The Similarities of Sisters and Swine

pig_ringWhat does a nose ring-clad pig and a woman who uses poor judgment have in common? Well, let’s first explore the ridiculousness of swagged-out swine. No really. It’s ridiculous. And so is thinking that good looks and thickness in the hips and lips is what gives you value as a woman. It doesn’t matter how young or old you are (although being up in age and having this mindset does up the level of ridiculosity), you are not and should never be defined by your exterior, or your posterior for that matter. Use of discretion (making sound, godly decisions) coupled with beauty (inner is more important than outer) is what we should strive to develop and walk in as women of God.

King Solomon realized the value of discretion in a woman in Proverbs 11:22.

“Beauty in a woman without good judgment is like a gold ring in a pig’s snout.” (GNT)

Besides being ridiculous, a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a major devaluing of what is made to have great value. The ring ends up wallowing in the same mud and slop as the pig it’s attached to, and in that state it isn’t fit to adorn anybody’s hand as it should. It would have to be removed from its previous environment, washed thoroughly clean, and placed in the possession of someone who would properly care for it before being able to shine and add that expected bling factor.

Well, my sister this describes the sanctification process for believers as well. The blood of Jesus cleanses us from unrighteousness, delivers us from the hands of satan and places us into the hands of our Heavenly Father, and we must remove ourselves from our former environment and ungodly influences in order to reflect God’s glory in the earth.

It is our job to allow a continual cleansing to occur in our lives by the Word of God. Returning to or staying in the same old environment with the same old friends, hanging out in the same old places, and doing the same old things is what keeps us in the same old defeated, misused, and abused state. It’s time for a real, lasting change, and that starts with a decision from you.

When I was about 18 years old I had a life changing come-to-Jesus moment. I had just graduated from high school and was a few weeks away from going off to basic training in the Army Reserves. Now having access to the local Army base, I decided to attend a concert with a friend of mine to hear one of my favorite male singing groups perform.

I wanted to look my best and a little sexy too, so I wore a slinky, form fitting dress with no support for the my girls (If you know what I mean). I was so sexy (and I guess groupy looking) that one of the members of the group invited me to his hotel room. In retrospect I realize that was a trap set by satan to get me in a compromising position literally, but in my eighteen year-old head I thought this was an awesome opportunity to hang out with a celebrity. How cool? Not cool at all because what I thought was an innocent and fun after party turned into  a proposition for sex. Thankfully, I declined the offer. Thankfully I made it out of there without something terrible happening to me. Nevertheless I was still devastated. I felt foolish because I misinterpreted his intentions. What about me said “I’m easy” to him? I wondered. I’m sure my outfit and the fact that I ended up following their limousine to the gas station had something to do with it. At that moment I decided that I didn’t ever want anybody ever again to draw that conclusion about me. When I got home I cleaned my closet of all suggestive clothing (including the dress I had on) and asked the Holy Spirit to give me wisdom and a conviction about my appearance to avoid sending the wrong messages to men.

Just in case you think you’re off the hook because you are already modest in your dress, good judgment also applies to non-clothing related things as well. It applies to any decision you make that either brings shame or glory to the God you serve. It applies to the things you say, the things you post, how you treat people, what you do when no one is looking, and how you respond in tough situations. Do your current actions honor God or do they offend Him? Do they make you a beacon of light or a promoter of darkness? Think about that the next time you pose for a picture or share intimate details of your life with others that really are none of their business anyway. Think about that when things or people make you angry or an opportunity to do something dishonest presents itself.

I want to strongly encourage you make a decision today to be the woman God has called to be and shun the woman the world is saying you should be. You are a precious jewel in the sight of your Father and have been snatched out of the pig’s snout (aka.the world) for His holy purposes. Think it, live it, and be proud of it!

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Members of Christ’s Nation

Christ jerseyMy husband is a die-hard Dallas Cowboys fan. He is so enthused about this team that anytime he sees someone else, stranger included, wearing Cowboys apparel he has to have a conversation with them about the team’s status. Actually, to my husband there is no such thing as a stranger in the Cowboy “nation”. And in the body of Christ or Christ’s “nation” there should be no such thing as a stranger either.

Ephesians 2:11-13 says this…

11 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;

12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:

13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

It is always a blessing to me when I find someone outside of my normal circle of family and friends who loves God and is not ashamed to talk about Him. I found one such person on my job a few weeks ago. I was in my office one morning when this particular co-worker came by to clean my room. I knew that he was a Christian, but I didn’t know the magnitude of his relationship with Christ until he began to share his love for God’s Word and his desire to please God and be in His will. I too shared some things with him that I had recently studied in the Bible, and in this brief conversation I was encouraged. I was encouraged to know that there was another person in the building with a genuine connection to the Father that we both share. I was encouraged to know that if needed, I had a brother in Christ who could pray for me and give me an uplifting word.

And that’s how it should be. We should be willing to share the good things that Christ has done in our lives to continue building one another up. Far too many Christians tear their brothers and sisters down with lies, jealousy, backbiting, and other ungodly behaviors. Those things should not be named among us. Instead we should allow the peace, love, and joy of the Lord to radiate between us. Believe it or not, how we treat interact with one another, whether positively or negatively, says much about our condition as a family and can impact others’ decision to become a part of it. If we don’t encourage one another who will? If we don’t boast about the Good News of Christ, who will? If we don’t band together in favor of our Savior, who will? So let the members of Christ’s nation be the beacon of light that we are supposed to be so that we can compel those who remain strangers of the covenant of promise to join our team.

Your Destiny is Too Important

This song by Kevin Levar is so powerful! It encourages my soul every time I hear it. Prayerfully it will do the same for you. Remember, your destiny is too important to give up for anything or anyone. Be encouraged and blessed, saints of God!

This is not a time to get distracted
This is not a time to go off course
This is not a time to lose your focus
Got a work to do for the Lord, and you can’t afford to lose your way You’ve come too far from where you started
So please don’t let the time you’ve sown be wasted
On things that you’ll later regret
Wishing you never had
Once you realize it wasn’t worth it.
Your destiny
It’s too important to give up for anything
(Repeat)
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Your destiny
Said it’s too important to give up for anything … anything ahh … anything Yeahhh
Said it ain’t worth that skirt,
Said it ain’t worth that tie … no it ain’t … no it
Said it ain’t worth that girl
And it ain’t worth that guy … naw
Your destiny, your destiny, your destiny is too important to give up
For anything, anything yeah … mmmmm
Waiting on the other side of temptation
Waiting on the other side of this test
Is everything you ever dreamed, everything you prayed for
Everything He promised you that you’d get
(Repeat)
So hold on, and don’t let go … Hold on, you’re just that close
Hold on and never give up, Hold on …
Hold on … Hold on … Yeah … Hold on … and don’t let go
Cause you just that close … Hold on, and never give up
Hold on, say Hold on … you say:
It’s only a matter of time
Cause I can see the finish line
My victory is days away
So imma get ready
It’s been a long time coming but I know it’s coming for sure
I got a promise from the Lord …
Waiting on the other side of temptation
Waiting on the other side of this test
Is everything you’ve ever dreamed of
Everything you prayed for
Everything HE promised you …

Certainty

Not much is certain;certainty

Not the call after the date
Not the reciprocity of feelings
Not the new guy you considered a prospective mate.

Not the ring
Not the happy ending
Not the promise to be his one and only

Not the check in the mail
Not the weather
Not the price of gas
Not the state of racial affairs
Not the stock market
Not job security
Not the next 20 years, 2 weeks, 2 hours, 2 days, 2 minutes or 2 seconds.

But one thing is certain:
There is a God who cares about everything we face
Who wants to supply all our needs
Who wants to hold us, love us, and spend time with us
Who wants to paint a rainbow after your storm
Who wants us to know that He never changes;
that His mind toward us is evident in His Word
that we are His beloved.

Now should we trust in a God like that–certainly!

Operation Relinquishing Control Success

Operation Relinquishing Control This Holiday Season wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be. I didn’t have a list of gift ideas to hand out to friends and family, and I didn’t spend as much time as usual even thinking about what I’d like to have. Surprisingly, I haven’t even been taking advantage of all the holiday sales like I have done in the past. So this has been a pretty care-free and relaxing holiday.

I can admit that my former habit of stressing over getting the perfect gift can be just that–stressful, especially if things don’t go as expected. So letting go for a change and allowing my loved ones to be a blessing in their own way has lightened the load. And light is how God intends for our load to be. This reminds me of one of the benefits of being His child–the ability to cast all of my cares on Him.

“Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.” (1 Peter 5:7 AMP)

For me, it is humbling to know that such a mighty and great God cares about the things that concern me because He cares about me. He doesn’t want you or I to be burdened down with senseless worries since worrying does nothing to solve the problem anyway. In light of Christ, my problems, unfulfilled requests, and desire for material things just aren’t that important. Truth is, He is the answer to every problem that could ever exist, and He is the fulfillment of every desire anyone could ever have, so as long as He’s in control of my life all I need to do is rest in His goodness and allow Him to bless me as He sees fit. I am content in knowing that because I have Christ in my life I already have the BEST gift anyone could ever have–the gift that keeps on giving.

Be blessed with God’s best, everyone, and Merry Day After Christmas!

Faith for Daily Living

Yesterday I shared a post about the need for confession in a believer’s life, and it was met with some resistance. One of the concerns brought to my attention that I would like to address here is the idea that confessing God’s Word is a way to try and manipulate Him to give us what we want and that having a desire for more and better is not what belief in God is all about. While I do agree that we do sometimes put more emphasis on self than on the needs of others, I do not believe that our personal successes and victories or our desire for them are necessarily a hindrance to the work of Christ. I actually believe that God places a desire for more and better on the inside of us so that we can be more of an asset to His Kingdom.

So here’s a question I would like to pose to my fellow bloggers and social media friends…If we didn’t have a desire to want more or better, what would we need faith for in our daily lives? The Bible says that “the just shall live by faith (Habakkuk 2:4b, Romans 1: 17b, Galatians 3:11b, and Hebrews 10:38a). I don’t know about you but every day that I wake up I am living, so beyond believing God for salvation, what should we be believing God for on a daily basis? I’d love to hear your thoughts. 🙂

If You Want It, Say It

confessionEvery woman desires for her man to claim her as his. I’m not talking about owning her as if she is his possession, but owning up to being in a relationship with her and being proud of it. I remember the first time Russell introduced me to one of his associates after a few months of dating. “This is my lady Briana,” he said with boldness. I was relieved, as the question of the title he would give me in front of others had been on my mind. Any hesitation or unwillingness to claim me would not only be an  insult but also an indication of doubt about my place in his life. Then I would have been left feeling confused about just where I stood in the relationship equation. This dynamic works the same way when we are waiting on God to fulfill His promises, no matter what they are, in our lives. Here’s what I mean.

The basis of the Christian faith is, well faith–faith in what is not seen with the natural eye or felt with the five senses. The believer lives by faith–period. That is the only way to please God (Hebrews 11:6). One way to express our belief is by what we say or confess out of our mouths. That is how you and I received salvation.

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved” (Romans 10:9 KJV).

Salvation did not require jumping through any hoops or performing any grueling rituals. All that was required was a belief in your heart on Jesus Christ and a confession from your mouth stating that belief. Your belief together with your spoken words, which is a work of faith, equal your active working faith.

 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works” (James 2:17-18).

And that is what yields results. This is not to say that everything in your life will go as you expect or that you will live a trial free life of ease because of your faith confessions. Jesus said that in this life we’d experience persecution for the cause of Christ and that trials would come, but those trials don’t have to defeat you. It’s according to what you say and believe. I know because it has worked for me. A few years ago after an annual doctor’s appointment I received a abnormal lab result which indicated the presence of abnormal cells that if not corrected could develop into cancer. My doctor said that she would need to do a biopsy to make sure the cells weren’t cancerous and I’d come back in a few weeks for the results.

I didn’t waste any time. I knew what the Bible had to say about calling on the elders of the church to pray for the healing of the sick so I asked my pastor and his wife to pray for me about that situation. But I didn’t leave it at that. I found a book of confessions on healing and tailored it specifically for the condition my doctor discussed with me, and every day from the day I received prayer until the day I returned to the doctor for the results I repeated it.

“I call every cell of my body to be normal in Jesus’ name. Cancer cannot live in my body. I speak and I say that my body is well from the crown of my head to the soles of my feet in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ” I would say aloud and with authority. I said it until I believed it. When I went in that doctor’s office I knew without a shadow of a doubt that all was well, and it was. The biopsy came back negative for cancer, and the next year when I returned for my annual checkup there were no signs of abnormal cells at all. Some people might think this strange or preposterous but it works. It’s the process of faith, and it is how the world was formed. God spoke and everything came into existence.

“Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear” (Hebrews 11:3).

Now if I had done the opposite by accepting the doctor’s information as truth and either confessed the worst outcome or said nothing at all to combat the attack against me, things may have turned out differently. That was a chance I was not willing to take. I am convinced this process will work for anything you are believing God to do in your life if it is according to His will and in line with His Word. By anything I do mean anything, including a suitable spouse if that is what you desire. Find a confession or create your own loaded with scriptural promises concerning what it is you desire in a relationship and in a mate (I included some relationship-specific confessions in “Wait on God”). Confess it until it manifests. Confess it at all times just like a man should confess his love for his woman at all times, not just when it is convenient or easy. Confess it with power and authority to let God and the devil know where you stand–on God’s Word. You don’t have to let everyone in on your work of faith either because not everyone will understand or agree, but that doesn’t matter. All that matters is that your words agree with God’s words. Keep in mind that you are not speaking your words. You are speaking God’s words, and God’s words have power!

So just as my husband claimed me that day and just as I claimed my healing, claim what you desire God to do for you. If it is a godly husband, claim him. If it is peace of mind until he arrives, claim it. If it is to live a holy and sanctified single life, claim that too. And do not hesitate or waver because hesitation is a sign of unbelief, which makes it impossible to receive from God.

“But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord” (James 1:6-7).

I encourage you to make a daily habit to say what God says, and watch Him honor your faith by working on your behalf to bring you what you desire.

Based on Chapter 5 of “Wait on God:What Every Single Woman Should Know to Receive God’s Best!”

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