Saturday, July 14, 2012

A Message to my Sisters in Christ

In our society there are about three trillion ways to fit in, but there is only one way to fit into the Kingdom of God. Eve was tempted by, and fell because of, one piece of fruit. For the contemporary woman the fruits of wickedness are abundant and ripe for the picking.
So, the question is how do godly women remain godly in an ungodly society? I hope the thoughts that unravel as we explore the answer will bolster your confidence as a woman and encourage you to be every bit as beautiful as God created you to be.

Ladies, if we wish to remain godly, we must draw the line in our relationships, our standards, our character, and our convictions. That line begins at the cross: that’s where Christ defeated sin, that’s where we laid our sins when we committed ourselves to Christ, and that’s where sin must stop (2 Tim. 2:19). In a society that mars those lines and scribbles chalky gray where there should be black and white, it is sometimes easy to lose focus. But, ask yourself, is a life of broken relationships and scarred hearts really what God has for you? Is the world’s way good enough for us?

No, God desires more for the woman who loves Him. Woman was created for man, she was intended to love and be loved; this is why every woman I know desires a relationship to at least some extent, and that’s perfectly natural. But what many women who strive to live for God seem to forget is that, if God designed you to love and be loved, then He is going to send you someone worthy of your love. We do not need to jump in front of Him and try to make things happen our way. Such behavior must stop if we expect to feel fulfilled in our walk with God. Psalm 27:14 encourages the believer to “Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.” Notice the writer adds emphasis by repeating himself, he knew it is not always easy to wait, but imagine the honor God receives when we show Him through our patience that we believe He knows what is best for us.

Wait on the Lord and believe that He will fulfill His promises. When you’re throwing your heart and sometimes your body at men who fall short of God’s standard, you are wasting time and dishonoring God, yourself, and these men-- God, because He has demonstrated the utmost patience with this world (see 2 Pet. 3:9); yourself, because God designed you for better; and men, because as a Christian you want to be encouraging them to a life that honors God. By wasting time in dishonorable relationships you are actually delaying what God has for you. You can’t see His will if you’re too distracted with your own. “Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.” Psalm 37:5

Ask yourself this and be honest with the answer: are you living in such a way as to encourage the men in your life to love and honor God, or are you selfishly despising their souls by distracting them from God and presenting yourself as a temptation and/or distraction from what God desires for them? (Note that a true man of God will not require a physical relationship prior to marriage, if the men in your life are more interested in your body than God who created the body, then it’s time to say goodbye.)

We encourage others to live to a higher standard by our example. If you desire a godly husband, you must demonstrate godliness. Galatians 6:7 warns that what we sow we will also reap. I used to complain about how hard it is to find a godly man in this world. Guess what, men complain about the same thing concerning women. So how should we fix this problem? By lowering our standards and stooping to date “OK” guys? Do you think the King of this universe wants just “OK” for His daughters? How about standing by God’s standard so that if any man wants to get near us He has to rise to God’s standard as well! This is the only way God receives glory in a relationship. Stop stooping. Stop compromising. Only then will you attract true men of God (they are out there), and most importantly, only then will you attract God’s blessing and approval on your life.

“He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.” Prov. 13:20. It is my belief that the Spiritual integrity if the people you date and associate closely with is a direct reflection of your own spiritual integrity. Not fair? Think about it, this is the person you have chosen to yoke yourself to– if you’re yoked with someone, the two of you are moving in the same direction. Unlike your family, which you cannot choose, you can choose your friends. “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” 2 Cor. 6:14. Think he’s getting a free pass to Heaven because of your Christianity? Think again.

This brings me to a very important point. Do not, and I mean do not, think that it is your responsibility to be someone’s girlfriend so that you can help them be a better Christian or lead them to the Lord. You’re perfectly capable of doing that as a friend. Anyone is perfectly capable of praying for someone’s soul. It is absolutely nonsensical to think that throwing judgment-clouding emotions into the mix by entering into a relationship with a loser (yes, I said it) is going to make him anything more than a loser. What is more likely to happen is a bending of your standards. How do I know? Because you’ve already bent your standards by entering such a relationship in the first place. Bottom line-- you have to love God enough to stop loving guys who do not.

But how do you know if He loves God? Maybe he has a Jesus tattoo, maybe he’s in a Christian worship band, maybe he goes to church every Sunday, was raised in a Christian home, maybe he’s even involved in ministry; but before we decide that any of that means he loves God, let’s look at Jesus’ standard of love. In John 14:15 He said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” Think that could be any clearer? We demonstrate our love to God through our obedience! This means we are not living for sin. This means we are, in fact, living for righteousness. Not convinced? Read John 14:21, 15:10, 1 John 5:2 and 1 John 5:11. “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.” 1 Cor. 15:33. Examine your relationships– the people you date, your closest friends. If you are in a relationship that dishonors God, I implore you– end it now. It’s not going to get any easier to end it next week or next month. Cut it off. You have to be willing to lay this down for God. You have to align yourself to God’s will if you expect Him to lead you to the man and future He desires for you.

Dear sisters, we must love God more-- more than relationships, more than our boyfriend, more than our friends, more than our family, and most importantly, more than ourselves. When you move into a relationship that you know dishonors God, you are telling Him, “My will matters more than yours.” Does your will matter more than God’s? I encourage you to think on this and make the necessary changes in your life in order to give God the glory He deserves. I’m not telling you to go join a convent; I am saying that you have to be willing to give everything and anything up if it is hindering your walk with God. Remember the rich young man who came to Jesus and asked what he should do to inherit eternal life? When Jesus told him to go sell all that he had, the man went away deeply saddened because he had great possessions. He walked out of the blessings of a relationship with God because he counted earthly wealth higher than heavenly.

Look around, this world is only getting darker, and now is no time to be a lukewarm Christian. We must give up the things in our life that hold us back from fully loving God. Look at the warning the Church in Laodicea received as a result of their spiritual apathy: “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” Rev. 3:15-16. Don’t think you can live halfheartedly for God. Being a Christian is 24/7 regardless of what you feel like or what your circumstances are. I don’t care how strong temptation is, God is stronger. I don’t care how hard it is, I don’t care how few are doing it, flee temptation. Flee sin (2 Tim. 2:22). You are the temple of the Holy Spirit, don’t dishonor that temple (1 Cor. 3:16-17). We as women must be more concerned with what God thinks of us than what men think of us. Man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart (Sam. 16:7). Is your heart beautiful to God?

A final prompt: perhaps while reading this you realized there are some changes God wants you to make. Or perhaps it has only confirmed that you are already on the right path; either way, I thank God. To those who have made mistakes and recognize the need to change, an excellent place to start is 1 John 1:9, if you repent God is faithful to forgive you, He wants to help you make these changes in your life. Seek Him, ask Him to help; habits don’t change overnight, it will be a battle, but do not be afraid, Christ has already won at the cross. Do not be discouraged by how many times you have failed, rise again, today is the day. “For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.” Prov. 24:16

It’s time to stand up, sisters, it’s time to radiate for God. It’s time to show this world what real beauty is.

“Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.” Prov. 31:30

Think on that.

In the love of Christ,

April Farr