It isn’t my relationship that redeemed me.
Some of us have been to terrible, dark places in our lives – paths we blame ourselves for journeying; so that if any man or woman should choose to love us, deep within us we believe there lies our redemption.
“She can be loved”
His proposal tells the world “she can be loved”, and having her by his side makes him ”desirable”. Is it partly because, although we say Christ has redeemed us, we continue to hold ourselves guilty of our past? This is certain, you will never be able to pay for the life you lived, and there is nothing you can do to change your past. But His blood is more powerful, more than capable of helping you to recover from those mistakes and healing your traumas. His blood calls you a new creation. Even if you were the worst of sinners, there is no darkness, no failure, no history that the blood of Jesus cannot overcome and wash away.
“…bought at a much greater price”
Do you long desperately for ”Mister right’‘? Well contrary to the world’s fairytale there is no knight in shining armour who can save you, because the truth is – we all need saving. Maybe you’re already in a relationship? Do you love it when people talk about your relationship? Does it give you a confidence in your self-worth, which you dare not carry alone? The truth is, no relationship status, no ring can redeem you, because you were bought at a much greater price. Are you able to love and appreciate your worth, the unique value placed in you by God? Or are you still angry and still ashamed? I find I feel more confident since getting engaged, it’s like you carry a stamp on your left hand that says “you’re worth it” (like the L’Orèal ads). But the novelty will soon wear off and then what? Will you seek for the next thing to make you feel redeemed and cleared of your past?
Christ is before you asking you, “Woman where are thine accusers?” Think about the woman accused of adultery, even after the accusations ceased why did she remain there, stood before Jesus? Perhaps her greatest condemnation – the one that kept her where her accusers left her, was her own. What have you done wrong? How have you messed up? Whatever it is, I have news for you, you have been redeemed. You don’t have to justify God’s love towards you or His blessings in your life. There is no need to feel ashamed anymore, when the spotlight is on you. They don’t see who you used to be, they don’t see your past sins and struggles, they see God’s glory. They see YOU, redeemed and refined by Christ – because you are. Jesus took your shame to the cross, you have been redeemed and there is no catch, but believe that your redemption is in Christ.
Your redemption is not pegged on your relationship status. When it comes to the matters of your inner-self, your relationship status is irrelevant. Start addressing those memories that try to convince you that you haven’t changed. Read about Paul, he could have carried the shame and guilt of a notorious past, persecuting the church. He would have been justified to seek the approval of the people he was sent to share the Gospel with, but instead he allowed his identity and call in Christ to be the driving force of his life. You can too.
It isn’t my relationship that redeemed me. I was a wreck, and Christ saw me, broken, desperate and tired, and He carried me. Long before my Fiancé noticed me or even knew who I was, long before there was any proposal in sight, Christ began a work of redemption in me. So I encourage you today, to forgive yourself and forgive your past, and begin to learn about your redemption that is everlasting in Christ. As my Pastor often says – “your past is past”, and no man can, no man has redeemed you and no man will, but the living God.
May God help us to believe His unconditional love towards us, may He teach us step out of the shadows of our past and hand over every negative memory and guilt to Him, and may God teach us to truly love ourselves, in Jesus name amen.
Peace & Love
BEING SINGLE IS BEING RICH
Often times, our spiritual growth changes in pace and direction.
For instance, discovering a new spiritual gift within a short space of time or developing an enduring faith in God, over a life time.Yes the spirit is a mystery…beyond human understanding. But by the grace of GOD , HE reveals to us, what we need to know, when we need to know it.
I remember a time in my walk with Christ, when I found it difficult to pray. I would prepare myself in the morning, and soon after my prayer began, my mind would trail off, at times I would fall asleep or say things without really meaning it…
‘When I got saved’ (every Christian uses that line right…) the idea of a godly man appealed to me. I looked forward to being completely spiritually dependent on my future husband. So long as he could pray, he could speak in tongues, so long as his faith was strong, and he always said and did the “right” thing – then our relationship – our courtship, engagement and our marriage would be heaven on earth! As my passion for God developed, I came to a point in my life when I wanted, so desperately to be in a relationship (for mostly all the wrong reasons). Being in a relationship would heal my broken past, make me more God-fearing, and give me the spiritual fervour I saw and admired in my leaders at church and my Pastor – oh and I would be in a relationship – so that would be the icing on the cake.
What I’m learning now, which never occurred to me then, is that:
My future husband will almost definitely need me as much as I need him, emotionally and also spiritually. Our relationship could not be me at one end constantly taking from him spiritually, with him at the other end, carrying the responsibility for both of our spiritual journeys, and being drained out in the process. Just imagine two empty barrels at the end of the day.
Iron sharpens iron… There is a reason why iron sharpens iron. Because both parties are bringing something into the mix, which refines and helps replenish the other – by the grace of God bestowed upon them. Thus sustaining and encouraging them both in their walk with God and their journey together in pursuing righteousness.
So, I tried to make prayer the first thing I did when I woke up, but I found falling asleep came all too easy. So I tried praying after freshening up, which proved to be more successful. Over time I developed a kind of structure, and prayer points for every day of the week, which I followed loosely. I stuck to reading a chapter from the bible every morning, so that I could gain a greater understanding of the word of God – in order to communicate better with God in my prayer time. After all, you can’t speak a language you don’t understand. And before long, I started to enjoy praying – prayer points came to me more fluidly, and my structure became easier and easier to remember and follow.
I’m learning that relationships are physical yes, but they are also spiritual. In a God-fearing relationship, what you see isn’t all that you get – And isn’t that our bonus?! Like a well wrapped present, our real prize lies within. When God says two have become one, we can’t just take it literally, in the physical sense. But what we are being made to know is that before God we are now seen as one – even in spirit. So my husband’s spiritual state should be as important to me, as my own spiritual state.
For a relationship to thrive, the commitment of time, affection, and attention is very important, but so is our spiritual commitment and accountability to our spouse. Now that I am able to pray, when the season of marriage arrives in my life, I’ll be able to pray for my husband and our kids and family members and friends… the list is endless and I’m looking forward to it. Because I have developed the discipline and practice now. I can be that Super-Prayer-Warrior-Wife I’ve always wanted to be.
This is just one example. We may appear physical, but we are all on a spiritual journey. A journey God intended for constant growth and prosperity. So where do you feel you could improve spiritually? What spiritual gifts or fruits do you desire in your future wife or husband? Now turn that list towards yourself, do you have any of those gifts?
Being single is being given the opportunity to prepare, learn and grow.
So we can enjoy the benefits and rewards before marriage and during marriage.
May God grant us the grace to grow in spirit and to go from glory to glory for HIS glory. And when our season for marriage arrives, we will be anchored in CHRIST, and our marriages and our faith will stand in Jesus name amen.
Stay tuned for the next post on being Single and Rich!
Peace and Love
So for those of you who have yet to see my latest video
I basically talk about my decision to study relationships in accordance to the will of God and to use Joshua Harris’ books: I Kissed Dating Goodbye (new edition 2003), Boy Meets Girl – say hello to courtship (2005), Sex Is Not The Problem (Lust Is) (2003)… to edify me on this journey.
Chapter 1 – So This Is Love? :
After reading the first chapter, I was slightly overwhelmed, partially with self pity and partially with guilt. It’s hard to accept that every relationship you’ve had with the opposite sex in relation to romance and otherwise has been one selfish act after the other, hurting you and the recipient. It occurred to me that I really did not understand what it meant to love, especially the opposite sex. I felt sorry for myself, because I felt this may have stemmed from the effects of an absent father figure. Then I felt guilty, for trying to put the blame on my circumstances, and almost making the same tragic mistake again. I don’t think its advisable for any woman or man to involve themselves in a romantic relationship before they learn what it means to love someone, with the love of God as the affection we aspire to connote. That doesn’t mean idolising, but perhaps sacrificing, what makes you feel good for what is best for them, or as Joshua Harris explains in I Kissed Dating Goodbye:
‘Every relationship for a Christian is an opportunity to love another person like God has loved us. To lay down our desires and do what’s in his or her best interest. To care for him or her even when there’s nothing in it for us. To want that person’s purity and holiness because it pleases God and protects him or her’ (2003, p.19)
I had quite an emotional response to this chapter because it hurt to admit that I wasn’t entirely sure how to love someone, as God loves me. All I knew is I hadn’t been applying God’s love to past relationships, romantic and otherwise, spent in tears, loneliness and desperation. So what decision did I take once I experienced this revelation? I prayed to God for forgiveness, for my lack of understanding and selfishness, I surrendered my heart to him and I asked him for guidance and support. I then spoke with my Pastor (which took some courage and humility) and asked for a mentor, to oversee my journey to learn how to be a single Christian, exercising the love of God in all my relationships.
Now I’m excited, because I know the best is yet to come, as I grow closer to God, I get further away from my past and life becomes just that little bit lighter. Of course I want to get married, I can’t stress, just how much I want to get married, but it isn’t the peak of life. To me marriage sounds like a ministry, a means of serving and glorifying God, it requires planning, preparation and God’s support. I look forward to experiencing it by the grace of God, but I know there’s a lot of planning and preparation necessary, if God is to add a relationship and marriage to my testimony.
I pray that those who need to make a similar decision will join me on this journey, to discover how to walk in the love of God, I pray God will forgive us for our selfishness and lack of patience by his mercy, that he will descend upon us the enabling spirit to love as he loves us, to be patient, disciplined and diligent to his will for us in Jesus mighty name, amen. And I pray that he will provide us guidance and mentorship in Jesus name amen.
This performance from P4CM poets Ezekiel and Janette..iks is by far one of the most moving spoken word performances I’ve seen to date (I’m a spoken word artist, so my perception maybe somewhat biased), with the risk of sounding over dramatic. I was deeply inspired, moved, edified by the performance and the lyrical content.
‘I’m trying to remember why I was created’ – How many of us have even asked God this question and genuinely desired an answer, or do we ponder on this questions of purpose as an excuse for not acting? We get so engulfed in trying to behave as Christian as “Christianly” perceivable that God’s purpose for us barely gets a mention. Sometimes the answer is just waiting for a faith-filled silence, on our part, to trust that God knows the desires of our heart and he won’t leave us wanting.
‘Weaving a little bit of his will with a whole lot of mine’ – the whole point of Christianity is complete and total surrenderance, not 20% and not 99%, but entire surrenderance to the will of God. The more we surrender to his will, the further forward we move.
‘My love is based and his love is based on how I feel’ – Too often we allow our emotions to delegate the choices we make, I’m angry right now so I’m going to eat my feelings, I’m lonely so I’ll go and see her – who will make me feel worse than I previously felt, I’m jealous so I’ll tell her secrets or point out his flaws. To be gentle (One of the fruits of the spirit) is the antithesis of losing control of one’s behaviour because of one’s emotions or basing a decision on emotions alone, without asking or receiving instruction from God.
May God enable us to be patient in love, especially loving him and led by his guidance and not our desires in Jesus name amen. x
Video version of the love poem, let me know your responses guys x
Love is often misrepresented in our failed and disruptive relationships, there is only one true and consistent representation of love and this is revealed to us in God, in his sacrificing of his only Son in order to pay the debt for our sins – John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. – you may have heard this verse a few times, or read it just as often. But we should ask God to enlighten our spirits and teach our hearts just how great, powerful and enduring His love for us is, and ask God to teach us how to truly love, that we may not try to receive it or demand it from men/boys and women/girls who are unable to offer God’s perfect love. Amen in Jesus name
May God bless you and meet you at your point of need in Jesus name amen. x
He loves me not
He loves me
He loves me not so much that he can say those three words
But I know he must
Cah, the way he looks at me, could be mistaken for lust
But I see the truth in those lies and I hope one day to find the prize hidden in all these disappointments
I know I can make a difference,
I see so much potential in you, though you have no prospects
You talk down to me and I’m the one tryna bring you up to my level,
In my fairy-tale you’re the handsome, teary eyed guy in the suit that lifts my veil.
Actually, I’m pretty sure that I’m too good for you, and maybe I’ll just move on to your friend or two,
But I’m afraid things won’t work out with them,
And I might get paranoid and start thinking I was right when I said Its me and not you.
If you like it then you should have put a ring on it,but I’m dangerously in love and I’ll countdown till your love’s on top so we can be together till the end of time, don’t be the best thing I never had.
Seems like Beyonce’s just as confused as I am.
But God is not a God of confusion, so who is really the source of this vision?
The one I could have made up, I was so desperate for love.
The thirst has created a bunch of zombie wifeys
Weaved out, high heeled to breaking point and tired of celebrating valentines but no anniversaries
Saying no thank you to the bread of life and never-ending well of water spring
Yes please, I’ll have the heartbreak, abuse and unwanted pregnancies.
Sad but true that some people choose to play this game,
Single and ready to mingle, it’s a shame…
But he’ll change, I know he’ll change.
No surprise when things stay the same…
You should know that you’re worth more than rubies
A product of the creator’s design
You deserve more than empty apologies.
I pray as women of God, we seek the patience to wait,
Like Rebekah, Rachel , Hannah, Ruth
Whether He loves me or he love me not
I know one truth
God loves me more
‘ “You shall not make for yourselves an idol, nor any image of anything that is in the heavens above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: you shall not bow yourself down to them, nor serve them, for I, Yahweh your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and on the fourth generation of those who hate me.” ‘
Speaking from experience, I have, in the past put many relationships and material things before God, but more specific to this post, I have idolised boyfriends and what I failed to understand then was that, God is a jealous God.
You spend every waking moment thinking about someone continuously, you spend 12 hours of your day devoting your undivided attention to them on the phone, skype, social network websites or even in person (with the exception of marriage) and not even managing to squeeze in a minute for God, to speak to him, to enter his temple, to say thank you or sorry. You speak solely about them and spread knowledge of them, whilst the gospel goes unmentioned, as if they will some how save the world by being your boy/girlfriend. Or worst of all, you forget about God completely, omitting him from your life and when in need, going to your boy/girlfriend for comfort, for companionship and salvation. When they finally let you down and they will, you feel so desperate, so helpless and wonder why – because they’re just as human as you and they’ll make countless mistakes.
(Raises hand) Guilty, I’m guilty of all of the above. Why won’t you fall into sin when you’ve made another sinner your whole world, the blind leading the blind, it is true that sin only begets more sin. And then comes the heart break, the betrayal and you run back to God and ask him why, well its because he’s a jealous God, he said it in the scriptures, he warned us;
‘You shall not make for yourselves an idol’
Why would he preserve something he did not create, better yet, why would he preserve something you yourself have positioned above him? I’m finding it difficult to put God before everything else in my life, I won’t lie and tell you its easy, but I can say that it feels good. Maybe not straight away; not instantly after you decide not to go to that party or a few hours after you refused to spend the night. But there is an undeniable relief that comes upon the spirit when you do God’s will and put him first.
I’ve come to realise that everything we do in life should have a superordinate goal to give God the glory. All our successes should be what we use to spread news of the free gift of reconciliation with God through Christ’s death and resurrection. Its hard because I’m not really sure how my, one day, getting married will glorify God’s name, but perhaps if I abstain from sin, if I approach a relationship in the manner which pleases God and I repent for the sins I commit along the way, maybe when I finally get married and I and my husband are presented before God, the angels will rejoice and his name will be glorified in heaven and on earth, because beyond the struggles with the flesh, a beautiful union has been formed. And those who know my past will know that God must have been a part of this, it could not have happened otherwise.
No relationship should be simply for love or companionship’s sake, it should also be to bring out the best side of your partner (the side that loves God and glorifies him), to be a blessing to them and them a blessing to you (gaining a stronger relationship with God together), and in marry them, depict the wonderful manifestations of God’s influence, grace and mercy. Relationships are not easy, they should not be created without absolute assurance, the should not be without Jesus Christ’s grace, they should not be based on selfish human needs, this is what I’m still trying to drum into my own head.
I pray that God the father help his children to wait patiently for him to manifest his love – to be our shepherd, for us to remain content as Paul was even whilst facing persecution for spreading the Gospel “the Good News” –
‘I am not telling you this because I need anything, I have learned to be satisfied with the things that I have, and with everything that happens. I know how to live when I am poor, and how to live when I have plenty.’ Philippians 4:11
And I pray that as you manifest your love Lord Jesus Christ, we will remain humble and continue to serve you diligently, your blessings will not cause us to be blinded by satisfaction and success, and we will not grow impatient, that we cease from praising you, in Jesus mighty name I pray, amen.