christian thoughts on masturbation.

These are a few christian thoughts on masturbation. Masturbation is a sin. This is me describing how it makes me feel and why I decided to stop!

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Listening to God

requires stopping the ongoing thought train in my own mind and being attentive to what God is saying to me. Sometimes stopping the train is difficult, but I have found ways to help me listen to Him speak.

Velvet. I have something to show you. Will you come and eat with me? Will you join me for a moment so I can share my heart with you.

If God is everywhere, how come it seems so hard to hear Him sometimes?

I think it’s because we’re not waiting in His presence for long enough.

It’s like working out. You can’t go to the gym for 2 minutes a day and expect the same results as someone who goes for 2 hours a day. Building up our faith muscles takes time and effort. Distinguishing between God’s voice and the enemy’s or our own is a skill to be honed. And it happens through time spent with God.

“Where can I go from Your Spirit?
         Or where can I flee from Your presence?

If I ascend to heaven, You are there;
         If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there.

If I take the wings of the dawn,
         If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea,

Even there Your hand will lead me,
         And Your right hand will lay hold of me.”

Psalm 139:7-10

He is everywhere. When we are at home, He is there.

When we are at work, He is there.

At the grocery store, He is there.

At the gym, He is there.

Alone in the car, He is there.

At the beach, He is there.

In the dark, He is there.

And He is waiting to commune with us. We have the choice. To choose spending time with Him, or not. To choose hearing from Him, or not.

Lord, I thank you for your pursuit of me. I thank you for never giving up on me. I thank you for always sending me to the right places at the right times. I thank you for sending me the right people at the right times. I thank you for always taking care of me in the best way possible. Even with challenges and suffering. Thank you for making my ears attentive to you and for teaching me how to trust you. I wish I could trust you more easily. I wish I could believe your Word like I say I do. But I know that this will become easier the more time that I spend in your Word and in Your presence. Your word unto my ears and mind is like a fresh lens. The more I “put it on” and “put on Christ” and apply your teaching to my life, the more clearly I can see the design that you have for your people and for the world. Forgive me for always running ahead of you. Forgive me for choosing to focus on my problems and not trust you in this season. Forgive me for choosing to focus on what I DON’T have instead of all that I do. Thank you that you are my shepherd, and I lack nothing because of you <3

Listening to God. How could I not want to listen to Him!!! The Creator of the Universe… my goodness! The creator of all wants to commune with me. The God of everything is also the God of each person. My God. My Father. And He wants to commune with you too. He has a message for you. Will you carve out time today to listen to what He has to say? What is more important than communing with the One who knows you better than you know your self?

God Bless! <3

If you’re running away from God, He has a message for you

If you’re running away from God, He has a message for you. What are you willing to sacrifice to grow your faith in God? Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.

 

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The Link Between Idolatry and Apostasy

I have a very literal brain, so when I think of “making idols” I picture a potter in a shop making things on the potting wheel.

Little cups and bowls, pitchers, vases. Some smooth and well-shaped. Others bumpy and misshapen. I picture the messy process of wearing the apron, hands covered in wet clay. The air smells earthy.

But when the Word of God talks about making idols, it is referring to the human heart.

Humans are very good at “making idols” on the regular. An idol is something you greatly admire and love and revere. Something you can’t stop thinking about. Something at the forefront of your mind. Think of how cartoon horses have been driven by a dangling carrot.

Our idols are like those carrots. Idols can be our motivation. It’s okay to have things that motivate us. People, goals… The problem lies in loving that person or thing or goal more than God. Because when that person, thing or goal becomes an idol, unbelief starts to take place.

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So how do idols cause unbelief and how do we determine what’s an idol?

Idols cause unbelief in this way:

We start to put our hope in the idol. We start to attempt to glean our happiness and satisfaction from that idol. It becomes our catch-all. The thought we return to at the end of the day or first in the morning, or if we’re having a bad day. Idols actively fight to take the place of God.

When we’re living for an idol instead of for God, we are heading in the wrong direction. Our motives become catered towards our idol instead of God’s will. They become selfish and self-centered. Whatever it takes to uphold the idol.

When we’re living for God, everything else is secondary. Living for God means elevating Him to the highest position of authority. When we recognize His authority and have a reverence for Him, we bear obedience to Him, no matter what.

If we’re looking through a tainted lens, we might call an act of idolatry “obedience”.

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So what determines an idol? I think the most simple way to understand an idol is this: anything that you think about more than God.

If you’re somebody who doesn’t believe in God, you might be thinking: well gee, I guess every thought that crosses through my mind is an idol. Let me be more specific.

An idol is your love for any person, thing or goal that is greater than your love for God.

Believer or unbeliever, you may be thinking: what thoughts and actions determine loving something more than God? Or you might be thinking: that’s ridiculous, I could never love something more than God.

My responses to those two hypothetical responses:

  1. When your motives for doing something is out of concern for this idol and not for the glory of God, you are practicing idolatry. For example, I am a salsa dancer. Let’s say that there is an event coming up that I really want to go to, but the Holy Spirit is giving me a nudge that I should not go. However, I am convinced that I NEED to go to this event. I am idolizing salsa over listening to God.
  2. If you think you could never love something more than God, think of the last time you committed a premeditated sin. That in itself shows a lack of belief and love for God. (Hey, we all sinners hahah I’m not the judge, there is only one judge!).

 

So.

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The takeaways are this: idolatry is sin. God hates sin. We make idols. We mustn’t bow down. Every part of our lives should be continually offered up to God. People, things, goals. God wants to be in all of them. He wants to reign over them. He wants us to trust Him with them.

I dunno about you, but I do NOT want to be a part of ANYTHING that contradicts God’s will for my life. The way idolatry leads to apostasy is scary. And incredibly easy.

 

Will you join me in bringing every aspect of life before God and offering it up to Him? He is our sovereign Lord who will ALWAYS lead us in the way we should go 🙂

<3

xxx

V

 

Being Still

in your presence, O Lord, is so difficult.

I think of the story of Martha and Mary, and how Martha was running all over the place getting upset over this and that. Jesus told her that Mary “has chosen what is better” by sitting at his feet, completely attentive to all he was saying and doing.

Lord, it has been somewhat of a strange week. Today is Friday and it seems as though the week absolutely flew by in a sense. Some days feel so long and fruitful, and others… painstakingly mundane. I yearn for tomorrow, and hope that I find the greatest contentment in all that it brings.

Lord I guess the unknowing has gotten me down here and there. Even though you specifically spoke to me in a devotional saying that we are not to worry about what the future holds. That we are only to trust in you, Lord, keeper of our souls, finisher of our faith. What peace there is in that.

Lord, I thank you for the many conversations about you as of late. About the gospel, about the Truth. About the person of Jesus. Thank you Lord for history. Thank you for historians. Thank you for evidence. Thank you for proof. Thank you for all of the people that dedicated their lives to discovering the truth. Thank you for all the people that set out to disprove the truth and ended up being saved by what they found.

Thank you Lord, that you are unstoppable.

And that includes all of us that are saved. All of your children. Thank you God for saving me and giving me eyes to see what’s true.

And I thank you Lord, for leading others to your truth. Thank you for softening hearts. Thank you for making people ready to receive truth. Thank you Lord for fertilizing the soil. Thank you for planting seeds. Thank you for raining truth. Thank you for working, always working. For your great plans. For bearing fruit in season when the time is right. You’re the Only One who knows what the future holds. And I THANK you so much for holding my future!

Lord God, help me put You first. Help me do all of the things. Thank you for helping me take on new territory. Thank you for going before me and laying down each and every step that I will take. Even the confused ones where I go back and forth, sometimes literally, before making a decision.

Thank you for helping me decide what to do tonight. You put that obstacle in my path, and it was good. It was necessary. It was helpful. It was perfect. I am THANKFUL that You placed it there. Lord, please help me to see EVERY obstacle in my path as a blessing from you. Since I believe you are in all of the details. 100% of the details.

100%.

Not 99%, and the other 1% left to chance.

100. You are the God of everything. The One over it all.

I love getting to know you. Thank you for slowly teaching me how to love You and others better.

xxx

<3

V

Shine a light on it

God speaks in funny little ways sometimes.

So I just got home from work. I brought home a little container of ice cream that I had left in the freezer where I work for the past couple of days. I had a spoon in my glove box and decided to try a bite of the chocolate, chocolate chip ice cream right there in the car. Why didn’t I wait until I got into the house? Good question.

Maybe so God could show me what He showed me.

I only wanted to eat a tad of the ice cream.
I love eating the soft, melty ice cream around the edges when you’re eating out of a container (no shame. besides, this was just a single-serve-sized container, so no judgment. But even if it were a pint of a quart, no shame 😀 as long as you aren’t sharing during COVID season 😉 )

Because I was eating the ice cream in the dark, I couldn’t maneuver the melty parts onto my spoon that well. I decide to abort the mission and take that party inside.

I resume in the kitchen and breathed a minor sigh of relief.

Shining a light on something changes everything.

I could finally see.

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A song that’s been on my heart lately is “Who You Really Are”. Here are a couple of lines from the song:

Who you really are, God and King

Who you really are, Lord of everything

Who you really are, teach me to see You as you really are

Who you really are, Risen and Living

Who you really are, Just and yet Forgiving

Who you really are, teach me to see You as You really are.

 

I want to see you God. And I want to see you as you REALLY are. Not just the fluffy parts. I thank you for being loving, and I THANK you for being just. I thank you for being patient, and I THANK you for being jealous. I THANK YOU for being Peace, Shalom, and I THANK you that you are a sword. 

Thank you Lord, for dividing families. Thank you for permitting sickness and disease. Thank you for your judgment. You are so merciful, so gracious… but you are NOT a rug. You will NOT be walked over. You will NOT be mocked.

 

“Do not be deceived, God canNOT be mocked. A man reaps what he sows”.

Galatians 6:7

A man reaps what he sows.

reap what I sow.

Be it seeds of anger, discord, mockery, scorn, hate, judgment, irritability, impatience, DECEIT, jealousy….

…or seeds of love, trust, truthfulness, honesty, integrity, patience, kindness, all for the glory of God.

Lord God, THANK YOU that YOU. CANNOT. BE. MOCKED. You see ME as I really am, and choose to lavish love and grace on me. And at the same time, you convict me of sin, let me experience the consequences of my sin, and teach me in my heart that You REALLY ARE TRUSTWORTHY. You really are FOR me. You really are FIGHTING for me. You really are CARING for me. You really are LOVING me when you discipline. When you prevent. When you protect. When you prohibit. When you prolong. When you provide. When you withhold. When you act. When you stay silent. When you seem distant. 

You are consistent. Thank you for making me more like you.

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So, so back to the ice cream. When we look at God and see Him as He really is, we can ask God to help us become more like Him and less like us.

I looked at my spoon and thought about how God continually shines His light into the dark places in my life and reveals what I need to work on:

*being more patient with other people

*being more forgiving of other people

*not trusting God’s timing enough in any given situation

*not walking in the Spirit

*not actively seeking out God’s voice in the midst of the world’s voices

*not really believing in all of His promises in scripture
If I really did believe, would I not obey His commands fully? 2 Corinthians 12:9 assures us that God’s grace is sufficient enough to set us FREE from sin.

Free.

Totally, completely, 100% free. We can choose to say NO to petty, hateful behavior; selfish, angry thoughts, motives and intentions. We can truly lavish love and healing onto other people for the sake of God’s glory alone, and we no longer have to carry the weight of our shame and sin.

This is the power of Christ in us.

Do I really believe this?

Is that what God is saying to me? Is that what God is saying to US right now?

Be still? and KNOW? that He is God?

Do I really KNOW it?

Is it head knowledge, or is it heart knowledge also.

The truth is revealed in actions towards others.

 

 

 

Time is short brothers and sisters. Shine a light on your life… on all different areas. And ask God to show you what to work on. He is Faithful to do so, in Jesus’s name and for Christ’s sake. Amen

xxx

<3

V

Freedom

I would like to take a moment to thank God for answering prayer. I had been praying to Him about getting clarity on a situation for almost two months, and I not only received that clarity, but He graciously revealed to me a couple of ways of how He was working in the situation the whole time.

Dear Lord, thank you so much for showing me what you have shown me. Forgive me for coming to you briskly and briefly, praying hastily, not waiting long enough for an answer, and then doing things my way anyway.

Thank you for this amazing opportunity to slow down, what with all that’s going on in the world. Lord, you didn’t have to cause a worldwide pandemic to get me to lay down in green pastures!!!! But I appreciate it ;-P ha ha ha.

Lord, the time and space that you have blessed me with over the last few days has been an amazing reminder of how important it is to seek you ALWAYS. ALL WAYS. In ALL things. You know all, you see all, your power is over all. I’m foolish for not tapping into that more often.

I’m grieved for not spending as much time with you, my brilliant, generous, loving Provider, as I ought to. I want to. I want to. I want You! Thank you for being my friend. Thank you for listening to me. Thank you for your long-suffering.

Time to go to work….

Have an awesome Saturday everyone…. Look for the blessings…. Look for HIM <3

xxx

V

The Peace of God

Is given to us by God

Is taken from us by God

When we separate ourselves from Him

When we go even a degree astray from what He will have us to do

Have you ever been in a situation that you knew you shouldn’t be in. And the Lord told you to pull the plug on the whole thing. He told you to GET OUT. He told you that you would remunerate for your choice; whichever one you pick.

Have you ever heard God’s still, small voice guiding and nudging you gently; even as an answer to a prayer.

Take heed, my friends. Listen when God is talking. He knows best. Don’t waste time saying “was that God or was that me”. If you sense in your spirit that it was the Lord, pray and ask God for a confirmation that it was Him.

But for those of you who upon hearing His voice already KNOW that it was a confirmation; take heed. Listen. Act accordingly. Respond obediently.

Lord, Father, Dad, 

I thank you for your still, small voice which penetrates my mind and echoes all day and night long. Even after a situation has come to a completely halt and I’ve known in my heart what I should have done and still didn’t do it; you continue to lead me, and I thank you. Lord I thank you for your lordship over my life. I recognize that I am entirely in your hands and OH what a safe place to be!!!!!!!! Yesterday I said to someone, “sometimes I wish someone would just tell me exactly what to do and exactly where to go. God, I mean”. Your Holy Spirit does a great job of this. He does the best job of this, since Your timing is *perfect* and y’all are of one accord.

xxx

V

Joy

The difference between happiness and joy is this: happiness is fleeting and joy is a state of being.

By the power of the Holy Spirit I can remain joyful throughout any situation. No matter how many fiery darts are flying in my direction; darts of disappointment, discouragement, disdain, detestation (wow, this is a word… I like it!!! even though it means “intense dislike” hhahah 🙂 )

As the darts roll in, I can let them roll off. My back, that is.

How?

Because of the knowledge of the Truth that I am in Christ Jesus and was bought by His blood when He died on the cross 2k years ago. I trust Him with my life, and know that I stand victorious with Him against any schemes that the enemy might conjure up.

So. That being said.

I’m at an interesting time in my life. I am still working as a private, in-home caregiver. I also just started a new endeavor doing direct sales. Direct sales can be discouraging if I choose to focus on the outcome of my reach-outs. What I mean by this is simple: rejection.

Nobody likes to be rejected… but if you are working in direct sales, you have GOT to get used to rejection. Not everyone is going to like the products, want the products. Some people may even get nasty. But I know this to be true: the war is not against the flesh and blood, but in the spiritual realm. So when people take out their negativity and hatred on me, I must choose to look past it and believe that (1) it ain’t about me (2) it certainly ain’t about vegan, chemical-free, anti-aging shampoo and skincare (this is what my company offers! <3 ) and (3) I have a real opportunity to shine the light of Christ to each individual through my response to people.

Notice I said “response” and not “reaction”.

A person’s emotional intelligence (EI) can be observed through the way they deal with certain situations. When someone is being difficult, I could mirror back their pettiness and anger to them (as they might expect me to do), or I could treat them with love, compassion, and forgiveness and choose to focus on listening to them and helping them in whatever capacity. This is not to say that we should be rugs.

Don’t be a rug. Repeat: do not be a rug. I don’t want anyone to enable anyone. We are not to be enablers of bad or rude behavior.

But loving? Yes. We should all always be loving. I will listen to you. Even if you come at me from a horrible angle. Because I KNOW that it isn’t about me. Whatever work the Lord has me doing is for my sanctification, His glory, and for the sharpening of other people; be it shedding light in a dark place, encouraging others when they feel alone, enhancing somebody’s life by simply entering into their life.

Being a child of God is a big responsibility! But God didn’t leave us to do it alone. We are empowered by His Holy Spirit.

One of my favorite prayers is this: “Lord, please redirect me if I need to be redirected. Thankyou for always leading me down your path of righteousness. Lord, please line up my will with yours, and kill my desire for anything that isn’t in your will for my life. I want to live according to your design. I want to live life to the full, through the lens of grace.”

Something like that.

<3

No two prayers are ever the same. None of that ritualistic stuff. I talk to God like I talk to any other person. Openly, honestly, with transparency, authentically. For God knows the words we’re going to speak before we even think them. Isn’t that amazing? Psalm 139 says “even before a word is on my tongue, you know it altogether”.

Lord, you knew that I was going to write this post this morning. You knew that I wanted to go to the early service but then I got held up … and this is the result of that. Lord, I pray that this post and these words blesses somebody. I pray that these words were exactly what somebody needed to hear today. Lord, I thank you for your presence with me right now. Thank you for the opportunity to do laundry this morning. I thank you for my car. I pray that you help me travel safely. Thank you for being able to worship today. Thank you for my lunch meeting. Thank you for the afternoon meeting. Lord help me make good use of my time later. Thank you for my sabbath this weekend. Thank you for restoring me. Your presence is so sweet. Thank you for teaching me how to choose you. Thank you for instilling within me the desire to seek you. I need you. I NEED YOU. Not only do I need you, but I WANT YOU. Do I believe you when you tell me that you’re the lover of my soul? That you love me with an everlasting love? When love is in the air, I just want to HEAR from the person. I can’t wait to SEE the person. I can’t wait to COMMUNE with the person. I VALUE and RESPECT the person. I want this with you. 

I want to hear from you.

I want to see you.

I want to commune with you. 

I value you. I respect you. I trust you. 

<3

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Whatever your vessel is that God has given you to work in, lead in, be a part of, perform in it for His glory. For HIS glory. For God sees the heart. He knows our motives. Do you trust Him?

<3

xxx

V

confession

is freeing.

Bringing things to light.

Shining a light on darkness.

Bringing things to the surface.

I remember being underwater in the pool as a child. My friends and I would have “tea parties” where we would exhale all the way in order to plunge ourselves down to the bottom of the pool and then we would sit indian-style or lounge on the pool floor and pretend to drink tea. With our pinkies up, of course. 🙂

The tea parties didn’t last very long because we didn’t have gills. 🙁

hehe

so after about…. well, I was going to write a minute but I think in reality it was only like 10 seconds hahah…

so after about 10 seconds… we would shoot up to the surface and breathe deeply. Ahhhhh oxygen. Satisfying oxygen.

Go ahead, take a deep breath right now.

It’s wonderful, isn’t it? That God gave us O2. Thank God. Though sometimes we feel like we can’t breathe because we need to surface. We’ve spent time on the floor of a deep pool for too long.

That’s what confessing feels like.

I did that earlier today. So freeing. Like I can breathe again.

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If my friends and I didn’t resurface we would have drowned. That is a little dramatic, but it’s true. We can’t breathe under water. We can only hold our breath for so long, and then we would pass out and drown.

I think a similar thing happens when we don’t confess. We drown. We’re meant to confess.

James 5:16 says:

“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”

 

The reason James gives for confessing your sins is “so that you may be healed”.

Makes perfect sense if we think of being stuck in our sin as drowning at the bottom of a pool. We gotta surface and breath and live.

When we bring our darkness to the surface, others can be our oxygen. They can breathe life into us with prayer and encouragement and help keep us accountable. Not that they have to even necessarily say or do anything further after the confession. Just knowing that other people know is great accountability. We’re all on this journey together and we all are going to find ourselves underneath the surface at one point or another. I promise you, surfacing is the best decision you will ever make. I know it was for me today. And that was literally a few hours ago.

Fact is, I don’t want to drown. I don’t want to struggle with my breathing. I don’t want to struggle. I don’t want to entertain struggling. If I choose to go to the “tea party” I want to make sure I bring my diving gear.

For the christian, that means the spiritual armor. Read Ephesians 6:10-18 in your bible. Or google it.

Each part of the armor is equally as important. We must protect ourselves in whatever environment we’re in so that we don’t struggle.

The word says that those in Christ are free. And that we are new creations. I am healed. I am restored. I was made new.

So now I must walk in that truth. And if ever I find myself drowning at the bottom of the pool, push off the floor and surface immediately. Breathe in life-giving breath. Confess any sin. Pray and ask for prayer. And be more prepared next time.

That’s all for now.

xxx

<3

LOVE Y’ALL
V