KINGDOM LOOK BOOK: Fashion Sense and Cents

FASHION SENSE AND CENTS

You know how you eye doctor asks you “One” or “Two” during your annual eye exam? They want to know which set of letters you think is the better choice. Well today we have a similar opportunity. Take a few minutes to examine the 7 rows of pictures labeled “A” or “B”. Record “A” or “B” for the outfit out of the pair you would wear and then check out your Fashion Sense and Cents results. Have fun!

1&2
Row 1: Bracelets
Row 2: Summer Chic

3&4
Row 3: Holiday Party
Row 4: Night on the Town

5 & 6
Row 5: Dinner Party
Row 6: Spring Casual

7
Row 7: Happy New Year!

YOUR RESULTS:

Your adornment must not be merely external braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. – 1 Peter 3:3-5

Proverbs 31 Leaning (A, B, A, B, B, A, B – answered by descending rows):
Congratulations! You fit the image of a Proverbs 31 woman: modest. You have great fashion sense and it costs you nothing. You will receive the free gift of eternal life for your modest savvy choices. Until then do not be surprised when you catch the glances of a spirit led and surrendered man of God who will honor and love you and only you as Jesus Christ loves the Church. Amen

Proverbs 7 Leaning (B, A, B, A, A, B, A – answered by descending rows):
Hey girlie! Your style is on FIRE! Cutting edge, plunging “Vs”, and highly hemmed is your look. You have mastered Proverbs 7 style. Your look gets you noticed and has/will snare a few if not many men but it will cost you. The Proverbs 7 style you enlist entices many to desire you and your flesh. Peek-a-boo waist, thigh high skirts and dresses, plunging necklines, skin tight apparel, and blinged out wrists all worn in the name of the demonic art of passion AKA lust. The cost? An eternity separated from the creator of the universe and an earthly life time of unrewarding relationships with religious men who call you sexy, calls themselves Christian yet are unsurrendered to God and in turn are not capable of honoring and loving you as Jesus Christ loves the Church.

THOUGHTS FROM MODERN “CHRISTIAN” WOMEN ON MODESTY:

“God doesn’t mind a little bit of my skin. I’m following the fashion blogs. What’s the big deal?”

“I respect and love my brothers in Christ including their pursuit of purity. My dress has nothing to do with their ability to keep their eyes to themselves. If they are the men of God they call themselves to be, they won’t look.”

“I respect and love my fellow sisters in Christ who are the wives, mothers, daughters, and sisters of my brothers in Christ. They haven’t said anything, so obviously they don’t mind my figure hugging dress, low cut top, thigh high skirt, and tshirt and leggings outfit in our ministry meetings.”

“I want to be a hot Pastor’s wife.”

APPLICATION:

Contrary to worldly opinion, Proverbs 7 style reflects a path of passion, sensuality, and a demonic desire to be pursued in a flirty or sexual way. It is far from the call of the Father to be modest, shame faced (1 Peter 3:3-5), and without lust in our eyes or flesh (1 John 2:15-16). This path ultimately leads us away from the eternal Kingdom and into eternal death (Proverbs 7:27). Our Father is asking each of us to choose today to turn, confess, and repent of this lifestyle. Are you on the Proverbs 7 path? Are you ready to turn? If so, repeat the following prayer.

I (-insert name-) confess and repent of my sin of immodesty, sensuality, lust, and all other forms of sexual immorality in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. I cancel satan’s access to me. Holy Spirit come into my heart and take control of me. Fill me with your spiritual fruit and make me a new creation in Christ Jesus of Nazareth. Amen

Photo Credits: Bing, Google
Related Post: A Proverbs 7 Woman – Is she Marriage Worthy?

The Challenge: A Personal Story

woman in shadowOnce upon a time,
there lived a young brown girl, captivated by the world of beautiful faces and things. Mirrors, magazines, and friends were a constant reminder of “beauty”. Oh how she loved them.

Then entered FB, the queen of “beauty”. Close up…applause…long shot…applause…side shot…applause.

“I like FB” she thought.

Daughter?” He called.

No answer.

“Daughter?” He called again.

“Yes” she answered.

“What are you doing?” He asked.

“What do you mean?” she answered.

“Do you remember this? ‘Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.’” He asked.

“Hmmm” she sighed.

“I challenge you Daughter to die.” He said.

“Die!” She yelled.

“Yes, I challenge you to die to your world of beauty and replace each personal ‘beauty’ shot with a Kingdom shot of Godly content. I further challenge you to truly die to yourself and become nameless.” He declared.

“This is a major sacrifice? What will my friends and family think? They won’t know it’s me. Will they still ‘like’ me?” she thought.

Delete…”what’s going on?”…Delete…”are you okay?”…Delete…no applause.

Weeks Later

“I’m a little sad. This was a huge sacrifice and I get nothing. It’s so quiet around here.“ she thought.

Still Later

“I guess the quiet is not so bad, time to dig in and spend time with the Lord.”

Discernment: The Road of Death v. Life

The RoadQuestion: Does my belief in Jesus mean I have eternal life?

Recently a friend recommended a summer read that I have found to be tremendously insightful in this current age. It looks at common deceptions amongst “Believers” about eternal life. I have been reminded again of the shortness of this life and the transition each of us will make from this life into the next one. I want to urge each of you to examine the course you are taking on this life before your calling to the next one. You may be comfortable and happy in your present life, but God is asking us to closely examine if our present life is consistent with what God promises on eternal life. As parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, or friends of small children you know what it is like to keep watchful eyes on children, especially in the 0-2 age, playing outside. Though they are aware of many things, they are not aware like we are that running into a busily trafficked road at any age but especially 0-2 will certainly result in death. The same is true for Believers journeying on this side of eternity. Abba is keeping watchful eyes on each of us along with His watchmen/watchwomen. He sees some of us running towards the busily trafficked road of the flesh life that will result in certain eternal death and He is asking some of His “Believers” to step in and bring you away from The Road.

1. “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?” – Matthew 7:22.

Here Jesus issues a warning to “Believers” that we will notice comes up many more times about the time coming when MANY not few “Believers” in Christ Jesus will be disappointed and turned away from eternal life. These individuals participated on hospitality team, the prayer team, the prophetic team, and all sorts of good works ministries but they still will not receive eternal life. What?!

2. “Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” – 1 Corinthians 6:10.

The Lord explains why “Believers” in Christ Jesus will be turned away from eternal life: unrepentant. Jesus has clearly repeated the above are a one way ticket away from His Kingdom. Jesus warns us we CANNOT have eternal life and actively practice the above. For many of this current age, sexual sin is your busy road. Magazines, movies, and even family condone or tolerate what God does not. If you are not married in Christ Jesus and continue to have a sexual relationship you will be excluded from the Kingdom of God. Common law marriage is not marriage in Christ Jesus. God will not honor it. Please reconsider. The time is short. Yeshua will accept no excuses. It is a choice.

3. “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” Matthew 25:41-46.

Jesus issues a very specific warning to “Believers” about yet another deception. You CANNOT expect to receive eternal life if you persist in ignoring the poor. Each of you have opportunities to serve the poor and many of you persist in ignoring the call by God to serve them. Churches and faith based non-profits seem to always be short on volunteers yet “Christian” dinner parties don’t. Why? God tells us this is a heart matter and though we may think “that community or person is not my problem”, they are. Each time you say no or ignore an opportunity to help feed the poor, invite the homeless in, cloth those who need clothing, visit the imprisoned and the sick, you tell Jesus no. Jesus is telling you that He is a part of each of these individuals. When you persist in rejecting those God commands you to serve, you persist in rejecting Him and HE will reject you when you leave this side of eternity.

Sobering?

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. 11 These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.” – John 15:1-11

AMEN

Related Posts: Confession ; 8 Questions to Ask Before Complaining God’s Ignoring Me ; I Never Knew You
Photo Credit: The Truth Won

Prayer: 8 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Complaining “God’s Ignoring Me!”

God's Ignoring Me!

Question: “Why aren’t you answering me God?!”

In order for God to move and answer our petition prayers, a proper prayer foundation must be made. God isn’t simply a magic genie answering prayers upon command. No, He is a loving Father who takes our requests and graciously answers them in His timing and according to what is best for us. Often we think we know what is best for ourselves, even deceiving ourselves and others into thinking we know better than anyone else in the universe including the Creator. The following are eight questions every Believer should ask themselves, if they find themselves asking “Why aren’t you answering me God?!”

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Prayer: 8 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Complaining “God’s Ignoring Me!”

why_me_godQuestion: “Why aren’t you answering me God?!”

In order for God to move and answer our petition prayers, a proper prayer foundation must be made. God isn’t simply a magic genie answering prayers upon command. No, He is a loving Father who takes our requests and graciously answers them in His timing and according to what is best for us. Often we think we know what is best for ourselves, even deceiving ourselves and others into thinking we know better than anyone else in the universe including the Creator. The following are eight questions every Believer should ask themselves, if they find themselves saying “Why aren’t you answering me God?!”

• Do you believe and accept Jesus Christ of Nazareth as the only path to eternal life?
“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.’” John 14:6
You may have heard the story of the world religions sharing a “belief” in Jesus with Christians. The Quran states Jesus was born of a virgin, was a revered prophet, was a miracle worker, who ascended to heaven, and will return to earth but is not the son of God. Hinduism states Jesus is a God, was a Holy Man, and was a Wise Teacher. Buddhism states Jesus was an enlightened man, was a wise teacher, was a Holy man, and was a moral teacher. Baha’i states Jesus came from God, was born of a virgin, spoke for God, had a divine and human nature, and was crucified for the atonement of humanity. Yet the difference between the world religions and the Christians is that the Believers in Christ Jesus firmly believe and rightly know that Jesus Christ of Nazareth, part of the triune God, is the only deity that leads to the eternal life. There are no other paths or gods that will lead to heaven.

• Are you born again?
“Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart, for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God.” 1 Peter 1:22-23
Jesus shared a prophetic vision in Matthew 25 of “Believers” in Christ meeting Him at the end of the age and being shockingly turned away from the Kingdom of God. Jesus clearly spelled out it was not belief alone that granted eternal life, it was the ongoing demonstration of His character to others in need. The man and woman turned away were the ones who did not feed the hungry, did not give drink to the thirsty, did not give clothes to the naked, did not care for the sick, and did not visit the imprisoned. Their apathy to the needy was also apathy towards God. Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.

• Have you received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit?
“Now when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent them Peter and John, who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. For He (Holy Spirit) had not yet fallen upon any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. They began laying their hands on them, and they were receiving the Holy Spirit.” Acts 8:14-17

Paul said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said to him, “No, we have not even heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.” And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” And they said, “Into John’s baptism”. Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in Him (Jesus) who was coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” When they heard this, they (acknowledged) were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking with tongues and prophesying. Acts 19:2-6

And I remembered the Word of the Lord, how He used to say, “John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” Acts 11:16

“For John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” Acts 1:5

Might you wonder why scripture references Baptisms in the plural and not singular (see Baptism of Repentance, Baptism of Water, Baptism of the Holy Spirit). There are many who have performed the act of the Baptism of Water but do not know Christ Jesus. They have performed the physical declaration of faith but have not followed through in the daily transformational process of sanctification. The Believer in Christ Jesus must have the Holy Spirit living within them. When the Holy Spirit lives inside of the Believer, you will see manifestations of God’s Fruit or Fruits of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control). The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is not complicated and only requires a simple prayer between two Believers in Christ Jesus such as “Leah, I declare in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth that you receive the Baptism and indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit work within her and transform her daily into being your daughter. Amen.

• Do you have any unconfessed/unrepented sin?
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 Johns 1:9

“Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” James 5:16

• Do you hold any bitterness or unforgiveness towards anyone?
“Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you. Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions.” Mark 11:24-25

• Do you believe in God’s will for your perfect health (or other request)?
“Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you.” Luke 10:19

“These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” Mark 16:17-18

Bless the LORD, O my soul, And all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget none of His benefits; Who pardons all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases; Who redeems your life from the pit, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion; Who satisfies your years with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle. Psalm 103:1-5

• Do you agree with your prayer partner for healing (or other request)?
“Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you. Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions.” Mark 11:24-25

“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7

“Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven. “For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.” Matthew 18:19-20

• Are you praying for God’s will or your own?
There is no wisdom and no understanding And no counsel against the LORD. Proverbs 21:30

Many plans are in a man’s heart, But the counsel of the LORD will stand. Proverbs 19:21

The plans of the heart belong to man, But the answer of the tongue is from the LORD. Proverbs 16:1

The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps. Proverbs 16:9

I know, O LORD, that a man’s way is not in himself, Nor is it in a man who walks to direct his steps. Jeremiah 10:23

The LORD foils the plans of the nations; he thwarts the purposes of the peoples. Psalm 33:10

Lord, thank you for the universal Body of Christ and your revelations. Help us to examine ourselves closely, show us personal roadblocks, and help us to move into your perfect will of obedience. We ask all of this in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Amen

Resources: IAHR; The Name of Jesus; World Religions
Related Posts: Answered Prayers
Photo Credit: Bing

Dating & Marriage 101: A Proverbs 7 Woman – Is She Marriage Worthy?

Proverbs 7Have you ever thought about the girl you would want your son or nephew to marry? Marriage is a lifelong covenant and the choice of one’s spouse is a decision one cannot take lightly. So you want to know if the young lady your son or nephew is interested in dating or marrying is in God’s Will. Or maybe you are a young lady who wants to know if you are dating or marriage worthy by God’s standards. Though it is not possible to know God’s decretive will or the hidden things of God that will come to pass, we do know God’s preceptive will or revealed commands in His published Word the Bible.

Question: Is the young lady my son or nephew dating in God’s Will for marriage?

God paints two pictures of women: the Proverbs 31 Woman and the Proverbs 7 Woman. One is a Woman to Pursue and the other is a Woman to Avoid. Let’s examine God’s Truths about these women.

The Woman to Pursue:

A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants. She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers. She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet. She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple. Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes. She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate. Proverbs 31:10-31

Characteristics of a Proverbs 31 Woman:

• Trustworthy – Proverbs 31:11-12
• Diligent – Proverbs 31:13-14, 18-19, 27
• Worker – Proverbs 31: 15-16
• Physically active – Proverbs 31:17
• Cares for the underserved – Proverbs 31:20, 2 Corinthians 9:6
• Fearless – Proverbs 31:21
• Crafty (domestic) – Proverbs 31:22, 24
• Strong, dignified, and optimistic – Proverbs 31: 25
• Wise with her tongue – Proverbs 31:26, Ephesians 4:20
• Kind with her tongue – Proverbs 31:26
• Praiseworthy – Proverbs 31:28
• Fears the Lord – Proverbs 31:30, John 14:15
• Observes the Sabbath – Deuteronomy 5:12
• Tithes – Malachi 3
• Honors her parents – Ephesians 6:2, Exodus 20:12
• Avoids sexual sin – 1 Corinthians 6:13
• Keeps her eyes from sin – Psalm 101:3
• Humble – Romans 12:16
• Forgiving – Romans 12:17-20
• Fruitful (Fruits of the Spirit) – Galatians 5:22-23
• Godly in love – 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

The Woman to Avoid:

My son, keep my words and store up my commands within you. Keep my commands and you will live; guard my teachings as the apple of your eye. Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart. Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,” and to insight, “You are my relative.” They will keep you from the adulterous woman, from the wayward woman with her seductive words. For at the window of my house I looked out through my lattice, And I saw among the naive, And discerned among the youths a young man lacking sense, Passing through the street near her corner; And he takes the way to her house, In the twilight, in the evening, In the middle of the night and in the darkness. And behold, a woman comes to meet him, Dressed as a harlot and cunning of heart. She is boisterous and rebellious, her feet do not remain at home; She is now in the streets, now in the squares, And lurks by every corner. So she seizes him and kisses him and with a brazen face she says to him: I was due to offer peace offerings; Today I have paid my vows. “Therefore I have come out to meet you, to seek your presence earnestly, and I have found you. “I have spread my couch with coverings, with colored linens of Egypt. “I have sprinkled my bed with myrrh, aloes and cinnamon. “Come, let us drink our fill of love until morning; Let us delight ourselves with caresses. “For my husband is not at home, He has gone on a long journey; He has taken a bag of money with him, At the full moon he will come home.” With her many persuasions she entices him; with her flattering lips she seduces him. Suddenly he follows her as an ox goes to the slaughter, or as one in fetters to the discipline of a fool, Until an arrow pierces through his liver; as a bird hastens to the snare, so he does not know that it will cost him his life. Now therefore, my sons, listen to me, and pay attention to the words of my mouth. Do not let your heart turn aside to her ways, do not stray into her paths. For many are the victims she has cast down, and numerous are all her slain. Her house is the way to Sheol, descending to the chambers of death. Proverbs 7:1-27

Characteristics of a Proverbs 7 Woman:

• Sexual (adulteress, wayward, seductive in words) – Proverbs 7:5, Proverbs 5:3, 1 Corinthians 6:13
• Provocative and seductive (in dress) – Proverbs 7:10, 21, Psalm 101:3
• Cunning – Proverbs 7:10
• Boisterous or loud – Proverbs 7:11
• Rebellious – Proverbs 7:11
• Busy body – Proverbs 7:11-12
• Predator (pursuing him) – Proverbs 7:12-13, 26
• Enticing – Proverbs 7:21
• Haughty eyes – Proverbs 6:17
• Lengthy history – Proverbs 7:26
• Argumentative, contentious, nagging – Proverbs 21:9, 21:19, Proverbs 25:24
• Unstable and unaware – Proverbs 5:6
• Not in fellowship with Believers – Hebrews 10:25
• Deadly (eternal) – Proverbs 7:27, Proverbs 5:5

Though God’s hidden or decretive will has not been revealed as to whom your son or nephew will marry, God has made it very clear in his preceptive will the characteristics the man of God should pursue in a woman of God. If the young lady your son or nephew is dating authentically loves the Lord and exhibits the character of God, CONGRATULATIONS! You have a fantastic Kingdom opportunity and possible new daughter (or niece) in law in the near future.

However, if the characteristics of the young lady your son or nephew is dating or considering dating lean towards the woman he should avoid, prayerfully ask God and your husband or other Godly men for an appropriate time to have an open discussion with your son or nephew about choosing healthy, Godly relationships in Christ Jesus. God is not the author of confusion and wants the absolute best for His children. Any relationship filled with strife, sexual sin, or confusion is not of Him and should be avoided. If you are a young woman who finds herself in the category of The Woman to Avoid, prayerfully ask God through Christ Jesus to come into your heart and change you into the woman He has purposed you to be. Then seek Godly accountability to help ensure that the changes you desire in your heart are realized.

Abba, thank you for showing us your revelations and for helping us to live in obedience to your Word. – Amen

Related Posts: Is He Marriage Worthy?
Resources: Finding Your Spouse in God’s Will ; Taking the Mystery Out of Knowing God’s Will
Photo Credit: Bing

Dating & Marriage 101: Coincidence, Fate, Providence, & Signs – How to Know if its Meant to Be

fateFor a few years, I wrestled with the question “How do I know if its meant to be?” I wondered if everything happens for a reason or are just a series of coincidences. Many of us are in the middle of or on the verge of some pretty major life altering decisions (marriage, divorce, new job). We want to know if “it” is meant to be or “God’s plan”. So I set out to answer the question that dangles around most of us at one stage of life or another.

“How do I know if its meant to be?”

Though popular culture romanticizes every “coincidental” happening as a green light from above for “it” being meant to be (i.e. school, job) or “he” being the one (i.e. date, marry), these “coincidental” happenings as appealing as they may seem may in fact be clever life traps meant to send those earnestly seeking the “right path” down a dead end road. A popular “Religious” writer on this topic shared a story of a woman who was away from home and visiting a “Big City”. She came across a quaint apartment that in many ways stole her heart. She returned home to her husband with whom she was having some marital difficulties with the idea that they should move into this apartment. Her husband did not agree and after some time they divorced. The woman found a realtor who helped her search for her new home and would you believe it, the first home that they came across was the apartment the woman found when she was visiting the “Big City” before. The author and individual suggested that her coming across the apartment initially then after her divorce was a confirmation sign that she was on the right track.

The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, SIGNS and wonders, and every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. 2 Thessalonians 2:9

The first step in determining if “It is meant to be” or “God’s plan” is to ask oneself if the current coincidence or “sign” agrees with what God has already given us in scripture. In the “Big City” story, we have a woman who was met with some pretty compelling coincidences or “signs”. She was conveniently away from home, having difficulties in her marriage, and came across an apartment that gave her a new hope and sense of freedom. She assumed like many of us that these series of circumstances were a sure sign that she was on the “right path” and okay to do the opposite of what is consistent with God’s counsel on marriage. Ultimately, she and the author blindly saw the circumstances as a green light and went on to promote a counterfeit signs driven theology or false teaching that encourages Believers to assume circumstances alone or “signs” are green lights from God to pursue something or someone.

The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, SIGNS and wonders, and every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. 2 Thessalonians 2:9

In the book of Job, God sees Satan roaming the earth and God suggests to Satan his servant Job. Note that God initated the series of difficult circumstances that Job would face, not Satan. Yes, God granted Satan permission to arrange these purposeful happenings to test his faithfulness to God. Was the intention of these tests a sign from God that His will was for Job to suffer all the days of his life or that God hates Him (false thinking that many of us assume when difficulties arise)? No. God’s desire was to prove to Satan the faithfulness of Job to God. Despite Job losing his children, his servants, and his wealth in a very short period of time, Job gave an encouraging response.

Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head, and he fell to the ground and worshiped. He said, Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked I shall return there. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.” Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God. Job 1:20-22

In the book of Exodus (Chapters Seven to Eight) we have the story of Moses, the Pharaoh, and the Plagues. The Lord commissioned Moses to tell the Pharaoh to release the Israelites from slavery. Knowing the Pharaoh would not willingly release the Israelites, the Lord God gave Moses specific miracles to perform in order to demonstrate the Lord’s power and message.

‘”When Pharaoh says to you, ‘Perform a miracle,’ then say to Aaron, ‘Take your staff and throw it down before Pharaoh,’ and it will become a snake.” So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and did just as the LORD commanded. Aaron threw his staff down in front of Pharaoh and his officials, and it became a snake.’ Exodus 7:9-10

Pharaoh being the worldly man of power he was, was not moved by the miracle performed by God’s prophet. In fact, Pharaoh summoned his own miracle workers called “wise men”, “sorcerers, and “magicians” with “secret arts” to perform the same miracle.

‘Then Pharaoh also called for the wise men and the sorcerers, and they also, the magicians of Egypt, did the same with their secret arts. For each one threw down his staff and they turned into serpents…’
Exodus 7:11

Two more times Pharaoh and his counterfeit wise men reproduced miracles previously performed by God’s prophet Moses.

‘So Moses and Aaron did even as the LORD had commanded. And he lifted up the staff and struck the water that was in the Nile, in the sight of Pharaoh and in the sight of his servants, and all the water that was in the Nile was turned to blood. The fish that were in the Nile died, and the Nile became foul, so that the Egyptians could not drink water from the Nile. And the blood was through all the land of Egypt. But the magicians of Egypt did the same with their secret arts; and Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he did not listen to them, as the LORD had said.’ Exodus 7:20-22

‘So Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt, and the frogs came up and covered the land of Egypt. The magicians did the same with their secret arts, making frogs come up on the land of Egypt.’ Exodus 8:6-7

After the plague of the frogs, the counterfeit miracle workers were not able to keep up with the authentic miracle worker, prophet of God, Moses.

‘They did so; and Aaron stretched out his hand with his staff, and struck the dust of the earth, and there were gnats on man and beast. All the dust of the earth became gnats through all the land of Egypt. The magicians tried with their secret arts to bring forth gnats, but they could not; so there were gnats on man and beast. Then the magicians said to Pharaoh, “This is the finger of God.” But Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he did not listen to them, as the LORD had said.’ Exodus 8:17-19

Prophetically, God the Father issues this warning to his children that just as in the days of his beloved prophet Moses there would be false “miracle workers” or “signs and wonders” today. Jesus Christ of Nazareth reissues this warning that there are many lawless ones or workers of Satan who in this life time would do “miracle work”, “signs and wonders” or “prophesy” in His name but WILL NOT INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD. There are many unsuspecting individuals being led astray by false “signs” or coincidences set up by the prince of darkness to destroy lives. These false signs look like a Cinderella story but end up being a real life nightmare (HINT: Ask your girlfriends who were married and divorced in under 3 years).

‘The coming of THE LAWLESS ONE will be in ACCORDANCE WITH THE WORK OF SATAN DISPLAYED IN ALL KINDS OF COUNTERFEIT MIRACLES, SIGNS, AND WONDERS, and every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing.’ 2 Thessalonians 2:9

Application:
Our culture encourages us to look for signs of “The One”. Not the King of Kings but of our “Prince Charming” or “Mr. Right”. And many believe that because our path crosses the path of another individual once or maybe even five times, that that alone is a green light from God of this being our future life long mate. WRONG! That handsome or charming individual in our lives might be a “sign” not of God’s plan but of great difficulty ahead. One that will test our faithfulness to God.

Do “signs and wonders”, “miracles”, or coincidences mean it’s from God or mean it’s meant to be?
Answer: No

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Resources: Discerning God’s Will ; Finding Your Spouse in God’s Will