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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 5: Common Law “Marriage” part II

Happiness or Holiness:

 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints; and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience (Ephesians 5:1-6).

 For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God (I Thessalonians 4:3-5).

 “Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires (Galatians 5:24, NAS).”

***

 Neither immorality nor impurity should be named among God’s people. These texts are life-altering. Far too many people are concerned more with their personal happiness than holiness before God and it should not be. When seeking happiness, there’s guilt involved feeling like they’re being selfish seeking such happiness. In this state of guilt, the concept of holiness gets swept under the rug.

 Imagine if you will a person completely surrendered to God. This particular person will no longer seek happiness nor will they be led by emotions of guilt, shame, fear, or anything else. They will be, on the other hand, focused solely on pleasing the Savior. In this condition, there is no room for anything other than holiness; they’ll do whatever it takes to be in direct obedience to the One who can resolve any matter. A person, such as the two men mentioned above, would be able to make clear, concise decisions concerning their own personal life. They would be able with ease to tell their girlfriends that, since they’re seeking the face and holiness of Christ, they must of necessity break union, or at the very least, stop living in sin. Their desire for holiness would cause them to surrender completely to Christ and, in so doing, do whatever necessary to follow Christ.

 One must understand that commitment and surrender are vastly different things. Commitment in or to anything means that you are the one in control; you can quit whenever you want. Surrender, adversely, denotes one not in control, you can’t quit as you no longer have a say or vote in the matter; you have consigned your vote, say, and will. Countless people are “committed” to their girlfriend or boyfriend and suggest that, because of their commitment, they don’t need to marry. However, God doesn’t call people in relationship with Himself to commit, but to surrender.

 Since human marriages are a reflection of our relationship with Christ, we too are to surrender ourselves to our spouse. This way, there’s no out because you aren’t controlling the relationship, God is and/or your spouse. Commitments are broken at will every day because the one committed controls how long they stay. When both the husband and wife surrender to each other, there is an unbreakable force; yet in today’s marriages, both want to do nothing more than commit so that, if they eventually want out, they can leave.

When we say marital vows, most miss the fact that this is supposed to be a form of surrender, a giving yourself to the other; two becoming one (both are surrendered into one new creation). Because people miss this, too many are committed for a season but, eventually, they check out be it with literal divorce or emotionally though remaining legally married. In living together unmarried, one inadvertently surrenders themselves to a person without covenant and that can only lead to a disaster. This is why people who are living together having taken on each other’s bills, kids, property, etc. feel trapped though they’re actually free to leave. Surrender means crucifying self; it means to lay down your life for another. We all need to stop surrendering ourselves to one without covenant because, without covenant, there is no protection and all the lines of what is right and wrong are blurred leaving everyone confused and imprisoned.

 To reiterate, God doesn’t call anyone to happiness, but holiness just as He doesn’t call us to commit, but to surrender. Surrender causes us to become lost in Christ. Surrender causes us to become lost in our spouse. Surrender takes your focus off personal happiness (selfishness) and diverts it toward holiness (selflessness). Keeping this in mind, it will assist you in the quest for the correct union of marriage preordained by God. Instead of asking, “Will this make me happy?” always ask yourself, “Can I surrender to him or her? Should I surrender to him or her? Can I utterly subject myself to him or her and be in right standing with God?” These questions can literally save you from entering an unholy relationship of fornication, adultery or unholy marriage and even save you from exiting a correct marriage gone sour through divorce.

 

Commitment and happiness = self-focus and personal control

Surrender and holiness = God-focus and control abandonment

 

Prayer of Purity: Father, may I be self-controlled as Jesus was when He walked in human flesh. As I seek purity, reveal to me the weaknesses of my flesh that I will flee evil instead of deceiving myself into thinking that I have strength I do not possess. Lead me into the path of righteousness that I will not cast my foot upon a stone and stumble and fall. I choose today to crucify my fleshly man and receive Holy Spirit to take His rightful position as the ruler of my heart. I repent of all impure activity in my past and receive your forgiveness. I choose to abstain from all sexual impurity. Thank You, Jesus, for paving the way of holiness. Amen.

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

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How to Get It Right

Chapter 4: The Covenant of Intercourse, part I

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals…food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food—and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for Yahweh, and Yahweh for the body…Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take away the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? May it never be! 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.” But the one who joins himself to Yahweh is one spirit with Him. Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body (1 Corinthians 6:9, 13, 15-20)

“Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge (Hebrews 13:4, NAS).”

We Make Our Messes

When God’s people choose to sexually give themselves over to another outside the marriage covenant, in essence, they are setting their body above God making it and its desires an idol above God. Sex outside of marriage is a serious matter that has been diminished into something seemingly harmless, sinless.

God has given us direction and informs us as to the consequences of our actions. When we sin against God, especially in this arena, first we revel in it; then, when the bad seed turns into a harvest, we wonder why God has forsaken us because it’s too heavy to bear. We reason, “I am a good person. Why did God let this happen?” We must stop worshiping man (self or others) and placing self above Yahweh. Idolatry will always lead to a shattered life.

 Understanding Intercourse

Marriage is intimacy. Intimacy is communion; drawing as near to someone as possible, otherwise known as intercourse. Because this word, intercourse, is grossly underestimated, I have listed the definitions:

Merriam-Webster Dictionary:

  1. connection or dealings between persons or groups
  2. 2. exchange especially of thoughts or feelings: communion
  3. 3. sexual intercourse

Lexic.us:

  1. Communication between individuals; a commingling (to blend thoroughly into a harmonious whole); intimate connection or dealings between persons or nations, as in common affairs and civilities, in correspondence or trade; communication; commerce; especially, interchange of thought and feeling; association; communion.
  2. The act of sexual procreation between a man and a woman

Sex is merely one form of the expression of intercourse; it is not intercourse itself. Sex was created by God to be a beautiful expression of covenant commitment which changed lives for the better. It is one form of expression of life-changing covenant. Hence, sexual activity outside of marital covenant falls flat and leaves one empty and frustrated. There is a greater void to someone before they engaged in sex because there is no unity through covenant. The people are left having become “one body,” yet devoid of covenant.

As it is now, sex is destroying lives because it has not been kept sacred. The world is now flooded with fatherless children, motherless children, and childless parents (through abortion). There are teens who are parents. There are adult men and women murdering their unborn and born children because they were conceived from fornication or adultery. Sexually transmitted diseases are running rampant because society has made sexual intercourse something for everyone and anyone. God did not create sex for this purpose and we are all suffering at the hand of our own selfish indulgence, negligence, lack of self-control and abuse. God is not the problem – we are.

Marriage Covenant Requires Death

As a recap from chapter two, “For where a covenant is, there must of necessity be the death of the one who made it. For a covenant is valid only when men are dead, for it is never in force while the one who made it lives (Hebrews 9:16-17).” Entering into marriage brings death to both people as individuals and recreates them anew as one being. This is a requirement for true success, both in our spiritual marriage to God and physical marriage to people; yet it rarely happens due to our gross lack of understanding of covenant. The refusal to die to self in order to activate covenant results is disastrous for all involved! If dying to self seems extreme, understand that we don’t fully enter into the covenant of marriage until we do. In fact, when two people refuse to become selfless, their marriage covenant hasn’t truly been activated.

Take a close look at the opening Scripture of this chapter. The act of sex makes two become one. To restate, sexual activity was created as a bonding tool exclusively for marriage. It is one way (but not exclusively) for people to express unity, oneness – intercourse. It is designed to be a physical depiction of what happens spiritually with God. When we give ourselves over to another human being in this capacity, we are uniting with them, be they our created mate, or a random person we’ll never see again. This is a serious act that, especially this day and age, most people take lightly, including many within the body of Christ.

Look at what happens when we have sexual intercourse outside of the bonds of holy matrimony. People become erratic, possessive, ashamed, needy, condemned, and they feel entitled to liberties with the other person even if they barely know one another. There is a “clinginess” that takes effect, especially for the woman. This is because she and he became “one flesh” whether they understand it or not, like it or not. Sex is a spiritual form of super glue, if you will.

For the man, generally speaking, he becomes closed off and runs the other way. If there was a friendship, it flies out the window. Everything becomes awkward and uncomfortable. This is because they both gave and took what wasn’t theirs to offer or receive. This is God’s law in motion; the law of “two become one flesh.” It’s like the law of sowing and reaping; reaping a bad harvest as a result of sin is not punishment but rather law in motion. So it is with sex outside of marriage.

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

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How to Get It Right

Chapter 3: Understanding Covenant, part II

 

Understanding We’ve Already Died:

Judgment was the result of the sin of one man (Romans 5:15-19). This judgment came to all men. Judgment is upon all flesh whether you are “good people” or bad in the eyes of the world or self. It took only one sin to defile all. But, praise God, since it only took one man to bring condemnation, it took only one act of righteousness through One Man for all to be justified! One act of disobedience equals condemnation for all. One act of pure obedience equals justification to all who receive.

Although we have no choice in being born into condemnation, we must choose to receive justification. In other words, your biological mother could not choose for you at natural birth to be born into righteousness. It is a conscious act that has to come from the individual. You must seek it. It is always available, but still you must accept and receive it of our own free will. Since you were naturally born into condemnation, you now must be born (a separate birth) into supernatural justification and sanctification.

Jesus Christ, through His death and resurrection, brought into the earthly realm the Blood Covenant; it is a better covenant than the covenant made to Abraham. The awesome thing is that you get the better covenant plus all the promises given to Abraham and his descendants. God has provided more than you can ever think or imagine. You must seek death in order for His promises to be revealed and to be accessible.

“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh (Romans 8:2-3, NAS).”

As an aside, I love what this Scripture reads: “God did.” What the Law could not accomplish, what man could not accomplish, God did! He did not leave you without hope in your condemned state. He fulfilled willingly what could not be fulfilled through ordinary man.

The Blessed Covenant:

“‘This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws upon their heart, and on their mind I will write them,’ He then says, ‘And their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.’ Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin (Hebrews 10:16-18, NAS).”

“For this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that, since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance (Hebrews 9:15, NAS).”

***

“Since a death has taken place,” stated in Hebrews 9, you are to take up the cross (death) with Christ; the One who made the covenant already gave His life. If you are a member of the Body of Christ and do not die to the flesh regularly, know that you are just running around aimlessly quoting Scripture to no avail. You are going through motions that are meaningless to God because they are of the flesh. Anything you do that is not Holy Spirit instructed is as wood, hay and stubble to God – worthless from and eternal Kingdom, standard.

You must care for your physical body because it is the temple of the Living God. However, you must be emptied of the sinful nature so that Holy Spirit may freely move through you and also that you may be free, with Him and in Him. It is for your benefit as well as the Kingdom of God.

“It is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise who are regarded as descendants,” reads Romans 9:8. The Scribes and Pharisees claimed to be “descendants” because they were in the physical bloodline of Abraham. This Scripture (and those along with it) states that the covenant of the Son comes through faith in Christ. The flesh has no covenant with God. It is our spirit that receives Christ through faith. All who enter into covenant with the Father are true descendants of Abraham and have access to all the promises given to him and through him.

The Seal of Promise:

“In  Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise (Ephesians 1:13, NAS).”

“Remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world (Ephesians 2:12, NAS).”

“To be specific, that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel (Ephesians 3:6, (NAS).”

***

Holy Spirit is the Seal of Promise. He is the mark of God. Without Holy Spirit brought to life by the flesh having been put to death, how will God know you? How will the demons know you? How will man know you? Two lives cannot reside in one body. The flesh of man is perpetually at war with the Spirit of God. Death to the worldly way of thinking and doing, the lusts of the flesh, brings us into covenant relationship with the Father, your Husband. It brings you into access to all of the blessings of the covenant but disobedience breaks covenant protection. This is why He calls you to die daily; He wants you to inherit all that is His and He has given instruction how to attain it. He withholds nothing from us; it is we who withhold His hand.

Prayer:  Father, I release myself to You totally and completely without reservation. Show me how to die daily to the fleshly nature in which I was originally born and how to allow Your Holy Spirit full access to all of me. Make me mindful that I am an heir to the Promise through Your Spirit and not through external actions of my flesh. I thank You, Jesus, that by Your stripes, I am healed and by Your wounds, I have been transferred from death unto light. I bless You, Almighty, that You did not leave me abandoned, but adopted me as a rightful heir to the Kingdom of God. Amen.

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

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How to Get It Right

Chapter 3: Understanding Covenant, part I

“That they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me (John 17:21, NAS).”

 If God’s holy people do not understand the covenant that we have in the spirit realm between God and His people, we don’t stand a chance of understanding the covenant between a man and a woman in marriage. This chapter is taken from my first book, What Was God Thinking? Why Adam Had To Die, chapter 7, “Enter the Blood Covenant.” 

I believe it to be of the utmost importance to help us understand what God has done for mankind. Once we obtain a reasonable concept of spiritual marital covenant, we will better grasp physical marital covenant. Christ calls us to “die daily” spiritually so that our flesh does not impede our relationship with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit – The Groom. In like fashion, we must “die daily” to our selfish nature to become “one” with our spouse so as not to hinder our relationship with our spouse – our physical bride/groom.  If you’ve already read What was God Thinking? this chapter will simply be a refresher course.

Covenant Protection:

As I’ve already mentioned, I had consigned myself back to Christ in February of 2000, after seven years of angry rebellion. However, too quickly I found myself right back in my fleshly ways resembling that of my rebellion. The result was becoming pregnant by a man that was not my husband. Our relationship was brief because I was quickly convicted (not quickly enough) of my sinful conduct. However, my covenant covering (Holy Spirit) was removed by my own actions of broken covenant.

Although God’s love for me never moved, as a result of my blatant disobedience, His covenant protection was. I was no longer living according to the Spirit but dead flesh. My soul was reactivated in an instant through lustful thinking allowing it to override the voice of Holy Spirit speaking into my spirit. I liken the flesh of mankind as unto a zombie we see in sci-fi movies. Though the person they once were is dead, as a zombie, the body moves at will all the while destroying everything in its wake.

It is of the utmost urgency to know, accept, and understand that one cannot enter into the blood covenant that Christ has freely offered until we choose death to the fleshly nature. Death activates God’s covenant. Disobedience, an act of the flesh, nullifies it.

“For where a covenant is, there must of necessity be the death of the one who made it. For a covenant is valid only when men are dead, for it is never in force while the one who made it lives (Hebrews 9:16-17, NAS).”

Man’s flesh cannot enter into a covenant because of its cursed condition. Nothing cursed can come into covenant with the pure and holy God. This is why Christ took the flesh of all mankind into the grave with Him –He crucified mankind – so as to allow us free access to the Kingdom of God. As we take up our own cross, we accept death as the only source of entrance into holy covenant. Although we’re technically already dead, it requires our acknowledgment. Because Jesus is the last sacrifice and He shed His own blood, we cannot receive the new blood of Christ until we are purged of the old blood of Adam.

We must, spiritually speaking, give up our old condemned blood (Adam’s) in order to receive the new pure blood (Christ’s). His blood was shed for us so that we may receive it. We are not obligated and we all have the right to keep our own. But, in doing so, we keep death eternal. God says in Deuteronomy that we “choose” life or death, blessing or curse. If we choose to keep our own blood, we choose a curse. We choose life only when we choose His life-giving blood, His covenant of blessing.

It is of the utmost importance to understand “dying to the flesh” so to validate and activate covenant with God. Merely saying the “sinner’s prayer” may grant access to Heaven upon death of the physical body, but if the individual does not accept that he or she must die to his or her natural man and the desires thereof while here on Earth, that person will never truly enter into covenant with Yahweh as intended. To reiterate, Christ crucified the flesh of all of mankind at His death, therefore it is dead. When we live according to the flesh (death), we give false-life to a dead thing causing much destruction.

Forfeiture of Covenant Protection:

When Christ followers walk according to their old fleshly man, they forfeit their covenant protection. Until you realize that you must die to daily rendering the flesh in which you dwell as inactive, covenant promises and protection will elude you while residing on Earth. When a person of Christ sins, they reason “God will forgive me.” Truth be told, that person is already forgiven. Forgiveness was sealed for you and I at the cross therefore it is a non-issue. Breaking covenant with God, however, is the issue.

If you’re wondering what’s going wrong in your life in Christ with all your religious conduct and good deeds, maybe “life” isn’t your problem, but death is. Possibly you haven’t died to self and, more than likely, you didn’t realize that was a requirement for covenant activation. I didn’t know this for way too long.

Are we to continue sin so that grace may increase…How shall we who died to sin still live in it? Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life… knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin. Now if we have died with Christ…death no longer is master over Him…consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus (Romans 6:1-11 (NAS).

We are called to die with Him in His death. The “newness of life” comes only after we crucify our flesh. It occurs to me through the reading of these Scriptures that when someone accepts Christ as Savior through His blood by repenting of the sin nature, they automatically enter into covenant with Yahweh. Unfortunately, many are saved for a long time before they understand that the covenant has not been activated because they have not died to self or even understand how or that they need to. Some never understand. They continue to have all of the same problems and issues they had before salvation because they have no idea who they are in Christ. It is like having a vault full of billions of dollars, yet it is untapped because they do not know it exists or don’t know they have the key in their grasp. So it is with the average believer; they forfeit for lack of knowledge, therefore perish.

Most people never know their covenant promises. Most have zero understanding of how to tap into the limitlessness of God’s power and authority to overcome all obstacles. They never receive revelation or understanding about how to die with Him, therefore operating within the covenant always eludes them. I was this way until death of the flesh was revealed to me. I say again that there is no covenant activation without death of the flesh. It is the death for which He calls us that ushers freedom from sin.

 

 

 

 

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

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How to Get It Right

Chapter 2: Questions and Answers

Coming Unglued:

Many years ago, I heard it said that when you glue two pieces of wood together with permanent glue, even if you pry them apart with force, there are remaining fragments of each piece of wood permanently attached to the other. So it is with divorce. One is never completely free from the other because there are fragments of memories that will forever remain.

I am twice divorced; once from an abusive, vile, adulterous husband, and once from a great guy. In my second marriage (the nice one), I was in my own turmoil given the abuse of the first marriage. I am now married to the man for whom God created me before the foundation of the Earth. Even after forgiveness (of self and the ex-spouses) and repentance of my own wrong along the way, there are fragments that will forever remain. This is not God’s punishment, but rather God’s Law in effect. It’s simply the result of having been glued together with someone with permanent glue (covenant vows) and ripping yourselves apart (broken covenant).

Some divorces must happen. Without getting into a debate, this is about the pain of a fallen world and bad choices. In the grand scheme of things, its obvious that few marriages are actually God ordained. Regardless of one’s personal take on this subject, divorce happens. Even when I counsel people and I happen to agree that divorce is necessary, I caution them that divorce is never an easy out. Divorce is never easy. It is both frightening and emotionally draining. The individuals must determine between themselves and God which route will usher true healing. Sometimes it’s working it out through great sacrifice, dedication and seeking the face of God, but unfortunately, other times it is divorce for the sake of being able to truly come back to a place of sanity, safety, and healing, aka peace.

If people who are single (divorced or never married) would grasp the magnitude of the marriage covenant, they would not so readily jump in. Married people, likewise, would not so readily jump out. Even after the pain of wounds has healed, the scars are permanent no matter how far you move away from time and space. No one can dictate who someone should or shouldn’t marry, or who should or should not divorce. That is between the individuals and God.

We must, however, caution all who come for counsel as to the ramifications of both. Every situation is different. There are Scriptures we could all debate and toss around, but it still comes back to the individual and their walk with God. Let us not forget that we all desperately need the free gift of both grace (that which we do not deserve) and mercy (not getting deserved punishment).

Q and A:

I have a dear friend and brother in Christ who posed some very good thoughts and questions. They are as follows:

  1. I have questions about your belief that there’s but one God-ordained person that He wants each of us to find and marry. Rather than that being a comforting thought (that God created someone just for me), in the emotional cauldron of dating/courtship, I’d be terrified of picking the wrong person, knowing that getting it wrong would doom me to a life of marital misery.

Of course we should want God’s perfect will for our lives and need to pray for direction in this most important of decisions. Christians are under orders to marry only other believers; that much we know. And I remember the admonition of my youth leader when I was a teenager: “Don’t date someone you already know you couldn’t marry.” Adhering to that would preclude a lot of needless risk. And I hear what you’re saying about people marrying somebody they’re currently having an affair/living with. What have they gained once they tie the knot? A spouse they already know is more than willing to have sex outside of marriage! What a catch!

  1. But why would God tell Christians to marry only believers, if the choice was not ours to make? Wouldn’t it be more consistent if the Bible said, “Determine who it is that God has created for you, then marry them.” There are so many other issues we consider in choosing a life-partner, variables such as compatibility (what we think is important, what we have in common) and practicality (kids, money, health, etc.). Still, a Christian hoping to marry may find themselves with more than one suitable choice. Could it be that God would bless a marriage to any one of them, as long as we don’t knowingly disobey Him? Can we assume that all marriages that do break up failed because it wasn’t a union with that one, God-ordained person? Or that happy, successful, God-honoring marriages are impossible if we mistakenly choose the one who was not God’s top choice for us?

My response to “fear of messing it up” is this – we must understand that when we draw so near unto the face and heart of God, mess-ups are fewer and farther between. This knowledge should usher peace, not anxiety. Fear comes from punishment, but perfect love casts out fear (I John 4:18). The more in love with Yahweh we grow, the less room fear will have a place to live and mutate into a state of a spiritual paraplegic.

More often than not, we are looking for a mate rather than looking for the perfect will of God to manifest through our lives. With that frame of mind, we’re already off course. When we do find someone we desire to marry, we generally don’t seek God to answer our question of “Are they right or wrong?” We only ask God to bless the union, regardless of His will. If we spend our time focused on the perfect will of God instead of “Who can I marry,” everything will change. Instead of seeking a mate we should be seeking the Kingdom of God and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33).

Simply stated, when God’s people seek Him first and His mission He has set before us, we’ll stop focusing on, “What if I mess up? What if I do the wrong thing or want to marry the wrong person,” and begin focusing on the Kingdom, supernaturally-naturally, our ordained mate will be presented and, through Holy Spirit already in full force, in time we will know the difference. Satan will send decoys along the route to throw us off the spiritual scent, but keen discernment from Holy Spirit actively moving within us will allow discernment to kick in and overpower emotions and lusts of the fleshly man. It’s as simple as that. The biggest problem with God’s people is that we have grown as impatient as the world in need of Christ. Whether we want to acknowledge it or not, the fact remains.

With the question of, “Could it be that God would bless a marriage to any one of them, as long as we don’t knowingly disobey Him? Can we assume that all marriages that do break up failed because it wasn’t a union with that one God-ordained person? Or that happy successful God-honoring marriages are impossible if we mistakenly choose the one who was not God’s top choice for us?”

I personally do not believe that just because a marriage breaks that it was not of God. We have the innate ability to ruin the best of things, marriages included. Also, I don’t believe that God can never bless a union that was not His perfect will. That would imply that something is impossible for God. Everything God has done on the behalf of mankind has been worked around our foolish mistakes. If the two people earnestly desire to be pleasing in His sight, God can work any number of miracles.

Also, I would like to add that there are certain people for certain seasons whether it pertains to marriage or any variety of relationships. A person may very well have two ordained mates, but obviously separately in different seasons. Say someone marries a person that is ordained for them and then they die prematurely. That does not mean that since he or she was their created mate that there won’t be another season (after healing) for their second ordained mate to come along. However, there is also the possibility that there was only one and the rest of their life is to be spent in celibacy as a eunuch. These are very intimate issues that need to be resolved between the individual and God. Again, when the focus remains on the Kingdom of Heaven in every season, there won’t be much room for error.

  1. His next question was: “What are the acceptable reasons for getting married? How does your ‘one ordained mate’ theory square with Paul’s admonition that those who ‘burn with passion’ (to Christ-followers) should go on and get married (1 Corinthians 7:9)?” In vv. 26-28, Paul says that, when it comes to marrying or staying single, we’re to count the cost, choose wisely, honor whatever commitments we’ve already made, then go ahead and decide based on those considerations. He doesn’t seem to have a one-reason, one-person view. If so, wouldn’t it be more logical to say: ‘Pray for God to show you if He wants you to marry. If the answer is yes, ask Him to point out the one’?”

Good question, indeed, and not without an answer. I respond by skipping to vv. 32-35, which read, “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. This I say for your own benefit; not to put a restraint upon you, but to promote what is appropriate and to secure undistracted devotion to Yahweh.”

With this in mind, for me, it only solidifies the relevance of God-ordained spouses. Paul speaks candidly that if you cannot control yourself in your “burning,” marry, but with the marriage your interests will be divided between Yahweh and your spouse. However (this is a large however), if we conduct ourselves in self-discipline (as we are repeatedly instructed, I Corinthians 9:27) and wait upon the perfect will of Yahweh for our mate, how beautiful a union! In this, both the husband and the wife are focused on God together; hence, no division will occur. Both will be so Kingdom-focused, Kingdom-minded and Kingdom-driven that everything else will fall into its proper place. In this, they have secured undistracted devotion to the Lord while married.

Sadly, as it stands today, we burn, therefore, in the effort to not commit fornication (wrong motive for marriage), we enter a covenant not ordained by God; He merely allows it. Let’s face facts, we live in a world where followers of Christ and non-followers conduct themselves in the same manner leaving us all bewildered and hazy on the will of God. People in and out of the body of Christ are committing adultery and fornication as though it is absolutely acceptable.

Many reason within themselves, “God will forgive me.” But, as I’ve stated in previous books, forgiveness is not the issue at hand. Forgiveness was given at the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. Blessings of God, on the other hand, are the issue. When we do whatever we want and then just expect God to bless any ol’ marriage based on the above words of Apostle Paul, we limit His hand of blessings. We forge a mess without even realizing what we’ve done until the mess has fully metastasized in our lives.

Once we finally get on board with God’s perfect will (obedience) verses His permissive will (disobedience), we are left in a bit of a quandary, the preverbal pickle, wondering why God has forsaken us. It does not have to be this way. Granted, God can absolutely bless wrong marriages if both the husband and wife choose submission both to God and one another, but it must be a joint, unified decision which happens next to never. Most just continue to co-exist until death and call it a successful marriage all the while condemning those who “didn’t go the distance.”

“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28, NAS).”

“God loves the individuals who make up the marriage more than He loves the marriage institution!” Stephen Gola, author of Divorce: God’s Will?

Prayer: Father, as I read this book, I pray to understand what You want me to personally apply to my life. I desire to know what You know and understand what You understand. I thank You for helping me move out of the normal thinking of the traditions of man and step into a new dimension of revelation that I may walk in freedom and holiness as You have designed for Your people. Amen.

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

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How to Get It Right

Chapter 1: God’s Perspective

“When you brought in foreigners, uncircumcised in heart and uncircumcised in flesh, to be in My sanctuary to profane it, even My house, when you offered My food, the fat and the blood; for they made My covenant void – this in addition to all your abominations (Ezekiel 44:7).”     

Understanding God’s View:

God hates divorce; however, we need to clarify what type of divorce is hated. God understands divorce, for God has been divorced as noted in Ezekiel 44:7. To “make My covenant void” is to divorce. He divorced His holy Bride in times past due to her harlotry and deep-seeded wickedness. God wants His people to view both marriage and divorce, not from the perspective of Law, but from His heart. He is Law, but He sent His Son to fulfill the Law that mankind was incapable to fulfilling; therefore, we must look at things as a whole instead of in fragments.

Eunuch for the Kingdom of God:

Marriage is a physical depiction of our spiritual union (marriage) with God. In Matthew 19:11-12, Jesus says, “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.”

A eunuch, by man’s definition, is a “castrated human male.” However, spiritually speaking, since the Spirit is neither male nor female, either gender can be a eunuch in so much as they choose to abstain from sex for the greater good of God’s Kingdom. It could be one who has homosexual tendencies but, for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven, he or she vows to God to abstain. It could be a sex addict who, for the sake of the Kingdom of God, abstains altogether and so on.

We should be so in love with God that obedience is our desire, not our burden. This comes from trust in who He is, therefore we want to submit because His ways are best. Unfortunately, even when we possess the earnest desire for obedience, we rarely know what true obedience is. We must all keep in mind that not all people are meant to marry, but whether we are or whether we are not, there is always a plan. If the one who is called to be a eunuch can accept it, they should seek Yahweh to give them peace, joy, and understanding of their God-ordained purpose.

 

Divorce Hope:

If on the other hand one is to marry, God specifically creates their mate so that, when the two come together, they perfectly unify with one another and with God. In this, God is honored and the people are richly blessed. There are countless marriages not of God, but of man. To open this first chapter, I have inserted the following excerpt from Divorce Hope so as to lend insight from someone else’s point of view on marriage and divorce:

We have heard this Scripture: “Yahweh God of Israel says that HE HATES DIVORCE” (Malachi 2:16). This is almost always quoted as if God hates all divorces in general. But that’s just not true. We have previously read from the Bible books of Ezra, Nehemiah, Jeremiah, Deuteronomy, and 1 Corinthians that God is not against divorce. Then why all the confusion concerning why God said that “He hates divorce?” The reason for the confusion is because there are TWO “kinds” of marriages and TWO “divorces” being mentioned in the Malachi 2:11-16 passage.

The “divorces” were not official divorces; they didn’t need to be. They were already previously married and “unofficially” married again. The Hebrew word shalach means “putting away”― a separation, as correctly translated in most Bibles. However, the King James and a number of newer versions have incorrectly translated shalach as to mean: divorce. It never meant divorce and it doesn’t mean divorce. The word was most likely translated as “divorce” to fit what was taught in the church. Shalach is just a common word used throughout the Old Testament which means to: go, separate or to send. That’s it!

So why did God angrily say that He “…hated putting away [a separation]?” “…Because you have not kept My ways [concerning marriage, divorce, and remarriage] but have SHOWN PARTIALITY IN THE LAW” (Malachi 2:9). The Law specifically stated that when a man got a divorce from his wife that he was to write “…her a CERTIFICATE OF DIVORCE, put it in her hand, AND [shalach] send her out [put her away]…” (Deuteronomy 24:1). God also commanded them not to marry anyone who did not serve Him ― who served a foreign god (See Nehemiah 13:25-30). Instead, men separated from their wives without ever giving them a Certificate of Divorce and then illegally married someone else. This is why Yahweh said that they were still “their wife by covenant.” The marriage covenant had never been dissolved by the Divorce Certificate.

“Yahweh’s holy institution which He loves…Yahweh has been witness between you and the wife of your youth…[and] SHE [STILL] IS YOUR COMPANION AND YOUR WIFE BY COVENANT. For Yahweh God of Israel says that He hates divorce [shalach], [separating without a Certificate of Divorce]…. He has [illegally] married the daughter of a foreign god. May Yahweh cut off…the man who does this being awake and aware.” Malachi 2:11,12a,14b,c,16a

Because these men had remarried illegally ― separated from their wives without giving them a Certificate of Divorce, they were in adultery as Jesus stated: “Furthermore it has been said, “Whoever PUTS AWAY [separates from {apoluo}] his wife, LET HIM GIVE HER A CERTIFICATE OF DIVORCE. But I say to you that whoever PUTS AWAY [separates and remarries without being divorced from] his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery: and whoever marries a woman who is PUT AWAY [separated without being divorced {apoluo}] commits adultery” (Matthew 5:31-32). (Yahweh never forgot about the Malachi incident when He came to Earth to redeem lost man). The Old Testament Hebrew word shalach and the New Testament Greek word apoluo are equivalent which will be discussed later.

Because these disobedient men still had “un-divorced” wives, Yahweh did not command them to give their illegal wives a Certificate of Divorce, rather, they simply had to “separate, put them away, [shalach].” SO DID GOD HATE DIVORCE? NO! RATHER, GOD HATED THAT THE HUSBANDS WERE SEPARATING FROM THEIR WIVES WITHOUT GIVING THEM A CERTIFICATE OF DIVORCE WHICH WOULD ENABLE THEM TO GET REMARRIED. THIS IS WHAT GOD HATES!

The men of Israel were SEPARATING from their wives for self-gratifying reasons. God Himself was a “witness” at their original marriage ceremony which was still in effect. The marriage covenant was never dissolved by a Certificate of Divorce. The men remarried outside their own culture and tribe. God considered the children they bore unholy because of the mixed marriages bringing curses into their families (See Ezra 9:1,2; Nehemiah 13:26-30).

Because of these unauthorized marriages, the Word of God came to Ezra and Nehemiah to have the men and women of Israel who had done this thing, to separate from their spouse and even from their children (See Ezra 9:1, 11-12, 10:3, Nehemiah 13:23-27). In this situation, God’s command was to “put them away, separate yourselves from them!” This was NOT the kind of marriage to which God was saying, “I hate divorce!” He was saying loudly, “Get out these wrong marriages!” DIVORCE IS A METHOD TO SEPARATE THE ONE, AND MAKE THEM INTO TWO just as a surgeon’s knife is used to separate the cancerous flesh from the healthy flesh. Both operations are good. Divorce can be used to kill a righteous marriage, just as a surgeon’s knife can be used to kill a healthy person. (end excerpt from Divorce Hope)

Narrowing the Margin of Error:

Whether you agree or disagree, we still must understand that divorce happens to Christians and non-Christians alike. So, instead of passing judgment, let’s find out how to prevent divorce as well as recover from one. It can easily be prevented by understanding before marriage that God does not have 100 people lined up before you and say, “These are all people who love Me. Pick one!” God is strategic in all things. To be “unequally yoked” does not mean that you are forbidden to marry someone of another race, color, nationality or denomination. Rather, it’s about who God created specifically for you to become one with the one that God pre-ordained for you so as to honor Yahweh in the union. This definitely narrows the margin of possibilities!

If God’s people understood this basic truth, we would not allow ourselves be to deceived, led by the flesh and drawn into marriages of the flesh. With understanding, there would be a huge decrease in divorce since there would be a decrease of marriages and more that would actually be “what God has brought together.” People marry for many reasons other than seeking the face of God: sex, physical attraction, money, power, loneliness, rebound, rebellion, loyalty, parent-pleasing, parent-rebelling, pregnancy, to cover homosexuality, to cover fornication, etc – and all of this within the Body of Christ. Even if both people are Christ-followers, that doesn’t mean that the two should marry. We make messes and, when things go wrong, we question why God made such a mess. We need to seek the face of God concerning our ordained spouse…and then wait on God