Know Your True Enemy 

  
Morning Devotion: Understand your opponent. The key to continual victory is understanding your true enemy. 

People are not the enemy, though there are people who cooperate with the devil to accomplish his will on earth. He requires human agreement. 

People say Eve was gullible and that’s why the serpent chose to go to her first. I disagree. Eve was given the same mandate as Adam; fill and subdue the earth, have dominion (Genesis 1). She had authority. God did not say, “Adam have dominion, Eve go pick berries, clean the Garden, do whatever Adam tells you to do.” God said to both of them to have domion. 

God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”~Genesis 1:28. Notice He said, “Them” plural. 

Dominion Definition: sovereignty; control, authority, mastery, power, rule, government. 

The serpent did not need to deceive Adam. Scripture says Adam was with Eve when she ate from the tree (Genesis 3:6). Adam knowingly betrayed God, committed treason, and then blamed Eve. Why not go for the one who will knowingly betray God? 

Eve represented a part of what the devil hates; life, relationship. She was bone of Adam’s bone, flesh of his flesh. He would cleave to her. They would together enter into the first covenant between humans. They would together be fruitful and multiply, fill and subdue the earth, and have dominion together (Genesis 1). 

God had given them (Adam and Eve) a mandate that would continually crush the head of the serpent. They would together fill the earth with the glory of God and create more humans to worship God. 

The devil abhors the true worship of God. 

If you turn them against each other, it is the perfect set up for chaos, disorder, and dysfunction. Adam blamed Eve, and today women are one of the most persecuted people groups. It is challenging to see in America-though we have stats that show the validity of an issue. If you look to other parts of the world, you can see horrific abuse of women. 

If the one chosen to carry life (Eve) is turned on by the one chosen to protect life (Adam) you can destroy civilization. When a woman is pregnant she carries two lives, and one is quite vulnerable (baby). The mother is also going through some challenges as her body is changing to carry a life. God seeks to protect life. Satan desires to steal, kill, and destroy lives. 

Knowing your opponent…

Lucifer (the devil) is not God’s equal, he is far below God. He is a created being who turned evil due to pride (Isaiah 14:12-14). He had the ability to choose, just as we do. He was not created evil. 

He is to be under the feet of the born again believer. So no glory to him. He is a defeated, losing loser. Yet he is still deceiving the world, turning allies into enemies, trying to hijack identity, and use human authority. 

There are women today who are still living under the curse of Eve; stripped of Godly authority, feeling shamed, gullible, less than, and naive. Women who have been silenced or their voices condemned because of the actions of one woman. Jesus nailed the sins of Eve to the cross and took on every curse to restore what was lost in the Garden. Women believers are redeemed, joint heirs with Jesus, empowered, and have the same access to God as their male counterparts. 

There are men today who are still living under the curse Adam; stripped of Godly authority, betraying God and looking after their own interests. Men who have had Godly masculinity replaced with with worldly masculinity, pride, lust, and ego. Jesus nailed the sins of Adam to the cross and took on every curse to restore what was lost in the Garden. Men believers are redeemed, and can walk in the same character traits of Jesus through abiding and intimacy with God (John 15:4-5). 

It is a good time for men and women to be restored to Godly identity pre the fall, to work as allies, and see the fulfillment of God’s mandate on earth. No us vs. them. It’s team Jesus; unified allies representing God in the earth. Each created in the unique expression of God. Each uniquely and passionately loved. Each redeemed through the blood of Jesus. 

Let’s end with a look at the nature of our true enemy, the fallen angel Lucifer-also known as the devil. 

He is: 

  • A liar 
  • A deceiver 
  • A murderer 
  • A control freak 
  • A pervert (twisting God’s trust and will) 
  • A divider (he loves division) 
  • A manipulator 
  • An imitator (he takes what God has created and perverts it into something unintended or wrong) 
  • A coward 
  • A user and abuser 
  • A destroyer 
  • A thief 
  • A blasphemer 
  • An accuser 
  • An instigator
  • A bully 

He is: 

  • Full of pride, self exaltation
  • Full of ego 
  • Full of selfishness (he would be considered a narcissist or sociopath) 
  • Full of jealousy and envy 
  • Full of hatred (there is no love in him) 
  • Full of lust/immorality/lawlessness/sexual perversion
  • Full of deceit (he is the Father of lies) 
  • Full of desire to dominate, force his will on people 
  • Full of fear  
  • Full of anger and rage
  • Full of offense 
  • Full of criticism  

He hates: 

  • God 
  • Humans 
  • Women (targets women/motherhood/identity/authority/purity)
  • Men (targets men to lead them to surrender their Godly masculinity/authority to lust, anger, selfishness, pride, independence from God and others) 
  • Life
  • Unity 
  • Relationship/community 
  • Purity 
  • Hope
  • Encouragement
  • Godly prayer/intercession 
  • Holiness 
  • Humility 
  • Love 
  • Godly covenant
  • Holy sex (inside covenant between a natural born man and woman)  
  • Family 
  • The True Body of Christ 
  • True disciples of Jesus 
  • Intimacy with God 
  • Worship of God 
  • Exaltation of Jesus 

He lacks: 

  • Genuine compassion
  • Agape love (unselfish, sacrificial, unselfish love) 

He enjoys: 

  • Starting fights/strife
  • Death
  • Religious activities void of the power and love of God 
  • Perversion
  • Sexual sin 
  • Oppression 
  • Stealing joy, hope from people 
  • Doing bad things and watching people blame God or each other 
  • Activity not birthed from intimacy with God 
  • Insecurity 
  • Guilt, shame 
  • Rejection 
  • Torment 
  • Affliction 
  • Embarrassing people/humiliation 
  • Using people 
  • Depression 
  • Poverty/lack 

God is 100% good. We see the true nature of the Father in His Son Jesus. God is love. He is for humanity. May you and I know our true enemy. May we walk in the Spirit and be allies with other believers. May our identities be restored to their pre-fall state. May we rise up in our God given authority and stand with God for holy dominion and expanse of His Kingdom on earth. 

Loving Single Life (Relationship Series)

  
I ❤️ single life with God. He’s outstanding, my Best Friend. I’ve never had anyone love or care for me more than Him. I’m not seeking to change my status. I’m comfy, happy, overjoyed to be with God. If you’re single, this is for you! 

1. Being single is an amazing time to have unlimited time with God! Getting to know Him is incredible. I’m wowed by Him often. Just WOW God! 

2. It’s a time to find out who you are in Him. What were you created for? Despite what people say, people don’t complete us. God does. People complement. 

3. You can move, travel, go on adventures without any limitations. If you can, explore the world. I’ve been praying for years about moving to South America! 

4. You can invest in your family & friends. Married people have a greater priority; their spouse/children. 

5. Your time is not as limited as a single person; invest it wisely. 

6. Learn what love is from God not a flawed person. I love being in a relationship with Jesus who always treats me well. He’s taught me what love is & what it isn’t. So when men approach me with selfishness & lust or nonsense I can say, “No thanks what I have is better than what you’re offering.” 7. You can invest in the community or your church fellowship with less limitations. Though it sometimes saddens me that some tasks at work or church are dumped on the singles; “You don’t have a family. You have time.” I do still have a life outside of serving. 

8. Freedom! Not to live selfishly, to live generously. 

9. Maintain friendships. I’ve lost many “friends” to marriage, especially guy friends. They get a girlfriend or married and suddenly you’re invisible. You see them at the wedding, a baby shower, or if they need something. I hope to never do this to people-“I’ve known you 10 years, oh I’m married…bye!”

10. You can learn to love yourself without depending on the affirmation or love of another! 🙌🏼👏🏼♥️ 

Seek Wholeness of Soul (Relationship Series) 

  
Two halves don’t make a whole person, and two severely broken people don’t have a healthy relationship. A healthy relationship requires at least one healthy person. 

I had a lady tell me I didn’t know anything about marriage because I’m not married. Jesus was never married. Apostle Paul was unmarried. Many of the passages on marriage conduct were written by Paul. 

I’ve watched healthy and unhealthy marriages, and helped married couples (mainly the wife) and seen God restore marriages. 

Disclaimer: I am not trying to give anyone marriage advice. Nope.

I wasn’t trying to give her marriage advice either. My statement was in regards to keeping God first, as humans cannot meet all our needs. 

She grew angry as her husband was the greatest priority above everyone and everything. This ended in devastation. I tried to warn, not preach. Yet every one makes their own choices and she gets to try again with another hubbie. There’s love, mercy, and abounding grace… 

So as I write, please know I don’t think I’m the expert, nor am I trying to tell you what to do. There’s freedom in Christ and everyone must follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. 

Today, I wanted to talked about wholeness of soul. 

What is the soul? It’s your mind, will, heart, emotions. It’s separate but connected to your spirit. 

The spirit of a person is made perfect at conversion, the soul is being sanctified over time with God.  The spirit of a born again believer can be on fire for God and the soul sick or a hot mess. 

Have you seen the movie Inside Out by Pixar? Love and recommend. Our soul can be like sadness or fear and our spirit flooded with joy. 

  
There’s joy dragging sadness around! Photo courtesy of Pixar. 

I’m not stating we will never feel fear or sadness if we are healthy. Nope. When we are consumed with perpetual fear or sadness or insecurity, therein lies the problem. 

Over the years I’ve done lots of study on the soul, inner healing, overcoming trauma, deliverance, and bringing health to the soul. 

I’ve found through research and the word of God that a sick or wounded soul affects the entire being (physical and spiritual). It also deeply impacts relationships and intimacy with others.

James 1:21 tells us to “receive and welcome the Word which implanted and rooted [in your hearts] contains the power to save your souls” The word “save” means “to save one suffering from disease, to make well, heal, restore to health.” 

Quote is from Soul Decrees by Katie Souza. Use the Word of God to heal the soul. 

Some soul conditions are deemed normal but they cause problems in relationships: 

  • Insecurity
  • Excessive fear and worry
  • Low self worth, self hatred
  • Jealousy
  • Bitterness/unforgiveness
  • Unresolved anger/rage
  • Lust 
  • Soul depression/oppression (not all depression is medical-some is in the soul)
  • Desire to control or manipulate

The soul needs TLC. Over time we are exposed to so much pain, rejection, hurt, loss, grief, and over time you notice children lose some of their joy and sense of wonder. So much is deposited on the soul. Our natural, purest state is love, peace, and joy. 

Life lessons: 

I dated the same guy through high school and most of college. I wish I knew then what I know now. We both suffered some pretty big traumas in life that neither of us knew how to heal. This made things challenging. At the time you forgave people and grieved. I had no clue and didn’t until recently on how to heal the soul. 

This guy wanted to get married. I declined. It wasn’t the easiest thing to do, when you’ve known someone for 9 years. Yet it wasn’t right and God told me no. I will spare you details. Just know a yes would not have been good. No Bueno! 

Looking back from then until today, so many things have changed in my soul. Even the past week with my fellowship group we have been doing several different methods of soul healing and inner healing. 

I can not imagine walking into marriage with the guy from my past or even today without addressing soul wounds. Our soul is wounded by trauma, prolonged sickness (our own or close family members), death of a loved one, persecution, being sinned against, our own sin, rejection, etc… 

If we are struggling in our soul, many times we will attract those with similar issues or who reinforce our issues. 

I hear ladies say, “I seem to keep attracting the same type of guy and he breaks my heart.” That’s an indicator for me to check the soul. 

It’s good to be healthy in spirit, soul, and body. God desires that our soul prospers and is in health. 

Some Resources for You: 

Books: 

  • Soul Decrees by Katie Souza
  • Breaking Free by Beth Moore (book and video series available at Lifeway)

There are so many resources I will maybe do a separate post reviewing them for you. 

Inner healing is powerful. Once the soul is healed and it’s a process, the rest of the body flourishes. The goal isn’t perfection. The goal is pursuing wholeness because intimacy does not diminish issues, it highlights them. 

Healing the soul also improves friendships and family relationships. 

Papa God I thank You for Your unconditional love and ability to heal our souls. Every wound or issue in our soul, I ask that it would receive Your cleansing. Healing and restoration be imparted to every part of our being. In Jesus powerful name, amen. 

Love, 

Erin 

Worship (Only God is Worthy)

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Worship Definition

n. noun
The reverent love and devotion accorded a deity, an idol, or a sacred object.
The ceremonies, prayers, or other religious forms by which this love is expressed.
Ardent devotion; adoration.
v. verb
To honor and love as a deity.
To regard with ardent or adoring esteem or devotion.
To participate in religious rites of worship.

Jesus told him, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind,~Matthew 22:37.

We were made to worship and we all worship something!

We will become like the one we worship,~Bill Johnson.

The Gods we worship write their names on our faces; be sure of that. And a man will worship something … That which dominates will determine his life and character. Therefore it behooves us to be careful what we worship, for what we are worshipping we are becoming,~Ralph Waldo Emerson.

I’m quite passionate about worship. I’m passionate about worshipping God, giving Him honor, love, praise, thanks, devotion, and all of my life. It sounds overboard, but He’s everything. I’m often consumed with thoughts of Him. It hasn’t always been that way and though I love Him, there are still some days I’m lost in my own thoughts or zoned out from fatigue.

This new series on worship will hopefully draw us both into deeper intimacy with God! There’s always more with God.

Worship is so important. It’s so important it was coveted by Lucifer and he’s spent his days trying to divert worship away from God. If he cannot get people to worship him directly, he attempts to lure people to worship themselves or created things. We live in a world where beauty, youth, sex, fitness, relationships, entertainment, social media, status, money, music, food, family, wealth, celebrities, fame, children, even pastors, churches, and ministry are worshipped over God.

Social media is a good place to see the idols of our day. The things we talk about, gravitate towards,…show what we deem worthy of our time, devotion, and praise.

The problem with worshipping created things is that it’s idolatry. It’s caused all kinds of problems for people. It angered God with the Israelites and many others we can learn from in the Bible.

Oh those pesky idols…

Our idols cannot save us. They enslave us. Only the worship of God frees us.

The worship of money makes us greedy.

The worship of food makes us glutenous and often obese.

The worship of fitness, youth, and beauty makes us vain.

The worship of pleasure and comfort makes us addicts.

The worship of people makes us slaves to their opinions.

The worship of self makes us selfish.

All our “gods” do is provide empty cisterns that never fulfill us. They keep us coming back for more and more and we are never satisfied. Idols keep us in a cycle of perpetual discontentment.

I know something has taken the wrong place in my heart when I can say to God, “I will be happy when…” Fill in the blank. It’s great to ask God for things, yet when things become the source of contentment, there’s a problem. One of the idols I constantly have to cast down is comfort. I don’t like suffering. I feel as though in my short time on earth, I’ve endured my share. When being comfortable becomes more important than honoring God, I’ve placed comfort above Him. He frequently draws me out of comfort into unsure waters. It’s not fun, but He is Lord. He’s number one, above me. He also empowers whatever He calls me to do.

Lastly, this series isn’t intended to bring condemnation, but to hopefully reveal the joy in worshipping God. Theres no condemnation for those who are in Christ.

There’s great blessing in worshipping Him. He’s worthy! I hope you stay tuned as we investigate God’s worth.

Father, we live in a world full of distractions and temptations to worship something or someone other than You. Please help us to worship You in Spirit and in truth. Deepen our awareness of Your love and the beauty of Your presence. Amen.

Tearing Down Strongholds

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Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free,”~John 8:31-32.

We demolish arguments (vain imaginations) and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ,~2 Cor 10:5.

It is not simply the truth that sets you free. It’s believing the truth that sets you free. There is also the element of tearing down and renouncing lies.

The first step to deliverance isn’t a power encounter, it’s a truth encounter.

Deception is one of the enemies favorite tools. He has power. He has no authority. Jesus stripped the devil of the authority he gained through the sin of Adam and Eve (Col 2:15). Now the enemy needs people to come into agreement with him to accomplish his will in the earth. He wants us to believe his lies. He needs people to do his bidding in the world.

You may be saying, “I’m not evil. The devil is not using me.”

Maybe you’re not doing “evil”, but agreement with lies may be preventing you from fully experiencing the love, joy, peace, confidence, hope, and goodness of God. If the devil can’t get you to do evil. He will try to limit you from doing good or experiencing the goodness of God. He will try to prevent you from having and living the abundant life Jesus paid for (John 10:10).

Common lies (some I’ve believed and some I’ve heard):

God doesn’t love me.
God is always angry and out to get people.
God doesn’t have great plans for my life.
I’m a failure.
No one loves or accepts me.
I can’t do this, even with God’s help.
I’m stuck.
I must change in order to be worthy of love.
God delights in my suffering.
God dislikes me.
I cannot live like Jesus lived, even though I have the Holy Spirit.
I’m not beautiful, handsome, or valuable.
God doesn’t work miracles anymore.
God doesn’t want to heal or restore me or this other person.
God doesn’t want to bless me.
God doesn’t care about what I care about.
I’m not enough.
My dreams can never come true.
This is hopeless.
I will always be this way.
God is not good.
God is withholding something good from me.
My value or worth comes from someplace other than identity in Christ.
I cannot love or forgive this person.
They have more to offer or are more loved by God than me.
I will never get….(fill in the blank).
I will never have….(fill in the blank).
I can never be free.
This will always hurt.
I can’t have bliss/joy this side of heaven.
God doesn’t want to help me.
God is limited in this situation.
I’m too old, young, unqualified to do this, even with God’s help.
What Jesus paid for is for someone else.
God is solely focused on my sin or failures.
God can’t make me new.
God doesn’t want me to enjoy life.
It’s a man thing, I can’t be different.
It’s a woman thing, I can’t be different.
This is just the way I am, there’s no hope for change.
What I feel is truth.
All my passions and desires are truth.
God wants to use only certain people in powerful ways.
My role in God’s body is not as important as someone else’s.
My assessment of myself is 100 percent truth.
God’s love isn’t tailored for me.
My circumstances are bad because God is punishing me.
I can live how I want with no consequences.
Grace gives me permission to sin.
God can’t help me or this other person.
I can’t hear from God for myself.
This situation or person can never change, even with divine intervention.

Truth is without God, nothing is possible. With Him, the possibilities are endless. He’s empowered and is empowering us to live life to the fullest. All these lies have scripture to counter them.

Lies need to be renounced because what we believe, we empower. The Bible says, “As a man thinks, so is he.” Our actions manifest what we believe. The first sin was rooted in the lie that God withholds good things from us. By believing lies we empower strongholds in our lives.

When the ship is sinking, check what you’re thinking. What we believe, we empower.

Father, I ask the Holy Spirit to hover over us and reveal any lies we have come into agreement with. As they are highlighted, help us to renounce them. Replace lies with Your truth. Help us to cling to Your Word and be led by Your Spirit. Help us to repent of speaking negative words and vows over ourselves and others. Cancel all negative effects of all ill spoken words and beliefs. Help us to believe and speak Your truth. Help us to believe ALL things are possible with You (Luke 1:37). In Jesus most powerful name, amen.

Be Like Christ or Let Christ Live In You

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Is the goal to be like Christ or to allow Christ to live in us? The Killing Insecurity Series would be incomplete without talking about the expectation for Christians to be exactly like Jesus. This causes all kinds of insecurity and disappointment.The truth is without God we can do nothing.

Striving to be like Jesus is different than abiding in Him and allowing His nature to shine through us. One puts the focus on us, the other puts the focus on Jesus.

We can’t will ourselves to be like Jesus. If we could be like Jesus on our own efforts, there would be no need for a Savior, or for the old man to die. We were dead, blind, wretched, and without hope before Christ. It’s only because of what Jesus did that we can live a holy life. And my sweet friends it’s a process, a journey. We are saved by faith and being sanctified by God’s Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit can be trusted with our spiritual growth. We don’t willfully sin, ignore God’s Word or warnings, or neglect His instructions. We also don’t put pressure on ourselves to be like Jesus. We abide, He produces fruit.

So here’s the good news:

In Christ, the righteousness of Christ is counted as yours. We can’t earn God’s love, approval, or do enough good deeds to be counted righteous on our own. It’s only through Jesus that we are made right with God. This takes the pressure off. It’s not a contest, competition, or a burden.

Being in relationship with God, abiding in Him, and cultivating relationship with Him leads to heart transformation. Heart transformation leads to life transformation. We are changed when we are saved. However, we don’t immediately act like Jesus in every way and every day. If you’ve ever grown plants, you know that when a seed is planted it does not immediately bolt into a full grown plant. It takes time. Another example is a baby. They don’t come out of the womb talking, walking, and running. Growth takes time.

God knows our weaknesses and is not intimidated by them. If we think God is judging us continually, walking with Jesus will be stressful. Truth is God knew what He was getting when He chose you. He knows everything about everything.

Lastly, aside from creating insecurity, the pressure to be like Christ creates unnecessary stress. God wants to shine through us, not for us to try to generate our own light. Give yourself permission to be human. 🙂 Being human isn’t a license to sin, it is permission to rely fully on a Jesus.

I don’t know about you, but I’m fully aware that I’m human. Without Jesus I have no ability to live like Him. So let’s rest in what He’s done and trust His leadership, guidance, and ability to transform us. Let’s also be aware that others need grace and mercy as well. Though I’d be nice, we can truly only expect Jesus to be 100% like Jesus all the time. Everyone else will miss the mark in some way.

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Purity (Identity in Christ Part 10)

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Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body, 1 Corinthians 6:18.

But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people, Ephesians 5:3.

Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry, Colossians 3:5.

Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness, Romans 6:13.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things, Philippians 4:8.

I listed these verses because there is a trend in our society to toss purity to the wind. The Bible has been labeled as being outdated, old-fashioned, and not relevant for our time. There’s been a trend to tell people to do what they want, live how they want, engage in any sexual activity they want, say what they want, and God is obligated to accept it as long as that person claims to believe in Jesus. This is not at all what Jesus taught. There’s no place in scripture that tells us to keep on sinning and live however we would like to live. God’s grace is so vast beyond measure, His saving power so powerful. If we are the worst of sinner, which we are normally ignorant to how sinful we really are, He is able to cleanse, purify, and redeem us. That’s the beauty of grace! No matter how many times we stumble, He is able and willing to restore us. If we are in Christ, we claim His righteousness as our own. We are made new through relationship with Him. However, we cannot treat sin like it’s nothing. We cannot treat grace as a free ticket to sin and keep on sinning. Listen to the words of Apostle Paul.

Dead to Sin, Alive in Christ Romans 6:1-14.

What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.

Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.

In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.

God encourages us to attach our lives to righteousness and purity for the following reasons.

1. Sin is toxic. Disobeying God leads to death. Adam and Eve did not believe God when He said if they ate from the tree they would die. Our world today is filled with evil because of their sin. Sin hurts us. It may not seem like it. It may feel good. It may seem good. However, God withholds nothing good from His children (Psalm 84:11). If He says no to something, it’s because it will harm us. We may not see it today, but sin takes people further than they want to go and does more damage than we can see. If it were not toxic and lead to death, there would have been no reason for Jesus to come and die for sin. Some examples.

a. The person who cheats on their spouse. It seemed good. Felt good. Their betrayal of their vow causes pain to their spouse, they are causing another to commit adultery, if they have kids they are hurt. Adultery is the death of trust.

b. The person who can never admit they are wrong and are filled with pride. Their actions hurt everyone around them and they will never know real love. For love is not selfish or prideful. Selfishness and pride is the death of love. Love and pride cannot occupy the same places.

c. The person engaged in sexual activity outside the covenant of marriage (a man with a woman). Opens the door for the enemy to build a shrine to pleasure, an idol of self, and the death and destruction of honor. When we engage in sexual activity outside God’s covenant of marriage (between a man and woman) we are dishonoring our bodies and the body of those we engage with.

Even if our sin is in secret and no one knows but God, it still leads to bondage. The person who overeats at home while no one sees becomes a slave to food. The person who slanders and gossips becomes a slave to tabloids and spreading other people’s business. The person who looks at pornography or engages in lustful activities alone becomes a slave to pleasure. The person who is greedy, materialistic, becomes a slave to money and may end up in debt. All sin leads to bondage, the inability to function with self-control.

2. God’s way leads to life, blessing, and models love. God is pure. Jesus died to make us pure. Though our sins were as scarlet, He washes us white as snow. His way leads to life. God is not only concerned about our well-being, but the well-being of everyone around us. Purity is interested in the best interests of God, others, and self. Love protects the best interests of others. God will not betray the way of love. He is love. He paid for us to be free, not in bondage.

Lastly, I will say no matter what areas of your life you feel bound, God paid for freedom. Every person in Christ has been freed from being a slave to sin. We have been made new. We have new names. Don’t allow the enemy to deceive you into believing you cannot be free! Jesus paid for it. We run to God over and over saying, “God help me to live free.” We focus our lives on worshiping Him and trust that when we surrender ourselves to Him, He is able to transform us from the inside out. I can testify to the freedom God brings. I am not the same person I was when I came to Jesus. I am not the same person I was several years ago. The work of the Holy Spirit to sanctify us is more powerful than our ability to sin.

Abba I ask that we would surrender our hearts to You. You love us regardless of what we do, but love us too much to leave us the same. You paid for us to be free! Free us from all forms of bondage. We don’t want partial freedom, we want total freedom. We love you! Thank you for the sacrifice of Your Son. In Jesus name, Amen.

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