For the Unmarried 

  
Photo source: Pinterest 

For the unmarried… 

There is so much pressure to be coupled up with someone, especially in Christian culture. I have heard people get in pulpits and preach marriage is the best thing, not God-marriage. 

God doesn’t take a second chair to anyone or anything He created. If marriage is loved, desired, exalted above a relationship with God it’s an idol. The best love relationship we could ever have comes from God. 

So here is my encouragement to you! 

1. You are not half a person without a spouse. 

2. God is not waiting to send a spouse for you to do mighty exploits for Him. He loves you individually and has amazing plans for you whether married or unmarried. 

3. You are loved, not incomplete, and not alone. Holy Spirit is with every born again believer, as is Jesus-Father God. His covenant is eternal, marriage does not exist in heaven between man & woman. 

4. God connects people for mutual blessing and matched vision. He withholds nothing good. 

5. Married to the wrong person is FAR worse than single. Trust from someone who has seen many on the side of devastation, abuse, divorce, pain, heartache. 

6. It takes more than physical attraction and both loving Jesus to build a relationship. Talk about vision, destiny, money, caring for parents, expectations, dreams. How can two be joined lest they agree?

7. Hormone highs diminish. So those who marry for self gratification, lust, and not a desire to agape (sacrificial, unconditional, unselfish) love will find they fall out of love. God says choose love. 

8. Not every person presenting a happy marriage is blissfully happy. Do not let Social Media (SM) or what people say sway you. I knew of many unhappy, tormented married people posting their undying love on SM. 

9. Talk to God. He knows what your desires, wants, and needs are. He is perfect at matchmaking. 

10. Instead of praying, “Lord send me,” or searching everywhere for someone, how about praying “Lord prepare me. Make me into someone who is a tremendous blessing to someone. Cleanse me. Teach me agape love.” 

11. If marriage is your heart desire, pray for that person in advance. Can not hurt. 

12. Know God is 100% good. You do not have to settle when your Father is so good.


Lord I ask for Your love, peace, power, and purity to shower every single, widdowed, divorced person. I bind any spirits of pressure, shame, bondage, deception, disappointment, fear, or unbelief. I loose peace and truth for the days to come. Lord You are trustworthy. You can be trusted with every desire. I ask that every desire will be placed before You. I pray the greatest desire be for You. I bless each one with purity, love, comfort, and intimacy with You. In Jesus mighy name. Amen. 

Powerful (Identity in Christ Part 11)

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Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give, Matthew 10:8.

I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you, Luke 10:19.

But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong, 2 Corinthians 12:8-10.

You who sit down in the High God’s presence,
    spend the night in Shaddai’s shadow,
Say this: “God, you’re my refuge.
    I trust in you and I’m safe!”
That’s right—He rescues you from hidden traps,
    shields you from deadly hazards.
His huge outstretched arms protect you—
    under them you’re perfectly safe;
    His arms fend off all harm.
Fear nothing—not wild wolves in the night,
    not flying arrows in the day,
Not disease that prowls through the darkness,
    not disaster that erupts at high noon.
Even though others succumb all around,
    drop like flies right and left,
    no harm will even graze you.
You’ll stand untouched, watch it all from a distance,
    watch the wicked turn into corpses.
Yes, because God’s your refuge,
    the High God your very own home,
Evil can’t get close to you,
    harm can’t get through the door.
He ordered His angels
    to guard you wherever you go.
If you stumble, they’ll catch you;
    their job is to keep you from falling.
You’ll walk unharmed among lions and snakes,
    and kick young lions and serpents from the path.

“If you’ll hold on to Me for dear life,” says God,
    “I’ll get you out of any trouble.
I’ll give you the best of care
    if you’ll only get to know and trust Me.
Call Me and I’ll answer, be at your side in bad times;
    I’ll rescue you, then throw you a party.
I’ll give you a long life,
    give you a long drink of salvation!” Psalm 91.

I know there is quite a bit of Bible here. I hope you read these verses, meditate on them, and let them soak into your spirit. God is all powerful. It is not our power that enables us to overcome. It is His power that allows us to overcome. This power, the power of God, enables us to do the following.

1. Say no to sin. We are no longer slaves to sin when we are born again (Romans 6). The same power that raised Christ from the dead lives in us and enables us to say no to sin and yes to God’s will. If we go to God and ask for help He always helps us.

2. Have life after death. We who die in Christ will be raised again to life with Him. If we can believe God for life everlasting, we can believe Him for more.

3. To overcome. We are more than conquerors through Christ who gives us strength. “…in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us,” Romans 8:37.

But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ, 1 Corinthians 15:57.

4. To do what Jesus and the disciples were doing. The same Holy Spirit that empowered the disciples, lives in us. God has not changed. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He gives us power to heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the leper, and see those oppressed by demons set free. Some say the gifts were only for the Apostles. Untrue. It’s for every born again believer. As someone who’s been healed, I am thankful God still heals.

5. To use the authority given by Jesus. People elevate evil and the devil when both were defeated by Jesus. Light never runs from darkness. Light stands and the darkness flees.

And having disarmed the powers and authorities, He (Jesus) made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross, Colossians 2:15.

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you, James 4:7.

The devil cannot do whatever he wants. He is not all powerful. He is not equal to God. He is a created being, not the Creator. He had to ask for permission to afflict Job (Job 1). God allowed Job’s affliction to happen knowing He would bless Job with more than He had before. We are not under the enemies feet, he is supposed to be under our feet. We don’t pick fights with evil. We stand on the word of God and make submission to God our priority. We get close to God and allow Him to shine through us. It’s His light that’s shining.

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that His life may be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you,~2 Corinthians 4:6-12.

We were not created to be defeated. We were created to be imitators of Jesus. He was not defeated. He came to destroy the works of the enemy. He lived a life of purpose, operating in His true identity. We are called to do the same. We are called to live lives that send a message to the world, “My God is good. My God is powerful. My life has purpose.” I read a quote by Bill Johnson today that was a blessing. He said, “Any situation where I have no hope, I am believing a lie.” There is ALWAYS hope with God. He is all powerful. There are no hopeless situations when God is at work. People can choose to reject God, but that does not mean He ceases to be powerful.

Father show us how You want to work through us. Shine Your light on to any and all areas of doubt or unbelief. Help us to believe You, trust You, and live a life where You are first. Help us to draw near to You. In Jesus most powerful name, Amen.

 

Love Yourself

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these, Mark 12:31. 

Good morning! I hope you all had a great weekend. This devotion focuses on you. Yes, you. Loving yourself. It’s been taught that to focus on oneself is sin or selfish and to be a martyr for Jesus is the most noble of all things. Here’s an inside tip:

We cannot love our neighbor if we don’t love ourselves. You cannot give away what you do not possess. It’s impossible. God wants you to love and accept yourself. He also wants you to take care of yourself; mind, body, and soul. God heals and He restores, but if we continually abuse the bodies He has given us, allow our minds to be polluted with garbage, and neglect our emotional needs, then we will continue to suffer. Also, a drowning person cannot save a drowning person. Therefore, we are expected to go to God with our needs and get them met and take care of ourselves.  We are expected to take care of ourselves and love the person God made.

Many fear taking care of themselves for fear of being selfish. Well, a healthy person is far more capable of helping others than a sick and broken person.

Here are some other tidbits on why it is important to love yourself.

1.      What We Project Is What We Attract. If we don’t love ourselves, we attract people who don’t love themselves. Two broken people leads to more brokenness. Each person seeks their emotional needs to be met primarily by someone else which creates a tremendous burden. The focus is what the other person can do to make the other one feel okay. It can lead to co-dependency and dependant relationships. Instead of, “I Love You,” it’s “I need you.” Two broken people don’t make a whole person, two whole people make a whole person. Also bullies, manipulators, controlling, and abusive personalities are attracted to people who don’t love themselves or are weak willed. 

2.      We Allow Ourselves To Be Mistreated. I have met so many people who refuse to stand up for themselves because they feel it’s unloving. When we allow people to mistreat us we are making a statement that we don’t value ourselves. There is a difference between turning the other cheek (not seeking revenge or to return the same treatment) and allowing yourself to be abused, belittled, and mistreated. Think of it this way, is your behavior helping the other person see Jesus or furthering the gospel? If not and you are laying down and allowing people to walk on you for no reason, it’s a problem. God wants you, hear me out, to be treated well. He wants you surrounded by people who will love you the way He does. If everyone around you treats you poorly, you may be part of the problem. What we tolerate is what we are telling people we deserve. Love is not enabling bad behavior. Love points to truth. Sometimes you have to say to someone, “I love you, but I will not allow you to treat me this way. These are our boundaries and if you want a relationship then please adhere to them.” 

3.      We Don’t Value or Honor Others. When we don’t value ourselves, we don’t value or honor others. It goes back to the, “You can’t give away what you don’t have.” A person who does not love themselves, cannot love anyone else. The people I have met who have done the best job at honoring, loving, and respecting others have been the people who love themselves. They excel at giving honor, because they know that they are valuable, therefore others are valuable.  

4.      We Are Stewards Not Owners. Our bodies belong to God. It is the temple where the Holy Spirit lives (1 Cor. 6:19). We are expected to take care of ourselves. In church we focus on getting our minds right, meditating on God’s word, and making sure our spirits are right. There is less focus on being healthy physically. I have been convicted at how I treat my body: lack of sleep, lack of water, lack of eating healthy food. I’d cry out, “God I am so tired, please help me.” And His response was, “Drink more water.” No joke. So, sometimes our sickness is our doing. Ouch! But true. We don’t own these bodies, they belong to the Lord, and He cares how we treat them. 

5.      God Loves You More Than You Love You. Sometimes we think God only cares about our spirit. Wrong. He cares who our friends are. He cares how we feel. He cares about every single detail. He cares more than anyone else. What matters to us, matters to Him. If God loves us so much and He cannot lie, then why can’t we love ourselves? It is not pride to value oneself. It’s healthy. Bill Johnson quote, “Self deprecation is not humility, it is the most subtle form of pride.” We have taught people to put themselves down to be humble, but what we are saying to God when we self deprecate is this, “You make junk. You are not perfect in wisdom. You are not the most intelligent, creative, Being on the planet.” Humility is a right assessment of oneself in relation to God. Humility is saying, “I am wonderfully made by God. He is the reason I am gifted, talented,….etc…” All Glory goes to Him. 

Well, that’s a wrap folks. I hope and pray that your week overflows with the love, joy, peace, and hope of Jesus. You are deeply loved, today and every day. You have a divine purpose for being alive.

God made you awesome! You are not less than or more than, you are equal in value to those around you.

Abba, I pray for healthy confidence based on who we are in You. Help us to have identities that are firmly rooted in Christ. May we be healthy physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Heal us from the inside out, and put us on display for Your Glory. May we see ourselves and others through Your eyes. Impart boldness, confidence, hope, and wisdom. Fill us up, then pour us out. I ask for divine healing, restoration, and freedom! In Jesus mighty name, Amen.

The Single Reality (Part 6)

Covenant Friendship

When you are not married there are questions that pop up such as, “Who will be my witness? Who will share my life with me? Who will be my family? Who will care for me when I am old?” Married people have someone who has promised to love them for better or for worse. They have someone who interacts with them regularly. They have a person who cares about the details of their lives. They have a witness. If you are single, who do you have? Of course for believers, we have Jesus. However, there is someone else that we can share our lives with as well. It’s a covenant friend.

What is a covenant friend?

A covenant friend is someone you are committed to love for life.

God has a covenant with His people. He will not break His covenant. A covenant is a promise.

Covenant friendship is a willingness to lay down one’s life for the other person, it involves sacrifice. It is sacrificial love. In a godly context it is a oneness in spirit, a linkage by the Holy Spirit.

Example of covenant friends: David and Jonathan, 1 Sam 20.

Think of David and Jonathan in the Bible. They had a covenant friendship, a promise to love, protect, and be there for each other for life. What were some of the characteristics of their friendship?

1. Loyalty. They refused to betray one another. Jonathan would not surrender his friend to his father Samuel. He chose to protect his friend even with the possibility of being harmed.

2. Trust. There was complete trust between David and Jonathan. They had each other’s best interest at heart.

3. Transparency, Vulnerability, and Accountability. These two men were willing to be vulnerable, transparent, and accountable to each other. They had no fear. They were able to expose their souls to one another and know that the other person would do what was best for them. Not only was there intimacy (transparency and knowing each other), they were willing to hold each other to God’s standards.

4. One in Spirit. They both loved God and were one in spirit. There was no division over who they were serving. They both believed and were committed to God.

5. Mutual Service. David and Jonathan had a relationship of give and take. They supported one another 100 percent. They took care of each other. Even after Jonathan’s death, David cared for his disabled son.

6. Protection. These two men sought to protect each other.

7. Genuine Love. David and Jonathan loved one another as God loved them. They demonstrated their love for one another with patience, kindness, godly affection, support, encouragement, protection, and friendship.

8. Honesty. David and Jonathan were honest with one another.

So where do you find a covenant friend? I would say pray for one or a community of them. You would think that any person who believes in Jesus is a good match. I have found that is not true. Though you may find a covenant friend in your church, God may send you a covenant friend from across the  world. I have a friend who lives in Brazil. We met on a mission trip. As soon as I met her, I knew we’d be friends for life. We pray for each other. We protect each other. We correct each other in love. We support each other. We seek God for each other. She is interested in the details of my life. It’s a give- give relationship. It’s a win, win. God will put us on each other’s minds and we pray. Distance isn’t an issue. I can say I would lay down my life for her. I love her with my life, and I trust her.

I have another friend who has a community of covenant friends. They live like family. They don’t simply hang out and have fun. They point each other to Jesus. They are there for one another. They share resources. If one person is lacking, they as a community will help out. No person is alone or without support. The community has married couples, families, and singles. Together, they are one big family under the parenting of God. I believe the model they follow, is what Jesus intended for church community.

Prayer for you:

Abba I pray for everyone who reads this blog to have a covenant friend or covenant friends. People they can share life with, find support, encouragement, love, protection, accountability, family, and so much more. Knit them tightly with people who will love them the way you love them. If they already have covenant relationships, bless those relationships. Keep them from division, strife, pain, hurt, or offense. Build a wall of protection around them. In Jesus name, Amen.

The Single Reality (Part 4)

Dear friends,

Here’s some mid week encouragement. One of the challenges of single life is sometimes there are seasons of feeling lonely. Even married people have seasons of loneliness.

If there’s no one to ask about your day or invest in your life. If you are without strong community, or are experiencing loneliness, this prayer is for you.

Abba, I pray for every person who reads this blog to have an encounter with You. Fill their hearts with Your love, encouragement, hope, joy, and peace. Provide them with family here on earth, a strong community of people who will love them as you do. May they never feel lonely, outcast, or insignificant. Give them blessings they have no room to contain. Shield their ears from those who speak negatively. Fill their minds with Your words. They are loved, cherished, cared for, and the apples of Your eye.

You are deeply loved…:)