What Is Your Desire? by Sonya

???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????The question I ask is what is your ultimate desire? If you truly ask yourself that question what would come to mind? Is it your job, family, church, an addiction or a relationship if you were honest? Because if it is, those earthly desires then that is what controls us and rules our life. The first commandment of God says not to have any other gods other than HIM! If that is the first command from God then we need to pay attention and desire Him only.

As Easter approaches, we need to place our new desires on CHRIST. He alone is what our hearts should desire and aim to be close to. He died on the cross for YOU, what other god would do that? Jesus desires you with all His life, shouldn’t we consider Him to be our number one desire? Our Father is our desire and should satisfy all the days of our life. He gave His life for you and me and we need to accept that we can live a life of freedom from all earthly desires. Desires of our flesh and eyes will fade away as we focus our desire on Jesus Christ! As we pull away from those desires we can then begin to draw close to HIM, because it is those things that pull us away from God.

How can we draw close to God?

James 4 says it the best. “So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw close to God, and God will draw close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, you hypocrites. Let there be tears for the wrong things you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. When you bow down before the Lord and admit your dependence on him, he will lift you up and give you honor.”

Therefore resist the devil and those worldly desires, because as James says in verse 4, “Don’t you realize that friendship with this world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again, that if you aim to enjoy this world, you can’t be a friend of God.” That is a powerful verse that we can’t be a friend of the world and of God.

So the question is what is our desire? Are we a friend of the world or of God? This Easter remember who died for you and gave you eternal life and is alive today. Now that is the kind of friend I want to have and hope you do to!

 

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Love, Lust & Desire by Kenika

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????The culture of today’s world is one that perpetuates lust. Women are getting breast and butt enhancements and any other type of alteration you can think of in an attempt to entice the opposite sex. The saddest part of all, is once they have the biggest, “baddest” whatever, they are oftentimes left scratching their heads wondering why the guy still won’t stick around. You did everything he wanted you to do, how he wanted you to do it, but it doesn’t seem like it was ever enough for him. Newsflash, he won’t ever be satisfied, because it was lust that drew him to you, not desire, and certainly not love.

As I occasionally scroll through Instagram and other social media outlets, my heart breaks for millions of young ladies who suck in their stomachs, hoist up their breasts, and stick our their butts in order to appear sexy and get lots of attention. I wish I could say it doesn’t work, but it definitely does. They have thousands upon thousands of “followers” which usually consists of people with the worst of intentions. The danger with all this is that we are promoting the idea that what counts most is what’s on the outside. Who can be the cutest, flirtiest, sexiest, sometimes the most racy, with lips that pout out the best? It’s a sad day when we as women, daughters of the King, have limited ourselves to only what we look like and present on the outside. Please know we are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14), so I’m not saying we need to walk around in sack cloths, but it’s just as important to be confident in the beauty you possess on the inside, that will ultimately project on the outside.

Ladies have you ever had a man look at you, kiss you, or touch you with love? You walk away feeling cherished and valued. On the contrary, if you’ve ever had a man do those same things with lust, you are left feeling dirty, insignificant, and far from special. A desire can be fulfilled, love has to be demonstrated, and lust is never satisfied. I can prove it.

DESIRE

One of the most popular verses on desire is found in Psalm 37:4, “Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” If you delight yourself in our Father, and you have desires that do not contradict His will or His word, you can have it. Psalm 145:16 “Thou openest thine hand, and satisfiest the desire of every living thing.” There are many other verses, but the main idea is that, if you have a desire, it can be fulfilled. If someone desires you in this way, they will do what they can to show you.

LOVE

“Love is an action word”, therefore if someone says they love you then they have to show it. They don’t demonstrate this by using you, objectifying you, disrespecting you, or putting you in situations where you have to wonder if you’re the only one. True love is unselfish and sacrificial. I often say if he won’t give up his figurative life for you (changing his single status), he definitely wouldn’t give up his literal life for you as God commanded husbands to do. (Ephesians 5:25) If you need a refresh on all the things that validate if a man really loves you, read 1 Corinthians 13 (NIV).

LUST

James 4:2 “Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.” Proverbs 27:20 “Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied.” Essentially what both verses are implying is that when what someone wants is fueled by lust, they won’t ever stop, and they won’t ever be satisfied, nothing or no one will ever be enough. The Amplified version of Proverbs 27:20 says, “Sheol (the place of the dead) and Abaddon (the place of destruction) are never satisfied; so [the lust of] the eyes of man is never satisfied.”

I know this was heavy but it is my hope that women everywhere will be encouraged to know that #1 True beauty is something that starts on the inside, the core of who you really are. #2 God loves you, has set His desire and affection towards you, and has demonstrated it. You should require the same from a potential mate. #3 Understand that you are far too valuable to let anyone approach you from a place of lust. Set a new standard for yourself and require that their desire and love for you be shown in the purest of forms. You are worth that and more!

 

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Selective Hearing by Bombi

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Ever notice how kids can have selective hearing? You ask them to take out the trash, or finish their homework and they go unresponsive. But the moment you mention dessert or the pool, they come running quick! Ever think about the fact that we are God’s kids and we do the same kind of stuff to Him from time to time?

Recently I noticed a selective hearing incident that took place in Genesis chapter 4. This is the story of when Cain killed his brother Abel. Right before Cain acted out, there was a crucial conversation God was trying to have with Cain. 6 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”

Look at that. God was reaching out to him during his time of hurt. He was even asking him the “whys”. He was giving Cain an opportunity to dialogue with Him. He was providing a way out of temptation. And what did Cain do? Did he try to keep the conversation going? Did he repent right there and ask God to help him with his angry heart? No, he had selective hearing and decided to ignore the whole conversation completely and react in the worst way possible. The scripture immediately following that one-way conversation went like this; 8 Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.”[d] While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.

Temptation to do the wrong thing or to do things our way is ALWAYS looming at our door. We have the choice every day to strike out at others and fulfill our angry desires, or we can stop for a moment and listen. That in between time is crucial for us. In between our hurts and how we decide to react holds tremendous opportunity to remind ourselves about Gods promises and focus on the good He has blessed us with. It’s an opportunity to cry it out and pray it out. It’s a time where we can choose our will or God’s will. And it’s a time to see God provide us endurance for the moment as well as a way out when it seems there is no other way. God is a good God. He gives us choices every day to listen to Him or to only listen to our hurts. He is providing a way out for you today.

“No temptation[a] has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted[b] beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted,[c] he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” -1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV)

 

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First Aid For The Broken by Trish

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Grief is a topic not too often discussed freely because I mean, who really understands it and how to deal with it? If you’re a believer, it is many times assumed that grief should never be a part of our lives. Truth be told, we all encounter hurt, heartache and disappointment which many times leaves our hearts hurting and our spirits wounded.

As I sat down to type this article sitting on my back patio with the windows open, I heard a scream from a child down the street. As I looked up I saw a father run to the rescue of his little girl who had fallen off of her bicycle. With one arm he held her and with the other he carried her bike all the while consoling her.

I thought about how God is toward us. In life we experience things that disturb our balance and cause us to crash. We fall. We hurt. We cry. In that split second of our cry being uttered, our Father is there to pick us up, comfort us and bring healing.

Last month marked 20 years since the death of my dad. Ironically enough, my Father and my Grandmother died on the same day at the same time on an early March morning. It was an insane season of overwhelming emotions. Losing my Grandmother, who I cherished dearly, and then losing my Father who I had unresolved issues with. I literally had 24 hours from the time of my Grandmother’s funeral to travel to Oklahoma to bury my Father.

Arriving back home after laying my dad to rest, I was left with shock, anger, disappointment and a heart that hurt beyond anything I could describe with words.

Outwardly I would muster up a smile and replied graciously to those who offered words of comfort, but I was broken and numb on the inside. There were many times I thought I would completely lose it and scream my head off if one more person reminded me that, “God had a plan for all of this” or if someone told me, “They’re in a better place.” Yes God has a plan and no it didn’t make sense to me. Yes they’re in a better place, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that they’re not with me.

As I allowed myself to walk out the process of pain I had to learn to own every emotion I felt. Pretending it wasn’t there didn’t make it “magically” disappear. My faith became stronger than ever before, as I would admit how I felt and ask God for the courage to overcome. It was a process and there was no specific timeframe of when to be “over it.” I often tell people, you never “get over” losing someone but you do get through it.

Grief encompasses all types of loss not just physical death – loss of a relationship, career, finances, stability, friendships, etc. If you are currently in your process of healing from grief caused by any of these things, GO THROUGH THE PROCESS and don’t be ashamed of your scars. Your scars are your beauty marks, they tell a story of what hurt you but didn’t destroy you.

Cry out to your Heavenly Father, He longs to run to your rescue, scoop you up in His arms and carry you into the arms of grace.

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