  True friendship and love between believers cannot been attached to a worldly perspective.

1-2 Paul and Timothy, both of us committed servants of Christ Jesus, write this letter to all the followers of Jesus in Philippi, pastors and ministers included. We greet you with the grace and peace that comes from God our Father and our Master, Jesus Christ.

3-6 Every time you cross my mind, I break out in exclamations of thanks to God. Each exclamation is a trigger to prayer. I find myself praying for you with a glad heart. I am so pleased that you have continued on in this with us, believing and proclaiming God’s Message, from the day you heard it right up to the present. There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.

7-8 It’s not at all fanciful for me to think this way about you. My prayers and hopes have deep roots in reality. You have, after all, stuck with me all the way from the time I was thrown in jail, put on trial, and came out of it in one piece. All along you have experienced with me the most generous help from God. He knows how much I love and miss you these days. Sometimes I think I feel as strongly about you as Christ does! Philippians 1:1-8MSG

Paul understands the value of friendship, he recognizes how the relationship he has with God and the tangible friendships…better said love and affection he shares for those dear friends in Philippi have sustained him during his imprisonment and trial.  Our love for Jesus should be reflected in our friendships.  This is why, it is so important to gather and fellowship with other believers only they can fill the need for friendship as God designed.  When we have a friendship with someone which is like minded in their belief in Jesus, it deepens our relationship with God and allows our true beauty and purpose to emerge.

It saddens me greatly when I see bitterness and misunderstanding between believers, how can we possible say we love God and yet hold grudges, offense and jealousy in our hearts.  The answer is we cannot.  I urge you my sister to seek out broken friendships and mend them.  Start praying that God might lead you and if a softening is needed that the Holy Spirit would work in both of you.

Sometimes guilt or shame is holding you back from forgiveness.  These are two very different feelings; guilt is focused on something we have done, while shame focuses on the person…self.  Shame says something is wrong with me.  As women shame is fed by a misconception or confusion tied to our identity.  It is a constant feeling that we are not good enough.  This is bound to a worldly perspective, a lie of the enemy, an experience.  Shame is an epidemic effecting everyone…it is everywhere, every nation, every culture it is related to addiction, depression, violence, homosexuality, bullying, aggression, eating disorders, suicide and more.

The righteousness we find through Jesus Christ is the antidote for shame.  Shame is the opposite of righteousness. Look at what shame did for Adam and Eve, filled with shame they, hide from God, covered their bodies, they felt they had to protect themselves from God.  This is Satan’s trap, a weapon shrewdly used.  Shame has destroyed the beauty God intended for friendship, fellowship, intimacy with God and people. BUT God has given us the fruit of righteousness that is to be “right with God”.  Isaiah 32:17-18 says “And the effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness will be quietness and confident trust forever.  Then my people will live in a peaceful surrounding, and in secure dwellings and in undisturbed resting places.”  This kind of life and friendship is available to us right now.

Now think of your relationship with God…If your relationship with Him is fractured how can you fully embrace and receive what He did for you on the cross? How can He help you mend and restore broken relationships?  How can you love and sustain godly friendships? Right now, go before your Heavenly Father and ask Him to forgive you and reveal hidden shame that is affect your ability to love as He loves you.  Speak with confidence and proclaim who you are in Jesus, immerse yourself in godly music, fellowship, study, and prayer.  Give the enemy no room to corrupt who God says you are.

Dear Sisters…Paul prayed this prayer for his friends, his brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus and now I pray it for you my dear sisters in Christ Jesus…”So this is my prayer: that your love will flourish and that you will not only love much but well. Learn to love appropriately. You need to use your head and test your feelings so that your love is sincere and intelligent, not sentimental gush. Live a lover’s life, circumspect and exemplary, a life Jesus will be proud of: bountiful in fruits from the soul, making Jesus Christ attractive to all, getting everyone involved in the glory and praise of God.” Philippians 1:9-11MSG

Blessings, Sister Laurie

This writing came to me after watching a teaching on Real Friendship by Pastor Akshay Rajkumar the lead Pastor of Redeemer Church in New Delphi, India.  It is available on RightNow Media.com

Live Each Day in the Light

“To live like this is all the more urgent, for time is running out and you know it is a strategic hour in human history. It is time for us to wake up! For our full salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.  Night’s darkness is dissolving away as a new day of destiny dawns. So, we must once and for all strip away what is done in the shadows of darkness, removing it like filthy clothes.  And once and for all we clothe ourselves with the radiance of light as our weapon.”  Romans 13:11-12 TPT

Today, I am continuing in Romans 13…there is so much to embrace!  I don’t know about you but I don’t want to find my self saying “Oh Crap!” as our King comes to carry me home. How about you?  There is no doubt that I will be take home either through my flesh dying or in the twinkling of as eye with others.  “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the sound of the last trumpet call. For a trumpet will sound, and the dead who believed in Christ will be raised imperishable, and we will be completely changed wondrously transformed.” 1 Corinthian 15:52 AMP  Will there be a moment when we say “But I…” “Just one more…” That’s where the “Oh Crap” comes in.  I don’t know but if there is a possibility of that feeling or emotional I do not want it!  I want to be able to say…”I AM READY!”

In Romans 13 it says “Night’s darkness is dissolving away as a new day of destiny dawns.”  What is this darkness? The darkness is unbelief…the darkness is lukewarmness…the darkness is  persecution. The darkness is every kind of conflict, natural catastrophe, calamity, and war.  Jesus speaks of these in Matthew 24, it is the darkness of the present hour.  How do you receive these words?  Does it put a sense of urgency in your spirit?  This is truth…one way or another a new day for you and I is coming, it is about to burst forth…the long night of this earthly existence is almost over.  When you think about eternity which you and I are currently living; let me explain…eternity started the moment God placed your spirit within your flesh growing in your mother.  Psalm 139:13-14  That spirit…the true you was created by God and it continues now.  When you except Christ as your Savior it like an electrical shock to that spirit, a rebirth, like heart surgery repairing your true self so that you might live as God intended. The main truth I want you to grasp here is the earthly life is so incredibly short, it is but a twinkle in the twinkling spoken of in 1 Corinthians 15:52.  Eternity has no earthly language to define, we try with words;  infinite or unending time, endless life, sometimes defined as what exists outside time.  We can put a beginning to eternity as spoke in Psalm 139…but we cannot fathom it’s unending.

So, I now get back to my original thought, my devotion to Jesus has been fueled by this truth…I do not want to be ashamed at His appearing if that is possible, no regret, nothing left undone…Today I just can not bear that thought!  Heavenly Father…reveal those things that MUST GO in me, let me be fully ready, let me not miss an opportunity to speak life and truth…let me love where love is needed, give me compassion, let me see with your eyes and live with Kingdom values.

God gave us the sunrise to remember that Jesus, the Son has Risen.  There is just something life giving and wonderful about a sunrise…clean crisp air…the pure light as it makes it way through the trees, over the mountains.  It touches our emotions and now let it touch your spirit with hope and truth…igniting a fire within you that cannot be contained! Jeremiah 20:9 says, “If I say, “I will not remember Him Or speak His name anymore,” Then my heart becomes a burning fire Shut up in my bones. And I am weary of enduring and holding it in; I cannot endure it nor contain it any longer.”

Look up a New Day is coming…

Sister Laurie

Overcoming Doubt

No one is immune to doubt. It can and does happen to us all. You’ve just got to know how to handle it when it comes.   Let’s look at the life of John the Baptist for answers.

Jesus said this about John the Baptist,

“Truly I say to you, among those born of women there has not arisen anyone greater than John the Baptist! Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.” Matthew 11:11

John was greater in the sight of Jesus than Abraham, Joseph, Moses, David, or any Old Testament character you can name. Yet John doubted the most important thing of all by questioning whether Jesus was really the Christ.

While John the Baptist was in prison he became so discouraged that he asked two of his disciples to go to Jesus and ask Him if He really was the Christ.  This amazing man of faith was lost in doubt and unbelief.

Think about who John was. He was separated unto God and filled with the Holy Spirit while he was still in the womb. Luke 1:15 

It is believed he lived in the desert near the Dead Sea with the Essens, the writers of the Dead Sea Scrolls. They were a people who were super-legalistic who practiced many rituals of self denial. He certainly had not lived what we would call an easy life. He was described in the Bible as wear animal skins and eating locust.  John was separated and focused on his purpose.

His entire life was committed to preparing the way for the Christ. John is the one who saw Jesus and said, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” John 1:29.  John shared the truth of God with thousands of people from many nations declaring, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matthew 3:2

John would see the Spirit of God descending upon the Messiah in bodily shape as a dove. That came to pass when John baptized Jesus in the Jordan River.

There are many scriptures that tell us John had zero doubt.

“I myself have seen, and have testified that this is the Son of God.” in      John 1:34. In Luke 3:16 he said, “but One is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to untie the thong of His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” And in John 3:30 he said, “He must increase, but I must decrease.”

Jesus responded to John’s disbelief and doubt….”look at all that has happened….see the truth of who I am and believe!”

This is the same thing Jesus is saying to you…look at all I have done and what is written in the scriptures and have faith.

Don’t let the devil lie to you and blind you from truth…dig in, for “It is written” those powerful words that Jesus spoke to Satan.  Those are our words now….

Don’t be fooled by the world…our need for something tangible, something emotional we can feel.  Overcoming doubt is not about feeling better; it’s about getting back into faith that only comes from the Word of God.

Romans 10:17 says “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.”

You must stand strong, immerse yourself in God’s Word and know that this battle is won on a spiritual level. 

In 2 Peter 1:12-15 Peter writes Jesus will always bring you back to remembering who  He is through His Word. He left us this Word because He knew we would face doubt in our flesh.

1 Thessalonians 2:13 spells it out clearly…”For this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe.”

The Scriptures are more sure and faith building and doubt destroying than if you and I were witness to seeing the risen Christ or hearing an audible voice from heaven! Why?  Because the Truth of God Word is always with us, to study, meditate and pray through.

The only sure way to overcome doubt is to place your faith in the Word of God and depend on that more sure word of prophecy. Don’t allow your five senses to dominate your thinking. You must come to a place to where God’s Word is more real to you than anything you can see, taste, hear, smell, or feel. When you’re in doubt, refer back to the Word of God just the way Jesus told John the Baptist to do. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.

Facts say you are here, sitting in this chair, struggling because of your decisions, wrong thinking, SIN….truth is God is right beside you waiting for you to activate your faith by standing on His Word which activates His ability to bring you the deliverance you so desperately desire.

Blessings, Sister Laurie

The Hope Killer – John 10:10

Without hope we become sick. Heartsick…Sick physically, mentally, and spiritually. This sickness leads to depression and in this fallen world we live many times leads to suicide.  Satan is the hope killer.  He is out to steal, kill and destroy God’s most precious creation US.  This is a tough blog to write because recently a young, beautiful mother of three that I had prayed with and shared Christ with took her own life. Satan stole this young woman’s life…the lies he had been telling her finally took her life. 

My heart is broken that those around her, me included did not see the signs.  Did not see the urgency that for her tomorrow will never come here on earth.  I can only speak from a peripheral view, I know that the system failed her, the church failed her and yes friends, family, and those of us who said “I’m here for you” failed her. Ouch! Yep! That is right….we all blew it!  We are in a battle, a spiritual one and until Jesus returns, we must arm ourselves and have a battle plan to help those lost and even ourselves.

Her death by suicide left me crying out to God for help.  Why? How? What are the signs? When does someone reach that point of isolation that they no longer have the will to live?  Here is what God has spoken to me. I know this is just the beginning of understanding and there will be a lot more revelation.   I wanted to share this with you…please reach out! Please be watching those in your circle of influence…God loves ALL His children equally, believer, non-believer we all belong to Him.

I want to talk about what Satan did…maybe it will help us the next time. Did you know that in the Bible there are seven instances of suicide?  I have always said that every life circumstance is in God’s Word and the way out is there too.

King Saul (1 Samuel 31:3-5)

Saul’s Armor-bearer (1 Samuel 31:5)

Samson (Judges 16:25-30)

Abimelech (Judges 9:50-55)

Ahithophel (2 Samuel 17:23)

Zimri (1 Kings 16:15-20)

Judas (Matthew 27:3-5)

“Nowhere in these seven instances, or anywhere else in the Bible, does it indicate that the act of suicide is an unforgivable or unpardonable sin.”

The most well-known Biblical suicide was Judas. After he betrayed Jesus the Bible says in different versions of Matthew 27:3-5, he repented himself (KJV), he was seized with remorse (NIV), he felt remorse (NASB) and he was gripped with remorse (AMP) one might say he (Judas) was full of despair and so he chose to end his own life.

“Despair” is a complete loss of hope. It is defined as “the complete loss or absence of hope, or desperation; a state of despair, typically one which results in rash or extreme behavior, or anguish; severe mental or physical pain or suffering, or desolation; a state of complete emptiness or destruction.”  When we breakdown “despair” we find “emptiness”, “isolation” or “destruction.”

It is in that emptiness; the devil has isolated us from hope and from God’s Truth.  The devil’s lie become our truth.  This is how Satan operates and when possible he pushes us to self-destruction.

“Isolation” is separation, loneliness, sadness because one has no friends or company. Feelings of depression, despondency, a state of low spirits caused by loss of hope or courage, unpopular, forsakenness, rejected, abandoned, or deserted. This isolation causes us to stop seeking friendship, to stop reaching out, cut the ties of accountability.

While Satan is busy building his lie within us, he spreads out and starts to build walls, systems, wrong attitudes, and approaches in those who are supposed to help.  This young woman I am speaking of life was filling up with rejection, programs that did not work, expectations and conditions, like a circus animal jumping through never ending hoops for a “well then maybe”.

I must say right here that I do not have the answers, know how to fix the broken legal systems, social services, and all the other agencies that are supposed to work at helping. 

Where is the church in all this?  Biblically we are called to help those who are lost…help without condemnation. I do know we fail here.  Why is it that the drug addict does not feel comfortable in every church? Why does not every church host meetings and Bible studies which focus on breaking substance addiction, fighting depression and anxiety as well as teaching life skills.   Statics tell us that the best recovery and sobriety successes are happening in meetings and programs that are Christ centered.

Sorry for the soap box preaching right there…let us get back to ways we can fight the hope killer, Satan.

Scripture has quite a bit to say about Satan, yet most Christians are ignorant about him. God has given us warnings about our enemy, and we need to have an understanding of Satan’s plan. Christians as well as unbelievers are under constant attack by him but have no idea of the battle they are in. They think their lack of joy, broken relationships, and failures in life originate with them, “It’s my fault, I deserve this” when in reality their troubles are because they are following the voice of the enemy, they have listened and believed his lies for so long they have become their truth.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” John 10:10 NASB

The thief here is Satan; 1 Peter 5:8  tells us that we must “Be of sober spirit (watch carefully, diligently) , be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”

The devil is jealous of us, his only desire is to destroy God’s most valuable, cherished and loved creation us, His children. Here in John 10:10 God reveals how the devil operates.

Steal: in the Greek “klepto” meaning without permission, sneak, surreptitiously, secretively; the devil takes our hope, steals the gift, the process of destruction begins here.  He speaks lies, tearing down little by little in a very subtle way. At first this “klepto” is undetectable. This stealing extends to how we see, it inhibits us from reaching out either in our own despair or when we see others suffering.

Remember who the devil  is, he was cast out of heaven and is driven to destroy all God has created, he is a “kleptomaniac” because he is driven in his actions and cannot stop. His actions are uncontrollable, his intention is to cause emotional pain, and he uses our need for love, acceptance, and attention (pride) to start this process of death. He is the hope thief.

Kill: in the Greek “thuo” to rush, breathe hard (deny air), to rush, attack, without warning, rapid, aggressive, violent, you are unable to cope, brutal, he attacks indiscriminately anyone one who is vulnerable, susceptible, spiritually weak, they are easy prey, exposed.  Satan’s movements are quick, once he has you believing there is no hope he is quick to cut off your air supply “God’s truth”.  The devil is an assassin, a killer who has a well thought out plan, he is set on a course of action.

Remember who Satan is and how he works.  He suffocates us with his lies. Pushing you to a place where hope dies.  He is the hope killer.

Destroy: in the Greek “apollumi” to put an end to the existence, perish, destroy completely, complete separation, rejection, broken covenant, suffering, punish, death, the devil set out and succeeds at attacking you emotionally and spiritually, he obliterates with darkness the goodness of God, moving you to a place discarded and broken…this is where the devil takes your life. Violently separating you from God’s truth to the point of death. Hopeless, desperate, reckless, uncontrolled decision and actions live here.  Our thoughts move into darkness where madness, irresponsibility, recklessness, and perversity dwell, yes, death is here, suicide, murder, homicide, assassination.  

Remember who the devil is and how he is intent on destruction. His lies and this fallen world pushes us to the point of death physically and spiritually. He is the hope destroyer.

Satan is a liar and murderer. This part of him comes from his true nature, which, according to the Bible, consists of arrogance, vanity, envy, and selfish ambition. When we act in such a manner, we align ourselves with Satan as enemies of God. This is why the mark of a child of God is humility and absolute surrender to our Lord.

We have to know our enemy in order to destroy him, God has given us a directive, a plan and the authority to bind and cast out every ploy the devil may try, God’s Word has every answer, every weapon we need to fight and win the battle. This truth is found in the second half of the verse it says “ I (Jesus) came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

Abundant life is ours when we put on the armor of God and heed God’s warnings about this world and the work of Satan.  Ephesians 6: 10-18 says “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.  With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints.”

The apostle Paul had plenty of opportunities to feel despair, yet he did not. He says in 2 Corinthians 4:8, “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing.” NASB  What was Paul’s secret? His hope was not based on his earthly circumstances. He held firmly onto the knowledge that God is in control and that his afflictions had meaning for all eternity (2 Corinthians 4:17).

Romans 12:1-2 says “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”

God also gives us clear instructions that we cannot live without the help of fellow believers…

Matthew 18:20 “ For where two of three have gathered together in My name, I am there is their midst.”  The devil lurks in darkness and in the places you feel isolated.  We must reach out for help from our fellow believers. If the devil can get you isolated he can take you down, he will keep you thinking; I can’t share, no one will understand, it’s embarrassing, awkward, humiliating (you see God tells us to live in humility, but the devil tells us that humility make us look weak, vulnerable and uncomfortable) God loves weakness because it is in your weakness Jesus can come in and arm you with His righteousness to fight.  God wants to be your defender, that lie we believe that we do not need help is one of the biggest lies satan tells.

James 5:14-16 clearly tells us to reach out for help and the sickness spoke of here is not just physical but mentally and spiritually, “Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him. Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.”

Finally, if we look at verse John 10:9, yes the one just before God’s warning concerning the devil we see…” I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.” Jesus is promising to keep us safe, the word pasture here means “the provision of truth or spiritual food for us to grow in knowledge of God and become disciples who have been given authority as spoken in Matthew 10:1 “Jesus summoned His twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every kind of disease and every kind of sickness.” We are an extension of those twelve and we must walk in the fullness of that truth while we live here on earth. 

I am here, please reach out if you find yourself going down that dark alley of despair and isolation.  You can contact me on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/JesusTruthForever or at Jesustruthbeliever@gmail.com.

Be Blessed,

Laurie

The Weight of Unforgiveness

I struggle with forgiveness how about you?  For years I not only could not forgive my parents as well as others in my life that I suffered physical and mental abuse from but I could not forgive myself.  My self-esteem (identity) was held captive behind a stronghold of unforgiveness and bitterness not only for them but for myself.  I want to blame them for everything that I had experienced without taking any responsibility for my decisions and consequences. It also destroyed my ability to have a healthy relationship with anyone. I was carrying daily an incredibly heavy backpack full of bitterness and hate. If you are suffering under this spirit of wrong thinking come before your God and ask Him to help you forgive yourself and those who hurt you.  Ask God to reveal your part and the wrong thinking that is holding you captive.  It may be painful, but you have a Savior that loves you and is right there beside you to walk through the painful memories and wash you clean in His blood.  That is just the beginning because He also has lifted you up with Him to sit at the Father’s side and use the authority given you to cast down those spirits of wrong thinking!  You see, Jesus’ resurrection and position at the right hand of the father is full of power “Dunamis Power”  to heal your brokenness and forever heal you.  2 Timothy 1:7 tells us “For God has not given us a spirit of timidity (lack of courage or confidence), but of power and love and discipline(self-control).”  The Greek word “Dunamis” is where the English word “dynamite” came from, Paul wanted Timothy to know that God had given him the dynamite ability to stand strong in the faith.  This is just as true today; God wants you to know that we have the power over our wrong thinking and the spirits that try to control our mind. Matthew 10:1 also tells us we have this power, “Jesus summoned His twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every kind of disease and every kind of sickness.”  Yes, GOD! Thank you for giving us the authority to “cast them out”.  Today, God is speaking to you…forgive those who have hurt you and forgive yourself! Ask God to forgive the people who have hurt you and then forgive them…Jesus last word on the cross reflects the strength and power in forgiveness “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34  Let the gift of “Dunamis” power fill you and give you the strength and courage to step forward in your relationship with your Forever Father and His Son. Who in your life needs your forgiveness?  Do you believe you are forgiven? Finally, unforgiveness in us creates bitterness which in turn creates a hard shell over your soul, how can the Father’s Love reach it with that hard shell upon it?

Dear Sisters, here are a few scriptures on Forgiveness to meditate on:

But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves.”  Luke 23:34 NASB

“Watch over your heart with all diligence,  For from it flow the springs of life.”  Proverbs 4:23

“Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions.”  Mark 11:25 NASB

 “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.  Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. “  Ephesians 4:31-32 NASB

“For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly  Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions. “  Matthew 6:14-15 NASB

“Bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.”  Colossians 3:13 NASB

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned. Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.”  Luke 6:37-38 NASB

“Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”  Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.”  Matthew 18:21-22 NASB

Blessing, Laurie

What the Bible says about Rape and Forgiving what seems Unforgivable…

The Bible is not silent about rape. The accounts of sexual assault against women/girls are heartbreaking, even gruesome. God speaks clearly about this sin and how it should be dealt with in the Old Testament…Some of these accounts lead to civil war.

The New Testament brings our ability to forgive into perspective, join me as we explore what God says…

Genesis 34:2 : clearly tells us in these words “And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the country, saw her, he took her, and lay (shakab) with her, and defiled (anah) her.” The Hebrew word “shakab” means to have sexual connection, ravish. Hebrew word “anah” means to defile, force, deal hardly, violent. Consequence to this was Dinah’s brothers killed Shechem. (God’s law or justice for this is death in the old testament.)

In Judges 19-21 we find an unnamed concubine or maidservant was gang-raped and left for dead by the men in the tribe of Benjamin, the other tribes went to war to defend her honor and seek justice after hearing of this heinous act. Judges 19: 25 “But the men would not hearken to him: so the man took his concubine, and brought her forth unto them; and they knew her, and abused her all the night until the morning: and when the day began to spring, they let her go.”
In prior verses the group that raped her originally ask to have her master ( a male) to assault, however the man who had offer them shelter for the night offered his daughter and the maidservant to them.

After Tamar was raped by her half-brother, Amon, her brother Absalom killed him, and this started a rebellion against his father, King David this incident is found in 2 Samuel 13.

Scripture clearly tells us that cases of rape are to be heard and the victims MUST be protected. Throughout the Old Testament there are different scenarios of sexual assault which clearly define guilt and justice. In each of these cases, the victim is protected and the violator is punished. Rape is an exploitation of all that God designed when He created male and female. From the very beginning, He intended for “women/females” to be protected and valued. Humans of any age that are victims of sexual assaulted should be considered an assault against God’s grand design…an assault on Eden. One day every wrong committed against His children will be righted by a justice-keeping God.

Restoration for Victims is Found in God through Forgiveness
Matthew 18:23-35 tells us that if we do not forgive people, we get turned over to the torturers. It’s torture to have hateful thoughts toward another person rolling around inside your head. Your fellowship with God flows freely when you’re willing to forgive, but it gets blocked by unforgiveness. 2 Corinthians 2:10-11 God tells us the one who forgives He also forgives…Forgiveness also keeps Satan from getting an advantage over us, Ephesians 4:26-27 tells us not to let the sun go down on our anger or give the devil any such foothold or opportunity. Remember that the devil must have a foothold before he can get a stronghold. Do not help Satan torture you. Began your journey to forgiveness without delay. Not just in words but seek God’s peace through His Word. Unforgiveness is like a poison…Who does forgiving help most? Who does it bring healing to? I know you are thinking “but you don’t understand”, “you don’t know”, “this is unfair”, “I don’t want to help the them”…so the poison grows and devours your thoughts and even your physical health.
We must release the other person to God so that He can do what only He can do. If you are in the way…trying to take revenge or take control of the situation…God has no obligation to deal with that person.
When we trust God and choose to forgive, He will take care of the rest.
The act of forgiving is our seed of obedience to His Word. Once we are sowing our seed, He is faithful to bring a harvest of the peace you so desperately need to put whatever has happened behind you where it no longer has power over you. Those nightmares, anxiety, depression and so called PTSD are symptoms of the poison spreading in you. You need to stop asking why, trying to understand why a person does something is not as important as knowing that God wants to redeem and restore them…and you!
Mark 11:22-26 clearly teaches us that unforgiveness hinders our faith from working. The Father can’t forgive our sins if we don’t forgive other people. We reap what we sow. Sow mercy, and you’ll reap mercy; sow judgment, and you’ll reap judgment. So do yourself a favor—and forgive.

OK, So how then do I Forgive?
Joyce Meyers says that she asked God during a time she was struggling with forgiveness and God replied “Because you aren’t obeying what I tell you to do in my Word. The answers to forgiveness are found there.”

Decide – You will never forgive if you wait until you feel like it. Choose to obey GOD, Matthew 6:12-14 says steadfastly resist the devil in his attempts to poison you with bitter thoughts. Make a quality decision to forgive, and God will heal your wounded emotions it takes time, have patience. Dwell in God and His Word not in those bitter memories.
Depend – You cannot forgive without the power of the Holy Spirit. It’s too hard to do on your own. If you are truly willing, God will enable you, but you must humble yourself and cry out to Him for help.
In John 20:22-23 Jesus breathed on the disciples and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit!” His next instruction was about forgiving people. Ask God to breathe the Holy Spirit on you so you can forgive those who’ve hurt you.
Obey – The Word tells us several things we’re to do concerning forgiving our enemies:
Luke 6:27-28 Pray for your enemies and those who abuse and misuse you. Pray for their salvation, that God might forgive them and that they might be redeemed through a relationship with Jesus Christ. The devil has lied to them so they need a revelation by God. Romans 12:14 …“Bless and do not curse them”. In the Greek to “bless” means “to speak well of” and “to curse” means “to speak evil of.” You can’t walk in forgiveness if you use your mouth to curse or gossip. Proverbs 18:21 says you will eat it’s fruit. You can’t get over it if you continue to talk about it.
Finally, you MUST forgive freely! Matthew 10:8 says “freely you have received, freely give.” To Forgive means “to pardon, cancel, and bestow favor unconditionally. What bestowing favor means to me is continued prayer for them.

Finally, get rid of all poison that comes from bitterness, resentment and unforgiveness. And remember Proverbs 4:23 says “Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance…for out of it flow the springs of life.” Our Heavenly Father sees and knows all that has happened to you, believe me when I say He wept when He saw what trauma you have suffered. He wants to heal you physically and spiritually. Remember you position in His Kingdom, you are His child valued and loved…restoration is coming.
Jesus wants to wash you in the water of God’s Word allow Him to do that TODAY!

This word was spoken to a group of women in crisis who I am privileged to minister to on a weekly basis, many of them victims of abuse, human trafficking and addiction. Jesus is bringing them freedom and restoring all the devil has taken in their lives. Thank you Jesus for your faithfulness that you never give up and you keep pursuing us.

Thank you to Joyce Meyers for her insight on forgiveness and also to Katie McCoy for her research on what God says about sexual assault.

Apostle Paul’s Thorn in His Side

About 2 years ago God gave me a revelation regarding the Apostle Paul and how he suffered in his spirit as spoken of in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10, Paul says, “Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me—to keep me from exalting myself! Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore, I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.”

The question, however, is: was Paul talking about a sickness? A physical injury? Was he speaking of the physical injury he had suffered at the hands of his jailers or possibly those who had beaten him? And God never healed him of that sickness or physical wound? I think not.


For the purpose of understanding let’s look at other examples of similar uses of “thorns” that carry an element of suffering in God’s Word.


“But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then it shall come about that those whom you let remain of them will become as pricks in your eyes and as thorns in your sides, and they will trouble you in the land in which you live.” Numbers 33:55


We find in Joshua 23:13, “Know with certainty that the Lord your God will not continue to drive these nations out from before you; but they will be a snare and a trap to you, and a whip on your sides and thorns in your eyes, until you perish from off this good land which the Lord your God has given you.”

A thorn in your eyes or sides is a thorn in the flesh. In both Numbers and Joshua God was referring to a group of people, not infirmities or an actual physical wound. These were godless people that the Israelites had to deal with once they entered their promised land of Canaan.


In the book of Judges, once again the Israelites had disobeyed the Lord’s command to destroy all the altars of the foreign gods in the land. Because of their disregard for God’s commend, He allowed the Israelites to again be corrupted and fall into Satan’s trap. God warned them because He knew they would no be able to resist the lifestyle of these ungodly people and they would fall to their ways. Destroying their altars would drive any remaining foreign people from the land. Judges 2:3, “Wherefore I also said, I will not drive them out from before you; but they shall be as thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare unto you.”


“And there will be no more for the house of Israel a prickling brier or a painful thorn from any round about them who scorned them; then they will know that I am the Lord God.” Ezekiel 28:24, here the prophet Ezekiel speaks of how God’s protection will break the torment spiritually and mentally the children of Israel have been under.


Now, let us return to the New Testament, 2 Corinthians 12, where Paul was talking about the “thorn in the flesh”, and the “messenger of Satan” that tormented him. The King James Version uses the word “buffet” meaning to continually strike. How did this demonic force continually strike Paul?

Traditionally it has been taught that it was with sickness, and the thing that made many accept that is the use of the words “weakness” and “infirmity” in verses 9 and 10. Infirmity definitely does mean sickness when it is used that way in 1 Timothy 5:23, but that is not the only meaning of the word. The number two definition is any lack or inadequacy. For instance, Romans 8:26 says, “the Spirit also helps us in our weakness (KJV-infirmities).” In this case, the context makes it clear that it is not speaking of sicknesses but rather not knowing what to pray for. Our finite minds are an infirmity, or an inadequacy. It is in our minds that we are continually tormented by Satan with our own battle with selfish desire or our history before knowing Christ. Our past sin, our memories play a huge part in how the devil brings his brand of torment which is spiritually suffocating. It is here that revelation came.

Paul’s life before Jesus transformed him supernaturally was one of righteous violence. He was Hebrew, studied in the synagogue, a pharisee who with the permission of the religious leaders fervently sought out followers of Jesus, he personally beat, killed or imprisoned them. This is part of Paul’s spiritual battle, his torment described as a “thorn in the flesh”.


James 4:7 says, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” We must resist, or actively fight against, the devil and the things he brings, to see them flee.


Paul’s ministry was amazing, the churches he started, the people whose lives were changed forever because of his sharing of the gospel, disciples trained and sent out, Paul personal transformation set the stage for an all-out attack from the devil. Now even imprisoned Paul’s faith and perseverance grows. I do not believe that Paul had an issue of pride, I believe his past life and the truth of Jesus Christ’s sacrifice kept him humble. Paul leans into God and everything God has promised to his believers.

Paul’s words at the end of 2 Corinthians 12:7. He writes, “to keep me from exalting myself.” The words “exalted above measure” written at the beginning of verse 7 are taken from the Greek word huperairo, a compound of the words huper and airo. These two Greek words are compounded to form the word huperairo, it speaks of a person who has been supremely exalted. This is a person who has been magnified, increased, and lifted up to a place of great prestige and influence. Although huperairo could be used to express the idea of a person who has haughtily exalted himself, this is not the idea Paul has in mind when he writes this verse. Rather, this is a person who has been greatly honored and recognized due to something he has written, done, or achieved. Paul knows that there are many people looking to him for encouragement and direction, yet he stays humble…knowing that God is who has orchestrated all that is happening.


To bring the meaning into these often spoken and interpreted scriptures…Paul makes this simple, yet profound statement found in verse 9 “And He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.”


God’s GRACE is ENOUGH…His forgiveness will see you through when you can not forgive yourself. Paul struggled with his past, yet Jesus gently offered him peace and forgiveness. This how Paul was able to continue, he understood the truth of Jesus Christ, the cross and resurrection.

Verse 10 adds yet another tactic of the devil, “Therefore, I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.” Paul had many who thought to destroy his reputation if not the person. Think about these opponents, most definitely some were believers and others Jewish leaders that knew Paul before his transformation, in their eyes how could they trust him. As the devil used Paul’s past to offend, people reacted. Paul also mentions difficulties; all you need to do is read Paul’s prison epistles to see that these young churches were being attacked spiritually as well. These precious letters speak truth about how the devil will use our offenses, ego, and pride to tear down the truth of Christ and bring discord into the church.

If you survey the types of ordeals Paul endured, you will see that many of them were orchestrated by these people who wanted to get rid of him. The Jewish leaders sought to discredit him, they hated him because he was once one of them, now they fiercely opposed Paul, the gospel and the truth of Jesus Christ. Do not be fooled, the devil was using their actions as a constant irritant that he had to deal with on an almost daily basis.


You see, Paul’s thorn in the flesh wasn’t sickness or epilepsy or any other physical malady; it was the people. Paul never complained of physical injury or his conditions in the jail as anything more than an opportunity. The devil thought by using people again and again, he could keep Paul so distracted with spiritual pain, HOWEVER, Paul knew better! He knew “God’s GRACE is SUFFICIANT!

This is the revelation clearly imparted to me. I identify with Paul, sometimes we have a past only God can forgive, only the saving Blood of Jesus can wash clean, only when we daily claim His GRACE…can we pursue Jesus unhindered, taking each thought captive and obedient to His TRUTH! 2 Corinthians 10:5 Don’t let the “thorns” satan would place in your flesh impede you! Join me today and let God’s GRACE be SUFFICIENT!


The word “revelations” is from the Greek word apokalupsis. It refers to something that has been veiled or hidden for a long time and then suddenly, almost instantaneously, becomes clear and visible to the mind or eye. It is like pulling the curtains out of the way so you can see what has always been just outside your window. The scene was always there for you to enjoy, but the curtains blocked your ability to see the real picture. But when the curtains are drawn apart, you can suddenly see what has been hidden from your view. The moment you see beyond the curtain for the first time and observe what has been there all along but not evident to you — that is what the Bible calls a “revelation.”


A special thanks to Phillip Chidavaenzi, Andrew Wommack, Frank Viola and Rick Renner for their insights during the writing of this article.

Murdered Innocence

 

 

 

 

 

“The devil…he was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
James 8:44 NASB

Today we live in a sex fueled world…in culture that does not value sexual integrity and purity. Instead, it values instant gratification and pleasure at all costs. Throughout history and today women are exploited for sex. Men have used women to satisfy their sexual desires without regard for the women they prey upon. Teenage men today are caught up in the age-old game of how many notches (sexual experiences) they have on their belt is as prevalent today as it was yesterday. The young women who become their victims are spoken about and many times unknowing shared by a group of young men. Each time they have sex with her they take a part of her soul. This begins a cycle of shame for most young women.

The dating world gives way to sex before marriage making it as common going out to a movie or having dinner. While you believe this is part of dating the reality is its sex out of marriage. Sex outside of marriage breaks down your ability to express the highest form of physical love created by God to build intimacy between one man and one woman. You will carry those pre-marital experiences into your marriage. Innocence dies through these experiences.

The Big Lie:  Women today believe the only way to receive and feel love is by giving their bodies over to men through sex.  Sex is fun and not meant exclusively for marriage between one man and one woman.

Fact:  A healthy woman usually only gives her body to someone she thinks of night and day and with whom her heart and spirit have already connected (unless there is dysfunctional or addictive behavior involved). And when she gives her mind, heart and soul, her body usually follows right behind. The four are intricately connected.

Fact:  Men use the words “I love you” to get sex. A male can enjoy the act of sex without committing his heart or bonding spiritually with the object of his physical desire. While a man needs mental, emotional and spiritual connection as well…his need to gratify his physical desires leads the way while the other needs follow behind.

 

Truth: Intimacy can best be defined by breaking the word into its syllables: “in-to-me-see”. This connection with your husband or wife is a longing to be seen and accepted for who you really are deep down inside, as well as to see the other person deep down inside so that you truly know each other. God created the act of sexual intimacy as a gift to give a husband and wife a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual bond with pleasure beyond description.

“For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become on flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.” Genesis 2:24-25 NASB

Ok, so where does this truth leave you? Let’s look at where you are now in your life.

1. You are unmarried and still holding on to your sexual integrity. If this is you…fantastic! Hold on to that! Find other like-minded Christians to help you stay accountable and pure. In the book, “Every Young Woman’s Battle”, the following is a glimpse of what an amazing gift is waiting for you in marriage.

Imagine what it is like when two sexually pure people get married. He has guarded his heart and she is the only naked woman he has ever seen. And she has never been held so intimately that she knows the smell of any man’s skin but his. She has no one to compare his gentle touch and caress to. No comparison. No disappointment. No guilt or shame. Their sexual intimacy is shared  between two bodies, two minds, two hearts, and two spirits that unite to become one-flesh union. When this level of intimacy is experienced within the commitment and safety of a loving marriage, it can be one of the most earthshaking experiences this side of heaven.

2. You are the parents. Pray for God to give you the strength and courage to set boundaries, speak freely and honestly about your mistakes. Get together as the mother and father and discuss how you will approach your children about dating and intimacy. Don’t just go with what you did…today we must take steps to keep our young people safe from the pressure put on them. Make sure your home leads by example in every area by setting a godly standard in your personal life, as well as music, movies and social media. Ask the difficult questions or if necessary seek out a trusted Christian mentor for them. Make sure they have accountability with others of the same-sex i.e. woman to woman or man to man.

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2 NASB

3. You have blown it. You find yourself sexually compromised and like a broken record you just keep going around and letting the scratch or crack hang you up. There is hope! Jesus paid the price at the whipping post and cross for you! You can bring all those past experiences before the Lord ask Him to forgive you. You also need to take that extra step and lay down your pride and confess with your mouth to another Christian. Those experiences can either anchor you to the past or thrust you into the future. Start today by renewing your mind daily in the truth found in the Bible. The closer you draw to God, the more you know Him, He will reveal and heal your mind and body. Take steps to become accountable for your life.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 NASB

Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” James 5:16 NASB

Do not lose hope it may take time. There may be residual physical damage, however, it is God’s desire that you live a life of joy and peace walking in His love and grace.

I hope these words are of encouragement to you. If you have not accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, you can ! Simply ask Jesus to come and dwell within you bringing His Holy Spirit to guide you and ask forgiveness from the sin in your life. Acknowledge the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross for you and that He is the son of the one true God.

Be Blessed,
Laurie