Don’t Fall off the Bridge 14: Don’t Be Awesome and Unawesome!

Ben Stiller's Walter Mitty Daydream | Studio 360 | WNYC Studios

The picture above is of Walter Mitty. His movie is called the Secret Life of Walter Mitty – and I am writing this blog to encourage you as a Christian to not have a secret life.

The reason people live a secret life is that they want to please other people, not God, and we do not have a choice in this – the Bible is clear – Paul said – if I pleased men, I would not be a servant of Christ (Galatians 1.10). If we live for the praise of men, we displease people.

By becoming a pastor, I displeased my parents. But I decided to honour God and live like a servant of Christ. Following Christ has displeased several people I know, but I want to be a servant of Christ.

Sometimes to live for Jesus you will have to upset someone, go contrary to their opinion, and just do what pleases Jesus! Your parents might want you to marry an unbeliever – because he is kind and wealthy. Don’t do it. Please Jesus!

God is not fooled by your double life, by the way. He spots it. Men might be impressed with you on the outside – to them you look awesome, but if you are living a double life, you are decidedly unawesome before God. Men might be impressed with your car, God isn’t. We need to live as servants of Christ, pleasing God, loving God, putting God first to make God see us as awesome. He loves you no matter what you do, but we should make good choices and not use His kindness and love as an excuse for us to be selfish!

It amazes me that people will say almost anything to be awesome to men, but will take no time to be awesome before God. I know people who are in so much debt to have nice things – their purpose – to impress others, to look awesome to others. Others pretend to behave in certain ways.

Let me tell you two things: you cannot be fruitful pretending to a life to impress others. I would never have the fruit in my life that I have if I was concerned about impressing others.

Secondly, when you stop living to impress others, it is a wonderful freedom that comes. It’s so much peace. I didn’t spend the money on awesome cars, I spent it hiring awesome staff, and creating awesome TV programmes that are on all over the world. Because I genuinely have no desire to be thought of as awesome, I have had so much freedom that some of my peers sadly have not had.

There is no need to impress anyone, build character, build a walk with God and over time people will realize that this is the real awesome. It takes time to do it this way, but it is better.

Never be awesome on the outside and falling apart on the inside – you are working on the wrong thing, and it will not lead to longevity or a great place.

Don’t Fall off the Bridge 13 Don’t Be Loyal and Disloyal

When a pastor appoints deacons, they must according to Scripture not appoint someone who is “double-tongued” (1 Tim. 3.8). This is because every single church has people in it who have not one but two tongues. One speaks nice things, the other speaks nasty things.

Charles Wesley wrote a song about wanting a thousand tongues to sing God’s praise. but every pastor is glad their people do not have one thousand tongues. We want everyone to have one tongue – a good tongue. We don’t want people to have forked tongues like snakes.

People complain about their pastor behind their back and then tell him to his face how much they loved the sermon. Double tongued! Make sure they do not become deacons and elders and pastors! Do not appoint them to leadership.

If you have a double tongue, it’s time for you to have a tongue-ectomy and have the nasty tongue removed. The one that accuses the brethren day and night, the one that sounds like satan. It’s time to have it surgically removed!

I know people who worship God, they sing loudly, they sing above everyone else in the room, but they are so petty, so critical, so rebellious. They have two tongues. God told the Israelites that their sacrifices were an abomination to them (Isaiah 1.13) because they had a secret other tongue that was ripping people apart. So many people use one tongue to say “I love you Lord”, then use the other tongue to say “I hate you, and you, and you and you and you!” Some men praise Jesus then lie to a woman in church to seduce them and use them. Outwardly the people love Jesus but their second tongue does not!

Hosea says that their goodness is like a morning cloud, by the afternoon it is gone (Hosea 6.4). If you spend enough time with these people you would know they are evil, but they can manage a Sunday morning most times. The family would know, the neighbours would know. The colleagues at work might or might not know.

Their goodness and niceness is temporary and only used to get along in church. We must not be those who have two tongues, or two faces.

We need to get control of our tongues. We need to repent of gossip, slander, and talking behind people’s backs. It’s not right, and it is one of the things that will cause you to fall of the bridge, fall right out of your destiny, and fall right out of walking with Jesus.

If you want a tongue-ectomy – you need to do two things. Firstly, admit you have a problem. Don’t lie with your tongue, don’t blame “them” – admit you have a problem. Then you yield to God – you speak out loud “Sin, you do not control my tongue. I will not yield my tongue to sin, I will use my tongue to glorify God and only that”.

It’s really simple to do, but you need to be strong in this, choose to keep speaking words for God’s glory.

Go for it – praise HIM!

Don’t Fall of the Bridge 12: Don’t Be A Childish Adult

10 Signs That You're Dealing With an Emotionally Immature Adult |  Psychology Today

Every pastor knows what I mean when I say a childish adult. It’s someone who tries very hard to act grown up, it’s someone who should be grown up, but they still act in very childish ways. The Bible says the purpose of the fivefold ministry is that we “be no more children” (Ephesians 4.14) and this is vital that all of us grow up.

Most people do not consider Samson ruled over Israel for over twenty years. You have to be fairly mature to do that, to rule a nation for years, you need some wisdom, some character, some backbone. Samson was lustful, foolish, saw prostitutes and so on, but at the same time he was in ministry – in the same position for twenty years – leading a nation. He was both immature and mature.

Samson was sometimes mature, and sometimes immature. Sometimes he looked mature, and other times he behaved like a total child. He caught three hundred foxes and tied their tails together. That’s pathetic in how stupid it is. There are other ways to set a field on fire, but Samson did it in the way a child would do it.

I know a lot of Christians who are childish adults. They adult in some areas, they know the Word well, but they act like babies, they tantrum when they cannot get their own way, they trip up all the time, they are still dealing with baby things. They are still self-obsessed. They still scream and shout.

Have you ever met a Christian who is a perpetual wanderer? They wander from one church to another, when they are in your church they might turn up and might not, they never turn up on time, they never settle, they never contribute, they never get involved. Sunday morning they are in your church, next Sunday they are in another church. You can never build with them, they never make a difference in the kingdom, church is for them and they are consumers and if it fails to please them they take a few weeks off. They are unsteady, unstable babies. But they can quote Scriptures and so on like an adult. These people are confusing because you expect better from them.

I recently heard a sermon by a Christian evangelist, it seemed so wise, so thoughtful, so mature. Then I realized who was preaching it – it was someone who used to be in Tree of Life. It was someone very unstable, very immature, he has been to about four different churches since he left the Tree. He preached a great message, but is a child unable to belong to a church. There are modern day Samsons in the world, don’t be one!

There are people who are at Bible College who get hurt so easily it shocks me. One of the signs of maturity is you do not go into a room to get attention, but to pay attention. But childish adults cannot do this.

We need to be adults across the board, in all our relationships. It takes being an adult to settle down and become a one-woman man, there are many very lovely ladies out there, but a mature man picks one and commits and walks in love and peace. It’s the better way to live. That’s why deep down people respect married men. A child cannot settle down, a man who cannot settle down is not a man, he is a childish adult! He is a boy!

Why not take the time to work on the areas in which you are most childish! Sometimes if we are honest it is obvious we are childish in certain areas – we name call, we blame, we tell petty lies, we need to be the centre of attention, we bully others. All behaviours that should have ended when we left primary school. Children cry and get mad and pout – adults should not. Children blame others when things go wrong – adults solve the problem. Children lie to get out of trouble, adults face the truth and are reliable. Children call names, adults seek to understand. Children eat all the sweets, adults exercise impulse control. Children interrupt, adults listen to the end. Children need attention, adults give attention. Children ignore their mistakes, adults fix them.

It’s great when a child acts like a child, but when we mature, we should all leave childish behaviour behind. Let’s not be modern day Samsons, let’s press on into maturity. Learn adult skills! Feast on the Word and believe it and live it.

Next week we will talk about people who have two faces and therefore two tongues. I can’t wait!

Don’t Fall Off the Bridge 11: Don’t Be Carnal

Word carnality made from wooden letters

Did you know that the Bible says that the carnal mind is an enemy of God (Romans 8.7)? Last week, we looked at Samson, and we found out he lived a double-life. He was carnal but gave off the impression of being spiritual.

There were times the Spirit of the Lord moved on Samson and gave him remarkable abilities, but in his heart he ws still carnal, and was seeing multiple women. He flowed in the Spirit in public, in private he was selfish, carnal and a playboy.

I have known several pastors and travelling ministers like this. Powerful ministries, powerful flow of the Spirit, powerful gifts, but then you find out they are sleeping with women in the church, they are sleeping with women when they travel, they are sleeping with women in the Bible School where they teach. They can move you with their ministry, but they are playing around.

There are other people who can sin in the most outrageous ways then walk into church like nothing has happened. They will worship with their hands raised and praise the Lord like they are spiritual. They have the long hair of Samson but the heart of Samson. Not a good combination.

Samson was a judge in Israel for twenty years and always had a double life. He was strong and weak at the same time. When a weak person comes to me for help, I can help them. But when they trun up looking all spiritual, flowing in the gifts, pretending to be mighty what can you do? We had one man prophesying and praising God in our church and flowing powerfully in the gifts, while he had got two different women pregnant! How could I help when he pretended to be strong when he was in fact very weak.

If you are weak but pretend to be strong, you are preventing yourself from getting set free. When you appear strong, no-one can help you – and that is the tragedy. Samson was a mighty minister operating in power, but in private weak. He was strong in public and weak in private. He carried a set of giant gates on his shoulders – he was really strong. He was not weak in ministry. But he was weak before Delilah! She beat a strong man because he was also a weak man. Do not be strong and weak – become strong and strong.

Do not be strong and weak. A lot of politicians are strong and weak. In public they look very respectable, then you find out about their private lives and they are really weak. They have no strength in private, they have no moral strength.

If you are weak, and things are beating you, you do not have to tell the world, but you need to tell someone, you need to speak to your pastor, your mentor, your close friends and get help. Get strong and strong, not strong and weak!

Don’t Fall off the Bridge 10: Don’t Live a Double Life

Who was Samson in the Bible? His Story and Significance

One of the things that Paul told the Corinthians was that you need to come out from among the people and be separate (2 Cor. 6.17-18). Samson did not do this, he liked living with worldly people, and his life story is a great lesson for every one of us.

Samson had a really religious part to his life. He really loved the Lord, he was devoted to the Lord – he never cut his hair, he kept his vows, but then on the other side he was yoked to the world. There are Christians today who look separated but are living in the worst kinds of sin. Secret boyfriends, secret girlfriends, secret lives – separated in some ways, entangled in others. This kind of double life will destroy you.

You see as a Christian (and especially as a Christian leader, like an elder or deacon or pastor) you cannot live like the rest of the world. You are unique and are supposed to live that way. You are not supposed to be getting drunk, having sex outside of marriage, watching porn, living a double life. Now everyone who saw Samson and his magnificent mane thought – this man must really love God – but on the other hand, he was having sex outside of marriage, he was touching dead things and messing around. He wanted an unbeliever wife (Judges 14.2-3) – he was an anointed man who both wanted to live for God and play around with the pleasures of the world.

I know pastors who have been sleeping with people in their churches, Bible College lecturers sleeping with their students, I know evangelists who have girls in every town they go to preach in. It is a double life, a double personality. There are also people in the churches with double personalities – on Sunday morning they are singing praising to God, then leave church and have pre-marital sex. They have a magnificent mane in church, but as soon as they are home or in the office, they have a totally different life.

Some of you reading this post are this person. You are Samson, you are different with your Christian friends than with your non-Christian friends. You are playing games and you are about to fall off a bridge and it will not be pleasant. God will still love you, I will still love you, but you are about to hurt yourself and you should sort it out. Some of you hear life changing messages over and over and your closest friends, your lovers are all unbelievers. This is wrong.

Young people, if your main school friends are athiests, are people who hate Jesus, you have a huge problem. Samson was just like you – he wore the long hair, like wearing a giant cross, but he still slept with unbelievers. Separated but worldly. His life ended with him bald and blind. Everyone was shocked when they heard he lost his hair – we thought he was so godly, but he wasn’t.

I don’t know how a believer could ever consider marrying an unbeliever. How you could look separated but live so far from Jesus. It’s a danger. Don’t do it.

Selah.

Don’t Fall off the Bridge 09: Don’t Be A Hypocrite!

Pope Francis: 5 Ways to Avoid Being a Hypocrite| National Catholic Register

Jesus had a problem with the Pharisees because they were different on the inside to what they were on the outside! He actually called them – you can look it up in Matthew 23.27 – a bunch of white painted coffins. On the outside looking very beautiful and on the inside dead, unclean bones.

Sometimes someone starts going to church, they even get born again, they even speak in tongues, but they do not reach a place where they start to yield their life to Christ, and do not reach a place where they value the love of God and loving other people. So, areas of their lives are still dead and unclean. They look great on the outside but if you get close you start to notice a bit of a whiff. They are dead on the inside.

These are the people who are living one way in church on Sunday morning, but then go home and act differently. They will do everything to be seen, and will never do anything to make a sacrifice – they will not live for Christ if it costs them something. They are hypocrites. The problem is not that often these people are deceiving others, but that most of the time they are also deceiving themselves.

They say the main work of a doctor is to diagnose a problem, once that is done, the solution is normally the easy part. It is the same in the kingdom, once you realize the problem you can solve it. But hypocrites will lie so often they believe the lies, they do something selfish and self-promoting and convince themselves they are humble and gracious and doing something righteous!

I have sadly seen this with pastors – some are wonderful in the pulpit and flow in the gifts, but then they are rude to the waiters in the restaurant and the ushers in the church. They are not the same person everywhere they go. People can preach Jesus, sing Jesus, exalt Jesus – then act in a way you wonder if they are even Christians and ever read a Bible!

Your external life should match your internal life! Do not live a dual life, do not be a hypocrite as you will end up falling off the bridge. You will not be able to hide the deadness inside you for long, before long you will stink and everyone will know what you are really like. Discover God’s goodness and love and turn to Him and find freedom today!

We don’t need a modern day Samson in the church – strong and anointed but unable to live for God, unable to be pure.

If you looked at Samson you would see the long hair – a sign of his dedication to the Lord – but he was yoked to the world, he was tied to it in his heart. Some people look dedicated but are not. They are tied up in the world, in immorality, in all sorts of messes. His not cutting his hair made people think he really loved God, and when it suited him he did love God. But he never made a sacrifice for the Lord, when no one was looking he just did what he wanted when he wanted.

He told his parents he really wanted to marry an unbeliever. He had two different personalities – a public one and a private one. Do not be a modern day Samson. If all your best friends and your girlfriend are unbelievers, you are a modern day Samson. Looked holy, but was having sex outside of marriage, and sex before marriage! That is not holy, that is not godly. He was a hypocrite.

How could a believer who wants to please God and live for God, who has a passion for God, who spends hours in prayer and studying the Word every day ever even contemplate a non-Christian wife, I will never know. I couldn’t imagine being married to someone I could not pray with, minister wife, serve with, worship with.

Samson was both spiritual and carnal. Next week, we will look at how that combination will destroy you!

Until then get rid of the hidden darkness and act like the man of God you look like. Selah!

Don’t Fall off the Bridge 08: Watch Out for Strange Women

20 My son, keep thy father’s commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother:

21 Bind them continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck.

22 When thou goest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee.

23 For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life:

24 To keep thee from the evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of a strange woman.

25 Lust not after her beauty in thine heart; neither let her take thee with her eyelids.

(Proverbs 6.20-25, KJV)

The phrase “strange woman” is here in Proverbs 6.24, and it is also in several other Proverbs (5.20, 7.5), and it is a woman who comes to church to destroy men who are ministers and who hope to be in ministry.

The next verse in Proverbs 6, is v. 26, and it says that “a whorish woman will bring a man to a piece of bread”. She will take someone who has a full and rich life and bring them to a subsistence level. The next part of the verse says “the adulteress will hunt for the precious life”. These women will drain the life out of men! They will go to church to destroy lives and get Christian men trapped!

Satan knows that the greatest asset in any church is strong, pure men with the hand of God on their lives, so he will do anything to target them – and one of his methods is a strange woman. Now you can gender reverse this, and ladies can fall for strange men, but it destroys the church more when men of integrity forget their integrity and forget their wisdom and have their life and prosperity stolen from them by a strange woman!

Every minister must be aware of this and on their guard for this sort of thing. The strange woman wants nothing more than to commit adultery or fornication with the man, costing him influence, stealing his life, and destroying his ministry.

Even a godly man who has lived pure all their life can be entrapped by a strange woman if they are not careful. There are strange women about today. I know men who have walked out on their wives, walked out on their future, lost their ministry, destroyed their church – all because they were immature and selfish around a strange woman.

We do not war against flesh and blood, but the enemy will happily use flesh and blood to seduce someone out of ministry and out of their position in Christ. God has put a lot of information about the strange woman in the Bible so you can recognize them, because adultery and fornication are sins that cause you to fall off the bridge and lose your place and lose your way and hurt your future a great deal. The devil loves attacking people with sexual impurity because it is so devastating.

There are many strange woman who are happy to go to church and seduce a minister and steal his precious life. Some know exactly what they are doing, others are damaged through their own upbringing and experiences, and are unaware of what they are doing. In churches, they often have a veneer of being spiritual – they sing in tongues in the service, they carry their Bible around and quote it – but they will readily have sex with anyone.

The church is the most precious place in the world. A meeting of saints is the most precious meeting in the world, and strange women hunt for precious lives – they want to destroy the precious saints. Precious people who really love God and would serve him with all their hearts, people who terrify satan just by getting up in the morning, and satan wants to target them.

When a young man decides to serve God with all his heart, satan will make them a special target of strange women. They come into churches and seek to destroy people. They will operate at night (Proverbs 7.9), which means in the church service they may seem normal, but suddenly they start to call the pastor well out of office hours. They also operate in the night of people’s lives – when some Christian leaders are going through difficulties – often a strange woman suddenly appears.

At night, you need to be very careful. I don’t text or call any women, let alone strange ones, outside of office hours. If you are engaged, I will tell you not to go out with your fiancee – but if you are married, you are not supposed to be going out with other ladies. Do not take your secretary out for a late dinner! Ever.

Strange women will be in the Sunday service, but rarely any other services. They will never be at a prayer meeting, because they cannot show off. But if you are off to the beach or out for a picnic, they will be there. They are at church to trap someone.

Proverbs 7.10 says they have the attire of a harlot. In modern talk that means they dress like a prostitute. They are not prostitutes, but they dress in a way that should make people a little shocked! If you are a disciple of Jesus Christ, you should pay attention to your dress. You should not be dressing in a suggestive or provocative way. I think we are all mature enough to know the difference between beautiful and dressed up, and someone who is a strange woman.

A strange woman will have a strange past – Proverbs 7.26 says many strong men have been slain by her. She will have stories in her past of defiling others. Now lots of people have a history and Jesus is a forgiver and a redeemer and loves restoring people, but when there is a pattern in the past that is still going on today – beware.

A strange woman will demand attention. Proverbs 7.11 says she is loud. She will be striking – she will have men flocking around her. Her appearance will be loud, her voice will be loud, her mannerisms will be loud. Proverbs 7.11 also says she is stubborn too. That means she will not listen to anyone – you will not able to teach her or give her input. If you ever marry her, she will never submit! And, if you marry her you will never know where she is (Proverbs 7.11 – her feet do not abide in her house) – she will not be in the home, she will be vague about where she is.

Another sign of a strange woman is they are obsessed with touching. Proverbs 7.13 says that this hunter caught the man and kissed him. These woman will be hugging everyone and it will suddenly end up with her body pressed against you, and a kiss or two. They will hold you, hug you, take your hand. They know full well it aroused the men, and it is deliberate tempting. She will be overly-familiar, not just in the touch, but talking about things that someone you barely know should not be talking about.

They are trying to make you close – they will comment on your hair, your body, your everything. They will not respect your fences, and they will not even care.

Finally, the number one trait of a strange woman is that she is strange. You will know nothing about her. She will lie about her past, trying to make it mystical. She will have so many secrets and you will never know where you stand.

In Proverbs 7.14, the strange woman had peace offerings. She did all the religious things – because that means men will put their guard down around her, but it is all fake. It is part of the strange. In this verse she is pretending to be a faithful saint, to attract a godly man. There are many such strange women in the churches, and we need to be aware they are cunning, they can fool religious people and steal life from men with great potential.

What can we do? Proverbs 6.25 tells us not to lust after her beauty, not let her take thee with her eyelids. She will look at you in a way to make you want to go after her. Do not fall for it.

Identifying a strange woman is half the battle. They might come to a pastor or a young leader in the church with many problems and need counselling and start sobbing. If you are ignorant you will put your arm around her and arrange to meet her, and she will take advantage of the fact that you are a Christian, a man of God, a kind, loving man.

Be aware – pray – seek wisdom from older more mature men. Be careful, do not let someone drag you over the edge of the bridge into the chasm, you may get very injured and may take years to get back to where you are going.

SELAH.

Don’t Fall off the Bridge 07: Getting Out of a Mess

PM Network - February 2018 - Choosing the Right Path

If you are committing the sin of fornication (sex before marriage) or adultery (sex outside of marriage), you need to not just repent, you need to get out of the mess you have made. Here are the steps you need to embrace:

  1. Be Honest
    • If you are trying to get out of a sexually immoral relationship, you need to be honest. If you have a problem, and you need help you need to be open about it. I do not mean you tell everyone. If you are sick, you do not tell everyone, you go discretely to the doctor. If you are sick in your soul and engaged in sex outside of marriage, you go and tell your pastor. No one can help you unless you talk about it and tell people the problem.
    • If you are involved in fornication or adultery, you need help. That is not disputable – you need help. But the question is do you want help? If you do, then you need to share your situation honestly with someone who knows how to help. Without the belt of truth, your pants will not be held up!
    • Part of being honest is taking responsibility for your actions. Do not blame satan, do not blame demons, do not blame the other party, do not blame your spouse, do not call it something little or a little indiscretion. Be honest with what you have done – been carnal, selfish, arrogant and foolish. Be aware of what you are and what you did. It is the only way to freedom.
  2. Pray!
    • You need to start fellowshipping with the Lord and gaining a revelation of His love, His power, His will. When you pray, you build yourself up – and you need to be strong to resist a temptation that you have previously yielded to.
    • Jesus told his disciples to pray – or they would enter into temptation (that’s in Luke 22.46). If you do not pray, you will fall for temptations! It’s that simple.
    • I know a day I woke up and felt I really needed to pray, I prayed in tongues for about five hours. At the end of that day, someone really hurt one of my children, and I was so tempted to rip their head off and deal with them in a very carnal way, but I didn’t, I walked in love and peace. That prayer time saved me! You need to understand the power of speaking in tongues and not just in a theoretical way – you need to pray!
  3. Receive Grace
    • No matter what you have done, you are recepient of God’s grace. You cannot get free by having better sex with your spouse (but it helps), you cannot get free by setting up a system of accountability (but it helps), you cannot get free by telling someone (but it really helps), you cannot get free by declarations and hearing the Word (but it helps). You only get free by the grace of God, but the good news is that the grace of God is always available for you. It is grace that has brought you safe thus far, and grace will bring you home!
    • Turn yourself to Jesus and thank Him for His grace. Celebrate His grace and goodness!

Don’t Fall off the Bridge 06: The Emotional Pain of Fornication

Change Your Relationship to Emotional Pain - Mindful Methods For Life

One of the saddest stories in the Bible is the story of Tamar, it is found in 2 Samuel 13. Amnon, Tamar’s half-brother rapes his sister. This sexual act has ramifications that hurt people that I think Amnon could not have expected. Their brother was hurt, David was hurt, the relationship was destroyed, the nation suffered as Absalom took matters into his own hands and clashed with his own father. It affected literally millions of people.

A lot of people do not realize that even consensual sex outside of marriage can hurt people you would never expect. It could destroy a marriage you do not expect to be destroyed. It can affect people in ways you might not imagine. It can hurt people, it can destory families, it can cause rifts between people, it can cause arguments, it can rip apart house groups and whole churches. It is a sin that ripples into others lives and causes people to miss their destiny and miss God.

How can we avoid such a sin?

  • Don’t Date If you are not looking to be married

The book of Ecclesiastes tells us that there is a time to every purpose (Ecc. 3.1). There is a time to start looking for a husband and wife – that time is not while you are still at school or university. You do not even have a job in sight, let alone working in one! I just will not recognize the relationships of teenagers still in school. They are doing something at the wrong time. So many Christians think it is cute and beautiful, but puppy love will grow up into a giant big dog and bite someone!

  • Be Holy When You Do Date

Ecclesiates 3 also tells us that there is a time to refrain from embracing. That time is before you are married. When you are married, it is the time for embracing. It is really that simple. Sometimes I have made a mistake, I have told people that when you are going out and not married you need to be pure and holy. That’s true, but it is not specific enough! People need to be told what that means and where the lines are. A lot of people get involved in situations where they just work each other up and they make their lives so difficult for each other.

  • If you find the right person, get married

Proverbs 5.18 says to rejoice with the wife of your youth. The longer the engagement, the longer the temptation to sin. What exactly are you waiting for? Do not delay your marriage, if you have found the right person, prayed about it, know it is right, and you have a job and a house, advance boldly!

Do not blame the finances, you do not need a twenty-thousand pound ceremony, you can get married for under a hundred pounds if you really want to. It will make a great story to tell your grandchildren! Do not wait until you have the right TV or right car before proposing. When I got married, I had nothing, probably less than nothing. But I knew Amanda was the right one, and we are still together after over twenty five years and things are good!

The wife of your youth marries you not because of what you have, but because of who you are – that is a solid foundation for the future!

  • Have sex when you are married

The time to embrace is when you are married. It amazes me that I have dealt with couples who are committing fornication and we have counselled them and helped them, and married them, then they lie down together like two dead logs! That’s foolish! Embrace!

Next week, we will look at what to do if you are in a mess, and how to get out of it.

Don’t Fall off the Bridge 05: Don’t Make A Deal That You Cannot Live With

The Marriage Covenant

Last week, we looked at one of the most common ways people fall off the bridge to their destiny and miss out on what God has for them – fornication. You can read that post here. Now we will look at another issue about fornication that stops people getting to their destiny – fornication joins you to people that you should not be joined to.

Sex is supposed to be a binding experience between two people, and that bond is supposed to last forever. When you commit fornication, you are entering into a covenant with whoever you have sex with. God’s plan is that when a man and woman have sex for the first time, blood is shed, and that a permanent covenant is formed. Before that happens, the man and woman should be making a public declaration of permanent love and commitment to be married to each other, to be exclusive with each other until death separates them.

If you are “sleeping around”, you will be entering into union with a whole bunch of different people, your soul will be all over the place, you will be unable to focus, you will lose creativity, you will fail to prosper, you will fail to enter into your destiny and you will be incapable of dreaming big. Fornication destroys your power to dream.

Paul is very clear about this – do not take a part of the body of Christ and make them part of the body of a prostitute (1 Cor. 6.15). This is real talk today, this is about real things. I have seen Christians who have spent their entire lives crippled and broken, unable to win in life because of fornication. They remain tied to that other person and never break free.

The other thing that makes sex so special and exclusive is that sexual activity is the only thing that a man and woman can do that creates life. A human life is the single most precious thing on the planet, and it is best that a baby is born with a mother and father in an exclusive, marriage covenant with one another. Otherwise, there will be the temptation to even murder the baby! David murdered Uriah to hide his unwanted pregnancy, today people just murder the baby, saying it is just a few cells. You are just a few cells too – but you are a living human! Now, if you are in a situation that is less than ideal, there is grace and there is restoration, but you will have struggles and difficulties that you did not have to have. God could see those situations would make life harder, and gave you a way out – sexual purity.

Fornication can easily knock you flying off the bridge and stop you getting to your destiny. I have seen it happen so many times. Be like Joseph – flee from fornication! Run from it.

Next week we will look at some of the emotional issues that come when we commit fornication.