A Discussion On Divorce And Remarriage

Because of the increase in the cases of divorce and remarriage among Christians today, many are not willing to fight for their marriages. But God made marriage to be a life-long covenant.

I reblog this article here, from Paul Benson’s blog,  to Christian Singles especially, as an encouragement to take the time and necessary steps to make right choices, because after you say, ‘I do’, you must be ready and willing to keep your marriage vows.

Let's Get It Right!

divorce-619195_640

by Paul Benson

What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. -Jesus Christ

A reader recently posed a question to me concerning my view on divorce and remarriage. Though I could have probably satisfied her request with a ‘nutshell’ answer I felt it might be a good time to share my view (and experience) in an article for all to consider.

The issue of divorce and remarriage by those professing faith in Christ is one that is frequently addressed and taught upon in the Church today. But it is my personal opinion that it is seldom addressed in a manner that is in accord with the true teachings of the New Testament. At the risk of taking a hit to my readership stats (hopefully I am more concerned about winning God’s approval than yours!) let’s take a look at what the Bible really does and does not…

View original post 3,668 more words

Intimacy with God, a passion worth pursuing. Here’s why

intimacy with God.jpg

 

Intimacy with God is a passion in my heart. It’s a topic I can’t stop talking about. Most of what I write here or in my unpublished books has intimacy with God as the main or sub theme. It’s a cry from my heart.

I just wish I could make someone want more of God in their lives. I just wish I could make someone abandon the dry Christianity we see today and get to a place of a vibrant relationship with the Lord.

I just wish I could make someone abandon prayerlessness and begin to discipline the flesh in the place of prayer and Bible studies.

I just wish I could make someone stop being vulnerable to false teachings and false teachers and get to being fed by the Spirit of the Lord. I just wish I could make someone prioritize the pursuit of intimacy with God, putting it at the top of their lists.

The passion in my heart is also hampered by my own struggles. It is possible for mundane activities to steal away the time and enthusiasm of following God wholeheartedly. It is possible even for busyness with Christian activities to steal away the time meant for God.

It is possible to replace God with busyness for him. Many do it. But that’s not how God wants us to go about living for him. He must be at the center of everything, time alone with him cannot be replaced with service.

It is in the secret place that we find our strength. It is in the secret place that we receive renewal and avoid burn out.

No matter what level you are in your Christian life and relationship with the Lord, there’s more of God you haven’t yet experienced.

Complacency can’t be tolerated without its consequences being felt. That is why it is possible to walk with the Lord for so many years and still end up being as carnal as the unbeliever next door.

The moment you stop desiring to know God more, the moment you stop prioritizing relationship with the Lord, you give your flesh more and more dominance. You can’t sustain today’s walk with the success of yesterday. And because the flesh is contrary to the spirit, a highly spiritual man who stops seeking God will revert to being carnal.

Dry, powerless but noisy Christianity is rampant. Complacency and mediocrity in the knowledge of God’s Word abound. The churches are full but there’s no true fire or passion for God in the hearts of the majority.

Many want to be spoon-fed, they enjoy being spoon-fed, and because false teachers leverage on such easily captivated minds to make money, many are not even aware they are being spoon-fed toxic food while being fleeced of their hard-earned money.

The discipline to seek God personally through his Word is such a huge effort that many prefer to remain spoon-fed babies for their entire Christian lives.

What will it take? Is it so hard to discipline oneself to begin seeking God earnestly on a personal level? Is it so hard to pick up a Bible and ask the Holy Spirit for enlightenment? Is it so hard to go into the closet and spend time alone with God?

It is hard, and it is not hard. Depends on your attitude towards relationship with God.

We dedicate time, money and energy to the pursuit of our passions and dreams. That mindset makes us want to succeed no matter the challenges.

Isn’t that the same mindset we should have towards relationship with God? A mindset that says I must diligently seek God. I must know him more. I must live for him. I must understand his will for me and strive to fulfill it.

Why is intimacy with God a passion worth pursuing?

When it comes to pursuing passion, it’s easier to do so because passion means something we like. Intimacy with God is not in that category because it is not something that we like in the sense of its pursuit consuming us. It is a passion we pursue because it is indispensable to our Christian life.

Our flesh is our number one enemy when it comes to pursuing this passion. Unlike other passions, say for example, writing, music, acting, whatever, all of our being wants it. Therefore we do our best to pursue it, ’cause we derive joy from the fulfillment.

Intimacy with God is a passion of our born-again spirits which our unregenerate flesh hates. That is where the difficulty comes in. If not of the obstacle presented by our flesh, majority of Christians would be on fire for God, desire will be turned into concrete actions, and walk will replace empty talk.

God made us for intimacy with him

This is the top reason why we must pursue intimacy with him. He made us for it. Why did Jesus die for our sins? The quickest answer might be something like this, ‘so we don’t go to hell.’ But that’s not true. He died to bring man back to fellowship with God.

We all know John 3:16 by heart. But it is not enough to say, you are born-again. That’s just the first step to a life-long relationship of pursuing God.

John 17:2-3

As You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him.  3 And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

The knowing here is the kind expressed by Apostle Paul in Philippians chapter 3 from verse 7 to verse 14. “That I may know him”, the great apostle cries out.

This can be compared with the contrast between believing and faith. The Bible mentions in James 2:16 that the devils also believe that there is one God, they even tremble. But they don’t have faith in that one God, because their actions are not in accordance with their believing.

So too does mere knowing and intimate knowing differ. A Christian who merely knows God may even  have much knowledge ABOUT God, but is not living in vibrant fellowship with him.

While a Christian who knows God intimately talks to him and hears God talk back to him, and he walks with God in obedience to his revealed Word and to the urgings of the Spirit within. The Christian who knows God intimately wants to know him even more.

 

The Christian should not be satisfied with the mere born-again experience. There’s much more to that!

Intimacy with God keeps our Christian life ‘alive’

‘Dead’ Christianity is a product of no intimacy with God. It is the fire coming from the closet that keeps us burning on fire for God.

A Christian who doesn’t spend time with God in prayer and Bible study becomes carnal in his reasoning and actions. He lacks the force to resist sin and temptation. He lacks the boldness of the righteous.

If you want to live holy, spend time with God, knowing his ways and making yourself pliable in his hands and to the influence of the Holy Spirit. If you want to be as bold as a lion, spend time knowing God.

Intimacy with God is the springboard for our success as Christians

This is one of the problems we have in Christianity today: many are busy for God without a living private relationship with him. Many are talking about a God that is very distant from them in terms of personal fellowship.

The effort to spend time with God is just so huge many do not want to make it, yet they want a platform from which to talk about God. That’s the reason for copy-pasted ministries, shallow preaching and teaching, burn-out and self-centeredness Christianity.

Our true success as Christians only comes from an intimate relationship with God. When we get immersed in God, our talk and walk flow from that immersion and the impact of our lives must be felt by those we come across.

That way we do not worry whether we have eloquence or elegance; it’s the power of a spirit-filled life which is in constant communion with God that touches those around us.

The disciples of the Lord were ordinary men of no education, yet their speech left no small impact upon their hearers. Amazed by their talk, the Sanhedrin noted, ‘they had been with Jesus’.

These disciples talked of a Jesus that was real to them. They didn’t use high sounding eloquent speech; they spoke from a place of intimate knowledge and relationship:

“For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” Peter and John said in Acts 4:20

From that place of relationship, they could not be intimidated into fear and cowardice. They so knew what they had seen and heard that they would die for it.

Does that contrast with the prevalent Christianity today that is so fearful of criticism and backlash that the message of the gospel has been watered down to accommodate man’s approval?

Full churches, few disciples

I heard someone boasts about the churches being full. This tells us how different we evaluate success from the way God does. One bible teacher I love listening to basically says as fact that most mega-churches will see their numbers dwindle if they preach the right message. If the large numbers of people thronging the churches are taught about living for God and following him all the way no matter the cost, most pews will be empty.

Some people go to church for entertainment, others in search of prophecies, signs and wonders, and others in search of lovers. A full church is no sign of success for the owner or leadership of the church. The wrong message could be attracting a seeker-friendly crowd.

The same with whatever assignment God gives us, success is not in the numbers. It is in the impact. And there would be no true impact unless we’re giving out of what we’re receiving from God. Else we experience burn out from constantly giving out of a dry well.

No greater passion

For the Christian, there should be no passion greater than the desire to know God intimately. The same way we spend ourselves to see the success of our dreams and goals, the same way we should endeavor to succeed in our relationship with God.

Knowing God more is not automatic. You can’t have it by someone laying their hands on you. You can’t have it by being prophesied to. You can’t have it by merely praying, ‘God, make me know you more’, and then doing nothing about it.

God wants you to know him. Access to him is always open. Your heart attitude is your response to God’s invitation.

Psalm 27:8

8 When You said, “Seek My face,” My heart said to You, “Your face, Lord, I will seek.”

God is no respecter of persons. He is a rewarder of anyone who diligently seeks him (Hebrews 11:6).

Those people we admire their walk with God had to face the same challenges hindering us. But they put priority on spending time with God and striving to live for him. It didn’t happen effortlessly or overnight.

It was a dedication to make the whole of their lives a pursuit of more of God. And that decision translated into acts of self-discipline, limiting distractions, and living for what counts most.

37736490_1937884459575950_5853396913793007616_o

God is the same, the supplier of the grace to live the way he wants us to.

You too can know God intimately. I can know God intimately. Let’s make it a priority, a passion worth pursuing.

know God intimately

God bless,

Janet.

Further reading:

Intimacy with God is not given, it is pursued

4 Hindrances to developing an intimate relationship with the Lord

Practical ways to cast your cares on the Lord

Do not be anxious

 

I was feeling oppressed for about two weeks or more. No matter how much I prayed, I couldn’t take away that ‘blanket’ that seemed to have enveloped my mind. Once or twice, that blanket seemed to lift up a bit and some light would come in. But that was it. My mind continued to be cluttered, I continued to feel oppressed and almost separated from the presence of God.

At one moment, I began to think “demonic oppression”. You know how easy that is to do. I think there was actually some demonic oppression, though, because I’d basically let my mind run wild, with little to no discipline.

I then determined to pray through until the veil gets off me.

I began a fast. But before I went into prayer, an idea popped into my mind to make a list of all that was troubling me at the time. AND THEN, to go to Scriptures and find out what God says about those issues.

I wrote down everything that was a problem to my relationship with the Lord. Among the list were

  • Worry, anxiety, and impatience
  • Bitterness, resentment and grumbling
  • Indiscipline in seeking God as I know I should
  • Distractions
  • And a host of ‘petty’ sins that I had let loose in my life.

I then took one at a time and began searching Scriptures for God’s perspective.

And I was delivered. I didn’t pray the way I’d earlier planned. I didn’t rebuke any evil spirit. God’s Word clearly showed me I was in sin for the kind of mindset I’d allowed to run wild.

What does God’s Word say about what is causing anxiety in me?

At the end of the day I discovered something that was going to greatly influence my relationship with the Lord for the positive. I realized that what I just did was one valid way of casting my cares on the Lord, which basically is believing God’s Word and acting in accordance, no matter the situation.

Whether we realize it or not, cares, anxieties, panic, confusion arise when we do not believe God’s Word. When we believe what we see and feel more than what God has promised us.

And the solution is not prayer alone. It is faith in God’s Word. That faith may or may not require prayer, depending on the individual situation. It may only involve a gritted-teeth kind of standing firm on what you believe from God’s Word, and refusing to be overwhelmed by the physical situation, refusing to let what you see or fear trump the goodness and faithfulness of God.

The Bible has commands for us. But many times Christians are lost as to the practical way of living out those commands. That is why I felt the need to write this blog based on my experience above.

Casting your cares on the Lord is not ignoring the situation causing the fear and panic in your heart. It means looking at it from God’s perspective.

This is very important because sometimes the solution doesn’t always come through God intervening to take care of the problem. It may sometimes only involve a change of attitude from you.  That means, your reaction to the problem is the cause of the anxiety, and not the problem itself.

That is why prayer alone may not be appropriate in every situation where you’re panicky. You need to go to God’s Word and let Him shed light on your situation. And if God’s Word rebukes you, you need to repent and start aligning your mind and actions to God’s perspective.

Have faith in God. He cares for you (1 Peter 5:7)

It would be taken for granted that a Christian should have faith in God. But that isn’t always the case. Else the Bible wouldn’t have given the command to, ‘not be anxious’ and we wouldn’t be here talking about how to deal with worries and anxieties.

What should be emphasized here is what that faith should look to. Have faith in the goodness and faithfulness of God. Those are the attributes of God mostly attacked when negative situations overwhelm us.

We doubt His love, we doubt His word, and we question His goodness. Yet He never changes.

To cast your cares on the Lord, you must begin from a place of faith in Him.

Make your requests known to God. (Philippians 4:6)

This is where the difference between concern and worry is seen. The former leads you to take the issue to God, while the latter doesn’t, or even when you do go to God in worry, what you’d most likely do is complain, instead of praying in faith.

Make your request in faith, in view of God’s faithfulness. Expect to see the answers manifest.

To know you’ve prayed in faith, God’s peace must reign in your heart over that situation, even before you see the physical manifestation of the answer. That’s what God promises in verse 7 of Philippians chapter 4.

If you’re still anxious after making your request known to God, it is a result of doubt and unbelief, which you need to deal with by meditating on God’s Word.

However, a genuine concern may persist. In such a case, it is good to continue praying for a situation if the burden or concern persists.

Keep casting the care on the Lord!

Just because you made your request known to God, asking in faith for His intervention, doesn’t mean the tendency to worry is over. Not all answers to prayer are evident immediately. So before the answer comes, you may be tempted to get anxious again.

This is where you demonstrate your faith in God for the answer. You believed He answered when you prayed (Mark 11:24) and you continue to stand in faith until you see the resolution of whatever challenge might have occasioned fear and anxiety in you.

Refuse to take back the anxiety upon you.

Change focus

If you truly cast a care on the Lord, stop focusing on the problem. You believe God’s working, so don’t even imagine how He’s going to make it happen. It is yours to believe, and God’s to answer.

1 Peter 5:7

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Yes, He does! He wants you to live free of anxiety.