Wielding the Sword of the Spirit

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Chapter Three: The Peril and Power of the Word

Add Nothing to the Word:

 “I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book (Revelation 22:18-19).”

“You shall not add to the word which I am commanding you, nor take away from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you (Deuteronomy 4:2).”

“…Your Word is truth (John 17:17).”

***

Many have attempted to add their spin on the Bible and nothing good has come of it. Additions, or even eliminations for that matter, have produced false prophets in the land to which we have been warned. Taking up the Sword of the Spirit is something not to be taken lightly as it is a huge responsibility. It can be very easy, in these wicked times, to sway to the right or to the left and, thereby, adding or subtracting so as to please man.

God was clear, both in the Old and New Testament, that peril is the end result of such actions. The Word of God is truth and, whatever is contained within its pages, are all we need so for success in the Earth. By adding or subtracting in order to appease the masses is unwise. When someone does so, the Sword they purpose to bend to their liking will end up piercing them with its sharp blade; so much so that they may forfeit their participation in the tree of life and in the holy city. May we all be mindful of this truth and set our face like flint to the Holy One of Israel.

 

My Mouth, a Sharp Sword:

“He made my mouth like a sharp sword…(Isaiah 49:2).”

 

On the flip side of being cut by the misuse of God’s Word, when we abide the Sword of the Spirit and imbed it into our hearts, our mouths will become a sharp sword. God’s people, when aligned in holiness, become the living, breathing, walking, talking, physical manifestation of the Word. The words we speak are life or death and we are to be life to the dead and dying. God will cause us to become as Himself in the Earth.

No, I am not saying we are God or that we are “little gods, no. We are, however, as God because He moves through the body of Christ. This is why we must learn to accurately apply the Sword the Spirit lest we become as someone who knows just enough to make us dangerous. Too many think they know something because they are members of a local church and hear a lot of preaching, but fail to study it themselves.

Isaiah was a man completely sold out to Yahweh. He said, “Here I am Lord. Send me.” No questions asked; he was in complete surrender and willingly did the Father’s bidding. This is how he could be so powerful as a prophet; he knew God, God’s instructions and, as a result, had the authority to operate the Spirit’s Sword which was supernaturally instilled within him. We have so much more, post resurrection, because we have Bibles upon Bibles.

Yet, the more access we have to Heaven, there seems to be less interest in becoming a bearer of God’s Sword. We’ve made it as nothing because it is taken for granted. What a travesty. The Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, is a tremendous privilege, honor and blessing when in the hands of God’s people. It has the power to divide soul from spirit, joints from marrow and, lest we neglect this part, is able to discern the hearts of men.

When we are carrying and properly using the Word of God, we will instinctively be able to read the hearts and intentions of people around us. We will be capable, as was Jesus, to recognize falsehood no matter how well disguised. Don’t be one who attempts to add or take away from the Word; rather, be the one who lives a supernatural life so that the lost can be found the dead can come to life.

Wielding the Sword of the Spirit

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Chapter Two: Live by the Word of God

“But He answered, ‘It is written, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4).”

“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that i have said to you (John 14:26).”

“Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak (Matthew 26:41).”

“But keep on the alert at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man (Luke 21:36).

I will continuously speak of obedience and humility because they are crucial elements in igniting God’s authority in and through our lives. We are to live by the Word, the Sword of the Spirit, and this can only be accomplished through the leading of God’s Spirit. Holy Spirit is our “Helper” and, without such leading, we will fail in our quest to live by the Sword.
When Peter drew his physical sword in defense of Jesus, Jesus responded, “Put your sword back into its place; for all those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword.” Although He was speaking of a literal sword, the comment applies to the spiritual as well. In other words, we who live by the Sword of the Spirit will also die by the same sword. In such a death, we find life.
The Lamp to Our Feet:
 “Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path (Psalm 119:105).”
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, He was hungry. And the tempter came and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But He answered, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:1-4).’

Living by the Word of God can be dangerous, at least from an earthly perspective, which is why so many avoid it. Notwithstanding, man cannot live by bread alone. Jesus was only able to resist the temptations of Satan because He lived by God’s Word. Though He had not eaten for forty days and His body was exhausted and hungry, still, He refrained from the wiles of the enemy. He could only do so by the power of god, the Sword of the Spirit. The Lamp of the Father guided the feet of Jesus. When one lives by the same guidance, they can resist temptation in this Earth. They are able to wield the Spirit’s holy Sword in the proper manner when led by its Creator. Notice that the primary request for self and others is to be able to flee temptation and to not enter. No matter what you’re praying, always pray for yourself and others to be able to resist temptation. After all, a temptation is not sin, contrary to popular belief. Sin is giving way to the temptation from whence all sorts of evil come upon us.

Temptation is the door one can choose to open or close to sin just as Jesus made an executive decision. Temptation is that thing which, if one doesn’t realize temptation is not the sin itself, leads a person out of covenant with the Lord. So many folks have said, in some variation, “Well, God just made me this way to be tempted to this or that. I guess if I’m that tempted, I must already be a sinner.” With such a mindset (one of defeat), Satan has that person right where he wants them. This person, though saved from hell, is immature in their walk with God. They are not properly applying or utilizing the Word of God, the sword which is mighty to save in any time of trouble.

If, on the other hand, God’s people would realize temptation, in and of itself, isn’t the sin but merely a door to sin, we’d be better able to see that, just because we’re tempted, it doesn’t mean we are unable to resist. When a person of God is faced with anything unholy, as was Jesus, they need to be aware of the power of the Sword, the power of God’s Word, which is active and alive and sharper than any two-edged sword. The problem lies in the issue of God’s people having a severe and critical lack of knowledge.

Think about this. If Jesus already completed resistance of every temptation known to man while incredibly physically hungry and Jesus’ life has replaced your life, how is it that you cannot resist temptation?  Jesus went to great lengths to overcome temptation. Then He went further and inserted His life within us through Holy Spirit so as to replace our human, natural-thinking man.

The issue now is teaching people to allow Christ’s completed resistance to be the supernatural force which allows them to resist their personal temptations. This is the power of, not just the cross, but the Word. When we allow ourselves to enter temptation of a sinful nature, we are no longer equipped to wield the Spirit of the Lord. This is because God’s Word is holy and, when we are conducting ourselves in an unholy fashion, we forfeit our authority to use the power of the Sword of the Spirit.

Wielding the Sword of the Spirit

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Chapter One: The Sword of the Spirit

“And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God (Ephesians 6:17).”

“For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart (Hebrews 4:12).”

“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness (II Timothy 3:16, ESV).”

Definition of Wield:

  1. hold and use (a weapon or tool)
  2. have and be able to use (power or influence)

synonyms: exercise, exert, hold, maintain, command, control

Before we can get into how to properly wield the Sword of the Spirit, we must establish what it is: God’s Spirit and God’s Word, two parts.  The Spirit of God is the third person of the Trinity. The Spirit is a person, not a thing; this is a crucial element in better assessing the situation. The Sword is the Word and, as we read in Hebrews 1:3, Jesus upholds all things by the “Word of His power.” The words God speaks are not, in and of themselves, God’s power; they are merely an expression or extension of God who is all power. This denotes the extreme value of the written Word.

The Spirit of God, then, is the essence of God sent as a Comforter and a signet ring of God’s coming return. It is important to look at Acts 2, especially verse 3. “They (120 followers of Christ) saw what seemed to be tongues of fire…that rested on them.” It is the Spirit of God who grants the supernatural ability to speak as the oracles of God (fiery tongues); no one can speak God’s Word with power in their fleshly condition. The Sword, aka the Word, is wielded by the Spirit from within each who follow Christ. When we fail to study the Word so as to show ourselves approved of God, we cripple the Spirit within. We may be saved from hell but, we are powerless on Earth because we have disabled God’s essence in us. The Spirit needs His Sword for any battle.

Imagine a soldier in the days of old sent to fight a battle without their sword in tow. Even though they may be on the winning team, they, as an individual, will be slaughtered. They will be honored by men as such but, they will not benefit from the victory. A soldier must equip him or herself in order to be prepared in any battle. Likewise, God’s people must have the Word embedded deeply within themselves so as to allow the Spirit of God to possess and use His weapon so as to battle against powers, principalities and every evil of darkness. The more Word we have in us, the more empowered the Spirit will be. My friend, Ruby, used to say, “God does not work with you, He works with Himself in you.” This is an accurate assessment of the situation.

That being established, the written Word of God is the Sword one is called to put to use here on Earth. This is accomplished through yielding to the Spirit. The Word is God-breathed and alive, unlike a sword made of copper, bronze, steel or metal. We must, of necessity, grasp the magnitude of it so as to not only put it to use, but do so in a way which will not cause more harm than good.

Just as a skilled surgeon uses various knives and other instruments so as to perform surgery, they must know what they’re using and how to do so without killing or further harming their patients. The pendulum could easily swing in the wrong direction with the slightest of errant moves. The Word of God has the utmost ability to divide soul from spirit, joints from marrow and can judge the thoughts and intentions of man’s heart.

For those who are in Christ, we acknowledge we are a new creation having been transferred from death (our initial human condition) into the glorious life of Christ (our inward supernatural transformation). In our newness, we have been given divine power to usher healing, restoration, refreshment, encouragement and more to those in need. Likewise, when we do not wield the Sword of the Spirit properly in accordance to God’s design, we can misuse such a powerful instrument and actually cause people to reject and turn away from Jesus.

As I look around the world today with all the civil wars between political parties, races, denominations, etc., many within those various wars are inaccurately citing Scripture to their advantage. This should never be. When hatred is being spewed while quoting the Word of God, damage, sometimes irreversibly, is done. I heard it said that, if your religion causes you to hate anyone, it’s time to make a change. This is a true statement as God is not a religious organization or denomination. God does not encourage hatred or bigotry and, therefore, the Sword should not be handled with the intent to incite it.

For example, there are so-called Christians who use the Sword of the Spirit with the sole purpose of stirring wrath against homosexuals by tossing around Romans 1:26-28.  In like fashion, practicing homosexuals are misusing Scripture so as to condone such a sin with “God is love.”  The democrats and the republicans misappropriate Scripture that they may sway people to their side; varying races do the same. God is not a religion, nor is He a political party. People everywhere are abusing God’s holy Word so as to condemn others who disagree with whatever stance they’re taking. This should not be. Those who live their lives in accordance to the will of God and who keep His commands through the power of Holy Spirit have the heavenly right to judge the body of Christ.

That being said, it does not give us the right to admonish the brethren with a heart of condemnation but rather, it must be with God’s earnest desire to draw people back to God. Furthermore, we do not, at least not prior to Christ’s return, have the authority to judge the world in their sin. I Corinthians 5:12 reads plainly, “For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church?” When I witness the alleged body of Christ coming voraciously against the world with hatred, I cringe. In so doing, more division and dissension is escalated which is the opposite of peace and unity. In their actions, they wrongly convey to the world that God is hateful; this must not be.

The Sword of the Spirit, God’s infallible Word, is not to be used to annihilate anyone. It should be wielded as a surgeon’s knife used for the healing of broken, battered and damaged people, not for further destruction. As we look through the pages of this book, let us purpose in our hearts to know God’s Word and how to put it to Kingdom use as opposed to selfish gain. Prayer and declaring God’s promises with confident boldness is a large part of utilizing the Sword of the Spirit. For those who are obedient to the Lord with humility, we have the authority of God, through Jesus, to use the Sword with all its power. Learning how to pray the Word back to God as well as knowing when to declare God’s promises in any given situation is a crucial and vital element in wielding the Sword of the Spirit.

How to Get It Right: Being Single, Married, Divorced, and Everything in Between

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How to Get It Right

Chapter 12: Soul Ties, the Physical Aspect

Balance:                                                                                       

I am constantly saying to people that it is imperative to be balanced in all of our ways. We need to be sure not to deal with only one aspect of anything, but rather both the spiritual and physical sides of matters. So many people (non-Christian and Christian alike) tend to deal with the tangible and omit the intangible or vice-versa and it is to our detriment every time. That being said, I want to cover the mental and emotional issues that linger after divorce which eventually lead to unhealthy physical connections.

Both men and women, more often than not, avoid dealing with these issues because it’s either embarrassing, or they simply deny there is a problem. Either way, it leaves us searching for relief in other people; hence, there are far too many “rebound marriages” full of misery and woe.

I have been a victim as well as having witnessed friends, acquaintances and countless others who became victims of suppression of emotional and mental distress stemming from sexual partners outside marriage, divorce, and unstable marriages. If people, across the board, would willingly recognize and accept that unwed sexual partners, bad marriages, and worse divorces do leave us battered, bruised, maimed, and emotionally and mentally fractured, we would more readily address the issues before we enter into another romantic relationship. It may not save people from rebound dating, but it would most definitely rescue people from rebound marriages.

I freely use myself as a perfect example of what not to do. After my first husband left me, in addition to being crushed, depressed, embarrassed and bitterly angry, I was determined to never be one of those (in my words then) “pathetic divorcee’s” who pine away the days. I set my cap on not doing the very thing I inevitably did. I told myself I was strong enough to handle the worst of situations; that I would not be a victim but a survivor. Looking back, all I see are the weak lyrics of some sappy country “love gone wrong” song. How foolish I was. After all, I didn’t know anyone who was divorced combined with gained wisdom, or at least no one close enough to speak intimately so as to draw from their experience and wisdom.

My purpose in writing this book is to shed some light on the subject so as to give others what I never had – insight stemming from experience, wisdom, and revelation from God. Oh, that someone, anyone, would have taken me under their proverbial wing and guided me through their Holy Spirit leading to save me from myself. If I had known the future destruction (better known now as my past) that I would cause many from my rebellion, I would have humbled myself before Almighty God, quieted my ranting about how God had obviously forsaken me, and listened before taking another step in any direction.

Ladies and gentlemen, God, and God alone through His Holy Spirit, is the One and Only Comforter, Healer, Restorer, Refresher, Reviver, and Life-giver. Only through our humility can we position ourselves to receive newness of life on any level, of any capacity. Divorce is a death, make no mistake. No matter how much divorce may be required in any given situation, death is what it is. Only God can resurrect you in your inner man and make you a new creation.

There is no surviving divorce. There is only God-granted restoration or better stated, resurrection and reconstruction. Without His life, there is only death brought from a divorce into any and every other relationship one may enter. If we are functioning in a death mentality (crushed beneath the weight of divorce), it will cross over into every other relationship, bar none. Self-will and determination do not, cannot and will not heal the wounds of divorce or any other form of a wrong relationship.

Death results in decay. As I determined in my fleshly man to “be strong,” I was still nothing more than “weakness veiled.” I took all of my pain and buried it so deeply within myself that I had actually convinced myself that I no longer had any. I lied to others because I first lied to myself. It seemed logical in my imbalanced mind to find a “good man to love me” so as to make me forget all the madness I had experienced with the first marriage and divorce. So long as I “kept moving,” I wouldn’t have time to stop and assess the damage left in the wake of my divorce. The results were my second marital train wreck; hurting an innocent bystander and his family; hurting my family; hurting myself; annihilating my testimony for Christ. I say again: Divorce is death. Death leads to more death because death is all it can breed.

“Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour,” states I Peter 5:8. Although I was a Christian since the tender age of six, I did not know how to go about this instruction. I quickly became fodder for the enemy, Satan. First, by entering into an unholy covenant; secondly, by suffering divorce; and thirdly, by having no clue what to do with the remains. It is imperative for everyone to have the wherewithal to do self-analysis, whether married or divorced. God’s people need wisdom and the beginning of wisdom is the fear of Yahweh (Proverbs 9:10). The fear of Yahweh is to hate evil (Proverbs 8:13). Evil is defined further in that text as “pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.”

In the aftermath of my first divorce, nowhere was any of that and it was quite a while before they kicked in after my second divorce. Without question, I was the polar opposite of what God required of me for success. I was foolish, without fear of the Lord, prideful, arrogant – evil personified. Unfortunately, people are rarely clear-headed in bad situations. I wanted revenge, though I knew revenge to be God’s business. I wanted to reveal my first ex-husband for the coward, swindler, adulterer, pathological liar and cheat (and much more) he really was – I wanted him to die a painful death! I was consumed with hatred, unforgiveness, sorrow, shame, fear, and bitterness; all the while I knew in my brain that all of those were against the perfect will of God, yet, I did nothing to remedy my errant ways. I didn’t know how.

Too many people in the body of Christ are just as I once was – ignorant while sitting on the church pew. And what does the Word say in Hosea 4:6: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being My priest. Since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.” It’s high time that God’s holy people become educated in the ways of Yeshua.

By “educated” I don’t mean just gaining information, but gaining information combined with a heart for God; fearing The Almighty over pleasing the natural lusts of the flesh. I am not saying that everyone needs to go to church more or become more active in church functions. What I am saying is that we need to seek the face and heart of God before we do anything else. We need to know His heart and how He is for us, not against us. When we are hurting, unless we purpose to seek the Lord, the natural response is to fill the flesh with fleshly, tangible band aids – anything and anyone that makes us feel better internally or externally in the moment.

If we would stop criticizing God as to what a horrible thing He has done to us, and begin accepting that we have made poor choices all on our own, healing would come more rapidly. This does not mean beat ourselves as if everything is our fault, but rather humbly take responsibility for our part and leave the rest to God. Admit that we have been hurt and beaten, humiliated and abandoned, or whatever the issue; then take the next step and correct our wrong as Holy Spirit directs.

Wait upon Yahweh to restore us before we ever consider entering another relationship. Sex will not fix our heart. Money will not fix our heart. Busy stuff at work, home, church or anywhere else will not fix our heart. Getting married again for the sake of pretense or security will not mend our broken, wounded heart. Surrendering all to Christ alone will.                     

My Evil Soul Ties:

My personal experiences with evil soul ties are many, but I’ll only share a few. With my first husband, they were due to witchcraft (on his part) and ignorance (on my part). I didn’t realize at that time how deeply he was involved in witchcraft. And unless we know enough of the Word and how to properly apply it, we are easily ensnared. He wanted to marry me for a few reasons, one of which was because I would not have sex with him outside of marriage. Somehow, I became his conquest instead of someone with whom he was in love or was led by God to marry. He also wanted to get away from his parents as many young people do. He saw me as his escape route.

For me, I had made an inner vow to marry him based on, “Because I’m so ugly, I had better marry him because no one else will ever have me.” I knew in my gut that he was wrong for me, but I married him anyway. He and I had broken up for nearly two years, but when I ran into him while out and about, I felt a very strong pull to him, that to this day, I can scarcely describe. I didn’t even like him as a person. I suspected him to be a liar from the word “Go” which led me to break away the first time. Yet, somehow, I quickly became ensnared at a glance and there had been no sexual anything between us. I see now that it was an evil soul tie in play. It was a draw I could not seem to resist, though I wanted to and knew that I should. When I walked down the aisle to marry him, my stomach sank knowing it was so very, very wrong. My dad even strongly urged me to turn around immediately as the bridesmaids were sauntering down before us.

The story of my second husband is very different. I had attended a wedding at a nearby Army base with a friend. I told her that I was definitely going to meet my new husband there. Sure enough, at the reception I walked right up to the chaplain, introduced myself and proceeded to tell him what kind of man I was seeking. He said, “Oh, I have just the man for you!” I gave him my contact information and went home. I carelessly vowed to my friend that very night, “You wait and see. I’m going to marry the man with whom he connects me. It’ll be a story for the ages!”

When he called me, we talked quite a while. In that conversation, I knew already he was not for me based on likes and dislikes. Against my better judgment, I set up a date. When he arrived at my door, he was an hour and a half late – always a bad sign for me. To add insult to injury, I said, “What do you think” in reference to where we should go. His response to my question was, “Well, I was hoping for a blonde, but you’ll do.” Ummm…not a good start to say the very least! We proceeded as planned and had fun. When we returned home, we sat on the sofa and talked a long time. I expressed to him that I was tired of dating and he said the same. I told him that we should agree right then and there to date exclusively; that if it worked out, great, but if not, no big deal. Sadly, he concurred.

Because he was such a nice guy, he met my check-list, and of course because of the vow I foolishly made, we inevitably married after a brief break-up. I knew that he was not for me no matter how nice and handsome he was. I was so lonely and he was such a nice guy that, again, I reasoned that the only logical thing to do was to marry him. We had also been living together and I was ashamed before God and man. I felt spiritually obligated to marry so to get me “off the hook” of living in sin (sex outside of marriage). Nowhere was God in the lead, or even present. Nowhere did I seek the holy face of God for direction. That soul tie was so strong that I could not see right from wrong; I even told my dad that I refused to say the vows because I wouldn’t mean them. My dad refused to marry us if I didn’t say the vows, so I said them. Even after our divorce, I was riddled with guilt, shame and condemnation. It wasn’t until years later that I came to understand the soulish pull that needed to be broken.

Since soul ties are a spiritual and not a physical issue, they are much harder to detect and break lest you know how and where to look. I have personally broken evil soul ties with everyone with whom I’ve had sexual encounters as well as emotional and mental such as with friends (past and present) and family members. In addition, I have asked Yahweh to enhance every good soul tie.

I have broken all evil soul ties between me and my parents, my sister, as well as with anyone I felt I perpetually needed to please, live up to their standard, or even felt the need to compete with, be jealous of, or hate. Basically, when there is a strong negative pull between you and another person and you feel you just can’t break free no matter how strong your will is to do so, go to war in the spirit realm by taking up the Sword of the Spirit and sever those ties!

Prayer: Father, I come before You humbled, broken, even shattered. I ask that You reveal everything to me, both natural and supernatural, that needs to be addressed. Without You, I am nothing and I have nothing. As I am dead, I seek Your holy face to breathe Your Holy Life into me. Show me the way from darkness into the marvelous Light that is You. O Lord, restore, refresh and renew me. Grant me supernatural ability to withstand the wiles of the enemy attempting to lead me astray.

How To Get It Right: Being Single, Married, Divorced, and Everything In Between

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Chapter 11: Soul Ties, the Spiritual Aspect

Evil Soul Ties

Basically speaking, “soul ties” are vows or commitments made to a person, place, or thing; they are a spiritual issue as they take hold in the spirit-realm, the intangible world. The vows can be internal or external, through thoughts, words, or sexual relations of any kind. Our main focus in reference to the topic of marriage and divorce is that of evil soul ties; however, evil soul ties can be between children and parents, employees and employers, ex-boyfriends or ex-girlfriends, or with any person, people or things that draw you in an unnatural, unholy way.

Any person who has given their life to Christ needs to take the time to break all evil soul ties between themselves and any and every person with whom they have ever had sexual relations, made a verbal or unspoken vow, or anyone with whom they have had traumatic encounters including parents, siblings, family, friends – anyone. In relation to places, you may have made an inner vow of, “I will always be attached to this place” (possibly where you grew up or a place you’ve always wanted to live) rendering you unable to move forward. In relation to an addiction, you may have made an inward or outward vow such as, “I will always be an addict,” leaving you unable to be released from whatever the addiction. Again, it’s anyone or anything that you are deeply struggling to let go and can’t quite figure out the strangely strong pull. Never forget that life and death lay in the power of the words you speak.

As you see in the texts above, you’ll notice “two become one” whether in or out marriage. In marriage, the soul tie is good, healthy, of God, providing the marriage itself is “of God.” Sexual, mental or emotional soul ties between people in a romantic or sexual relationship are bad, destructive, and very unhealthy. They can form because of the oneness of sexual intercourse or even the private desire to be with someone that isn’t interested.

In the case of Jonathan and David, there was no sexual relationship, but one of brotherhood. Jonathan valued David over his own father, King Saul. Jonathan was set in place with David by God to protect David who was the rising king anointed by God to replace King Saul. We can have both good and evil soul ties with anyone, but sexual soul ties are the strongest due to “oneness.”

For example, you may have a dear friend with healthy soul ties, but, simultaneously, you can have co-existing evil soul ties that need to be broken. You simply need to pray something like, “Father, I command by the blood of Jesus that every evil soul tie between me and _______ be broken and that every holy soul tie be strengthened. I praise You, Father, that I am connected to other people exclusively in ways that are healthy for my spiritual growth, for Kingdom expansion, and in ways that will glorify Your holy name.”

In reference to soul ties between you and past or current sexual partners, all evil soul ties must be severed so as to have nothing linking you to them in the spirit realm. When they remain unbroken, they can cause you great harm in even your current or future marriage. Soul ties are created (in reference to sexual relationships) as you link together in oneness through sexual intercourse. Think about it: If you “become one,” all of their and your demons, flaws, and issues link together allowing access to you even after your separation. This demonic activity can cause great mental, emotional, spiritual and even physical distress. But, because it is spiritual at the root, you cannot so readily put your finger on what is keeping you bound.

In being bound spiritually, you can enter into a holy relationship and marry, yet these soul ties with past sexual partners keep you from giving yourself fully to your spouse. Though it may sound farfetched, it makes more sense than anything I’ve ever learned. A person must take aggressive measures by the authority Christ has given the Church to free themselves from past sexual bonds whether they were married or not, and definitely in the case of rape and molestation. If an evil soul tie is with an ex-spouse, those too need be broken, and more so, because there was actually covenant. Just as a piece of paper decreeing marriage doesn’t fully bond people’s hearts together, likewise, a piece of paper decreeing divorce does not automatically release you from a soulish bond.

We must keep in mind that everything is spiritual because we were created by a spirit being  – The Holy Spirit. Since we are created “in His image” then it stands to reason that we must deal with the spiritual aspect of everything; it is far more relevant and substantial than the physical. I must admit that the first time I heard of “soul ties,” it sounded crazy to my natural mind. Yet, in my spirit, it registered as truth. Soul ties are a spiritual issue in so much as, though the effects may manifest physically, the source lies in the spirit realm.

Being twice divorced, I found it a relief to learn of soul ties, how they work, and most importantly, how to be released. The more I experienced real internal results from breaking all evil soul ties with ex-spouses and even parents, friends and enemies, I took it a step further and broke all evil soul ties between myself and Michael. I then asked God to increase and enhance the good soul ties between us. It is, as they say, a beautiful thing! For those who have ever been molested, raped or defiled in any way, those encounters can most assuredly leave lingering soul ties – break those as well.

To reiterate, when you think of the meaning “becoming one,” you’ll recognize that, whatever demonic activity your partner has, they merge with all demonic activity in your life. Therefore, once you separate, what’s theirs is still yours. Because it is a spiritual issue, you may find yourself drawn to negative things that, prior to your encounter with them, you were not. All of their spiritual mess became yours through the soul. We must take authority over such bondage in order to be set free. It does not just “fall away” because you “walked away.” Notice the next two Scriptures.

I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven; and whatever you bind on Earth shall have been bound in Heaven, and whatever you loose on Earth shall have been loosed in Heaven (Matthew 16:18-19, NAS).”           

“Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us—for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree (Galatians 3:13, NAS).’”

In both Matthew 16 and in Galatians 3, we see that, through Christ, we have been redeemed from the curse of the Law through His blood. Through His shed blood, we have been given power and authority. A large misunderstanding of Christ-followers is that, because Christ bore the curse, we can just “get saved from hell” and all will work itself out. I was raised with such a mindset and trouble ensued!

Yes, Christ bore the curse and all who receive Him through repentance automatically receive pardon from hell, but with the pardon, we, heirs of the Kingdom of Heaven, have been given power from on high. In addition to that power, when we walk in obedience to His commands, we obtain authority to use the power and are expected to use it to the fullest.

This is where we are to take up the power and authority of the blood that bore the curse of sin and the Law to break all evil soul ties that we entered (knowingly or unknowingly). God gave power and authority to Jesus; Jesus in turn gave it to the body of Christ. As the body (you and I), we aren’t to just stand around willy-nilly with the mindset of, “Well, it’s in God’s hands. Whatever happens, happens.” This is foolish thinking at best. God clearly made us kings and priests in the Earth to subdue the Earth; we are ambassadors of The King. With this God-given position, we are without doubt to take authority over our lives!

Above in Matthew 16, we see the words, “Whatever you bind on Earth, will be bound in Heaven. Whatever you loose on Earth, will be loosed in Heaven.” This is concise instruction to take up the mantle of authority and build God’s Kingdom. We are to begin to do this first in our own lives before we can ever have authority to teach, lead or build others. So, with this understanding, we are to take authority over any evil soul ties we have entered through sexual encounters as well as emotional and mental strongholds.

It’s quite simple, really. It isn’t some form of hocus-pocus or witchcraft spells – quite the opposite because that would be of Satan. All one needs to do is:

  1. Repent of anything unholy, ungodly, or sinful conduct (i.e. sex outside of marriage, including that which has taken place in the mind and heart)
  2. Receive forgiveness granted at the cross
  3. Apply the blood that was shed for all
  4. Pray and decree something like: “Father, I repent of my sin of engaging in sex outside of marriage in my mind and body. I receive the forgiveness You gave to me at the cross of Calvary. In the name of your Son, Jesus Christ, I command every evil sexual, mental, and emotional soul tie to be broken from myself and (name everyone you can remember by name) as far as the east is from the west. Father, I bless You that You will allow to remain only the good soul ties that You desire in my life. I take up the authority and power You have given through obedience to Your commands and apply it to every area of my life. Cleanse me from the inside out, in the name of Jesus. I thank You that no longer can the demonic spirits of perversion, greed, lust, (name your stronghold) have any dominion over my mind, soul, body or spirit. I choose to remove the leaven from myself and be holy as You are holy.”

Scripture References:

“For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh (Ephesians 5:31, NAS).”

“…and the two shall become one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate (Mark 10:8-9, NAS).”

“Or do you not know that the one who joins himself to a prostitute is one body with her? For He says, ‘The two shall become one flesh’ (I Corinthians 6:16, NAS).”

“…the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul (I Samuel 18:1, NAS).”

“If a man makes a vow to the Lord, or takes an oath to bind himself with a binding obligation, he shall not violate his word; he shall do according to all that proceeds out his mouth (Numbers 30:20, NAS).”

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit (Proverbs 18:21, NAS).”

 

How to Get It Right: Being Single, Married, Divorced, and Everything in Between

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Chapter 10: Understanding Adultery

“You shall not commit adultery (Exodus 20:14, NAS).”

Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them…but for Adam there was not found a helper suitable for him. So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place. The Lord God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. The man said, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed (Genesis 2:18-25)

Old Testament Adultery:

“but I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except for the reason of unchastity, makes her commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery (Matthew 5:22, NAS).”

Definition of Adultery: being unfaithful to covenant vows in any capacity; spiritually, physically, mentally, emotionally, and even financially – covenant betrayal

One of the treacheries against God we see so much in the Old Testament is adultery, otherwise noted as prostitution. For obvious reasons, adultery here is not sexual as we think of it in the natural – it is the total package of covenant betrayal. Many throw out Matthew 5:22 to people concerning divorce by stating that the only legal ground for divorce is adultery, yet we foolishly automatically think of adultery exclusively as sexual, much like we misuse intercourse assuming it’s exclusively sexual in nature. This is where great confusion enters.

Adultery comes in many, many forms. It is, in short, being unfaithful to the covenant vows of marriage; sexual misconduct is adultery, no doubt, but so are many other forms. We should not limit the broad spectrum of its definition lest we leave people in confusion and condemnation. We, God’s people, are His bride. In Jeremiah 3:9, God referred to His people as committing “whoredom…defiled…with stones and stocks.” Where do we read about sexual misconduct? We do not.

In wedding vows, however worded, the promise between the groom and the bride are to be faithful always, loving always, committed fully one to the other as long as they both shall live, and forsaking all others. However you slice it, to break these vows in any capacity (sexually, mentally, emotionally, physically, or spiritually), adultery has been committed. E.g. when a person places more value on their career, friends, hobbies, children, or anyone or anything else, adultery has been committed. To be present in the marriage physically without another person involved, yet one has pulled away mentally or emotionally leaving the spouse lonely and abandoned is adultery, make no mistake.

Biblical Scope of Adultery:

To understand the full spectrum of “adultery,” we must realize that when any of the covenant vows are forsaken, adultery is in full-force. This is why so many struggle with attempting to stay in a loveless, comfortless, honor-less, and lonely marriage. Most Christians are told, “If the act of adultery (translated exclusively as sexual misconduct) has not taken place, you have no grounds for divorce.” How many people forsake their bride or groom for their work, friends, family, hobbies, etc.? To reiterate, the vows say, “Forsaking all others, being faithful only to her or him so long as you both shall live.” Adultery has clearly transpired when any of these vows are broken.

I read an article by Robert Walters entitled, The Biblical Definition and a Biblical Conclusion. Here is a portion of that article that is well worth reading:

The Bible is not a dictionary, thus we should not expect it to define a word in the same manner as would a dictionary. The Bible is the word of God composed of various books and letters. In defining adultery, we must study and compare various passages of Scripture. This is the only way to ensure an accurate, scriptural definition.

As is often the case, a word may have more than one definition. Some, for example, would say that adultery is nothing more than “the act of sex a married person has with the spouse of another.” To believe this, one would have to be ignorant of or deliberately ignore a number of Scriptures that contradict such a definition. The Scriptures reveal that adultery is used to describe different actions committed by an individual or group. But the result is always an action contrary and detrimental to the covenant known as marriage. The narrow definition of the word that some espouse is merely effort to defend traditional error.

In defining adultery, consider the following Scriptures:  “And it came to pass through the lightness of her whoredom, that she defiled the land, and committed adultery with stones and with stocks (Jeremiah 3:9, KJV).” This passage tells us that “she” (God’s people) committed adultery with stones and stocks. These things were party to the sin. When we understand the sin, we will understand adultery as it relates to the present marriage, divorce, and remarriage controversy.

A covenant was made between the nation of Israel and God. Israel agreed to abide by the terms of the covenant and God promised to bless them. The stones and stocks were the objects to which God’s wife—Israel—gave its affections. The foreign object that adulterated the relationship served to replace God. God divorced Israel and the relationship he had with them ceased to exist. No sex involved, yet adultery was committed! Therefore, if anyone tells you that “adultery is nothing but a sex act,” you may want to refer him or her to the Scripture noted above.

Some, in an attempt to defend the traditional definition, may argue that adultery in the passage under study is spiritual adultery. But the sin in view here is marital adultery (Jeremiah 3:14), a sin that was an act of unfaithfulness to the marital vows, even though sex was not involved. Today, a person can commit adultery against their spouse in exactly the same way without sex being involved. Virtually all admit that adultery is committed by “putting away” and remarrying (Matthew 19:9). Even those who are not capable of having sex are able to commit adultery in various ways, namely by simply being unfaithful to their spouse—acting as if the marriage does not exist and taking up with another.

And he saith unto them, whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her (Mark 10:11, KJV).” This Scripture does not agree with the traditional definition of adultery. Jesus says that adultery is committed against the previous spouse rather than with the second woman he marries! We are compelled, therefore, to reject the traditional definition in favor of the biblical definition. This Scripture makes it clear that adultery includes the idea of the breaking of a covenant. But do not confuse the word “breaking” with the word “destruction.” One may break the terms of a covenant; yet, if repentance and forgiveness follow, the covenant remains intact. A marriage is ended, destroyed, over, when one or both parties have legally declared the marriage to be over. The Jewish Law, and the law of our land, requires a “bill of divorcement” or divorce certificate. When one who is divorced, and therefore “unmarried,” is unable to resist sexual temptations, he may marry another (1 Corinthians 7:8, 9). (end excerpt)

Is a Remarried Divorced Woman an Adulterer Forever?

“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness (II Timothy 3:16, NAS).”

Or do you not know, brethren (for I am speaking to those who know the law), that the law has jurisdiction over a person as long as he lives? For the married woman is bound by law to her husband while he is living; but if her husband dies, she is released from the law concerning the husband. So then, if while her husband is living she is joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is not an adulteress though she is joined to another man. Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God. For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were aroused by the Law, were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death. But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter. What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except through the Law…but sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, produced in me coveting of every kind; for apart from the Law sin is dead. I was once alive apart from the Law; but when the commandment came, sin became alive and I died; and this commandment, which was to result in life, proved to result in death for me; for sin, taking an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me. So then, the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good. Therefore did that which is good become a cause of death for me? May it never be! Rather it was sin, in order that it might be shown to be sin by effecting my death through that which is good, so that through the commandment sin would become utterly sinful. For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin. For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man,   but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin (Romans 7).

First, I notated II Timothy 3:16 simply to remind us of the general purpose for the Word. Secondly, in the very long text of Romans 7 above (none of which could be overlooked), we see that, by law, if a woman is divorced and the husband lives, the woman is considered an adulterer should she remarry. Countless women have struggled with this passage stating that, according to this passage, any woman who is legally divorced and remarried is an adulterer forever lest her ex-husband die— only then she is freed from the law. This seems cut and dry enough, but only if we read these texts absent from the remaining texts. Fortunately for us all, Paul did not stop with the first few verses!

This is where the importance of understanding covenant with God, as written in chapter two, comes in. As the Word plainly directs, we see that the only way to enter into true covenant and to be freed from the law is exclusively through death. The above reference begins with physical death of the ex-husband as the only solution to the adulterous woman’s freedom, but then Paul transitions quickly into the spiritual diverting away from that which is physical.

Keep in mind that the Old Testament (Old Covenant) is physical, whereas the New Testament (New Covenant) is spiritual. What transpired back then (pre-Christ) did so physically, but what transpires today (post-resurrection) is spiritual. To “die” as in “die to self” is a spiritual term and, in so “dying to self,” we are freed from the weight of the Law and we enter into the rest and relief of the Law through Christ’s fulfillment of the Law.

The Law reveals sin and sin kills man. Sin kills the man because no one can fulfill the Law. Paul immediately instructs that we are all to enter into death (spiritually speaking) so as to enter the Body of Christ. In so joining, death to the old Earthly man has to occur. When death takes place, our new life in Christ frees us from the law—all of it.

Bringing it full-circle, in reference to divorce and adultery, we see that, by law (earthly, old man), the divorced and remarried woman is an adulterer. However, Paul shifts attention to all sin—that all people are sinful—that the flesh (physical) of any man or woman is sinful. Once in Christ, divorced, single, or married, we are exempt from the law – the law that binds our human form to the condemnation of adultery of any kind; the adultery of breaking the Law of our holy God.

In other words, though the Law condemns everyone in their adulterous condition against God, once in Christ, we are no longer a slave to sin therefore we are no longer an adulterer. Too many people focus on the first section of “an adulterous woman” citing that no woman can remarry if her first husband lives lest she is a whore, yet Paul’s whole intent is not the physically adulterous woman but rather to point to understanding adultery against God and how to become free from all forms of adultery.

In doing so, he points to us all as sinful in need of death (spiritually) so as to partake of the new life offered by God through Christ. If you are in Christ, and if you are divorced legally, and if you are remarried legally, you are not an adulterous woman – you are free! Dying to self as notated in chapter two allows us to enter into the rest (peace) of Christ and, in turn, we are freed from the Law which keeps us all under condemnation. You are free!

How to Get It Right: Being Single, Married, Divorced, and Everything in Between

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How to Get It Right

Chapter 9: What about Love?

I believe wholeheartedly that, once you truly love someone, you will never stop though the love will transition into a different type. Otherwise, if you cease loving someone, you never loved them in the first place. Love is everlasting no matter what transpires between two people, whether in marriage or friendship. It can be tricky if we don’t see and weigh it through the eye of The Way because genuine love is everlasting. Only when we view love from a Kingdom perspective will we be able to correctly gauge relationships, the emotions thereof, and how to proceed in life. 

Being twice divorced, I now have and will always have two men out there in the world with which I have loved and made covenant. Though I am divorced from both, there will always be a bond, on some level, no matter how much time and space is between us. It’s a fact that no one can deny or remove. Because I genuinely loved both, love for them will remain unending, but the love is exclusively a supernatural agape love, a love that would behoove all to seek for their ex-spouses. 

John W. Schoenheit defines the four types of love as follows: 

EROS: “The Greek word for sexual love or passionate love is eros, and we get English words such as “erotic.” When eros was used as a proper noun, it referred to the Greek god of love. The Greek word eros does not appear in the biblical text, so we will not spend time on it in this article, but it has had such an impact on English and our view of sexual love that it is important to mention.”

AGAPE: “The Greek word that refers to the love of God, one of the kinds of love we are to have for people, is agapeAgape is the very nature of God, for God is love (1 John 4:7-12, 16b). The big key to understanding agape is to realize that it can be known from the action it prompts. In fact, we sometimes speak of the “action model” of agape love. People today are accustomed to thinking of love as a feeling, but that is not necessarily the case with agape love. Agape is love because of what it does, not because of how it feels... God so “loved” (agape) that He gave His Son. It did not feel good to God to do that, but it was the loving thing to do. Christ so loved (agape) that he gave his life. He did not want to die, but he loved, so he did what God required. A mother who loves a sick baby will stay up all night long caring for it, which is not something she wants to do, but is an actual act of agape love.

The point is that agape love is not merely an impulse generated from feelings. Instead, agape love is an exercise of the will, a deliberate choice. This is why God can command us to love our enemies (Matt. 5:44; Exod. 23:1-5). He is not commanding us to “have a good feeling” for our enemies, but to act in a loving way toward them. Agape love is related to obedience and commitment and not necessarily feeling and emotion. “Loving” someone is to obey God on another’s behalf, seeking his or her long-term blessing and profit.

The way to know that we love (agape) God is that we keep His commandments. Jesus, “Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me…” (John 14:21a). There are Christians who say they love God, but their lifestyle is contrary to God’s will. These people mistake their feeling of affection for God for true agape love. Jesus made this clear: “He who does not love me will not obey my teaching…” (John 14:24a).

PHILEO: “The third word for “love” we need to examine is phileo, which means ‘to have a special interest in someone or something, frequently with focus on close association; have affection for, like, consider someone a friend.’ It would probably be helpful if phileo were never translated “love” in the New Testament because it refers to a strong liking or a strong friendship.”

STORGE: “The fourth Greek word we need to understand is storge, which is the love and affection that naturally occurs between parents and children, can exist between siblings, and exists between husbands and wives in a good marriage. It occurs in Romans 12:10 in the word, philostorgos, which is a compound word made up of philos (the noun form of phileo) and storge.” (end excerpt)

           

That being said, we must decipher what to do with feelings of love. Forever I will love both my ex-husbands. Forever they will be a part of who I am because being with them through good and bad helped shape the person I am today. So the question remains: “what do I do with the love I feel for my ex-spouses? If I love them, does that mean we should get back together?” 

As for my first ex-husband, mutual love appeared to have ruled before our marriage, but it quickly shifted into hatred from him toward me, which ruled for many years post-split. Because of his hatred against me, eventually hatred formed in my heart against him. Once I came into a place of forgiveness through Christ and began to walk in agape love toward all mankind, I couldn’t help but shift from hatred back into love. However, it is not a storge love between a husband and a wife, but one of agape that allows my spirit-man to extend love where hatred would otherwise long to rule. With some folks, agape love can “feel” like love that would bring them to reunite in marriage. We must keep in mind that agape love is very different than storge, the love that would tie a husband to a wife. 

Many divorced or almost divorced people come into Christ and assume that agape love dictates that they must reunite, and that simply is not so. This goes back to what I and many others have taught about not being led by the soul (mind, will, and emotions). Just because you love someone does not mean you are meant to be together and that your love can sustain a marriage. 

I dearly love and respect my second ex-husband, as I always have. My love for him is now and always was both phileo as well as agape. I married him because I misinterpreted my love for him as storge. Because of this misinterpretation, our marriage failed. Many people were hurt, not excluding both of us. Much guilt and shame on my part were involved in our divorce. My phileo love for him has never wavered, and it remains until this day. Phileo love does not mean that we should remarry if we were both single. 

It is of the utmost importance in our walk with Christ that we understand the different types of love and how to walk in them properly. We should not try to hide that we love our ex-spouses, nor should we misappropriate our love and attempt to remarry with the wrong love. With divorce, there is often a feeling of “because I love (agape or phileo) them, I don’t love my new spouse completely” or “maybe I am still in love (storge) with them” or “I have such strong love (eros) love for them, maybe we should have an affair and see where it goes.” All of this thinking leads one to a perpetual life of misery, pain, and guilt – often shame and remorse. God wants His people to live in peace, so much that He instructs us to pursue peace hot and heavily! 

Once you have moved on in your life and have concluded through seeking God’s will that your divorce is for the betterment of all, learn to love with agape love and leave the rest behind. If neither of you has remarried and you are both continually drawn to one another, reuniting may be the correct course of action. No matter what and above all else, your relationship with Jesus needs to be your priority. When He is your all-in-all, your relationships in this life will work themselves out in time. Jumping into (or back into) any human relationship is always going to be disastrous eventually if you do not first seek the Kingdom of God, His righteousness, His will, and His plan for you. 

Prayer: I desire, O God of Heaven and Earth, to walk in keen discernment to know how to love whom. I want to properly apply love as You have pre-ordained and not mix emotions with what is true and holy. I desire to keep myself pure in and out of marriage, no matter where I am in life. Reveal to me how to walk in self-discipline always. Selah.

How To Get It Right: Being Single, Married, Divorced, and Everything in Between

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How to Get It Right

“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness?” (II Corinthians 6:14, KJV).

Unequally Yoked:

Right out the gate, most everyone can quote this Scripture above, yet few comprehend the depth of its meaning. For example, when I was growing up, I was taught that “unequally yoked” meant that no Independent Baptist should mix with any other type of Baptist (Southern, Free Will, etc.) and definitely, we were not to intermarry with any other “foreign” denomination such as Lutheran, Methodist, and absolutely not with a Pentecostal or Presbyterian! Also, no person should ever mix with anyone outside their race, nationality, political or social status. Then there is the actual reality that no follower of Christ should marry a non-follower of Christ. 

In the Old Testament, God clearly instructed His people, time and time again, that they were not to marry outside their race. What was God’s motivation in this command? Was He prejudice against skin color or language that He created? No. God gave this command to keep His holy people pure of other gods, of worshipping anyone other than Himself. We must remember that the Old Testament was about things manifesting in the natural. The New Testament was about things happening in the spiritual. The Old Testament always mentioned how people looked externally. The New Testament does not speak of outward appearance. The reason is that things come first in the natural, then in the spiritual. Therefore, being unequally yoked has nothing at all to do with anything external, but spiritual.

I Corinthians 15:46-47 states: “The first man, Adam, became a living soul. The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual.” In the grand scheme of things, the spiritual is first in so much as God is Spirit and He has no beginning and no end, but this reference is written for the Earth, for mankind. We are physical man (natural first), but, through Holy Spirit (spiritual second), we are able to become spiritual. It’s all about keeping things within God’s perspective and order.

Since God chose to leave out external appearance in the New Testament, we must pay attention and follow suit. He omitted it for a purpose. We are to owe no man anything but love. Money issues aside, it translates, “All men owe every man love, regardless of anything external.” With that understood, we can eliminate any false meaning for being unequally yoked that has anything to do with outward appearance, including, and especially, skin color. As far as denomination is concerned, God is not a God of denomination, but our heart condition. If a black Baptist woman is in love with Christ and a white Methodist man is in love with Christ, what should man do to hinder them from marrying that has anything to do with God? 

To take all this even further, to be “equally yoked” in reference to holy matrimony boils down to one criterion: God’s supernatural ordination. Nothing else matters. The problem lies in how we perceive the matter of equally or unequally yoked. Again, most people have an internal checklist that they believe their spouse should meet to a tee, yet the list is generally not in compliance with God. Basically, we box God in so tightly that, no matter how clearly He reveals His will, we are too blinded by the flesh, and religious and parental tradition, to recognize. “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment,” is instructed in John 7:24.

Don’t Judge by the Cover:

My husband isn’t anything like I pictured as a child. We must realize that our appointed spouse, when we first meet, could potentially not be ready for marriage, but that doesn’t mean they never will. The issue at hand is that we often meet our God-created mate, but, since they are not on our mental checklist, we impatiently and foolishly marry the first person who comes along that fits our standard. 

Cut two tennis balls in half, switch the halves, and glue one half of one ball to a half of the other ball. Though they are the same exact shape, color, texture, and size, they will never make a whole; they are merely two mismatched halves stuck together. If you pour oil and water into the same bowl, just because they are, for all intent and purposes, together, does it make them one new thing? No. It’s merely two vastly different substances cohabitating. The point is this: just because two things appear as though they could mix, it doesn’t mean they can, will, or should. 

I fell head over heels in love with Michael when I was 15 in August, 1983, 10th-grade algebra class, upstairs, A-hall, Mrs. Ward’s class, at Lexington High School. This is the classic example of a good soul-tie, but I was simply oblivious. I took one look at him and that was all she wrote! I didn’t understand it. I didn’t know why. It wasn’t based on looks, though he was handsome; it genuinely made no sense. It wasn’t sexual, hormonal, emotional, or mental – it just was, and with no logical explanation. Unfortunately, though we were algebra buddies and I helped him pass the class, we were but acquaintances. I wouldn’t even call us “friends.” 

About nine months after we met, he moved with his family to another city an hour away. I was devastated, to say the least. I remained forever in love with him, nonetheless. I was friends with his cousin before our meeting. I would see him occasionally when he visited her. He later joined the army and moved overseas for several years. During that time, he met and fell in love with a young woman.

As time went by, I eventually married someone else, and we moved overseas. My husband said he was called to be a preacher and things “appeared” in order, godly. Though married, the two of us never became one whole. He was an abuser. He did not hit me, but abuse comes in various forms. He was sexually, mentally, and emotionally abusive. 

After separating from my first husband once back in America, Michael and I reconnected and became the best of friends. We were able to do so because he had moved back stateside, leaving his girlfriend behind. We remained friends with no romantic commitment or ties. Two years after my first husband left, I married the nice, great guy I mentioned earlier: a handsome man with a stable job and very kind. To my chagrin, we married one another on the rebound of failed relationships, which is always a formula for disaster. After two years of trying to “make it work,” I left him. We tried several times to reconcile, but it simply was not right. We did not fit together to make a whole.

In 2000, after seven years of rebelling against God (from the time my first husband left), I found myself on my face before the Almighty begging Him to show me the way to righteousness, purity, and wholeness. Though most of these stories are in my other books, my point here is that I finally submitted totally to God. I vowed that I would never again lay with anyone who was not my husband, or marry again unless and until it was as God-intended. 

The blessings in mine and Michael’s lives are flowing for many reasons. The primary reason is because he and I make one whole person. We were specifically designed one for the other. The first husband was like mixing oil and water, an apparent mismatch. The second was like those two tennis balls; we looked like a good fit but were altogether wrong. The third marriage is a perfect fit. God has blessed and blessed and continuously blesses without end. I had taken a vow of abstinence long before our engagement and marriage. Although he was reluctant, Michael complied.

Just because you are marrying your ordained spouse does not mean that the marriage will automatically override sexual sin committed with that person; sex before marriage will hinder the fullness of the blessings God initially intended. Just because you marry the person that is within the will of God, your poor conduct (fornication or adultery) before the marriage will taint the otherwise holy covenant. We must stay aligned with God before, during, and after marriage. 

Marrying your intended spouse does not give you the right to put the cart before the horse. It is altogether possible to ruin that which God intended to be pure. Our obedience in every aspect is crucial to receive the best that God longs to bestow. It isn’t that Yahweh can’t or won’t work around our sin once we are repentant, but why would anyone shortchange themselves? That would be much like Esau giving up his birthright for a one-time cup of soup!

God, in His infinite wisdom and love, created me for Michael. I thank God that we were finally able to come together as it was designed. If I had known at 15 what I know now, I surely would have waited and prayed according to God’s direction. I would have saved myself, and everyone involved in those first two marriages, a lot of heartache had I been wise as to how God ordains, not just the union of general marriage, but specific marriages. I could never explain my unwavering love for Michael back then, but now I can. 

Please keep in mind that I was a born-again Christian, and he an agnostic when we first met. By man’s standards, that would not be a union “equally yoked,” yet was altogether “of God.” This is why we must tap into Holy Spirit as soon as possible and allow our spirit-man to become awakened to hear Holy Spirit speaking, leading, and guiding. By no means could I have entered covenant with him pre-accepting Christ. However, when we allow God to reveal our mate to us, whether it makes sense to common man or not, we will enable faith, patience, and grace to rule in our hearts. 

This type of waiting takes knowing and trusting the absolutes of God. The more knowledgeable we become, the more consigned to Christ we become, the more faith we place upon Yahweh, the fewer mistakes we will make along the way.

 

How To Get It Right: Being Single, Married, Divorced, and Everything In Between

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How to Get It Right

Chapter 7: What God has Joined Together

“What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate (Mark 10:9, NAS).”

Then Yahweh God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” Out the ground Yahweh God formed every beast…but for Adam there was not found a helper suitable for him. So Yahweh God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place. Yahweh God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. The man said, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out Man.” For this reason, a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh (Genesis 2:18-24).

 

The content of this chapter will overlap chapter six, but I believe it is necessary for us to notice several key things in the above Scriptures as they have everything to do with being equally or unequally yoked.

What God has Joined Together:

First and foremost it reads, “What God has joined together…” If no other Scripture indicates that God does ordain specific marriages, this one does. I have heard many say that the Bible does not clearly indicate that God ordains, creates or chooses a mate one for another. Clearly, if God knows and places the exact number of hairs on our head, surely He would put even more consideration into which person we are to marry whether we choose correctly or not.

Also, I find it intriguing that God states in Genesis chapter two that He took a rib out Adam to put into Eve. Although obviously, she too came from the ground, the difference between her and the other created beings is that she is forever linked physically and spiritually to Adam, Eve’s life mate. God created Adam from the ground without taking anything from another creation, and He could have created Eve without taking anything from Adam, yet He did.

It is my estimation that God did this to emphasize the value and validity of “oneness.” This happened in their situation physically and spiritually. In like manner, this is how we are linked together as one in current day marriages. Physically, we are joined together by having sexual intercourse; spending our lives together eating, drinking, making memories, etc. Spiritually, we are connected through verbal vows made before God and man. Vows are sacred to God as we just discussed; they are meant to be permanent, binding, lasting.

To recap, God says we are never to make a vow haphazardly. Numbers 30:2 reads, “If a man makes a vow to Yahweh, or takes an oath to bind himself with a binding obligation, he shall not violate his word; he shall do according to all that proceeds out his mouth.” Again in Deuteronomy 23:21, we see it written, “When you make a vow to Yahweh your God, you shall not delay to pay it, for it would be sin in you, and Yahweh your God will surely require it of you.”

These are applicable to marriage vows, business vows, flippant sarcastic vows; any and all vows are a serious thing. I am reminded of Jacob and his haphazard vow to Laban in Genesis 31: “Then Jacob replied to Laban, ‘…The one with whom you find your gods shall not live; in the presence of our kinsmen point out what is yours among my belongings and take it for yourself.’ For Jacob did not know that Rachel (his most cherished and beloved wife) had stolen them.” Later we see in Genesis 35, Rachel dies giving birth to Benjamin. The vow he foolishly made in haste had to be honored.

Is Divorce Lawful?

Let’s take look at the following passage in Matthew where the Pharisees came to test Jesus:

Some Pharisees came to Jesus, testing Him and asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason at all?” And He answered and said, ‘Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? “So they are no longer two, but one flesh, what therefore God has joined together, let no man separate. “ They said to Him, “Why then did Moses command to give her a certificate of divorce and send her away?” He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses permitted you to divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been this way. And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.” The disciples said to Him, “If the relationship of the man with his wife is like this, it is better not to marry.” But He said to them, “Not all men can accept this statement, but only those to whom it has been given. For there are eunuchs who were born that way from their mother’s womb; and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men; and there are also eunuchs who made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven. He who is able to accept this, let him accept it (Matthew 19:3-12).”

We must address the line where Jesus said, “Because of your hardness of heart, Moses permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it has not been this way.” It was not that way in the beginning because the initial marriage is that of Adam and Eve – a marriage created by God. It is because our hearts have become hardened toward God, or rather, against the perfect will of God, that disobedience abounds and unholy covenants of marriage abound all the more. Notice that this is where the Lord interjected the concept of being a eunuch.

In reference to marriage, obedience to God would be to pray for the ordained, anointed mate, walk in obedience in every other area while waiting (I.E. no sex before marriage, not dating anyone you desire just because you can, and so on), be patient with God, expectantly believe that God is God and has a better plan for you than whatever you could concoct in your flesh, and above all, seek first His kingdom and His righteousness (Matthew 6) trusting His ways above our own.

Does He or Doesn’t He Choose Our Mates?

I was just reading where a minister posed a question which asked, “There are those who believe that God chooses your mate for you and those who believe that the male is responsible for choosing his mate. Let me hear from you? What do you believe? Give Scripture if possible, please.” Many people weighed in. The majority believed that man chooses his own mate because God gives us free will; that God does not create a mate for people.

I believe 100% given all of the good and bad marriages of the Old Testament all the way to current day, including my own personal knowledge from my life experience, that God does not choose a wife for man, but He does create one just as He did for Adam. It was up to Adam to choose Eve, or not. Isaac, Jacob, Boaz, and others had women created for them and were directed to them supernaturally, but they still had to choose God’s will or their own. These God-ordained unions honored Him when they sought His will through prayer. This is the root purpose of everything God plans – to honor Him. Hosea, the prophet, was instructed specifically who to marry and why.

For those who are set aside as eunuchs by birth, there is no mate for them. For those who chose to be a eunuch or were made so by the hands of men, God already, in advance, before the foundation of the Earth, knew this. I must say that I don’t understand such strong people of God believing in a God who knows all would just say, “Here you go. Here are a bunch of people…pick one that you like” or “ooooppps…I didn’t know you were a eunuch, so I accidentally created a mate for you. I guess the mate is just out luck and on their own!” I ask with sincerity, does that make any sense? Many make themselves eunuchs because their ordained mate married the wrong person leaving them no choice but to be celibate. One wrong marital choice throws God’s perfection way off course.

Every marriage ordained of God written in the Old Testament was preordained. It means that God strategically planned the union with great thought and detail before the foundation of the Earth. That is why the marriages were successful even though the people themselves were flawed. We do have the God-given right to choose anyone we want just as we all have the right to choose Jesus or not. That’s part of free will. Just because someone doesn’t choose Jesus, does that mean there is another way to God the Father? No. It is radically and painfully obvious to all that mankind has, generally speaking, chosen poorly in all areas of decision making, including choosing marital mates.

For those who purpose to completely seek the face of God, hear His heart for their purpose, listen to His bidding, choose patience in all matters, and trust His perfect timing, are brought together with the mate God created just for them. We see so much divorce and tragic marriages within the body of Christ, including within the leadership, because we pick according to our standard, wants, likes and dislikes and choose not to wait upon Yeshua.

Marriage on Earth is to be a reflection of our spiritual marriage to God – unfortunately, they are a disgraceful display at best. We make such poor choices because we say with our lips, “I love God” yet we don’t trust Him enough to wait for Him to bring forth into our lives that which He orchestrated.

We don’t generally have enough faith to believe that God is big enough or thoughtful enough to create someone for us or us for someone. Rather, we do our own thing because it may have the appearance of holiness, yet is altogether unholy. Worse yet, not only are our choices in a spouse not for us, but they are against us and then we want God to come and fix our unholy covenant that He never purposed from the start.

God is so intricate in His planning and timing that He creates a mate for those who are to marry. That is why the Word reads, “What God has brought together.” Old Testament to current day, unholy covenants have taken place at the hand of our foolish choices and will proceed well into the future. We are led by emotions, hormones, loneliness, even (and especially) within the body of Christ, therefore, Holy Spirit had no say in the matter. Now having new knowledge of our own personal missteps, dare we have the audacity to question God as to why our marriage is so horrific?

We all know and can quote, “‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares Yahweh, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11, NAS).’” I do wonder if we recognize and readily accept that there is a plan for every minute area of the life of every person. God is an orderly God who knows the plans He has for us. If we don’t seek His face, we miss it and make up our own plan as we go along; we usher our own demise, no fault of God. Few wait upon the Lord due to foolish fleshly desires not reigned into obedience to Christ.

Since two become one, would God so sloppily not create two specific people for one another? We conduct ourselves as if God is saying, “Yes, two become one, which is a deeply serious thing, but that isn’t my problem. I have left you abandoned and without direction. Do whatever you want, however you desire, and don’t even suggest that I (God) have time to bother with such things. Figure it out.”

In closing, remember that in our marriage to Christ, we become one entity – completely losing ourselves in Him. In human marriage, two become one – both are to lose themselves in the other creating one new entity. Is that not serious enough an issue for God to plan ahead? He ordains, but we choose.

But I want you to be free from concern. One who is unmarried is concerned about the things of Yahweh, how he may please Yahweh; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how he may please his wife, and his interests are divided. The woman who is unmarried, and the virgin, is concerned about the things of Yahweh, that she may be holy both in body and spirit; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how she may please her husband (I Corinthians 7:32-34).

How to Get It Right: Being Single, Married, Divorced, and Everything in Between

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How to Get It Right

Chapter 6: Covenant Vows

What Man Brought Together:

“What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate (Mark 10:9).”

The above text is far too often misquoted when trying to save marriages, therefore it is grossly misused. But, I implore us all to look at the wording: what God has brought together. In all my counseling those considering marriage or divorce, my first question is: Did God ordain (bring together) this union, or is it a manifestation of what man brought together?

Unfortunately for everyone involved, the vast majority are brought together by man, not God. Even when two people are Christ-followers, it doesn’t mean that God was anywhere in the vicinity of their decision to marry. Too often we think, “I should marry him or her because he or she is such a good Christian and so am I.” Again, it sounds good in theory, but in reality, God is nowhere in their radar.

Magnitude of Vows:

“When you make a vow to God, do not be late in paying it; for He takes no delight in fools. Pay what you vow (Ecclesiastes 5:4)!”

“Again, you have heard that the ancients were told, ‘You shall not make false vows, but shall fulfill your vows to Yahweh.’ But I say to you, make no oath at all, either by Heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the Earth, for it is the footstool of His feet, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. Nor shall you make an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no’; anything beyond these is of evil (Matthew 5:33-37).”

All of that being said and understanding that there are occasions where divorce is inevitable, we need to discuss the ramifications of divorce. When you marry before God and man, you are indeed making very serious vows that are not to be taken lightly. They are not so easily broken merely with a decree of divorce. Let’s look at the next passages concerning God’s take on vows and how they affect us eternally.

God says we are to never enter vows lightly. Remember in Joshua chapter 9 where the Gibeonites, knowing that God had given their land over to His people, were so afraid of being killed by Joshua that they pretended to be from a far away land so as to make covenant with Joshua? Their actions were deceptive. In haste, Joshua made unholy covenant with a people that God had instructed him to wipe away. Because he did not seek the Lord before entering into a treaty, the repercussions lasted throughout the generations. This is what we do when we marry someone and enter unholy covenant not constructed by God.

Note what Joshua actually did at the core. God had moved mightily through this man, a man who loved Yahweh with all of his heart. He obeyed God’s commands. However, we all are flawed and are all subject to momentary lapses of sanity. Joshua had allowed pride to take root. God had been so faithful to allow him and his men to overpower every enemy that eventually he seemed to think that the power was his own. Because of this erroneous thinking, he got himself and his people into a mess.

So the men of Israel took some of their provisions, and did not ask for the counsel of Yahweh. Joshua made peace with them and made a covenant with them, to let them live; and the leaders of the congregation swore an oath to them. It came about at the end of three days after they had made a covenant with them, that they heard that they were neighbors and that they were living within their land…but all the leaders said to the whole congregation, “We have sworn to them by Yahweh, the God of Israel, and now we cannot touch them. This we will do to them, even let them live, so that wrath will not be upon us for the oath which we swore to them.”…then Joshua called for them and spoke to them, saying, “Why have you deceived us, saying, ‘We are very far from you,’ when you are living within our land? Now therefore, you are cursed, and you shall never cease being slaves, both hewers of wood and drawers of water for the house of my God (Joshua 9:14-16, 19-20, 22-23).”

It’s amazing how quickly Joshua laid blame on them as though he did nothing wrong. If he had only sought Yahweh as he had done every other time, he would have known supernaturally that the people were acting deceptively. It’s a common practice of the nature of the flesh that, no matter how much we love God, we place blame on others for our suffering and shame. The flesh never wants to be accountable for its own error. It is easier to point out and blame the wrongdoing of another. This is what transpires when marriages go awry; we blame God and our spouse never considering our own culpability in the matter.

Even though the punishment for the Gibeonites was to become slaves to the Israelites, the Israelites forever had to protect them because of the covenant that they entered. In chapter ten, the Gibeonites cried out to Joshua to come from Gilgal to protect them from the Amorites and Joshua was obligated to go. God did, of course, take what Satan meant for evil and turned it for good (Romans 8:28).

Joshua understood the impact of a vow no matter how much he wanted to break it. Had he broken the vow, his victory at Gibeon would not have been what it came to be. Broken vows are a very serious matter. God can turn it for good in the long run, but I implore us all to make right decisions before entering any vow. Let’s look further at Jephthah and the ramifications of his hasty vow.

Then the Spirit of Yahweh came on Jephthah. He crossed Gilead and Manasseh, passed through Mizpah of Gilead, and from there he advanced against the Ammonites. And Jephthah made a vow to Yahweh: “If you give the Ammonites into my hands, whatever comes out the door of my house to meet me when I return in triumph from the Ammonites will be Yahweh’s, and I will sacrifice it as a burnt offering.” Then Jephthah went over to fight the Ammonites, and Yahweh gave them into his hands…when Jephthah returned to his home in Mizpah, who should come out to meet him but his daughter…she was an only child. Except for her he had neither son nor daughter. When he saw her, he tore his clothes and cried, “Oh no, my daughter! You have brought me down and I am devastated. I have made a vow to Yahweh that I cannot break.”  “My father,” she replied, “you have given your word to Yahweh. Do to me just as you promised, now that Yahweh has avenged you of your enemies, the Ammonites. But grant me this one request,” she said. “Give me two months to roam the hills and weep with my friends, because I will never marry.” “You may go,” he said. And he let her go for two months. She and her friends went into the hills and wept because she would never marry. After the two months, she returned to her father, and he did to her as he had vowed. And she was a virgin. From this comes the Israelite tradition that each year the young women of Israel go out for four days to commemorate the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite (Judges 11:29-40).

All I can say to this is situation is, “WOW!” It’s interesting to me that Jephthah’s response when he saw her was, “You have brought me down…” as if somehow his foolish vow was his daughter’s fault; he did much like Joshua. In this case, the daughter was innocent in the matter, unlike the Gibeonites.

I must point out something often overlooked. The daughter must have been very close to God given her response to her imminent death. She did not go into a panic, nor did she come against her father, or his foolish vow. What she did do was show respect to her father and to God; her concern was Yahweh and the vow made to Him.

Furthermore, look at her odd request. She did not want to go for two months with her friends to “party” nor did she want to go to grieve her upcoming death by fire. She simply wanted to spend two months with her friends to mourn never having the opportunity to marry. This is odd to me.     Because we know she must have understood God and the intense value God puts on a vow, she equally understood the beauty and value of marriage – holy matrimony.

“Again, you have heard that the ancients were told, ‘You shall not make false vows, but shall fulfill your vows to Yahweh.’ But I say to you, make no oath at all, either by Heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the Earth, for it is the footstool of His feet, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. Nor shall you make an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no’; anything beyond these is of evil (Matthew 5:33-37).

Prayer: Father, I come before You in the name of Your holy Son, Jesus. Father, teach me Your ways, O Lord, that I will be slow to speak and quick to listen. Place a watch over my mouth that I may not sin against You. Stir discernment within me that I hear Your direction prior to making a wrong vow internally or externally. I bless You, O Lord, that You make every curse in my life a blessing through my love for You. I trust that eventually all things work for good for those who love You. I vow my love for You so that I will walk a life of blessings in the Kingdom of God instead of curses set against the Kingdom of God. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in Your sight. Amen.