SOCCER TOURNAMENT

Saturday, April 1  10 AM – 3 PM

$25 per player – $150 per team
Teams are made up of 5 players and 1 alternate.
Maximum of 6 players per team.

If you don’t have a team, you can register as an individual,
and we will assign you to a team.

Childcare is available for children under 11 by registering with 24-hour notice to childcare@faithassembly.org or
by calling 407-275-8790 ext. 1105

Proceeds from this tournament will go to Brett Laffien Missionary Associate to Eurasia.

For the next two years, Brett will be working with a team that uses football (soccer) as a way to share the Gospel and the love of Jesus Christ to those who have never had an opportunity to experience His love!

Charity Domino Tournament

Saturday, March 4  10 AM – 2 PM

$25 per player – $50 per team
Teams are made up of no more than 2 players.

If you don’t have a team, you can register as an individual,
and we will assign you to a team.

Childcare is available for children under 11 by registering  with 24 hour notice to childcare@faithassembly.org or
by calling 407-275-8790 ext. 1105

Proceeds from this tournament will go towards scholarships for kids and teenagers who would like to attend Camp who my not be able to afford this expense on their own.

Living The LOL Life Week 1

Living The LOL Life – Week 1
(Michael Santiago)


Matthew 16:24

Whoever wants to be my disciple (one who learns by experience) must deny themselves, (Faith: Risk it all through obedient living), take up their cross (Gods plan for their life) and follow me (Be led by the voice of the Father. His children know His voice because they have become familiar through experience).

  1.  Deny Yourself – How in control of your life are you?

Matthew 16:25
For whoever wants to save his (or her) life will lose it, but whoever loses (surrenders) their life for me will find it.

The art of self(ishness) – Matthew 16:26 what good will it be for someone to gain (selfishness) the whole world, yet lose their soul (their ability to be mentally and emotionally connected to God)?

As much as we fight the desire to be selfish, or self-centered, there will always be a (manipulated) need in us to look after number one. Not all of this is bad, but the majority of it is; in that selfishness is a bi-product of deception, which keeps us in control, too afraid to enjoy the benefits our heavenly Father gives us as sons.

How do I deny myself? Faith is the only ingredient needed to express a surrendered life. Like a (good) parent who will risk it all for a child, our heavenly Father gave us a perfect example of what Faith looks like in Jesus. If Jesus is the example of Faith, and God has given to each man a measure (portion) of faith; then it stands to reason that the measure is Jesus. If Jesus is the measure and God’s Spirit resides in us, then we have access to everything Jesus had, Jesus did, and Jesus said.

So, the only thing stopping us from denying ourselves (surrender) is … US.

Being Spiritually Minded – Part 3 – Godly Fear

Proverbs 3:7-10
Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear (revere) the Lord and turn from evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones

Honor the Lord with your wealth (possession, goods, worth – your life) with the first fruits of your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing (there will be no lack).

Godly Fear: Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

Reverence is the beginning of Submission. You will never go wrong with Humility. This leads to healthy service and consistent trust in Father to take care of your life.

Often what happens when we do not submit or surrender to God in life, we find ourselves in a place of worry, fear, anxiety and stress – this is because we are unwilling to submit control of our lives. As we submit to God in life through obedience, we see God, which establishes reverence and proper fear for God.

Do Not Worry

Luke 12:22-32
22 Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear.23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. 24 Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! 25 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? 26 Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

27 “Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.28 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! 29 And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. 30 For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.

32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.

Being Spiritually Minded – Part 2 – Eyes

Proverbs 3:7-10
Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear (revere) the Lord and turn from evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones Honor the Lord with your wealth (possession, goods, worth–your life) with the first fruits of your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing (there will be no lack).

Eyes

Perspective is everything. The way you view your life, will be the basis for the actions (verbal and physical) of your life. The Lord requires truth in the inward parts; meaning, God desires that the truth find its way into our lives through experience with Him. It’s not enough that we hear the truth, but that we believe. It’s easier for us to believe the lie than to believe the truth, as the lie takes no effort to believe, and it’s easier to come by. The truth however, although heard, will always require something of us (our lives)–truth must be experienced, so that it becomes reality.

Like how our earth orbits (turns around) the sun. The truth orbits our soul trying to find a way in. “David said you desire truth in the inward parts. God wants us to not just hear the truth, but to receive it in the inward part, so that it changes our lives, making it livable. Jesus said, you shall know the truth and (you receiving and believing) the truth will make you free.

ROMANS 12:1-2
Offer your lives as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God– for this is your real act of worship. Do not be conformed to the ways (thinking) of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind so that you may know (have proper perspective of Gods plan), what is the good and perfect will of God for my life.

How do I reestablish myself in God’s will? — By Giving Thanks

1 Thessalonians
In all things, give thanks, for this is Gods will for you. Giving thanks sets your mind back on what he has said. It lowers us in humility, so that we no longer take control of our lives through fear and submit ourselves to Him through thanks and acknowledgement of his power in our lives.

Let your Christianity come from your experience with Him. This is
the perspective that has power.

Being Spiritually Minded – Part 1 – Wisdom

Proverbs 3:7-10

Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear (revere) the Lord and turn from evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones

Honor the Lord with your wealth (possession, goods, worth – your life) with the first fruits of your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing (there will be no lack).

There are 9 points within Proverbs 3:7-10 that are key to being Spiritually Minded.  

The First is WISE:

Ecclesiastes 2:26 – To the person who pleases Him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.

We know that faith is what pleases our Heavenly Father – as well, faith is what enables us to know that Father is pleased with us. The more we walk with God in faith, the more opportunity we get to gain wisdom through God revealed. Knowledge can be gained by anyone, as it is learned through study and communication – like with all information, knowledge can only take us so far with God. Wisdom is what God reveals to us that knowledge cannot. This is why faith and wisdom are connected. The 2 co-exist together through God revealed. No one can argue God revealed with you, because it gives you insight and wisdom that doctrine, information and knowledge cannot. This is why participating with God in life is so valuable. The value of being a disciple is that you learn by experience (experience through circumstance).  This is why James said that if anyone asks for wisdom, he must believe – otherwise he is tossed like the wind, unstable in all of His or Her ways.

Remember, wisdom comes not from what we know, but who we know in the person of Jesus Christ, and this, can only be achieved through doing life with God. 

Lifestyle of Prayer & Intercession

In this day and age, especially so in the United States, it seems like the busyness of life is impeding us all. For the Christian, new ministry opportunities show up and suddenly we find ourselves joyful to embark on this new venture. As we do, we find that time spent in prayer begins to diminish. We end up lacking sleep, or wanting to get just enough rest to make it through the day. Where exactly do our priorities lie? Now this message is not to condemn, but to stir up your heart, to remember your first love. God delights in you, and longs to commune with you. Even our weak prayers move His heart.

What exactly goes on as we intercede for the nations? As we pray for ourselves, families, governments? Let us examine chapter 10 in the book of Daniel to get a closer look into this.

Daniel 10:12-14
“Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left alone there with the kings of Persia. Now I have come to make you understand what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision refers to many days yet to come.”

Notice the bolded words in the verse? Daniel had entered into a 3 week prayer and fast. From the very first day, the angel declares that Daniel’s words were heard, and so he came. Now throughout these 3 weeks, the angel was in opposition against the demonic entity of the kingdom of Persia. On the very last day, we find Michael comes and helps to vanquish the opposition. As we read on we find that the Angel provides Daniel with the understanding of the vision.

Beloved, this is a clear picture of what happens when we pray. Angels come forth to bring justice. I understand that being on your knees praying for anything longer than 5 minutes can be bothersome, but please, persist in it, commit yourself wholly to God! Daniel committed himself to this for that 3 week period, and on the first day, his words were heard. On the last day, the answer was given. This goes to show that we too ought to commit our lives in like manner, eagerly expecting the same results that Daniel too had.

Need further encouragement? Let’s take a look at the book of Matthew:

Matthew 6:6
“But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.”

How glorious is this, that the Father would reward us openly! That when we see someone sick, in need of healing, that we would go, lay hands on them in prayer, and see them be made well! There is no mistake as to why the Disciples of Christ asked Jesus to teach them how to pray. Prayer is the source of it all, communion with the Father through Christ Jesus in the Holy Spirit. Are you sick? Pray for deliverance! Do you want to see a greater move of God in your city? Pray and go be the light!! Experiencing “demonic” attacks that don’t seem to let up? Persevere in prayer, as the devil will only continue to accuse the saints day and night until the day that he is defeated, forever!! Remember, draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Resist the Devil, and he will flee! O that we would grasp the importance of living a life of prayer.

How would it look like if you were free from all anxieties? Free from depression? Free from the stresses of your circumstances? God makes it available. (Phil. 4:6-7) It’s not too late to begin now. Speak to God, and make a commitment to start praying as Jesus prayed. That we would wake early in the morning to seek the Father. That we would seek Him in the day as Jesus did, withdrawing multiple times from the people into the wilderness to speak to the Father. That we would see Him at night before we sleep, and in all things, give Him thanks! Trust me when I tell you that your life will be forever changed as you commit to this. You may not feel any extraordinary presence of the Spirit, but carry on in faith, for Daniel did not experience an incredible presence until the very last day of the fast where the Angel appeared before Him. Who’s to say that it cannot happen to you?

1 Thessalonians 5:16 – 18
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

Yesterday at Radiate, two ladies were healed of their back pain. One professed to have a back pain level of 6 (scale of 1 – 10, 10 being the worst pain) and after prayer, her leg was elongated and the pain went right down to 0. I have committed myself to spiritual gifts, and to live a lifestyle of prayer and intercession. God definitely showed up last night. If you haven’t yet attended a Radiate session, please come through, and come expectant. The goal is to teach the practical lifestyle of knowing who we are in Christ, and showing that to the world in the power of the Holy Ghost and love.

May God continue to reveal all knowledge in the understanding of Jesus Christ our Lord to you, that you would be lacking in nothing, but have everything pertaining to life and godliness. God bless you, and thank you for reading!

Insecurity: The open door to FEAR?

Pray for the soil and fruit.
God’s conversation for us tonight. 

You see, it’s easy to shout, praise and worship in church, as we are in His Presence, around people that believe like we do. This makes us comfortable. But our God wants to talk about what happens to us the moment we walk out of the atmosphere of a church service and back into life, why our victorious shouts give way to or bows to life’s defining… the feeding of our fear and insecurity.

 

Many will walk away not knowing how to do life with Christ. You can be in the presence of anyone and not know who they are. (Tom Cruise) Many know me for what I can do, but not who I am. 

 

Ask yourself: What’s defining you? Which definition of your life will you serve?

Insecurity is: uncertainty, anxiety; lack of confidence, Self-doubt, and inhibition, all of these leave us in the state of being open to danger or threat; having a lack of protection.

Heres what I know: Satan will take advantage of our insecurity. This is because we do not know who we are in life and how to do life with God. Your identity is like a void that Satan fills with circumstance. The real you, your spiritual identity, is in need of affirmation right now and Father wants to chat with us about how insecurity opens the door to FEAR.

 

The Lord said to me one day, Lester often in life, my people pray – “Lord show-up in my circumstance, while God is praying for the real you to show up in your circumstance.”

 

Proverbs 29:25 – the fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.

 

The only way we overcome insecurity, is through spirit-led living (obedience). The more we allow ourselves to be led by God’s Spirit, the more we trust Him with our lives; The less we remain uncertain of our identity and our destiny.

 

This is why we need Faith Groups Leaders, as it not only builds relationships with others (which is important in a large ministry), but also teaches us how to be accountable to the Holy Spirit (this is why insecurity exists – we put too much confidence in ourselves, as opposed to submission to God) — We need each other.

 

Insecurity causes:

1). Insecurity causes us to forget who we are –
What’s defining you? Circumstance – identity is the key to successful Christian living and obedience to God is success

Romans 8:14-17 – Those who are led by the spirit of God are called the sons on God. God has not given us a spirit…. Slave to fear…but a spirit of son-ship

Men – I am a Spiritual Son of God
Ladies – I am a spiritual daughter of God

 

John 1:12 – To all who receive Him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.

 

2). Insecurity causes un-renewed thinking –
Romans 12:1-3 Paul said, in view of God’s mercy, offer yourselves as a living sacrifice holy and pleasing to God. Do not be conformed to the thinking (ways) of this world, but be transformed in your mind, (how) by doing life with God.

If God is going to change the way we live, He must first change the way we think. This comes by doing life with God. Insecurity cannot exist in the spiritual son or daughter that is doing life with God or doing spirit-led living. This is key, insecurity causes us to imagine things are happening that are not, distorting God’s perspective of our lives. This causes us to be indecisive and inconsistent

2 Corinthians 10:5 – cast down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against what God knows.

Otherwise, we find ourselves in disillusionment. Disillusionment is the discovery that something is not as good as we thought it was going to be. This is why many believers compromise, and eventually turn from the things of God. Unless we participate with God in life, we are only accepting him for salvation, but have not accepted him in all other areas of our lives. We are saved in order to know God and who we are IN HIM.

 

3). Insecurity gives way to fear –
Fear feeds insecurity in that Fear keeps us enslaved to circumstance. The One Thing no one wants to give up is Control. Fear is designed to keep you in control. (remember the temptation of Jesus)

Control is the very thing Father wants us to lose.

Control produces anxiety and stress, which takes physical years off of our lives, slowly wearing us down, causing our ability to believe God to become muddy.

Phil. 4:6 – Be anxious for nothing. In all things through prayer and supplication and with thanks giving… and the peace of God will guard your

Psalm 139:23 – Search me oh god know my heart…

Anxiousness can lead us down a destructive path, as it conflicts with the plan and timing of God.

 

Galatians 1:10 – Paul says, am I still trying to gain the approval of men, or of God? Am I trying to please man? If I’m still trying to please man, than I cannot be a servant of Christ.

 

4). Insecurity produces Performance based Christianity. 

The Lord said to me in the parking lot of the Millennia Mall, Lester, do you want the applause of men, or my approval?

There is a performance mind-set we all must guard against; because we often view our foundation of Christianity by what we do (but what we have in Him is not by works). What you do can never define who you are in Him. And what you do for God, can never take the place of the identity you gain through Spirit-led living.

If we continue to live a performance based Christian life, we will always Fear faith. If we live out of a spirit of fear, we will never learn to be led by God. If we are not being led, then we will never be defined as spiritual sons and daughters. You may know in your mind that you are God’s child, but knowing and living are two completely different perspectives. Perspective is everything.

We have to consistently Practice Faith. The body of Christ is afraid to practice faith, because we are afraid to fail. We are afraid of being spirituality wrong. The picture we paint, is that we have to have it all together and this feeds our insecurity. But the truth is, many of the spiritual principals we believe must be practiced so they can be perfected. Even God practiced with the prophet Jeremiah in Jeremiah 1, before sending him out to Israel.

 

5). Insecurity causes us to Believe the Lie over the Truth

John 16:13 – when he the spirit of truth comes, he will lead you into all truth.

In life, It’s easier and convenient to believe the lie over the truth, because the lie is easier to come-by and does not cost us anything. This is due to the deceptive nature that wars in us. The lie of our circumstance looks more appealing to us because we can see it (the elephant in the room is we cannot see God, so we struggle to believe the unseen God’s defining of us). To believe the truth though, we must be willing to give up our lives (our natural perspective) in order to agree with God in life, circumstance, past, present and future. The truth is…

***The areas in which we fear faith, are the areas in which we find the darkest shades of Grey.***

God revealed is Key

Exodus 33 – What is distinguishing you?

The very life we have given to Jesus, we take back when we live out of fear. Jesus wants you to give up your life, so that you can Have Life.

He who began the good work in you is faithful to complete it.

Many of us do not understand the Good Work… what is the good work?

Identity:
Your heavenly Father has worked your entire life to convince you of what He already knows about you, that you are a son and daughter of the most High God, and all that is His — is yours!!!

As believers we cannot focus on what were saved from, but what we are being saved into… spiritual identity.

 

Practice:
Three areas of practice.

1). Listening – We must become familiar with Gods voice “in life.”

2). Responding – We must practice responding to God – communicate and talk back to God.

3). Obey – We must take the risk faith requires in order to see God revealed. The only thing that will distinguish you and me in Christianity today is “God Revealed” and this comes through obedience. Guys, it’s through obedience that our love for God becomes a reality.

John 14: if you love me you will obey what I say…

If we are living out of a spirit of fear, then we are being defined by our insecurities and our love is no more than an affection.

 

Like in the movie Rocky… We cannot let Satan put a finger in our face and intimidate us through circumstance, potentially robbing us of our identity. The Lord says – Until you start believing who I say you are, you are never going to really live – you may be breathing, you may be existing, but you are not alive! I have come that you may have life and live it to the full.

 

As a Dad I have reconciled that my girls can be whatever they want, and they can do whatever they want, live like they want… but, the reality is, they have my last name and that comes with great benefit, but also great responsibility.

As sons and daughters of God, we have God’s name etched on our hearts. God is convinced about who you are, you bear his name. There is nothing you can do, or say, that will convince God otherwise. He says you are a son and you are a daughter, and He wants you to live an abundant life… He wants you to see Him revealed in every aspect of your life.

What are you afraid of? – what is defining you?

When you have finished reading this message, you will come toe-to-toe with life, with circumstance. Choose this day which Identity you will believe so you can choose this day whom you will serve!! 

Now it’s your turn to respond to Father – God has spoken to your heart. Now it’s your turn to speak to Him.

Are you unsure of who you are? Do you want to be a son or daughter of God?

Fear

Circumstance is defining you and you want to live as a spiritual son and daughter, but you cannot get past the fear. God wants to assure you today that as sons and daughters, greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world!!!!!

Have questions? Want to become a son or daughter of God?

Comment below or email me: singles@faithassembly.org

Back-2-Basics: Relationships – Intimacy & Sex Part 2

In a society filled with pornography where lust is glorified, sex is cheap, marriage is portrayed as nothing but a problem and living together a solution, where men and women are viewed as nothing more than a body made to gratify the lust of our flesh and the sexual orientation of a man or woman is compromised by the lie of Satan (Cole pg. 86) – it is refreshing to see that God is raising up a generation who are still willing to do things Gods way. 

Quick Points: 

1). VIRGINITY – Living together, and, or, being in a sexual relationship has become common practice among those who call themselves Christians.

a). What is their justification?

b). Why is there compromise concerning the institution of Marriage?

Those who are willing to save themselves for marriage are the minority in society and are often met with criticism and even potential abuse.  Among the believers, Virginity should be commonplace. There are many even among the so-called-faithful, who compromise and battle in this area.

Recommended:
There is Power in Being Single

~ by Larry Reese

The Virginity of a man or woman is the one area in relationship where we see tangible representation of moral security, meaning, sex is a spiritual act, reserved for a husband and a wife. In lay-mans terms, Virginity is a tangible representation of something spiritual. Sex is both physical and spiritual – it’s the one act in which two individuals submit themselves completely to each other, literally exposing themselves physical, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. This is why Virginity is so valuable.

 

2). SEXUAL ABUSE – Sexual abuse has become more-and-more a common conversation among (mostly) women, but men as well.  Often abuse leaves sexual scars that carry over into marriage, unless there is healing – this healing, which comes from God, establishes a new emotional and physical platform for sexual intimacy.

Two types of abuse:

a). Permissive sexual abuse – consensual – both parties know what they are doing and are in agreement – this usually leaves both emotionally abused, which leads to a void that in their minds can only be filled with more sex (giving way to multiple sexual partners). In addition, this abuse has spiritual ramifications, in that submission to a husband or wife becomes more difficult outside of the marriage bed, and even that too is compromised.

b). Un-permissive sexual abuse – non consensual – one party forces him or herself on the other. This leaves the victim emotionally and physically scarred.

 

Sex is the highest physical act of Love between two people to show and express their union (unity) in spirit, which is a covenant relationship (Cole, pg. 87) As much as Sex is a physical act, Sex must be seen as spiritual. The problem we run into as believers, is we do not live-out the other aspects of our relationship with a covenant mind-set, so when it comes to Sex, we do not appreciate the covenant value, only the physical value it brings. If we are going to have satisfying sex with our spouse, we must have satisfying (unifying) life with our spouse.

 

The Covenant

The covenant we have with God in relationship affords us the opportunity to live a “Resurrected Life”  (or New life) in him through Christ Crucified. Christ is the fulfillment of God’s covenant with us, so, no longer is there the sacrifice of animals, because Jesus was the sacrifice – or the circumcision of a man, because now we have circumcision of the heart when we accept Jesus. Father’s covenant with us says we are no longer slaves or servants, but sons and daughters, which teaches us how to love Him and be loved by Him.

This covenant is realized in full through our participatory living with God, (obedience and submission) so that we do not take on the same perspective spiritually, that we tend to take on sexually –

Self gratifying – The perspective that God (or his presence) is just a fix that I need in order to get by.

You see, if we treat our spouse as the means for a “sexual fix,” then we are distorting the covenant relationship, causing a divide in the unity. If we are not careful, we will treat God the same way, seeing him as “the Fix,” or “a fix,” but never doing life with Him (causing a divide in the covenant relationship).

Often we see this concerning worship, we tend to worship God’s presence (because of how it makes us feel) more that we worship God (This is called a Spiritual Orgasm). Remember, you can be in the presence of anyone, but not know who they are. As believers, the covenant relationship should never be compromised by our need for fulfillment, but, understanding, that as a marriage, husbands and wives submit to each other, so that the covenant is fulfilled and lived.

Sex becomes easy when a husband and wife are submitting to each other in life. 

 

Like spirituality, we often look for a physical fix (by way of God’s Spirit), but we do not know how to do life with God. The more we submit to God in life, the easier it is to get to know the real God… God revealed through Obedience.  As we submit to each other in Life, as husband and wife, sexual intimacy serves as a bi-product of submission, which is man revealing himself to his wife, and the woman revealing herself to her husband.

 

When we do not submit to each other in life, we will always dip into the (Honey Pot), meaning we will always look somewhere else for fulfillment. Submitting to each other in life preserves and grows the love we have for each other, (obedient love) but selfishness in the relationship, feeds our need to be satisfied, and when we are no longer satisfied by our spouse, (physically, emotionally, and in communication), we will always look to someone or something else.  Once the honey in the Honey Pot is gone, it becomes clear (meaning we feel justified) to our selfish nature, that we need fulfillment from another source. This often occurs in multiple ways, but the most common is Pornography (primarily because of how easily accessible it is).

Other ways include:

  1. Emotional relationships that eventually turn physical
  2. A change or conflict in sexual orientation, which leads to homosexual experimentation
  3. An intense focus on another area of life, like a job or career, which leads to ignoring the relationship

This is why the submission principal is so key to the physical (sexual) well–being of the relationship, as the unity created spiritually through submitted sex serves to establish an unbreakable bond of friendship, which at the core of all of this is what is usually lacking.  Often we will (love) our spouse out of obligation, but do not know how to be friends.

A man and a woman need to know how to be friends with each other, to know how to be a husband and a wife. (Cole, pg. 122) again, this gets lost, because of a lack of submission.

 

Colossians 3: 18 – Wives Submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in (this word ‘in’ implies that you are submitting Gods way – not submission to a mans selfish or self-centeredness, but submitting as you would submit to God) the Lord.

Colossians 3:19 – Husbands, love (obedient submissive love-love from God’s perspective) your wives and do not be harsh (harshness comes from selfish ambition) with them.  Men – lust is a perverted and distorted version of love. Love desires to satisfy others, even at the expense of self (submission). Lust desires to gratify self, even at the expense of others.  (Cole, pg. 92)

In wrapping up the conversation on Intimacy and Sex, we must always be mindful of the value of unity. I cannot stress enough the need for unity in living, as this will greatly affect the marriage bed. In order to solidify unity, we must PRACTICE submission. I use the word practice intentionally, as this is a daily process. Even the apostle Paul confessed to “dying daily” in 1 Cor. 15:31 and in Luke 9:23 Jesus encouraged the believer saying “a true disciple submits their life daily and takes up their cross to follow Him.”

If we are not willing to practice submitting our lives fully to Christ (who has already submitted his life), then we will struggle to submit to our spouse. If submission is not being practice, then there is not unity. Remember,  SUBMISSION equates to faith and trust, all of which are aspects of GRACE, but an unwillingness to submit, means you are subject to the Law, and if you live by the law, you will die by the Law.  Grace serves as a buffer (balance) between the sin nature and your spirit.  As you get to know Father in relationship, submitting to Him in life, the Sin Nature diminishes in value causing you to grow into (or in confidence) your Spiritual Identity.

Back-2-Basics: Relationships – Intimacy & Sex Part 1

Intimacy

“Trust Makes Vulnerability possible. Lack of trust makes it impossible” (Cole, pg.45)

It is often difficult to talk about one’s level of intimacy with others, because in our minds, intimacy equates to Sex. But the truth is, in any relationship, there are levels of intimacy that occur. TRUST is at the core of our interpretation of LOVE. In fact, in order to give oneself away fully, there has to be a level of trust that has been established by extensive experience with someone. This experience is what provides us with healthy perspective.

Healthy Perspective is everything. 

 

TRUST leads to SUBMISSION.

Jesus said in John 14:15 If you LOVE me you will obey what I say – this level of Love has its origin in Obedience, and establishes a strong unbreakable level of Trust through submissive obedient experience. The provisions of this love are, Identity, security, and Stability (Cole, pg.46), which are key for developing a solid relationship. From Submission, Jesus says, we are able to receive (Believe Him) the Spirit of Truth, a helper who dwells in us forever.

Submission (Honey Pot) is at the core of Intimacy, which leads to unity. Often the great struggle in Intimacy between two people is:

 

Unity

The primary reason why we struggle to be unified in Relationship or marriage is because we are selfish.  The example of Christ selflessness should be enough for us to reconcile in our mind, will and emotions the need for Submission – but, the truth is, it does not work that way. In fact, the only way we get to a place of unity between two individuals with individual personalities, likes, dis-likes, wants, needs etc. is the practice of selflessness.  By practice, I mean we intentionally go against our need to be right, have our way, and submit to each other in life, so that unity exist.

 

Our Words and Actions play a profound role in Unified Relationship and Intimacy. 

Words

Our words will either increase the bonds of Unity, or destroy the Unity we have in marriage, causing our spouse to put up a protective wall in order to guard against future attacks.

As a married man, and a man with a strong personality, I know first hand the level at which my words effect the Unity between my wife and I. Early in marriage, Holly and I would have a dis-agreement, in which my focus would be on one solitary thing, winning the argument! In fact, I would be so focused on winning that I didn’t even care what we were in dis-agreement about, I just wanted to win at any cost, even if it meant manipulation. Holly always called my bluff though. My need to be right and for her to see that my way was right, caused me to literally lose my mind, saying things that I would regret – saying things that would cause Holly to build a wall of hardness to guard against being hurt.

 

The Wall

I knew that Holly loved me, but the wall that she built for protection, was affecting other areas of our marriage. No matter what I did over the years, my words would continue to serve as another layer or brick in that wall which would effect our communication and intimacy as a couple. As a male, there is truly something to be said for getting rid of the ego and humbly submitting yourself in the areas you know you carry pride and un-renewed thinking. The unfortunate truth is, all the sorry in the world will not cure or pull down a wall built by a spouse – only prayerful change in attitude and action will soften the heart of your spouse and bring unity back into the relationship – even then, this takes time. If time was and has been spent building a wall, then it will take time to see it torn down. Understand, that praying alone, does not fix the problem. If you and I are not willing to listen to and believe our spouse about the legitimacy of their pain, then we will not be able to hear Gods Spirit when he tries to lead us into the words that he knows will keep us in Unity.

 

Remember, that as believers, the level at which we are submitted to Gods Spirit, will come-out in the level at which submit to our spouse, and in other relationships. You may think you are submitted to Gods Spirit, but the reality is, you are not as submitted as you think you are, if you remain selfish in relationship.