So Abram left Egypt and went back to the Negev, he and his wife and everything he owned, and Lot still with him. 2. By now Abram was very rich, loaded with cattle and silver and gold. He moved on from the Negev, camping along the way, to Bethel, the place he had first set up his tent between Bethel and Ai 4. and built his first altar. Abram prayed there to God.
Lot, who was traveling with Abram, was also rich in sheep and cattle and tents. 6. But the land couldn’t support both of them; they had too many possessions. They couldn’t both live there–– 7. quarrels broke out between Abram’s shepherds and Lot’s shepherds. The Canaanites and Perizzites were also living on the land at the time.
Abram said to Lot, “Let’s not have fighting between us, between your shepherds and my shepherds. After all, we’re family. 9. Look around. Isn’t there plenty of land out there? Let’s separate. If you go left, I’ll go right; if you go right, I’ll go left.”
Lot looked. He saw the whole plain of the Jordan spread out, well watered (this was before God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah), like God ‘s garden, like Egypt, and stretching all the way to Zoar. 11. Lot took the whole plain of the Jordan. Lot set out to the east.
That’s how they came to part company, uncle and nephew. 12. Abram settled in Canaan; Lot settled in the cities of the plain and pitched his tent near Sodom.
The people of Sodom were evil––flagrant sinners against God.
After Lot separated from him, God said to Abram, “Open your eyes, look around. Look north, south, east, and west. 15. Everything you see, the whole land spread out before you, I will give to you and your children forever. 16. I’ll make your descendants like dust––counting your descendants will be as impossible as counting the dust of the Earth. 17. So––on your feet, get moving! Walk through the country, its length and breadth; I’m giving it all to you.”
Abram moved his tent. He went and settled by the Oaks of Mamre in Hebron. There he built an altar to God.
(Genesis 13:1-18 Message)
Leave everything, including your family that you’ve known and grown up with. This was God’s commandment to Abram. We know him as Abraham now but Abram had some lessons to learn and some steps of faith to take before God could change his name. Many times we hear “it’s the year of this” or the “year of that”. We hear much talk about seasons or “it’s your time”. However, I’ve come to find that it’s only when you take that step of faith that things truly begin to happen. Things won’t shift if you don’t shift. One step of faith that we all must take is leaving others that we have known for so long because they can not go with us into our future. We have to let the “Lot” figures in our life go. If we look at Genesis 13, Abram and his nephew, Lot, were experiencing some family issues. Their camps were having some “Reality TV” moments. It was time for them to separate. This moment of separation provides for us some key points on why some people just have to leave your life.
Before we begin, let’s note that Lot wasn’t a very bad man. In fact, he was noted as a righteous man. However, Lot did have some things that made him no longer able to walk with Abram. First, he was walking by Abraham’s faith and not his own. Have you ever met people that trail along just because you’re favored? In my opinion, there is nothing with people following you because God’s hand is on your life. However, at some point in time everyone needs to obtain their own faith. They can still follow but you can only ride on someone else’s faith and favor for so long. If my faith was really rubbing off on you, you would understand that you have to acquire the same mindset as me. However, Lot couldn’t acquire the same level of faith As Abram because God wasn’t talking to Lot at that time. This was a faith walk for Abram NOT Lot. Some may be able to travel with you but after a while they will notice that this is a personal walk between you and God. It’s personal. Let’s look at 4 points that we can learn from Abram and Lot.
Don’t let separation destroy your peace
People drawn to social interaction by nature. We are talking creatures so we see why it’s hard for us to leave behind those we have drawn close to over time. This was Abram’s nephew. Maybe the separation is between your best friend, a cousin, a college friend, or a co-worker. Never let it destroy your walk between you and God. Abram didn’t start having a fit. When you walk by faith, you don’t start outlining problems but instead see solutions. We see Abram say to Lot that there was plenty of land. He didn’t care which side Lot took. He just wanted there to be peace. Abram was walking by faith and literally moving based on God’s voice. He couldn’t afford for disputes within the camps to disturb the environment. After all, how can you hear God’s voice in the midst of chaos. Something had to go. There was a need for separation because there needed to be peace.
The natural eye walks in the natural before the spiritual
The saying “The grass is greener” must have been one of Lot’s mottos when it came to Genesis 13. Lot chose the land that looked like it was the best. The first “Lot-ism” is that people who don’t know faith can only mimic in the natural what really happened due to the push in the spirit realm. This is the mind shifter that separated Lot from Abram. Genesis 13:10 uses some very interesting language depending on what translation you are reading. If we base it upon the King James Version, it says that the land “LOOKED LIKE God’s Garden”. It LOOKED LIKE Eden– a blessed land. I’ve come to find out that it’s not about whether the grass is greener or not. You could have a dirt patch and it could still be blessed. It’s not about what is seen on the outside but it’s about who is working within you on your behalf.
When we look at this passage, we see Lot making his first “faith or fear” decision. I remember teaching on a lesson called, “Everything Good Ain’t God”. People who operate in fear make decisions based upon natural provisions instead of the ultimate provider. We can see why Lot drifted to what looked good. We could say that Lot’s best decision was following Abram. However, when it came time to separate Lot did not learn anything from Abram when it came to making a “faith” decision. However, we can’t blame him because we must remember that this was a faith walk for Abram. The promise was not for Lot. Lot never had to walk away from everything and just follow God. Abram was not traveling with Lot. Abram was traveling with God and Lot was following. Lot’s decision of land cost him more than just leaving Abram. If we look later in the scriptures, Lot ended up living in a land of wicked people guided by sin. Lot walked by the natural and paid a heavy price afterwards that even cost him his wife and great pain.
Never let friction turn into a fire because it will consume both parties
Abram did not care what land Lot chose because Abram was more concerned about staying attentive to God’s voice than letting the chaos in the camp cause a distraction. Many times we put so much energy into keeping relationships rather than just moving on. However, friction will soon cause a fire if you do not address the issues at hand. Many times, we let things slide or cover up instead of handling it and moving on. So instead of walking by faith and moving on, you’re wasting time and effort putting out fires that you should have spoken on a long time ago. I don’t know about you but some things are not worth my energy or effort. Abram realized that this was truly a faith walk. He had left everything he knew to follow a voice that he knew was God. Faith is risky– it involves putting all your chips on the table and saying “all or nothing”. With that kind of faith in operation, the little things won’t be an issue because where God is taking you is greater cause. If we would be honest, the reason why many of us haven’t moved on is because we are still arguing with Lot instead of moving on to the land God is calling us to.
The voice of God moves in faith and never in the presence of a lack of faith
The first thing that stood out to me in Genesis 13 was the fact that God spoke to Abram AFTER Lot left. It clearly says in verse 14, that AFTER Lot left, God spoke. Why? After the chaos has left, then God can speak to you. What God then tells Abram lets us know how when we base our walk on faith, our blessing lies in our obedience. Gold told him that if he looked in every direction, the land he saw would be his. Imagine that. In the King James Version, God tells Abram to get active and start walking around because He was giving it all to Abram.
When we walk by faith and not according to the eyes of Lot, we will see that separation is required for access into the next level. It’s not that they were bad. They just didn’t have what was required to go with you. As we look at our lives, we will see that many things are a personal journey. God is trying to increase our faith and distractions may come. Yet, those distractions can be flags that it’s time for things to part away from us. We need to hear God’s voice. We need to walk by faith. When we come to Christ, our first instinct is no longer guided by the natural. If we just walk by what God has called us to do, the blessing is there. So stop worrying about what isn’t there or moving forward without certain ones that have always been there. Sometimes you just have to let Lot go.
Ladies, this article is for you! Sorry Men. I’ll catch you next time in my upcoming article. Ladies, let’s talk about Jealous Jane. I’m sure you’ve met her at some point or maybe at many points in your life. I’ve had a few Jealous Jane appearances and it’s time for a reminder just in case you forgot how she moves and acts.
1. Jealous Jane is Selfish (even if it looks like “support)
I’ve learned that even in the “thick and thin”, Jealous Jane may not leave your side. Some people will stay with you through it because they aren’t the ones suffering. Jealous Jane is only there for the credit of saying that they were with you through your bad times. Now the REAL question is HOW were they there. I’ve seen friends stab one another in the back after going through terrible situations. Watch out for people who only want to cash in on their “friend credits” for the sake of promoting how great of a friend they are. Their goal? There is none because 95% of the time Jealous Jane is a psycho who needs Jesus.
2. Jealous Jane thinks everything is a competition
They either have to one-up you every time or they feel as if you steal away from their spotlight when you are doing good. The other indicator is when they have a hard time allowing your other friends to be an amazing friend. They can’t live without themselves being in the picture 24/7. If they weren’t there, they throw shade at the event or whatever happened. If they didn’t host it, they throw shade at how it could be better. If they didn’t come up with the idea, then it’s always a critique towards “improvements”. Most Jealous Jane’s that I’ve met have a very limited point of view. They only see things through one scope and lack true leadership. Even though they may honestly have good ideas from time to time, they still see everything as a competition. If you try to do something within the same space/arena as them, they think you are stealing away from their shine. Why is this? They aren’t whole within themselves. Jealous Jane doesn’t understand that friends can shine together without competing. But alas, she doesn’t understand that so she’s trying to prove how above she is compared to you. You may actually be on the same level in life but to her, you just don’t operate like she does. She thinks that she has some outlook on life that you’re missing and due to this, you’re just out of the loop. She never says this point blank. However, it will come out in certain circumstances so keep your eyes peeled and the exit door cracked.
3. Jealous Jane actually never supports your purpose unless they are connected to her in some way
Jealous Jane is not just a psycho and a competing maniac. She is also the worst supporter. I once had a friend who boasted how much of a friend she was to me. She wasn’t signed up on any of my business email lists, never shared any of my promos for my business, or anything like that. Yet, she was a friend. I don’t actually ask my friends to support me but don’t proclaim your allegiance and never support me. However, on the receiving end, it was much different. A jealous friend is like a leech. Love doesn’t count the number of times it steps out on the ledge for another. However, sometimes you do need to analyze just what exactly this friendship is based on. If they only support when they are involved directly, tell Jealous Jane to have several seats in far left back side of your life. You see Jealous Jane has a hard time processing that you actually have a purpose to fulfill with or without them. Remember that jealous people are jealous because there is something that you have that they feel like they are missing. It’s actually a sad place to be in. They don’t actually see their own lives as ENOUGH so they try and ruin yours with their own lofty opinions.
4. Jealous Jane is an emotional wreck
Jealousy is when you allow your emotion to overtake your sanity. It’s when you think (like we said before) that there is something that someone else has that would make your life better. You are seeing yourself as “lacking”. You haven’t found contentment within what amazing things are happening within your own life. You see jealousy is when you take the focus off of you. You have lost perspective. That’s what jealousy is all about. Due to this, your emotions are unstable and in wreck because you’re unfocused. When you have Jealous Jane in your life you will notice that they are all over the place in life. They are in between gossip, crazy ups and downs, and more. They see chaos as apart of life. They cling on to petty back and forth drama. Again, these things may not be evident at first but they always appear. Jealous Jane needs help and a “Come to Jesus” moment. Well several…
5. Jealous Jane desires you to “tone down” who you are
Jealous Jane can not STAND when you’re walking in ALL of your purpose with a passion! They can’t stand it when you start making noise that they can not control themselves. They may ask you to “fall back” with some of your stances or commentary. Ignore them. They just wish they could be as bold as you are and as free as you are currently flying. Learn how to embrace who you are and not allow insecure people pull you down.
6. Jealous Jane has a problem when you connect with other people outside of her
Jealous Jane has a HUGE problem when you start connecting with other people and she doesn’t know who they are NOR did she make the connection. She tries to bring you 100 reasons why you shouldn’t connect. Of course, this just brings confusion into the mix (adding dirt to clean water). Because she isn’t stuck on HER purpose, she has a big problem when you make moves and it’s not approved by her. Real friends support and pray for you to make awesome connections. They also don’t bring in confusion by adding in false gossip, stories, and rumors that aren’t even true. Jealous Jane doesn’t pray at all for you to make those connections. Instead, she just throws shade continuously at them because that’s all she can throw. I’ve had friends take 2 hours shading someone else and it changed how I saw that other person. Sadly, it kept me from making friendships with some amazing people. I spent way too long thinking about people the wrong way because of a jealous friend. Honestly, she needs to let Jesus throw some LOVE and HEALING her way.
7. Jealous Jane constantly tears you down in the name of “being realistic”
Let me tell you what I don’t have time for: Purpose Shredders. These are people who can never see something working. Of course, they will do NOTHING in their power to even TRY to help you do something successfully. What they will do is continuously tell you why something can not be done without giving you any solutions of ways it can be achieved. For instance, maybe I can’t launch my business using X but at least provide me with solutions Y and Z since you’re a friend. Of course, their creativity/lack of enthusiasm doesn’t feel like providing those solutions. I could care less about people who bring me problems but no solutions. You’re just wasting my time. Criticism can be healthy if supported by a solution. However, being a flat out critic and masking it as “advice from a friend” is just flatline out of pocket.
So how to you detach from a jealous friend? First, you need to identify them! Usually tension will build up and you will find the perfect moment to cut the cord. However, if that doesn’t happen, you need to plan an exit strategy. You will need to have a conversation where you state how you are feeling and how it’s time to go separate ways. Here’s the thing. We are adults. Now being that Jealous Jane is emotional, expect them to go off like a hot air balloon. You just stay focused on your purpose and enjoy the life that has been given unto you. You have to realize that when bad leaves good is soon to follow!
If Jealous Jane has a problem with you moving on then tell her to deal with it! Learn that space is good especially if it’s ripping you away from your purpose and being focused on the right things! Join me in my next article as I dive into what the secret ingredients of friendship are!
I threw my phone across the bed. This was the last straw. I was done fighting with him. Every relationship I had been in, cheating was present. Was I not enough? Could my breasts be bigger? I needed to lose a little bit more weight so I could be perfect for him. That had to be it. Maybe it was my behind. That could be the problem. The other girls…
They looked “perfect”. However, he told me that I was perfect. Was I really perfect enough to not be cheated on? However, I wasn’t being “cheated on”. I was simply “assuming” based upon comments on social media that I would see on the screen. It was more than the comments to the other women. From the conversations to the text messages, confirmation after confirmation came. His eyes. I had already been cheated on before. I wasn’t trying to make it another failed relationship. He wanted me to be his woman but he didn’t want to be “off the market” completely. He wanted my loyalty but wanted to be a free man. I was supposed to put my life on pause and “wait for him”. What exactly was I waiting for? Can you put a timer on when someone will grow up?
But I did. Months went by. We broke up and then got back together. I thought at times that it was my fault.
You can’t force someone to complete you.
You also can’t wait until they become ready for you because you can’t force the will of a human being. You know what I’ve learned through my failed relationships?
I can’t force a man to become who he is destined to be. The same goes for a man desiring their woman to be ready for them. I was ready for a relationship. However, it was more than just a relationship. I was ready for purpose. I didn’t just want a relationship. I wanted a relationship with the end destination of marriage.
Of course, I never prayed about the relationship. I could have saved myself from so many relationships if I would have just prayed. However, I didn’t think I needed God when it came to my dating life. Besides, I was smart enough to pick a mate for the REST of my life. I didn’t need an all-powerful and all-seeing God to pick my partner of purpose. Even though I don’t know my future, I thought I was a better candidate than God who knows what my entire life looks like.
I was pretty foolish. I learned my lesson BIG time. I was dating a man who was not ready to do purpose with me.
He wouldn’t admit that he wasn’t because he didn’t want me to go. See not admitting the truth is NOT love. What I also learned was that it didn’t make him a horrible person. It just made him the wrong person for me. Bashing the person who is not ready and staying with them is a contradiction. You’re basically placing yourself in line for the heartbreak and expecting unrealistic things to happen.
I saw this picture on my Facebook timeline a few days ago…..
The answer is no. What is love? My mother told me as a little girl that love is the unselfish concern for the well-being of others.
Love does not abuse itself. It’s not a question of the amount of love. It’s a question of are you ignorant enough to wait. Women and men wait around for years thinking that their presence will force this person to become “ready”. What exactly are we waiting for?
A person never truly arrives at the point of perfection. However, there is a place that they must arrive at for a relationship to work. What we see in today’s culture is this idea of two broken people trying to create a relationship that is whole.
Song of Solomon 2:7 (MSG): Oh, let me warn you, sisters in Jerusalem, by the gazelles, yes, by all the wild deer: Don’t excite love, don’t stir it up, until the time is ripe — and you’re ready.
Those last three words… “and you’re ready”. Many times we believe that because WE are ready that the other person must be ready as well. However, all you have to do is look at the fruit that the person produces.
Matthew 2:29 famously says that we are to “love our neighbor as we love ourselves”. You can’t love someone else if you don’t value your own heart. I was trying to love from the outside in. That’s why I stayed with him when I should have left. I thought that love was loving him and neglecting the fact that I was wasting my time. I thought that it was LOVE. I thought that my LOVE was the reason why I was staying. However, that wasn’t LOVE.
It was not love. I had to repeat that to myself until I became free. Free from the fact that I wanted to deny that I was wasting my time. I tried to cover it up by saying that I was what HE needed in order to become the man God desired him to be. I covered it up with spiritual “isms” as a reason for me staying. Isn’t that what we do? We come up with excuses for why we abuse our heart.
You don’t have to be someone’s partner for them to mature in life. They should want to do that within themselves.
We actually want to the “change agent”. We love feeling like superman/superwoman. We want to come in and save the day with our capes. We want to be able to say that WE changed them. The crazy thing is that change is an internal process that starts with the heart. The heart itself must start the change. That change comes with maturity and wanting to do better for themselves. Some people do not want to change. Again, you should not bash them for not changing. I have to point that out again. Many women and men bash their mates because they don’t want to change. The door is always open for you to leave. This is why we don’t marry until both parties have reached a level of maturity. However, when we discredit maturity and jump into the bed of love in ignorance, we open the door for a wrecked relationship. We become impatient with the one we have linked with. For what reason? I was impatient. I was crying. I was broken.
The door was open the entire time. I finally picked up my heart and left. I loved who I was becoming and I wouldn’t wait until someone saw that.
I will not allow you to lie to me about being ready for a relationship.
I will not allow you to abuse my heart and take it on a road that leads no where.
I will not allow you to believe that how you operate is actually love.
When you stay with someone like this, you enable them. By staying, you only hurt yourself. I had enough stitches. God is love. He wouldn’t put me in this kind of relationship. I did. I picked this person and wanted God to seal this everlasting love. I thought that my spirituality would improve the situation. However, you can’t pimp God out for your own selfish reasons.
God did not send me this man to change him. His own fruit revealed that God was not leading his heart. That was HIS decision. You need to look at the fruit of the person. Talk is cheap and talk is not love. Love is an action word. God led me to change ME.
That is why I left because I loved him enough. I loved him enough to leave.
In my years of dating, “building” was rarely mentioned. I was simply seen as the body that served the King in times of lustful need. That’s the nice way of putting it. Of course marriage was not on the table because the desire was to “play” and not mate. However, my life changed. After 2012, I became addicted to my destiny. I was forced to see myself as someone who actually had something to contribute besides just “labor” and “work”.
I began to focus on my writing and then I launched my business. During this time, I found myself faster than most people do in their lifetime. I discovered that my time was valuable and that included my heart. I became frustrated at having pointless talks with men who never asked about my passions. They brought up my business and passions in the early part of our talks. I would ask them about what they did and they would discuss their job. They didn’t love what they did. When I asked them about what they really wanted to do, it was as if it was a “far away dream”. Our fire didn’t match.
Of course there were the “never talk to” guys from my childhood and teenage years that had nothing going on at all. They weren’t passionate about their future. However, the men who were established and striving for better…it seemed like they were hidden. However, so was I. I currently am hidden for good reason. Do you know how easy it is to be in the public eye but hidden? Everyone knows you and you’re very social but parts of you are in the shadows.
I wanted someone worthy of supporting. As a business owner, you will find out VERY fast how valuable your time is. I can’t say this enough. Your time is actually money. I still want someone who I can support without holding anything back. However, it’s not like you just put yourself out and find the best candidate. You actually have to position yourself in the best possible way for the best ROI. Looks didn’t cut it anymore. I’m in my early 20’s and I’ve already met the most beautiful and passionate men on earth. However, looks and even passion aren’t enough.
Listen…There are so many handsome men and gorgeous women but if we can’t operate together as a productive couple building something that’s filled with purpose then what’s the point. So we can just slay for social media and obsess over how “bad” we look?
You’ll look bad but be BROKE. You can be rich but your home could be filled with chaos because you’re partnered with someone who doesn’t understand the weight and the drive that comes from being addicted to destiny. Power is attractive. Even the look of influence and sway is attractive but the real question is: Does this person understand YOU and how YOU operate. I’m not talking about perfection because you will need to evolve.
What I’m saying is this: Can we build what God has put on the inside of us as individuals TOGETHER? Can we build and not compete? Can we compliment each other’s flow? You can’t just find that. Destiny has to come into play with this kind of matchmaking.
And THAT’S why I believe in the concept of God placing someone in the earth for you because even some of your loved ones could care less about your purpose. You already have people around you now who don’t want to support you. I even know that my friends who love me were never made to fill what that designated man for me was meant to fulfill. So until he comes, I’m keeping his seat hidden away from the world. I don’t know where he’s at. I don’t know where my architect partner for life is. However, I know that in the mean time that I need to focus on God building my life. You can’t come down on the price of your heart. There’s too much at stake. We’re talking about purpose linking.
Many churches teach their singles that fornication is wrong and that you shouldn’t have sex outside of marriage. While this is great, not teaching them what they SHOULD be doing, is also just as bad. When you take something out, you must replace it or what was taken out will come back. Sin is human nature and so we must replace this desire for sin with alternatives. This post is especially for those of you who are couples. However, this list can apply to singles as well. These are ideas that you can incorporate. I would suggest to singles to get a friend who is the same sex as you (female & female/male & male) to be your activity partner. The reason why many singles are having sex is because they don’t place their attention anywhere else but instead cultivate it by letting it fester. As a single that is now entering the relationship phase, I wanted to give some tips that has helped me.
Start a Goal and set nights to work on those goals
I think talking to that special person in your life about what they want to achieve is extremely important. Being that accountability partner for them in their journey is vital. It also shows that you care about their interests and what God has placed on the inside of them. Take out time during the week to do a vision board night, business discussion, ect. You can talk about your goals if you are in corporate or if you own a business. If you desire to lose weight or obtain a degree, talk about them and see if you can help them. Also, look out for that person you are growing with. If you find an article, a resource, or a person that has knowledge that they may need, provide it to them. Some goals are individual and some can be labeled as a group goal.
Pick A Book & Start Your Own Couples Book Club
Try to pick books based on your spiritual walk, career goals, or just books that interest you. If you are going to read a fiction book, make sure it is wholesome and does not steer you into thinking about subjects like sex (pursuing sin), tons of profanity (the power of your words), or focused on vain living (the quality of your life).
Stop Being Alone in Private Places
You’re setting yourself up on purpose. People are not stupid. You already know what your flesh desires and what many singles do are use the “it just happened” trick. Nothing “just happens”. Many times we underestimate our flesh and the doors that we open for the enemy. If you’re going to be alone, make sure it’s in public. Do not go over each other’s homes by yourself for a long period of time where you may find yourself “sleepy” or “crashing for the night”. It’s not that I’m acting religious. It’s that I don’t want to give my flesh the opportunity to even consider doing something wrong. This is also where singles who are on the road to marriage try to act like married couples. You can get to be alone with her/him in private once you get married. We have to leave some things to the marriage side. Since you’re not “one” as of yet, embrace being in public. I wish more singles could appreciate the single life and being in public even with someone that God has ordained for you. You glorify God in public more as a single than in private where temptation can spring up.
Get Creative & Get Active
There are always things like cooking classes, paint activities, and shows that you can find discounted on deal sites. Also, try going to the gym together or hitting the park. For the Holidays, consider volunteering at the soup kitchen, food bank, or shelter. If you’re up for it, try entering a marathon or a walk that supports a cause. I truly believe that whoever you are with, they should be a giver. If they don’t have a heart for others, their heart will remain limited to showering love on you. God desires for us to be givers in all that we say and do!
Set Boundaries and Address the Weak Points
Everyone is an adult. It is time that we address to one another where we fall short so that we are aware of how to COVER that person. For some people, a kiss turns them ALL the way on. So maybe for you as a couple, keep the kisses at minimum. You need to honor people’s boundaries and the spaces in which they need. You must also address the weak points. You don’t have to struggle alone. That’s what that other person is there for. This is why accountability is so important because it let’s that other person know that you care too much for them to stay how they are. If a person can’t admit where they fall and what areas are weak, they can never become strong. Remember that you want to have a relationship that honors God and that encourages others that it’s possible to live right and please God. However, you won’t be able to make it if you aren’t willing to have someone hold you accountable to God’s word. Don’t make excuses for your weak points. Let God come into where you are weak and strengthen you. Allow the other person to be someone to help you in this process.
The one thing I have to end on is something that singles must understand: being content. Right now, in my season of being single and also being pursued by someone, I’m learning how to be content. In this lifestyle of being content, I’ve learned that I don’t need all of the fairy tale “fluff” to make me understand love. Love is God and God is Love. Why am I saying this? Some of us, due to our past and other’s words, think that our romance with another can grow by being physically intimate. I’m finally understanding the final reason for why sex was created in the confines of marriage. The bible says that the man becomes “one” with his wife. The bible also says that a man must love his wife like christ loves the “church”, which represents the body as “one”. Sex celebrates the “one-ness” of two beings surrounded by covenant and God’s ordained will in marriage. This is why marrying the right one is so important. Never allow sex to cloud what God is trying to do. I do know that temptation comes but don’t flare up the moments of temptation by your own actions and selfish desires. Some of us are tempted almost daily because of what we listen to, see, and take in our spirit man. Don’t make your temptations a daily meal. You will ruin your perception of love and self-worth. Stay focused on the cross! Jesus loves us so much that He died on the cross for us! As a single that has temptations, I think about the cross and my commitment that I’ve made to my Father. When I feel my temptations rising, I place my mind on God. I begin to fill my ears with Worship Music and begin to pray because I will not allow this walk to be fruitless. If you really pray, you can make it! I’m not talking about your McDonalds Happy Meal Prayers. If you cry out to God about those sexual temptations and God helping you to focus, then He will strengthen you. However, if you pray but then surround yourself by that temptation on a daily basis, you will make the job harder. God is saying I am all that you need and soon I will provide you with someone who can love you here on earth as well. That’s how amazing God is. He gives us a double portion of His love!
So stop making excuses of how it is hard to stay pure. You will stay pure if you want to stay pure!
“So don’t you see that we don’t owe this old do–it–yourself life one red cent. There’s nothing in it for us, nothing at all. The best thing to do is give it a decent burial and get on with your new life. God’s Spirit beckons. There are things to do and places to go.”
It’s time to get serious about this walk for Christ. I know that you’ve said in your heart and may have told others that you were getting serious. However, life is short. It comes and then goes. However, let’s not just leave it to time. What about the quality of your life? I’m not talking about what you have that you can touch. Do you have the inner peace and joy that only God can give? Are you just going through the motions? Life wasn’t meant to be lived through mediocre motions. God meant for you to live life with purpose and intent. Through this reading and exercises, my desire is for you to realize that God has something in store for you that is simply amazing. My words are just part of it. It’s going to take dedication from you to carry it out. You have to want this life in Christ bad enough that you are willing to do the very first step. This step is the most important because it marks a change in the wind. It’s your turning point that will define the rest of your life. Are you ready?
Join me over the next couple of weeks on my blog as I discuss how to let go of your past and walk into your future. It’s time to turn your past in and walk in the fullness of what God has called you to. Your past is past due!
Read below for part 1!
Letting go of the past….
This is the hardest step for most people. I know it seems really easy to do. However, it’s not about what happens when you’re in church and everything is “holy”. It’s when Friday night calls and those old habits and friends call around 9 PM. It’s when the ex calls or when an inappropriate picture pops up on your screen. We begin to backtrack. Thoughts begin to creep into our minds. We begin to consider the minor damages that may occur by bringing our past back into our present. We say things like…
It’s just for one night.
It’s not like I’m going to get pregnant.
Maybe (s)he’s changed.
If I hit it/smoke it just a tiny bit, it won’t hurt.
Just a peek.
Slowly but surely we stack up a list of reasons for us to give in until we feel “sure” in our minds that everything is just fine. However, the time that we make to give excuses provides us with the same opportunity to reject them in the first place. Now, notice I said that we are not perfect. You may slip a few times and that’s where God comes in to help you keep going. However, for some of us, it’s less about grace and more about still desiring the taste of sin which equates to death in the long haul. However, we knowingly pull forward and entertain our past. Our past knows us very well. It is used to our lingering smell of desire and pleasure. It longs to embrace our flesh in sinful matrimony. However, the flowers of imaginary happiness and content turn into rotten and festering boils of regret and pain. What seemed like a few seconds of bliss turns into a battered heart held up by the strings of life. It becomes a cycle. You begin to lift your eyes up and realize that life can’t be like this always. You must come to this realization below.
Main Point: The past is the past for a reason.
Some things are marked as “out of season” in your life no matter how much you try to bring it with you in the NOW. I’ve been there. I’ve tried bringing in old friendships, romances, and desires into the NOW, thinking that things would mesh. The past can never mesh with the future unless God is in the midst. For instance, many people’s testimony is something of the past that has pushed them into an amazing now and a blessed future. Here is the issue for many people. We forget that a testimony is a story telling of what you got OVER.
Why don’t we bring these issues to God? What if you talked to God about battle with sin & pleasure? What if we talked to God first instead of giving in? You must not allow yourself to be controlled by the bondage of the enemy. The enemy can only get in when we open a door. For many of us it’s the blocked number that we keep on unblocking. It may be the internet browser that we think God can’t see or it’s the messages that you allow in your Instagram DM’s constantly. However, they can not be closed until you realize that this is the old you. The old you can not fight or close these doors on its own. Stop trying to do it on your own. Stop trying to be successful on your own. Stop trying to take care of your family or your relationships on your own. God wants to help you and He’s been waiting the entire time.
I remember how I was and when I reflect, it’s quite sad. There I was in the ring of life trying to fight my past with no protection. God was sitting in the corner but I told myself that I had it. Then there were times when I would spend with Him, but only on Sundays. I would read my devotional here and there but I never had a deep prayer life. So I was spiritually naked to the attacks that the enemy brought once I started trying to live right. When you don’t allow God to help you, you can only TRY to live right. When you allow God to be with you, you actually can live right. It’s possible to get it right. We think perfection means living right. It’s really about purposeful actions led by a pure heart.
Courses of Action
When my past begins to call my mind, body, or spirit to backtrack, instead of thinking of reasons to give in, I will think of reasons to reject it all.
The enemy only can get in where there is a door open. Look in your life and see where there are any open doors. Begin to close as many doors as you can with God’s help. Some will take longer than others because of the impact it may have had on your life. However, there is nothing on earth that is more powerful than God!
Go from trying to live right to actually walking in God’s grace to live right daily. Remember that it’s not about perfection but “purposeful actions led by a pure heart”.
Questions & Exercises
1. Read 2 Corinthians 5:17 below:
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
Notice the tense presented in this text. If anyone “IS” in Christ. He “IS” a new creation. The old HAS passed away. This clearly shows a contrast in time. By using “is”, we can see that this means NOW. However, notice that the past is used with “HAS”. Also, the very last few words of this scripture speak to us that the NEW is already HERE.
Question: What from your past are you trying to bring into present tense? Why do you find yourself having to do this? (Many times it can be the little things that we try to bring in. A little bit of this and a little bit of that until it forms into a snowball.)
2. Read this quote below from Judah Smith’s book, “Jesus Is”.
“Jesus loves us right now, just as we are. He isn’t standing aloof, yelling at us to climb out of our pits and clean ourselves up so we can be worthy of him. He is wading waist-deep into the muck of life, weeping with the broken, rescuing the lost, and healing the sick.”
Many of us have not changed our lifestyles because we think that we have to get “perfect” before God can work on us. What Judah Smith is saying above is that Jesus loves you just as you are. Jesus loved me when I was hooked to pornography, having sex with those who did not love me, lying, and full of pride. He loved me enough to want to change my life. However, I had to invite Jesus to do the work.
Action: Read John 3:16-21, Read John 10:10
Question: Think about your life. Think about how you desire to change your life. According to these scriptures and passages, how does Jesus help you in this process of getting back on track to a wonderful live with Him?
If we can get back to the realization of why Jesus really came then we will have a better perspective on getting right with God. Remember that it isn’t a walk in the park. Why? The enemy desires for you to stay stuck in the pit of despair and false happiness. He wants you to think that where you are in life is all that God has for you and that you should settle. However, Jesus didn’t come that you may settle but that you can surpass your wildest goals and dreams. He came so that you can see that you are loved even when you do not feel it. He came so that you can see how special you are to Him and that He has a unique plan and purpose for your life. However, we have to let Him in so that He can do what will bring all of these wonderful changes. We have to realize that our worth is found in the NEW life.