Wednesday, January 31, 2018
One day, a young lady was perched at her window contemplating death or life. Death was her first thought then life. You see, several years earlier, this young lady was befriended by an older woman from church whose intentions were not Christ based but being that this young lady was vulnerable and wanted to be loved she believed everything that this older woman told to her. This older woman introduced her only son to this hurting woman who did not have any respect for herself and looking for love in all the wrong places. After abiding by this older woman’s requests, suggestions and living according to the older women’s demands, one day she realized that she really had no one other than the people that used her.
Broken and torn, this young mother of two came to a crossroad leaving her abusive husband and leaving the extra marital affair and her church. As she began to try to build her life with both her daughters she found herself and her daughters suffering hunger, sadness and loneliness. Her former alcoholic, manipulative and abusive husband was not financially supportive and the church would not help because she had left her husband and the church. She found herself late on her rent by two months, no gas in the car, no insurance and laid off from all three of her jobs, without a car, she could not get anywhere and then the older woman who used her was not being supportive because she got what she wanted, she wanted her son to leave the woman that he was with by manipulating the young woman and her son to get together.
This young woman was truly in the valley, a place of anger, alone and experienced self hatred. All seemed futile. Within a matter of 4 months she inevitably decided to give her daughters to her abusive husband in 1996. After he got her daughters he turned around and restricted this young mother from seeing her daughters until 2003 when she built enough courage to face her husband who was also her abuser. This woman was not on drugs, prostituted and did not steal or do bad things. Her only issue was that she was just looking for love in all the wrong places and terribly misdirected by others. The young woman in this story could not go back to a church because of her past, she was paralyzed and she felt that she was not worth anything. Satan used her past to keep her at bay.
How many of these two types of women do we have in our congregation, in our families, I our lives and what are we willing to do for and about them? As I get older and pray wiser, I ask God to give me the will to be the older woman as mentioned in the Bible. What does the bible say about the older woman’s role? “the older woman likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things, that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed”. Titus 2:3-5
There are two sets of older women, those that are slanderers, irreverent and not sound in the faith. The other older woman is reverent, not a slanderer and helps the younger woman. We all have a choice to be one or the other and that choice depends on us.
The story does not end there… What ever happened to that young lady? Well, that young lady is now a more mature woman and finally came returned to Christ in 2004 because another older woman who is founded on Christ principals found in Titus 2 took her under her spiritual wings. The young lady in the story is in love with Jesus Christ, in love with her new husband of 17 years, developing relationships with her daughters, grandson and twin granddaughters and is passionate about helping the younger women. She went back to school and achieved her B.S. in Psychology, is a Lay Evangelist, Entrepreneur, Speaker and an Author. This young lady now a mature woman has forgiven all her abusers, betrayers and has asked for forgiveness of the things she has done unto others. Hurting people do hurt others. God has made some great changes in the life of this specific woman and she is thankful every day.
As she gets older, she prays and hopes to help other women that find themselves where this woman has been. This woman is me… and I am happy to say that as we get older we should help the women and men who are in much need. We must reach these younger women with love and follow the formula that God has given us.
As older women I believe that we must love everyone that comes into our lives no matter what life they have chosen because of their actions. Empowering others can happen and it starts with a village. Are you in?
at January 31, 2018
Tuesday, January 30, 2018
When I was sexually abused, I thought that I was dirty, bad and that I was not worth anything. It did not help much that the person who violated me also thought so. As I got older, I would hear from people tell me how important it is to be a virgin and untouched and again, I felt as if I did not have a plan for my life other than getting into trouble with men. Not that I had a great many men in my life but because I allowed others define me, I really did not know who I was and did not have a plan of who I should be. In time, I left the church.
Several times I attempted to come back to the Lord and in 2004 I chose to come back and remain. I have been back and walking with Christ for over 14 years. When I came back, I had no idea what I was to do because I have been away from Him for so long and had to learn more about him and His plans for me. Thankfully, God had his plan for me.
When God has a plan for our lives and when we allow Him to do what he desires in our lives, His plans may seem like our lives are turning upside down but that is the beauty of it all because His plans are always perfect. When we truly are converted, our lives change for the better, and maybe not on the exterior but most important change happens in the interior. We read that Saul even got a new name to (Paul) when he had a conversion (re-reborn experience) in Acts 13:9.
Paul’s emotions, character and life became rooted in Christ. In fact, because of Paul’s previous hatred toward Christ's people, the Christian community did not trust Paul at first. Something had to change and it did because in time Paul became a powerhouse for the Lord.
Interesting enough however, Christ did mention that Paul “must suffer for my name’s sake” Acts 9:16. That means that Paul waged war on Satan. Think for a moment, Paul was going through life working zealously for what he thought was for God and then the truth comes out that clearly shows that he was working for Satan. At that moment, Paul’s battle would become fierce and intense during his conversion because Paul was being prepared emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually for the work of Paul's new Lord Jesus Christ.
The journey to a spiritual walk with Christ includes the following important steps, surrendering to the Creator, Lord and Savior Jesus Chris, and repentance. Once we establish these two steps freedom is only achievable in and through Christ. Paul became a soldier for Christ giving the message of Redemption and Salvation to the lost that were in bondage just as Paul was previously. It was only through Christ that Paul's battle was won. Spiritual freedom and bondage have a fine line in that they both have Masters. One Master gives us free will while the other master’s objective is to dominate and destroy humanity and this is who Paul waged war on for Christ.
The Bible states that Saul of Tarsus and prior to his conversion he was in spiritual bondage and he did not know it. How many of us are in spiritual bondage because we do not forgive, because we do not resolve and heal from our past abuses? In fact, Saul of Tarsus believed that he was doing the will of God when he was persecuting followers of Christ and this was the ultimate delusion. He might have second guessed himself at times specially when he witnessed the stoning of Steven but when in bondage one cannot be led by the Holy Spirit to be able to see truth. As Saul was destroying Christians, Saul could not see past his traditions of men, his bondage, pride, the evil behind his emotions and thought process.
In all intense and purposes Saul was not free until the day when Christ spoke to him. The Bible states “4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? 5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. “Acts 9: 4-5 In fact, when Jesus approached Paul Jesus's introduction to Paul was strategically displaying his power, his sovereignty and his people.
Saul changed immediately and had to allow the Holy Spirit to work in him through blindness and having faith while being led into the city.
- The first thing that Saul did was to surrender “6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.” Acts 9:6
Paul’s surrender started with a question, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do”, this is clearly acknowledging and surrendering, but Saul had more to learn and Christ had to stop Saul in his tracks and completely trust in Christ. Most often than not, when we are in spiritual bondage (because of abuse), the only way we get out of the rebellious stupor or spiritual slumber that we might be experiencing is to have something major happen to us that places us in a humbling position to accept and surrender all to Christ. Remember, Saul was zealous for what he thought was God’s work but, it was on the contrary, he was doing Satan’s work under the guise of what he thought was for God but never acknowledging Christ.
This also clears one thing that people often forget, God the Father gave “his only begotten son” John 3:16 to die on the cross for us knowing that His son Jesus was going to endure all types of abuses and torture for us. When you read that Christ came to Saul, it was not God himself talking to Saul to follow Christ, it was Christ who spoke to Saul confirming his Lordship, His divinity and establishing his Leadership “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” John 14:6
- The second step that Saul took was to repent and be filled with the Holy Spirit “And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.” Acts 9:18
Because Christ had the perfect plan “15 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: 16 For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake.” Acts 9:15-16
When Saul now Paul had his conversion, Paul became free and now empowered to fight the good fight but he first had to go to training/boot camp if you will.
Christ wants to set us free from our past hurts, old unhealthy mental programs and strongholds so that we may be soldiers for Him.
What is your ultimate delusion? What are your strongholds? Jesus wants to break us free from our ultimate delusions, our hurtful pasts, and strongholds so we may fight the good fight.
Let’s fight the good fight together.
at January 30, 2018
Monday, January 29, 2018
How do we achieve a re-born identity? Well, the answer should be what does God require of us? God wants a willing heart. The Holy Spirit can only work with a willing heart. Change is not about becoming legalistic, not at all, it is about being a new creature in Christ. You see, a re-born identity experience is not about becoming a vegetarian although being a vegetarian has shown to have its benefits. A re-born identity is not about how you dress or what you drive or don’t drive. But a re-born identity is how you live, honor and love God. God is the King and He is worthy to be praised for He is a jealous God.
“Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.” Exodus 20: 5-6
Our God is a jealous God therefore, He requires the best from us whatever our best is. Let me go on a tangent here for a moment, seriously, if we were to meet the Queen of England, we would do our best to show off our best in behavior, dressing, and in speech? Then why not show off our very best in our living, speaking, and in our working for God? Why not honor Him by keeping his commandments? When I had a talk show on blog radio years back, I received an email from a listener on our show who suggested that we might want to consider changing our theme song “If We Obey” written and performed by Angela Bryant Brown.
Their comment was that our salvation is not based on our obedience of the law for that was in the Old Testament, we are under a new law, we are saved by grace. Wow! Honestly, that mindset is very scary for the Word states in the New Testament “And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ”. Revelations 12:17
The Word says of Christ…if you love me keep my commandments. You can see the same theme at the beginning of the Bible even to the end, this must mean that we are still under the Law of God but not that of Moses as often mentioned when speaking of legalism. Another excellent verse is found in John 14:21 “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”
Can we keep the commandments? Is it necessary to keep them? Yes, to both but we cannot keep them on our own strength but rather through the Holy Spirit. God knows what we are faced with decisions and choices each day, every second and minute. I strongly believe that the Holy Spirit will teach us as we grow closer and closer to Christ and learn His ways. The fact that you are searching and reading my blog shows that the Holy Spirit might have been leading you somehow. God knows your name and knows your pain, He knew us before we were even born so when we are re-born again He delights and ALL Heaven rejoices. God loves us so much that He sent his Holy Spirit to move you in the right direction. He is the one that leads us and guides us to return to our First Love. Possibly, if you are reading this blog it is because the Holy Spirit is guiding you to return to your First Love so that you would obtain a re-born identity in Christ or that you have reached a spiritual plateau and need a bit of guidance.
Having a re-born identity is not of your own doing but the Holy Spirit who molds you to become like Him and to strengthen us for His Glory and the work in His Harvest. Let’s face it; we have waged war on the enemy as soon as we accepted Christ as our personal Savior. We fight from Victory who is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for the victory was won at the cross. Also, we fight for victory through the blood of Jesus Chris over our past hurts, our addictions, and our demons that keep tormenting us. Remember we can’t change the past, but certainly can change how our past affects us today. We need the Victory for our mental healing and for the way live so that we can become strong and healthy individuals in our present. Will it be easy? As you become closer and closer to Christ and His teaching there will be experiencing opposition from others because of the new you, the new creature in Christ. But do not be dismayed. The most unlikely of people will turn on you even by those who claim to be Christ followers.
In fact, whether it is your mother, father sister, brother or other, someone will not like the fact that you have decided not to be of this world because your focus is now on Christ. People will be angry that your actions go against the grain of modern day society. The Holy Spirit changes us and although not in an instant in most cases, the change does occur and others will not understand why you won’t be cursing when they do, or be accepting on hearing indecent jokes or pictures or that your taking care of God’s internal temple (your body) and not drinking or smoking. In reality, the more you allow the Holy Spirit to guide your every step, the more you will achieve a new identity in Christ, if you will…a Re-born Identity.
The real question then becomes, who you will be serving, what god is your god, is it the God of creation or the evil master? How will anyone determine who you worship? The answer is simple, through your character, your living and your actions one can surmise who you really worship. Now, I am aware that there are some (pseudo Christians) who mimic believers like the (five foolish virgins) who appear to know the true God but they don’t and somewhere, they will show their fruit of the Spirit.
So that we understand a bit better on how to differentiate between the true God and the other gods, we must know the image of God so that we can mirror Him in all that we do for He takes care of us, He is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. We must always remember that God is in control.
As we continue in the Re-born Identity experience, we will be faced with situations that will leave us completely and utterly lost if we allow it.
The Holy Spirit is always with us, in Daniel’s journey he along with his friends were destined to be showcased to teach us what to do in Devine Chaos moments, they were chosen to be our examples. When God allows things to happen to prove He is indeed God he allows Devine Chaos. Daniel’s divine chaos allows us to see his allegiance to God, meaning his behavior along with his friends toward the situation reflected what a true believer is.
The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob was the true God whom Daniel and his friends have chosen; this meant that they were reflecting the face of God—Christ in their lives. They mirrored who they believed in, their character reflected their belief, and their mind set was set on their total belief system. Your belief system starts at the mind, who you think you are that is what you are but what you say you are might not be the case. Therefore, it might behoove you to take a personal mental inventory of where your mind is at, what is at the seat of your mind? Don’t let your past abusers dictate your circumstances, or, the way you see yourself. Whatever you believe in, will often order your steps and your path in which you will travel.
Believe it or not, there is a process when coming to Christ, the first is to confess our sins to Him. When we come to Christ and confess our sins it begins a new identity “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9, “cleanse us from all unrighteousness” means, that we are new again.
A Re-born Identity begins the moment that we surrender our past, our present and future to God. We are no longer the same person, yes…we are in actuality but our spirit is now is being guided by and through the Holy Spirit also known as the Comforter. More on the Holy Spirit in (Blog Grieve Not…).
Search the Holy Scriptures and ask the Holy Spirit to guide you in setting your mind on Christ and things above. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, behold, all things have become new”. 2 Corinthians 5:17
The question I leave with you today is…are you willing to surrender to Christ and begin a re-born identity? If so, please email me at Vivionne@vivionnekeli.com for more information on The Re-Born Identity.
at January 29, 2018
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