Yesterday we learned that the word yada is used in the Old Testament over 900 times… we talked about how it is the word that God uses when He tells us that Adam lay with Eve. It is also the same word that God uses to share that Rebekah was very beautiful and had never lain with man. It is the word that God used to share that Elkanah lay with Hannah and He remembered her and she conceived.
(Hearing the word “lay” in God’s spectrum makes our worldly term “get laid” sound quite repulsive, doesn’t it?)
Well today we are going to talk about the relationship that God most uses the word yada to describe.
Trust me this is going to be good…
Be still and yada that I am God.
So the LORD said to Moses,
“I will also do this thing that you have spoken;
for you have found grace in My sight,
and I yada you by name,”
Is your heart pounding yet?
Do you see now how Adam and Eve were in the garden with God and they were naked and they were not ashamed?
We see naked and we usually think nudity… and that’s it.
But it was so much more than that. Yadatranscends the physical. It describes the whole knowing of a person… not just their body, but their hearts, their minds, and their souls. It means no secrets and nothing is held back. Before sin entered the world Adam and Eve were naked in the garden before God. They had no secrets with each other and they were not trying to hide secrets from God…
This is the love life we are beckoned to in Christ. We can once again be in the garden with our God and be naked and not be ashamed.
I want you to go back now and read Psalm 139 again, because now you can do so with the awareness that when you read the word “know” you are reading “yada”…
O LORD, you have searched me and known me…
Just as a young romantic dreams of his or her future lover, God dreamed of you. Before you were born, His heart longed for you. God has “before love” for you. He has sought you, and He is seeking you. Those are facts. Let’s make every effort not to confuse our lack of feeling God’s presence with a lack of His presence. And beyond that, my friend, let me encourage you to step out of- or never step into- the same pit of Satan’s lies I once was drowning in when I believed that my past made me unworthy of God’s desire and love. It’s simply not true…
Precious one, never forget who you are in Him…
and never forget where you were when He called you…
He loved you then,
He loved you before then,
and He loved you still even after then… and He loves you now.
Now, in this moment, you are the focus of the passionate and unconditional love of God. He loves you with His entire Being. You have all of His love as if you were the only human being in existence. And He loves you because you exist without reference to your behavior. Understand and live in that reality, and behavior will change in response to such infinte love that leaves us worshipping wonder.
~ Malcolm Smith
Get this: The ache in your heart to be known by and to truly know one man was placed in you to be a revelation of a much deeper love. When you are in intimate physical and emotional communion with your husband, it will be a mere picture of the passionate love of a God who has been seeking your heart since before you were born.
We live in a day of artificiality.
We have artificial sweetener, artificial nails, artificial hair, artificial colors…
We have fake food, fake diamonds, fake furs, fake money, fake lips, fake boobs, fake profiles, fake friends…
We have imitation purses, imitation art, imitation wood, imitation pearls…
We live in a day of cheap fake, artificial, imitations.
We live in a day of counterfeits… and love is no exception.
Honey, don’t settle for the imitiation when the Creator of the universe stands before you with open arms welcoming you into the REAL GENUINE TRUE thing.
Don’t be wooed away from the Lover of your soul by the seductions of the world and the lies of the one who rules here… you are worth more than that. You were worth dying for… more precious to God than His own glory. He laid it aside to come chasing after you… He wants to captivate and capture your heart and sweep you off your feet and carry off to His kingdom to be His pure and holy and undefiled bride.
Just spend tonight thinking about that and about Him…
What are some of the cliches you have heard that are supposed to encourage you or at least shame you into saving yourself for the honeymoon?
“Why buy the cow when you are getting the milk for free?”
“If you want it, you better put a ring on it”
We’ve all heard so many trite cliches through the years. “It’s a gift you can only unwrap once” and “You can become a recycled virgin” come tomind. Something in me just doesn’t like the idea of comparing virginity to a milk carton. But all these repeated messages about ”protecting God’s gift of sex” still leave many wondering why? Why does God want it protected?
~ Dannah Gresh
Yeh, but why?
In the back of your head you hear the cliche and then you look over there and they are having sex and they are having sex and well they are having sex… and lightning has struck and God has struck them with a disease and they seem perfectly content. They are even excited that they just found out they are pregnant and they are not married, but everybody is hugging her and is excited for her???
And your daughters and sons are wondering the very same thing?
Why should you, why should they, wait when it looks like absolutely no one else around you is? If you are single again after a marriage… does it even matter?
Yes it does… and this is why:
Yes, that’s right yada.
Adam lay with his wife Eve,
and she became pregnant
Okay… so yeh, as Dannah said he was so not just layin’ there!
The word lay in the Hebrew is “yada.“
This is the Hebrew word for sex. It means “to know, to be known, to be deeply respected.” This is what God thinks about sex. It is designed to be something that causes us to be deeply known by another. It doesn’t have anything to do with the actual physical act of sex, it centered on the deep emotional connection and quenching that we yearn for…
Ladies think about it… is it really the physical touch you crave… or is it really a deep emotional caress that you are crying out for?
What really drives you over the edge and makes your head spin and your heart pound?
Is it when he touches you…
or is it when he took the time to study you and to really get to know you…
when he knew what color your eyes where, your favorite color, was it not when he remembered something you said? Or when he was able to but you that gift and you had never even mentioned wanting it out loud… he just knew you would want it… because he had taken the time and the effort to know you… just you?
Married ladies… when does your husband look at you in amazement?
Is it really when you strut out and blow him away with your sex kitten prowl… or is it when he knows that you know him, really know him, yet still deeply respect him and you show that deep respect in your willing submission to his leading of your family? Is it not when you show sincere interest and real respect for his work and the efforts he makes to provide for your family?
Based on the world’s view of sex knowing and respecting each other has nothing to do with sex… it’s just physical… but an emotional knowing and deep respect are essential ingredients to an intimate, lifelong connection. Mingle the two- an emotional knowing and a deep respect- and you haveyada.
The word yada is used more than 900 times in the Old Testament.
Dannah shares a story in her book about a guy names Wes and girl named Stephanie… let me share it with you.
Trust me this one is a tear jerker!
Wes first saw Stephanie at a Pure Freedom for teens. Wes said he loved her the moment her saw her. When he approached Stephanie to ask her out on a date she informed him that after a very bad relationship in 9th grade, her heart had been wooed by Jesus, and she was only dating Him through out the rest of high school… which was three more years. Three years. No guys. Just God.
Well Wes went and had a little talk with God about this. You see Wes loved Jesus too. When Wes went and talked to Jesus about how he felt about Stephanie and God let Wes know that He was courting Stephanie and Wes needed to back off and give Him His courting time with Stephanie.
But for the next three years Wes never stopped loving Stephanie. He stayed friends with her, would touch base every now and then. During this time he was asked out by other girls… but he said no… He was waiting on Stephanie, even though she had no clue that he was.
On May 24, 2008 Wes saw Stephanie again… she was about to graduate high school.
Then on June 1, 2008 after Stephanie had graduated high school Wes came to see Stephanie. And that’s when he brought them out… the gifts.
One for each Christmas that he’d loved her.
One for each birthday that he’d loved her.
And a journal that expressed his emotional pursuit of her… three years of giving her over to God and giving himself over to God as he waited for God to give him permission to show his love to Stephanie. YES THIS IS A TRUE STORY!
For from days of old they have not heard or perceived by ear,
Nor has the eye seen a God besides You,
Who acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him.
but just as it is written,
“ THINGS WHICH EYE HAS NOT SEEN AND EAR HAS NOT HEARD,
AND which HAVE NOT ENTERED THE HEART OF MAN,
ALL THAT GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM.”
1 Corinthians 2:9
This is why sex is worth waiting for… it’s for YADA.
Let’s dump the cliches, let’s dump the lies, and let us walk in Truth.
Your challenge today:
if you are married, are you still getting to know your spouse? Ladies, how is your respect toward your husband? Does he know that you respect him? Do you respect him? Is yada a part of your marriage? Maybe you need to make the first move in getting to know your husband all over again…
if you are single… wait on Him. Are you willing to give the object of your heart over to God? Are you willing to date Jesus only, to let the Creator of the universe court you and then bring “the one” to you? Are you willing to say no to relationships that you know are not God’s will for you in order to wait for yada?
I am a biblical woman who loves God’s Word and feasts on it each day. I am a sinful woman who has been healed by the perfecting love of my Savior. I am a wife and mother who is honored to serve the Father in those roles. I am an author empowered by the Holy Spirit to write to write and live out Truth. I am a girl who occasionally watches The Ellen Show, and I think she’s sweet and funny and generous. And that’s where it starts to get complicated- when my private, God-loving self interacts with a real world that doesn’t acknowledge Him as God. Just like you, I am trying to live out my faith in a very crazy world.
~ Dannah Gresh
These last ten days I am going to begin pulling from Dannah Gresh’s book What Are You Waiting For. I wanted to start with Shannon Ethridge’s book because it was geared more to married women, and I am a firm believer that God wants us to have amazing marriages. He wants us to experience a level of intimacy in our marriages that somehow helps us understand how up-close and intimate He intends to be with us.
I also believe with all my heart that God can take a marriage that is already hanging off the ledge of destruction and when even just one of the two is willing to let both hands go of the ledge and then grabs on to God’s hand and refuses to let go… then God can pull them both to safety… because after all you are united as one flesh.
I believe many marriages fall apart because we usually are not willing to see our own part in the mess. All we want to see is the part that will justify our choice to be done, to be free of the pain, the hurt, the hassle. It’s easier to see the other’s fault in the mess than our own, especially when we use the excuse that our actions are simply the results or effects of the other’s actions… the whole “well if they then I wouldn’t have” thing.
We usually want what we have decided is the greener grass because we didn’t have to do any of the work to make it green. Here’s the thing, God wants our grass to be just as green… but sometimes it takes a bunch of “crap” to get beautiful green grass. Sometimes it has to be set on fire and burnt almost to death in order for the beautiful new green to work its way up through the ashes. Sometimes it has to have poisons thrown out on it to destroy the weeds that keep creeping up in it and sometimes it has to babied… with extra seed and water and tended often… especially in a dry season. Green grass takes work…
So we started with Every Woman’s Battle and we ended yesterday with our prayer for God to show us who we needed as an accountability partner. Ladies even if you are not struggling at this time with emotional or sexual integrity… you still need accountability. You need it in so many areas of your life.
Maybe your struggle is staying in the Word, maybe it’s attending church, maybe it’s losing it with your kids, maybe it’s laziness at work, maybe it’s food, maybe it’s health maintenance, maybe it’s stepping out in obedience in a particular ministry. It doesn’t matter what we are struggling with, God built and designed His church that we might be accountable to one another and Him. You need women in your life who know they have the freedom to pull you aside and say…“Honey, I have noticed…”
However, the focus of this Thirty-three Day Challenge remains sexual and emotional integrity. As I watch our nation crumble in moral decay, and I see that decay alive and well and working in our churches, I am beyond saddened. A little piece of my heart breaks every time a marriage fails because of emotional and sexual compromise. A little piece of my heart breaks every time I hear of the youth group couple that is sexually active. A little piece of my heart breaks every time I hear of the youth group boy that has playboy’s under his bed and him and half the other youth group guys head off to Hooter’s for some wings. A little piece of my heart breaks when I hear what movies the girls in the church are watching or what music they are listening to or what books they are reading…
I have to confess, that my own personal litmus as to whether or not I think you need Jesus is “where are you sexually?” This is my plumb line. This is where I will begin my fruit inspection as to whether or not you are a genuine sincere believer, especially if you tell me you are called to the ministry or are already in the ministry.
When I was first wholly surrendered I thought everyone was like me. If they claimed to be a Christian and yet had sex outside of marriage then I, with all my heart, thought they were as deceived as I was and really were not saved. Now I have learned to extend grace in this area and I now know that yes, someone can be a Christian, can be really saved, and struggling in this area. So I have learned to not doubt their salvation so easily, but here’s the thing… they still need Jesus or at least they still need more of Jesus, they still need TRUTH.
Which is why as much as it breaks my heart to see those who compromise their integrity… it breaks my heart even more and makes it fall with a thud to a floor, when I hear those who profess to be Christians call someone else a whore, a slut, a fag… just because they have decided that what “they” are doing is worse than what they are doing.
All it takes is one walk down the halls to hear it.
All it takes is five minutes in the break room to hear it.
All it takes is one “prayer” meeting to hear it.
And as the targets of the judgments and gossip hear it… their invisible walls of self-protection get higher, thicker, and harder. God is heart-blocked by our gossip and harsh judgments.
Heart-blocking is Satan’s job… that is his work.
Who are you working for?
So- as we who call ourselves Christians,
we biblical women who are learning to feast on God’s Word daily,
we sinful women who have fallen but are being restored and perfected by the love of our Savior,
we women who want with all our hearts to do all we can to keep our daughters and the other young women in our lives from making the insane mistake of believing the lies of Satan instead of the truth of God… let us be real.
Let us not tell sister-so-and-so about Betty-Jo’s affair, let us go to Betty-Jo and pull Betty-Jo aside and offer her our sincere help in bringing her before the throne of grace. Let us not joke in the break room about how Floozy-Suzie wore those clothes into work yesterday, wonder who she went home with after the office party last night… let us instead go to Floozy-Suzie one-on-one and tell her about real Love. She may not know it exists. Let us not join in our daughters conversation of condemnation about the new lesbian couple in school, let us instead teach her how to share the gospel and love them without getting caught up in the sin themselves…
Don’t get me wrong… I know Jezebel is out there.
But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel,
who calls herself a prophetess,
and she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray
so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.
I gave her time to repent,
and she does not want to repent of her immorality.
…but I will let God take care of her, I will just offer everyone grace and mercy as freely as He offered it to me and at the same time I will be careful not to fall into temptation in the process…
Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass,
you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness;
each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted.
Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.
That is our end goal of this challenge. To become women of emotional and sexual integrity who are strong enough by and through His grace to be used by Him in our own weaknesses to reach out to those that God has allowed to cross our path and show them the Way of Peace.
We are one day away from the ten day stretch to finish the race of this thirty-three day challenges. We have spent the past three weeks weeding through deception. I hope that these past few weeks have been an opportunity to pull up some lies that had been growing and thriving inside of you by their root. I hope that it has been a time of blind eyes being opened and a time of oh’s, that’s why’s, and now I get it’s. I also hope it has been a time of training. A time of learning the right tools to keep you from falling into the snare of the enemy of our souls.
If this has been a time like that, and you have experienced freedom and you want to stay free, but you are done lying to yourself and you know you can’t do this on your own, then what you need at the very least is an accountability partner. If you need more help… go get it. There are churches all over your area with Christian counselors who would love to be there for you and would love to be allowed to be used by God to help restore your soul.
In light of that, our focus today is accountability partners.
Do you want to be able to be able to say no to worldly passions?
To live a self-controlled, upright and godly life?
To be purified as God’s very own?
To be eager to do what is good?
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men,
instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires
and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age,
looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory
of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus,
who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed,
and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession,
zealous for good deeds.
Well there you go…
The answer is GRACE
So many today think that grace is just the “Oh that’s okay… I understand… I hate the sin… but I love the sinner.” But the problem is… most of the time we really don’t hate the sin.
Let me ask you?
Do you hate spiders?
What would you want someone to do if they saw a spider crawling up your back and into your hair?
Let’s say that unknown to you a spider is crawling up you back. You are just walking along in the mall lost in your own little world and then out of no where some person jumps on you and grabs you by the hair and almost knocks you out trying to get to that spider and then after the dust is settled and you still are clueless about the spider and you are about ready to KILL the person for jumping on you and then… they turn around in desperation and show the dead brown lacrossse spider that was about to crawl in your ear and bite you. Would you hit them out of anger for hurting you in the process of trying to get to that spider or would you hug them and say “oh! thank you! thank you!” ?
Let me ask you again…
Do you hate sin?
Grace is the gateway to faith and faith is the way of salvation… Grace is power and strength and might, it is not weak and wishy-washy. Remember that it was the grace of God that put Christ on that cross. He loved the sinner so much that He showed us how much He hated the sin by the stripes on His Son… this is what it took, but God never once stopped loving His Son.
So before you go to hating someone who has clearly pointed out sin in your life in a not so nice way or “Christian” way… first ask yourself and ask God… are they right?
Getting the poisonous spiders out of our hair by a stranger or friend who is not going to be one of those who just stands by and watches without helping or warning, may not be fun or comfortable it might be flat-out painful… but at least they didn’t choose to sit back and watch and then report to the news after your destruction “well I knew it was coming, I sat rigt over and watched that spider crawl right up her britches leg and up her back and that sucker headed right to her ear and then wham it bit her… sure hate that it happened, but you know I ain’t one to get in someone else’s business…”
Let me ask you again?
Do you hate sin?
If the answer is yes, you need an accountability partner/partners. You need godly women in your life that you know are not afraid to get the spider out of your hair even if their methods end up shocking you or even hurting you.
Perhaps it will be a friend or a sister, a teacher, a counselor, or a mentor. While you may be tempted to look for someone who can sympathize with you, you may have more long-term success with someone who isn’t struggling herself or who has already overcome such a struggle. Hitching two weak oxen together to plow a field is not nearly as effective as hitching a weak ox with a strong ox. ~ Shannon Ethridge
When you are praying about an accountability partner you do not want someone who is in the same boat you are. Yes, it is fine to have those women,we need those women, but those ladies are your “support group” not your “accountability partners”. The support group is there to help you realize you are not alone, but if this is your only source of help, then you might just find yourself surrounded with people that only say,
“Oh girl, I know, I am right there with you, no matter what I try I just keep on falling”
and never say
“NO girl, I KNOW, you don’t have to stay here, you are stronger than that and by all means Christ in you is stronger than that, now get up on your feet and let’s go”
See the difference?
When you have a mentor who can show you how to thrive on a diet of humility, you may discover a healing change in your appetite. Remember we can not sin and win. If there is sexual or emotional sin in your life, you must starve it to death. You can’t just “trim it down” or it will just grow right back, even larger than before. Sin must be cut out completely.
Your boasting is not good.
Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough?
Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump,
just as you are in fact unleavened.
For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed.
1 Corinthians 5:6-7
So don’t boast about how you trimmed out some of the stuff that was causing you to fall and causing you to grieve the heart of God, when you have in full awareness chosen to hang on to the sins you “like” to much to stop…
Admit to God that you “like” this one… and get to work with that mentor, that accountability partner, get on your face before your God and ask Him to help you hate it.
He who tends the fig tree will eat its fruit, And he who cares for his master will be honored.
Now in the morning, when He was returning to the city, He became hungry.
Seeing a lone fig tree by the road, He came to it
and found nothing on it except leaves only;
and He said to it, “No longer shall there ever be any fruit from you.”
And at once the fig tree withered.
Seeing this, the disciples were amazed and asked,
“How did the fig tree wither all at once?”
And Jesus answered and said to them,
“Truly I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt,
you will not only do what was done to the fig tree,
but even if you say to this mountain,
‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ it will happen.
And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”
As they were passing by in the morning,
they saw the fig tree withered from the roots up.
Being reminded, Peter said to Him,
“Rabbi, look, the fig tree which You cursed has withered.”
And Jesus answered saying to them, “Have faith in God.
Here’s the bottom line… if you tend to the fig tree (sin) then you will eat it’s fruit… but if you care for your master (Jesus) then you will be honored. When you stop tending to the fig tree it will stop bearing fruit and then you will realize this fig tree was worthless all along and you can curse it and then God will destroy it from the roots up… and as you walk by faith in your God and His Christ, it will never bear fruit in you again.
Who/what are you going to choose to care for?
It’s up to you… as Jesus said… Have faith in God, and whatever you curse will be cursed.
Trust, me you can do this. Christ came that you might have life and victory.