Visualize

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Hi Ladies,

Should I pray for a mate? Definitely yes, if you truly want to get married and a husband is your desire from God.  But have you given much thought to exactly what you want him to be?  Do you know the kind of man you’d like?

The best way to receive what you want from Our Father is to be clear on what you are asking for. Visualize the type of spouse you want, then pray for that.  It is okay to be specific about his looks, his career, his spirituality, and every other aspect that is important to you.  Think about it – if you wanted a new car, would just any car do, or would you have a preference for the model and features you’d like?  True… guys aren’t cars, but if you don’t have clarity on what you want, you won’t recognize when you’ve received it.

But caution is advised! In the King James, I Timothy 4: 1 talks of “seducing spirits” – “in the latter times, some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.”  Other versions refer to these tempters as “deceiving” or “deceitful” spirits.  Deceptions are one of the enemy’s most common weapons against us, and he makes them beguiling and attractive.  Just as he himself was not a red demon with horns and a pitchfork, but was one of Our Creator’s most beautiful angels, so will deceptions be presented to you, especially when you begin praying for a specific request.

It is essential to understand your own set of seducing spirits. Satan will attempt to entice you in your area of weakness, but when you know where the mines are, it’s far easier to avoid them.  Especially pertaining to males, identify which aspects are a special temptation for you.  For example, maybe you’ve always been drawn to wealth, but God intends for you to have faith for His provision in this area.  Along comes the Believer you’ve been praying about, and you’re delighted with him in every way except that he’ll never be rich, and he doesn’t even want to be.

So what’s the enemy going to do? He won’t dispatch a penniless guy to distract your attention, but will send out the glossy attorney with the big Mercedes who works in your office building.  Lucky you!  But the accurate word here is ‘lucky’, not ‘blessed’, because this man may be a totally committed unbeliever, and if you allow your own desires to lure you, you will be embracing a deception.

Or perhaps you’ve always had a weakness for really handsome guys, or tall muscular ones, but the available Christian men seem to be neither.  Under the sway of your perceived attraction criteria, you’ll sift through dozens of fellows, dismissing them without consideration while awaiting the one who has the superficial attributes that you crave.

Maybe it’s not money or appearance, but prestige or status, or as one lady told me, “anything as long as he’s a preacher”.  We all have non-negotiable areas in our evaluation of the opposite sex, and they are not necessarily weaknesses.  Instead they form our core values, and Our Father will honor them in the mate He’s designed for us.

My own non-negotiable, besides strong Christian faith, was intelligence.  It didn’t matter what degrees he possessed as long as he could keep up with me mentally.  But I was unwilling to deal with any guy who I felt was an idiot.  And he had to be tall.  So The LORD blessed me with a 6’3” minister who is more than my match intellectually.  With the criteria of faith, height, and brains present, ‘flaws’ didn’t matter.

God loves you very much, and when your innate preferences are a ‘bent’ or trait that He Himself put into you, such leanings are not problematic…instead they’ll help you recognize your ordained spouse.  However, it is crucial to identify the seducers, lures and temptations that the enemy will place in your path.  They are not the same as the values that Our Father has given you which make you who you are.   More on “mating prayers” to come…Joy and Shalom!

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Secrets

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Hi Ladies,

If you’re new to this blog, please visit some of the earlier posts. They’ll provide a foundation for the deeper waters we’re treading into.  I’ve tried to shorten the posts for you busy ladies, but their biblical information is difficult to cut!  I’ll keep working to edit them down, but my mandate is to share what “Thus saith The LORD”, the sole reason for the blog.  Now let’s investigate the remaining trap attempting to ensnare the Christian woman who has ventured into the error of premarital sex.

Trap #3 is when we’ve succumbed to a reprobate mind.  There is nothing that The LORD will not forgive if we are sincere in seeking His forgiveness.  But to develop a stony heart of disobedience is to forsake Our Father’s mercy and help.  The actions discussed in the last post signify true blasphemy, a word that Dictionary.com defines as “an act of cursing or reviling God”.

This condition is described in Mark 3: 28, 29 – “Assuredly I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they may utter, but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation.”

4) THE SECRET SIN

When we begin a process of justification and acceptance of a debased state of mind or an immoral activity, we remove ourselves from the Source of our strength.   Instead we reject Our Father in favor of adopting a pet sin.  Rather than renouncing it, we decide to keep and protect our “weakness”, sheltering it in a closet, a hidden place that we keep shut away from God and everyone else.  It becomes the secret sin, the one that nobody else knows about.   But when we keep quietly feeding, nurturing and protecting it, eventually it will outgrow that closet and will burst out into the light for all to see.

Shielding and harboring a pet sin will alter our relationship with The LORD. Instead of coming to Him confessing our disobedience, the increasingly sporadic times when we do pray will be spent skirting around the issue as if God doesn’t know it’s there.  Of course He does, but we’ve decided to believe a lie, a delusion of our own choosing.  The lie is whatever makes us feel better without confronting the actual situation.

The lie could be that “Everything really is all right”; or that “It is well with my soul”. It could be that “God understands, and this is not such a big deal”.  The delusion may be that if it’s left alone, the “problem” will eventually go away, and we’ll automatically be back in right standing with Our Creator.

But sins don’t just disappear of their own volition. Instead they dig in deeper, and grow bigger.  When we decide to keep and protect one, we’ve just given the devil a stronghold, a foothold in our life, which he can and will use against us.

As Believers we must always understand that we are to forsake sin, not try to reason with, control, or reform it. Nothing that the adversary sends our way, no matter how appealing it appears to be, must be allowed to intervene and subvert our relationship with Jesus Christ.  We must be ready to stop running from, stop agreeing with, stop appeasing, and stop cohabitating with the enemy.  An immoral impulse cannot be coddled because its’ ultimate goal is to destroy us.  Our only choice is to combat and eliminate it.  Only then can the Holy Spirit regain ascendency over the physical, reducing the enemy to a defeated foe, and restoring us into correct alignment with God.

But we have been given the keys in Scripture to open up the lock to our closet of secrets, and to soften our hardened heart. The way to a happy, godly, spiritually fulfilling marriage lies only in following the path that Our Father has ordained.  What can be done to repair the damage, and to proper prepare for the arrival of our mate?  

More next Wednesday…Joy and Shalom!

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Caution!

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Hi Ladies,

What happens after the decision is made to jump into the premarital bed? As we know, this is not an unforgiveable sin, but our actions afterward hold the keys to our future.  More details are in my new book, LOVE IN THE BOOK 2 – The Partner Guide.

We’re often amazed and disappointed that, despite its lures, sin can leave such a bitter taste in our soul, and is seldom the sublime experience that the enemy entices us to expect.   Even if it was, our response will be recognition that we have dishonored both our self and The LORD.  The result is a feeling of heaviness and guilt because sin causes pain in a Believer, and guilt is an indicator of that pain.  But if we stop and truly ask Our Father for forgiveness, the matter can end there.  We will sincerely repent and move on, never to repeat that failure again.

But too often, our repentance is incomplete. We focus our guilt on the manifestation of the immorality, rather than on the processes which caused the offense.  For example, we’re sorry we slept with the guy, instead of repenting of the lust in our heart.  Or we feel bad for cheating on our income tax instead of confronting the greed that is the root cause.  Because the underlying drives haven’t been renounced, they’re still there.  The enemy hasn’t given up nor departed, especially after scoring such a victory.  But where there is guilt, there is hope.

Here are 4 Traps to Avoid:

1.“GOOD WORKS”

We may decide to combat the guilt by trying harder to be a “good Christian”. But without real repentance, doubling up on churchgoing or helping in ministry serves only as a smokescreen.  Without increasing our prayer time, personal study of the Word, or time spent alone with The LORD, we won’t solve the problem.  Despite increased churchly activity, we know deep in our spirit that the urge to sin is still there

2.  THE HARDENED HEART

Serious trouble is brewing when a person chooses to debate spiritual matters rather than submit. When we become argumentative and ready to quarrel over truths, over biblical principles that we once accepted as God-given, we are hastening toward spiritual death.

In surrendering to our degenerate nature, we become genuinely confused, believing our ideas are right and that others are wrong, and that the Bible is open to our own interpretation. If confronted about unscriptural behaviors, we’ll respond with hostility and heated debate, and will now fight for our right to sin, rather than change.

This condition of willful disobedience and non-submission to The LORD is described in The Word as having a hardened heart. Mark 8: 17, 18 – “Do you not yet perceive nor understand? Is your heart still hardened?  Having eyes, do you not see?  And having ears, do you not hear?  And do you not remember?”

When a person who has experienced salvation, would now rather argue with Our Creator than obey Him, that person has become a slave to the corrupt aspects of their nature.   This is a spiritual condition that the King James translation calls:

3. THE REPROBATE/DEBASED MIND

  • Romans 1: 28 – “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient.”
  • 2 Timothy 3: 8 – “so do these resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.”
  • Titus 1: 16 – “They profess that they know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.”
  • Romans 1: 24, 25 – “Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever.”

It’s essential to know exactly what happens to our Spirit when we deliberately disobey God, but we’re outta space on this post!  More Trap #3 and #4 next week – Joy and Shalom!

More Snares…

Scales

Hi Ladies,

We’re considering the steps that must occur in the spirit and soul of a Single Christian Woman before she makes the decision to engage in premarital relations. It is a process, not a spur-of-the-moment action, even though it may seem so at the time.  With such decisions, our spiritual life is being weighed in the balance.  Let’s look into our thought processes, as the effects of evil in our life become less and less acknowledged.

SITUATIONAL ETHICS

According to Wikipedia, situational ethics is a “Christian ethical theory which basically states that sometimes moral principles can be set aside in certain situations if love is best served.”  In other words, you can decide what is the right or wrong course of action based upon the situation at the time.  But this is not Biblical Christianity.  It’s a philosophy of human wisdom in which there are no absolutes, no actual sin or evil…only a good or bad choice.

The word “Sin” has become unfashionable, and it’s “politically incorrect” to call any but the most heinous of behaviors a sin.  But the snares of the enemy must be recognized for what they truly are.  Our adversary understands the saying that “honey attracts more flies than vinegar”.  He’s made the lures of temptation far more attractive to us than repellent.

Sin draws our human nature, especially when we’re in a Body/Soul/Spirit mindset. Even though we know the dangers, if it’s an activity we’re attracted to, we’ll keep circling back to it.  James 1: 4 says, “But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires, and enticed.”   I Corinthians 6: 19 tells us to “flee from sin”, not to stand around inspecting it.

When we begin to peer closely at a particular activity, and examine in our own mind whether or not it is actually evil, we will start to question Scripture. Our physical self must seek justifications for its’ planned senses-based behaviors and it will search to find them, drawing us far off course from our life path.

QUESTIONING THE WORD OF GOD

Scripture is spiritually perceived.  Most of us couldn’t understand the Bible at all until we got saved, then suddenly it made sense.  That’s because our spirit became one with God, and we took on the mind of Christ through our inhabitation by the Holy Spirit.  We could then grasp the meaning and accept the truths presented in His Word.

So when we know what the Bible says about an activity, why question it? When we begin to do so, when we start to ponder if God really meant to say what He clearly said, we’re taking a big step toward committing the sin.  We become vulnerable to making a situational decision based upon our desires rather than on the Word of God.

VIOLATING OUR CONSCIENCE

Acts 24: 16 – “And herein do I exercise myself, to always have a conscience void of offense toward God and toward men.

Titus 1: 16 – “Unto the pure all things are pure, but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure, but even their mind and conscience is defiled.”

For a Christian, deciding to step off the edge of contemplation and into an actual immoral action involves a violation of conscience. Our conscience is our protection, and serves as a warning from our Spirit.  When we deliberately consider committing a transgression, it attempts to intervene.  But questioning the Bible undermines our convictions, and can persuade us to ignore God’s voice of caution.

Finally, we reach the point where we ready to commit the sin.  Subconsciously this decision is made long before the actual activity takes place.  If it involves an amorous encounter, even if it seems spontaneous, getting there has required a complicated traverse through the mind and heart of a Believer.  It has taken a route of justification and acquiescence to arrive at a moral surrender where, despite our Spirit’s objections, we go ahead and do the wrong.  The only encouragement here is that Our Father, in His Mercy, is still ready to forgive us if we ask.

Until next week – Joy and Shalom!

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Enticing Tares

20160523_210655 (2)Hi Ladies,

We’ve all heard or possibly even said it – “I don’t see what’s so wrong with this.” This statement isn’t just about intimacy, but is about any of the numerous actions or attitudes that are restricted or prohibited by the Word of God.  These are spiritual tares which the Holy Spirit through our conscience tries diligently to make us aware of.

But that is precisely the point – we truly don’t see.  When our physical person has gained preeminence over the spiritual, we can fail to see a lot of things that are happening to and around us. The dictates of the flesh speak insistently.  And our discernment can become overwhelmed by the physical when we are not in correct spiritual alignment.

With sufficient time and insufficient prayer, we will begin to lose the ability to understand what’s happening to us spiritually. And when we consider engaging in questionable activities we won’t become convicted and repentant, but will be defensive of our position, and convinced that whatever we want to do is “not really so bad.”

But this decline of spiritual awareness doesn’t happen overnight. We only need to heed the warning signs.  Here are two more factors that may be working to override our moral convictions…

 

PERVERSENESS

Perverseness indicates an impure motive, a behavior which Dictionary.com defines as “turning away from or rejecting what is right, or proper; wicked, corrupt.”

Proverbs 28: 6 – “Better is the poor that walks in his integrity, than he that is perverse in his ways, though he be rich.”                                                                                                             
Proverbs 28: 18 – “… he who is perverse in his ways will fall at once.

Perverseness exists in the church in subtle forms, but is there regardless. A perversity of motives is often expressed by women in our style of dressing, while men do it through physical touch.  The sister who always shows a little too much cleavage; the brother whose only form of greeting ladies is to hug them really tight; the girl in the short tight skirt; or the man who lightly strokes a woman’s hair, or brushes his fingers across her cheek… All are sending sexual messages under the guise of overtly Christian behavior.

The women are, after all, in church.  And the man is merely greeting the ladies by crushing their bosoms against his chest, or providing solace with his caress.  But each of these people is in danger of expressing either consciously or unconsciously, stronger sexual drives than spiritual ones.

 

DEFRAUD

The next sensual activity to be wary of is called “Defraud” in the King James version of the Bible:

Mark 10: 19 – “Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness , Defraud not, Honor thy father and mother.”                                                                                                                                                          
1 Corinthians 1: 7 – “Defraud ye not one the other.”

Dictionary.com defines this as “to deprive of a right, money or property by fraud.” Defrauding occurs when we promise, either verbally or by implication, something that we do not feel, or do not intend to give.

A common manifestation of this is the fellow whose words “I love you” come easily if they’ll help get the object of his lust more quickly into bed.  Many a silly woman has been defrauded by such empty verbiage into thinking that her sexual accommodation would become more than just a one night stand.  Or she’s been defrauded into believing that the man she’s been living with will eventually marry her, even though he’s been making excuses for years.

Women, however, practice defrauding when we go all out to entice a guy, then turn out to be something quite different than what we pretended to be.  Maybe our sweet demeanor masked the fact that we’re mean and bossy.  Or perhaps, like the old joke, on the honeymoon night she removed her wig, took out her falsies, popped out her dentures, and unhooked her peg leg.  This fellow has been defrauded!

Such manifestations of spiritual illness are attitudinal transgressions that must be brought under Our Father’s control immediately. Otherwise the devolution of our moral position in Christ will continue to progress.   It isn’t just about sex!

More next week – Joy and Shalom!

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What About Intimacy?

Full Watch

Hi Ladies,

Now let’s tackle a Big Question. Have you ever wondered why God in The Scriptures is so against premarital sex?   As a Believer, you already know the answer to any question of participation, but it remains a dilemma for many singles.  I Thessalonians 4: 3 is one of numerous verses:  “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality.” We may know this is instruction from The LORD, but our culture and the temptations around us can override our head knowledge.

God Himself has given us sensuality and physical desires, but has denied the opportunity to fulfill them except within the bonds of matrimony.   But Our Father’s instructions are always for our best interest, and the restrictions on intimacy are for our own good.   There will come a proper time for sex, but getting to physical intimacy is designed to be the culmination of a process, not its beginning.

The issue of sex outside of marriage is not a dilemma of freedom of choice, and its roots run much deeper than a mere physical act.   So let’s examine the underlying factors involved in ignoring God’s prohibition against premarital intimacy.  Why this isn’t just about a physical activity, and how, as a single Believer, it can affect the fulfillment of your Vision for marriage…

 

Snares of the Enemy

                As students of the Bible, we know that Our Father has created order in His universe, and since we are His own very special creation, He has created a very special order for us as well.  When we follow God’s order, our lives have the potential to be excellent, spiritually, emotionally and materially.  But when we refuse to follow His order, our lives will fail to achieve their full potential.

In The LORD’s proper order, with everything in its correct position, we function as tripartite (three-part) beings, and we are a small scale reflection of the Triune (three-part) Godhead. In His designated alignment, we humans consist of three entities – Spirit, Soul and Body.

The primary aspect of our being is the Spirit, which corresponds to God, the Father Creator. Next is our Soul, the invisible, interior psychological aspect of human life, which equates with The Holy Spirit.  Finally there is the Body, or physical aspect of life, which is represented by Jesus Christ, the physical member of the Trinity.

These are the basic forces of our life, and in proper balance, the least of the three is the physical.  But for many of us, God’s order has become reversed.  We think of ourselves as Body, Soul and Spirit, and in this upside down positioning, our senses, our sensual nature, is the strongest factor.  It becomes the driver over the other two forces, just as it was before we experienced salvation.

Since these three aspects determine our motivation, when the physical nature regains headship, so does our sensuality.  This is not merely the sensuality of sexual activity.  We can surrender to our senses in any area of our lives.  Expressions of an uncontrolled sensual nature can involve our dealings with money, choices of food and drink, entertainment, reading material, friendships, and so on.  Our physical person with her likes and dislikes and cravings becomes dominant.

If we settle in and become comfortable with the dominion of the physical in our life, instead of fighting it and allowing our spiritual self to retain control, we will become satisfied with that status quo.  We may be vaguely aware that our sin nature is regaining control, but our resistance weakens.  We become double-minded and confused, and as James 1: 8 warns “A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.”  In such a state, with our sensual nature dominant and our senses out of control, we become vulnerable to snares of the enemy.

Before we consider the consequences of physically engaging in premarital sexual activity, there are other quieter traps of a sensual nature that we may become prey to.  As Believers, we must be wary of our vulnerability to these seducing attitudes and situations.

Until next week… Joy and Shalom!

 

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Your Need 3

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Hi Ladies,

Here’s another essential characteristic that a godly woman needs from her mate. It corresponds to the need that Our Father has placed within His men to provide for their families.  We require that aspect of his character as well, forming a perfect balance per The LORD’s design.

FINANCIAL PARTNER

The Scriptures have much to say about money – it is a blessing and a gift from God: Deuteronomy 8: 18:  “And you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth.”;   Philippians 4: 19:  “And my God shall supply all your needs, according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”;  III John 2: “Beloved, I pray you may prosper in all things, and be in health, just as your soul prospers.”

Prosperity is our God-given birthright, but Our Father expects us to learn to acquire and properly utilize the funds that He makes available to us. And when we marry, He expects us to use our money properly as a couple.

Amos 3: 3 asks “Can two walk together unless they are agreed?”  Financial concerns are not an insignificant matter.  The two people in a relationship must come to agreement, to oneness and unity in this area, or they will divide into two-ness.  Oneness doesn’t require that they think exactly the same.  God often unites opposites in matrimony because their tendencies balance each other, and the marriage stays on an even keel.

But in the courtship stage, this is an area that couples may overlook or choose to ignore. Most women will automatically assess a man’s earning potential very early in a relationship.  And most will eliminate the lazy, shiftless fellow who will disregard his God-given responsibilities toward his household.  Instead we’re likely to be drawn to someone whose values, career prospects and goals are more compatible with our own.

The concern is not that the couple be identical in their financial styles. A cooperative partnership can be formed between a man and woman with different attitudes and backgrounds in handling money.  The key is that they work together to create a balance where both are comfortable and upon which they can agree.

Any arrangement is acceptable in God’s sight as long as the partners are in unity about it. In the distribution of funds, The LORD is impartial.  He doesn’t care who earns more, and whoever is best suited to the task can handle the fiscal affairs of the home with Our Father’s blessing.  The trouble occurs when the spouses refuse to compromise.  The ensuing financial power struggle can easily contaminate every other aspect of their relationship.

Communication about money matters is crucial before marriage because secrets can be destructive to achieving a true partnership. Have you and your intended talked about your charge card balances, or credit ratings?  Has he revealed the child support court order, or have you confessed the outstanding student loans?  Do you understand that he’s been the sole support of his mother since his parents divorced, and that’s not going to change, even with a new wife?

Does he know that you’ve always practiced self-gratification with regard to spending, and that the word “denial” is not part of your vocabulary? Does he realize that money is essentially an abstract concept to you and that you’re secretly expecting God, or him, to replenish the coffers as soon as you empty them?  Or do you appreciate his sophisticated, expensive style, but haven’t yet understoodd that his taste for custom shoes, tailored suits, or expensive electronics is not going away when you two marry?

Within marriage, these conflicting ideas must be mitigated by compromise and consensus, and with The LORD’s help, this will happen.  So all is not lost if you and your guy disagree about money.  But both parties must be clear on the fact that Our Sovereign God holds the man ultimately accountable for the wellbeing of his family, including its finances.   Before heading down the aisle, consider your needs in this area, and spend honest discussion time with both God and with your guy.

Until next week…Joy and Shalom!

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