JESUS CHRIST is the LIGHT of the world! The LORD does not want anyone to walk in darkness. HE has given us HIS WORD JESUS CHRIST & HIS COMFORTER HIS HOLY SPIRIT! ‘HIS WORD will be a lamp unto your feet and a LIGHT unto your path”
This is what HIS WORD teaches:
“Unless I go away, the COUNSELOR, will not come to you; but if I go, I will send HIM to you. When HE comes HE will convict the world of guilt in regard to SIN & RIGHTEOUSNESS and JUDGMENT, in regards to SIN men do not BELIEVE in ME; in regards to RIGHTEOUSNESS, because I AM going to the FATHER where you can see ME no longer; and in regards to judgment because the prince of this world now stands condemned.
I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when HE, the SPIRIT of TRUTH comes, HE WILL GUIDE you to ALL TRUTH…” John 16
All around and throughout this world our Lord has created there is much Spiritual Warfare about us. Because of Jesus Christ death upon the cross we have been given the opportunity to have Eternal life. It is upon the cross Jesus Christ overcame the forces of darkness and redeemed us from the penalty of sin of the original sin that entered the world via Adam & Eve. No one else was able to do this! We who believe can now look forward to one day living with God in Heaven forever after we have completed the course of life or once Jesus Christ returns for those of us who remain before the RAPTURE! This is only possible once we truly accept Jesus Christ into our hearts as our personal Savior & Lord. Praise God!
Upon the profession of our Faith we receive the precious Gift of His Holy Spirit It is through an ongoing committed intimate relationship with Him we are able to grow in His wisdom, Grace & knowledge. God has given us His Word which is our necessary Spiritual Food to nourish our eternal souls. We are then better able to recognize and discern when something or someone is not of Him as we implement the principles of His Word within our daily lives. We must continually as often as necessary asked to be filled by the indwelling presence of His Holy Spirit! “That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be SAVED. For it is with your heart that you BELIEVE and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are Saved.” Romans 10
The prince of this world who is satan has already been condemned to eternal damnation. Therefore he does not want any of us to know the TRUTH and he daily continues to try and deceive and confuse the inhabitants of this world any way he can… The reason why we are seeing so many things going awry within the world is because so many are turning away from the Word of God. Many are ignorant and do not know GOD. Many are doing what is right in their own eyes and seek to fulfill the lust of the flesh. This is true in the world and also to a degree within God’s Church! God created this world that was spoken into existence through Jesus Christ. Everything that He made was good. Through man’s disobedience it was corrupted by sin. “In the beginning was the WORD, and the WORD was with God, and the WORD was God. He was God from the beginning..” John 1
God has given us the BIBLE which is His infallible Holy Word! It consists of the Old & New Testaments. A good acronym to remember is: BIBLE = Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth! It is here in His Word we better learn what life & living is all about and its history and origins. When Jesus Christ came He fulfilled the laws and all the requirements of the Old Testament. In the New Testament we learn how He now wants us to live. We have a Covenant relationship with Him. Here is what His Word teaches us: “This is the Covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put My laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be My people. No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying ‘Know the Lord, because they all will know Me, from the least to the greatest…” Hebrews 8
This is why it is so very important to know the Word of God for yourself. We are under the Covenant of Grace. The invitation to accept Him as Lord and Savior that was given to Israel has been extended to all nations. We as believers are not to use grace as a license to sin. Sin is anything that separates us from God. “ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” We are not supposed to practice sin. Nor or we to excuse sin in ourselves or others… We are to readily repent of any sin and start anew walking in the Light of His Word. Spiritual growth is an ongoing life long process. We can do this through the Power of His Holy Spirit which is; the Spirit of Truth!”
The Holy Spirit the Comforter is a precious Gift from God to lead us to all Truth! To help us navigate through the Spiritual Warfare that has been designed to entrap us and pull us away from God’s purpose & plan for our lives. It is important that we learn to become better focused, stay connected to the Lord and “pray without ceasing” throughout our day!
KNOW this: JESUS CHRIST IS THE WAY THE TRUTH & THE LIFE! Do NOT be deceived there is NO OTHER way to HEAVEN! “Through Him all things were made; without HIM nothing was made that has been made. In Him is life, and that life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.” John 1
I must preface this by saying that the “Down-Low” is a rather controversial “taboo” subject! You may be offended by the contents before you; in general it is preferably for adults only? It may ruffle your feathers a bit? However, I do think that having an open conversation with your mature teens should be considered at your discretion… You might be quite surprised by their reactions? This helps to protect them from acquiring felonious information in regards to the “Down-Low” from an outside source as well as keeps the lines of communication open. They may know more than you think? If you are sensitive to the topic of sex; read no further!
What is the “Down-Low”? The “Down-Low” is a discreet sexual encounter between a straight married man as well as unmarried men who have sexual relationships with other men. They often have sex with their friends and other men without telling their spouse or partner! This happens within many races and cultures on every social economic level! Often random one night stands… Many who are professed Christians! The fact that it is kept secret should tell you something! It is actually another form of homosexuality.
In this 21st century it becomes increasingly clear to me why God designed marriage in the way in which He did. One Man and one Woman! He has not changed His design! His design for sex within marriage was to give us healthy sexual boundaries! This keeps us free from STD’s, Herpes, HIV and AIDS!
The “Down-Low” is a homosexual act… According to the Word of God homosexuality goes against nature. It is considered an indecent act! This is still in your Bible if you have not torn it out!
“Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchange the TRUTH of God for a lie, and worshipped and served created things rather than the Creator- who is forever praised. AMEN! Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged the natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.” Romans 1.
I believe all of God’s Word! Do as you please but nowhere in the Word does God condone any form of homosexuality, adultery, fornication or any sex outside of marriage! Deliverance yes! God is able! He told the woman “To go and sin no more!” I realize that these may be chosen lifestyles for many? You can choose as you please… But it does not make it right in the eyes of God regardless of who says so! It does not have God’s blessing! We; meaning believers are supposed to be “in the world but not of the world.” John 17. World; meaning cosmos the devil is the ruler of the cosmos. We are physically present in this world, but we are children of the kingdom of God! We are sanctified by believing and implementing the Truth of God’s Word in our lives! “Thy kingdom come thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven…”
The enemy seeks to have us step outside of the Word of God! The Word of God points us in God’s direction. It is a Light unto our path. It shines the Light on darkness and can point us back to the right path as well! This is why we need Jesus as Savior and Lord to save us from the power and clutches of sin!
I have counseled with some who have been ensnared into lifestyles of alternative sexual relationships. I have seen the aftermath of what it does to the soul, the person, spouse and family… In many cases it creates and ongoing cycle of distrust, rejection, selfishness and secretiveness that causes much ambivalence, despair, insecurity, resentment and anxiety for those involved.
When the man on the “Down-Low” is in ministry this can be devastating. This causes much conflict within the family as far as their belief system. For example; the woman may seek the comfort of another woman. This in turn leads to a confusing physical relationship that further complicates her life as well. This is the ultimate rejection so her self esteem is at stake. She begins to question her own sexuality? To assuage her guilt she now turns to drugs!
The various family members begin to act out rebelliously and justify turning to worldly living… In some cases becoming a lesbian… The children become confused as to what is right? They begin to experiment and then become promiscuous as they reach puberty… Which begins to perpetuate another vicious cycle of dysfunction? Now the world has entered their home and the enemy has covertly shifted the entire focus of the family from God’s principles…
It really boils down to spiritual warfare!!!
The Word of God is powerful and was given to help us navigate through this maze of life! We must proclaim the Truth of His Word and encourage others to draw closer to the Lord in these last days. I know what it is like to be censored and oppressed for believing the Truth of God’s Word. Yet, we must stand on the Word of God! “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires. These men will divide you who follow mere instincts and do not have the Spirit. But you, dear friends, build yourself up in the most Holy Faith and PRAY in the Spirit.” Jude 1.
When you see someone drowning do you try to help them? The point is we are called believers for a reason. The world and its ways of manipulation have worked itself into God’s Church. I am not talking about the building! I mean the lives of many baptized believers! The world says “ do whatever you feel is right” The Word of God says “Repent!” Which means to turn to God; not to repeat? We are not to jump into the quicksand of life! “Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch them out from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear – hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.” Jude 1.
It is important not to compromise the Word of God even if it means being misunderstood! It is much more important what God knows rather than what others think? Don’t give in to false doctrine that goes against what God says! We are supposed to influence the world not let it influence us! Spend time meditating on His Word; “Be still and know!”
It is so important that we personally know God’s Word! We must develop and ongoing, growing intimate relationship with the Lord! This is about learning how to honor God with your bodies. In the Old Testament sacrifices were offered to God for the sins of the people! Jesus became the ultimate sacrifice for the sins of the world. Now we are to offer our body as a sacrifice to the Lord! As we do this our lives are transformed and our minds can be renewed daily by the Word of God! Do you believe God knows what is best for us?
“Therefore, I urge you brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God –this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer by the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12.
One must seek to rise above any behavior that is not pleasing to the Lord! This closeted homosexuality, adulterous, bisexuality is dangerous! The “Down-Low” is one of those patterns of the world, and it is inappropriate!
I realize that the Church is divided on the subject of sex. No one wants to talk about sex really, or address the growing issues? Do we continue to just bury our heads in the sand like an ostrich? Many go to worship, sing, pray, dance, shout, fellowship and then go back to in many instances a lifestyle that is contrary to what God says is acceptable! Worship really becomes a temporary distraction or just another social activity? Think for a moment; what if Jesus were to return tomorrow? God is aware of the Truth… True worshippers must “Worship HIM in Spirit and in TRUTH.”
The idea of worship is to honor the Lord is it not? Are we not to learn to worship Him with our lives daily?
Should we not be concerned? Concerned does not mean you make someone feel comfortable in sin! It means that you care enough that you want to do something about it to help them… Many do not realize that they are looking for love in all the wrong places. The enemy just uses sex to win a stronghold over your life! He always perverts what God made for Good!
If you know that your spouse is indulging in a sexual relationship outside of marriage! I suggest stepping back. If you suspect this is so, be careful how you confront your spouse! Set aside some time when you both can talk. It is important that you get yourself tested? Prepare yourself. Keep in mind he may not be ready to confront his behavior. He may be offended if he is a leader in the Church… This makes it just that much more important! Talk about your relationship and how you feel. Allow him to talk about how he is feeling. Ask him about his current sexual relationship with you before you approach his suspected infidelities if you are not sure?
When you find out this is so? Know you cannot change him; he has to want to change. Many women marry men thinking that they are going to change them? It won’t happen! Only God can do this! “HE IS ABLE!” You can and should model godly behavior. You can intercede and pray fervently! This is his problem and you are not the cause. It is important that he seeks help and you both get godly counsel as to how you go forward?
See PART II
The “Nobody’s Perfect” Club
The longer I live the more I realize how utterly important it is to develop an intimate personal relationship with the Lord. I am told that when a teller is trained in the banking industry they are taught how to recognize the authenticity of currency. Therefore whenever a counterfeit bill is passed they are able to recognize it.
Things do not always look as they appear.
We live in a real world that is full of systems of deception. Many things have been created to distract us from the genuine purpose of life. As a believer our purpose is or should be to glorify God. Without the Holy Spirit as your navigator you will get towed right along. This deception has further infiltrated His Church. It beckons those who are willing to make excuses for their shortcomings, to excuse self-gratification as a mere attribute to mankind’s imperfections. To immorally satisfy the carnal appetite to all who are willing to submit to the well “Nobody’s Perfect Club.” It teach you although “the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof” He doesn’t really know how to bless His children. Because he intends for them to stay dependent on anything and everybody until they leave this world. Although they don’t believe blessings are just material, spiritual growth and development is optional. I warn you this will only enslave you to a life dependent upon sin.
We really miss the point. You see God doesn’t force us to embrace His Word. He allows us to choose. Christianity is supposed to be an everyday lifestyle. Instead many often choose to justify a life were sin abounds. This gives unlimited privileges in the “Nobody’s Perfect Club.”
The “Nobody’s Perfect Club” allows easy access to unlimited excuses. It has a plethora of earthly benefits. You can live any way you want, say anything you want, little or no study required. Listening to an occasional sermon or lecture may be required to help you with attendance kudos. Listening not really required just as long as you say amen when it gets too quiet. Just make sure you do all the social actitivities inside and out side of the Church you enjoy. O by the wall just some any kind of way you are comfortable. Afterall what does it matter since no one is perfect. You may even receive a B.A. (born again) if you don’t rock the boat. That gives you a license to indulge yourself. After all “nobody’s perfect.”
LORD HELP US!
One caution, you may be persecuted or covertly disfellowshipped if you decide to “study to show thyself approved unto God…” Please if you have accepted “Christ as your personal Savior” allow Him to work in your life. Allow Him to activate His Holy Spirit within your daily life. Leet Him make ivaluable spiritual deposits to your eternal account that yields a harvest of blessings. If you have not accepted Him “accept Him NOW.” Ask Him into your life this very moment. It will be a journey like no other. If you have grown slack in your commitment (to His principles activated in your life) recommit!
God created us to live a life pleasing in His sight. Life is not a movie and Church is not a scene. Although it’s full of actors, it’s serious business. God really does know. Please bear with me. You see I have been in church all my life. But I still can’t quite grasp why many really don’t believe. God really does hear all and see all every where in this world He created. If we did it would eliminate a lot of the charades. You see “seeking first His kingdom and His righteousness” will really add all you need in this life. What do you mean? The Sermon on the Mount in Matthew really contains a wealth of knowledge. Jesus discusses a multiplicity of issues. Those same issues are prevalent today.
Keep in mind when you really make up your mind to live for the Lord much spiritual warfare will rise up against you. Much of it comes from those who should know you better. It also comes from “spiritul wickedness in high places” Don’t be alarmed but instead TRUST GOD! You see everyday really is a GIFT from the LORD. NO one can make a day but HIM. Absolutely nothing comes our way that the LORD is not aware of. I assure you that GOD is more than able to keep you! FAITH is the key! It is very important to KNOW GOD & HIS WORD for yourself. “TRUST in the LORD with ALL your heart and lean not to your own understanding. In ALL your ways acknowledge HIM and HE WILL make your path straight!” Proverbs 3
Personal spiritual training is important. This way whenever or wherever you gather together with the rest of His CHurch you will be better prepared. I recommend spending time in the Word of God daily. Not in a religious wrote way. But seeking to discover the infinite treasure of the Lord’s Spiritual Wisdom. It is the only Living Word given to man. It is “A Lamp unto our feet and a Light unto our Path!” Psalm 119 We are accountable to God for our actions. It is important to know that He will never direct us to do anything that goes against His Word!
We are living in some interesting times when some of everything is going. Nothing is not longer sacred to many. Ask God to daily enlighten you and open your spiritual eyes.
Taking time to develop an ongoing up close and personal relationship with the LORD is the most important thing that you can ever do! “Jesus Christ is the Way the Truth & The Life.” He came to earth to restore us and extinguish the enmity that satan placed between God and man. His Holy Spirit is available 24/7 to help us. The WORD of God contains invaluable instructions. It gives marvelous examples to help us from falling prey to non-biblical half true teachings. It even tells us how “Jesus’ blood can cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
God does not have to manipulate anyone. He allows us the freedom to choose. You can live your life however you want. but know that there are consequences for our choices. You can live the way of the world or God’s way.
The majority in the church is you and Jesus. If you don’t stand for Jesus you will fall for anything. His WORD will equip you to know truth from error. His Holy Spirit will sharpen your discernment! Remember that bank currency I talked about. Don’t seek the approval of man over the approval of God. God knows were we are coming from. It is important to take God’s Word seriously. He will equip you to do whatever it is that He has created you to do. Always remember it is a “Walk of Faith”
Jesus stresses the importance of God’s way being the best way. Don’t allow anyone to make withdrawals from your spiritual account. (By the way nobody is perfect! ) Don’t use excuses, rather embrace self discipline. Draw closer to the Lord because you never know what a day may bring. But you can strive for the perfection in the Lord. LIVE TO PLEASE GOD! He wants to manifest and multiply the Fruit of His Spirit within us. He also wants us to be aware and daily grow in His Marvelous Grace! He teaches us in HIS WORD! “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.“ Matthew 5 God would not tell us to do something that He would not Help us to do.
“May He give you the desire of your heart, and make all your plans succeed. We will shout for joy when we re victorious and will lift our banners in the Name of our God.
May the Lord grant all you requests. Now I know that the Lord saves His anointed He answers him from His holy Heaven with the POWER of His Right Hand.
Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but WE TRUST in the NAME of the LORD our GOD…” PSALM 20
BLESS HIS HOLY NAME!
Jesus gave His Life so we could live victoriously in Him. The power of His blood yields spiritual dividends for those who call and trust Him as Savior and Lord. O what’s a wonderful Savior? He can help us from the power of sin reigning within our lives. Don’t relinquish spiritual deposits only God can provide, for membership in the “Nobody’s Perfect Club”.
What is Missing The Mark? God created us in His image. Image meaning we are to be a reflection of Him. According to Webster’s an exact likeness; semblance b: a person strikingly like another person example: she is the image of her mother. We who are believers are NOW children of God since we have accepted Jesus as our Lord & Savior. Our behavior should begin to reflect His principles as we grow spiritually. God says that we are to be children of the Light and not to walk in darkness. His Word NOW becomes our “Life Manual” which should be “a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path” it helps to expose the darkness. We are supposed to commence consistently practice walking in Truth. You know the old cliché that says “practice makes perfect” well to tell the Truth we should really say “practice makes permanent.” We become what we practice.
The Lord lights our path as we walk in obedience to His Word. When we walk contrary to His Word we become separated from God. Anything that separates us from God is sin. We in fact “miss the mark”. A skilled marksman aims for a target. Our target as believers should be fellowship with God and walking in the Light of His Word. We are to implement His Word in our lives daily. When we do this sincerely God knows and therefore we have and antidote whenever we miss the mark. Jesus Christ is our Advocate. Once our conscious is sensitive to His Holy Spirit out of obedience we automatically confess, readily repent and begin aiming for the mark.
I John says “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.” We sin when we disobey God. Or again we miss the mark. Sin is anything that separates us from God. So therefore metaphorically a spiritual bathe becomes necessary. We all have inherited the proclivity towards sin from Adam and Eve’s fall. The original sin was when they disobeyed God and did what they wanted to do instead. From that point on mankind became shackled by the snare of sin. Jesus came to restore us and once again anchor us in the Lord. Ephesians tells us that “We were actually chosen in Him before the foundation of the world.” Through Jesus Christ birth, sinless life, death and resurrection we have now been redeemed through His blood!
“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us…” Once we accept Jesus Christ as our personal Savior we are given the gift of His Holy Spirit. His Holy Spirit is the promised Comforter. Our power to resist sin rests in Jesus Christ, we now have access 24/7, we never become the power. This is why we need a Savior to keep us connected and help us whenever sin beckons. Jesus promise that He would give us His Comforter to be with us forever is true! Jesus overcame sin in the flesh for us! “But the Comforter, the Holy Spirit , whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have said to you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” With Him at our side we can be more than conquerors. As we grow spiritually sin should not dominate our lives. What is SIN? Sin is missing the mark. Our lives should now begin to bear and reflect the Fruit of His Spirit which is Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-control!
PORNography is Growing Within The Christian Community
Pornography is one of the most prevalent social problems we are facing today. There is a great concern in regards to the rate pornography is growing within the Christian Community. It is happening from the pulpit to the pew. The number of individuals and families that have been directly or indirectly impacted is rapidly growing. The issue continues to snowball because to some degree, on many levels it is initially accepted. In some instances it is considered to be a passing fad or on the other hand it is simply ignored. Pornography is dangerous and erodes the moral fiber of one’s character. If you know someone who is involved in pornography please don’t wait, encourage them to get help now! Since it is so readily accessible it can overtake and often consume the life of those who partake in it. Pornography is really quite selfish. It can impair and shatter the life and self esteem of the addict’s spouse and robs the relationship of trust, significance and security. It also can cause a carnal spirit to hover over the household which invites much spiritual warfare.
The internet has a plethora of pornographic sites that are launched every day. The images seduce the captive audience of one or more into an underground world of self-indulgent decadence. Seeking fulfillment in strip clubs, compulsive eating and or cyberspace clubs. There is much research available to substantiate that it is a growing addiction phenomenon for many. Pornography has various levels from soft to hard porn to… At what point is it harmful? Here are some questions to ask or think about. If you can answer yes to any of these you need to really get help.
Do you keep secrets about your sexual or romantic activities from those important to you? Do you lead a double life?
Have your needs driven you to have sex in places or situations or with people you would not normally choose?
Do you find yourself looking for sexually arousing articles or scenes in newspapers, magazines, or other media?
Do you find that romantic or sexual fantasies interfere with your relationships or are preventing you from facing problems?
Do you frequently want to get away from a sex partner after having sex? Do you frequently feel remorse, shame, or guilt after a sexual encounter?
Do you feel shame about your body or your sexuality?
Does each new relationship continue to have the same destructive patterns which prompted you to leave the last relationship?
Is it taking more variety and frequency of sexual and romantic activities than previously to bring the same levels of excitement and relief?
Does your pursuit of sex or romantic relationships interfere with your spiritual beliefs or development?
Do your sexual activities include the risk, threat, or reality of disease, pregnancy, coercion, or violence?
Has your sexual or romantic behavior ever left you feeling hopeless?
Are you unable to properly relate to your spouse and there is a physical void in the relationship?
Recently in the news it was announced that we have many teens who are now starting to do what is called “sextexting.” For too long the subjects of adultery, fornication, immorality, infidelity, incest, same sex relationships , sex outside of marriage….. have merely slid under the Christian radar. This is getting to be a little frightening. This should send us all a clear warning! The porn addict spends endless hours absorbing images of an unrealistic unattainable idealistic fantasy via the internet or videos. It is a billion dollar industry. Unknowingly these images have become their little god. Which really is a form of idolatry. It impacts not only the addict but the family as well just like any other addiction.
There are many deeper unresolved issues here. Quite often something that happened in childhood has resurfaced in the addicts mind. The emotional pain has fermented and pornography becomes a destructive outlet. Dealing with someone who has an addictive personality can be overwhelming and or quite devastating. You are really often dealing with an out of control child encased in an adult body. They want what they want, when they want it. It is difficult for them to delay self gratification. They will do whatever it takes to satisfy their insatiable desire. It is often difficult for them to see that they are so unreasonably demanding and controlling. An intervention is constructive, warranted and often necessary in order to begin the path to recovery.
Talking about sexual issues openly and honestly will help dispel a lot of the rumors, myths and inappropriate behavior that has gone on and on… Education is key. No one really often wants to really come out and discuss or say; what God has to say, for fear of being perceived as too religious or judgmental. If you are a believer, one surely knows that absolutely nothing happens anywhere or at anytime that God is not aware of. For example let’s look at I Samuel 1. Eli who was a priest had two sons Hophni & Phinehas whose behaviors were simply outright outrageous. They were disobedient, humiliated and slept with the women who came to the Tabernacle for help. The Bible says they were wicked, “corrupt sons who did not know the Lord.” They were warned as to what would happen. They twisted their privileges in order to satisfy their flesh. Eli did not discipline his sons properly. When he tried to correct them they totally disrespected him. They displayed that same disrespect towards God …. They had established a pattern of sexual abuse that needed to be broken. But look, on the other hand Hannah had dedicated her first born son Samuel to the Lord. Samuel came up in the very same household along with Eli’s sons. Hannah had brought him to Eli. Samuel at a very young age ministered before the Lord and grew spiritually. Despite what was going on about Samuel, the Lord intervened and he grew in “stature, and in favor both with the Lord and men.” (For more details of this narrative read I Samuel 1-3) What a contrast.
If you want to break a cycle of abuse, dysfunction or addiction, you have to do something differently than what you are already doing. If your “helping is not helping then you are not helping.” Addiction needs to be replaced with a healthy productive activity. It is important that we help subsequent generations not to fall prey to these destructive behaviors. DON’T continue to sweep things under the rug. The enemy always tries to subvert and corrupt what God intends. Absolutely nothing gets by God! Sexual sin is not a new problem. There is power in the blood of Jesus! Let’s really begin to ask and seek the Lord’s direction “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path.” All of God’s Word is true!
Less seminars, workshops, programs and more practical application of God’s Word implemented within our daily lives. All too often when issues arise God’s way for resolve is totally disregarded. Less excuses such as “Nobody’s perfect.” Yes, this is a truism; but God tells us to continue to strive for His perfection! Perfection according to Webster means: 1: the quality or state of being perfect: as a: freedom from fault or defect : flawlessness b: maturity c: the quality or state of being saintly 2 a: an exemplification of supreme excellence b: an unsurpassable degree of accuracy or excellence3: the act or process of perfecting. God’s perfection brings wholeness. God would not tell us to do something if it were not possible. To be a Christian means to commit to live in the WAY that pleases God!
God really is able! Marriage and the family were created by God from the very beginning. It was originally designed so that He would be the central theme of our existence. Since He created us He really does know what is best. He gave us healthy boundaries so we could learn discipline. So remember what He says in Jude: “But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” These are the men who will divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit…
God intended that your physical sexual needs were to be met within the confines of the “undefiled marriage bed.” Otherwise it is like “fire outside of the fireplace.” God loves you so much that He allows you the freedom to choose. It is evident that many choose to do “their own thing.” But, are the consequences really worth it? Think about it! Everywhere you are He is, everything you do or have done, He knows! There is a very significant security available to you when you choose to make His will and WAY your primary concern! Repentance is possible but first one must recognize that there is sin. Sin is missing the mark. Take some time to get refocused. A conscious that is sensitive to God is precious. You can be set free from any addiction. God has called us to live differently. He has given us healthy boundaries in order to properly satisfy any personal needs which can be experienced within the sanctity of marriage. He can fill that void.
God always has a better way but too often the ways of the world have taken His place. Healing and restoration are possible. Take some time for a spiritual cleansing. Seeking Him through His Word one really can find rest and peace for the wearied soul. God has left us a marvelous wealth of knowledge and examples within His Word to help us to avoid the pitfalls and consequences of partaking in fulfilling the lusts of the flesh. Read the writings of the Song of Solomon its beauty and honesty shows a balanced contrast to the sexual perversions of this age.
Begin being consistently accountable to someone for your actions and developing self control which is part of the Fruit of His Spirit. Someone who has healthy boundaries and knows the importance of not walking in the flesh but walking in the Spirit. Prayer and fasting are valuable tools. You can rededicate your life to sexual purity. You really can experience a growing healthy self esteem as a result of walking closer to the Lord.
I realize that this subject will not win a popularity contest. It may even cause a few jaws to drop. But at this point I have come to the conclusion that it is much more important “what Gods knows rather than what people think.” Especially when you know that He knows there is “no secret agenda.” My intentions are to shed Light where the darkness continues to keep the people of God and those in the world trapped in its snare. Christ lived a sinless life to overcome sin in the flesh for us! He died a painful death on the cross for us so we could live differently. Too many are more concerned about protocol rather than who to call. Help Me Lift His Holy Name! To God Be The Glory!
“Now Faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1. Faith is so important that it is mentioned over three hundred times in the BIBLE. Faith means to have a firm persuasion. Having Faith means much more than just to say you believe. It goes much deeper! Faith is developed through Prayer, Devotion, and Bible Study and the actual application of God’s Word to your daily life. Faith is also part of the Lord’s spiritual armor. It is “By Faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what is visible.” Hebrews 11:3. Faith is NOW not after the fact has materialized! “For we walk by Faith not by sight.” II Corinthians 5:7
When you truly trust God your Faith will see you through any and all circumstances or situations. Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob,Joseph, Moses and Rahab, are just a few examples of the many that trusted and had Faith in God. Deborah, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets beheld many miracles, faced jeers, were stoned, saw walls fall, led many in victories, were persecuted, misunderstood, and mistreated. Yet they all accomplished their life purpose by trusting the Lord. Notice how they all sincerely aspired to live in the presence of the Lord. They had a personal and deep intimate personal relationship with Him. Hebrews commends them all for their Faith; “yet none of them received what had been promised.” It is by Faith we are strengthened inwardly! Jesus Christ dwells in our hearts through Faith.
FAITH is NOW!
Hebrew defines Faith as something you cannot see. “Faith without works is dead.” When your Faith is truly in GOD you trust that in His time He will fulfill whatever it is that He has said or promised. Take a moment to take an open and honest personal inventory of everything that is happening in your life. Guess what God already knows as well! Despite your circumstances; good, bad, or indifferent you can rest assured that your Faith makes all the difference in the world as to how you will now proceed. In order to successfully run the race of life we must keep our focus on the Lord. Laying aside any weight or sin helps us to run with endurance. When life hurdles appear God will impart to you His patience and direction. You can not change anything that has happened “it is what it is” As you fix your eyes on “Jesus, the Author and perfector of our Faith” He will help you arise to the challenges as well as the celebrations of life. Your daily trust and reliance on God is where your true security and significance should reside. This will give you sure footing and strong solid rock foundational spiritual roots to help you withstand the storms of life. Your Joy in the Lord is where you will find strength when you keep your eyes on Him. The joy of the Lord is not contingent on your circumstance. FAITH is NOW!
The key to being a Christian is the Faith we have in Jesus Christ. Do you know the importance of His sacrificial death on the cross that atoned for our sins? It was so we could live life to please Him! Did you know our lives, our homes, our marriages, families and our worship should reflect we are His children? How do we do this? Titus tells us that “You must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine. Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self controlled, and sound in Faith, love and in endurance. To teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good…” The natural man or woman does not accept, value, nor understand the things of God. This is why the Word says to “let this mind be in you that was also in Christ Jesus.” In order to understand the things of God it is crucial that you lay aside your way and your will and let His Word be a “lamp unto your feet and a Light to your path.”
Having the proper perspective will teach you how very important it is to live life to its fullest and study His Word for His approval and not the approval of man. This is why we are told to “Trust in the Lord will all of our hearts and lean not to our own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He will direct our path.” Proverbs 3: 5&6. Too often God is an after thought or optional choice when dealing with life. This compromise often has favorable results with man; yet results in moving you away from God. Learn to wait on God and patiently seek His way.
God’s way will give you peace and contentment that surpasses the understanding of man! God wants to be the Primary Force in your life. Being a Christian is really a chosen lifestyle. God does not force His way upon you. Faith produces commitment and faithfulness. It means to sincerely and earnestly attempt to live life to please God. Commence to truly Live, Sing, Worship and Praise Him. It really makes all the difference in the world! “LET the WORD of Christ dwell richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving THANKS to God the Father through Him” Colossians 3: 16&17.
God always has a better way. According to Ephesians He has already blessed us with every spiritual blessing in heavenly places. As His child we have been sealed and promised the gift of His Holy Spirit. God truly is faithful you can always count on Him! Now you must trust Him and step out on Faith. Remember Faith is not something that you can see. Always remember, you must exercise patience and your Faith and trust must rely in Him. He tells us if our Faith is “as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you” Matthew 17: 20. The key to this is you must desire His will to be done. It is with God we can do the impossible. This way He receives the credit. To GOD be the GLORY! God keeps His promises. You can fully trust God to work everything out for your good.
Always keep in mind that absolutely nothing gets by God. He knows all that is past, current and will be. Be encouraged knowing “God is not unjust; He will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped His people and continue to help them.” It is by Faith and patience we inherit His promises. We can patiently endure whatever is necessary because we know that God in His time will work everything out for our good. It is by Faith we accept His precious gift of eternal life. One of the most important elements in life is having Faith in GOD. “Without Faith it is impossible to please Him, for he, who comes to GOD, must believe, that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” Romans 1:16& 17.
GOD IS FAITHFUL in His time you will reap the promises and He will give back, restore, refuel and replenish you in His time. God knows when you are sincere. We are living in interesting times. Just keep your eyes fixed on the Author and finisher of your Faith. God is able to “keep you from falling and to present you before His glorious presence without fault and with great Joy!” You can say Hallelujah anyhow! God is awesome! As I mentioned before Hebrews records in its “Hall of Faith” many Old Testament heroes who trusted in God and displayed their Faith in unique ways. Lay aside every weight and anything that hinders you from going forth in the Lord! Many seek the approval and acceptance of others. God’s approval is what matters most! When you truly believe; it will be a priority to daily live your life to please GOD! Faith results in faithfulness. Who or what are you faithful to? “Now Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” FAITH IS NOW!
For the co-dependent it is necessary to realize that God is really not a respecter of persons. We are equal yet different as His children. Although scripture tells us “it is not by works that we are saved” a codependent can be manipulated into many activities. This is fueled by their need of approval. This often causes them to develop a surface relationship with God. Their busyness leaves little time to “be still” and find the freedom and rest only God can provide.
What is happening to our Christian families? Codependency has become a major dysfunction. Families are experiencing a famine in the area of healthy nurturing. Let’s begin to break generational cycles of codependency. Why is this necessary? A person who is co-dependent is trapped in a compulsive cycle of control. They are usually over achievers who are virtually motivated by their desire to be loved. They often have been subject to major rejection in their early childhood. In order to feel a sense of security they will over extend themselves in many activities in order to gain the approval of others. It is very difficult for a co-dependent to deal with someone who they can not control. They will often even appear submissive in order to gain control of someone. This behavior is really manipulation in order to dominate.
The boundaries of a co-dependent are usually blurred. The hurts of childhood abandonment and rejection fuel their need to control. They have a great need as well to be the center of attention. Unable to let go of the past they really feel empty and unloved. They are usually high maintenance people. Their constant need of approval is countered by resentment when not satisfied since they suffer from low self-esteem. As I have said before and will say again and again “your true security and significance can only be found in God”.
For the co-dependent it is necessary to realize that God is really not a respecter of persons. We are equal yet different as His children. Although scripture tells us “it is not by works that we are saved” a codependent can be manipulated into many activities. This is fueled by their need of approval. This often causes them to develop a surface relationship with God. Their busyness leaves little time to “be still” and find the freedom and rest only God can provide. Contrary to popular belief you are not required by God to participate in most man ordained auxiliaries especially at the expense of neglecting your family. Pastors as well as Christian workers who suffer from co-dependency must be careful not to be pre-occupied at the expense of not having some time for their own families. Your works should display your faith not someone else’s. Creating healthy boundaries are necessary. Spend some time developing your personal intimate relationship with God. Begin to implement His principles in your life. Grace and peace is multiplied when you increase your knowledge of GOD!
Consciously allow what God desires and requires of you to override your need to control and/ or gain the approval of others. Don’t be a people pleaser! God is not impressed by manipulation. Always examine your motives in the light of His WORD. Take charge by letting go, which is the opposite of controlling. Remember scripture says it is “the meek that will inherit the earth.” Meekness is not weakness it is power under control. Cycles are hard to break but with God even the impossible is possible.
The family system of a co-dependent usually has a powerful effect on their behavior dynamics. Often there is a scapegoat, a martyr and a hero in the co-dependent family. The scapegoat gives everyone something to focus on rather than deal with the real problem. The martyr sacrifices for everyone and feels sorry for themselves. The hero makes the family look good to outsiders. A multigenerational pattern of faulty unhealthy dynamics can appear as normal. Do you notice any generational patterns? Unconsciously the family will fight to keep these dynamics operating.
All families have an element of dysfunction. Destructive family dynamics have been in operation since the beginning of time. The story of Joseph tells how his Dad favored him over his brothers. Joseph’s father gave him a beautiful coat. This caused so much jealously between them that they designed a plan to destroy Joseph. His brothers called him a dreamer. Little did they know that the Lord had His hand on Joseph. God being in control worked this to good although their plans were evil. In the final analysis Joseph became the chief provider for his family as well as country. Eli was a priest. Although a servant of the Lord he had two sons who were outwardly rebellious. They disrespected not only the offerings but the people of God as well. I wonder how much time Eli spent nurturing his own sons?
Family secrets such as mental illness, incest, abuse and alcohol or drug addictions often go unaddressed in the co-dependent family. Denial becomes a survival dynamic for the family. This fosters an unhealthy physical as well as spiritual environment. Family secrets are often described as though one has a white elephant in the living room. Everyone just walks around it as though it doesn’t exist. Or they just avoid it altogether. Thinking it will just go away. It won’t! Christians need to take a stand and move to a higher level of functioning. We must learn to address the sin issues in our families and not continue to make excuses. Sin is anything that separates us from the Lord. God has promised to direct our paths when we put our trust in Him. We must learn to responsibly take responsibility.
God in His Omniscience is well aware of the shortcomings of all of us. We must look at the unhealthy dynamics in our family of origin and consciously find ways to abandon the generational cycles. Don’t continue to sweep things under the rug. Learn to confront issues as they arise. It’s never to late! Start by not supporting or reinforcing any unfavorable behavior. The truth must be faced to break free and enjoy the present.
Sometimes it is necessary to pursue professional assistance to resolve family conflict. A conscientious therapist should be well informed about inappropriate behavior. They objectively are able to recognize that the faulty behavior presented is really a mask for an underlying unmet need. The co-dependent needs to find a positive channel to release inner tensions. A family intervention is useful in most situations. Then proceeding to establishing a way in which their unmet needs can be satisfied is recommended.
In a Therapy environment a healthy atmosphere is crucial. The equal safety of the client and the safety of the therapist should always be a priority. A committed Christian therapist knows the importance of establishing healthy boundaries. A congruent environment implies that the therapist is trustworthy, genuine, integrated, and openly honest. There are many cultural differences that can inhibit a fluent understanding of the client. Stereotype thinking must be abandoned. Each client must be viewed as an individual. Labeling often changes peoples perceptions of others. There is a substantial diversity among any given group of people.
Christian therapy although not new is often unwelcomed from anyone other than the pastor in some instances. Many pastors who may be well-versed in scripture may not be equipped in some areas of counseling. Many on the other hand or overwhelmed by their ministerial duties. There are some pastors who should not counsel, especailly if there is a history of infidelity… The sincere efforts of a Christian therapist although well meaning may be often misconstrued as out of line and unwelcomed.
The use of small cell groups can often be quite therapeutic and beneficial for the co-dependent as well as for managing other interpersonal problems. A conscientious facilitator will maintain order and model control. Confidentiality and free expression should be encouraged. Conflict arises when individuals become resistant to someone’s insight or opinions that have been communicated. Uncontrolled anger is not welcomed in a cell group. Establish boundaries. Keep the group spiritually based. Making use of regular Bible study and prayer are key elements for success.
Emerging from codependency is painful. The compulsion to rescue dependent people is really a form of bondage. God never intended for any of us to be slaves to sin. Self-control is a fruit of His Spirit. His resources are unlimited. The co-dependent person first must acknowledge their compulsion to control. They must work towards redirecting their inclination towards other control to self-control. To seek healthy ways to have their unmet needs fulfilled. To process dispelling dysfunctional cycles this is a must. Don’t allow pride to hinder your progress. It is an obstacle to your well-being. God also hates pride it is an abomination to Him. Confess any known sin and press forward. It takes courage and a lot of hard work. It is in our weakness that we can become strong through God’s awesome power. God has left the Comforter which is His Holy Spirit to lead teach and direct you. Never forget God loves you! Take control by taking control of yourself. Learn the benefits of meekness. Know that your body is the Temple where God’s Holy Spirit resides. It is so very important to learn how to trust God, daily embrace HIS principles and know that everywhere you are GOD is always a prayer away. The truth really will set you FREE!!!
Whenever you are amidst spiritual warfare or when a crisis arises, it is important that you seek and learn to “BE STILL.” Being still does not mean that you are unconcerned or oblivious to what is happening. You are not simply just doing nothing. Nor is it a delusional state of unconsciousness rendering being in denial. You are not having erroneous illusions of grandeur. You are not being self-centered. Quite the contrary. You are God centered! Your spiritual awareness is actually heightened. It is a non combative state.
During spiritual warfare or a crisis, usually there is much stress. People often respond in ways that are counterproductive. One will tend to make hasty decisions and become easily angered. Over indulgence in drugs, alcohol, or some other substance or unfavorable activity is not advised. You may even become passive since there is a lack of coping skills. Instead it really is very important to be responsible. Instead strive to be more attentive. Be alert to your surroundings as well as those about you. Learn to become flexible and resilient, so you will not get towed along. Being still is a state of mind that helps you remain focused. Staying in a cognizant preferred chosen calm state of tranquility. Not walking in weakness, but making a sincere attempt to submit to a disciplined practice of walking in “meekness.” Here your faith and trust is rooted and grounded in the Lord.
You seek to be led by the Spirit!
It helps sometimes to also keep a sense of humor about it all. Just know, a bit of appropriate laughter is a good antidote for the soul. Laughter helps to keep things within a healthy responsive balance. Readily enlist earnestly the opportunity to “pray unceasingly.” To be aware that the often orchestrated situation at hand, really wants you to “act out” or respond in an unseemly, improper or inappropriate carnal manner. Which really only wants to cast you in an unfavorable light to simply mar your testimony.
Take a few moments of personal Worship and Praise!
Having the Lord within your life truly does make all the difference in the world! It is quite splendid! As we grow in His grace we learn to respond or not respond by embracing the Fruit of His Spirit! You care more, but react less impulsively. Your desire is to please Him as well as your commitment to Him increases as well. You learn to incorporate “Praying without ceasing” into all areas of your life. This conscious state of being keeps you connected to the Lord. You choose to focus on the Lord rather than get pulled away from your center.
Know that there is always spiritual warfare all about us even in the midst of corporate worship!
One must learn to depend and call upon the Lord wherever we may be. This is often in an inaudible way, momentarily and meekly inwardly bowing, knowing that your heart becomes an immediate altar. Since we cannot avoid crisis learn to invite God into the messiness about you. It is possible as the Word says; “to be angry and sin not.” Trusting and knowing that God knows your heart and always hears your cries. Remember Psalm 27; “The Lord is my Light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid…” In His time He can and will deliver you from any and all evil! Ephesians clearly tells us to “Finally be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on your spiritual armor of God so when the evil day comes, you may be able to stand your ground…….” Ephesians 6
The Greek word for crisis is krinein, which means “to decide.” Crisis and spiritual warfare can come at unexpected moments. Usually the decisions that you have to make are life changing. decide to take some time and “BE STILL.” Know that God is always near. See this as an opportunity to put in practice what it means to exercise “patience.” His Blessed Assurance can truly be experienced, once born of His Spirit! Always keeping in mind that God knows and has everything under His complete control really helps.
Once you become a child of God it is important to get to know Him. Draw close to Him. Your ongoing up close, personal and intimate relationship with the Lord is more important than anything or anyone! Absolutely nothing can take God’s place in your life He has embedded deep within each of us a place that only He can fill. One must avidly commence to daily seek to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! Without Him we are merely walking breathing shaped dust.
God has a plan and purpose for each of our lives. We are to read, ponder, digest, and dwell upon His Word and implement the principles therein. Our desire should be to respond in a way that pleases Him. To know the difference between the “works of the flesh” and the “Fruit of His Spirit” that is discussed in Galatians 5. We need not make excuses for sin but readily repent. Sin separates us from the Lord. His Word truly is meant to be our Life Manual! It is essentially, imperative to keep in mind that the people, situations and scenarios presented really did happen. He has given us fabulous examples. There is a plethora of wisdom in the Scriptures. So much so to a degree, that it can boggle your mind. This is why it is important that we ask for His promised Comforter to fill us, to illuminate our understanding while journeying through its tasty, appetizing, palatable pages.