"Still In Love With YOU!" --Luther Vandross

Divorce Is NOT An Option!

Mom & Dad attest the longevity of their 54 year marriage to the Mentorship they received from Dad’s parents who’s marriage lasted 63 years until the death of one parted them. It’s all about WHO you’re actually married to, and I’m not just talking about the other spouse….

All marriages are not put together by God, and a marriage license from The State (legal marriage) can not bind two people at The Heart…I am living proof of that fact. Jesus said “What God hath joined together, let no man put asunder (separate)” and my parents’ marriage (a real spiritual marriage) shows proof of God having done the joining.

Whether God put a man and a woman together by The Power of His Spirit OR whether two people only got together on their own and ‘on paper’ will prove itself over time.  According to our parents, even though God does the joining of marriages that last there’s a certain cooperation on the part of both spouses that is still required.

After several failed legal marriages and witnessing how my parents overcame things that could have torn them apart, I finally asked them how they made theirs last. Their answer was simple but PROFOUND:

“Divorce was NOT an option for us. I had to put my selfishness away, and one thing I can always depend on your Dad for is whatever decision he makes for us, it’ll be for the sake of the marriage. The decisions we make aren’t for his benefit alone or mine, we make our decisions for the sake of the marriage.” –Mom

That short conversation 3 years ago unleashed a powerful tidal wave. What is Mom saying? First things first…quitting is not an option.  I received the biggest shock after each of my failed marriages.  We made solemn vows before God publicly saying “for better or for worst, etc., etc,. till death do us part” in a church before God, a minister and a congregation…so I’m thinking ‘the deal is sealed’and believing I’m with someone who’s in it to win it no matter what.

The extreme bottom line of our situations centered around the fact that our love for each other was not enough, and the ones I was with simply quit.  We weren’t bad people and I don’t believe our problems were beyond repair.  One by one for whatever reason, they simply quit.

Mom says we live in a throw-away society now where people are conditioned to throw old and broken things away rather than maintaining them well and repairing them like we used to. (That’s BIG…please don’t miss that!)

While it’s true that Dad and Mom got legally married, their hope and dedication was not to the state sanctioned legal contract. They got spiritually married first and foremost…not only to each other; they got married to The Marriage itself. They loved each other when they got married and still love each other now, but they are more dedicated to The Marriage than to themselves individually or each other. (Pause and re-read if you have to!)

Mom re-introduced a Biblical concept to me in a way I could receive it, and my parents have been modeling that concept to my Sister and I all our lives. This is what I’m sharing with you now.

The Marriage itself is a 3rd party entity of it’s own outside of each spouse which binds spouses together in ways they can’t do with their own wisdom or strength…and the submission of both parties to The Marriage is a MUST if the marriage is going to last: “til death do us part.”

What does that mean in a practical, day in and day out way? When we as spouses are focused on each other, each one’s faults, failures, foolishness, fumblings and frailties ALWAYS SHOW UP and without the unconditional and unfailing love of God being The Centerpiece and Governor of the relationship, destructive fault-finding of each other creeps in and kills the relationship over time like cancer.

Constructive criticism is one thing and a necessary thing, but when it comes to constant fault-finding which stems from a judgmental heart that’s something completely different, and the evidence of whether one is being constructively criticized or being nagged to death with fault-finding will show up.  One’s true motives can’t hide.

The judgmental heart of a quitter drives that person to condemn and find enough fault in their spouse to quit.  For them, it’s easier to quit than to submit! The submission we’re talking about is not just to the other person but to The Marriage itself.

The purpose of this covenant relationship is to cover each other’s weaknesses, not to exploit them or badger the other about their weaknesses or reject them.  These are not God’s ways.

“Love covers a multitude of sin” and  “God is Love” the Bible tells us! HE is the binding force of unfailing and unconditional love and unity in The Marriage, and one’s heart can’t be changed to love that way without submitting to God Our Father as an individual first.

One can’t be transformed from being a fault-finder to an unconditional lover without being a worshiper of God, a receiver of His Love and finding ultimate contentment in God by dwelling in His Presence.  If we try to replace God by making our spouse our source of joy…that person will eventually let us down. As beautiful as our spouses might be, they were never supposed to replace God as our source of joy.

This is why God must be The Centerpiece and Governor of The Marriage.  If you can picture God being at the top of a triangle with each spouse at the lower corners, that couple comes closer together as they both move towards God…

Herein are part of Mr. David and Ouida J. Dill’s Legacy:

1) When spouses are more than just legally married to each other, and spiritually married to God first and foremost individually and collectively He IS The Marriage, which means DIVORCE IS NOT AN OPTION IN GOD.  If the marriage is truly going to work, quitting by either spouse is not an option! Our Promise is to persevere for a lifetime and, Almighty God Himself is The Source of perseverance, wisdom and strength in marriage.

2) Choosing a spouse who won’t quit doesn’t have to be hard. Start with YOU. Are you a true worshiper who loves God with your whole heart because you recognize and you’re constantly focused on His unfailing Love for you?

Do you love Him and and appreciate being in His Presence more than any human being or physical object? If so, then you are now equipped to to put away judgmental and fault-finding ways, and to love your spouse with The Love of God NO MATTER WHAT…you can’t give what you don’t have.

3) Once you’re solid there, do you self-improve? Do you regularly improve your physical body which is also the temple and dwelling place of God within you? Are you willing to take the absolute best care of yourself as a gift to yourself and your spouse (or future spouse)? Do you read, study, learn, understand, receive and feed on The Word of God who is The Bread of Life?

Is God the source of your empowerment to be the absolute best person you can be on your own as an individual? In other words, are you a single or whole person the way God intends for you to be in spite of your relationship status?  Are you acknowledging the God-given gifts placed within you that are pre-programmed like a DNA sequence; like a tree inside a seed waiting to manifest?

Are you letting God cultivate those gifts within you, and exercising those gifts for His glory?  Do you recognize your assignment to be blessed by God and to be a blessing to others? God wants you to DO YOU and be the best you He created you to be whether you’re married to somebody or not, no matter what age you are.

4) The example of my parents’ marriage before me (and now presented before you) equips us to better qualify and recognize who we should and shouldn’t be with. It’s been said ‘we attract who and what we are’ into our lives, so one who lives by the above 3 Real Deal Dill Legacies will hopefully attract the good thing they’re looking for.

One who lives this way can recognize who is and who isn’t living this way, and be QUICK to filter out quitters before a relationship even starts.

Does that potential mate make passionate pursuit? Do they research widely available sources of information on how to make relationships last, how to resolve conflicts, how love is communicated in different ways, or how to meet the needs of their spouse better?

Where there’s no cultivation there’s no growth, so is that one a cultivator? Are they one who believes in leaving the other person better than they found them, and do they live their lives in such a way that brings out the best in themselves and others?

5) One thing Dad and Mom taught us:The Dill’s don’t quit, we’re in it to win it and we achieve every single thing we set our minds to. This requires problem-solving ability! Wisdom and understanding is the order of the day, and these will either come by the shortcut of Mentorship or the wasteful long haul of Pain.

“If any man lacks wisdom, let Him ask of God…”

Answers can’t hide from questions, and when we don’t know what we need to know, the most vital lesson I’ve learned is to ask God “What questions should I be asking You about this Lord?” That’s a Prayer God is standing by to answer! He promised that when we trust in Him with all our heart and acknowledge Him in all our ways, He WILL direct our paths.

In conclusion, the foundation of Mr. David and Ouida J. Dill’s Spirit-Led Legacy has been laid in their love for God and their love for each other. May the seed of their marriage legacy richly bless each reader with a bountiful and Godly harvest of blessings which far exceed what any of us can ask or think. In Jesus’ Precious Name, By The Power of His Shed Blood, Amen and Thank God! ♥♥♥

"Still In Love With YOU!" --Luther Vandross
“Still In Love With YOU!” –Luther Vandross

Worshipers Love Best!

Trouble In Paradise

Adam and Eve did not fall from Grace until they became non-worshipers; all was GOOD before Eve entertained snake-talk (3rd party interference) rather than heeding to God’s instructions…and Adam hearkened unto the voice of his snake-bitten wife rather than obeying God.

When God approached afterward, He went to Adam first because Adam was given the charge to obey and be a worship leader rather than be lea to worshiping the wrong ‘god’…Once Adam & Eve became non-worshipers they became non-receivers of paradise.  In essence they became non-worshiper/non-receivers.

Non-worshipers are still blessed by God to a certain extent because God loves us all. “He rains on the just and the unjust”…but worshipers have God’s HIGHEST FAVOR. Those who worship Him are blessed and highly favored like no other!

Worshipers With Non-Worshipers

That’s why worshipers and non-worshipers are a MISMATCH; they actually oppose each other even though they may like or love each other. The worshiper holds God in the highest esteem, trusts Him, walks by faith (what can’t be seen), and depends on God to make things happen, whereas the non-worshiper is less reverent, fear-driven, has little or no hope, and depends on self and/or others to make things happen rather than God.

Differing views about God brings division between couples.  A non-worshiper is much more likely to leave room for the devil’s destructive ways in relationships, and when it comes to LOVE, a non-worshiper/non-receiver of God can’t love anybody (including their own self) with the unconditional and unfailing love of God until that Love is well received first.

Without God’s Love dwelling within, a non-worshiper can’t help at some point but to be overly critical, judgmental, harsh, impatient, unstable, shifty, cold, ungrateful, resentful, unforgiving, disrespectful and downright cruel simply because they are a non-receiver of God’s Love, and that’s the best human love has to offer without God.

God Is Love

But if you ask that person if they “love” their partner, they’ll say YES because from their perspective they may actually love that person with all their heart. The problem is their heart is still cold as ice and hard as a rock until it’s been warmed and softened in the presence of God’s True Love…HE IS LOVE, thus the need for the LIFESTYLE OF WORSHIP.

“He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” I John 4:8

If we want God’s best for ourselves and be able to give God’s best to the ones we say we love, it starts by worshiping Him, praising Him, giving Him His glory and the accolades He so richly deserves. We worship Him out of sheer appreciation for WHO He is, and not just for what He blesses us with. The One who sent His Son into this world to save our souls to unite us with Him as His own is altogether WORTHY of our worship!

God only wants what’s best for us, He claims us as His own and Love needs a receiver! God pours out His best on those who recognize and treat Him like He is best! If you’re looking for a mate, find one who loves God MORE than they love you…that way, they’ll be an excellent receiver of God’s Love in order to love you the right way!

The REAL You

God doesn’t see us the way we see ourselves. We see ourselves as we were and as we are; God sees us in the fullness of our potential. Our Eternal Heavenly Father, exists OUTSIDE of time, and sees the end result from before the beginning even begins! He is the author and the finisher of our faith:

“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith…” Hebrews 12:2

What’s seen now is not faith. We can’t allow the expectations of others to shape and mold who we are, nor can we depend on our own limited thinking outside of Our Creator. Let God fill your heart and mind with His perspective; the VISION of who He is shaping and molding you to be: The Awesome Christ-Like You!

We can best believe God finishes everything He starts WELL! We are a work-in-progress…HIS work. Keep looking unto Jesus and you’ll continue discovering the real you!

STOP Playin’!!

We go before God and The Church to get married, but we stand before a judge with lawyers to get a divorce. Naw…go back and invite everyone who was at the wedding, arrange a ceremony and make sure God is present…THEN stand before everyone who was at your wedding and pronounce yourselves divorced!

“What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” Mark 10:9

With a 50%+ divorce rate in this country, it’s not hard to see that God doesn’t join every marriage.  Some marriages He did orchestrate ended in divorce legally by The State but have not been divorced by God.

God allows divorce for the cause of adultery, but HE Himself doesn’t divorce those whom He put together…otherwise He’d be going back on His own Word!

Jesus also said to forgive those who offend us 70×7 times…So, which way will you go? And we wonder sometimes why we can’t get over somebody we ‘divorced’ in court? That’s just one of many reasons why divorce is worst than death…

At least when somebody dies, theirs permanency there; that person is gone from this earth realm, but encounters with a divorced person often continue in one way or another, as well as the ripping apart and re-ripping of those two souls.  Divorce has to be one of the absolute worst human experiences possible.

Just because two people separate physically doesn’t mean there is no SOUL-TIE anymore. If we don’t unite with the right person God’s way from The Beginning, the devastating consequences are absolutely unavoidable. For our own sakes, let’s be absolutely sure GOD does the joining, and never be afraid to say: Sorry Baby…No Wed, No Bed!! 

The Power To “Sin No More”

God’s Law Condemns

When the blood thirsty mob decided to stone the woman ‘caught’ in adultery (where was the man?) and Jesus told them in John 8:7 “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her” …HE was the only one there who could stone her!

After the cowardice bullies retreated, Jesus brought peace to that traumatized woman:

“Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.” John 8:10-11

The hateful and hypocritical accusers would have stoned her; but could not, and Jesus could have stoned her but would not. Now THAT’s love!

This woman was on the verge of being stoned to death, but Jesus intervened and protected her the same way He does each and every one of us!  The one impression Jesus intended to leave her with (and us) is the fact that God no longer condemns us for our sins according to The Law (10 Commandments), because if He did we all deserve to die.

God’s Grace Saves Us And Empowers Us!

God doesn’t want us eternally separated from Him, that’s why He sent JESUS to be our substitute payment for sin.   There are still a lot of ‘church folk’ TODAY treating sinners like this woman caught in adultery, and even now…Jesus is still intervening!

The purpose of God’s Law is not to make us perfect or holy unto God.   The only thing The Law can do is condemn us,  God issued The 10 Commandments to make us see our need for God’s GRACE!

The POWER to “sin no more” is not found in condemning others for their sins, or condemning ourselves. The power to “sin no more” begins when we recognize God’s unfailing and unlimited Love for us!

Jesus’ sacrificial death on The Cross paid for that woman’s adultery AND every sin we would ever commit; past, present and future. That’s how powerful and eternal Jesus’ sinless blood is, and that’s how much God loves us! Jesus demonstrated that The Power to “sin no more” is only found in His Love and Saving Grace:

“For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.” Romans 6:14

“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Romans 8:1

The Power To “Sin No More”

When we take God at His infallible Word and simply believe ALL the sins we commit have already been paid for by Jesus, then condemnation will not be able to take root in our hearts and govern our minds into sinning more and more.

Instead, we will SHUN every thought of guilt, shame and condemnation that The Devil tries to plant in our heads (“that’s not me, that’s not who I am”), and  we will LOVE God more and more out of sheer appreciation for His saving Grace:

“We love Him because He first loved us.” I John 4:19

The more we love Him, the less we will love our sins, and as a result, we will choose to sin less and less because we want to…not because somebody tries to force us! Hallelujah!!!

No matter what you’ve done that you should not do…or haven’t done that you should, each Believer’s number one job is to FIGHT to stay focused on God’s Love and the fact that Jesus took on all our sins in order to give us His Righteousness:

“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” II Corinthians 5:21

When we believe WE ARE who God says we are, we will begin to live like it! ♥♥♥

Be YOU

8 Ways The ‘Fake You’ Destroys Relationships And YOU

If you have to ‘change yourself’ to be with somebody, if you feel you can’t be your TRUE SELF around a particular person…it’s best to walk away immediately, and work on YOU. WHY? That’s a recipe for DISASTER because:

1) You deceive the one you’re with by playing a False You…You’re like an Actor/Actress on a movie screen, a Wolf in Sheep’s clothing or a Shape-Shifter…until the Real You eventually makes a prison break!

2) You deceive YOURSELF into thinking you can make a relationship with somebody work that way.

3) While you deceive the one you’re with and yourself, you suppress, dwarf and suffocate the Real You.

4) You’ll eventually get mad at yourself and carry a burden of guilt, shame and condemnation for suppressing, dwarfing and suffocating the Real You.

5) You’ll eventually build resentment towards the one you felt you needed to ‘change’ for; that resentment WILL show up and begin destroying the relationship you wanted…AND if that isn’t bad enough,

6)  The one you’re with WILL change on you; not if, but WHEN the one you deceived changes towards you after discovering the Real You and realizes they were fooled…

7) You’ll want to blame that person and possibly even break off the relationship because, from your own self-deceived perspective “THEY” changed…when the truth is,

8) Whether you know this, believe this or not…Your own guilt, shame and condemnation will work uncontrollably inside of you for being fake…and doesn’t want to let you be real or REPENT!

Being fake works against you in every single way possible!   So, if the one you want to be with can’t receive the Real You do yourself and that person a huge time-saving and trouble-saving favor by WALKING AWAY, because the more you try to be something you’re not, the more the Real You eventually shows up to prove your true identity!

Examine what it is that’s causing you to feel like you’re not measuring up, and deal with it honestly.  If you believe you are a mismatch for that person, it’s a good thing to recognize that and backing off rather than pretending.

Maybe it’s not an incompatibility issue…it could be you have unresolved issues, unhealed wounds from your past, excess baggage or other hindrances that need serious work before you proceed into a relationship.

Whatever you’re feeling, it’s okay to feel that…take those feelings as a warning sign for you to improve yourself in whatever ways necessary.  We ALL need constant self-improvement in one way or another.  If we’re not growing we’re dying!

But whatever you do…don’t let a fear of non-acceptance or rejection by the other party or a fear of what others will think, or the fear of losing that person to somebody else…don’t let fear of any kind drive you into trying to be something you’re not just to be with that person because it’ll eventually come back to bite you in the hind quarters! Please don’t play with this…Be You! Believe In Yourself! ♥♥♥

Be YOU
Be YOU
God In The Midst

Fighting Pre-Marital Divorce

Is It OVER Before It Starts?

While two people can date, have sex and even get legally married, there is a certain joining of heart, mind, soul and spirit which only GOD Himself can do.  Either God joins a couple together or couples join themselves together without Him…there is no middle ground.

When God hand picks two people for each other and joins their hearts in the unseen spiritual realm (spiritual marriage), that union is beyond Man’s ability and comprehension, and the proof that God is doing the joining is irrefutable.  JESUS said:

“Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What God hath joined together, let not man put asunder (separate or divide).” Matthew 19:6

BUT…if a couple or just one individual in that couple believes the legal marriage (state-issued marriage license) takes precedence over the invisible covenant relationship God creates between a man and a woman…legal marriage and divorce are likely to be the result.  How do we know?

Look at the huge trend of people marrying in churches and yet still ending up divorced in The State’s court! This country’s 50%+ divorce rate should help us understand. What’s really going on? Let’s break it down.

What It Is!

When a preacher marries a couple in church, that preacher stands on behalf of God and unites that couple with two basic things: 1) the exchange of rings and vows (words spoken) and, 2) a legal state-issued marriage license which the preacher and newlyweds sign.

The first part of that ceremony is about God’s spiritual business, and the second part is strictly legal business. But remember, God said “let not man put asunder (divide)” what HE joined together…

In other words God’s actions are supposed to take precedence in Man’s heart and mind; what God does is SUPPOSED to be considered supreme.  But the choice to disobey God by divorcing still remains because God never imposes on the freedom of choice He gave us all.

Why would somebody break up a marriage God joined together (especially if God’s involvement in such a serious decision was prayed for)?

Blessed Be The Tie That Binds

If we esteem God to be sovereign and supreme, our respect for Him, His Words, and our loyalty towards Him will be the foundation for a long-lasting marriage relationship; that couple will depend on God to finish what He started in spite of rough times.  The decisions made by that couple will be made SELFLESSLY…not necessarily for the sake of the other spouse, but specifically for the sake of the marriage!

But if one or both individuals of that couple does not believe in God that way or depend on God to keep them together, and if they don’t believe God is the source of their connection…in essence they put more stock in a flimsy and reversible legal bond than the permanent spiritual bond of that relationship. I have been married and divorced enough times and have interviewed many divorcees to know what I’m talking about…

When one has no reverential fear of God being The One who joins their marriage together and for being The Source of maintaining that marriage, the solemn vows “till death do us part” carry no real weight because inwardly that one is banking on the ability to opt out of the marriage legally simply because ‘they feel like it’ rather than putting in the hard work, and self-denying sacrifices true marriages require.

Let’s Stay Together!

Some of the main purposes for marriage are to eliminate each spouse’s weaknesses by way of the other’s strengths, and to deliver individuals from the destruction of selfishness.  Married couples don’t have to end up divorced!  God hates divorce, and it was never His intention for people to be divorced. That’s why He said “let not man divide” what He joined together.

My Mom and Dad have been married for 54 years as of July this year. Mom says we live in a “disposable society” these days where everything gets thrown away instead of fixed. She also says marriage is not the legalization of a sexual relationship, and if two people are not willing to put selfishness aside and decide everything for the sake of the marriage it’ll never last. Thank God for His Assigned Mentors of Marriage all over the world!

The Bible says “God is love.” I believe God Himself IS the marriage (the joining force) and when He is acknowledged as such, prayed to, praised and worshiped by both parties for being who He is to that married couple, when He is totally depended on for the maintenance of that relationship by faith, His never ending and unconditional love can’t help but flow between that man and that woman in a reciprocal way.

Pre-Marital Divorce

Is it possible to know if a marriage is doomed from the start or even in the pre-dating stage? Absolutely! Here’s one way to know…

Anybody who’s ever been married and divorce can attest to this fact. A legally binding contractual agreement by way of a marriage license can be dissolved in court with the stroke of a judge’s pen; that legal marriage can NOT bind two people at the heart the way God can.

Anybody expressing their belief that legal marriage is more important or takes precedence over God’s role in marriage is speaking very loud and clear; that’s a very serious conversation about their unbelief, their irreverence for God and their unwillingness to submit to His protocols for permanency in marriage.

From the Christian perspective, anybody who is divorced from God and God’s ways will definitely end up divorced in marriage because God IS the marriage. Therefore, Christians need to filter out, properly qualify and discern potential mates well! ♥♥♥

God In The Midst
God In The Midst
"With This Ring, I Thee Wed"

When God Does The Joining

What Is Holy Matrimony?

Way back when, Black slaves could not receive a marriage license in Southern states because slaves were ‘property.’ But when male and female slaves who loved each other and wanted to dedicate their lives to one another still had marriage ceremonies conducted by preachers and ‘jumped the broom’ …did God consider them to be ‘unmarried’ just because the State considered them to be unmarried? NO. God honored those marriages in spite of The State.

Man’s law does not supersede God.  Don’t forget, there was no marriage license being issued by The State when God joined Adam & Eve. It also used to be illegal for Blacks and Whites to marry, but The State says it’s okay now the same way some states that disallowed homosexuals from marrying are now allowing it.

Am I writing this in support of homosexuals marrying?  NO, but I’m not against them marrying legally either for a very important reason. I am a Church official, and not an official of the State.  There’s a huge difference and I know my place. I have control of what goes on in God’s Church, not The World.

Preacher Advocates Gay Marriage?

If homosexuals are allowed by The State to marry legally because of what the voters decide, what threat is that to those of us in The Church?  Born Again-Fire Baptized-Holy Ghost Filled Believers are the ones with the fullness of God’s Love and Power on our side! So what’s our problem?

Some of us still don’t realize we can’t control everybody everywhere!  What we allow in our congregations is one thing, but what goes on in The World is something else. Ever notice with all the miracle making power that Jesus had while walking the earth and ministering to the multitudes outside of The Temple, He never controlled anybody? Think about it.

Homosexuals are already doing what they do behind closed doors publicly, and in the media anyway…and no amount of moral legislation is going to ‘make’ them change!  Do they need to know what God says about that subject? Yes, but above all else they need to know God loves them and does not condemn them!

Former homosexuals with whom I’m acquainted shared with me that they were effectively evangelized (persuaded to change and become Christians) when they were shown unconditional love, patience, support and gentle persuasion by Spirit-led individuals who truly cared for them, and who weren’t judging them and trying to ram the gospel down their throats.  That’s another subject for another post however.

For the sake of this post, my point is: We in The Church are The Salt of the earth and it’s up to US to influence society, live for God and reach out to others in a loving and kind way. If some choose to disobey according to the free will God gave them, we are not responsible for their decisions, and the legislation of our morality is a revolving door none of us wants to deal with!

Legislating Morality: The Revolving Door

What am I talking about?  If The Church wants to dictate what goes on outside The Church’s walls, then The Church needs to be prepared for The World to dictate what goes on inside The Church as well.  Do we really want The World dictating what we can and can not do, what we can and can not say, and who can or can’t lead our churches? That’s a boomerang thrown nobody in The Church wants coming back!

While The Church wastes precious time spinning her wheels, thumping folks’ head with the Bible, trying to legislate morality and making sure The World “obeys God” some of US miss the mark on what true marriage actually is.  Which matters the most…The State’s definition of marriage or what God defines as marriage?

Apparently, when it comes to that question it depends on who you are, what you believe and who you’re talking to…and that’s getting harder and harder to tell because Church folk sound and act more like The World than some worldly folks.

We (especially those of us in The Church) put a whole lot of stock into legal marriage (a state-issued marriage license) nowadays…but anybody who’s ever been divorced can tell you that a legal marriage is no guarantee two people will stay married; a legal marriage can’t and won’t join two people at the heart. Only God can do that!

What Is MARRIAGE?

A legal marriage where The State recognizes two as being one indeed has it’s proper place, but don’t get it twisted!  In other words, don’t put more weight of importance on the legal marriage over and against the spiritual marriage. That contractual agreement (marriage license) can be dissolved like any other contract AT WILL by either party with the loud TAP of a judge’s gavel and the swift stroke of a pen. That’s how flimsy a legal marriage is!

My point: Marriage is a highly personal issue of the heart, and none of us are in a position to judge another talking about who’s really married and who’s not. All we know for sure is that a real covenant relationship or marriage exists when God (who IS love) does the joining!

A legal marriage can only reflect what God does at the heart level; the legal marriage does not validate, define or supersede what God does at the heart level (a spiritual marriage):

“And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” Matthew 19:5-6

Breaking Up

It’s often believed that if God does the joining, the evidence will result in that marriage’s permanency and/or longevity. That’s usually a good indicator, but does that mean couples who God indeed joined together can’t or won’t break up?

NO, God gave a command for Mankind not to “put asunder” or separate what He joined together, and that command is breakable by either party just like any other of God’s laws…some do walk away from the spouse God joined them to (with repercussions and all).

This post is written to help us take another look at a very vital societal and spiritual issue, and to make us ALL accountable for the roles we played in creating a huge mess.

We as preachers and pastors perform wedding ceremonies in churches and sign marriage licenses; we sanction the spiritual and legal marriage, but we are not involved in the legal divorce! Why? What’s really going on?

We as preachers are just as guilty for putting more emphasis on legal marriage than we should. And couples are not involving The Church when they seek to break up! We involved The Church when we got married, but we go to The State when we choose to divorce!

We actually believe once The State has dissolved our contract, we are no longer accountable to God or each other.

That’s DANGEROUS, because one can be legally divorced while still being spiritually married!  WHY?  Again, because Man’s law doesn’t supersede God. Some were never supposed to divorce and have a curse over their lives as a result…nothing is going right and the cause is still unknown! It’s prayer time!

Separation Of Church And State

What’s done in the world is The State’s business, and what’s done in The Church is God’s business.  But we’ve mixed the two up so badly everybody’s CONFUSED.  We are GOOD at talking about separation between Church and State, but can we live it?

Just because two people ‘get married’ legally…that’s no proof God joined them together, and likewise…if two people are not legally married, that’s no proof God didn’t join them together.

Who is to say what goes on between the hearts of two people who genuinely love each other? Only the parties involved know for sure because that’s a highly personal matter going on in the unseen spiritual realm.

As a preacher, when I marry couples I’m looking for evidence God joined them together FIRST, and my pronunciation of a couple being Husband and Wife at the altar is not based on the legal marriage license I may or may not sign…it’s based on what God Himself has done in the spirit realm which supersedes a marriage license.

THINK Outside The Box

What do I mean “may or may not sign” when it comes to the officiator’s signature on a marriage license?  While It has not happened yet, if a couple wanted me to perform a wedding ceremony symbolizing what God has already done in the spirit realm between their hearts, and they had no intention of getting a legal marriage license from The State, I would still perform the ceremony because every couple I marry must have the understanding that their vows to each other in the presence of God and the joining He does are much more permanent and serious than a breakable contract by The State.

In that situation, I wouldn’t advise a couple that they MUST get a legal marriage license necessarily because while states allow couples to marry, NO state mandates couples to marry.

My advice would be to consult an attorney for a more thorough understanding if a couple didn’t want to get a legal marriage license when they marry because a preacher’s expertise really only deals with the spiritual (unless of course that preacher is an attorney).

And, if that couple preferred to get a legal marriage license when they marry, again, I would make sure they understand that license doesn’t bind them at the heart (only legally) and that paper, and that ceremony are no guarantee they will stay together…only God and their cooperation with His plan for their lives can do that.

All Is NOT What It Appears To Be!

According to scripture, marriage is not just between a man and a woman, it’s between GOD and a man and a woman. And, if two people who God joined together at the heart decide not to marry legally, does that mean they are any less ‘married’? I think not!

Am I advocating couples not to legally marry? NO, I’m just making sure we understand what marriage really is, and I want us to know why we do the things we do. Who makes money when couples divorce? The legal system and the attorneys of course!

Couples don’t have to be legally married to share their lives, possessions and future with a mate; one can create a will or living trust, assign a mate as an executor, and name a mate as a beneficiary for life insurance and other purposes, and powers of attorney can be assigned to a mate without a marriage license if one chooses. The options are many, and again, legal counsel is advised if such a route is chosen.

Many believe if there is no marriage license by The State, then there is no marriage at all, but as stated before who is to say what takes place in the privacy of two people’s home or between the hearts of that couple and God?

Looking Behind The Scenes

Many also fail to see, if someone has been married legally and in public once or even several times, that person may have NEVER married spiritually yet. The way people judge each other based only on what their eyes see at the surface is amazing!

There are couples who have MUCH greater intimacy, trust, loyalty and love flowing between each other while being thousands of miles apart than couples who sleep in the same bed together, all because God joined their hearts in a supernatural and uncommon way outside this physical realm. Are we sure we understand what “Holy Matrimony” is?

Some of us need to empty ourselves of everything we THINK we know and let God put it back in His way.  Marriage to the right person begins with a right relationship with God as an individual FIRST because “How can I love myself right, love a mate mate right or even know who is right for me if I don’t know WHO and WHAT love really is?” ♥♥♥

"With This Ring, I Thee Wed"
“With This Ring, I Thee Wed”

Mastering Distractions Requires Mastery Of SELF

Another View Of The Believer’s Salvation

Distractions! Distractions can have our heads SPINNING! I’m firmly convinced that the onslaught of distractions are proof we’re on the right track or on the verge of a huge blessing. The more they come, the more confirmation we receive that God’s plan for our lives is under attack.

The old-man nature of a Believer’s flesh FIGHTS to survive against the Believer’s brand new identity in Christ with distractions! It’s important to recognize the source of distractions because distractions from within our own minds and hearts are the least expected, the most devastating and far too often the least acknowledged of all.

The Bible’s reference to our “flesh” is not just about our human bodies. ‘The Flesh’ is a MINDSET that opposes the will of God. It’s the mindset of flesh that opposes God that we all have before being saved, and it’s this same mindset which continually needs to be denied while living in this earth as Believers.

Was Jesus distracted with anything that came His way? No. Why? God’s thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are not our ways, but the good news is God makes His mindset fully available to us. We need an understanding of what separates our mindset from His.

What we’re about to learn is that mastery over distractions begins with mastery over one’s Self.  The mechanism of sabotage from within is our problem.

“We Have Met The Enemy, And He Is US.”

My Brothers and Sisters, dealing with distractions successfully is not a performance issue…it’s an IDENTITY issue, and we literally need to lose our old minds! Jesus made it possible for our sin-tainted minds to be fully renewed and transformed to having His mind:

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Romans 12:1-2

Jesus’ Wisdom and Understanding of Life resulted from Him being the Son of God; a citizen of The Heavenly Kingdom who was sent as an Ambassador in the earth.  In other words, the essence of who He is (His Godly identity) made Him keenly aware of exactly how and when to handle everything ALL the time. Jesus’ Life is an example of what our life can and will be!

While there are many strategies to employ in order to minimize and eliminate distractions, our success is not found in strategies; it’s found in who we are and the mindset we operate in.

As a citizen of The Heavenly Kingdom Jesus operated from a place of inner-peace that surpasses all understanding, and, it’s THIS mind we as Believers seek to discover our true selves.

Empowered By Grace!

Once Adam and Eve sinned against God, the opposing mindset of Flesh was transferred to each and every human being by BLOOD….except one.  Jesus’ human blood was not tainted by Adam’s sin the way ours is because Jesus was conceived by The Holy Spirit of God in the womb of a virgin named Mary.

None of the false gods of other religions can make that claim!  The fact that Jesus’s blood was sinless, and that His blood was shed to pay for the sins of humanity separates Him as being the only True and Living God worthy of our total devotion to Him…

Let’s break down our salvation and being Children of God to it’s simplest form. We did absolutely nothing to be considered a sinner in God’s sight. We became a sinner because of Adam’s sin (way before we were even born), and not because WE sinned.

You might want to holler “UNFAIR!” but as unfair as that may seem, we also have the opportunity to become saved and righteous in God’s eyesight…not because we earned it, but by God’s Grace!

It’s called “The Divine Exchange.” Jesus actually received our sinner status and imparted to us His own perfect righteousness:

“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” II Corinthians 5:21

Do you still want holler “UNFAIR” or would you rather praise God for His Grace and for saving us from being sinners?   :-)

And just like Jesus did nothing to be born in this physical world, we did nothing to become our earthly parent’s children; all of that was God’s doing.  Simply put…we are  identified as being God’s Child based on God’s actions and NOT by our own works or performance.

According to John 3:16 and other verses related to Christian salvation, our eternal connection of Oneness with God is activated simply by believing (faith) that Jesus paid the eternal price for our sins; that He died on our behalf and God raised Him from the dead. Why would God do that and love us like that?  Love needs a receiver!

SAVED For Self-Discovery

It’s vital to understand that Jesus sacrificed His life on The Cross not only to save our souls from a burning hell, but to make us Children of God; to unite us with Him as family.  We could never save ourselves or ‘be born again’ on our own strength and ingenuity.

JESUS did for us what we could never do for ourselves.  We had nothing to do with being born physically or being Born Again spiritually….we simply ARE what God says we are! The question is: “Do we believe and receive God’s Truth (His perspective) about who and what we are?”

Let God’s life-changing truth about who and what you really are marinate, and as you begin to realize who you REALLY are in Christ, your hunger to constantly discover ‘the real you’ will increase…in Jesus’ name, Amen!

“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus…” Philippians 2:5

The enemy and the world will do ANYTHING to distract you from making that choice! But in order to “let this mind” be in us, all we need to do is take our minds off the whirlwind of distractions and yield to the peace of His better and more magnificent way.

Peace In The Midst Of The Storm

The breadcrumb trail of God’s favor and the umbrella of God’s protection are found in God’s Way! Can we follow God’s Pillar of Cloud by day and Pillar of Fire by night? God is saying: “Just follow Me, I’ve got you covered!” True self is found when we leave our old stinking-thinking self behind:

“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” Matthew 16:24

Denying one’s self is not a laborious chore but a blessed privilege to be FREED from the destruction, obsession and bondage of self-occupation…a topic I pray will be discussed in more depth in another article.

For now, let’s remember that God operates both inside and outside our human time line: He finishes a thing before He starts it because He declares the end result from the beginning. What does that mean to us?

The fact that we were born is proof God already purposed and finished our lives to be a certain way, and ALL the fulfillment and peace we desperately seek in this life is found along our path of self-discovery in Christ.

As we deny ourselves and yield to Him, we discover our true selves in Christ day in and day out in order to BECOME our end result…we become the final draft of what God already finished us to be at the end of our lives! Hallelujah!!

Conclusion

I am greatly inspired by and appreciate Believers who study The Word of God on their own for no particular reason other than for recognizing their need for daily self-discipline, self-discovery in Christ, maintaining a vital branch-vine connection with God, and for giving The Spirit of God what He needs to transform us into our FINAL DRAFT: The Image and Likeness of Christ. Each of you are an inspiration to me.  Thank You!!

Distractions are SENT to derail our mission of self-discovery in Christ; our God-given purpose and Assignment in the earth! If you want true power over distractions, you’ll find that the power of distractions melts, dissolves and dissipates in the Presence of God, and that because of Jesus’ finished work at The Cross…God’s Peace, Power, Protection, Provision and Presence in our lives is simply a matter of your choice. Choose wisely!  ♥♥♥

The Inescapable Devastation Of Self-Stifle

What is ‘self-stifle’? Any time one’s true self is stifled, suppressed, held back or held down like a foot on another’s neck at the hands of another or even by one’s own self-destructive choices…Self becomes stifled and the devastation of such bondage is unavoidable. 

Fear of non-acceptance, fear of rejection, fear of being lonely, fear of being hurt, fear of success, fear of a situation not working out, fear of the worst thing happening, fear of being held back, fear of lacking any and every good thing… so many PHOBIAS drive us to retreat, shrink back, hide, and recoil from God’s greatest blessings…things, situations and people God assigned to build us up, make us better and grow.

The pain of not being what our true self could be (that STIFLING of one’s full and glorious potential) works like high blood pressure which has tell-tale signs to be watched for and is a silent killer if not recognized in time.

Some have even openly told me: “I like the funk I’m in, and I don’t want to let go!” (and meant every word!) At least they were honest and knew where they stood…AND the unconscious self recognizes and suffers from stifle even when the conscious self is unaware or in denial.

“It HURTS to not be me! It HURTS to not be me! It HURTS to not be me! That’s why I self-medicate and self-destruct.” ….Every physical symptom can be traced to an emotional and/or spiritual one.

Because of the fact that answers can’t hide from questions…we don’t need to know the answer as badly as we need to know the right questions to ask!

“Lord, You know this situation better than I do, You know the ins and the outs. You know everything there is to know, so Father…what questions should I be asking right now? And let the questions flow!”

What FEARS do we need to release, how can we love ourselves better and what self-improvement questions should we be asking ourselves RIGHT NOW? Right now. Right now.