Posts Tagged With: relationship

Son-Glasses

I have a very intimate relationship with God. It is a gift above any gift I could ever ask for, it is my identity and my solace. He is my husband and my friend and I would die without Him. Because my relationship with Jesus is so precious to me, and because I believed what I had been taught about sins and the importance of confessing them in order to remain in contact with God I became extremely sin conscience. It started by making sure to clear my conscience before bed every night so that the Enemy couldn’t torment me in my dreams. Eventually I started the practice of clearing my conscience and confessing my sins every time I washed my hands – which is a LOT when you’re a stay at home mom! I finally got to the point where I was afraid to talk because I might sin, I was afraid to do anything wrong because then God would turn His face from me and wouldn’t talk to me anymore. I was constantly worried that I wasn’t doing the right things: Not spending enough time with my kids and too much time writing; spending too much time with my kids and not enough time writing… I was constantly walking on eggshells and afraid that one would break and I wouldn’t notice it soon enough that I would be able to confess it before something happened. I was afraid that God would lift His shield of protection if I sinned, there’s only one place I could have picked up that idea and it’s not from GOD! Honestly, the worst part of this whole thing, is how ignorant I was to the whole thing! Sure, writing it all down now and looking back it sounds psychotic, but the change was gradual and I was, at the time, convinced in my legalism (although I wasn’t seeing it as such at the time). I was deluded. I had been lured into being held captive to the lie that I needed to constantly ask for God’s forgiveness in order to have His stamp of approval and protection on my life. But all that succeeded in doing was to tie me up in knots, stress me out and frustrate me. I certainly wasn’t living freely, or abundantly.

Here I am, a FIRM believer in “God is in control” and yet I was placing all the control on MY very weak shoulders. The way I was viewing it, is I was expecting God to protect/bless us, IF I did everything right….. ummmmmm….. Tamar, at what point did you die on a cross and rise from the dead in order to place that kind of authority and power on yourself? Honey, that’s not how GRACE works.

Grace has nothing to do with you earning anything, and everything to do with JESUS. This past week I was struggling with my priorities (as mentioned before) and when I should be doing things during my day in order to get them all done. I have decided that I need to get up at five to spend time solely for prayer while I shower so that my day will start successfully. To do this I must exhibit self-control and walk away from the TV and/or household chores at 9:45pm in order to be in bed by 10:00pm (I have yet to actually do this by the way, close, but not yet). One morning I drug myself out of bed and literally stumbled my way into the cold bright bathroom attempting to wake myself up… it didn’t work. I tried reading my Bible, but my eyes just kept closing themselves. I told the spirit of fatigue to leave me in Jesus’ name, but that didn’t work either. Finally I said, “Lord, if You REALLY want me to do this right now instead of going back to bed, You are going to have to wake me up.” Still nothing. But in my heart, I knew that it WAS His will to spend alone time with me. He’s told me so on several occasions. I gave in to the tears burning my eyes and sobbed in frustration at my lack of ability to carry out His will. I said “Lord, I am so sorry that I can’t do this. I’m sorry that I’m not good enough for You. Lord, I quit, I can’t do this anymore…” When I was finished verbally beating myself to a pulp He said, “When are you gonna get it that it’s not about what you DO?” And the verse about our righteous acts are as filthy rags popped into my head.

Pleasing God, gaining His approval, benefiting from His blessings and His protection has NOTHING to do with what you DO, that’s legalism.  And it has everything to do with what has been done in your name. Every day we do things “in Jesus’ name”, without ever realizing or thinking about what HE does in our name every day. The first thing He did in our name is He died to pay for our sins. Every single one of them, both past and present. And if that was all He ever did in our name, that would be amazing. But wait, there’s more! Right this very minute Jesus is sitting at the right hand of God the Father. And because we all have sinned and fallen short, every day, when it happens, as it happens, Jesus lifts His wrist to the Father’s eyes and let’s Him watch us through the holes that the nails left, so that Yaweh can now look upon our sin and yet never turn away from us. He views our sins through Jesus’ hand-made “Son-glasses”.

When we give our lives to Christ, it is a precious thing. Something that He does NOT take lightly. He takes us and places us safely in the center of the palm of the Father’s hand, where we are free to walk, run, jump, dance, eat, drink and be merry in His presence to our hearts content. And if at any point we begin to wander too close to the edge of His hand (AKA sin) then He will begin to tighten His grip on us, to close His fingers in around us, bringing us back to the center of His grace. That tightness may be a bit uncomfortable for a time, possibly even downright painful, but I think you will agree that the end result is worth it isn’t it? Praise God that life isn’t all about us! It’s all about Him! What He has done for us, not what we do for Him. It’s about how He loves us, and shows us that love in a multi-faceted ways everyday. How He keeps us protected from all eternal harm when we’ve chosen to allow Him to do so by placing ourselves totally into His loving hand.

So this morning and, I pray, every morning from here on out when I get up I will place my own set of Son-glasses on over my eyes to help me remember that what Jesus did on the cross and in the tomb, is a FINISHED work that He did in my name before God Almighty, so that the laundry list of my sins past, present and future are FORGIVEN. Once and for all, so that I can go about living life and not get wrapped up in sin. I can walk with confidence knowing that if I am doing something wrong, He will alert me to the situation and I pray that I will choose to heed His warnings and cease and desist immediately!

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Press into Me

I'm the one on the left ;)Today I get to unfold a wonderful secret truth to you! And I am so excited to share it with you! Our main story comes from 1 Kings 20. This is so much more than a story of what was happening centuries ago. This is a story of what is happening right now! TODAY! The names may be different, but the story is exactly the same.

Let me introduce you to our two main characters. In one corner we have Ben-Hadad, king of Aram, enemy of the people of God… aka. Satan. In the opposite corner we have Ahab king of Israel, child of the living God, a symbol of you, today, right now.

1-3 At about this same time Ben-Hadad king of Aram mustered his troops. He recruited in addition thirty-two local sheiks, all outfitted with horses and chariots. He set out in force and surrounded Samaria, ready to make war. He sent an envoy into the city to set his terms before Ahab king of Israel: “Ben-Hadad lays claim to your silver and gold, and to the pick of your wives and sons.”

 4 The king of Israel accepted the terms: “As you say, distinguished lord; I and everything I have is yours.”

 5-6 But then the envoy returned a second time, saying, “On second thought, I want it all—your silver and gold and all your wives and sons. Hand them over—the whole works. I’ll give you twenty-four hours; then my servants will arrive to search your palace and the houses of your officials and loot them; anything that strikes their fancy, they’ll take.”

 7 The king of Israel called a meeting of all his tribal elders. He said, “Look at this—outrageous! He’s just looking for trouble. He means to clean me out, demanding all my women and children. And after I already agreed to pay him off handsomely!”

 8 The elders, backed by the people, said, “Don’t cave in to him. Don’t give an inch.”

 9 So he sent an envoy to Ben-Hadad, “Tell my distinguished lord, ‘I agreed to the terms you delivered the first time, but this I can’t do—this I won’t do!'”

    The envoy went back and delivered the answer.

 10 Ben-Hadad shot back his response: “May the gods do their worst to me, and then worse again, if there’ll be anything left of Samaria but rubble.”

 11 The king of Israel countered, “Think about it—it’s easier to start a fight than end one.”

 12 It happened that when Ben-Hadad heard this retort he was into some heavy drinking, boozing it up with the sheiks in their field shelters. Drunkenly, he ordered his henchmen, “Go after them!” And they attacked the city.

 13 Just then a lone prophet approached Ahab king of Israel and said, “God’s word: Have you taken a good look at this mob? Well, look again—I’m turning it over to you this very day. And you’ll know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that I am God.”

 14 Ahab said, “Really? And who is going to make this happen?”

    God said, “The young commandos of the regional chiefs.”

    “And who,” said Ahab, “will strike the first blow?”

    God said, “You.”

 15 Ahab looked over the commandos of the regional chiefs; he counted 232. Then he assessed the available troops—7,000.

 16-17 At noon they set out after Ben-Hadad who, with his allies, the thirty-two sheiks, was busy at serious drinking in the field shelters. The commandos of the regional chiefs made up the vanguard.

    A report was brought to Ben-Hadad: “Men are on their way from Samaria.”

 18 He said, “If they’ve come in peace, take them alive as hostages; if they’ve come to fight, the same—take them alive as hostages.”

 19-20 The commandos poured out of the city with the full army behind them. They hit hard in hand-to-hand combat. The Arameans scattered from the field, with Israel hard on their heels. But Ben-Hadad king of Aram got away on horseback, along with his cavalry.

 21 The king of Israel cut down both horses and chariots—an enormous defeat for Aram.

 22 Sometime later the prophet came to the king of Israel and said, “On the alert now—build up your army, assess your capabilities, and see what has to be done. Before the year is out, the king of Aram will be back in force.”

 23-25 Meanwhile the advisors to the king of Aram said, “Their god is a god of the mountains—we don’t stand a chance against them there. So let’s engage them on the plain where we’ll have the advantage. Here’s the strategy: Remove each sheik from his place of leadership and replace him with a seasoned officer. Then recruit a fighting force equivalent in size to the army that deserted earlier—horse for horse, chariot for chariot. And we’ll fight them on the plain—we’re sure to prove stronger than they are.”

    It sounded good to the king; he did what they advised.

 26-27 As the new year approached, Ben-Hadad rallied Aram and they went up to Aphek to make war on Israel. The Israelite army prepared to fight and took the field to meet Aram. They moved into battle formation before Aram in two camps, like two flocks of goats. The plain was seething with Arameans.

 28 Just then a holy man approached the king of Israel saying, “This is God’s word: Because Aram said, ‘God is a god of the mountains and not a god of the valleys,’ I’ll hand over this huge mob of an army to you. Then you’ll know that I am God.”

 29-30 The two armies were poised in a standoff for seven days. On the seventh day fighting broke out. The Israelites killed 100,000 of the Aramean infantry in one day. The rest of the army ran for their lives back to the city, Aphek, only to have the city wall fall on 27,000 of the survivors.

 30-31 Ben-Hadad escaped into the city and hid in a closet. Then his advisors told him, “Look, we’ve heard that the kings of Israel play by the rules; let’s dress in old gunnysacks, carry a white flag of truce, and present ourselves to the king of Israel on the chance that he’ll let you live.”

You see, the Armean forces, today, are real. There really are demons flooding the streets looking for people to attack, looking for people to drag down into a pit of despair and depression. They are surrounding the people of God and trying to hold them back from an intimate relationship with their God. And so many times the people allow them to win, they allow the Enemy to sink into their mind and convince them that they’re fat or that they’re not good mothers. But God is so gracious! Because we don’t just get the honor of winning the battles on the moutain tops of life, because He is also the God of the valleys of life as well. He doesn’t just bring victory in the good things and the good times, He brings victory in the low times of life too. In those times when we feel like two tiny little herds of goats and the Enemy is covering the entire countryside against us. But GOD is with us! God sends His messengers into our lives to encourage us and let us know that He IS with us and that He will bring us victory! Victory in ALL the battles of life, the mountains and the valleys! The high points and the low points! How? Check out what is happening to Elisha in 2 Kings 6

 8 One time when the king of Aram was at war with Israel, after consulting with his officers, he said, “At such and such a place I want an ambush set.”

 9 The Holy Man sent a message to the king of Israel: “Watch out when you’re passing this place, because Aram has set an ambush there.”

 10 So the king of Israel sent word concerning the place of which the Holy Man had warned him.

    This kind of thing happened all the time.

 11 The king of Aram was furious over all this. He called his officers together and said, “Tell me, who is leaking information to the king of Israel? Who is the spy in our ranks?”

 12 But one of his men said, “No, my master, dear king. It’s not any of us. It’s Elisha the prophet in Israel. He tells the king of Israel everything you say, even what you whisper in your bedroom.”

 13 The king said, “Go and find out where he is. I’ll send someone and capture him.”

    The report came back, “He’s in Dothan.”

 14 Then he dispatched horses and chariots, an impressive fighting force. They came by night and surrounded the city.

 15 Early in the morning a servant of the Holy Man got up and went out. Surprise! Horses and chariots surrounding the city! The young man exclaimed, “Oh, master! What shall we do?”

 16 He said, “Don’t worry about it—there are more on our side than on their side.”

 17 Then Elisha prayed, “O God, open his eyes and let him see.”

    The eyes of the young man were opened and he saw. A wonder! The whole mountainside full of horses and chariots of fire surrounding Elisha!

 18 When the Arameans attacked, Elisha prayed to God, “Strike these people blind!” And God struck them blind, just as Elisha said.

 19 Then Elisha called out to them, “Not that way! Not this city! Follow me and I’ll lead you to the man you’re looking for.” And he led them into Samaria.

 20 As they entered the city, Elisha prayed, “O God, open their eyes so they can see where they are.” God opened their eyes. They looked around—they were trapped in Samaria!

Again, a man of God was completely surrounded and seemingly incapacitated by the Enemy forces around him… but those Enemy forces had no idea what was REALLY going on! Only God and Elisha did. Elisha could SEE what the battle REALLY looked like. Heavenly Chariots of fire surrounding the Enemy. And that is the case for us every day! We HAVE to walk in the confidence that God’s faithfulness is our shield and our rampart! (Psalm 91: 4) It has nothing to do with our faith or our goodness or our works, it is all dependent on Him and Him alone. When we realize that the battle belongs to the LORD and not to us, then the battle becomes so much easier. Look at the Israelites, they still had to fight the battle, they still had to go through that valley, but they went through it KNOWING that the victory was theirs! They fought that battle and they WON that battle! They did SERIOUS damage to the enemy forces while they were fighting too! It wasn’t just that they survived the battle with their lives in tact, NO! They WON that battle, they DEFEATED their foe! Leaving a trail of bloodshed and defeat behind them! In the story with Elisha, God opens our eyes to the fact that although we may not be able to see them, the warrior angels ARE there to help us defeat the seemingly overwhelming enemy force that may surround us at the moment. TAKE HEART my friend, because those that are with us are more than those who are with them! Because GOD is with us, who can be against us???

This morning while still snuggling with my husband in bed, God said so lovingly to me: “Press into ME”. This is our command, this is our honor, this is our privilege, to press into Him. Jesus is our heavenly husband. He loves us more than we could ever hope or imagine! He desperately wants us to press into Him; to stand close to Him and lean into Him, laying our heads on His shoulder with our nose against His neck and our arms around His waist, so that He can wrap His loving tender arms around us and hold us tightly. Just like those angel troops surrounded the enemy forces, His arms surround and protect us from the Enemy and his efforts to destroy us, causing him to fail! So today I pray (feel free to pray with me):

Lord, I press into You. You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek You; I thirst for You, my whole being longs for You, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.” (Psalm 63:1) I believe that it is Your faithfulness to me that is my shield and my rampart and not my own faithfulness to You. God I THANK YOU for always being here for me, to shield me from the storm and to draw me nearer to where You are. Lord, I will praise You in this storm, because I BELIEVE that You are with me, and that You will bring me victory in Your own way. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!”

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Prayer for Guidance: Psalm 23

“Know ye that Jehovah, He is God: It is He that hath made us, and we are His; We are His people, and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise: Give thanks unto Him, and bless His name. For Jehovah is good; His loving kindness endureth for ever, And His faithfulness unto all generations.” Psalm 100:3-5 American Standard Version

Today I have spent the whole day at Living Proof Live! It was wonderful being surrounded by the women that I love hearing the word of God spoken with Beth Moore’s beautiful Texas accent. Now I’m a worshiper, and my favorite part of the day were the praise and worship times when I had the opportunity to join with 180,000 women across the glove singing praises to the name of Jesus our Messiah! It was AWESOME! At one point my friend Cindy turned to me and with a big grin said “I bet it makes God so happy to hear this right now.” And I shared with her how this spring I was at a women’s retreat, The Walk to Emmaus, where we sang everything with only an acoustic guitar and barely any amplification. The sound of the women’s voices lifting up the LORD’S praises was simply too much for me to handle and I could rarely sing the first verse or two for the beauty of the sound! I could only listen and dwell in the smile of pleasure that warmed God’s heart as He was receiving our praises.

We were created to praise Him! His word says as much. He DELIGHTS in the praises that we lift up, either songs, poems, stories, tears, moanings, groanings, you name it I believe that He LOVES it! However, I also believe that it is the Enemy’s goal in life to steal those praises from our lips. To snatch them from our hearts. To ensnare them from getting to Jesus on the throne and in turn steal Jesus’ joy of hearing them. I want you to think about this for a minute. When you do something big for someone, and they say thank you, how much does it mean to you. I’m not talking about one of those passive, smile-and-nod “thanks”, I mean one of those heartfelt, from the bottom of their toes, THANK YOU’s. How great does that feel? And if it feels that good to us, then how GREAT must it make God feel when we say that to Him? Now just try to tell me that the Enemy wouldn’t want to take that away from God. I would not believe you if you tried! No, it’s Satan’s chief goal to steal God’s glory and His honor and His praise through every way that he abuses us, trying to get us to drop our arms, to stop our songs of praise, to keep us from writing our stories of triumph and victory over defeat, to stop our tears of joy from flowing to the altar. The Enemy wants them replaced with guilt and shame, fear and condemnation. As God shared this epiphany with me today, in that church as I stood singing at the top of my voice with my arms reaching out to the heavens in an attempt to touch the hem of His holy robe, do you know what I told Him? I told God that I would NOT let the Enemy win. That I refused to let the Enemy steal my joy, to steal my confidence in the grace under which I live. I will NOT allow him to convince me that my God, who DIED FOR ME, doesn’t love me. I will NOT allow him to shut my praises up inside of me for fear of the condemnation of people who simply don’t understand what living under the grace-filled-shadow of the hand of the Almighty looks like. It looks like a shattered heart that has been mended by loving hands that KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING! It looks like tears flowing, not from hurt, but from HEALING. No, living a grace-filled-life isn’t without pain, or battles; it’s loving and praising through them because we have the peace that passes all understanding. It’s KNOWING that God loves us, not because He showers us with gifts of THINGS or MONEY, but that He prunes us so that we may bear much fruit. Life is HARD, and it HURTS! But we choose the one of two places from which those hurts can come from; the hands of someone who HATES US with everything in him (the Enemy) or they can come from the hands of the one who LOVES US MORE THAN LIFE ITSELF! HE DIED TO SET YOU FREE! He died to show you He loves you. He died so that you could LIVE. But He doesn’t force us to accept that love. He doesn’t force us to accept that life. He merely lays it at our feet like a rose on the ground, and we choose to pick it up and cherish it like the gift that it was meant to be, or walk all over it like it’s worth nothing at all to us.

While Jesus was here, many people treated Him just that way; like a rose trampled on the ground. Like He was nothing, and we still do it today, nothing has changed but the way in which we shun Him. Often times, it’s with a church service that brings people together in His name and then never mentions it once in the service. It’s people coming and singing the pretty church songs, but their praises are a mere “thanks” and not a heart-felt THANK YOU JESUS! Going through the motions so that WE feel like we’ve been to church and done our weekly Christian duty. But those aren’t the praises that God seeks, that’s not what He desires. He desires our hearts, not our sacrifices. He desires our LOVE and ADORATION, not our empty praises. He desires a FRIENDSHIP, not just an acquaintance. God wants US, all of us, not just a part. He wants us to DIVE into the deep end of His love and splash around in His grace. To do a cannonball off the diving board, just because we can. But, HOW do we do that? How do we get there?

We ask.

We all have a different way to get to that point with God where we are confidently leaning on Him, so I can’t tell you that’s there’s one way and here’s how you do it. We are all made uniquely individual and we all come to Jesus in exactly that way. But I can tell you this, you CAN ask Him to take you there. You can ask Him HOW to get to that point. And when you call to Him for help, guidance, directions, He WILL answer you. It’s a promise.

Prayer for Guidance:Psalm 23: “Lord Jesus, I want to know You more. But I don’t know how. I want to lean on You in confidence that You won’t let me fall, but I don’t know what that looks like. God PLEASE, help me get there. Right now I am Your lost little sheep in need of a Shepherd to guide me, lead me to that place where You are. Please help me to lie down in green pastures, lead me beside those still waters, because I believe that You will restore my soul. Lord, guide me in paths of righteousness for Your name’s sake. I am walking through the valley of the shadow of death right now Lord, but I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. Lord, I believe that You do prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. That when You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.  Lord, I do believe that SURELY Your Goodness and Mercy will follow me all the days of my life, and that I WILL dwell in the house of Yaweh FOREVER. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!”

You know what I’m really enjoying about these scripture based prayers, they start out asking for something, and end up DECLARING THE VICTORY! AMEN! I am including a video (below) of a praise song with the lyrics included on the screen. If you are able, and I pray that God will allow you to read this particular post at a time when you are able to play the video, stand or kneel if you feel called. Sing along, raise your arms in praise to His sacrifice and His grace, and praise Him with a deeply felt thankful heart that He is GOOD and WORTHY of praise! HALLELUJAH!

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Bear Hugs

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.” John 15:9

I was just getting ready for bed and went to give my sleeping children just one more kiss for the day and to pray over them just one more time. But this time my daughter was still awake! She sat up and greeted me with a huge grin and through prune-y sucked fingers said “Hi Mommy”! My heart just melted! I sat down on her bed with her, wrapped her up in a big bear hug and squeezed her until she squeaked. I said, “Princess, I love you soooooo very much! And just think, I love you this much, and it’s not even close to the amount that God loves you, but He can’t hug you.” And I wrapped her in another tight squeeze. And it was in that moment that God chose to remind me how I had just prayed that He use me to show people how much He loves them. And how He was using me to show her and tell her how much He loves her… and how much He love me! More than a smitten mother’s love for her precious baby girl. Praise God! 🙂

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The Name

What IS it about a name that can get people so riled up? Why is it that when I say “Obama”, hackles start to raise, or if I say “Mother Theresa”, you might start to calm down. What about “Hitler” or “Mickey Mouse”? I think it’s because there are a lot of things attached to any name. Just like keys attached to a key ring, ideas, a face, statements, and ideals are attached to names. The name of Jesus gleans many different reactions depending on the person’s relationship with Him and the statement just made about Him. Someone who doesn’t know Him may be curious or cautious. Someone who’s had a bad experience with a Christian in the past may express anger or resentment. With myself, at the mention of the Name of Jesus, an intense sense of peace and joy washes over me and a smile usually creeps across my face – if the statement is simply His name or His truth. But when I hear His name used in a derogatory way I have an intense anger and a defense reflex rises up in me. Hmmmmm…… you want to know how I picture the Enemy’s response to the name of Jesus? I picture them with looks of absolute fear and terror on their faces as they flee in seven different directions!

In John 15:20-21 Jesus tells us to “Remember the words I spoke to you: ‘No servant is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of My name, for they do not know the One who sent Me.” There is POWER in a name. (Jeremiah 10:6) Moral of the story, when you take a step, any step, into Enemy territory in the name of Jesus, expect a battle!

The Enemy will use whomever he can to get to you too, the closer the better! Three years in a row, at harvest time, I have had 1) a very close friendship shatter, 2) a close family incident, and 3) another slightly more distant family incident all because of my bold faith. The past two years it’s been my family concerned for my sanity of all things. Because they’ve thought that I’m too overboard with this “God-thing”. It’s interesting to me, when the first incident with my family occurred I played a bit of Bible roulette (Pray about your situation and ask God for advice then open to a random page and see where your eye falls), and God gave me Mark 3:21. “When His family heard about this, they went to take charge of Him, for they said, “He is out of His mind.” Now, if Jesus’ family, who was present on the day at the wedding when He turned the water into wine, and His mother was quite present on the day of the immaculate conception, would think Him crazy enough to feel they needed to come “take charge of Him”, then of course my family will do that too when I start preaching and ministering in His name! In fact, how could I expect anything less?

Jesus tells us in Luke 12:49-53 “I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! But I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is completed! Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.” Jesus didn’t come so that everyone would agree… in fact His death caused even more arguing on the earth. And it’s certainly been that way ever since! The life of a disciple of Christ is not going to be like a ride on the lazy river at Holiday World, it’s a battle in the War of Words!

Jesus warns His followers while traveling one day that “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters – yes, even his own life – he cannot be my disciple. And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying, ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.’ Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty-thousand? If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:26-33) Jesus is telling His followers both then and now, that we MUST put Him first ALL the time or we can’t be His disciples. We have to be willing to leave absolutely positively EVERYTHING to be with Him and follow Him every single step of the way, all the way to the cross and beyond. Following Christ, costs some people their lives!

But Jesus also gives us some reassurance too. Peter starts the conversation in this instance, saying to Jesus, “We have left everything to follow You!” “I tell you the truth,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields – and with them, persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.” Mark 10:28-31 I can not tell you how closely I have lived this verse! I am still on good terms with my blood family members, but I’m not in nearly as close contact as I used to be with them. But the loss I had with my blood family I have more than doubled in the sisters that I have gained in Christ! The Lord has completely surrounded me with more love from people that I now call family. Some of them I’ve never even met in person before, but yet there’s a tie, a bond there that you simply can’t see or explain other than, we have the same heavenly Father. It’s simply amazing!

Listen to “At Your Name” by Phil Wickham

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If God has used this post to touch your life, please prayerfully consider giving a gift of love, and/or sign up to be a prayer partner by emailing Prayer@TamarMinistries.net.

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Don’t Hold Back

“For whoever touches you touches the apple of [the LORD’S] eye.” Zechariah 2:8b

Yesterday a man came up to me without a word, handed me an empty bag, turned and walked away. I looked at the bag to find there was a note on the outside that said: “This bag contains everything you or anyone else around you will ever need. But remember this, the things from the bag are only good for one day, at the end of the day anything left in the bag will disappear.” Well, as you can imagine I was somewhat skeptical, but I kept the bag because hey, it was cute and it matched my shoes.

This morning when I grabbed the bag to move it out-of-the-way, I couldn’t! Because it was FULL! I opened it to find my Bible, money, paper, a pen, a new outfit, four tickets to the Colts game tonight, food for our entire family of four, a video lesson on symbols in scripture, time (24 hours to be exact), pictures of my friends and even some faces I’d never seen before, my phone and computer, a bottle of laundry detergent, and a whole bunch of other things. I gasped as I saw the abundance laid out before me! I praised God thanking Him for filling my bag with the things I needed and He reminded me “These things are for today, and not all of them are for you. Some of these things are for the people around you too. I’ve simply put them into your hands first in order to bless you both, instead of just them. Now, don’t forget, all these things are for today, so don’t hold back in using them and giving them away because there will be more here in the morning for tomorrow. Just like the manna in the desert was for that day, so it is with this bag, its contents are for TODAY. Some of them may last a few days, a month or two or even a lifetime and they are all necessary to fulfilling the calling on your life. But the MOST important thing to remember is to not hold anything back, because that shows your fear of the unknown tomorrow. It shows Me that you don’t trust Me to fill your bag back up tomorrow. When you feel Me nudging you to give something away, you need to do it. When you feel Me telling you to spend money on something – no matter how ridiculous – you do it. Maybe I’m having you buy it for later, maybe I’m having you buy it for someone else but either way you need to lean, not on your own worldly understanding of how things work, but rather lean on Me and My understanding of how MY world works, how My economy works, how MY blessings work. You need to stop agreeing with the world’s view of your circumstances and start agreeing with MY view of your circumstances. When you ask Me about Your situation, I will tell you what to do and when you obey Me, I will deliver you. Maybe not in the way you expect or desire, but in the way that you need to be delivered. I may not snatch you from the situation but rather walk with you through it – shielding you from the blows.

Don’t hold back in your relationship with Me, and I won’t hold back in My blessing of you. I have been chasing you down with this bag for so long, but you were so busy chasing after the things in the bag that you’ve been running away from Me. I’m so glad that you chose to turn around and allow my blessings to catch up to you so that I could tackle you with My love! Thank you for believing Me today for the provision I’ve been trying to give you for so long. I love you so much, I’m so glad you stopped running away from My loving arms!” “Lord,” I questioned Him, “will the bag ever stop being filled every morning?” “Only when you stop expecting Me to fill it. If you stop putting your faith in Me to provide and start taking matters into your own hands – going your own way – then yes, I will stop filling it and you’ll have to do it on your own. That’s what happened to Adam. He decided to trust in his own strength and not Mine and look where it got him. By the sweat of his brow and the toil of his hands he earns his own daily wage. The same will happen to you if you stop trusting, listening and obeying Me. But if you continue to trust, listen and obey My commands – My gentle nudges, then I will bless the work of your hands instead of curse it. I will bless your going in and coming out, I will bless the ground your feet will walk on, and I will curse those who curse you and bless those who bless you. You are the apple of My eye and the fruit of My garden when you obey Me. When you obey Me, you will be in the Garden of God where you will want for nothing because you will have everything you need. Oh how I love you, My Beloved Bride! And if all this isn’t enough for you, you need only ask, believe and then wait and I will give it to you.”

“And I myself will be a wall of fire around it,’ declares the LORD, ‘and I will be it’s glory within.’” Zechariah 2:5

“’Shout and be glad, O Daughter of Zion. For I am coming, and I will live among you,’ declares the LORD.” Zechariah 2:10

“All these blessing will come upon you and accompany you if you obey the LORD your God:” Deuteronomy 28:2

“This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set  before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now CHOOSE LIFE, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to His voice, and hold fast to Him. For the LORD is your life, and He will give you many years in the land He swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” Deuteronomy 30:19-20 emphasis mine.

“I gave your master’s house to you, and your master’s wives into your arms. I gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more.” 2 Samuel 12:8

God is WILLING to give us more than what we could possibly imagine, but are we willing to believe Him when He tells us these things? Or are we too comfortable in our bondage, too afraid to take that leap of faith, so scared to fail that we let the opportunity to succeed pass us by? I pray that today we ALL choose to believe God and that His promises are not just for the people of the Bible, but for us as well. David, although a man after God’s own heart, was still just a man. Human, just like the rest of us. If God was willing to bless David with “even more” than the abundance that He had already blessed him with, then wouldn’t He be willing to do that for us too? God is no respecter of persons. He loves us all enough to die for us.

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The Light

And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and He separated the light from the darkness.” (Genesis 1:3-4) “You are my lamp, O LORD; the LORD turns my darkness into light. With Your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall.” (2 Samuel 22:29-30) “Let the light of Your face shine upon us, O LORD. You have filled my heart with greater joy than when their grain and new wine abound. I will lie down and sleep in peace, for You alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.” (Psalm 4:6b-8) “When Jesus spoke again to the people, He said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’” (John 8:12)

We have a 55-gallon fish tank in the middle of our living room. It’s had one light bulb burnt out for probably a year or more. So at least half of the tank is always dark. And when life gets busy and I get behind on cleaning it, I will often times forget to even turn the one working light on, because, why turn it on to see how yucky the tank is? That’s the way it’s been for the last… well… the summer to be honest. Until TODAY! I broke down and spent some bucks on the fishies, and bought TWO new lights for the tank. I put them in and was AMAZED at the difference! I hadn’t cleaned the tank, the glass, anything, the ONLY thing I did was turn a new light on into the darkness and suddenly EVERYTHING in the tank looked new! The plants, gravel and the glass all looked cleaner and even the fish had colors that I’d never seen in them before! All because I was seeing them in a new light… literally! Suddenly I realized that that’s exactly what happens to US when we choose a relationship with Christ. He takes our old burned-out light out and replaces it with the supernatural light of the Holy Spirit. And then amazing things start to happen! Even though we’re not spotlessly clean (“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” Romans 3:23-24) His amazing light shining through us makes us look cleaner than we have been in months! His love brings out colors we never even knew we had! Strengths where there used to be weaknesses, confidence where there used to be fear, success where there used to be struggle. It’s through our relationship with Jesus that we can begin to experience life to the fullest degree possible. Not when we enter religion, but rather, when we enter into a relationship. There is a HUGE difference between the two.

God has really been stretching me on this concept. The concept of a real relationship with God Almighty and what that looks like, feels like, acts like, prays like. It’s been very different from religion. Religion is based on rules or the Law, right and wrong, black and white, traditions. But relationship is simply based on relation. How we relate to God and the world around us, filled with less black and white and rather color and depth, height and width. To go from the black and white two-dimensional world of religion and enter into the Technicolor high-definition world of relationship where NOTHING is simply black and white has made me feel a bit like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz! I’ve stepped into the place where everything I’ve ever thought I’ve know about God now has HIS light shining on it instead of my own dim bulb and there are colors and things that I’ve never seen before, concepts I’ve always just blindly accepted assuming they were correct and finding myself questioning them and testing them to see if they would hold up under this new light.

Something that is really blowing my mind today is that God knows everything. OK, I already knew that, but I mean He KNOWS EVERYTHING! Past, present and future, He knows it ALL. You see, that’s a big deal to me because I am a people pleaser, I care DESPERATELY about how God feels about me. Is He angry with me? Is He frustrated with me? Or is He disappointed in me? This last one is the worst one for me. I try SO hard to please Him ALL the time. But through all of this effort of trying to please Him I was missing something huge. God knows everything. Even everything about me! Like, He knows if I’m going to trip over one of my kids’ toys and speak harshly to them. He knows if I’m going to be bold and say “God bless you” to a complete stranger today. He knows it all. And since He knows it all, He’s not surprised by any of it, but rather He expected it.

As a mother I know my kids. I know that when I take my kids to the store at 7pm and they’re tired and hungry, things probably aren’t going to go too smoothly. I go into the store expecting them to struggle with maintaining their good manners. I’m also not surprised or disappointed with them when they start to melt down either. And why should I be? I’m the one that took them there in that condition in the first place!

My point is this, God knows when we’re tired of our circumstances and we’re ready to move on and He’s expecting a melt-down any second, He’s not angry or disappointed about it. He’s God. He knows everything! So what does He do? He hands us a cookie He had stashed in His purse for JUST such a time as this. Tells us to hang on just a little while longer. We’re almost done shopping there are just a few more things on His list and then we’ll move on.

Yes, it’s amazing what a new light can show you about the world that you carry around inside you. Things you never knew before.

Jesus, thank You for dying and giving up Your Spirit so that You could share it with us and shine Your beautiful light into our hearts and out through our lives! We are so blessed to be called not just children of God, but Your friends as well. Thank You for continuing to chase us down with the blessing of a RELATIONSHIP with You, the creator of everything bright and beautiful. We love You YAWEH! Thank You for loving us more than we can ever comprehend! I look forward to an eternity of getting to know You… but if You don’t mind Lord, I’d like to start TODAY… if that’s OK with You.

AMEN!

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Day 28: How can I?

Tremble, and do not sin; meditate in your heart upon your bed, and be still.  Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and trust in the LORD. Many are saying, “Who will show us any good? Lift up the light of Your countenance upon us, O LORD!  You have put gladness in my heart, more than when their grain and new wine abound.  In peace I will both lie down and sleep, for You alone, O LORD, make me to dwell in safety.  Psalm 4:4-8

When you allow God into your life and ask him to forgive all your sins, He purifies you from the inside out.  “Forgive” is a word that holds extreme power.  And until you learn how to use it and receive it you won’t know how powerful it really is.  I can tell you from personal experience that “I forgive you” are 3 words that need to become part of your everyday vocabulary and roll off your tongue.  You need to THINK them and PRAY them before forgiveness is even asked for.  Sometimes your offender won’t ask for forgiveness, but between you and the LORD you need to forgive them.  Immediately, with no delay, because when someone offends you, it’s like they’re throwing you a flaming ball.  The longer you hold it, the more it burns YOU.  By withholding forgiveness from someone you are NOT hurting them only yourself.  Forgive them before you get burned.

Anger is an emotion; it’s human to feel anger.  Ephesians 4:26-27 tells us: Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity. Paul is telling us that we can be angry and not sin.  It is possible, because anger in itself is not a sin.  If you look at the way that it’s written, “Be angry”, it’s already assuming that you ARE angry.  The anger is not the sin; it’s what you DO with that anger that can get you into trouble. He then tells us that we shouldn’t let the sun go down on our anger and not to give the devil an opportunity.  What does this scripture and the opening scripture say we should DO with our anger?

Step 1) Be still and think (Ps 4:4).  BREATHE!!! We have to still our hearts and emotions and listen to God in every situation, but ESPECIALLY amid angry and tense situations.  We have to ask God what our next move should be and not let anyone else lead our actions.  If God’s not leading us, then who is?  During this period, it’s time to keep your big mouth shut!  SAY NOTHING!

Step 2) Deal with it by the end of the day (Eph 4:26).  We must make sure that we deal with our anger quickly!  The longer we hold onto it the more it tears US apart.  Not the person we’re angry with, just us.  (Have I said that enough yet?  Is it sinking in yet?)  And if you DO hold onto that anger it is literally opening a door for the devil to walk right in and take control of the situation.  However, look at Psalm 4:8 and see what happens when you give your anger to God.  In peace I will both lie down and sleep, for You alone, O LORD, make me to dwell in safety. (Notice, this is only 4 short verses after Psalm 4:4 where they were trembling in anger!)  How many sleepless nights have you had because you were fighting with someone in your head?  When you give that anger to God, BEFORE you go to bed you can lie down AND SLEEP in PEACE.  God will grant you rest from the turmoil within.  But you have to give it to Him.  He won’t take it unless it’s given to Him first.  He adores you and doesn’t want to see you in pain from anger.  You’ve got to let it go; otherwise He can’t help you with it.

One last example of how God recommends we forgive.  So as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the LORD forgave you, so also should you.  Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. (Colossians 3:12-14)  Bear with each other, I tell ya, THAT phrase is soooo fitting for me, I find myself saying it over and over.  Am I alone?  Oh how often do we just have to bear with each other in our marriages? (I love you Christian!)  On those days when he’s tired and grumpy and I just want to smack him and say “snap out of it!”, instead I tell myself, “Bear with him Tamar, you may be grumpy tomorrow!”

When Jesus tells us to “Forgive as the Lord forgave you”, it just makes me ask, how does the Lord forgive us?  First of all, as mentioned yesterday, He forgives us in the way that we forgive others.  But here’s another example, out of Jeremiah:  I will cleanse them from all their iniquity by which they have sinned against Me, and I will pardon all their iniquities by which they have sinned against Me and by which they have transgressed against Me. (33:8) God doesn’t pick and choose which sins He will forgive or who’s sins He will forgive, He forgives everyone of ALL their sins.  If it had nothing to do with us forgiving others first, He would always be forgiving us immediately.

Let’s take a look at the story of David and Bathsheba in 2nd Samuel for another example.  Bathsheba was bathing one night when David, the King, saw her, wanted her, and summoned her to his bedroom.  She was married, but he was the King, so she couldn’t really tell him no – or perhaps maybe she didn’t want to tell him no.  They slept together, she got pregnant, she told David, and he sent her husband to his death on the front lines of battle.  So, they’re story really isn’t that great so far, they’ve committed lust, lying, adultery and murder (that’s the Bible for ya).  Nathan, a prophet, comes to David and confronts him about his transgressions.  Then David said to Nathan, ‘I have sinned against the LORD.’  And Nathan said to David, ‘The LORD also has taken away your sin; you shall not die. (2 Samuel 12:13)  In this situation how did God forgive David and Bathsheba?  Did Nathan tell David to “give me some time; He needs to think about this.”?  No!  He IMMEDIATELY said “The LORD has taken away your sin.”  David and Bathsheba were forgiven immediately.  “Forgive as the LORD forgave you.”  He’s willing to grant undeserved forgiveness immediately, and we should be willing to do the same.

Christian’s comments:

As I’ve stated a couple of times already, I drive in demolition derbies. If there is any place to get angry at someone, that’s it. The most important safety rule in demolition derby is, “Do not hit another car in the driver’s door.” Doing this is usually grounds for immediate disqualification.

The problem with the rule is, the officials watching the derby don’t always see the hit. Believe me, after driving in a derby, you come to realize that unseen driver’s door hits happen more often than you think. When it happens, there are two courses of action. You can forgive the other driver and go on. Or try to take out the other driver. Lose your cool, in other words, and go crazy. In most of those cases, you destroy your own car, as well as any chances of finishing in the money.

In one derby I drove in, another driver gave me a track shot directly square in the driver’s door.(A track shot is driving from one end of the arena to the other as fast as you can and hitting someone as hard as you can.) He hit me so hard, my helmet hit the roof of my car, and he bent the bar in my driver’s door so far in that it hit my seat. In that particular derby, the driver taking the driver’s door hit chooses whether or not to disqualify the driver giving the hit. The official was looking directly at me after the hit and I quickly decided to forgive him and give him the benefit of the doubt instead of going after him and possibly destroying both of our chances of making the feature. I just waved it off and kept driving.

After the heat, the other driver came up to me in the pits and apologized and asked if I was alright. I could tell by the way that he was talking to me that he was genuinely concerned about my welfare. He explained that he was aiming for another car, but was hit and redirected into my door. I told him that I was OK and we started talking. We have since become friends and help each other at derbies that we go to.

So instead of losing my temper and flipping out on the guy, I quickly forgave him, and gained a friend.

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Day 26: Conflict

This you know, my beloved brethren.  But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger, for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God. James 1:19-20

Conflict is a necessary element in marriage.  Without conflict there simply can’t be resolution.  This is one of the last and most important things that this fast taught us.  Although fighting has never really been a problem for Christian and me, it is extremely common in the majority of relationships.  This is where Mark 3:24-25 is a very important verse to think on.  If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.  If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. A household that is full of arguing and constant strife cannot stand.  So while conflict is important and necessary, like everything else in a marriage there must be a balance and everything must be done in love not anger.  Conflict is necessary, anger and fighting is not.

Proverbs 27:5-6 tells us that when someone who you love comes to you and LOVINGLY points out the “sawdust in your eye”.  When they say it in love and compassion, those wounds that they inflict can be trusted.  They will heal quickly because they have been inflicted in love and for your own good.  On the other hand there are “kisses” from an enemy.  If you see someone you love acting in a way that is ungodly, you need to tell them, in love.  If instead of pointing out their fault lovingly, you “kiss” them and tell them nothing or worse condone the action, then you might as well be an enemy to them.  Over the years Christian has wounded me many times emotionally, but the majority of them have been for my own good.  He has rarely spoken harshly to me, and he has never spoken to me in a condescending way.  Wounds like these can be trusted.

In every conflict, either with a loved one or someone you don’t even know, you’ve GOT to fight fair.  James 1:19-20 is, in a nut-shell, our guideline for fighting with others.  If we are in disagreement with someone we must be quick to hear what they’re trying to say.  Whether in attack or defense we must LISTEN first and be loving.  Next James says to be slow to speak.  Don’t just blurt out your first knee-jerk reaction to what they’re saying.  THINK before you speak.  Better yet, PRAY before you speak.  “Your words, not mine LORD.”  This is my 5 word prayer for almost any situation.  As Christian mentioned earlier I haven’t always been very good at doing this, but I’m working on it and improving day by day.  Speak God’s words, let Him fill you with His word (scripture) so that the first thing off your lips is holy.  Pray before you speak. (I said this twice for a reason.) Be thoughtful, the words you speak can change your entire life.  Believe me, I know.  There’s a reason God gave us two ears and only one mouth, we’re supposed to listen twice as much as we speak!  In James 3:4 he compares the tongue to the rudder of a ship.  Although very small in comparison to the ship as a whole, it steers the ship everywhere the pilot wants it to go.  We must guard our speech so that it doesn’t take us somewhere we’re not supposed to go.  Be slow to anger.  Our anger, if left alone, can very quickly turn us into someone we don’t like or recognize.  A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. (Proverbs 15:1)  Be gentle in your answers, don’t re-act to your husband, just love him.

While God’s love is perfect and drives fear away, some human conflict creates fear.  This should not be and is not right.  There is no fear in love.

“Lord, I know that someone out there right now is living in fear of someone who they love.  I pray so desperately for them right now Lord.  You love them so much, and I know that You want what is best for them.  But because You allowed us to have free will, some people have taken advantage of that freedom and have abused it and Your loved ones.  Right now I pray that Your perfect love cast out their fear.  I pray that You touch their abusers heart in a way that no one has or ever will touch them.  I pray that You change their heart and fill it with Your perfect love, causing them to know You better and know that true love doesn’t bring fear with it, only more love.  Lord, protect my friend tonight, allow them to sleep sweet, and rest in Your peace knowing that You are holding them in the palm of Your hand, and that You are feeling every pain that they suffer.  I ask all these things in the precious name of Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen!”

 

Christian’s comments:

You have probably had some disagreements with your wife during this fast. You might have had arguments with her before the fast. That’s OK, arguing is a part of every marriage. It is a necessary evil that can help the marriage, if done correctly. Yes, there are rules to arguing.

Keep it between yourselves! No one else should be involved. It is about you and her; meaning, keep the argument about each other. Don’t bring your mother-in-law into it.

Stay on point! Don’t move on to another subject until the first is resolved. If the argument is about how she never heeds your advice, don’t mention anything about how you don’t like how she folds your underwear. In other words, no more “And another thing…”.

In my opinion, the most important thing is: Have arguments! As Tamar stated, we have never really argued. One of us would usually say something like “OK, whatever” and go away angry. That is bad! Don’t hold your argument in. If you do, they will build up until they just explode out, usually at a very inopportune time. Or they may never come out at all. Then you get withdrawn and start to grow apart.  You just stop talking to each other. Tamar and I were almost to that point.

There are more rules, but every couple and every argument is different. If you can learn how to “fight” well, you will learn how to “love” even better.

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Day 25: Intoxicating

I have come into my garden, my sister, my bride; I have gathered my myrrh along with my balsam.  I have eaten my honeycomb and my honey; I have drunk my wine and my milk.  Eat, friends; Drink and imbibe deeply, O lovers. Song of Solomon 5:1

Nine days left, you’re almost there!  So many things have happened in the last 20 days haven’t they?  God works that way; I love how He manages to make everything fit together so that we learn the things that He wants us to learn in the time that He wants us to learn them.  I’m dedicating this chapter to telling you about Intoxicating love.

Although the physical act of sex was what I always thought I truly wanted, it turns out that the physical intimacy of sex was not what I was searching for; in the end it was never enough.  What I had been searching for was spiritual and emotional intimacy with my husband.  While sex is important and healthy and necessary, it’s only a portion of the picture of marriage.  When we have sex our bodies’ physical need is fulfilled, and with sex our souls and emotions are completely tied into the act of intercourse as well.  But, it’s possible to have physically satisfying intercourse; all while leaving our souls wanting more.  If you’re only having intercourse it can be physically satisfying for you, and your emotions will go along with it, for a time; but after a while you just feel emptier inside, instead of fulfilled.  There’s a look in Christian’s eye that I cherish.  It’s a look of complete adoration and love for me; a look that in an instant tells me how lucky he feels that I’m his wife.  In that instant, I’m emotionally, physically and spiritually connected with him.

So often in our lives we settle for “good” when we could have the “BEST”.  We settle for the “good” sex of the moment, pre-marital sex, self-pleasuring and adultery, instead of continuing to strive for the BEST sex of monogamy; where we can fully and completely give ourselves to one another without the fear of loss or rejection.  I know that’s what Christian and I did.  Instead of waiting for the “ocean” of married sex, we settled for the “pond” of premarital sex.  It wasn’t until we went through this fast, invited God into the marriage and our bedroom, that we experienced intoxicating sex and true intimacy for the first time.  And MY OH MY!  We will NEVER go back!!!  Now prepare yourselves, this next part is a little “R-rated”.  But it’s OK, because God is in it too.

One night while “getting intoxicated” with my Beloved, in that moment of near climax I was marveling at how perfectly his body was… ummm… shall we say… fitting, with mine when I loudly thanked God for creating him for me to enjoy in this way.  God proudly whispered in my ear, “Isn’t he just perfect”.  It was more than I could bear, because he is!  God created my husband just for me.  He created him to balance me perfectly in every possible way.  He created him to chemically and electrically balance me, perfectly.  He created him in a way where our personalities balance each other, perfectly.  Christian is my other half.  And although I’ve had my moments of doubt and frustration with him, the fact still remains.  God made him for me and me for him.  My beloved is mine and I am his.  (Song of Solomon 2:16a)

How can I doubt God’s judgment in putting us together?  He is God after all.  Your husband is the opposite of you in many ways and that can get annoying occasionally but, cherish it because it’s those differences that create the perfect balance between the two of you.  He’s your other half, together you create a whole.

Christian’s comments:

Wow! Is it getting hot in here? Whew!  That pond looked good when we jumped in it. It felt pretty good to swim in too. For a while that is. But there was always something that didn’t seem right. I think about the first time that Tamar and I had sex. It really wasn’t that good. I know that sounds harsh, but it’s true. Let me tell ya though, the first time we made love after our fast it was AMAZING! I would like to imagine that it would have felt like that on our wedding night if we had waited.  I encourage you to hold on and fast for a little while longer. Trust me, it will be worth it.

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