The Narrow Road

Mountins 5
It is through God’s plan of salvation we are given the gift of eternal life. Once we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior we embark upon a spiritual journey. His precious Holy Spirit comes to reside within us. The Holy Spirit is there to comfort, protect, lead and guide us. To help us understand what the Word really means. His Word is there to be a “lamp unto our feet and a Light unto our path.” In Galatians 5 you will find the Fruit of His Spirit and the works of the flesh. This will help you to know the difference between, when you are walking in the Spirit or walking carnally in the flesh. This is also another reason why it is so very important to know the scriptures for yourself. God will never lead you to do anything contrary to His Word. His Word tells us every now and then you will find a true believer. The scriptures actually say “Enter through the narrow gate, for wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life and only a few find it.”

God loves us so much that He allowed His only begotten Son to leave heaven and take upon Himself a body of flesh. Jesus conquered sin in the flesh for us. So we might have the gift of Salvation! He was born, lived a sinless life was crucified dead and buried. Then he arose with all power! We never become the power, yet we are allowed access. Jesus truly demonstrated His love to us by actually showing us what it is to travel on that narrow road. If you study the life of Jesus Christ you will find that He encountered many things. He was persecuted, mistreated, lied upon and maligned. He was called evil. He was betrayed, misunderstood and abandoned by the very ones He came to help. The scriptures are not just some mere stories written to amuse us. They are there to show us the way. To help us grow spiritually mature and encourage us on that narrow road travel.

The Bible is supposed to be the final authority for the child of God. It is supposed to be our road map for life. As His children we are His Church. The Church is His Bride. One must remain watchful and prayerful. Life will allow many thorns and thistles in order to derail the child of God. That narrow road often appears to take the form of a roller coaster? For some taking a detour onto wide road traveling becomes an alternate route. Regardless as to what is going on about us we must strive to sincerely live each day keeping in mind that Jesus is going to return for His Church. This also helps you to be prepared for whatever obstacles are put in your path. One must learn to lay aside the things that attempt to distract or derail your path. So much of the world has been allowed to creep into the Church. For many it is hard to tell the difference. You must know the Word for yourself in order to not be deceived. Remember the Word tells us that the wheat and the tares are growing together. On many occasions evil is called good and good is perceived as evil. In many cases the world and its way has really become the final authority. Learn to trust God!

Lord help us! Don’t be dismayed! Absolutely nothing gets by God! God knows who are His. Rest assured. When you truly know His Word, you would know that nothing or no one can change that! God’s Word is TRUE! Jesus stood on the Truth. God knows what has happened, is happening and what will happen! We can rely on the Truth! People have an amazing ability to twist the truth in order to suit their purpose. To take things out of context in order to make things appear and seem a certain way. Some people will believe anything and anybody. You never have to force yourself or God’s Word upon anyone. Just be patient. Learn to “be still and know.” You do not have to stoop to their level. Just know in the long run it will only backfire. When anyone tries to oppress you, you never have to be afraid especially when you know that Psalms 27 is true! “The Lord is my Light and my salvation, who shall I fear….” Truth erases doubt and will give you a sure footing. It takes the Truth to bring things to the Light and dispel lies. God does not operate in the dark. There is nothing hidden or uncovered to Him! “Wait on the Lord.”

Study the life of Jesus. You will find that He was there in the very beginning and will be there through eternity. Many consorted together to derail Him. False witnesses were even hired to justify their case against Him. Simply so things could appear a certain way and cast doubt upon His credibility? To undermine His good intentions, perhaps with man but certainly not with God! Just to prove their case against Him. Jesus never sinned. He remained focused and faithful. We too must learn to keep our focus on God. You can rest assured when you know God knows the intentions of your heart. He knows everything. Romans tell us “Therefore there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus…” You do not have to walk after the flesh. Yes, we have all “sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” But as you grow stronger spiritually we are to sin less. This is why we need a Savior. To help us stay on the right path. It is so important to know the Lord and His Word intimately. The Truth really can set you free! You can rely on the Truth! Not to just read it for the sake of reading. But to consistently study, embrace and digest its contents and seek your path forward. Get off that wide road traveling it leads to destruction. The Truth will untangle a multitude of opinions it will free you from a swamp of uncertainty. It is able to keep you on the right path. God really is able to keep you from falling!

The word scripture comes from the Greek word graphe, which means; what is written. The scriptures are truly the inspired Word of God. They were written to help us navigate through this maze of life. Many times Jesus said nothing. There were times He simply said “It is written.” God does not intend for us to be mislead. Narrow road traveling is possible. Difficult situations and suffering are a part of life. But so is His joy even in the midst of sorrows! He wants us to hide His word in our hearts. It is very important that you remain patient and be prayerful! Jesus wants us to be consistent and stable. Not to let how things appear sway you from what you know is right. In John 17 you will find another one of Jesus’ wonderfully recorded prayers; “I have given them your Word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the TRUTH, your Word is TRUTH.” When you place your trust in Jesus you become sanctified. He will protect and keep you. You can rejoice and praise Him knowing He has a plan for you as well as each one of His children.

You can depend on God’s Word. It is here to help us through this maze of life. To nourish, feed, water, protect and cleanse us. It is there to keep us on the path that leads to Him! But there are some things that you need to know and expect, to help you live your life seeking His purpose. It really is not about how things look to others. Know who you are and who you belong to! Always be ready to give and answer for the hope that lies within! What is important is what God knows! Do you really know what it means when you say Jesus is your Savior? It means that you are now a child of God. I must tell you, you should know as well, you also become target practice for a lot of spiritual warfare.

It is true the saying that “the moment we admit life is difficult it becomes easier.” II Timothy 3 tells us, “In fact everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But for you to continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know from who you have learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” For the child of God what makes it easier is knowing that the Lord is there 24/7. “He will never leave nor forsake you.” His Word is there to comfort you, help and sustain you, guide you and see you through it all. Whenever you become burdened you must learn to take responsibility and then shift your load to Him. God will never fail you! He promises to “supply all of our needs through Christ Jesus” You must read, know, continuously study, trust and allow His Holy Spirit to illuminate His Word for your path forward. The Word of God is our road map for narrow road travel. Life is a quest. Jesus is the only way to the Father.

Quite often when you find your self in a difficult situation if you are not prayerful your first response will be to respond carnally or in the flesh. To impulsively respond and seek to gratify self or to blame others rather than take your part of the responsibility. This is again when it is important to know; “That the Truth does set us free.” God always has a remedy. One just has to be open and willing to take heed to His way. Remember that narrow path I’ve been talking about? Always remember the Fruit of His Spirit is available. Remember God has a plan for your life. His promises are true! Nothing is too hard for God. Keep your focus! Mediate on the Lord’s Word. The WORD of God tells us to “Do not be anxious about anything but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians gives us additional insightful words to ponder when going through, “Finally my brothers, 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. Whatever you have earned or received or heard of Me, or seen of Me put into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” God is awesome!


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SEXual Problems For The Christians

In a recent Christian Counseling quarterly publication I receive every single article discussed sexual problems. This really confirmed that the problems of this nature are definitely prevalent within the Christian Community. Many shy away from discussing issues that are of a sexual nature. It is quite evident that a plethora of the problems we are experiencing are rooted in improper sexual misconduct.

The Bible has a lot to say about sexual relationships. One of the main problems is that sex is more often than not practiced outside of the sanctity of marriage. God has said it is only within the marriage bed that sex is “undefiled.” Many have indulged in adultery and homosexuality and defiled the marriage bed.

It is of no secret that time after time we see many men and women who fall prey to the pitfalls of sexual misconduct. Not fully realizing that sex outside of marriage is like “fire outside of the fireplace.” It’s dangerous! It will burn your house down! You are setting your self up for disappointment. You see sex outside the confines of marriage simply means; I am not fully committed to you. I need to be with you to see if we are physically compatible. I’ve been hurt before so I don’t really want to get too serious. Or my spouse and I don’t have a satisfying relationship so I’m really glad you are there for me. Or “I need you baby” if you love me you will do this for me? There are so many more scenarios as well… Of course you have not uttered this in words. In the above cases your actions speak louder than words. Many simply do not really know what marriage is all about!

I receive many questions in regards to sexual problems. Many are trapped because they have no where to turn. Many women just don’t want to be alone so they offer themselves sexually, yet are physically unsatisfied. Many have been conditioned ignorantly to use sex as a tool to manipulate. Women who are used for sexual purposes are often thought of as mere objects. Many have been sexually abused causing them to feel low self worth. Many have been taught that sex is no big deal. Everybody has sex and it does not matter if you are married or not. Especially if you are past a certain age or you have already been married. Or if you are not having sex something is wrong with you. You are not normal. But that is not the Christian perspective! You see God gives specific directions. The Bible says “for this cause shall a man leave His Father and Mother and cleave to His wife and they shall become one flesh.”

Sex outside the confines of marriage is dangerous emotionally. Why? It sets you up for possible problems that may not be apparent until much later? This is regardless of how young or old you may be…There is a deeper meaning to sex than the physical exchange. A bonding takes place. There is a magnetic chemical exchange. Within the confines of marriage a miraculous spiritual transaction is taking place! Did you know that scripture tells us “whatever you join yourself to becomes a part of you?” Deep down you must know and feel that something is wrong, but you just can’t put your finger on it. It also shows a lack of discipline. Some people just don’t practice good moral boundaries. They will sleep with anybody! Married or not married! Others have been erroneously taught that it really does not matter. If it feels right we are not hurting anybody! From a Biblical standpoint just know you are outside the will of God! Anytime you choose to operate outside of God’s boundaries you can expect some trouble.

Think about this for a moment. Did you know that if no one practiced sex outside of marriage there would be no one to cheat with? Fewer broken homes! Fewer STD’s! Fewer Abortions! Fewer marriages ending in divorces where people are unable to reconcile their differences! It’s hard to imagine! God has given us His Word to protect us! He has even told us that there is “no temptation common to man that He has not prepared a way of escape.”

A committed married monogamous relationship is the only way that God honors a sexual relationship! He has provided and ordained marriage. You see God has designed marriage as the only proper way a man and woman can fulfill their natural sexual desires. He is not the designer of any other method. If you have been taught or thought otherwise you are fooled. I don’t care what Mommy, Daddy, Grandpa, Grandma, Aunt, Uncle, Friend, Doctor or Foe has said there are consequences! You see it is time out for living in the dark. Especially if you have confessed to be a Christian! It is time to stand up and speak out for what God has said is right.

Let’s HELP this next generation; these teenagers of this 21st century “where anything goes” and begin giving them better morale role models! Let’s open up the lines of communication so they can validate their feelings! Give them a phone and tell them “to call you anytime they NEED you” Let’s HELP them so they do not feel that they have to give parts of themselves away in order to be accepted! Give them more “hugs” less criticism and more compassion and understanding. Less bickering and fighting and more constructive ways to resolve conflict! Just think if it is hard for adults it is even harder for teenagers…

When I went to seminary I was somewhat disappointed, but not surprised that the same problems existed. I learned that sexual misconduct is practiced on many levels. It did not matter that my views were misconstrued as prudish because I know better! Good boundaries should be exercised when you know someone is weak in certain areas. Many Christians have been side tracked by indulging in sexual sin. The Spirit of God is quenched when you operate in a carnal mode. Many operate by using a spirit of seducement which is not of GOD! Remember this is a Spiritual battle. Many honestly don’t realize how they water down the effectiveness of their testimony.

I have seen that people are a lot more interested in talking about people who have a problem with material possessions. Usually the one who really has the problem is fixated on what someone else has. How big their house is or what kind of vehicle they drive? Or how often they travel here or there? It was not Solomon’s material possessions that got him in trouble. It was His sex life! How he ever managed 300 wives and 700 concubines is news to me. Well you see in actuality he didn’t; it is what really destroyed him. In Ecclesiastes 12:13 &14 Solomon says “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter; Fear God, and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.” For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” Sex is not something to play with, don’t be deceived by thinking other wise. The employment of improper sex in your life will ultimately lead to some type of dysfunction or some other problem.

I remember jokingly telling my husband years ago that we were going to be looked at, as “there goes that married heterosexual couple.” I am thankful to say God has blessed us with three decades of commitment. This is why I know that by His grace it is possible. We live in a time when 55- 60% of marriages are ending in divorce! This is why I understand that we live in difficult times. The spiritual warfare will do every thing it can to promote and construct distorted views of marriage as favorable. Many couples choose to live together. Many marry and don’t really know what they are getting into! Many marry and have mutual relationships outside of marriage.

Couples are pulled in many directions because of the pulls of sexual freedom. Just know it is a seducing spirit that wants to deceive you. Birth of illicit pleasure can often lead to death of a marriage. If you are married and you know something is not right, please take inventory. Don’t bury your head in the sand like an ostrich! The problem won’t just go away. Don’t front it. Be more concerned about what God thinks! Find out what God has to say about marriage. Begin to take whatever steps are necessary to take back control of your life. Proverbs tells us that you cannot “take fire into your bosom and not be burned.” Earnestly repent and stop indulging in sinful behavior. Run quickly from anyone who comforts you in sexual sin! They will love you to death (which is not love at all) if you have been playing with fire please stop! You will actually feel a lot better when you get things right with God. Remember His blood can cleanse you from all unrighteousness! Just know God is a forgiving God!

Men and women vary in their priorities in the area of sexual needs. Men in general have intercourse higher on their lists of priorities. For instance it may be the number one preference for a man. It may be the second or fourth for the woman. Her first need may be affection. His second may be financial security. You see many often confuse their needs. Affection does not have to always end up in a sexual encounter.

When you properly practice sex within the confines of marriage you can experience true spiritual and sexual fulfillment in harmony. A proper sexual relationship is like “epoxy!” When the two adhesive components come together they form a permanent bond that technically should be very difficult to break. I use this illustration because it visually represents “what God has joined together let not man put asunder.” It is a healthy bond that few really understand. Love always protects it does not suffocate! Begin developing a relationship where you can mutually get your needs met. When you are truly fulfilled you will have no need or desire to indulge in extra marital affairs. You will also have great security knowing that you are honoring God in your relationship!

Sex is a taboo discussion for many. Old wife fables have hindered more than a few marriages. Abuse and cruel punishment rather than discipline have left many scarred. Addicted and coeds with shame! It is often erroneously thought that people who talk about sex have some underlying problem. It is not the talking about sex that is the problem. It is when people misuse or abuse it outside the confines of marriage. It was serious enough that Jesus told the Pharisees that they committed adultery by their thoughts! God is not a God of darkness. Read this passage and allow His Light to illuminate your mind;

“My son. Keep your father’s commands and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. Bind them upon your heart forever; fasten them around your neck. When you walk, they will guide you; when you sleep they will watch over you; when you awake, they will speak to you. For these commands are a lamp, this teaching is a light, and the corrections of discipline are the way of life. Keeping you from the immoral woman. From the smooth tongue of the wayward wife. Do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyes, for the prostitute reduces you to a loaf of bread, and the adulteress preys upon your very life. Can a man scoop fire into his lap without his clothes being burned? Can a man walk on hot coals without his feet being scorched? So is he who sleeps with another’s man wife’ no one who touches her will go unpunished. Men do not despise a thief if he steals to satisfy his hunger when he is starving. Yet if he is caught, he must pay sevenfold. Though it costs him all the wealth of his house. But a man who commits adultery lacks judgement; whoever does so destroys himself. Blows and disgrace are his lit, and his shame will never be wiped away…” Proverbs 6 NIV.

Sex is a dangerous thing to play with. Did you know you actually give up your power? “SEX outside of marriage is what kryptonite is to Superman; it weaknes you!!! You are also operating outside the will of God! It is harder to say “no” than to give in. If you ever give in you must take responsibility for your actions. Abstinence is the proper birth control method that God honors! Repentance actually means to be remorseful for your actions to the extent you don’t repeat them! Proverbs tells us to “TRUST in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not to thy own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge HIM and HE WILL direct thy path ” Proverbs 3 When He says all thy ways He means just that!

God’s Word is our guide for proper successful living. He knows what is best for us! Just know that you are not alone! You can choose to do things God’s way or you can do things the world’s way. Just be ready for the consequences. God’s way gives you PEACE in the midst of a troubled world. Just know living God’s way comes with much persecution an mistreatment. But it’s worth every bit of it! ”THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE!” Every time you choose God’s way you exercise and strengthen His Miraculous Spiritual Power in your life! We as Christians have an ethical and moral responsibility as His children. God says if you truly LOVE Him; YOU WILL KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS!


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Getting Your Joy Back! Part 1

Do you want to hear what God has to say?


If you listen closely to the prophets in the Bible they often forewarn the people about things that are going to happen as well as proclaim God’s Word. The word prophet in Hebrew means; spokesperson. God’s people were quite deep into sin, disobedience, civic confusion and rebellion. Isaiah reminds us that our actions have consequences!

More often than not the people did not want to hear what God had to say. They conformed more to the ways of the world than to the way of God.  Right now in this 21st century things really are Not TOO much different from what was going on then. Some of everything is going on. What we are seeing are the results of man’s choices down through the generations. Many look to the ways of the world to resolve conflict and problems rather than to God.  No wonder that there are so  many unresolved issues.  Taking into consideration what God has to say about daily living is not as much of a priority.  Think about it for a moment. God is omniscient. He knows everything  about everything, past present and future.

Whenever I read Isaiah, I can feel the anguish and heart wrenching despair that intensively emits forth from his soul.  The Prophet Isaiah speaks forth the  oracles of God.  Isaiah had a very difficult mission. Quite often when you speak Truth you can expect to be labeled as “negative” or the bearer of “bad news.”   Along with a lot of other flavorful words that I do not subscribe to.  Usually because it shows a contrast to what someone wants to do.  Isaiah was a true visionary! He had great spiritual insight.  He had the arduous task of speaking to a group of despondent people.  Isaiah passionately shares of the purity of God, how powerful and loving God is and that God is a Holy God! That God is also a God of wrath. But  most of all God is a God of Justice!  Isaiah exalts God! He vehemently proclaims to the community at large the pitfalls of evil. Yet in return he is called everything but a child of God. He told them that the land was becoming a wasteland. He pleaded with them to turn Back to GOD!

 

There is a desire to bring about change!

Isaiah did not have some morbid desire to make anyone unhappy. He did not try to tell them anything just for the sake of making them feel bad. He was not a lunatic, neurotic, uncaring, self centered or mentally challenged in any way.  He did not have a hidden agenda. He could see that they were suffering.  It was because he was obedient to the call God had placed on his life he said the very things they did not want to hear…  Although hurtful at times he did it to bring about good. To promote change and encourage the people to move towards God’s Way of life.

Look at what has been happening around us!

Today our country is slowly still recovering from the last recession.  Our government even “SHUT DOWN” because President Obama and Congress were not able to agree.  It “SHUT DOWN”  for and extended period of time  again because President Trump and Congress could not agree. Has anyone every really considered what God would say. Is not America a country under God?  Well there have certainly been a lot of decisions made that go contrary to His Word! LORD HELP US!

We are always on alert for terrorists both foreign and domestic.  Yet those who make decisions in the political arena  often  cause much havoc in the lives of the people because they cannot come to an agreement.   We should also be aware of the many things that are happening; really it’s because the principles of God have been laid aside.  All one has to do is gather together a mass of people to support their cause. It does not matter what it is? Just the fact that you can get many to agree and join with you to do whatever. Man often advocates freedom without God. This really  will not lead to true freedom but eventually to more  chaos.

During the recession; Properties values fell drastically and are now on the rise, homes were lost, corporations were closed, careers lost, many relationships broken, unemployment rates were at an all time high, stock devalued and  pensions lost. This is more results of man’s decisions. We can see the aftermath.  Now  divorce is at an all time high, families being pulled and torn apart,   murder, crime you name it on the rise.  Many things were tremendously impacted.  Some things will never be quite the same.

There has been a moral decline

The moral decline is unspeakable as well. The astronomical percentage of abortions continues to increase. The plethora of mass shootings continue. Let’s not forget the continual fight to making “Marriage God’s Way” the same as same sex unions. Marriage God’s Way is “Holy Matrimony” which is between One Man & One Woman!” Now today we have many also confused about their gender?

It is important to seek the will of God Almighty above the ways of the world. God has made it clear in His Word about what constitutes marriage. He also teaches us about traveling on the broad road. But what does that matter? Check it out for yourself in His Word!

WoW!   Everybody knows it and no one wants to say it.  GOD IS SPEAKING in many ways!  You can only ignore Him as The Creator and Sustainer of life  for so long. No wonder pandemonium and mayhem have really set in.  What has been happening in the dark is coming to the Light! We are seeing the influences of the prince of the power of the air.  Some of everything is happening.  PRAY FOR DISCERNMENT! Ask the LORD to open your spiritual eyes.  In these “Latter Days” the Word of God is being fulfilled.

There really is hope!

But wait there is Hope! And yes there is still Joy! GOD HAS NOT CHANGED. Ultimately He has everything and everyone under his control.  The battle has already been won.  God is patient. He has given all of us the freedom to choose. Always  keep in mind that there are consequences for the choices we make.  Seek the will of the Lord daily. Life is learning how to make better decisions. God teaches us in His Word.   “Those that wait upon the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles.” Isaiah 40.

Trust the Lord!

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