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 WEALTHY
Many of us don’t understand just how privileged we are even before we say “I do”.
Let me explain.
When you are single you have a currency £$ of potential at your disposal. A blank chequer.
You have access to a savings account banked with:
Whilst we’re single, the time we have for ourselves is probably at its maximum. Because we don’t (yet) have the responsibilities (privileges *wink*) of attending to and loving our spouse 24/7, as well as all the other responsibilities that come with married life – we are able to focus more on ourselves. This is the perfect season to discover your likes and dislikes, your skills, your strengths, your weaknesses and do something with and about them.
When we are single, we have a wealth of potential. Although God is penning our lives, He has already instilled in us desires, passions and talents that He wants us to invest into the world around us for His glory. Like the parable of the talents: The servant given one talent made two mistakes.
1. He was afraid and as children of God fear cannot be part of our vocabulary. Don’t be afraid of failure – He who started a work in you will be faithful to complete it. Oh and don’t believe the lies, when they tell you that you have to be a damsel in distress before your knight in shining armour can come and “rescue you” – I’ve been saved once already – by JESUS – so thanks but no thanks. And Guys, she doesn’t have to see you as her hero before you believe she really likes you.
And 2. He was lazy. As children of God we are called to a life of service, exploits and prosperity – just like Christ, just like the many examples of men and women of God in the bible. People who worked hard like David, lived sacrificial and obedient lives like Abraham and served God courageously like Deborah. So this is the perfect time to take those godly risks and put your gifts and ambitions into practice. Don’t wait till you marry to become successful, take the talents God has given you to the exchangers now! Like the good and faithful servants.
What talents do you have?
What skills do you take for granted?
Start with asking God what He wants you to invest in.
Ladies we don’t need to hang around idle, waiting for our other half to notice us. And Gents, you don’t have to considered every girl you come across and find your wife through trial and error.
Be sure of this, if you make yourself available to God and fix your eyes on Him, He will not hide a good thing from your sight.
Being single is being rich with potential.
So start fulfilling your God-given potential today.
Waiting with a purpose is sure to be a better experience than rushing through life’s seasons without one. May God pave our paths with His instruction, His mercy and His grace in Jesus name amen.
Stay tuned for the next post on being Single and Rich!
Peace & 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
Post’s foundation verses:-
‘Not only this, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering works perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope: and hope doesn’t disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.’ Romans 5:3-5 (WEB)
‘You shall not commit adultery’ Exodus 20:14 (WEB)
About two months ago, I made the conscious decision to become celibate.
When I first decided to be celibate, it was a self-righteous decision I made so I could point the finger of judgement at all the sexually active people I knew. To make them feel guilty for giving in to the temptations of the flesh. Also it was initially a defense mechanism to deter boys who seemed to only want one thing. But once I realised the negative impact of premarital sex on my life, how it was almost like an addiction to be in a relationship and participate in sexual activities that angered God – I understood why it was one of the best decisions I ever made in my life so far. The first revelation I had about abstaining from sex before marriage, was the quite obvious fact that it was justified by the laws reinforced by Christ Jesus and made me feel closer to God.
When I first decided to be celibate, I was in a two-year relationship with someone I thought would be my husband one day, and the father of my children. We were living together, so you can imagine it was a very bold decision to make, to not have sex with someone I was sleeping next to every night. Looking back, I must have really angered God in the past, because I often read the bible before I went to sleep, but I would often end up falling into sexual sin at some point after that. Why didn’t he punish me? Maybe because he knew that soon I would make a final decision to stop, or maybe it was by Christ’s saving grace that I escaped the wrath of God. I realised that not having sex meant I had time to pray after reading my bible. To speak to God, and I remembered the lessons I had received from the chapters I read, and I was able to apply them more practically in my life.
From a Christian perspective premarital sex is considered “fornication” and disobedience against the commandments that God made known to Moses at Mount Sinai along with the Israelites and to the world through prophets, Jesus and his disciples.
‘You shall not commit adultery’ Exodus 20:14 WEB
According to Oxforddictionaries.com to “fornicate” (as it is often referred to in some churches), is to ‘have sexual intercourse with someone one is not married to’ . “Adultery” is described as ‘voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and a person who is not their spouse’ – Oxforddictionaries.com. All in all God rebukes, prohibits, denounces sexual relations outside marriage and sexual relations with anyone other than your husband or wife. In order to comprehend what God was referring to in terms of my journey to complete celibacy, I searched my heart, I thought of all the things which I knew I could not blamelessly do before God, as he would perceive all the lust in my heart;
-Performing sexual acts
-Even hugging, holding hands
So after two months of deciding to be celibate, I’ve been seriously tempted, I’ve felt incredibly lonely and at times I’ve behaved desperately, just for company and attention. What I failed to realise was that, the people I was pursuing, were not good for me and I wasn’t good for them. People I was trying to regain a relationship with, who I had lusted over in the past, still encouraged the sin in me, whether knowingly or unintentionally. But what God showed me in the end was that ‘in order to hear God, you must first listen and adhere to his laws’ – So when we say God, I’m tired of waiting, I want to share my life with someone else, I want you to tell me if he’s the one, or show me that you approve – search your heart, have you surrender to his will, have you been listening to him, have you been following his commandments? He is constantly talking to us, but its our choice to listen or not, to surrender or not, to wait or not.
‘Watch and pray, that you don’t enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak’
Matthew 26:41 WEB
“You say that you’re not ready for sex but you’re in love, he says if you really love him, you will give it up”
I wish I had heard this song before I lost my virginity, its one of those songs that encourages thought. If you’re lucky enough to be given the choice whether to have sex or not, then you should be wise enough and confident enough to say no and wait for marriage (don’t get married just for sex). There are people all over the world who are being forced into marriages as children, girls and boys who are being raped and molested, we should appreciate the opportunity and freedom God has given us to say no and have those words be respected. A friend once told me –
“Saying no empowers yes…”
I can only say this now, because after I lost my virginity, I felt very stupid and very vulnerable and it took me years to realise how distressed I was about having sex with someone I love and being dumped a few months later. The gossiping made it worse and my sex life quickly spiralled out of control, it became an activity to occupy my boredom and loneliness. All my insecurities were buried under lust and sexual immorality. I was lucky enough to have a science teacher, who was like a second mother to me (just not as strict), she prepared me for the whispers and the finger-pointing that came as a result of having sex with the wrong person, someone who isn’t discreet, someone who is very unapologetic for causing you hurt.
So follow the main message of Lyfe Jennings’ song to be responsible for your actions, and don’t allow anyone to pressure or persuade you into doing something that is truly irreversible.
“So what am I to do, a part of me wants you … I’m fixing to leave before it gets too late”
This was a song I head growing up, which cautioned me about temptation, and depicted the way in which I felt just before giving in to sex. Now, I want to be celibate, I don’t want to have meaningless sex, I don’t want to have sex outside of marriage, how can I prevent it? First and foremost there is nothing more effective than prayer, talk to God, he already knows your hearts desires, tell him your fears and struggles, ask him to deliver you out of sexual temptation and sexual immorality. Because his word specifically instructs you to do so –
‘Watch and pray, that you don’t enter into temptation’ Matthew 26:41 (WEB)
Avoid situations that you know are going to lead to sex. Don’t go to his/her house, or allow him/her to come to your house, alone, in the evening and expect the flesh to be satisfied with an innocent chat. The flesh wants what it wants, and if you under-estimate your flesh, then you’ll learn the hard way as I did that –
‘The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak’
Matthew 26:41 (WEB)
So if you do have a boy/girlfriend or a love interest of some sort, then go out, what ever you do don’t stay in! Go to the theatre, arcade, dinner, skating (even though I can’t skate) – basically very public places with lots of distractions so even if you are tempted, the opportunities are very limited. Try to respect one another, don’t be the cause of someone else’s guilt and sin. And if you’re single like me, yes you’ll feel lonely at times, and you may feel desperate for attention. But surround yourself with like-minded Christians that will be honest with you and value the word of God as much as you do, so you can help each other, it could be a mentor or a friend. Works for me!