Finding True Love in Christ
- Monday, May 12, 2008
Kick out other lovers. Don’t allow any person or thing in your life to take away time, thoughts, energy, or devotion that you should be giving to Jesus. Take a hard look at what you’ve been pursuing – romantic relationships, popularity, comfort, material possessions, achievements, and more – and honestly consider how your pursuit of them may be keeping you from pursuing Jesus wholeheartedly. Then eliminate activities that distract you from growing closer to Jesus, and change your goals so that your life is truly focused on Him. Don’t worry about feeling deprived by cutting out unhealthy attachments from your life. Once you pursue intimacy with Jesus above all else, you’ll discover that your relationship with Him will actually enhance every part of your life.
Change your lifestyle. Ask God to show you what practical changes you can make to your life so you’ll be better able to develop a closer relationship with Jesus – from waking up earlier each day to pray more and watching less television, to tackling a service project and making more an effort to share your faith with others.
Embrace God’s dreams for you. Be willing to give up your personal agendas in order to embrace God’s better dreams for you. Trust that God, who created you, knows what plans are best for you. Pursue His dreams for your life rather than your own.
Set your heart apart for your future husband. Make a commitment to keep yourself sexually pure as a gift not only to God, but also to the man you may eventually marry. Ask yourself: “Am I truly set apart for my future husband? Or am I just doing the bare minimum for him by putting up a few physical and/or emotional boundaries in my life?”, “Do I seek male affirmation through flirting, hugging, touching, etc.?”, “Do I draw guys’ attention by showing off my body?”, “Do I casually offer my heart, mind, emotions, and body to guys by jumping into short-term flings?”, “Do I allow my mind to fantasize about guys I’m attracted to?”, “Do I offer too much of myself to guys, even in friendships?”, “Am I willing to sacrifice pleasure, attention, affirmation, and temporary fulfillment to live a lifestyle of lily whiteness for the man I will spend the rest of my life with?”, “Am I willing to allow my faithful Lord to bring a love story into my life in His own perfect time and way?”, and “Am I willing to hand over the pen of my love story to Jesus and trust Him completely?”. Write your future husband a letter to solidify your purity decisions, and read that letter whenever you struggle with purity. Ask God to forgive your previous sins of impurity, as well as to help you heal from whatever sexual sins have been committed against you (such as through abuse). Also ask God to help your future husband live a life a sexual purity himself.
Protect your intimacy with God on a daily basis. Be alert to any and every sin that tries to encroach upon your inner sanctuary and lessen your intimacy with God. Every day, pay attention to what you’re thinking, saying, and doing, and consider whether or not that pleases God. Repent immediately of whatever doesn’t reflect the love you should have toward your true Prince.
Overcome temptation. Although you’ll often be tempted to sin, you can always resist temptation if you don’t give it an opportunity to grow in your mind. At every crucial moment of making a decision about how to respond to temptation, say “no” to it. Then the temptation will have no chance to grow, causing it to lose its power over you. Read the Bible often, and study, memorize, and meditate on its words so you can absorb its truths into your mind. Whenever you encounter temptation, the Holy Spirit will then remind you of biblical truths that will help you overcome the lies temptation tries to tell you. Don’t hesitate to pray against all forms of evil that are enticing you to cave into temptation. Identify the areas of your life where you’re most vulnerable to temptation, then use the spiritual authority you have as a Christian to pray for deliverance from evil that’s trying to harm you in those areas. Create boundaries for your behavior to protect yourself from unnecessary temptation, such as refusing to watch movies that tempt you to engage in sexual impurity or avoiding nightclubs where impure behavior surrounds you. Ask yourself: “Are there voices I need to start ignoring?”, “Are there shows or movies I need to stop watching?”, “Are there places I need to stop going?”, “Are there people I need to stop spending time with?”, “Are there certain clothes I need to stop wearing?” and “Are there songs I need to stop listening to?”. If any friendship, activity, or influence tends to draw you away from Jesus or keeps you from reflecting His purity, create a boundary around it. Guard your relationship with your true Prince, no matter what the cost, knowing that it’s always worthwhile to do so.
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