Saturday, December 10, 2011


WARNING: This post is for the LADIES :-)

When I was younger... just married... at a mere twenty-two years of age. I was under the strictest conviction that I had to look perfect for my husband to be faithful to me. I thought if I stayed in perfect shape and "pleased" him often enough then he would not cheat on me or desire to cheat on me. So I worked out for hours a day, because I have always leaned on the chunky side being short and short wasted all my weight gathers in the middle...

I would stress over magazine covers and any tv shows and movies that showed half-naked women because I feared that my husband would see that and look at me and be... well... repulsed. I feared every wrinkle, every site of cellulite, every hint of things no longer being where they used to be, if you know what I mean. I feared that my husband would not desire me and would one day move on to bigger, tighter things...

Then like a brick in the head it hit me.

I saw the headlines over and over again where these super models and famous actresses where being cheated on by there husbands. I mean really even here recently... Jennifer Lopez, Sandra Bullock, and well honestly you would think these particular guys would have realized they had "married up", yet these women, who men all over the world gawk over and dream about where not able to keep there husbands from cheating... 

So what I realized was it must be more...

I realized that either my husband would be faithful to me or he wouldn't...
He would desire me or he wouldn't...
He would honor God enough to honor me... or he wouldn't.

And you know what else I realized.

I realized that when I let down this guard and self-conscienceness that I had about my own appearance and looked at myself through the mirror of my husband's eyes... I saw that he liked what he saw when he saw me... and he was not comparing me to anyone... I was the one comparing.

Now I want to keep myself as beautiful and appealing to my husband as I can... not to "keep" him, but to simply honor him, and to tell him by doing so that I love him.

As thirty-five quickly approaches me in two short days... I do not fear it like I once did. I still feel like I did when I was twenty-two... even if my body does not agree with me... most of the time... and well when my husband looks at me... I have realized he still sees twenty-one just like I still see that strong, determined, and handsome twenty-nine year old man who made me weak in the knees when I actually got him to talk to me...

Just this evening the headlines popped up about the 'sexiest women ever' stuff... my husband looked at me and said, "Well that's not accurate" and I just looked at him questioningly and he said "They ain't never seen you. How can they say that's an accurate list when you haven't even been considered?"

And yes I melted and blushed and got butterflies as I looked in his eyes and saw that he said this with all sincerity... that's my man and he loves me :-)

He said this and he thought of me and then I thought of all the beautiful women I know (that were not considered for that list either) whose husband's no doubt look at them and think the very same thing...

Oh ladies, look at yourself in the mirror of your husband's eyes and stop comparing yourself to airbrushed magazine covers and ladies with personal trainers and eight hours to do nothing but workout and eat specially prepared meals by professional dietitians... because guess what... not even all that could keep their men faithful to them... so there must be more.

Find the more.
Find a new perspective.

Do not let the fear of how you see yourself in your mirror keep you from "letting go". See yourself in the mirror of your husband's eyes and let go...

Friday, December 9, 2011

Breaks My Heart

This young lady has an absolutely amazing voice. My husband and I had just been discussing how strong of a little girl she appeared to be as we watched her. Yet her strength crumbled when she thinks she has lost her dream. The fact that she was eliminated is not what broke my heart. It's a competition. Only one can win. Elimination is a possibility with each of them.

What broke my heart were her personal comments to the audience.
Her plea to the people.
This: "thank you for giving me this because without you I am nothing"

Oh my that hits me like a brick in the pit of my stomach when it comes from an adult but those words out of a young girl... yes it breaks my heart. I just want to run up there and cup her face in my hand and look through her eyes into her very soul and tell her that she cannot put her identity and hope and worth in the hands of fickle man. She is something to God and without Christ she is nothing. I want to tell her, oh precious child put your hope in God, put your faith in Christ- not your talent, not the praise of the people, not the hands of four people called judges for a tv show. 

In one of email devos this morning I read this quote:

One definition of “faith” is: Forsaking All, I Trust Him.
When we lose our faith in Jesus, instead of clinging to
God we find ourselves grasping for the things of the
world. Life is reduced to merely the physical world. So
we miss out on opportunities to experience the vitality of
a living relationship with God, which comes only by faith
(Hebrews 11:6).
Poh Fang Chia

The last thing I ever want as a parent, is to point my children to defining their worth according to the praise of people. I don't want them to live for the next trophy, for the next award, for the next headline... just to be the best in the eyes of man and get something to stick on a shelf...

Yes I want my girls to have dreams, but I want there dreams to be in line with the will of God and His purpose for them, not their own personal ambition.

When tucking my Bekah in bed tonight she said, "Momma, I don't know if Jesus wants me to be a vet or a doctor."  She didn't know what JESUS wanted her to be. It wasn't a concern about who she wanted to be, but who HE wanted her to be.

Oh how I pray that truly that desire for His future, His plan, His way, is deeply ingrained in her heart so that she never stares into a camera and tells a sea of anonymous faces that she is nothing without them and their praise...

That no matter what this life brings in its ups and downs- and twists and turns- and highs and lows- and successes and failures- that she will know in the depth of her being that she is indeed nothing without Christ, but to Him- and in Him- and through Him- and with Him she is something, she is HIS and her life is for HIM and for HIS glory.

That is the desire of this mother's heart for all my girls!
That is the desire of this woman's heart for every child of God that I am able to have the opportunity to minister to in any way... let not this world define your identity or your worth.
Die to this world.
And live to Christ!

Oh how I hope against hope that this cry from little Rachel was a young child's slip of the tongue in an emotional and distraught state and what she truly meant to say was to thank God and give her praise and love to Christ for this opportunity and that without Him she was nothing...

Until then I lift her up before the throne of grace and pray that Christ would capture her heart before it is devoured and twisted and darkened by the savage wolves that desire to rape her of her talent and gift to simply build their own kingdoms and enlarge their own storehouses and fatten their own pockets and then leave her standing alone on a dark stage an empty shell of a woman with a void that she has realized that no amount of money, praise, fame, power, drug, drink, or boy can fill.

May she be caught up in the grace of God.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Names of God - El Olam

It's time for another post in our Names of God series!

So far we have studied four of the names of God revealed to us in His Word.
We have seen how God is Creator God in the name Elohim.
We have seen how God is the Most High in the name El Elyon.
We have seen how God is the God who sees in the name El Roi.
We have also seen how our God is our all-sufficient Almighty God in the name El Shaddai.

Today we will learn about even more about our God as we dig into the name El Olam.

We first see this name of God in Genesis.

 Abraham planted a tamarisk tree at Beersheba,
and there he called on the name of the LORD,
the Everlasting God.
Genesis 21:33

Let us take a close and detailed look at this name of God revealed to us by Abraham in Beersheba. Everlasting God is El Olam in Hebrew— El meaning “strength, mighty,” especially the almighty; Olam meaning “eternity, always, ancient, everlasting, perpetual, beginning of the world, and without end.”

The Lord the God of eternal strength.
The God who is always mighty.
The God who is perpetually powerful.
The one who is the great, mighty one from the beginning of the world and is without end.

“Before the mountains were born
or You gave birth to the earth and the world,
even from everlasting to everlasting,
You are God”
Psalm 90:2

In Daniel we read how our Everlasting God, El Olam, is called the Ancient of the Days.

“I kept looking
Until thrones were set up,
And the Ancient of Days took His seat;
Daniel 7:9

In Revelation we read how He is the Alpha and the Omega

 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,”
says the Lord God,
who is and who was and who is to come,
the Almighty.”
Revelation 1:8

and  how He is the first and the last

When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man.
And He placed His right hand on me, saying,
Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last,
Revelation 1:17

In the book of John we read how He is before all things

In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God. 
He was in the beginning with God. 
All things came into being through Him,
and apart from Him nothing came into being
that has come into being.
John 1:1-3

Oh precious one, are you shouting yet?

Is your chest filled with a hope that lifts up your spirit within you and makes you stand a little a taller, a little straighter, with your shoulders a little stronger as you remember who your God is? He is our perpetual power, our eternal strength. He is always mighty. There is no situation or circumstance in all of history, in our current present, or in days future that He is not in total and complete control of and more powerful than. He is the Everlasting God!

We read in Genesis that when Abraham called on this name of God he planted a tamarisk tree. This tamerisk tree is an evergreen.

These trees grow tall, and they are strong. They are able to tolerate conditions that destroy other trees. Their roots are able to reach deep into the soil and bring up the salt and water that is needed to sustain its life. By doing this, it is able to eliminate the competition of other plants in its area. This tree is spread from one place to another by cuttings.

When you receive Christ as your Savior you are cut out. You are made separate from the world, possibly even from family and friends. So why has God not also removed you from all your problems? Why has He not destroyed all these false gods and false teachers around you? Why do you still face all these temptations of life?

God cut Abraham from his home and from his family. He also cut him from the false gods he worshiped. He, however, did not remove Abraham from the world or blind him to the temptations of this world. God did not have to because He knew that the deep-rooted life that He would give Abraham would destroy all competition of all other gods and any temptation he might face.

Oh precious one, He wants you to see that He is greater! He will outlive all this temporary crap! He is what lasts! He is forever and ever and ever and ever and ever!

Blessed be the LORD,
the God of Israel,
From everlasting to everlasting.
Amen and Amen.
Psalm 41:13

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Got Grace?

"That's it, Job! It's your arrogance!" Eliphaz backs away and stares at him with that glare, saying, again, "You are getting exactly what you deserve!"
The style of communication Eliphaz employs is not that unusual to those who lack grace. It may not always be this brutal, but haven't you noticed this tone when you're around people who evidence no grace?
When you're down, they kick you.
When you're drowning, they pull you under.
When you're confused, they complicate your life.
And when you're almost finished, they write you off.
Other than that, they're pretty good folks.
~ Swindoll

One thing that I have learned in this walk with Christ, is that the two best places to learn how to love your enemy is in your family and in your church. It also is the two best places to learn how to give and receive grace. 

You see I have met Eliphaz.
I have even looked at Eliphaz in the mirror staring back at me with stubborn defiance.

I have learned that the hardest time to give grace comes when it is to be appropriated to someone I know should know better... to someone I have helped over and over... to someone I have loved hard and long.

If we remember the context, this Eliphaz was Job's friend. He was close enough to him that he felt he needed to be there for him physically. He was the friend who was close enough to show up. Yet, his words brought Job no comfort... because they came without grace.
Yes I know Eliphaz. I have met him. I have been him.

I remember when I first became wholly surrendered I began studying the Word like crazy and I still study it like crazy... would love nothing more than to just sit and study the Word and write about the Word and teach the Word from daylight to dark but for some reason the people in this house want to spend time with me and eat food and wear clean clothes and stuff like that.

(I mean really the nerve of some people, lol).

So as I grew in my knowledge, I grew in my arrogance. When I would hear of someone in a hurt or struggle I would think "well, if they would just do what God says right here then they would not be in that mess" 
I truly believe the only thing that kept me from saying some of the things I thought was because in all honesty I truly believed that I went through my sins and the struggles of my youth simply because I was ignorant of God's Word, so I had little grace for those who were supposed to "know better".

Mercy was not my gift... yet God would teach me.

You see I had mercy and grace galore for those who did not know better, but those that I thought should know better... well, go on and suffer the consequences of disobedience.

You see, I would look at them and think how I thought I would have made such different choices had I been where they were, knowing what I know now, then.
And what I have learned is that really it boiled down that my heart hurt that they would choose not to do what I so wished I could have and would have done... 

I am grateful that God has chosen to teach me grace through His word as well as through personal life experiences... I love learning to see life through His eyes and not my own... my eyesight has never been that good to begin with.

So Eliphaz is out there...
He might even be staring at you in the mirror...
He may only show up at certain times and with certain situations or people...
But here's the thing... 
This Eliphaz who shows no grace, speaks no grace, needs grace.
Yep that's right, he needs the grace that he doesn't yet know how to give. 

So not only is God teaching me to give grace to those who are struggling and hurting whether it be just life or consequences of sin or bad decisions, He is also teaching me to give grace to those who have none of their own. Because as my Pastor said once they just need more knowledge of God. And not just knowledge in knowledge, but knowledge of God and His Christ...

Grace and peace be multiplied to you
in the knowledge of God
and of Jesus our Lord;
2 Peter 1:2

I'm left with one thought: "Lord, if you are teaching us anything through Job's endurance, teach us the value of grace. Teach us about demonstrating grace. Show us again that grace is always appropriate. Always needed.
The person sitting near you in church next Sunday, the lady pushing that cart in the grocery store, the one who's putting gas in his car at the next pump, the man behind you at the movies, waiting to buy his ticket, the student across from you at school. You have no idea what that person is going through. If you did, chances are you'd be prompted to show grace or to say a few encouraging words even quicker. Remember this please: grace is always appropriate, always needed!
"Amazing grace---how sweet the sound!"
~ Swindoll

So precious one... Got Grace?
Have you got it to give?
Are you willing to give it to those that ain't got it and don't give it?

but grow in the grace and knowledge
of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
To Him be the glory,
both now and to the day of eternity.
2 Peter 3:18


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

My Body

I found this in my posts that I never actually posted... think I'll post it now :-)

So I have been reading and reading and soaking in the words of wisdom found in The Pursuit of God by AW Tozer... and well I have finished it and I suppose I shall finally return it to the library and pray that some other soul chooses to take it home and be enlightened by these words of exhortation.

The last chapter is titled The Sacrament of Living which is based from
1 Corinthians 10:31 

Whether, then, you eat or drink
or whatever you do,
do all to the glory of God.

Tozer writes:

One of the greatest hindrances to internal peace which the Christian encounters is the common habit of dividing our lives into two areas, the sacred and the secular.

As these areas are conceived to exist apart from each other and to be morally and spiritually incompatible, and as we are compelled by the necessities of living to be always crossing back and forth from the one to the other, our inner lives tend to break up so that we live a divided instead of a unified life.

He goes on to write:

This tends to divide our total life into two departments. We come unconsciously to recognize two sets of actions. The first are performed with a feeling of satisfaction and a firm assurance that they are pleasing to God. These are the sacred acts and they are usually thought to be prayer, Bible reading, hymn singing, church attendance and such other acts as spring directly from faith. They may be known by the fact that they have no direct relation to this world, and would have no meaning whatever except as faith shows us another world, “an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.”

Over against these sacred acts are the secular ones. They include all of the ordinary activities of life which we share with the sons and daughters of Adam: eating, sleeping, working, looking after the needs of the body and performing our dull and prosaic duties here on earth. These we often do reluctantly and with many misgivings, often apologizing to God for what we consider a waste of time and strength.

He also shares:

This is the old sacred-secular antithesis. Most Christians are caught in its trap. They cannot get a satisfactory adjustment between the claims of the two worlds. They try to walk the tight rope between two kingdoms and they find no peace in either. Their strength is reduced, their outlook confused and their joy taken from them.

I believe this state of affairs to be wholly unnecessary. We have gotten ourselves on the horns of a dilemma, true enough, but the dilemma is not real. It is a creature of misunderstanding. The sacred-secular antithesis has no foundation in the New Testament. Without doubt a more perfect understanding of Christian truth will deliver us from it.

The Lord Jesus Christ Himself is our perfect example, and He knew no divided life.

And he goes on to write:

That monkish hatred of the body which figures so prominently in the works of certain early devotional writers is wholly without support in the Word of God. Common modesty is found in the Sacred Scriptures, it is true, but never prudery or a false sense of shame.

The New Testament accepts as a matter of course that in His incarnation our Lord took upon Him a real human body, and no effort is made to steer around the downright implications of such a fact. He lived in that body here among men and never once performed a non-sacred act.

His presence in human flesh sweeps away forever the evil notion that there is about the human body something innately offensive to the Deity. God created our bodies, and we do not offend Him by placing the responsibility where it belongs. He is not ashamed of the work of His own hands.

And then he writes:

We need no more be ashamed of our body–the fleshly servant that carries us through life–than Jesus was of the humble beast upon which He rode into Jerusalem. “The Lord hath need of him” may well apply to our mortal bodies. If Christ dwells in us we may bear about the Lord of glory as the little beast did of old and give occasion to the multitudes to cry, “Hosanna in the highest.”

That we see this truth is not enough. If we would escape from the toils of the sacred-secular dilemma the truth must “run in our blood” and condition the complexion of our thoughts. We must practice living to the glory of God, actually and determinedly.

By meditation upon this truth, by talking it over with God often in our prayers, by recalling it to our minds frequently as we move about among men, a sense of its wondrous meaning will begin to take hold of us. The old painful duality will go down before a restful unity of life. The knowledge that we are all God’s, that He has received all and rejected nothing, will unify our inner lives and make everything sacred to us.


God is not ashamed of my body.
Not ashamed.
He is not ashamed of the work of His hands.
He formed me.

I will give thanks to You,
for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.
Psalm 139:14

I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
God is not looking upon me in this flesh of mine with disgust.
How often I forget that.
How often I even pray for the day that I can worship Him apart from this flesh that I have come to hate.
This flesh that God loves.

I find disgust with my body.
I look with disgust upon this flesh of mine.

But quite possibly my Creator does not...

This body, this flesh, that I find myself cringing in shame over at times...
My Creator created fearfully and wonderfully...
And this He wrote after sin entered the world.
This He spoke through the pen of David...
It is God who said He was ruddy and handsome.
It was God who said Esther was beautiful of form and face.
This He said while they were in their sin sick flesh...

I think of my children, those I love, there is no deformity of body horrid enough that I would not desire to wrap my arms around them and pull them close up to my chest and hold them with all my heart and tell them that I love them... God loves me in the sickness and defomity of this wretched flesh no less.

This body He gave me to do His will.
It will serve His purpose.
It will carry me through this life and into His glorious presence.
Of this body I should not be ashamed.

God did not design this body of His to be a split personality. It was not meant to be categorized as sacred or secular... all of it was created for the sacred.
Everything that I do is to be an act of worship to my God at all times.

We are not to divide up our lives... Christ unites.
I am not to feel condemnation because the work I am called to do consumes my day and leaves me weighing the scales of secular vs sacred deeds to find me ashamed with my head hung down because my scale is heavy on what I deem the wrong side...

I have even found myself guilty over the desire that my body has to sleep. Feeling this time wasted... what could I accomplish if this body just did not grow tired, weak, and sick.

Yet God is not ashamed.
All things are His, the works of His hands.

Did I honor Him in my deeds?
Did I honor Him with my body?
Did I speak with Him during my toil?
Did I seek Him for guidance with the business of the day?
Did I do my work with honesty and integrity?
Did I represent Him well where I was at?

Then my work was sacred, done as unto the Lord.

Let every man abide in the calling wherein he is called and his work will be as sacred as the work of the ministry. It is not what a man does that determines whether his work is sacred or secular, it is why he does it.
The motive is everything.

Of course this does not mean that I throw out the Word, prayer, or the assembly... it means that all these flows into every aspect of my life and body.

Whether, then, you eat or drink
or whatever you do,
do all to the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10:31 

Monday, December 5, 2011

My Salvation Experience

Looking back again along with a couple of new thoughts...

December 9th will be my 10th "born again" birthday!  

This comes from a FB Note I wrote on August 3rd, 2009...

On November 9th in the year 1992, at the age of 15, I wrote the following as someone who thought she was saved :


Depression lingers on my soul
I'm falling deep, too deep under his control
I don't understand my actions
I'm hurt, I'm scared, I'm shattered
I'm reaching for fulfillment in the wrong places
I'm turning to all the wrong faces
Help me Lord to straighten my life
Help me to handle these strifes
Words come out of my mouth I don't mean
Obsenities, temptations, even in my dreams
If I don't turn around now there's no telling how far I'd go
Straight to hell, more than likely, as far as I know
Help me Lord to withstand the temptations
Help me to fight these implications
I want to get drunk, get high, get laid
Yet all of these things I look upon with disdain
I feel fat, ugly, inferior, and rejected
Are these true or do I stand corrected?
Help me Lord to see a portrait of myself
Am I really worthless or of some importance?
Help me Lord I need to know
Help me I need you so.

Two years later on October 2nd in the year 1997, at the age of 17, I wrote the following:

"The Battle"

Strange and undescribable feelings float through my heart and soul
Are they feelings of guilt, of needing to change my life?
I really don't know
They only come to me at night,
When it's time to turn out the lights,
When you stop to think,
When you analyze your life,
When you think of the future,
When you wonder what's in store.
They feel sort of like nervous butterflies fluttering around in my gut.
It bothers me because I can't figure out what they're for.
They come to me often.
They have for years.
Making me feel uncomfortable and scared to fall asleep.
Scared because it's a feeling like the end.
A feeling like I won't awake.
Like this is my last night on earth,
Yet so far I always do.
Should I worry about these feelings,
Take them as a premonision,
Or do I just ignore?
They feel as if they are my demons
That have seeped into my soul.
Yet they feel as if they are the Lord
Trying to save my soul.
Possibly it is a battle,
A battle between the two,
That has been raging through my conscience
That has always been at war,
Each one fighting for control.
One fighting for truth and good,
The other for the evils that I can do.
Each one trying to pull me his way
Yet it seems between them I sway.
Once wanting to live right and mend and stop my mistakes
Then doing the wrong without it bothering me at all
Not at all until these feelings come
Making me stop and review
Making me want to slap myself for the stupid things I do.
When I am alone I apologize for my sins
Seeing them as wrong and knowing this completely
Yet each time I step outside and enter the world
I push these apologies aside
And do again what I've begged forgiveness for.
I don't believe I'll ever understand
I don't think I'll ever get control
I feel as if I will always be at war.
I guess I need more strength
I need more room to grow
I need more self-respect
I need myself to get to know
I must decide what's important
And get rid of what needs to go.

I wrote these poems having never read the book of Romans. If you read the struggle the one called "I" is going through in Romans 7:14-24, you will see that it is the exact struggle that I was going through. That I continued to go through until December 9th 2001.

You see just like this "I", I was a sold into bondage to sin (Rom 7:14). I didn't understand why I wanted to do good but couldn't and why I didn't want to do evil, but couldn't stop myself (Rom 7:15). I hated myself.

Like this "I" in Romans 7:22, I knew that the Law of God was good and that I needed to be living according to it, but no matter what I did I could not do it. No matter how many times I "rededicated" my life, I still was a prisoner to the law of sin (Rom 7:23).

You see I was still trying to earn my way to God. I was still trying to obey the Law to be righteous. I was trying to do what the preacher told me to do. I said my prayer. I did the baptism. I followed my religions rules.

I did the works, but oh precious one works without faith is dead (James 2:26).

You see this whole journey had always focused on me. My hurts, my failures, my wrongs, my sins, it was always about the fear of hell, the fear of not being accepted, the fear of not measuring up.

Oh but precious one, God had me, He never gave up on me. In my last poem I wrote that I needed "myself to get to know", and that's exactly what God was doing. He was letting me see myself for who I really was. A slave to sin.

The whole time I kept calling out to Him, and the whole time He kept drawing me unto Himself. Then one day it finally hit me. Listening to the testimony of a godly woman it hit me. It wasn't just about my sins, it wasn't just about getting rid of guilt, it was about Him. It was about turning away from anything that would keep me from Him even if that meant my very self.

Suddenly nothing else mattered but HIM. I wanted nothing but to know HIM and to be known by HIM. I didn't care if I had a "perfect" life. I just wanted to be with God. I just wanted to hear HIS voice. To feel His presence. And at that moment I did! At that moment He saved me. At that moment HIS very presence overwhelmed me and I became a new creation in Christ, the moment I died, I became alive, in Him!!

It was at this moment I was wholly surrendered!

Here's a poem I wrote on July 1st, in the year 2003, 2 years after becoming free:

"Independance Day"

Once a slave in bondage
Captivated by sin
Once a puppet controlled
by the evil within
Once defeated, beat down,
by choices made
Once weak, once weary
intimidated, afraid
Once ashamed, and disgraced
and doomed to die
Once dead in my sin
Now brought to life!
Glory, Halleluia, Praises to His name
Glory, Halleluia, it's Independance Day!
The battle is over
the Victory is won
I now have freedom
by faith in the Son
The shackles are loosed
Christ tore them away
No longer controlled, no longer a slave
No longer defeated, No longer abhored
For greater is He that is in me
Than he that is in the world
Glory, Halleluia, Praises to His name
Glory, Halleluia, it's Independance Day
Free at last, free at last
Thank God Almighty I am free at last
Free to sing, free to dance
Free from the pain of mistakes of the past
No more shame, no more fear
no more emptiness within
No more bitterness, no more hate
I am filled by HIM
I saw the Light at the cross
I fell at His feet
I gave Him all my burdens
He allowed me to weep
I cried out all my fear
I cried out all my sins
He gave me forgiveness
He gave me a new chance to begin
Glory, Halleluia, Praises to His name
Glory, Halleluia, it's Independance Day!
In Christ is our freedom
In Jesus is our peace
From lasting to everlasting
From the west to the east
From mountain to valley
From sea to shining sea
I live, I live!

Because Jesus died for me.

You see (I believe) the "I" in Romans 7:14-25 was not a believer. He was still a prisoner to the law of sin, sold into bondage, evil present within him, sin dwelling in him. This (to me) DOES NOT describe a (born again) believer. Paul made it perfectly clear to us in Romans 6 that if we have been justified by faith in Christ, then we have died to sin. We have been baptized into His death, our old nature crucified on the cross with HIM, our body of sin done away with, we were buried with Him, and we rose with Him in newness of life, slave to sin no longer. Sin would no longer be our master.

If (I) you claim that this "I" in Romans 7:14-24 is a believer and is still a prisoner of sin, sold into bondage, then (I believe) you claim that Christ did not do enough, (I believe) you null and void Romans 2-6.

In Christ, you are dead to sin and alive to God! Christ is your master, not sin. Sin no longer dwells in you, the Holy Spirit of God does (Romans 8:9). Romans 8:13 states plainly that "for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die;" If you still live your life according to your flesh, then you have never died with Christ...

(You see the question now is... do I now love Christ more than this sin of my flesh... do I love HIM enough to kill this evil that's trying to creep in on me... to curse this fig tree that it might never bear fruit in me or through me again) 

Many need to wake up and realize one of two things, they are completely ignorant of the power that is theirs in Christ, or they are not in Christ at all. "For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God." (Romans 8:14)

When Paul writes that we are dead to Law that does not mean we are lawless, we are dead to the Law, but we are joined to Christ! Joined to Christ to bear fruit to God (Romans 7:4). Too many have a form of godliness, and yet deny the power of Christ.

Thier Christianity is a platform, a label, it's not real. It's a billboard for show, when of course they are the show. I've seen it so much here lately it makes me nauseous. It makes me angry, angry for the way they ruin the reputation of my Savior by their lawlessness, their worldliness, their lies, their hypocrisy, their distortion of the Word of God, twisting it so that they may excuse their living according to their flesh and yet claiming they have eternal life in Christ. Worse than white wash tombs filled with dead man's bones, because they don't even bother to white wash. There is a big difference in not being perfect and being a complete fraud.

As a believer do we sin? Yes, we stumble, we stumble in our pursuit of God. We do not sin because we couldn't help it. If we sin it is a choice, you chose to. We are still in this flesh and we are still in the process of sanctification. Which is Paul's whole point of Romans 7 and being dead to the Law.

Many believe we are justified by Christ, but kept saved by obeying the Law or whatever their religious rules are. Paul is saying no.

You were saved by Christ, and you are sanctified by Christ.
You live by Christ and you are kept by Christ.

You are not made holy by obeying a bunch of rules, you are made holy by obeying the Spirit of God that dwells in you if you are indeed in Christ.
Is there a battle?
Yes there is, but this time, I am not a slave.
Now I am not powerless. Now I am fully equipped, a free child of God, able to have authority over my flesh and whatever temptations come my way. As long as I am walking in the Spirit, I will never fulfill the lusts of the flesh.

Every Christian can have his body under absolute control for God. God has given us the responsibility to rule over all “the temple of the Holy Spirit,” including our thoughts and desires (1 Corinthians 6:19). We are responsible for these, and we must never give way to improper ones. But most of us are much more severe in our judgment of others than we are in judging ourselves. We make excuses for things in ourselves, while we condemn things in the lives of others simply because we are not naturally inclined to do them. ~ Oswald Chambers

Now I groan, awaiting my glorified body. I have been freed from sins power, but still deal with sin's presence, but one day even this battle will be over. Until that day it is our responsibility to "...make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lust" (Romans 13:14)

If you examine yourself and know that you are indeed a child of God according to the Word of God and yet you continue to constantly stumble, check what you're providing your flesh.
Feed your spirit and not your flesh.

Giving Him praise for not leaving me as He found me... but working in me and through me, transforming me and conforming me, more and more into the image of His Son, for His glory, for His excellency, for His will, not mine, for His life, not mine, because He alone is worthy!
Glory to my God and to His Christ, my Savior!