Category Archives: Discipleship

Discerning Your Time – Week 4 – Where do I stand?

Where do I stand?

Hosea 10:11 – Jehovah’s view of Spiritual and Practical living

Hosea 10:11 Ephraim is a trained (experienced) Calf that loves to thresh

(to separate); so I will put a yoke on her fair neck. I will drive (the force or power behind) Ephraim, Judah must plow, and Jacob must break up the ground.

Ephraim – Fruitful. The experienced ability to Recognizes fruit and separate the fruit from the vine – discerns wheat from chaff. – lie from truth – One who discerns the truth – fruitful in living and attaches him or her-self to what is fruitful.

Judah – Praise. David and Jesus were defendants of the tribe of Judah.

1Samuel 30:6 – (while in exile) David was in great danger because his men were bitter about losing their sons and daughters (during a raid on their camp), and they began to talk of stoning him. David strengthened (encouraged) himself in the Lord.

Encouraging ourselves in the Lord is a lost ART. We would rather have someone else pray for us, then to take advantage of the weapons, and position we have as sons and daughters of God. This is why the hear, respond, obey movement is so valuable, as it establishes a firm foundation that can be built upon. (t-shirt)

Which reality are you choosing to believe?

Because what we see is becoming more turbulent, and the frequency of the appearance of struggle and distress is in front of us, we must decide which side of reality we land on. Gods reality, or what we see?

Change your perspective, and you will change the way you live and respond to your visible reality.

David changed his perspective by encouraging himself in the Lord

How do I encourage myself in the Lord? Do the very thing that builds your ability to hear and believe God. PRAISE & WORSHIP / PRAYER in the SPIRIT.

Jacob – Sup-planter – takes over, over throw, strategy and scheme. May God protect. Listening to Gods Spirit establishes a plan of strategy for living. Being led by Gods spirit enables us to over-throw the fear our natural reality creates, (abundant living) so that God becomes the ruler of our hearts and Minds – especially our minds, which is where our emotional response exist.

Where are you in this conversation?

3 things we must do today!

1). We must discern what is wheat (fruit) and what is chaff (bad yoke, that produces fear, doubt, anxiousness, worry, stress) in our lives; attach ourselves to what produces fruit.

2). We must praise, worship and pray in the Spirit till our belief in God (and what he is able to do) becomes firm and his voice hear-able.

3). We must mix faith in God (God strategy) with our belief, so that we over-throw the fear of our circumstances (or what our eyes see).

Discerning Your Time – Week 3 – What are we not doing?

What are we not doing?

What you hear, will determine what you do – “faith comes by hearing” – the question is, what voice are you choosing to believe?

James 1:23-24 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. (this truth can be attached to every area of our lives in which we are required to believe God) – the application of the truth is what causes a spiritual perspective to become real or tangible.

The status of the Church today is this parable by James. We come into a worship setting, and catch a glimpse of who we are while in Fathers presence, but often walk away forgetting what we look like, or being defined by another identity (past, present, or future). Because faith is established by hearing, we must position ourselves daily to hear God speak to us. If God is the one who gives a measure of faith, then he is the only one who can build upon that measure. He does this through our surrendered obedience. Without obedience, the measure of faith cannot grow, and unless we hear his voice, we cannot obey.

But, the question remains, what are we NOT doing?

1). Not Spending time with Jesus.

2). (We are not) Trusting, believing – we are not Resting in him.

You see, if we are going to remember what we look like, and so change the way we live and respond to God in life, we must SPEND TIME with the very Jesus we love.

Quality over Quantity.

It’s not just time spent with Jesus that matters, but it’s the quality of time spent with him. For example, if I am sitting with my wife, who wants to be with me, but she can tell that I am not engaged in the what she is saying, or that I don’t want to be there, then she will just shut-down and go away. (tell story on balcony in TN) This is not quality time, as it doesn’t allow for real fellowship. This fellowship is needed, because we all have enough noise and chaos in our lives – which keeps us from hearing and believing God.

What does real fellowship with God look like?

Answer: Rest

It is often the case that even in prayer, we are restless and anxious. We are not resting, not being “still” on the inside, even when we pray. In times of turbulent water, rest is so valuable, and unless rest is practiced, we cannot pay attention to the whisper of God that Elijah experienced. Even prayer can be stressful, as it is often tied to what we worry about, what we are anxious about, fearful about etc. this continues perpetuate a lack of trust and belief. (tell story of woman (Theresa) in Guatemala – how I was in my right mind enough to save the creamer)

Spirit-led pray is restful prayer. Let Father set the agenda and talk to us about whatever he wants to talk about. This establishes the potential for faithful living, as it causes us to release the weight or concern of our circumstance, which is burdensome, and allows us to only take on Gods yoke. If we are faithful in this little, (Gods yoke), God will Make us ruler over much. God spoke to me recently when I read this passage and said, Lester, “What you do with the “much” will be determined by what you learned from the little.”

It is through spending quality time with God that we learn to hear and believe God. Unless we believe God and submit our lives to him and his defining, we will set ourselves up for continued deception.

2 Thessalonians 2:9-10 The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie (to make the lie appear to be the truth), and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth (Jesus is truth) and so be saved (our salvation is the restoration of who we are as children and the living example of that restoration).

 

Discerning Your Times – Week 2 – What are we not seeing?

What are we not seeing?

John 12:27 Jesus declared, Now my soul is deeply troubled (struggle). Should I pray, Father save me from this hour? (many of us stop here and do this because we are looking for emotional release and restoration)

No. For this is the very reason I came to this hour! Father bring glory (reveal yourself) to your name. (Jesus looks (sees) past his pain and emotion struggle and sees the plan of God)

Faith enables us to look past the turbulence of circumstance to see and hear Jesus standing and calling us out of the boat (fear, control) and onto the water. This brings glory to Him.

1 Cor. 10:13

No temptation [regardless of its source] has overtaken or enticed you that is not common to human experience [nor is any temptation unusual or beyond human resistance]; but God is faithful [to His word—He is compassionate and trustworthy], and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability [to resist], but along with the temptation He [has in the past and is now and] will [always] provide the way out as well, so that you will be able to endure it [without yielding, and will overcome temptation with joy].

But God said he would not put more on me than I can handle?

The implication in this passage is that you are living IN HIM. Often people struggle with this passage because they find themselves over-taken by temptation or fear, stress and anxiety. But the reality is, we will be overtaken, if we, as saved Christians, are still trying to control our lives. What makes this passage applicable, is the assumption that you are letting go of your life and allowing yourself to be led by God – trust God – and believe who he says you are. We must remember, God has given us power as spiritual children. But, When we are in control, when cannot live out of the power given us by the spirit of sonship. It is impossible to look past the thing that is controlling us (our problems, circumstances, past, present and future). Here’s the sobering truth! You and I only think we are in control, but truth is, we are slaves to the fear (the boat) our circumstances create. So what you see, is what you continue to focus on the most. But what you are not seeing, is who you are in him, which allows you to look (as Jesus did) past the circumstance and declare “Father bring glory to your name.”

John 12:35 – whoever walks in the dark, does not know where he is going. Believe in the light while you have the light, so that you may become children of Light.

John 14:15-24 – obedience reveals God

“If you love me, keep my commands.  And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be[c] in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.  Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?”

Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24 Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.

Discerning Your Times – Week 1 – What are we not saying?

What are we not saying?

John 12:37 – 50

Verse Focus

42:Nevertheless even among the rulers many believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, (what are we not saying with our actions) they were afraid of being put out of the synagogue; 43: for they loved the praise of men (see, hear, in the natural) more than the praise of God.

The hour of vulnerability is upon us. We can no longer live with a mask of religious expectation. Because the church is tied so much to our heritage, it is easy for us to fall into the act of doing church, instead of being the church.

Doing: to perform, to accomplish

Being: live, reality of the soul, spirit and nature or essence of a person.

The language of God is not found, nor established in what we do in Church, but rather our experiences with God in life. John 12:25-26 – those who love their life (maintain control) in this world will lose it. Those who care (lose control of) nothing for their life in this world will keep it for eternity. Anyone who wants to serve me must follow (the being) me, because my servants must be where I am. And the Father will honor anyone who serves me.

As much as talk is, or, can be cheap, the language of the believer to day must come from our willingness to do life with God. This forms the words we speak and establishes not a religious tone, but a experiential tone that has its origin in vulnerability and truth.

What are we not saying? If the Holy Spirit is charged by God to lead us into all truth, than this leading (if we give up control enough to be led) establishes the very words and language of God (truth) that is needed for declaring or speaking words of discernment that define the time. We must speak, and be willing to speak, by the spirit, the truth that defines the moments in our lives that matter to us – words that flow from doing life with God – our vocation, or economical status, social status, spiritual status, mental status, physical status.

We must be careful. To make statements about the times we live in, that we know are contrary to what God believes concerning the times, or that validate a world view, will keep us spiritually blind to the truth – casting our lot with those who are not Spiritually minded.

Being Spiritually Minded – Part 4 – Evil

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).

Evil: Anything that keeps you from believing God.

Remember what sin is – sin is simply, unbelief in God. The act of unbelief is what we often see, as this is merely an expression of our own nature (the sin nature we were born into). When we are conflicted about what we believe, it is impossible to make Godly decisions or submit to God making evil or temptation greater than God’s ability to make us victorious. Evil is the expression of all things wicked, bad, wrong, immoral, foul, vile, dishonorable, corrupt, iniquitous, depraved, reprobate, villainous, vicious and malicious.

Accepting an evil position in life, only leads us to the fulfillment of Satan’s plan for our lives.

We must understand Satan’s goal:

Understanding that Satan’s plan is to distract you from the ability to allow the truth to enter into your soul – which changes your living.  Remember, as the truth enters into your soul through belief, you always have a choice to act upon that truth. This is what eventually causes the truth to produce consistent fruit. The more we act on the truth, the less we are tempted (distracted) or drawn away by our own lust.

One of the ways we know we are choosing evil (unbelief) over God’s plan for our lives, is Guilt.

Guilt

Unless we allow the truth from God to establish our thinking, Guilt will always be part of the ramifications of our actions (or the lack there of) in life.  This distorts our view of God’s love. If we are not operating out of truth, then evil (unbelief in God) will always be part of our thinking.  Reverence, submission and humility, positions us for receiving the truth, which demolishes evil and keeps us from living under a Spirit of religion, which is where we find ourselves without truth.

Proverbs 16:6
Guilt is banished through love and truth; Fear-of-God deflects evil.

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. 

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.