Being Saved, Pursuit of Purity, Uncategorized

Sometimes the Word just gets on my nerves…

You know that little “ugh” you feel when you know God is dealing with you about something, but you aren’t ready to face it? Let’s talk about that grating feeling and the consequence of IGNORING and RESISTING. It’s called chastisement. I am a walking (sort of), talking advertisement for it.

I spent six weeks of my summer in the hospital. On June 12, I received a call at work that a particular blood level had reached 14,000 when it should’ve been around 100. Needless to say I was admitted and kept for what seemed like foooorever. As soon as my body hit the bed, my strength left. I couldn’t even roll to one side. I’ll save you the gruesome details of the months leading up to my hospitalization, but I should have died with what was fighting against me. God is merciful.

I’m still trying to be super intentional about reading my healing journal every time I take my prescription meds. One GIVES life while the other gives me acne, a fat face, and a super fast heart rate. But there’s still a resistance in me that has to be worn down.

For as long as I’ve been able to read the Bible, there have been passages of Scripture that made me feel uneasy. They either outrightly convicted me of wrong or grated against my sense of self-righteousness. In either case I’m faced with a choice. I can either let my feelings lead me away from the truth of God’s Word, or I can acknowledge that something is wrong in me because the Word is the truth. I believe this is one reason so many people turn away from the Lord. They will not reconcile that His truth is higher than their personal emotions and opinions. Instead of pursuing truth in Jesus Christ, they take comfort in what they “think” is right which often looks, smells, and feels like philosophy watered down in sentiment, churchy platitudes, and no power or even desire to live right before the Lord.

My healing journal has two verses from Hebrews 12 that make me cringe every single time I read them. Even now I hate how the words flow. I hate the message they convey. I hate how they put a burden of responsibility on me rather than appeal to my hopes that Jesus will miraculously fix it, then I’m off the hook. I feel like the Lord is asking me to do something that is impossible.

I only clung to those two verses of Hebrews 12 (notice I haven’t said which ones… heh), but I knew the rest of the chapter had more answers for me. I dipped and dodged until the rebuke came from my spiritual father, and then I read the chapter over and over and over again like it was my lifeline. And for about a week, I just stared at the hospital walls King Hezekiah-style…

Here’s a snippet of that chapter, and what the Holy Spirit spoke to me in red letters.

 Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons?

You didn’t fight hard enough. You didn’t look for your escape.  You let your fear of man override your fear of Me. Resist to the shedding of your own blood. When you obey me, you are protected.

“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.”

You’re here because I love you.  The enemy wanted to take your life, and you gave him permission to do so.

It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline?  If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined  us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

If you don’t go through this, you’ll lose your soul. If you don’t feel the consequences of your choices, you won’t fulfill your destiny. But I have not abandoned you. I’m with you like a GOOD father.  Walk with me through the painful seasons, and you will be restored.

Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed. Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled; that no one is sexually immoral or unholy like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal. For you know that afterward, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no chance to repent, though he sought it with tears.

Your responsibility is to strengthen yourself physically and to be at peace and live holy. Keep your heart tender towards me, and whenever I show you areas of bitterness, repent so they can be uprooted. Getting caught isn’t repentance. Crying over consequences isn’t repentance. Walk with me as I transform your thinking. One day you’ll look back and not recognize yourself as you are now.

Whatever the Lord has you reading and studying, read it and study it again and again and again. Sometimes we’re so focused on meeting our daily reading quota that we forget to meditate on the Word, and that’s where transformation usually comes. Those scriptures that annoy you should be your dwelling place until the Lord leads you somewhere else. When you walk, recite them. When you wash the dishes, ask the Lord to teach you about them. The Lord will cause you to dream and remember things that need to be healed and dealt with so you can live freely.

Endure the little chastisement so you aren’t binding up your wrists and knees and learning how to walk again like those of us who are a bit more… oh… disobedient. Y’all keep me lifted!

With love, sincerity, and hope for your future,

Alana

Being Smart, Pursuit of Purity, Uncategorized

Reveal the hidden places where we’ve run to instead of You, Lord. Show us the height from which we’ve fallen into ourselves and not into You.  (From “We Return” by Alberto and Kimberly Rivera)

I marched… more like hobbled… out of the neurologists’s office with my orders in hand. MRI’s, blood work, and other tests had to be completed in the coming weeks, and even though it all sounded like torture, I felt comforted. My doctor’s was kind and knowledgeable demeanor put my mind at ease. I held on to those papers tightly over the next few days… a little TOO tightly. They reminded me of his promise that he’d find out what was going on. For days I flipped through those papers looking things over as if they had the answer. I would’ve made them a blanket if I thought they could keep me warm.

The Holy Spirit sharply rebuked me. “Take comfort only in MY Word!” I had exalted the doctor’s orders over God’s Word without even realizing it. Somehow the comfort I received from man caused me to switch off my “now” faith in exchange for a sympathetic and hopeful “We’re gonna find out what’s wrong with you.”

Being taken care of feels good. Something about addressing an uncertainty brings a bit of comfort. But at the most the doctor can only do what man can do, and this situation is spiritual. I’d be a fool to let these papers, much less a diagnosis, replace my faith for divine health.

I had to quickly counter my steps towards unbelief. I grabbed one of the three empty journals in my bedroom and a fresh ink pen. I began listening to sermons about divine healing and health from the Copelands, Hagin, Joseph Prince, and anything else I could find on YouTube. I’ve started to write all the scriptures I can about the nature of God, healing, and finances (because medical bills– YIKES!).

I read through these scriptures ALOUD three times a day. I’ve found a prayer that I shout at least three times a day. Instead of holding on to the doctor’s orders, I’m holding on to words of life personalized by my hand and God’s voice. The orders from the Great Physician are far more powerful and life-changing than anything a doctor can do.

My daughter, attend to my words. Read and say them over and over. Incline your ears to my sayings.  Be ready to hear from Me at any point in time. For they are life to you because you’ve found them. They are health and medicine to your flesh. Proverbs 4:23

I will hold fast the confession of my faith for my complete and total healing without wavering because my God is faithful Who promised. Hebrews 10:23

With long life will You satisfy me and show me Your salvation. I’m not satisfied with only 35 years of life. My children need me. I have more work to do. Save me! Psalm 91:16

Let Your hand be my help for I have chosen Your precepts. You have laid the foundation, but I can’t see the end. I will trust what You’ve given me so far. Hold my hand and help me to obey and trust Your Word. Psalm 119:173

What does any of this have to do with purity? Well how many times has life pressed you into the wrong person’s arms or into some substance to find comfort? While God provides us many ways to enjoy our lives, He desires to meet our needs before any other. That’s why He gave us the Holy Spirit who is known as THE Comforter. Have you ever noticed that when you’re having a crisis, no one is free to answer the phone? Fill up with His word, and turn to Him first in times of need.

There is situation so urgent that we cannot first acknowledge God! 

With love, sincerity, and hope for your future,

Alana

Being Saved, Being Single, Dating & Relationships, Uncategorized

How I Got Over (Him)

[dropcap style=”font-size: 45px; color: #55cfbb;”]T[/dropcap]hose closest to me know the kraziness that has occurred in the past few days. I cannot recount the tales because of the concern I have for one involved party. The other can kick the biggest darn rocks one can find in Central Virginia, and I may offer him some via stoning should God be willing. But many times, in this situation and others, I’ve been asked “How did you get over him?” People seem to think I have this uncanny knack for recovering from bad relationships, and they’re right. I have LOTS of experience getting over these situations… (snickering at myself). When I’m in the trenches, it’s ugly. But once I’m out, that’s it! I’m not going back.

I laugh… With fullness of joy and confidence, I laugh at the enemy and every lie he’s trying to sell you. You cannot imagine the defeat I’ve carried in my soul for years thinking that I was unlovable, unattractive, unworthy to be treated with respect and kindness. Every predator within a five mile radius could smell the stench of my bloody, broken heart. Vicious cycles greatly abounded in my life.

So yes, I “got over” every last him… The ex-hubby him, the him who used my heart to wipe his–, and this last him who may find a few pebbles flying at his head when our paths cross. I’ve shared about forgiveness and grief recovery, but I guess this is the missing link. This post embodies the transition from a place of pain and guilt to a place of rest and promise.

Here’s how my ashes were changed to what I’d like to think is beauty.

 

I submitted to God’s will.

We can want something sooo badly that we totally negate God’s will for our lives. We might even convince ourselves that it is God’s will for a person to be a part of our lives. When your desires supersede God’s will it’s easy to be deceived. This is why we’re dreaming about these menfolk and our possible futures with them as if the Spirit is leading. Be ye careful. These are tactics the enemy uses to create soul ties even when sex hasn’t come into play. Anything you hunger for more than God can and will be used to exploit and harm you. A simple “Your will be done prayer” can change things overnight.

I repented.

It doesn’t matter how badly he treated me, how much he lied, the fact that he cheated, on and on… I did something wrong too. And more often than not my error was making the choice to date the person in the first place. I won’t even dig in to the conversation about red flags. No need to revisit those things in your mind if you’re intent on moving forward. Just repent and get back in a place where you can hear from God. And stay there!

I suffered.

It’s childish to think that after repenting all consequences will be revoked. It just doesn’t work that way. If Christ really is the LORD of your life, then you’ll have to endure some suffering. If He’s not, then you’re likely to go the opposite direction and either sink into sadness and depression or act out your pain with reckless behavior. I chose to endure the suffering and allow Him to prune me so that I could become fruitful again. During these low points I battled with loneliness and horniness. (Was I not supposed to write that? Oop.) But I learned that those feelings come from an empty place that can easily be filled and overcome with worship. Think of the woman who washed Jesus’ feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You’ve done more for lesser men. So why not lift your hands, sing to Him, dance before Him, talk to Him freely? All the intimacy I longed for with him, I found in Christ. Eventually the lack of body became irrelevant. Suffering doesn’t seem so bad… now does it?

I fell in love again.

This is the best part. I feel, even now, as though the Lord is courting me. Some days I just need to feel loved, and whether I ask or not, something significant happens in that day that reaffirms His love for me. And how can I not love Him in return? Just Saturday I felt His presence engulf my being while I was changing a trash bag. I know we fantasize about how great it will be to have a Godly husband, but truly… There is no physical body that can completely surround you and cover you from every angle. Only the Spirit of the Lord can do this. And how can you know the love of another unless you first know God’s love? We’d be much more cautious of the men we chose if we used God’s burning compassion and favor over us as the standard. So, yes, I’m in love with Him. But I’m also in love with me. Not the vanity type of love, but I have confidence and love every part of this bottom-heavy frame with which I’ve been endowed. My Twitter followers know this well as I’ve coined the term #LoveThighSelf.

I closed the doors.

As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool to his folly. You ever wonder why they ALWAYS come back? Dogs can’t help it. Whatever they chew and spit up, they go back to lick it up. Nasty, right? So metaphorically-speaking, don’t continue to be vomit. Now let’s turn the tables, and say… I don’t know… maybe you are the dog, metaphorically-speaking of course. Do you really want to go back to that? Who cares how wealthy he is? How many inches he’s packing? All the stuff he said about getting married and making babies? IT’S ALL VOMIT!!! Here are a few options to help you.

  • Change his name in your phone to something like– oh, I don’t know– Asshole. Serves as a great reminder that he’s NOT who he claimed to be. Don’t delete him, however. You’ll get sucked into a “Who is this?” conversation.
  • Send all emails, calls and texts to Spam if you have Google voice or block them altogether. The last thing you want is a random “I miss you” to jar you in the middle of your workday. Until you can control your emotional response, put controls on your SMS, etc.
  • LISTEN to the spirit. They always come back. You hear me? ALWAYS! ALWAYS! ALWAYS! But God will warn you. And this, in fact, is a blessing. Over time, if you’ve allowed healing to take place, you’ll find that the pull he has on you will become weaker and weaker. God will warn you before he pops up… sometimes weeks in advance and sometimes hours.
  • Whatever you think you’re feeling may or may not be you. I’ve found myself “missing” someone only to realize I really felt them missing me. Women are sensitive to things like this, but be wise enough to know if it’s your emotions talking or his. Either way, a simple prayer of “Lord, redirect him to the nearest hoochie” should solve that problem.

So there it is. The quick-and-dirty of how I got over not just each individual, but the mentality I had which has drawn these piss-poor quality men to me. I now find that folks who’ve wronged me have a hard time looking me in the face or even contacting me. I’m different. I’m not available to be abused. I’m not open to manipulation. The very presence of God in me convicts them of their wrong, and so they’re faced with a choice to remove themselves from my presence or sincerely apologize for having wronged me.

One last point… God doesn’t take it lightly when His children are mistreated. However, until we behave as His children He is unable to defend. Yet in His mercy and lovingkindness, He permits us to be neglected by those who we think should love us. He’s jealous for you! And when you see the entire situation through that lens, you can’t help but thank Him for bringing a bad relationship to an end.

Selah.

 

With love, sincerity, and hope for your future,

 

Alana

Being Saved, Being Single, Dating & Relationships, Guest Posts, Uncategorized

Why Can’t I Move Forward?

[dropcap style=”font-size: 45px; color: #55cfbb;”]O[/dropcap]ver the past few years I have really enjoyed Mac products.  Macbook, Mackbook Pro, Ipod, Ipad, IMac, Iphone, etc; I just love the way that they work!  A few years ago Apple came out with an upgrade that allowed you to take off apps that you would have open.  You could now close down your twitter app or your weather app.  You could close down the ESPN app or a game app that you had open that allowed your battery not to drain as fast as well as allow your device to run faster!  So that once you close out things that you no longer have use for it allows your device to run a lot smoother.

 

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://www.consideringthelily.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/noah-wash.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Noah Washington is a pastor at Bladensburg SDA church in Bladensburg, Maryland. Join Noah for relationship tweets every Thursday on Twitter using the hashtag #RTalkThurs. For more great posts visit Noah’s blog http://www.washsworld.blogspot.com.[/author_info] [/author]

 

I can’t help but to liken this to many of our relationships.  One of the reasons that some of us are stuck, stagnant, and extremely slow with moving on is because we have so many people, or apps, that are open in our lives that have not been closed.  There are relationships that we have had in our past that we have become attached to so much that even though the communication, recreation, and interaction between us and the other person may have ended…our attachment to them continues to be open.  Something still jumps in our spirit when we see their picture on Facebook; we still catch an attitude when someone tells us that they have seen the person with another person; and we continue to think in our minds what we may be doing with the person if we were still dating them.

Some of you reading this have been thinking to yourself: why am I having such a difficult problem moving forward in my life, my relationships, and in life in general? Why is it that I sabotage relationships?  How come I only feel normal when people treat me negatively?  Why am I attempting to move forward while still attached to my past???  May I suggest that even though two people have physically gone their separate ways doesn’t mean the relationship has ended.

Before I give some solutions on how you can truly move forward, let me give some suggestions on why many of us cannot move forward:

  1. The relationship ended sooner than we wanted it to.  We thought that this was the person that we would marry and spend the rest of our lives with, but instead of a wedding they walked away.  Instead of a marriage, you guys moved apart.  So you can’t move forward because you are still mentally thinking…what if?
  2. You guys got physical in the relationship.  During the relationship, there was not just hugging and kissing, you guys actually engaged in sexual activity; maybe even on a regular basis.  Scripture teaches that sexual activity leads us to becoming attached to another person.  That’s why the Bible even cautions people who are married-to agree on when they will abstain from sexual activity for times of prayer and then return to it.  Engaging in sex with another person is meant to be addictive, that’s why its best reserved for married couples.  However, with couples who are unmarried, you may not be able to move on because you are still attached to the other person.
  3. There was some type of abuse in the relationship. Some people can’t move on because there was sexual, mental, emotional, or physical abuse in a past relationship.  This may cause a person to either withdraw from having future relationships OR jump into many relationships.  Some people pull away from relationships in fear that what happened to them will happen to them again while others seek out many relationships in hopes to find that one person that will treat them right!  Still there are others who won’t allow themselves to move forward in a healthy relationship because since there was so much abuse they strangely only feel comfortable in an environment that allows abuse to continue, these people are extremely hard to love because when you love them…they kick you so you can kick them back because abusing them allows them to feel normal.

This is not an exhaustive list, but just a few things that won’t allow a person to move forward.  Now, let me offer some things that a person can do so that they can positively move forward.

 

  • To fully break free, its probably best for the time being not to communicate with the person you need freedom from for the time being.  You need time to heal, and oftentimes healing will not take place if you are still communicating with them.  If you continue to communicate with them, you continue a “what if” cycle in your mind about a future relationship with them.
  • Lay before the Lord!!! I honestly believe that the only way to be fully free and move forward is to lay it before the Lord.  Ask God for forgiveness of anything that you did in the relationship that caused problems.  Ask God to remove the unhealthy connection that continues to attach you to the person.  While I believe God’s power can, the breaking point usually doesn’t happen after we lay this before the Lord on one occasion.  It happens after continued prayer, fasting, and dedication to His will and way!
  • Don’t get in another relationship until you a free from the last! There are countless people who believe that they can just jump into one relationship after another.  Since you are often not free from the previous relationship, you bring the attachment from the last relationship into the present relationship.  So much so, that the person never meets the real you…they get connected to the countless number of people who you are attached with.

 

[quote]Jesus told the Jews in the first century, whoever the Son sets free will be free indeed!  Don’t you want to be free today?  Allow Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit to free you in mind, body, and spirit so that you can be all that he has destined to be![/quote]

 

Sincerely,

 

Noah Wash
Follow me on Twitter: @washsworld
Check my blog: www.washsworld.blogspot.com 

Being Saved, Uncategorized, Video Blogs & Podcasts

Overcoming Sickness

This is my first podcast, and I hope to jump on the iTunes bandwagon soon. Here are the Scriptures used to support this teaching.

[button link=”http://www.consideringthelily.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/overcoming-sickness.mp3″ type=”icon” newwindow=”yes”] Play MP3[/button]

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Luke 13:10-13

Now Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself. And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity. And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.

 

Isaiah 53:5

But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

 

1 Peter 2:24

Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

 

Luke 1:37

With God, nothing is impossible.

 

John 9: 1-3

And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.

 

2 Corinthians 4:17

For our light, momentary affliction (this slight distress of the passing hour) is ever more and more abundantly preparing and producing and achieving for us an everlasting weight of glory [beyond all measure, excessively surpassing all comparisons and all calculations, a vast and transcendent glory and blessedness never to cease!]

 

[button link=”http://www.consideringthelily.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/overcoming-sickness.mp3″ type=”icon” newwindow=”yes”] Download MP3[/button]

 

With love, sincerity, and hope for your future,

 

Alana