Wise Words

"Wait on the Lord, be strong and of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart...wait on the Lord. Psalms 27:14


WWW As My World Turns

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

What's In A Testimony?


Every Christian has one. Even if you don’t think you do. Whether God has brought you out of addiction, or a sexually explicit past, or have been part of the occult at one time, etc.; or whether you have followed Jesus all of your life and never had anything major happen to you. You have a testimony!

For those who have fought the fight and danced with the devil – literally or figuratively, those of you who have found salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ and know the redeeming power of the Blood and Name of Jesus, you KNOW your testimony from darkness into light.

For those of you who have followed Jesus and stayed steady on the path God has laid out before you all of your life, you too have a testimony. In the face of everything the world is throwing your way, in onslaught of the arrows and slings of the enemy raining down on you, you have kept your eyes upon Jesus and clung to the Word instead of the world and that is INCREDIBLE! That is not easy to do, but you have done it and for that, you are a warrior, living the life that God has purposed for you.

Here's the thing, friend...whether from darkness to light or having always been in the light, you have a powerful testimony and the enemy is trying to shut that up. We are OVERCOMERS, through the blood of Jesus - which has covered you from head to toe, inside and out. Jeremy Camp has a great song that comes to mind right now:

We will overcome
By the Blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony
Everyone overcome

It is one of my favorites right now and I love to sing that song. It goes hand and hand with Revelations 12:11: And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

Whether or not you can sense it, there is a daily battle in your life and the enemy is trying to steal your victory in Christ and he is employing the battle tactics of using your weaknesses against you. Your past. The addictions you conquered but still struggle with. Past memories. Past sins. He is trying to make you weak. But you CAN do ALL things through Christ Jesus who gives you STRENGTH. As the child's song goes, "...we are weak but HE is STRONG...YES, Jesus loves me...".

What is love? "This is love, that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Don't let our enemy steal that victory in Jesus that you have. As I said at the start...you have a powerful testimony - do not let Satan succeed in shutting you up permanently!

In the name of Jesus you are free!

Friday, April 05, 2013

Pure Is Not Just For Ivory Soap


This is what I'm teaching my 11 year old daughter. For most of my adult life I have willfully disobeyed God when it came to sex and I admit it. In the movie, "The Devil's Advocate", the devil, played by a couple of actors - Al Pachino most notably, at the very end of the movie looks right into the camera and says, "Vanity, definitely my favorite sin." Well, for me it's always been lust that I've struggled with almost all my life.

In the movie "Oklahoma" there's the song, "I Can't Say No" with the line in it that goes, "...kissin's my favorite food...with or without the mistletoe, I'm in the holiday mood". Yup. Kissing and everything else that follows. But here's the thing. Yes, lust has historically been my favorite sin, so to speak. Somewhere along the way, I started to believe that in order to get a man's attention or keep it, that I had to offer up my body. Cheapen the act of intimacy and turn it into something crude and rude and vulgar. Sometimes it was so that I wouldn't feel lonely. Sometimes it was to prove to myself that I was desirable to others because I had extremely low self-esteem, regardless of my looks. Sometimes it was just because I wanted to feel close to someone. Sometimes it was just because I wanted to.

Maybe it had to do with the childhood trauma of being molested, not raped, thank God, but by more than one person as a child. One, a single adult in the neighborhood who'd been friendly to all the kids. I suspect I wasn't the only one, but I could never prove it. Two others, one girl when I was very young who was much older than me, one boy my age when I was older... All of these years apart from each other, but all under the age of 10 for me. My mom only knew of the one at the time, and only because my best friend back then forced me to tell her. Back in the late 70's through mid-80's, you just didn't discuss stuff like this and I didn't know what to say or do about it. The one was dealt with quietly and she protected me as best as she knew how and I love her even more for it. But you don't experience stuff like that and not have it leave some sort of damage to your soul.

Regardless of the reason, I KNEW it was wrong. As I got into my late teens, I finally caved to the pressures of the world that said, "if it feels good...DO IT" and continued to do so for many years. Growing up in a strong Christian household and having accepted Christ at an early age, I was definitely not ignorant of God's Word and what it said about intimacy and sex outside of marriage. I was just willfully disobedient about it. Like so many Christians I know today. People who claim to know and love and follow Jesus, but think that living with someone or having sex before marriage is perfectly fine because purity is old fashioned and...everybody's doing it.

I'm woefully guilty of this myself. I KNEW it was wrong but did it anyway. I desensitized myself to God and what His guidance is.

There are reasons why God says that we are to save ourselves for the person we marry. GOOD reasons. There's so much heartache to be brought into a marriage if you've contracted an STD or have "tried somebody else on for size". Too many people to compare your spouse with and what if they fall short of your prior experiences? What disappointments are you bringing to them? To yourself?

There's a REASON God says we are to remain pure and chaste for the one He has chosen for us.

Casual sex is rampant in many societies. There is, in truth, no such thing as “casual” sex, because of the depth of intimacy involved in the sexual relationship. The following analogy helps you to understand just what casual sex and multiple partners does to us. If we take a sticky note and attach it to a piece of paper, it will adhere. If we remove it, it will leave behind a small amount of residue; the longer it remains, the more residue is left. If we take that note and stick it to several places repeatedly, it will leave residue everywhere we stick it, and it will eventually lose its ability to adhere to anything. This is much like what happens to us when we engage in “casual” sex. Each time we leave a sexual relationship, we leave a part of ourselves behind. The longer the relationship has gone on, the more we leave behind, and the more we lose of ourselves. As we go from partner to partner, we continue to lose a tiny bit of ourselves each time, and eventually we may lose our ability to form a lasting sexual relationship at all.

Yes, I have a rather colorful past. God, in His grace and mercy, has forgiven me for the sins of my past. It has been 2 years since my divorce and I have not been intimate with anyone since then. Not even when I was seriously dating someone a year ago. I know now WHY God says these things. I am so thankful that God did not allow me to reap the punishments I deserved for my sins. I don't have to explain to someone that I contracted something that can't be gotten rid of because I gave myself away to someone who was just as reckless with their bodies as I had been with mine. But I have friends...family in Christ, who have had to deal with the fallout from their sin of lust and sex before marriage and it's hard. It is difficult for them. It's a whole different world to have to deal with. A permanent reminder. Even if it is an STD that has gone away through surgery or medication, the fact is that they still had one. It is just one result of not honoring our bodies and the gift that God has given us to give ONLY to our spouse that He has chosen for us. Of not respecting ourselves...or God.

Do you not think that God doesn't love you and that He wouldn't have chosen the best person for you? Perfect for you? Why ruin something wonderful by being unwilling to wait for God's best?

If this the lifestyles in this world are what's considered "normal", I'm glad to no longer be "normal". I'd much rather be considered "different" as I finally follow what God says about sex. Yeah, it might be "old fashioned", but so what? At least I know that the one who is worthy of the person I've become loves me for me, and not because I'm an "easy" catch. Someone who's an "easy" catch is just as easily thrown back while they search for someone who is worth keeping...someone who isn't so easy to catch.

So, here are some other truths for you if you're single, whether you've never been married or are married and divorced - once or more than once, like myself.

1. God desires us to be pure, maybe the reason you are single is that He is removing that temptation from your life until you are ready for the one He has chosen for you.

2. God is still writing your love story so don't mess up the ending by trying to write your own.

3. God wants your focus to be Him first. Keep your eyes on HIM and delight yourself in Him and He has promised to give you the desires of your heart.

4. You should be so hidden in God that someone needs to seek Him in order to find you, and when they do find you both of you should keep seeking Him together because, as the Bible says "a cord of 3 strands is not easily broken".

5. Trust in God means trust in HIS timing. We can't force God to move and if we try to do it on our own, how can He bless us with His best?

6. The RIGHT one will respect you and your decision to remain pure and will want to honor what it is that God has given to the two of you by not pressuring you to have premarital sex.

7. Ladies...yes, it is a man's job to respect you...but it is your job, as a woman, to give him something to respect.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Why I Don't Fear Death

This is a song that really gets to me for some reason right now. Jesus has defeated death thru His death on the Cross. Those of us who are in Christ don't have to fear death or what happens to us in eternity. We have HOPE that those without having Jesus as their Savior don't have. We have no reason to fear death!

Can I get an AMEN!?!

I don't fear it because I know WHERE I'm going.

Do you?

As 1 Corinthians 15:55 and this song ask..."O, death, where is your sting? O, hell, where is your victory?"

There is none any more. Not for one who has been washed clean, pure, whiter than snow by the Blood of Jesus and whose eternal security is in heaven. The grave cannot hold us. We are ONE with Him...Christ has risen and lives for eternity and we will too!

ALL of us will live for eternity...the only question is where YOU will spend yours.

Do you know?

"Let no one caught in sin remain
Inside the lie of inward shame
We fix our eyes upon the cross
And run to Him who showed great love
And bled for us

Freely You bled, for us

Christ is risen from the dead
Trampling over death by death
Come awake, come awake!
Come and rise up from the grave!
Christ is risen from the dead
We are one with Him again
Come awake, come awake!
Come and rise up from the grave!

Beneath the weight of all our sin
You bow to none but heaven's will
No scheme of hell, no scoffer's crown
No burden great can hold You down
In strength You reign
Forever let Your church proclaim

Christ is risen from the dead
Trampling over death by death
Come awake, come awake!
Come and rise up from the grave
Christ is risen from the dead
We are one with Him again
Come awake, come awake!
Come and rise up from the grave

Oh death! Where is your sting?
Oh hell! Where is your victory?
Oh Church! Come stand in the light!
The glory of God has defeated the night!

Oh death! Where is your sting?
Oh hell! Where is your victory?
Oh Church! Come stand in the light!
Our God is not dead, He's alive! He's alive!

Christ is risen from the dead
Trampling over death by death
Come awake, come awake!
Come and rise up from the grave
Christ is risen from the dead
We are one with Him again
Come awake, come awake!
Come and rise up from the grave

Rise up from the grave..."

Monday, April 01, 2013

Do You Live Out In Your Life What Your Lips Proclaim?

There it is in BLACK and WHITE...I have been the biggest of these. Saturday night sinner. Sunday morning saint. Though, to be honest, that has been a while, nevertheless, I can remember in my teens through mid-20s going to church still drunk from the night before and pulling it off. But since my life has started the process of transformation in Christ, what used to not bother me in other's posts of being drunk and hungover now greatly saddens and disappoints me as in the next breath they post about how great God is and how much they love Him and are thankful.
That was ME. To a TEE. I sit here ashamed to have to admit...that was me. And it was amusing to me too.
At the time.
Though, I can no longer recall just why. Why is it amusing to comment publically, as an adult, how drunk/hammered/smashed/wasted/hungover you are and then post about how much you have to thank God for? How you love Him. How awesome He is.

Really?!?! Do you think people are buying what you’re trying to sell?
Because you’re sure not acting like you believe the words you’re posting. Neither did I. One post about God does not negate everything else that you’ve said about living anything but a Godly life. James 1:8 in the New Testament says, “A double minded man is unstable in all of his ways.” You cannot serve two masters. You can’t live for the world on Saturday night and then try and claim you live for Jesus Sunday morning. It just doesn’t work that way. Sorry folks. Who would believe you mean it? Who would want to follow YOU if you don’t present the spiritual walk consistent with your talk. All it seems to be is hot air and empty words when compared with your life and what pictures and comments you post about your wild weekend/party time.
Yes, God’s grace IS greater than all of our sins. But grace doesn’t give us license to sin.