"If all things are *possible* to him that believes, then all things are *probable* to him that knows."---Shellie R.Warren
No doubt about it. There's a lot of movin', shakin' and shiftin' going on and I'm trying to keep up! THAT SAID, I just wanted to provide a word of encouragement re: something that the Comforter (John 14:16-AMP) has had on my heart to share with you all for a few days now.
I'm a Words of Affirmation kinda gal and so I'm sure you know, all too well by now, that I LOVE to read. And I especially enjoy reading quotes. Whenever I hear a good one, I jot it down. On my laptop. In a journal. On a Post-it note. On a napkin. Doesn't matter. Anyway, after checking out the movie, "A Good Woman", I penned the following: "Marriage takes your whole heart. Selfish people can't pull it off." In the independent urban film, "Premium", one of the characters said, "You cannot treat real people as if they're characters in a script and then expect a fairytale ending." Oh, and in an old school Spike Lee joint ("School Daze"), I just recently caught a line that I don't recall really noticing before: "One loves for that which one labors. And one labors for that which one loves."
Do you sense a cinematic theme? Yeah. Me too.
Philippians 2:3 (NKJV) instructs, "Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself." Selfishness is defined as "devoted to or caring only for oneself; concerned primarily with one's own interests, benefits, welfare, etc., regardless of others". In life, our ambition, our "...earnest desire for some type of achievement or distinction, as power, honor, fame, or wealth, and the willingness to strive for its attainment" should not be rooted in (solely) self.
Now, this certainly applies to all areas. Yet being that this blog has a certain theme, this is what I would encourage you to pray and ponder (Proverbs 4:26) over as it relates to the current season of your marital preparation journey. Do you desire marriage or are you about to get married...for selfish reasons? Meaning, is the focus (more) solely about YOUR interests, YOUR benefits and YOUR welfare (love this part) regardless of the other person: your future intended spouse? Have you spent so much time thinking about what *you need* that you haven't even really approached the Father (of you both) about if you are or are able to provide what your future Beloved needs as well? A spiritually mature woman is going to seek (Matthew 7:7-8) God about being more than just *good* to a man. She's going to inquire if she's also *right* for him. Yes, the Lord said it's not *good* for man to be alone, but what he immediately said after that was that he would make a helper that was *right* for man as well (Genesis 2:18). There's a lot of GOOD women out here who are not RIGHT for who they are currently dating. There's a lot of good men who, yes, "know a good woman when they see her" and also know that, "...she's just not the right fit."
Good for them. Flesh and blood does not reveal that. Godly wisdom does.
Not too long ago, I was telling someone that I released, in every form of communication, ALL of my exes. Not because some of them aren't good guys. Not even because I don't still care for some of them. But because when you betray someone (and causing them to sin is a form of betrayal), they need to be allowed time and space to really heal. To gain a new perspective. To purge the past so that they can get to who the Lord *truly* (John 8:32) intends for them to be with in their future. Indeed, there are a myriad of ways to be a stumbling block in someone's life (Romans 14:13). Sometimes, our selfishness lies in not making the sacrifice of letting someone go. Real talk? Just because we have "newfound liberty" in leaving the relationship alone doesn't mean that they are necessarily as strong as we are (I Corinthians 8:9). I have grieved a few people because *I* wanted them in my space on *my* terms. Healthy relationships don't operate that way. They are about balance and compromise. For the greater good. One does this by letting the LORD and he alone heal their broken heart (Psalm 147:3). It might also help to realize that some of y'all need to let your exes do *the exact same thing for you*. Embracing that? That is what's right.
So what does all of this have to do with today's message? Ultimately?
I once read that the way that we define a coincidence is not really how it should be perceived. A "coincidence" shouldn't be revered as some random accident but rather two incidents working together: co-incidents. And so, that said, especially being the (as my mother calls me) "signs and wonders child" that I am, I thought it was brilliantly divine that as the Lord was speaking to me about selfishness and spiritual maturity, about doing what's good and right by the men in my life, that I would hear R&B singer, Brandy say that she doesn't want to sing about anything that she doesn't want to experience. That intrigued me enough to watch the latest episode of her reality TV show on my laptop to get the full gist of her point. After all, everything is a co-incident, right?
On a part of the show, there was a song that she was working on tentatively entitled, "Make Believe". She was giving scenarios of what she was going to do while waiting for her next relationship. She was going to sleep on one side of the bed. She was going to act like someone is already in love with her. Basically, she was going to live in preparation for what she wants to come into her heart space. Her life (Proverbs 4:23). It's poetic. It's a metaphor. And yet, in some ways, I think she's onto something. If you want to remain single, act like it. If you desire to be a wife, prepare for it (Proverbs 31:10-31).
And then I thought the title of the song again: "Make Believe". The classic definition is "pretend" and yet, I couldn't help but wonder if that also is not defined at its maximum potential too. Christ himself, while on this earth said, "If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” (Mark 9:23-NKJV) OK, well "make" means "to produce; cause to exist or happen; bring about"; "to put in the proper condition or state, as for use; fix; prepare"; "to convert from one state, condition, category, etc., to another". In the spirit realm, when it comes to MAKE BELIEVE, and more specifically, when it comes to the purpose of the On Fire Fast Movement, is it about playing house? Pretending? Well, it's certainly not the founder's intention or the Holy Spirit's unction. But I do think this exists so that we *can* MAKE. BELIEVE.
So that we can *convert* (make) ourselves into having *confidence in the truth* (believe).
So that we can *put into proper condition* (make) our *convictions* (believe).
So that we can allow God to *bring about* (make) all that we desire *although without absolute proof that one is right in doing so* (believe-Hebrews 11:1).
So that we can stop fighting the flesh and surrender to the Spirit (John 4:24)...so that we can receive things of the Spirit.
And then the final piece to this puzzle came today while I was doing some online window shopping:
That ring? It's a stainless steel ring that says "Woman of God" with "Prov. 31" on it. It's where I know the Lord is calling us to *and* I'm going to give it away to THE *FIRST* THREE "ON FIRE" WOMEN who complete the following three things:
1) You must refer three single women to become a follower of the "On Fire" blog (with the contingency that at least one of the women actually joins).
2) You must submit a 200-500 word covenant marital couple nomination to www.10again.us (if you've already submitted, yes, you can submit another couple and still be eligible).
3) You must have been abstinent for at least 12 months.
The first three women to complete this and contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with their "ring finger" size, I will order this ring and have it shipped to you AND pre-order you a free "Purity Is The New Virginity" T-shirt.
It's time that we went beyond "good" to "right". It's time that we stop pretending and start truly living in MAKE BELIEVE. It's time that we start embracing all of our co-incidents.
I'm doing my best to assist you in the journey.
You're in my prayers. BIG TIME. In this time.