Sunday, January 31, 2016
“You shall have no other gods before Me."---Exodus 20:3(NKJV)
"Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s."---I Corinthians 6:18-20(NKJV)
"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning."---James 1:17(NKJV)
A few days ago...
A title of an article caught my attention: "I Never Fell in Love with My Fiancé". I'm personally someone who's not really keen on the phrase "fall in love". I actually have a shirt with this quote from Albert Einstein on it: "Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love." I was happy to know the author pretty much feels the same way. Here's an excerpt:
What's the point of the romantic scenes without first knowing that your values and goals and general visions of your future align? It would be like buying all the artwork for the 40-story skyscraper that your constructing, before securing the dry wall. Some beautiful stuff is bound to all fall down.
Aliza gave me a powerful quote the other day: You can only love someone as much as you know them. Hollywood romance often turns this around. Fall in love now, ask questions later.
"Fall" in love. The verb alone is enough to make you question it. When in life do we want to "fall"? No control, speeding downwards, just wishing it will work out. Why do we want that for ourselves in the most important relationship of our lives?
I want to change it. Let’s "fly" in love. Yes, it sounds ridiculous and straight out of a commercial for a new perfume by Beyonce, but c’mon, let’s give it a shot. Flying is a choice made with trust and precision. And best of all it is freeing. That sounds much closer to how we feel in a healthy committed relationship.
I realize that just because we learned about each other first and loved each other later doesn't mean we won't make mistakes and still stumble. But I believe that because I have only been talking and listening to my fiancé for the past six months I have, at the very least, set myself up for less stumbles, and have God-willing put us on a trajectory that leads us to true love and genuine respect.
If not, I'll get a rowboat.
People who "fall in love" rather than *fly with trust and precision* are oftentimes those who "go off script" and ignore God's instructions for dating/courtship (2 Timothy 3:16-17). And when that happens, they tend to make the person they are with an idol---whether they choose to accept/realize it or not.
But if you want more signs that 1) fornication is sooooooooooooooooo not a good idea and/or 2) someone may very well be an idol in your life, I'm going to include bullet points from two different articles; starting with the fornication piece (click on the link to read the details):
"Reasons not to fornicate, besides 'God said so'":
It leads to an increased rate of infidelity.
It leads to an increased rate of divorce.
It leads to decreased sexual satisfaction in marriage.
It leads to decreased feelings of romance.
It leads to less love and overall satisfaction in marriage.
It leads to poor decision-making and partner-selection.
Just because it's great now doesn't mean it will be great later.
It creates unnecessary complications in the marriage bed.
It hides existing relationship problems and creates additional ones.
It can make a relationship very unstable.
Followed by "10 Signs You’re Idolizing Something or Someone":
Here are 10 Signs You’re Idolizing Something or Someone:
1. You find your worth and value in them because they give you status, popularity, and power.
2. When you think of your life without them, you feel empty inside.
3. When you’re away from them, they are all you can think about. Night and day, Day and night.
4. You often feel like they give your life purpose. Without them, there’s no you. Does this sound familiar?
5. They have a major influence on the way you feel and think about yourself. They have total control of your self-esteem.
6. Most of your time is consumed by them. If you could, you would spend 24/7 with them. As the saying goes… “You eat, sleep, and breathe” them.
7. You schedule everything around them. You try to squeeze God in wherever you can instead of making Him the priority to begin with.
8. You neglect other important aspects of your life in order to focus on the one thing that really matters to you.
9. You’d rather put your faith into someone or something other than God.
10. You found yourself nodding throughout this list, reaffirming that you’ve got work to do.
If so, try not to be so focused on material things or relationships that you forget about your relationship with God. Switch the energy you’re currently putting into your distractions and refocus it where it’s needed, on Him!
That’s why it is so important for us to fast from things that we might be giving too much of our attention to and not giving God enough attention. Just remember God is all you need.
Good and perfect gifts come from God AND *God doesn't give us people we're going to put above him*. If you're in a relationship and there is sex involved, your relationship is unhealthy. That person is an idol for you and at the very least, some time apart is needed for healing and balance. If you're not in a relationship, ask the Lord to help you to guard your heart (Proverbs 4:23) in such a way that you'll be able to see if/when you are becoming susceptible to making a new guy your idol, by putting them and their wants/needs above the Lord.
A godsend is going to help you to grow closer to God.
An idol is going to try and replace him.
An idol causes you to fall.
A godsend will cause you to fly.
Please choose wisely!
Tuesday, January 26, 2016
I'm gonna be honest with you. This is a 50-minute video and I only listened to roughly 15 minutes of it, so if she says something strange (meaning not biblically on-point) in the other 35 minutes, sound the alarm and hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org. However, some of the things that she said in the beginning (let alone the title) were enough to have me be like "Yeah, throw it up." Especially how she breaks down the definitions of fornication and how women find themselves caught up with an "Ishmael" to begin with!
The reason why it's such a riveting and relevant analogy is because if you refer back to the actual Ishmael, remember what the angel of the Lord told Hagar about him:
"The angel of the Lord said to her, 'Return to your mistress, and submit to her authority.' Then he added, 'I will give you more descendants than you can count.'
And the angel also said, 'You are now pregnant and will give birth to a son. You are to name him Ishmael (which means ‘God hears’), for the Lord has heard your cry of distress. This son of yours will be a wild man, as untamed as a wild donkey! He will raise his fist against everyone, and everyone will be against him. Yes, he will live in open hostility against all his relatives.'"---Genesis 16:9-12(NLT)
It was basically a double-edged sword declaration. Yes, Ishmael would have many descendants but he was also going to buck wild and a real handful! He also wasn't a child of covenant. Isaac was that. And look at what the Lord said about him in contrast:
"After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, 'Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.'
But Abram said, 'Lord God, what will You give me, seeing I go childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?' Then Abram said, 'Look, You have given me no offspring; indeed one born in my house is my heir!'
And behold, the word of the Lord came to him, saying, 'This one shall not be your heir, but one who will come from your own body shall be your heir.' Then He brought him outside and said, 'Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.' And He said to him, 'So shall your descendants be.'"---Genesis 15:1-5(NKJV)
"Then God said to Abraham, 'As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. And I will bless her and also give you a son by her; then I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples shall be from her.'
Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said in his heart, 'Shall a child be born to a man who is one hundred years old? And shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?' And Abraham said to God, 'Oh, that Ishmael might live before You!'
Then God said: 'No, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his descendants after him. And as for Ishmael, I have heard you. Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly. He shall beget twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation. But My covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this set time next year.' Then He finished talking with him, and God went up from Abraham."---Genesis 17:15-22(NKJV)
So the drama that Sarah conjured up on her own (also found in Genesis 15), partially out of fear and impatience, that child was professed to be *so much* that we're *still* dealing with the aftermath (choose wisely, y'all). No doubt about it, Ishmael's descendants are abundant and yes, many of them are...a real handful, even to this day. And yes, Ishmael was blessed in many ways too (people who speak ignorantly about Muslims need to remember this and also that Esau married Ishmael's daughter---Genesis 28:9).
But Isaac? *No drama* was mentioned at all...
The Lord said he too would bring forth many descendants *and* a covenant would be established with him. In fact, Isaac's name means "laughter" or "One who makes me laugh". I'm thinking some of that may have come from them laughing when God said they would have a child at their age (Genesis 17:17 & 18:12-13), but to keep in line with the this post, I also think it meant that Isaac was going to bring Abraham and Sarah joy too.
WHEN WE DO THINGS GOD'S WAY, JOY ENSUES.
BECAUSE WE DID IT HIS WAY AND NOT OUR OWN.
*So many people* have married the spirit of "Ishmael" rather than the spirit of "Isaac", and that's why this video is important to make the time to listen to. Ishmael, because it is birthed out of self-conjuring, comes with some really unpredictable circumstances and consequences; some of which are really unpleasant. But when we allow God to move, a true covenant can take place. One filled with joy: "Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength." (Nehemiah 8:10-NKJV) A Hebrew word for joy that I really like is "simchah". In Scripture, it's used in context with "delight" (DELIGHT IN THE LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart--Psalm 37:4), "exceeding joy", "festival", "gladness", "pleasure" (Psalm 16:11) and "rejoicing".
So, whether you're in a relationship right now or not...
Listen to what she shares is the fruit of an Ishmael vs. an Isaac...
Then think about whether you're allowing God to move...
Or you're doing most of the worrying, I mean manipulating...I mean working (LOL)...
Oh, and yes, I did pull down the manna post because I'm going to repost it, "randomly" from time to time. But if you read it and you want a "GATHER. YOUR. MANNA" bracelet, I might order some extra. The manna thing has been BIG in my spirit right through here. Remember you'll need to answer the following three questions, though:
1) What promises do you know you've received from God...*personally*?
2) What do you *know* is your "quail issue"?
3) How would you like me to pray for you in regards to being able to discern what is manna in your life?
Isaac = Manna (Revelation 2:17)
Ishmael = Quail (Psalm 106:15)
Clearly there's a theme running through here on "On Fire" (LOL).
Choose wisely---and it is indeed *your choice*.
Tuesday, January 19, 2016
"Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; reverently fear and worship the Lord and turn [entirely] away from evil. It shall be health to your nerves and sinews, and marrow and moistening to your bones."---Proverbs 3:5-8(AMPC)
A friend of mine sent me a video from the band Mutemath. Apparently it premiered to do and boy, is it precious enough! It's a video that is in honor of a man---a widow---who turned the house that he shared with the love of his life of sixty years. Yeah, it might sound a bit creepy at first but when you watch it, you'll see all of the joy that he has...still in his heart...when it comes to her:
Oh how we can't afford to do marriage *any way other than God's way* (check out "The Role of Marriage in the Kingdom of God") and as I was telling someone who is engaged today, it's best to *take things slow* and make sure you're using *real discernment* (Proverbs 2, I Corinthians 2:14) before saying "I do". God takes marriage vows *far more seriously and literally* (Ecclesiastes 5:1-7) than people tend to. This blog is to help all of us understand what we're signing up for: marriage until death, not until divorce. That's what a marital covenant is all about (Matthew 19:6).
This brings me to another article that I checked out recently that is the *polar opposite* of that music video. It's entitled "Why I Canceled My Wedding At The Last Second". Here are a few excerpts:
I spent an awful lot of time getting the details just right. From the elbow-length gloves to the diamante bracelet, I was going to be the perfect bride and everyone would beam as I walked down the aisle of the church, seeing how beautiful and mature I was.
I paid for the catering, the silverware, the dress, the DJ, the cake, the invitations, and all the other details. I tried to keep an eye on the checkbook, but couldn’t help but see how additional money vanished from the account and how charges I wasn’t aware started to show up on my credit card.
If I asked Steve about it, he always had a reason. “It’s for you, baby,” he said. “I got it for you.”
Several months in, my sister invited me for lunch and tried to tell me that if I married Steve it would be a huge mistake; that there was something deeply wrong with him and I needed to break up with him. Horrified, I pretended I wasn’t hungry; I didn’t feel like eating anymore...
A few weeks before the wedding, Steve disappeared. He vanished for three days with my new car, finally showing up breezy and cheerful and energized, the way a person who might be using cocaine would be. And when I asked where he’d been, he said he was tracking down a guy who owed him money.
Steve had gone to collect the money and beat the guy up when he couldn’t pay. I sat there aghast, finally realizing, “I can’t marry this guy.” Then, “I’m getting married in six weeks. The invitations are going out Monday. The bridesmaids have their dresses. I have silverware. I have to marry him.”
I couldn’t tell my parents I had made a mistake. I couldn’t tell my co-workers who’d endured every moment of the wedding-planning for 14 months. I couldn’t tell my sisters and friends, who were bracing themselves to parade in their rainbow of finery. I couldn’t marry him, but I couldn’t back out now—it would mean that I’d made yet another earth-shatteringly stupid life choice. I didn’t know what to do.
The next day I had lunch with my sister again and told her I was thinking of calling the wedding off. “I’ll tell the family,” she immediately offered. Relief was clear on her face....
I took the bustled, lace-encrusted dress to a consignment shop. I got my deposit back from the caterer and the travel agent. My sisters sent back their dresses. I began to use my new silverware every day.
And then I decided to have an “Unwedding” party instead, on the date we had chosen. I ordered a cake with wedding bells and a red circle and slash through them. The bakery didn’t believe that’s what I really wanted.
“I Don’t,” I said. “Put that on the cake.”
The weather was sunny with a blue sky, a nice day for a white wedding. Friends and family came to my barbecue in the local park. We tossed a Frisbee and I thanked everyone for coming. We laughed and drank cheap champagne, and celebrated my not marrying the wrong man.
*Marrying the wrong man*.
First up, let me say this: When people who care about you warn you about someone or something you are doing that is contrary to Scripture with that individual, it's a good idea to not get defensive and to really pray about what's being said. At the end of the day, their life is not going to be drastically changed by your decision, *yours will* and it's actually an honor when loved ones care enough to speak up: "The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but he who heeds counsel is wise." (Proverbs 12:15-NKJV)
Secondly, as someone who comes from *a long line* of women who've been divorced and said that they knew the night before their wedding that marrying their ex(es) was not a good idea and also as someone who has counseled couples who know they settled for less than God's best when they married each other (hey, it happens), please adhere to red flags. To me, one of the biggest ones is a man who will *uncover you* (literally and non-repentantly so) before marriage but expects you to entrust him to lead after marriage (I Corinthians 6:16-20-Message, Colossians 3:18).
There are others, though...
An article entitled "10 Reasons I Shouldn't Have Married Him (And Neither Should You)" sheds some additional light---from a very practical perspective:
I'd never met his parents.
We were both "in love with love."
We didn't talk about the important, unromantic stuff.
We didn't share the same beliefs, attitudes and values — about almost everything.
We were better at conflict than we were at compromise.
We didn't much like each other's friends.
We didn't share the same outlook on life.
We didn't share a sense of humor.
We didn't have the same approach to money.
We didn't share the same desire for intimacy.
*In love with love*...
Some people have made marriage such an idol in their lives (Exodus 20:3, I Corinthians 10:14) that they're not really thinking about/questioning/pondering (Proverbs 4:26) if the person they are seeing will help them to thrive within their purpose (Psalm 20:4), if they will help them to become more like the image of Christ (Matthew 16:24) or if it's the kind of relationship God is proud of. They just want to be with someone: also a red flag.
This brings us to the points made in another article: "10 Signs You Should NOT Marry Your Partner":
When you imagine your future together, you imagine him changing in a LOT of ways.
[He] is mean to you.
You're afraid of being alone.
You don't feel like yourself when you're with him.
Your friends and family don't like [him].
You don't feel good enough for [him].
You don't trust each other.
[He] doesn't want to marry you.
You know in your gut that he's not the one for you.
When James 1:5 says that we can ask God for wisdom that we may be lacking, *you can best believe* this includes what we need to know about who we are interested, we're dating or we're seriously considering marrying.
And I'll tell you what:
Where God is, there is no confusion (I Corinthians 15:33).
Where God is, there is peace (Philippians 4:6-7).
Where God is, there is no fear (I John 4:18).
Where God is, there is patience (I Corinthians 13:4).
Where God is, there is sexual purity (Hebrews 13:4, I Corinthians 6:18).
Where God is, there is *a calm spirit and a clear understanding* (Proverbs 17:27).
Wherever you are in your relationship to a man...*where is God*?
If you're not sure, that is the ULTIMATE red flag.
The very definition of love speaks to it not failing; no matter what: "Love never fails." (I Corinthians 13:8). If you're not sure that *godly love* is what you're in or what you're after or what you're giving or what you're receiving, spend some time in prayer, shoot me an email so that I can pray for you (email@example.com) and refer back to that sweet man and his wonderful and abundant love for his late wife.
Love is meant to last.
DON'T SETTLE by ignoring (potential) red flags.
It's soooooooo not worth it...
Especially when God has better for you than what you can try and "put together" yourself.
"Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen."---Ephesians 3:20-21(NKJV)
Friday, January 15, 2016
"They soon forgot His works; they did not wait for His counsel, but lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tested God in the desert. And He gave them their request, but sent leanness into their soul."---Psalm 106:15(NKJV)
I've been hearing it in my spirit for a couple of days now...
Shellie, some of my daughters are either not waiting on or receiving my manna. They are demanding quail. And the demand is in the form of a man. And a lot of people are in the marriages they are in because they did the same thing. Warn my daughters about it.
If you refer to Exodus 16, which is entitled "Bread from Heaven", it speaks of manna:
"And they journeyed from Elim, and all the congregation of the children of Israel came to the Wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they departed from the land of Egypt. Then the whole congregation of the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. And the children of Israel said to them, 'Oh, that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat and when we ate bread to the full! For you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.'
Then the Lord said to Moses, 'Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you. And the people shall go out and gather a certain quota every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in My law or not...
And the house of Israel called its name Manna. And it was like white coriander seed, and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey."---Exodus 16:1-4&31(NKJV)
Several years ago, I penned a devotional on manna. A dot that was connected in it was that the Israelites were provided with the kind of food (manna) that would prepare them for the Promised Land where they were headed:
"So I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Amorites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites."---Exodus 3:8(NKJV)
Did you peep that the Israelites had been *in slavery* and while God was taking them through the wilderness in order to enter into a place of beauty, freedom and abundance, they complained about wanting the food/diet of the past? The manna was similar to the land where they were going. They wanted something else, though.
It's a huge (HUGE) lesson here if you're really paying close attention to it (Psalm 18:28)!
I Corinthians 7:23(NKJV) says "You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men." There are a lot of women who God is trying to "alter their diet" when it comes to the kind of men they have been accustomed to when they were "in the bondage of sin" vs. *the man* he knows will be best for their future. But rather than surrendering to God's will, way *and Word* (God's will is never going to be contrary to his Word---I Corinthians 7:10-11), they focus on what their flesh is used to rather than what he's trying to adjust their spirit to (I Corinthians 2:14). He's using this time of singleness to show them what he desires *for them*, even if it's at the expense of what they want.
It goes deeper...
Not too long ago, I was reading an article about what comes with having a hard heart. For the record, the Word says this about hard hearts: "Happy is the man who is always reverent, but he who hardens his heart will fall into calamity." (Proverbs 28:14-NKJV):
A lack of concern for spiritual things
Ignoring the testimony of other people
Recognizing sin, but refusing to deal with it
Acknowledging sin, but attempting to make a deal with God
Off top, if you're in a relationship and you know that your heart/energy/focus is connected to anything (ANYTHING) on this list, that's already your cue to take some steps back! *No one* can trust decisions they are making when their heart is hard. Which is the billionth reason why getting a divorce is not a good idea:
"He said to them, 'Because of the hardness (stubbornness and perversity) of your hearts Moses permitted you to dismiss and repudiate and divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been so [ordained]. I say to you: whoever dismisses (repudiates, divorces) his wife, except for unchastity, and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.'"---Matthew 19:8-9(AMPC)
By God, divorce is *still* not ordained. By Moses, it was simply permitted. BIG DIFFERENCE (you can read more here). That's why I *never* advise singles to date/marry divorced people. Because divorced people aren't single; they are in a broken covenant. BIG DIFFERENCE. And aside from the fact that divorce rates go up, astronomically so, with each marriage...I never want me or any other single to be a stumbling block (Romans 14:13) to someone else's possible/potential reconciliation.
Something that's worth noting about manna vs. quail is that *God provided the Israelites with manna*. THEY DEMANDED QUAIL. If you read Numbers 11, the New King James Version entitles it "The People Complain". Also for the record, the Word tells us this: "Do all things without complaining and disputing..." (Philippians 2:14-NKJV) If you're *complaining* about not being in a relationship or being married or wanting the person you're in a relationship with to "speed things along"...yeah, that's also a problem. To complain is "to express dissatisfaction, pain, uneasiness, censure, resentment, or grief; find fault". It's also "to tell of one's pains, ailments, etc." and "to make a formal accusation". *Confessing* (James 5:16-AMPC) where you are is one thing; *complaining*? That is something else. Confessing to a believer means they can pray for your healing and relief. Complaining is about solely focusing on yourself.
So, here these ungrateful people were, complaining about wanting something from their past to the point of basically demanding it. Look, I'll say this from personal experience: ANYTHING YOU FEEL YOU NEED TO DEMAND FROM GOD IS SOMETHING YOU NEED TO TOTALLY SURRENDER TO GOD. God supplies all of our needs and he knows what we need before we ask (Philippians 4:19, Luke 11:11-13). If you *needed* a husband right now, there would be no *need* to demand one. God would *supply* him.
On that note, let's look at some of Numbers 11:
"Now the mixed multitude who were among them yielded to intense craving; so the children of Israel also wept again and said: 'Who will give us meat to eat? We remember the fish which we ate freely in Egypt, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic; but now our whole being is dried up; there is nothing at all except this manna before our eyes!'...
Now a wind went out from the Lord, and it brought quail from the sea and left them fluttering near the camp, about a day’s journey on this side and about a day’s journey on the other side, all around the camp, and about two cubits above the surface of the ground. And the people stayed up all that day, all night, and all the next day, and gathered the quail (he who gathered least gathered ten homers); and they spread them out for themselves all around the camp. But while the meat was still between their teeth, before it was chewed, the wrath of the Lord was aroused against the people, and the Lord struck the people with a very great plague. So he called the name of that place Kibroth Hattaavah, because there they buried the people who had yielded to craving."---Numbers 11:4-6 & 31-34(NKJV)
Cravings tend to come from a deficiency. And oftentimes, even from a nutritional standpoint, people do things to *appease* their appetite rather than *address* the deficiency they might have. Anything that is demanded of God, anything that someone feels they cannot do without that is consuming them, that is a spiritual craving; they need to consult God about where the deficiency lies.
Anyway, we see how it all played out. The thing they *demanded* ending up "stealing, killing and destroying" (John 10:10) them. Much like what happened when they *demanded a king* rather than accepting God to be enough in their life in I Samuel 1:8.
The very thing they thought they couldn't do with out ended up being their demise...
They very thing they didn't appreciate was the very thing that was designed, by God, to bless them.
Oh, how I pray that we'll all learn to trust God more!
With our appetite...
With our taste in men...
With what we think we need...
With what we know we want...
God knows what's best for you...
Your actions, *even now*, reveal if you truly believe that...
If the man you're interested in...
If the man you're currently seeing...
If the relationship that you're consumed with having...
Is rooted in your flesh more than your spirit...
Is causing you to ignore biblical instructions and standards...
Is infecting your relationship with God (impatience is a form of infection---James 1:4)...
THAT IS QUAIL.
QUAIL AIN'T GOOD FOR YOU.
Ask God to make you content (CONTENT---Hebrews 13:5) with his manna...
The kind of man he thinks is best vs. who you think your man should be.
God has a main objective...
To get us to heaven, ultimately.
To give us a little piece of heaven on earth, our own Garden of Eden/Promised Land, here (Joel 2:3).
Ask God to prepare you for your own MAN-NA.
Ask him to also alter your appetite for...QUAIL.
Tuesday, January 12, 2016
"And now, Lord, what do I wait for? My hope is in You."---Psalm 39:7(NKJV)
While doing some praying, pondering (Proverbs 4:26) and processing, I was led to a video that is basically an update. If any of you have checked out the "I Will Wait for You" by the spoken word artist Janette (and I'm pretty sure several of you have because it's been sent to me several times over the past several years), this is an update of her relationship journey.
Let's start with that poem:
OK, well what I didn't get updated on is the fact that (selah and amen!) she GOT MARRIED! The Holy Spirit (Luke 12:12) gave me the memo on that this morning (LOL). And her vows...oh, this sistah's personal vows. I'm not gonna even try and break it down. I'm gonna let the video do it all on its own!
I'm going to get to those in a moment but I want to encourage you to *really ponder* what Ephesians 5 says about covenant marriage as you're watching her share what is on her mind, heart *and spirit* with her beloved. What was freaking me out about it is I was like "Yes! When the Word tells us that a marriage between a husband and wife is to mirror the relationship between Christ and his Church, this couple is depicting it so well!"
Let's start with Ephesians 5 first:
"Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.' This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband."---Ephesians 5:22-33(NKJV)
Now check out the vows (and her husband's facial expressions). WHEW!
The "extended mix" (of the ceremony), you can watch here:
And then I did a bit more digging and found a six-month newlywed update:
Along with two videos of them ministering, separately:
The realness. THE. REALNESS.
Wanna know why a lot of people are bound up in the Church? Because they don't follow one of the foundational Scriptures for healing:
"Confess to one another therefore your faults (your slips, your false steps, your offenses, your sins) and pray [also] for one another, that you may be healed and restored [to a spiritual tone of mind and heart]. The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working]."---James 5:16(AMPC)
That's another blog for another time, though...
Today, I just want to encourage each and every one of you to *make the time* to watch the progression of our spiritual sistah who is now a wife who is continuing to thrive in her purpose (Psalm 20:4), calling (Romans 11:29) and ministry (Galatians 5:13).
She was rewarded (Hebrews 11:6).
And her very wedding day, again, is such a depiction of Christ and his love for his Church.
*Just as every marriage should be*.
Why just have "some man" when you can be brought (Genesis 2:22) to a godly one?
Why just "get married" when you could be in a sacred, holy and miraculous covenant?
Why rush...when waiting brings God's best?
I actually penned a devo last night entitled "When God's Promises Are Taking a Really Long Time". Hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want a copy sent your way. And if you have any prayer requests about waiting or needing to learn how to wait more and better, I'd be happy and honored to put lift them up.
Waiting is a part of the process...towards receiving God's abundant goodness.
"All around us we observe a pregnant creation. The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs. But it’s not only around us; it’s within us. The Spirit of God is arousing us within. We’re also feeling the birth pangs. These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance. That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don’t see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy.
Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good."---Romans 8:22-28(Message)
That's not prose.
It's a promise.