Feelings.. Love…

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Me, myself, my progress, my career, my house, my achievements.. the list keeps growing and this is what the world focuses on.  It’s about materialism and it’s task oriented.  Measurements of success are based on productivity, performance and maximum output.  People don’t have time for one another let alone for a significant other. Relationships are pushed aside or given the least of priorities in order to be a part of the rat race.  Reproduction is also postponed for later and later.  Love?  Feelings?  They take time, why rush it?  Let it take it’s time to develop.  This in a nutshell is the worldly ways of today.

What does Jesus say?

God puts so much of emphasis on love.  Jesus clearly states that the two greatest commandments sum up all the law and commandments and are centred around love.  LOVE God with your ALL being the first and LOVE your neighbour as yourself being the second. 

Loving isn’t an option for a believer,

it’s a commandment and hence it goes to show it’s a decision, not a feeling.

A feeling is an emotional state or reaction which is temporal and keeps changing, while love is beyond that and intentional.  I just saw this quote,

feelings are just visitors, let them come and go” – anon!

The Greek language has four different words for LOVE – and the New Testament being written originally in Greek, employs these terms.  AGAPE  is love in the social or moral sense,  the love that is about the good will of others and is the love God has for us and the love we have for Him.  It is also the ‘love’ that is used in the second commandment, the love for our neighbours.  EROS is the sexual love between a couple, erotic love.  PHILEO is the love between one another as in friendship.  STORGE is the love and affection that is felt by parents for offspring and between family members.  According to Wikipedia, this is the same term used when referring to love for country or sports too.

The world may focus and emphasise on doing and tasks over love and relationships.  Is it then of any wonder that God calls us to NOT CONFORM to the ways of the world but let our minds be renewed by His ways.  Jesus clearly states that our FIRST priority is to seek God’s Kingdom AND His righteousness.  God’s Kingdom is His rule and reign and it’s today in the lives of those who believe in Jesus and are led by His Spirit.  Expansion of His Kingdom is to bring more people to love HIM with their all.

It is only by our love for one another that we will be known as His disciples – according to Jesus’ words that is!  Not by our words and not by our thoughts but by our acts of love with the standard ‘as yourself’.  Do unto others as you would do unto yourself.  Then there is also the love your enemy commandment! 

Many Christians are ‘fearful’ of the word LOVE as that’s how the world is.  Yet if we believe and if we have learnt to surrender to God’s love and His embrace, then loving isn’t difficult as it is with HIS love that we love… We want to love others as we love HIM and we want to please HIM.  As we soak in HIS love, His love flows in us, within us and through us.

As for those who are scared of relationships, because of past hurts or because the values picked up from the world, no it’s not a feeling but a decision.  The base for a good relationship is a good friendship.. It’s pointless being in a relationship with someone who you can’t be friends with let alone someone who you can’t share and talk about your faith with being on sync.  LOVE doesn’t take time to develop as it is from God and it is intentional.  If your base is godly friendship then you already have your phileo and agape love. and if the sexual chemistry has developed then of course that’s the basis for a relationship.   Obviously it also has to be in God’s Will so you pray asking God to reveal. 

Over time of getting to know one another though, you get to know the ‘fruit’ of each other – are they speaking words of deceit and flattery or is what they speak how it is!  Is the friendship a real connection or pretense?

Of course, for godly friendships (regular friendships) unless there are adverse situations of abuse or unholiness (we flee from unholiness) we keep loving  one another, not based on feelings but because that’s what we are called to do!

Secret Place

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Oops it’s not really a ‘secret’ place now is it!!  Firstly I’m writing this on a public blog.. and secondly it’s a balcony that faces the road. Ha haha but I shall still call it my secret place, my meeting place for renewal and intimacy.

What am I rambling on about?  I’m just thankful, grateful to God for the fact we have this King of Kings supreme God who created the Universes and all that is in it and keeps them all in there place.. and it is this very God who longs for intimacy with us.. At the end of the day being a believer isn’t what we do FOR Him but rather how we are WITH Him.

Day by day, I have my evening coffee around 530 pm (and yes those of you who are following my Instagram may have even got fed up with my pictures – and trust me, that is the reduced controlled amount!)..  And day by day, I take in the picturesque view of the ocean and the skies and clouds and the sun setting ensuring a remarkable exit, the moon marking its arrival for its night duty and the little but yet pretty bright star competing for attention in the middle of all this just in the same scenic view.

I watch the colour of the ocean changing throughout the different stages of the day but how it becomes violent and assumes a greyish green colour reminding me of the colour changing chameleon – but here to show the shift in the atmosphere that rain was on its way.  I have to keep holding myself down from just clicking away as not one day is identical to the other – despite me being in the very same location day in and day out. Invigorating.. Renewing.. Refreshing.. And I love taking in the aroma of my coffee, the breeze cooling me down, the whiff of the ocean competing with the mug in my hand.. all the while chatting with my Heavenly Father, thanking Him for such simple joys and for also blessing me with this ‘secret place’.  Whenever I’m tired or feeling emotionally low, I thank God that I can just step out and have this time alone away from the distractions of the phone and social media and internet and my laptop.. just me and God on this narrow balcony.

Of course sometimes a really strong wind splashes the water drops falling from the clouds onto my balcony tiles and not letting me stand there. Sometimes I wonder if God is in a raging mode when the lightning blinds my eyes and the thunder makes me to long to cuddle into someone for protection – and my bed and pillows then become my company, my safe place but yet with God nonetheless.

How God makes His presence known to us in so many different ways but how often do we tap into that or pause to take it all in.. to love HIM.. to let Him love us.. to replenish our exhaustion from daily life and taxing friendships..

But at the same time while writing all this, it dawned on me what if we could handle our friendships and also our relationships with that special someone in the same way.. I’m sure the more our intimacy with God deepens, as we find our identity and worth in Christ, it becomes easier and easier.

Wouldn’t we then be able to enjoy the blessings of the changes of the emotional atmosphere, pick up on the signs and step away.. and learn how to cope when it’s not all a bed of roses but where the raging storms sweep through the relationship..  Not one day will be the same to the next in any relationship just as creation reveals to us.

Find that secret place with God and a date time with God in addition to ensuring regular chit chat with HIM throughout the day, and to take time out with Him when you need that pick me up time.. As we delight in HIM, His love flows in us and through us.. healing us and enabling us to then embrace with grace.  Yet He gives us wisdom to be as harmless as doves and wise as serpents.

Yes Jesus embraced with grace the sinners, God doesn’t turn away a broken and contrite heart (not the heart that is behind the crocodile tears).. and Jesus rebuked the religious, those who were hypocritical and legalistic.. He didn’t mince His words with them..

There are times our love means disciplining, where we do not feed into their problems and where we don’t be their Saviours – no, we let God do that and intervene as HE deems fit.  There are times when forgiving means getting it out of your chest, speaking blessings over the person who hurt you and walking away when the person doesn’t see their wrong doings and are constantly out there to ‘get you’ or to ‘put you down’ or tear you down.  Of course that very person isn’t a person who has surrendered their heart to God and unless they do, nothing can be done!  Choices and consequences.

But for all this, to know what to do when to do and to have the humility to embrace with grace, we need to soak in His love, immerse in His presence and be human BEINGS.  That is the greatest commandment and the most fulfilling one too… God isn’t going to see your works, your charities, your ministries.. but for Him KNOWING HIM intimately and enjoying His love is what is key!

If we can’t do that for a bit of time here on earth how are you going to fit into heaven anyway where we will be just delighting in Him and worshiping Him 24×7 for ALL eternity!! whoaaaa I can’t wait! What about YOU?

 

Same Boat Location – Not A Different One

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I scanned through my jotted points and found this that I had begun to draft on 19 November🙂  Feeling led to continue on this.. let’s see what God is going to reveal!  Getting a tad excited here I must admit as He pulled me away from a major project (of a hearts passion) that I’m working on and got my attention to this!

So.. I have seen these particular verses popping up everywhere time to time. 

“I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.

Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.

He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?”

“No,” they answered.

He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish. – John 21:3-6

Interestingly, the catch wasn’t from a different boat.. it was from the same boat and at the same location.  They were there all night but couldn’t catch anything.  However, after the bleak night came to an end, and upon welcoming the next day, early in the morning they saw Jesus.  Yes, they saw Him but didn’t recognise even though Jesus had already appeared to them.

Another thought is that as Jesus told them to throw their net on the right side, they did!  I mean, come on… what would you have done in that situation?  I would have for sure knowing myself, retorted saying, “I have been here ALL night and I haven’t caught a thing, and you are just appearing from nowhere, asking me to throw it on the right side?!’  Besides, that ‘advice’ was from a stranger – well if you don’t recognise the person it’s literally the same as a stranger right! 

Yet despite all that, the disciples did follow what they heard!  It’s at the incredibly large catch that they couldn’t even haul the net in that John realised it was Jesus.  Yes as usual the emotional Peter jumped out to action without stopping at words, and the others followed.

So there are times that God will speak to us over a situation that seems ‘dead’… a situation where you want to just quit and walk away from.  Just imagine if the disciples had left thinking it was a ‘bad night’!  Imagine if they hadn’t hung around till ‘early morning’?

Just at the turn of the night into day Jesus appeared.  I was going to write ‘brand new day’ and then I realised it wasn’t a brand new day as God defines a day as first evening and then morning.  We see God declaring each day by day of the week at the beginning of creation.  It starts with REST in HIM (night) and then it is followed by DOING (day) as He leads… that’s ONE day.. It’s not the way we do it today – work work work and then rest… 

So as the ‘RESTING’ and not being able to get anywhere came to an end, then Jesus divinely intervened.. and boy did He intervene. 

Of course this whole incident did have a prophetic / symbolic message to it – they were called to be fishers of men.  After Jesus’ death on the cross each one had fallen away and gone back to where they were prior to the calling.. and here Jesus is showing that they will indeed be able to bring in many souls to the Kingdom even right where they were.  Yet, there may also be a Rhema word (a spoken word) for us to our present circumstances – and if there is, we will know it as we will feel our Spirit quicken.

Is God impressing your heart right now with any situation that you thought dead or impossible?  Truly seek His heart and voice right now, asking for clarity for what the Spirit is leading you to and what your flesh is distracting you to!

Wait upon God and hear from HIM clearly whether the situation is indeed ‘dead’.. that you need to walk away.. or whether it’s a “RESTING in HIM” time or whether it’s “DOING as HE LEADS” time – in the very same scenario that you had lost hope in.  When He steps in, He surely steps in.. and He gets the glory.  Remember the dead bones that came alive??  Yes, is it time for LIFE, for REAPING, for the BLESSINGS? For more than we could ever dream of or imagine in a particular situation? 

When God wants to give us something according to His perfect plan, He will enable it at His time in His way – even if it’s from the very scenario that appears dead and pointless!!  Don’t try to search greener pastures unless He is behind it!

From the Hearts of the Godly Single Women

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I’m not writing this out of anger but rather out of a desire to shed insight so that others around us – especially those who call themselves Christians – would indeed be the Body of Christ that we belong to, that we have the RIGHT to belong to and INDEED belong to, would embrace us and support us instead of using abusing and rejecting us.

This is the stance of many many godly single women out there who have decided to remain single for the godly man for whom God has ordained them to be comparable helpers.

It’s not easy remaining single, to be set apart for God.. it’s a major war indeed.  Yes we are human beings and not robots so we too do indeed come with our own share of desires, feelings, longing of belonging.. the list goes on.  However, more over than our fleshly temporary earthly desires, our love for God, our yearning for God overpowers all that.

So no! we are not DESPERATE as it’s because we have found solace and true joy in God’s love that we CHOOSE to wait..

Married women out there, if you ladies are insecure with your husband’s roaming eyes, please don’t blame the single women for that… Just because we are single doesn’t mean we have to go about like a nun and renounce all the ways of life… Don’t try to punish us for our choices that are pleasing to God.  Yes we are women, and we don’t dress to entice men but to present ourselves as PRINCESSES as that’s who we are.. daughters of the King of Kings, and proud to be.. which has to resonated in the way we dress and act.

Guess what we also have our fair shares of stress – from running our houses, to paying the bills to grocery shopping to cooking to cleaning and for most of us, a full time job or full time ministry whatever it is that we are doing.  We have to do it all and if we are sick, that’s just us alone in our little territories.  If we are looking ‘radiant’ and ‘young’ that’s because God’s Word, His promises hold true.

Those who look to HIM are radiant and their faces are not covered with shame – Psalm 34:5.

We have nothing to hide, so we walk in transparency… well, that’s what we all have to do as we are the light of the world…

God satisfies our desires with good things so that our youth is renewed like the eagle’s.– Psalm 103:5

Those are blessings from HIM as we turn to Him… (no, I don’t diet – I enjoy food and enjoy eating.. and no, I don’t work out and I remember stepping into the gym once when I was at University – and never went back again).

And for the married men out there, we ask that you respect us as godly women. We would have not made this choice to be set apart for God while waiting for the right man, if we didn’t believe in the fact that God ordained marriages.  Yes I don’t promote divorce but a woman being abused physically or sexually or verbally is grounds for separation and perhaps abuse if the man doesn’t surrender to God to change.. and likewise with adultery as the woman doesn’t need to die at the hands of the man’s violence or contracted sexual diseases.

Personally we wouldn’t want our future husbands to sleep around with other women when married, and likewise we do not want to do that either.. We believe in purity and we believe what we sow is what we reap.. Besides without holiness, we can’t see God and that leads to our whole waiting to be meaningless..  So please don’t think we are desperate enough to be a mistress or a sexual companion to a married man let alone to a unmarried man too.  Just because we are friends doesn’t mean we are your romantic companions either..  We don’t need human beings to satisfy our feelings as God strengthens us.. and as we abide in HIM, self control is very much an aspect of the FRUIT of the SPIRIT not our works.

And no, we do not enjoy being the centre of all the crude jokes of married men… All these moves are utterly demeaning and make us feel .. well not who we are.. So if you can’t respect that, then we don’t need that friendship as that is mere wickedness.  We try not to focus on the things that are out of our reach .  We firmly believe that a fire out of a fire place burns things down. LIkewise sexual intimacy where the two become one outside of marriage is indeed wickedness in the eyes of God.  Yes if we are dating with a purpose there are certain boundaries that we fix as part of the courting period.. but that doesn’t mean we want it with others. It’s GROSS.  So if married men want to fantasise and play around, find the women who don’t fear God if you don’t have the back bone to go for counselling with your wife to fix your marriage.  You may fool her and others but God cannot be fooled..

A man who loves God and is walking with God will protect the single woman like his own sister not, use her. If you can’t support us in our decisions to be set apart, then at least don’t reduce us to an object and don’t try to crowd us emotionally coming in the way with the desire to be ‘possessive’ of us and with the motive of crippling us so that we are unable to embrace the right man.. Friendship has its boundaries, dating has its boundaries, marriages have their boundaries.

Once again, this isn’t a spurt of anger but rather a cry of despair.. and a desire to see people’s ignorance reduced to indeed be the Body of Christ, giving us the healthy belonging in the way that Christ would want us to be.

Whether out of intentional motives or out of ignorance, God will hold each one of us accountable for our choices and there is no escaping the consequences at some point or the other.

He is a holy God and He desires holiness from us too – maybe it’s time for each one of us whether single or married, male or female, to examine our hearts and our motives and our fears and what is of the flesh and what is of the Spirit.  Kindly don’t blame shift on another for your own insecurities and weaknesses and in the process of blame-shifting watch out that you are not disobeying God’s commandments of loving one another and judging one another.

If you need to pray for your marriages and set it straight take the steps now – the time is now.  God isn’t impressed with marriages that are like white washed tombs that look nice on the outside.. but inside.. … Preserving a false fake marriage is hypocritical and certainly not pleasing to God.

Once again, these are the heart cries of the single godly women so don’t punish us or treat us for those single women who don’t fear God.  Well continue doing so if you really wish, but remember God is our HUSBAND and will come to our rescue and He is the one who takes revenge!

Tug of War

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As I was pondering upon life in general and upon relationships and on some visions of personal nature in recent times, I was also asking God to guide me as to what to write for today’s post – .. I believe God impressed me with a scene of a tug of war. 

I continued to reflect on it and I realised that the tug of war happens right in the SAME place connected by the ONE rope.  It’s not about two sides contending from afar or even opposite sides of the field as in the way many team games are.   Yes, it’s obvious but not something we think about.

 If one side has some stronger components then of course the SHIFT begins to take place in that DIRECTION… Often it doesn’t come easily as the other side keeps pulling back but ultimately the weaker end wears itself out and get’s DRAGGED to the stronger end.  Yet another possible scenario of EQUAL forces and hence the rope SNAPPING releasing the tie between the two teams.

This happens right where we are and begins WITHIN our minds and our souls.  Our lives are full of tug of war scenarios – our friendships, our relationships, our marriages and of course our intimacy with our Heavenly Father.  The world ‘lures’ us with its wealth and riches, to walk away in pursuit of them. It comes in all shapes and sizes, through people and through other means too.   I’m reminded of Jesus narrating the parable of the sower and thus the means of ways of luring.. the birds in the air that eat up the seeds, the sun that scorches the growth and the thorns.

The first two scenarios were due to the fact that the hearts were like the path, hardened so that the seeds of God’s Word could be eaten by outside temptations so that God’s Word didn’t have a foothold to take root.. or the hearts were like rocky places where there was some soil to grow but not rooted sufficiently so that troubles and persecutions could scorch and burn it – it was too much to continue to grow in God.  The thorns represented the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth that CHOKE the word.. All these scenarios resulted as the stronger team being that of the world and thus able to overpower the spiritual needs, minimising and quenching it.

As believers, we certainly are not exempt from this intimidation or luring.  Paul being the transparent person that is, spells it out clearly.  This encourages us when we find ourselves in our situation – and the fact remains that time to time we will.

For in my inner being I delight in God’s law;  but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and …. Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?  Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! – Romans 7:22-25

In the spiritual realm, the strength doesn’t lie in numbers or in physical appearance no matter how intimidating.  The story of David and Goliath isn’t of any accident and serves as a reminder that WE are the STRONGER team as long as we lean on God’s strength and not get intimidated by the ways of the world and what we see with our eyes!

We pray in the way that Jesus showed us, “lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one” as we know that the evil one is behind all of this as his desire is to break our relationship with God.  We also give thanks that no temptation has overtaken us except what is common to mankind.  We acknowledge and proclaim that God is INDEED faithful and will not let us be tempted beyond what we can bear.. and that when we are tempted, He will PROVIDE A WAY OUT so that we can endure it! (1 Corinthians 10:13).

In today’s day and age, the avenues for the luring away have increased dramatically.  It can come through the things that are useful and beneficial and likewise through close friends and even family too. 

Friends and family who aren’t rooted in God – in whose hearts are not of good soil but rather like the path or the rocky soil or the soil with plenty of thorns will obviously advise through the conditioning of the Word in what has been absorbed and where there will be no fruit or fruit for only a short while.  The fruit of the Spirit comes only as we ABIDE in the vine – not for ‘short stays’.

For someone who has been choked by the deceitfulness of the world say by sexual immorality, who has given in to the ways of the world, would thus think they can lure others too as their perspectives is through their own lenses.  They claim that they have the right to do everything yet 1 Corinthians 6:12 tells us in regards to sexual immorality is that ‘but not everything is beneficial and I will not be MASTERED by anything.  When God’s Word falls on good soil, a conditioned heart then their master will always be God as we can only have one master.

Then we cling to 1 Corinthians 10:23

All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify – NASB

The person of the world looks to gratifying the desires of the flesh not concerning themselves with their intimacy with the Father which of course will then cut them off from their eternal relationship with the Father in heaven.  If we cannot delight in HIM here on earth, how are we going to do so in heaven?  Why would we then need to go to heaven?  God knows the heart that longs for HIM.

A worldly man allows the world to influence his flesh which in turn influences the soul (mind, emotions and will) and then the spirit man.  However, the reverse takes place in the spiritual man where the influence begins by the spirit being led by the HOLY SPIRIT and thus influencing the soul then the flesh and thus the world.  Fasting and praying helps in this that the things of the flesh can be quenched and minimised to be able to give heed to the Holy Spirit.. 

In relationships, each partner needs to intercede for the other, so that the tug of war within them to be dragged away from a godly partnership and from their intimacy with God will be such that the rope will SNAP cutting off all UNGODLY ties.

As we desire to delight in HIM, as we long for HIS love, His strength then carries us through and along the NARROW path snapping off everything that comes to kill, steal and destroy the most beautiful love.. It is only through HIS love that we can sincerely love our neighbours and those that God places in our paths.

Here’s to happy loving IN HIM and THROUGH HIM and let’s see SHIFTS taking place in the Spiritual Realms with POWER.