“Courage is a heart word. The root of the word courage is cor – the Latin word for heart. In one of its earliest forms, the word courage meant ‘To speak one’s mind by telling… More
I have a story to tell But I don't believe anyone wants to hear, I can tell by the scrutiny on their faces How unfamiliar the things that come out when I share They tell me, "That's impossible" They tell me, "That's not people-friendly" But what they are really saying It's not necessary to be unashamedly me , All except one I admit, I agree with them Maybe I should take it down a bit Have 'normal' interests, so others can comprehend Not to think so deep Not to be so 'sensitive' I have wished to be somebody everyone wants to keep So, I tried copying their tastes To find my place I could have pulled it off too, They believed it to be true All except one I didn't recognize me anymore My real smile was absent, My thoughts forgotten, And my feelings, well, dead. My 'me-mess', hidden in a box, Yet, I was 'normal' The voice with the story still managed to speak, In the hollow parts of my cheek I tried, hard, to keep the mask. Yet the cracks kept appearing No they didn't ask, they never ask When I was alone, I tried hard to convince myself, this was enough for All except one It took rejection for me to see, Even if I was someone else They still wouldn’t have chosen me. Person after person, friend after friend, They denied the one thing I sought. I remember the nights when with my soul I fought To be rejected because of who you are, Are the heights of pain, Something I cannot explain. Maybe that’s why I haven’t told my story. Maybe that’s why it’s hidden Because they wouldn’t understand And myself I couldn’t have forgiven Of course, all this is unknown to All except one To embrace me took a lot from that one, I couldn’t find the strength I didn’t have the courage to be myself I just wanted to pretend But I had run out of options to put on the shelf Slowly, he gave me a shovel I began digging for my mind, for my life To my surprise, I found it but didn’t love it How could he choose this for his wife? It was worse than before, bitter, hurt, ashamed and condemning It became my enemy like All except one Wounded, I open my heart to the one who gave his all Little by little, I made him get closer, Until he was in the middle of my mess And instead of running or requesting I get a 'helper' He took up a broom and started cleaning I stood clueless. Surely, there must be something I should do He read my mind and replied, ‘No, that’s why I died.’ Yet they didn’t see, they never see, All except one There is still mess But he hasn’t left Teaching me his truth is the only thing I need to profess I started loving me because he does Embracing my uniqueness because he saw them as good He tells me, I am worthy of celebration as any creation would I couldn’t tell this story because nobody would believe me, All except one
That’s how I started the year. This was the only way I could truly express my state of heart. My lifeline was the approval of men and if I didn’t get it, I would squirm in a corner, destitute, starving, burdened. But, to be pursued of God even like that is the best experience in the world! Guess what? He’s pursuing you too. Isn’t that amazing?
I listened this week “The Pursuit of God” by A. W. Tozer and fam, I was constantly draped. (I recently realized books were on Youtube! I know, I am late to that discovery but it doesn’t matter, I know now!) The ninth chapter was the most significant to me, it drove a wedge right into my heart.
“All I Need Is God”
A hundred pounds lifted from my back instantly. All I needed to do was to rest in God? I didn’t need to prove anything to anyone? You mean I can relax in public because I didn’t need to over filter anything? Whew. I’ve heard it before but when the dross clears from your heart, its secret places get discovered. You should spend some time meditating on that passage, paying special attention to ‘self-love‘. I trust you can see my error in the poem and perhaps in you.
To think when I wrote it tears smeared my screen and now, I have this ridiculous smile, feels beautifully strange. Even last time I was at a low, feeling estranged from God, turns out my idols stood between us. Idols of self and people pleasing. It’s amazing the power of the word, chastenings, fellowship, fasting and prayer. It’s amazing how the roads have led me here, seven months into the year. To be able to say, “All I need is God,” is no ‘hurry come up’ declaration or emotional stance. I realize that even when I don’t feel it and it helps me obey his commandments.
I don’t want you to be bound like me in pretense I nurtured. It becomes an unwanted vine, suffocating everything in its path. It blinded my eyes to all the love and acceptance around me. You don’t need seven months, you need a thirst. A thirst for rest and a weariness of the burdens you carry. Believe Him when He says,
How do You Live in that Rest?
Take up his yoke, deny yourself, take up the cross, do His will. Then learn of Him, get into his word, pray, fellowship with other believers. Then, anticipate the temptations to return to vines outside of God. Ensure you have a counter thought, promise or truth, look for the way of escape that’s provided. Precious, may we become meek, may we be ourselves, may we be bold enough to share our mess and imperfections, to seek only God’s approval and accept it, to be real with God and man.
Lastly, honour God in all things. Chapter 10 had these main point:
That means, every moment I spend should be used glorifying God, whether on whatsapp, Facebook, netflix, quiet time, group outings, posts, everything. I don’t want you to think I have perfected this. Trust me, it’s a daily battle, but now, I am not fighting against me or God, we are fighting the sinful nature together.
Other than more non-fiction posts, the long awaited Engraved Series continues next Friday! I have been musing on it and we are in for a treat. I can’t wait to see who picks up on the clues ! Yassss! I’m excited! Read Engraved: Doubts to refresh yourself on what happened last. Thanks to those who reached out to me, it has given me exxxtra motivation.
P.S. You are really a good listener, I hope to return the favour, reach out, firstname.lastname@example.org. If you liked this post and would like to receive more, sign up below! Remember, you are precious.
Hosea 4:6 My people perish for a lack of knowledge. “Ignorance is no bliss” this old adage goes without saying. God through Hosea chided Israel for the corrupt and ineffective leadership of the priests. One of which is the rejection of God’s knowledge by the priest. Not only did they refrain from seeking out God’s words, but they also refused to share and adequately teach the people they are set to lead.
Hosea being God’s mouthpiece declared that the lack of information will cause the people to be destroyed. The same is true in the church today, in regards to what singleness is. There is little to no teaching about this God given gift. If the church continues to be silent then a teacher of no-good intent will do that which the priest is supposed to do.
It is important to have Godly discussions on singleness in the church arena for more reasons than one.
1. It promotes Godly awareness and consciousness to the blessings and benefits of how to develop that relationship with God, as also, awareness of what singleness really looks like and how to function effectively within the body of Christ.
2. There also needs to be a Godly highlight of the significance of being chaste. And to maintain sexual purity in its true sense. Not just to abstain from intercourse but to also be pure in mind, speech and conduct.
3. When a single person is armed with the relevant information, they will live fulfilled single lives. Thus, entering into marriage in wholeness. This will eliminate a lot of marital problems.
4. Godly discussion of singleness helps to eliminate frustration and gives the impetus to unfold the beauty found within the gift of singleness.
Let us purpose to be bold and assertive, never shying away from an opportunity to help our brothers and sisters. We help by having healthy and Godly discussions about singleness so as to raise awareness of the beauty in the gift of singleness.
WHY IS SINGLENESS A GIFT!?!” – Day 2
Christmas and birthdays are the most anticipated times in most people’s lives. This is so because of what these times come with. These seasons traditionally come bearing gifts that will be enjoyed and most times benefit the receiver. A gift is something that is not worked or paid for but rather given freely and should be freely received.
A gift is given with good intentions, such as to make the receiver filled with happiness. The giver expects the receiver to unwrap the package and indulge in the content. There is also an anticipation that the receiver will take best care of a gift that is tangible to ensure longevity. 1 Corinthians 7:7 I would that all men were as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that.
The Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthian brethren to correct some issues of marriage and singleness. He being a single man not by God’s command but by choice shared his wishful thinking with the brethren. He desired that all would be content and find great benefit in singleness as he did. But he went on to quickly declare that every man has his proper gift. What was Paul saying?
Proper gift speaks to each individual having their own special gift. Singleness is a gift, why?! because no one went and bought it or achieved it. The believer must realize that our lives are not ours and that nothing is permitted outside of God. Therefore, if one is in the state of singleness then God gave it. Colossians 1:16 For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible… (to include marriage and singleness).
The latter part of the verse says “all things were created by Him for Him” so singleness is a gift given to us for the glory of God. How? Paul says in 1Corinthians 7:32 He that is unmarried careth for things of God how one should please God. Singleness was given for however long to glorify God. It is a gift that should be unwrapped and enjoyed. No gift is intended to bring misery, especially a gift coming from God. The beauty about this giver is He enables the receiver to extract the full use of the gift. We will never know the beauty of the gift of singleness unless it is unwrapped and explored.
Each man has his own special gift, God did not ask if you want it, He just gave it because omniscience knows the great benefit instore. Make a decision to start seeing singleness as the gift it is.
1 Corinthians 7:7 I would that all men were as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that.
According to the KJV Bible Dictionary Singleness is the state of being single, unmarried or separate from all others. It is the opposite of doubleness, complication, or multiplicity. In other words, “singleness is not having a covenanted intimate partner, call wife or husband. But is a gift that must be timely explored”.
In everyday life there are forms that we regularly encounter and need to complete for various transactions and reasons. On these forms is often the field that says “marital status” giving two options: 1. Married 2. Single. The ability to read is not widely the problem but interpretation to give the correct answer is. Why? Because culturally, though a lot of people may not be married, they are in an intimate relationship. Quite often these relationships are going for over 5 years. So, what do I choose; married or single? Their struggle to choose an option is as a result of the inability to sufficiently define and interpret their status.
The correct definition, interpretation and knowledge of singleness is not just a cultural issue but has also widely become a religious issue. May I be more specific to say “a Christian issue”, and sadly so. In order to fully appreciate anything, one must have adequate knowledge and understanding of what it is, how it functions, and also the value and benefits of the thing.
Across the arena of the church there is an unfair, socially debilitating way of looking at singleness. The concept is skewed because singleness is not taught adequately and as a result the sufficiency of understanding is not unfolded. This leaves too great a number of singles, including youth and older members, to agonize and grieve their state while failing to fully enjoy the beauty and fulfilling enrichment that singleness entails.
As Christian believers we must first acknowledge and embrace the fact that “Singleness” is a gift and the giver of this gift is God. He will not withhold any good thing from us. Therefore, we must make that conscious decision to appreciate God’s purpose and plan by trusting the process.
Prayer of confession:
Lord, forgive me for not appreciating the giver and the gift of singleness. Wash me from an agonizing, impatient and grieving state of mind in relation to my single state. Now, help me Lord to embrace the timely unfolding of the beauty and rich fulfillment of this gift. Help me also to be patient while trusting your will. In Jesus name.
Philippians 4:8: Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
We conclude this devotional with this charge from Philippians which we all must adopt. We must endeavour to have our minds occupied with purity. Not that we are idolizing purity, but we are keeping out every seed of impurity and unrighteousness from our heart.
This is how we will maintain what we’ve spent so much time getting right – by keeping our minds stayed on good things. Our minds are so programmed that we become and portray anything we meditate on. Therefore, we should fill our thoughts with the Word, spiritual songs and spiritual content.
We can’t predict what curve balls the devil and this world will through us in this life. We can however decide what we will allow our thoughts to entertain and thereby emulate.
Sexual purity is possible. You can be restored if you have failed. You can maintain when you are purified in Christ. What’s left is to always abide in Jesus for apart from Him we can do nothing.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are pure, think on these things.
Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? 10 I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.
It will ride with you
It will die with you
It’s your best friend
And your worst enemy –
How can you believe with all of it
When it is full of deceit?
Why does your praise cease
When it gets down with defeat?
Only one thing is sure –
God’s word is truth
So trust God’s word
More than the heart within you
When it comes to sexual purity, our human hearts cannot be trusted. Our heart finds every way of convincing us that it is okay to sin, that we will get back up after this one time, and that we will never do it again. So devious can the thoughts of our hearts be, for Jesus warns that from the heart proceeds adulteries, lasciviousness, fornications, and all sorts of evils.
So singles please think twice the next time you feel so in love that you want to say, “You have my heart.” If the Holy Spirit is not both resident and ruling there, then that heart is a trap to everyone involved.
Instead, God’s word is truth, and it is His word that must try our hearts until it becomes like His. Then we can safely offer our hearts to that special one. Is your heart under God’s control today?
Romans 14:12: So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.
Sexual purity is a delicate fruit. God is the one from whom it springs up in our lives but we are like the hired servant who is entrusted to take care of it.
My grandfather was a lover of flowers and a farmer. From my holidays spent there I remember he would be up early tending to the plants, pruning them, watering them and eventually waking me up out of bed to rake leaves. Now raking leaves under six to eight mango trees is no mean feat. It would leave me feeling as if I had earned a month’s wages in one day.
It is that same kind of stewardship that is needed to maintain our bodies and minds in a state of sexual purity. Day to day we must go and pluck out the weeds and remove the pests that come to destroy. We must put a fence around our minds and bodies that will keep out all invaders. Maintaining sexual purity is hard work but it is necessary.
Now imagine if you gave your friend your favourite fruit to keep for a short while. You go about your business and when you come back eager to partake of that fruit you are presented with something that’s bruised, tarnished, eaten out and full of maggots. None of us would be pleased! And neither will God if when He returns He finds our bodies filled with impurities in our flesh. Surely, he will be angry against the one to whom He has entrusted this treasure.
What account will you give of yourself before God? Let us maintain and preserve our sexual purity.
Ephesians 5:22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
Sexual purity is not discarded at the altar, it is as much relevant for married couples as it is for singles.
Scriptures teach time and again that it is God’s plan for one man and one woman to come together in sexual union in marriage. So important is this institution that it is likened to the love that God has for the church.
Growing up and reading this verse often made me wonder who had the greater charge – the husband to love his wife as Christ loved the church, or the wife to submit to her own husband and honour him? When you look around though it seems that husbands tend to shrug off this commandment while wives seem to wrestle with submission.
It is needful for husbands and wives to remind themselves of these Godly principles regularly to guard against sexual immorality. When this pure love is not exercised and experienced by both parties, it becomes the soil for the seed of immorality to set in. Many marriages have failed because one or both stopped loving as Christ does.
When you love your spouse as Christ does: you resist the sexual temptations of all others, you do not turn to someone else when your spouse causes you some hurt, you do not deprive or spite your spouse by withholding sexual pleasure, you simply do nothing to grieve their heart.
Marriage is the most sacred place of expression of sexual purity. Let us maintain the highest standard in marriage.
Song of Solomon 2:4 He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love.
A part of what makes for a successful marriage is the time spent understanding what true intimacy is. It is not just sexual, it is emotional, intellectual and spiritual. When you recognize that there is more to marriage than sex, you prepare yourself to reap all the benefits of sex.
It’s easy to fantasize about how good you will feel when you reach a sexual high. But it is almost impossible to predict you will react if that high is not reached, or if for whatever reason the body parts don’t function like they are supposed to. What do you do when the man has challenges having an erection, or the wife has challenges having an orgasm? Do you just call it quits, pack them back up and go back to the store for a refund?
Truthfully, you have no control over what sexual challenges may arise in marriage between you and your spouse. However, the right view of intimacy will prevent and resolve most or all of those engine failures. On the other hand, the grip of lust and sexual immorality will lead the unsatisfied spouse into adultery and unfaithfulness.
Intimacy is the bed upon which the best sex happens in marriage. It is the knot that ties man and wife together after they have tied the knot. So spend time learning how to build intimacy and you can prevent the evil tentacles of sexual immorality from raising its head in your marriage.
1Kings 11:1 But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites. 5 For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites.
Your sexual relationship is closely linked to the God or gods you serve.
Abraham warned his servant, “Don’t take a wife from this idolatrous nation for my son!” Isaac gave the same charge to Jacob. We see these two men becoming patriarchs of Israel and serving the One True God. However, on the contrary were Ishmael and Esau, they blatantly ignored this admonition and took wives of the heathen nations for themselves. We see how they went into idolatry and became fathers of wicked nations.
King Solomon’s legacy with women teaches us that we can have all the wisdom in the world and still choose the wrong partner. As soon as he went after strange (idolatrous) women, his heart soon started following after strange gods (idols).
Choosing the right partner must be done prayerfully and with guidance from elders and counsellors. If you seek with your eyes and with your ears you will end up just like Solomon. Instead seek with the Spirit of God. Let Him be your matchmaker and find you the right one who will please you all the days of your life while keeping you in His will.
Beware also, because an ungodly sexual relationship will bear children. No, these are not the children which are an heritage unto the Lord. These are the fruits of bitterness, hurt, depression, and suicidal thoughts to which you can be driven by opening up yourself to the wrong person. And no matter how much you think you’ve gotten over the past relationships, you’ll be surprised how many “Ammonites” will spring up repeatedly if you persist in the wrong way. The best way to avoid this experience is to avoid an ungodly sexual relationship. However, we will look at how to rebound righteously after sexual failure for those who may have faltered already.
Today, consider how that romantic relationship will help you to serve God better and help you to remain pure before Him.
Hebrews 13:4 Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.
Many young Christians think that marriage is the ultimate escape from sexual immorality. After all, you and your spouse can now have all the sex you want without guilt right?
The sad truth though is – that mindset sets a number of traps for those seeking marriage as the escape from their sexual urges. Blinded by the pursuit of fulfillment of this desire, one may ignore obvious warning signs that indicate this person is not the right one for you. You may even be so enamored with this person that you fail to realise that spiritually the relationship is already draining you. But it’s better to be alone than to be spiritually trapped. The need for sex should not be the main driving force behind one’s desire for marriage. Instead, let God’s purpose for your life guide your decision to pursue marriage or not, and guide to whom you choose to commit your life.
If you are caught up thinking only about the physical in regards to marriage, maybe this is your chance to shake things up. Get yourself to a quiet place and pray. Ask God what is His plan for the marriage you want to pursue. Do your utmost to ensure God is with you in this. It is the most important decision you will make in your adult life. And God wants you to get it right in all areas.
Prayer StarterI want to be led to the right person you have for me Jesus. Let me not look only with my physical senses, but follow the Spirit’s leading throughout this process. Even if it hurts me, Lord help me continually abide in your will.