Pray for Discernment
When I went to seminary I was somewhat disappointed to a small degree, but not surprised that the same problems existed. I have learned that sexual misconduct is practiced on many levels. It did not matter that my views were misconstrued as prudish because I know better! This is not at all about exposing anyone; nor would I. It is about stating the facts to circumvent others from going down this path or at least help them consider making better choices.
It is important to keep in mind that spiritual warfare persists everywhere. Always remember; “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Matthew 18.
There was an interesting counseling therapy class on “Gethsemane Patterning.” I was asked to sign a waiver in this class because there was some hands on activity that could possibly be a tad interesting. I prayed about it. Since I could see under the right conditions it could be helpful. I grasped all the marvelous insight as well as impertinent methodology. But I decided to opt out of certain aspects of the class. Therefore there was no need for me to sign a waiver. We are called to be observant. Thank God for Discernment. That particular class ended up with a huge lawsuit against the administrator. It is important to never throw caution to the wind.
Many hours of intense study quiet meditation and practical application yielded a deeper invaluable reverence for our Lord. God does not want us to be “Cookie Cutter Christians.” There is no need to compete in ministry. The Lord will help us do whatever He has called us to do. He does want us to be “in the world but not of the world” John 8 I am most thankful for the experience as well as an invaluable wealth of spiritual insight gained. There remain many many precious memories.
The Lord always wants to lead us on the Path of Righteousness.
It is always good to be cautious, prayerful and seek direction from the Lord. Especially when you lay hands on someone who does not really know you. I understand why the Word says: “Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands, and do not share in the sins of others. Keep yourself pure. I Timothy 5. Truly the Lord will protect you. He also sharpens your discernment. Spiritual things easily get misunderstood. “Man looks on the outside. But GOD looks at the heart.” This is why we always need to consult with the Lord and be led by HIS Holy Spirit! There are times when you may just have to stay put and pray from right where you are. You can always pray and sometimes not necessarily out loud. The Lord knows if we are sincere and HE is always absolutely Omniscient…
There is a tendency to overlook sexual problems within the Church. This is not good since this conflicts with; “…But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in Spirit and Truth, for the Father seeks such to worship Him” (John 4:23).” Here Jesus is talking to the woman at the well. Notice; He first talked to her about all her husbands. Then He graciously shifts the subject to telling her about “true worship!” We cannot confine our infinite Lord to just a geographical area, people or building. HE IS OMNIPRESENT I have not found anywhere in the WORD where the disciples had sexual misconduct problems. Think about it. Most importantly this sends the wrong message. There is a difference between the “Fruit of the Spirit and the “works of the flesh” See Galatians 5
We are not to sanction any sin. Sin separates us from GOD. We are to exercise and encourage others to embrace self-control as well. He has given us HIS HOLY SPIRIT HIS COMFORTER to HELP us. GOD CALLS us and asks us to travel upon “The Straight & Narrow Road!” This is the road that is less traveled by many. The reason why there are so many carnal problems with God’s Church is because to many allowances and excuses are made quite often for those who are connected to what they perceive to be the hierarchy.”Of a TRUTH, I perceive, God is not a respecter of persons.” James 2 We are ALL SAVED by the GRACE of GOD!
It is so very important to know the WORD of GOD for yourself. Many teach the traditions of their particular denominations over the Word of God! We in ourselves have no power. But we access HIS POWER as we stay connected to HIM as the SOURCE of ULTIMATE POWER. God can use whoever is willing to submit to His Will & His Way.
In some cases just as long as you pay your dues or tithes you can be be excused from just about anything. The focus upon money is the greatest priority for many. Many are manipulated to give money. There are even tithing messages given before offering. Malachi is mainly talking to the priests who were corrupt. It was written to correct many religious and social behaviors. Most always attribute Malachi to “robbing God!” Malachi 3 There are many ways to rob God. If you study you will find that tithes and offerings were not only monetary. Malachi 3 also states; “And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.”
Yes, The Lord wants us to give. “God loves a cheerful giver!” II Corinthians 9. The Corinthians were a very carnal Church. Here you will see that the LORD gives a lot of instructions to His Church because of the mindset of the people. They got carried away in many areas. The main focus of worship should always be upon giving GLORY to the LORD. God wants to be a part of every area of our lives. He has promised “To supply ALL our needs according to His riches in Christ Jesus!” Philippians 4. God will supply the needs of HIS CHURCH which is HIS people. ALL with the LORD means ALL.
“For the Love of money is the root of ALL evil” Where you find evil when you peel it all back you will find this is to be true! It is not the money but the fact some will do just about anything to get it. God does not begrudge us to have things. But it is how we relate to them that matters most. We all so daily need His Holy Spirit to continually grow in His grace.
GOD is The Giver and Sustainer of Life
God holds ALL of us accountable for our behavior as well as how we give or do not give. Think about it for a moment? God really does see and know everything about all of us. How many times does the Bible mention the disciples indulging in sexual sins? Quite often the faults of the disciples are mentioned to make a point of their flaws. But in actuality we are to depend on the Holy Spirit to help us exercise self-control not upon ourselves. The perfection that the Bible talks about is not flawlessness. It is about learning how to be complete in the Lord. We are to daily strive for perfection. There is always room for improvement in all of us. We should be forever growing in His grace as long as He has us on this side of Heaven. The LORD is able to deliver us from ALL evil! We CAN be “Strong in the LORD!” Or HE would not have told us to do so.
Good boundaries should be exercised when you know someone is weak in certain areas. This applies even more so when you know you are in a carnal environment. You should be able to greet with a hug and express godly love and not want to sleep with or have any sexual interest. I say this because I know that there are a few who use this as an opportunity to meet possible conquests. I personally do not usually indulge in what I call the many “Simon Says” activities that are now prominent during worship. Turn to your neighbor, say this, turn around, jump up and down, clap your hands etc. Observe, how many respond just like robots without thinking. This is actually “Group Think” behavior. Also notice that this is a trend that has also been adopted in these latter years. It is optional. This can at times hinder the flow of the Spirit. We are not to just do everything that man says do… How did we get here? It is always important to remain prayerful during worship.
We are living in the lasts days and some of everything is going on everywhere. Not everyone regards worship or “The House of The Lord” as sacred.
Many Christians have been side tracked by indulging in ongoing sexual sin. Think about it, when this is the case this is actually practicing sin. They do not realize just how much this impacts their Spiritual Gift(s). Or maybe they are just ignorant to GOD’S OMNIPRESENCE and believe He doesn’t really know what is happening? Its important to keep in mind during worship that not everyone is spiritual. Encouraging repentance is always good. “Prayer ye one for another!” I believe that there is much spiritual tension in the body that can easily be alleviated.
The Spirit of God is quenched when you operate in a carnal mode.
Many operate by using a seducing spirit which is NOT of GOD! Remember this is a Spiritual battle. Pray for discernment! Many honestly don’t realize how they water down the effectiveness of their testimony. They also hinder their spiritual gifts when they are indulging in sexual misconduct!
Sex is not something to play with.
This is not about being negative, I am better than you, nor being Miss Such a Much. This is about being real! We are living in some interesting times with some of everything going on. For many nothing is sacred.
There is a better way to begin to lessen the growing number of Christians as well as non Christians to have better control in the area of sex. Less STDS makes the world safer for all of us… You will not have to worry about these things when you honor God in your marriage. We must work on building healthier relationships inside and outside of marriage. Just know that God only sanctions sex between a husband and a wife. We must respect our marriages as well as the marriages of others. When we do so we honor GOD!
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 eventually nearly destroyed him. We can learn much from his plethora of Wisdom he candidly shares.
I always say: “I DO NOT have to go to the bottom of the Creek to know that there is mud down there.”
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 otherwise. The employment of improper sex in your life will ultimately lead to some type of dysfunction or some other problem. Take a Spiritual Bath in HIS WORD repent and exercise self control
The 1st chapter of Romans candidly teaches us that GOD is opposed to same sex relationships. It goes against His natural boundaries; “…They exchanged the TRUTH of GOD for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator, who is forever praised. Amen! Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in them the due penalty for their perversion…” Acts 1 You cannot change the TRUTH of GOD’S WORD! If you disagree take it up with GOD!
Think long and hard before you have or continue to have sex outside of marriage!
Do you desire to walk in integrity? Do you desire to be whole? Do you really know that there is absolutely nothing in life that God is not aware of? “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” God in His infinite wisdom knew from the very beginning of time that we would have to endure many situations, trials, sicknesses, grief and yes difficult people. His Word tells us that He knew us before the foundation of the world. God has given us so many examples to remind us daily who He is. You see “The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament display His handiwork!” So why is it that so many elect to walk contrary to His Word?
You see many do not simply understand that God really has provided everything that we need in order to live and properly function in this world. God has given us the Bible that contains 66 books which have been divinely inspired. He sent His Son to purchase with His life; a plan of salvation for us! It is through His plan of salvation we access His overflowing abundance. It is through Him we are given the opportunity to walk in integrity.
Walking in integrity provides you with a sense of wholeness. It gives you an assurance to know when you are walking with the Lord your steps are ordered. This does not mean that bad things will not happen. I assure you they will. But if you are quietly still you will be able to recognize the author of its origin. You will be able to soar above your situation and rest in the arms of an all powerful and mighty God. You see God is awesome and He is mighty in battle.
Life today is very complex. The world is full of people who subscribe to a multiplicity of belief systems. Many simply have no moral or ethical barometer to determine what is right or wrong. Many live in lifestyles entrenched in a multiplicity of addictive behaviors. You also have those who do not really believe in God but they attempt to live life by doing good things. Then you have another group that is just mentally insane! On the other hand you have many who profess to be believers that opt to employ a distorted fragmented partially clad truth system. That is really not truth at all. Then you have those who know without a doubt they are children of God. They realize that they live in the world but they know that they are not of the world. So therefore we have global conflict.
What are you saying? As a child of God you realize that you live in the world. But on a spiritual level you know that you must not conform to its belief system. You withdraw on your Faith account. You beseech God for direction. You do not walk in the counsel of ungodly people. How do I do this? You must learn to walk in integrity. You must pray that the Lord illuminates your understanding to help you see your path forward. You seek solace in the scriptures for further guidance. You accept the truth even when it is painful. You lay aside the weights that so easily make an attempt to hinder you walking in the Light of God’s Word. Daniel’s life displays an excellent example of integrity. His peers were intimidated by his character. For this they plotted against him. Yet, Daniel remained faithful to Godly principles. God took care of Daniel. Walking in integrity causes one to walk against the grain. You see the Truth is always the pathway to God!
We who are Christians must seek to resolve our earthly challenges in a spiritual way. This does not mean to adopt some fairytale never never land faulty belief system. Neither does it mean I can do anything, say anything or live any way and God will just have to forgive me mentality. After all we are not under the law we are under grace. It means to responsively take personal responsibility for your actions!
There will be consequences for behavior! Don’t t use or manipulate others who are weak and are ignorant to God’s Way of living in order to get your way! Integrity will help you walk in meekness. Meekness is power under control! The world system is not the system that God wants His children to operate within. The law is for the unlawful. But if you know the truth it does not matter. Many choose evil over what is right! You know that whatever trumped up charges someone tries to infer against you they will simply have no weight. Just remember Daniel! Obedience to God is vitally important for the believer. You must choose to walk in integrity!
Walking in integrity is not an easy task. You see it also means to stand for what is right in the eyes of God. You may have to go some places and be some places you would rather not be; but only for a season. Just know God walks with you wherever you go! But you must be certain you have not crossed your will with His! You abandon the need to manipulate the situation. Integrity does not have to fight its way into anything. Grace which is a by product will sustain you. You instead elect to pray and seek God’s guidance. It is through this guidance you can obtain the spiritual, physical and emotional energy to endure. To soar above your circumstances. This will give you the spiritual clarity to operate in spite of! Your faith will assure you God will eventually pull down any strongholds! By faith you know the Holy Spirit will illuminate the darkness that tries to perpetrate a fraudulent simulated light.
It is very difficult to properly relate to someone who lacks integrity. They quite often subscribe to the idea that they can do whatever is necessary to get what they want. They have a very difficult time dealing with anyone who does not agree with them. They often resort to fragmenting the truth to solicit support of those who are partially informed. You do not have to resort to their tactics! Do not be dismayed when they hurl insults. Just know that they are coming from a place of insecurity. A child of God must “walk by faith”. This means you have to keep walking in the Light even when you are not sure how things will turn out. But through faith you know God will work it out for your good! That you must focus on Him when those who walked with you at one time walk no more. You see the narrow road to God is not full of travelers. But it is the path that leads you over through and beyond the wide road that leads to destruction. The faith that God has instilled in you as His child will daily illuminate your path. Diligently study His Word! It will give you healthy realistic boundaries. Integrity will assist you. It will provide an invisible shield to insulate you from the claws of the many wolves that adorn sheep clothing!
Whenever you are in doubt of direction seek Godly direction. Often a simple whispered prayer will suffice. Because God really does know where you are, what you have done and better yet what you are going to do. Please do not subscribe to the counsel of the ungodly. Beware of those who talk right and walk left. Who use the grace of God as a license to sin! Who indulge in unspeakable behavior! Who live to satisfy the flesh and have an insatiable desire to star in an imitation spiritual spotlight. You see with God there is absolutely nothing that is hidden! Therefore you realize that there is no need for an audience when you know that you have God’s attention 24/7. To much is given much is required! You can then walk humbly in His Light because you know that “Greater is He that is in you than He that is in the world”! Know there can be no true peace and contentment where truth is not welcomed. God is the Spirit of TRUTH! But you can share with anyone who asks “This joy that I have the world did not give it to me.” Neither can the world take it away! Do you really want to be made whole? Begin today to walk in integrity! TO GOD BE THE GLORY!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
DeBorrah K. Ogans is a Marriage Educator, licensed Christian Counselor, Life Coach and ordained Minister. She is certified through the Sarasota Academy of Christian Counseling in Creation Therapy and holds a Master’s Degree in Biblical Clinical Counseling. She is the author of a pre-marital guide “How Do I Love Thee: Things You Need To Know Before You Say I Do,” and “Holy Matrimony: Now That You’re Married”. DeBorrah has written extensively and has a plethora of columns and commentaries on life subjects that are widely published.
Webster defines boundary as a line or strip that marks or shows a limit or end. We all have spiritual, physical, mental and emotional boundaries that impact our lives. They often reflect our ability to take or not take responsibility. It is important to realize we all have our limitations. When our boundaries are unclear and undefined we will experience disharmony in our lives. This disharmony hinders our overall well-being. God has created us to have an intimate personal relationship with HIM. It is only in Him and through Him that we can truly experience peace and contentment in life. “But seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33. This scripture is essential in formulating healthy spiritual boundaries.
We must learn to develop healthy spiritual boundaries. These boundaries are in the Bible. God has a plan for the lives of each of His children. Once we accept Jesus as Lord of our lives the doorway to contentment is accessible. Why? Jesus is the ONLY door to God. It is utterly impossible to attain true contentment and peace any other way. We will often experience discontentment in life when we haven’t developed an intimate relationship with Him. Without a relationship we become enslaved to the law of sin and death. It is only through Christ we can truly become free from the strongholds of sin.
We develop healthy boundaries once we begin to take responsibility for our actions. Imagine with me a jigsaw puzzle. Each piece of that puzzle is crucial for it’s overall completion. One part of the puzzle cannot or should not take the place of another. How does this relate? When we take responsibility for our actions (or our part) it pleases God. Our piece begins to discover it’s correct position in the puzzle of life; or should I say the body of Christ.
Our first step begins by being patient with ourselves. Remember it takes time to relinquish the bad habits, out of control behavior and self-destructive patterns that we have allowed to develop. But we must not use any of our weaknesses or bad habits as an excuse to continue in sin. Our out of control behavior patterns are often mere disguises for unmet needs. Embracing the truth and setting limits are part of the spiritual boundary process. We really do reap what we sow. The law of reaping and sowing are emphatically true. We need to experience the impact of our choices. Why? These experiences can motivate us to change our destructive patterns. Too often we cry for something or someone to rescue us from being painfully impacted by the decisions we make. They become our rescuers. People are often well meaning in their motives but rescuing someone is not love.
God’s love allows people to experience the impact of their decisions, even if they are wrong. Take the children of Israel for example; they were disobedient. Due to their disobedience the majority of them were unable to enter the promised land. They wandered forty years in the wilderness. God allowed them to be impacted by their decision. That point in time depicts a great example. It allows us today the opportunity to see the consequence of disobedience. A sign of spiritual boundaries is learning to take responsibility for ourselves and having responsibility to others. This may mean at times we must confront inappropriate behavior. For example: it can break your heart to say no to someone who has a need. We should ask ourselves are we really helping, our are we fulfilling a need in ourselves that likes to help others. Sometimes our helping is not helping at all. When a person has no sense of boundaries their expectation level is often unrealistic. They will not accept no from you. They can also become quite demanding. Their demand on you can sometimes become endless. They may even try to manipulate you emotionally. In order to help someone you first must personally have good spiritual boundaries. Know when to back off and when to direct them to someone who is better suited to assist them. Sometimes just telling them lovingly but honestly “I just don’t know how to handle the situation” is enough. We all have limitations. Always pray for them and continue to lift them before the Lord in prayer. remember people will sometimes misunderstand but God knows the motivation of your heart.
God has given us His word that has a plethora of examples. Many times we could avoid some of the heartaches we experience just by applying the principles of His word. Studying His word and digesting it’s principles will allow us to continue to experience peace within regardless of the situation. The Bible is full of situations that seem impossible. Yet time and time again God displays His limitless omnipotent abilities. God is faithful and able to deliver to us in any situation when necessary.
God our creator has told us, “Behold the fowls of the air; for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns: yet your heavenly Father feted them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit to his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin; And yet I say unto you; That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall He not much more clothe you, oh ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying What shall we eat? or What shall we drink? or What withal shall we be clothed.