intimacy

We Are Under Attack: Three Ways To Prepare For War

prayer

The Bible describes Satan in different ways. It describes him as a serpent (Genesis 3:1), a murderer (Psalm 106:37), a dragon (Revelation 12: 9) and a father of lies (John 8:44). His desire is to kill, steal and destroy (John 10:10) and ultimately cause us to turn away from God. When we read about him in scripture we know Satan is no good. So why do we invite the enemy into our homes, jobs and minds? You might say, “What?! I don’t invite him into my life, I’m saved.” But that’s the thing -it is the saved that are under attack and sometimes we let Satan in without even knowing. We are at war and Satan is our enemy. The good news is that we have God fighting with us and for us. With God we’ve already won the battle! However, this will not stop Satan from tryng to come in. So, we must fight with prayer and supplication in order to defeat the enemy.

 

ferventFor my church’s women’s bible study, we are reading this amazing book called Fervent by Priscilla Shirer. I’m only on the second chapter and I’m already ready to war; war against the enemy. Fervent is mainly about prayer. Prayer is our weapon of choice when going against the enemy. It’s not only meant to combat war, it is also our way to express our trust in God. In turn, our trust in Him will increase. By increasing our trust in His plan we are also increasing our faith. The Bible says- “You can pray for anything, and if you have faith, you will receive it.” Mathew 21:22 (NLT) And the enemy knows this! He knows if we pray more our faith will grow. So to decrease our faith he distracts us from prayer. How many times have you got on your knees to pray and all of sudden your phone goes off, or your mind starts racing about other things? These distractions are not coincidences. They are strategies from the enemy. So how do you prepare for the enemies attacks and block his tactics? Here are three ways to prepare for war-

1.) Praying with precession

Priscilla suggested praying with precession to remove distractions. Focus on areas where we know the enemy is attacking. It could be focused prayer on family, friends, job, children, school or whatever. I prayed for my time crunch constraints. I thought I was too busy for  prayer.  I prayed about this and gave this concern to God. I am now able to get up earlier and pray. I even found a church by my job that opens for their sanctuary for prayer. I like to go there during my lunch break. So now I have time in the middle of the day to pray without the urge to rush through the prayer. I feel at peace during prayer now and I can focus on being in His presence while spending time with Him.

2.) Exercise your prayer life

Another great thing about prayer is that it doesn’t just increase our trust in God, it also makes us dangerous and a threat to the enemy. We become prepared soldiers in this war ready for combat. We become a threat to the enemy’s kingdom. A few of my friends are in the army and they told me about the preparation and training they had to do for a career in the armed forces. Gurgling boots camps, long days of training and a lot of exercise, to test endurance. They endured weeks and weeks of this preparation beforehand. Why? To prepare for a possible attack. This is what we need to do in our prayer life. We need to exercise our faith with prayer. We need to have prayer and worship “boot camps” to make sure we can endure the attacks that will come with the enemy’s strategies.

3.) Get intimate with God

Lastly, prayer not only increases faith, but it allows us to grow deeper in fellowship with God. It is an intimate experience with God. These prayers will change our insides and also manifest outwardly. “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5: 16 (NIV) When we pray we are able to able grow close to God. It’s the one on one quality time with God that allows us to connect. The more time you fill with Him the more you will be able to hear His voice, feel the Holy Spirit and understand your purpose. When you don’t spend time with Him  you won’t know Him. We cannot get so caught up in the religion that we forget the relationship.

So ladies, I encourage you all to keep striving and living for God, remain prayerful and trust God. Build a relationship with God and know that with God on our side the enemy has already been defeated.

By Patrice McKenzie
patrice@areyoushe.com

Photos: sistersevolve.com & christianbook.com

 

 

Advertisements

Naked & Unashamed: The True Definition Of Intimacy

The most intimate I have ever been with someone is with my man and we haven’t even had sex yet.

Some have questioned how we’ll work since we barely kiss and sometimes hold hands.

But through the abstinence, God has taught us a lot about the true definition of intimacy.

We all want to be like Adam and Eve, naked and unashamed, but that takes transparency.

Before they ate fruit from the tree of good and evil, they stood in front of each other, totally clothed in their truth.

“And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.” Genesis 2:25 

They weren’t just literally naked. They were spiritually naked too, able to bare everything without disappointment.

But somewhere along the way, we got caught up in the fallacy that true intimacy means giving up a part of you so a man might take interest in you.

And that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

naked and unashamed

While I was on a plane heading to Dallas to meet my man, a Christian college basketball coach sitting next to me dropped this wisdom: women give sex in order to get love from men but God never intended for it to be that way.

What we learn from the Garden is that Adam and Eve didn’t have to have sex first in order to achieve intimacy. That was established before they consummated and their marriage was made complete.

Intimacy is you really knowing me. It’s an open space where couples share their hopes, dreams and even their fears.

But what God has taught me, you first have to be intimate with Him before you can ever reach that level of connection with another human being.

Before I could be naked and unashamed with a man, God wanted me to know the essence of His presence and the power in His name. When I cried out to Him about my abuse, He restored me. When I had to catch the bus in the middle of the night, it never snowed or rained while I was talking to God and looking at the stars. When I sat by the river in Fairmount Park, He told me to sow my seeds by every stream (Isaiah 32:20).

During those moments, I never felt so close and intimate with the the Father. I believe He allowed me to go through all those things not only to receive a revelation of His love, but an understanding of what intimacy looks like in a committed relationship.

Ryan has seen me at my worst and he’s seen me at my best. He’s been there when I’ve wanted to give up and when I barely have anything left. He’s held me as I’ve cried at church and has been right behind me when I’ve screamed out to God about my abuse. We’ve stood in a field, sharing our hopes and dreams. He points me back to the word when I doubt the gifts and promises God has for me.

So many of us are walking around like Eve, covered up in fig leaves, hiding the truth about our calling and identities because we have believed lies from the enemy. More than anything, the Father wants an intimate relationship with you. And when you receive this truth, He’s able to present the real you to the man He’s purposed for you.

Sex didn’t bring me and my man together. It’s the God who’s within us that’s pulling us closer together. We’re able to be naked and unashamed, transparent about the truth because we know intimacy is hidden in the light and reality of Christ.

By Sydni Grant
sydni@areyoushe.com
Photo: prolificliving.com

 

Yada, Yada, Yada: Why God Wants You To Wait To Have Sex

I almost gave it all away because I didn’t want to have to wait anymore. Sick and tired of the waiting game, I contemplated compromising my purity. Tired of watching the world fornicate around me, I thought about what it would look like if I went into uncharted territory and explored the forbidden realm I had roped off for holy matrimony. I was nearing the age of 23 and still, no one wanted to be committed to me.  I thought living in Philadelphia would in fact increase my chances at a shot of love since there were so many men walking around. But instead, it was the opposite.

It seemed everyone got into a relationship by just hooking up and I was just standing on the sidelines, waiting to get into the game. Even if I did get the chance to get on the field, the quarterback never threw the ball to me because there was some other girl down on the field wide open.

download

One day as I was walking down Broad Street on Temple’s campus, talking to my friend named Shannon, I told her everything. I told her how I felt and that I was sick and tired of waiting. I told her I loved God but this was just getting too hard. I told her how I was frustrated and tired of not knowing what all the hype was about. But the truth of the matter is, I was beginning to lose sight about what my purity was all about.

Then the LORD spoke through Shannon and her words made me change my mind about everything. She said, “Sydni, the right one is going to wait for you.”

Sometimes we lose sight of the promises God has spoken over our lives because we base our reality off of what the world looks like around us. Even though it seemed everyone around me was hooking up and having sex, Shannon’s words reminded me of why I took my vow in the first place — for my husband. I wasn’t waiting for a boo or just some dude who would just be my boyfriend. I was waiting for the man I knew would be called to be my husband.

Abstinence is more than just saving yourself for marriage. If anything, it’s more of a spiritual journey. When you take something out that the rest of the world is doing, God removes the scales from your eyes and you begin to see everything from a new point of view.

Instead of being caught up in one night stands or men who were simply just friends with benefits, I drew closer to God. He became more than just some big man in the sky and I learned He was so much more than just an all supreme deity. He was my Creator, my Savior, my Master and my Friend. Through Him, not only did I discover my gifts and calling but He also gave me my identity. He set me free from mental enslavement and carnal captivity. When I was stuck in a rut or down in the dumps, I would call on His name and He would answer.

Abstinence became less about waiting and more about drawing closer to God. I realized refraining from sex was all about my relationship with God. And if we think not having sex is just because God said it’s reserved for marriage — we’ve missed the whole point. It’s so we can know God.

In the Bible, the Hebrew word for “know” is yada. (You’ve probably heard it used before with the phrase “Yada, yada, yada”)

The word yada is used in Genesis 4:1:

“Adam yada’d Eve and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain”.

Some translations say “know” others say “lay”, but they all stem from the understanding of the word yada.

The Hebrew word “yada” has five distinct dimensions:

  1. To know God’s nature, personality, attributes and ways.
  2. To know God’s wisdom
  3. To know God by personal experience
  4. Having a face-to-face encounter with God
  5. Sexual intimacy

Before Adam had sex and made love to his wife, he got to know God. Way before Eve came into the picture, Adam was walking and talking with God, fulfilling part of his purpose to name all the animals on the earth.

“Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called every living creature, that was its name.” Genesis 1:18 NKJV

Adam got the chance to not only know God, but know himself. And God has the same desire for you. Your singleness is not only a time of self-discovery, but a chance to encounter His presence. God has you right where you are so you can know Him and not be defined by anything or any man.

Ladies, God wants to yada you. He wants to know you fully and deeply and every part of you. He wants to meet you face to face.  But above all us, He wants to show you His deep love for you.

Whether you’re waiting or celibate, singleness is the best time for God to yada, yada, yada you.

By Sydni Grant
sydni@areyoushe.com

Photo: gettyimages.com