When You Love Jesus And Can’t Stop Struggling With Certain Sin…

secretiveCan we just be real and talk about the struggle. Can we peel our church mask off and just be real?

How can it be that we can truly love Jesus and still be addicted to pornography? How can it be that we can love God, serve Jesus and truly, truly love Him, but still struggle with masturbation even though we know it’s wrong? How can it be that we can truly love God but can’t seem to stop having sex with that person who is not our husband or wife? How is it that we find ourselves asking for forgiveness from God for that certain sin AGAIN and again? How is it that it can seem like “we’re good” but when it comes to certain areas like our sexual purity ( I’m just using sex as an example. Everyone’s stronghold maybe different) there seems to be “that one” bad habit that feels impossible to break?

You can truly love Jesus with all of your heart and STILL struggle. *insert sarcastic gasp here* Continue reading “When You Love Jesus And Can’t Stop Struggling With Certain Sin…”

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A Jesus Groupie Diaries: Fake Obedience…

Amy Rigdon

In late August I went on a retreat upstate with the young adults group from my church. As soon as I got off the bus I had a HUGE smile on my face! I was going to be in nature, surrounded by people my age, do fun actives, make new friends and worship like crazy! I had a “yeah let’s do this” kind of attitude!!! (woo hoo!) Fun Fun Fun…..

Then for some reason,  out of nowhere, I started feeling discontent and shaken. I wasn’t as confident nor as excited as I had been.

Service began, the band started playing and I hit a wall. My heart felt so hard. I was singing but the words were empty. I felt everyone around me raising their hands, singing with passion. Yet I stood still, hands down, lips still. I closed my eyes and cried out to God “Hello, don’t you see me? I’m here in the middle of nowhere, smack dab in the middle of these woods, searching for you! Why do I feel so far from you?” Frustrated, I stood there motionless. Fortunately, I waited long enough to hear God say “Darling, let go.” I knew exactly what he meant. Deep in my heart I was holding on to something that I didn’t want to let go of. I was living a life of disobedience of as I would like to call it… FAUXBEDIENCE. I was reading the Bible, praying, having conversation with God but I had hit a wall…. 

Having a relationship with Christ isn’t about going through the motions. It’s about being open WITH your emotions. God wanted me to dig deeper…Reading the Bible and going to church wasn’t all God wanted from me. He wanted me to stop ignoring his voice and OBEY. (James 1:22 But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise you are only fooling yourselves)

You can’t score a touchdown without running the field. I wanted to move on to the future without dealing with my past and dealing with what God was telling me to DO in the present.

By this time, the pastor had asked us to high five our neighbor and I had burst into tears of breakthrough! I had reached true surrender. I saw what life would be like if I kept holding on to that issue, and I didn’t like it! I went to bed that night excited to obey. I didn’t know what that meant at the time and it didn’t matter. All God wanted was my willingness to follow his lead and trust that there was something better on the other side. I loosened my grip, found strength and confronted the situation. I know my heavenly father was so proud of me because I was proud of myself….

Every season will bring new obstacles but I pray this story leaves you with a fresh desire to be obedient to WHATEVER God may be telling you to do.. Only YOU know what that is.. My story is still being written but I know I want to live it with two hands wide open, lifted to the sky. Good bye fauxbedience, center stage is obedience… I challenge you to do the same 🙂

Love, Amy Rigdon xox

A Jesus Groupies Diaries: The Five Heartbreaks…

kentara
Having so many heartbreaks is probably one of the main reasons I decided to give my life to Christ. Period.
I’m not ashamed to say that it was not by some strong physical or spiritual force, or an individual Bible verse that changed my heart. Plain and simple I was tired of being hurt, used and disrespected by men, I couldn’t take it anymore, and if you ever had your heartbroken before, you know the feeling, its like your ENTIRE body aches….
Ached when “he” called and said he was engaged and getting married to another woman. “Wait, what?! Aren’t we currently dating?”
 Ached when “he” had a child with someone else.
Ached when the day after “he” broke up with me, his ex-fiancee was on the scene looking like not a day has gone by since their last encounter.
I could feel my heart becoming tatted, torn and  turning an ugly shade of purple and black but  my solution to this heartbreak diagnosis wasn’t to give up dating completely, (of course not, why would I do that? A man was one of my greatest treasures to posses!!!!). No. My solution was just to find another man who I “thought” would make me feel better until the wounds from  Dudes A-Z healed. If you’ve been there, I know you can relate but he problem is, it just never measures up…well at least for me, it didn’t..
 We were meant to be completed by God and God alone. The desire to be loved and wanted isn’t a sin. It is how God wired and programmed us, but we are meant to fill that hole up with the love of our Lord and Savior Christ who earnestly wants you to fall in love with him. Him 1st! Having a husband is biblical and if it is ordained by God, favor from Him is doused over your relationship. Sex is the gift that says God isn’t a prude but He wants us to wait on Him. I believe its worth it, and although I haven’t experienced it myself yet, I am seeing it in action right now through my sisters in Christ and watching their relationships with the opposite sex flourish. God’s way works, don’t be fooled by “Hollywood”, His “Holy word” truly outlines love in the most romantic way you can dream of.
 
But back to me…
I remember crying at the altar one Sunday after an encounter with the Holy Spirit and hearing a sermon entitled “The Way God Sees Us”.. I said to God in that moment of desperation. “I vow to you, if you heal me, if you heal these wounds, I will give my life and body to you as a living sacrifice”. I was determined to see this vow through… (sounds pretty good and spiritual right?
But there was one problem… MY FLESH and my selfishness..
I sinned after this in a way that broke my heart. I thought during the healing process, me. my exes and boos could still be friends. I would still go to church on Friday nights for our Young Adult Ministry, but pack a bag and go to Dude E house for a sleep over. I stated to him clearly that we wasn’t going to be having any sex as I flashed my celibacy ring in his face, and although he told me he had needs and he wasn’t going to ignore him, I continued to be around him. (I will go more in depth about Christians women mixing with unbelievers at another time) but this was my BIG mistake. Once you have a standard, just know that it comes with a major commitment..  Of course he wasn’t going to take my demands for not having sex seriously… I myself wasn’t taking them seriously. I was up in his bed with lingerie talking about “I am saved and I aint having sex”…. but of course.. we ended up having sex!!
My heart broke. It hurt so bad, The disappointment I felt is indescribable. I knew in that moment that this could never happen again. I needed to give this Christian life my FULL heart or nothing at all.  Ya see, the thing about sin is this, if you keep at it, there will come a day where you no longer feel convicted about it. Your heart becomes hardened to God and His word.  If I would have continued to have sex, the conviction of the Holy Spirit would have started to fade. I was going to now deliberately turn my face away from God.  I probably would of been in the same positions I was in before I cried at the altar… I knew  that I couldn’t let sin deceive me. Not again…
 Remember, your walk with the Lord is ALL or nothing.
Matthew 16:24 (NLT) ” If any of you want to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross and follow me”
Matthew 7:13-14 ” The highway to hell is broad and its gate is wide for many who choose that way, but the gateway to life is very narrow and the ONLY A FEW ever find it”.
Jesus for real, only a few???
Christianity is an everyday walk, it isn’t a sprint to the finish line.  It took me months to really lay down my bad habits like drinking excessively when I had a bad day, watching pornography whenever I was aroused or bored, keeping in contact with Tim, Don and Henry whenever I got lonely, gossiping with friends, being over critical (the Lord is still working with me in this area), cursing and most importantly my purity.  It wasn’t all deliberate. I just let the Holy Spirit over time do its job to transform me.
Lets be real, the process wasn’t pretty. I cried and cried some nights about my relationships, and being alone. I hated the weekends! Even my female friendships was a MESS. I was friendless and manless. It was rough. But to be honest it still isn’t always pretty. It can be difficult sometimes to watch everyone around you have someone and be all in love and you’re just standing around like a square, or so it seems.
 It can hurt.
But those are feelings. Feelings are temporary and fleeting. I had to learn that if I prayed to Jesus to heal me, then obviously I have a faith in him, therefore I needed to apply that same faith to believe what He said in His word about finding the gates of heaven. I wanted to be apart of few that find His gate no matter how rough it was getting there.  I had to believe ALL of what the Bible said or believe nothing that the bible said. Its simple.
I prayed for friends and He blessed me in that area in ways greater than I could of  dreamed. We aren’t perfect, but I can say I never knew friendship could be this beautiful. I sometimes cry, because I am humbled by their love.  But even in all that, it STILL  takes WORK and faith in Him..
Honestly, the journey gets difficult and the process was downright hard..There were many lonely nights and tear stained pillows but I can honestly sit here and say that I’ve come to really love and value myself. I’ve come to realize that I am worth too much to let anyone undo the work and transformation that He has already DONE.. I found true love in Him.. How can I ever look back??
If you are hurting or in despair for any reason (not just because of men) but for any reason AT ALL, I encourage you to lean on God for strength no matter how you FEEL. Take your frustrations to Him. I know through EXPERIENCE that He is the best seamstress I have ever met. He has knit my heart back together and I am never looking back, I am picking up my cross with my eyes fixated on him, even through the tears, fighting the lures of sin everyday.. and  I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that when I receive my crown it will ALL be worth it.  Have faith in it! 
I pray you be blessed. 
Ken.

Continue reading “A Jesus Groupies Diaries: The Five Heartbreaks…”

Who Or What Are You Bowing Down To?

Who or What Do You Bow Down to

 

Your child has been kidnapped. You’re devastated and heartbroken. You’re literally willing to give the BEST you have to save them including your life savings. You’re even willing to trade places and die for them… Your kid has been found and saved but when he/she got home, they decided to run away and go back to their kidnappers… How heartbroken, confused and bewildered would you be?? That’s what it’s like when we choose to RUN to things that enslave us after God gave HIS ALL to free us. That’s what its like when we make IDOLS out of “things” or “people” and as a result put ourselves back in bondage.

So what’s an idol?? ANYTHING or ANYONE that you look to for fulfillment and gratification OTHER than God. Anything or ANYONE that has more say so in your daily decision making process other than Jesus…

“Idolatry” is usually one of those sins that we kinda just sweep under the rug and not really pay much attention to. Lately God has seriously been showing me some “idols” in my life that I never considered to be a problem. Please be mindful, that you can turn ANYTHING into an idol.. Even good Godly things like marriage, relationships or even ministry…

God had to show me how much I’ve been making an idol out of SOCIAL MEDIA. Yes, He had to show me that I was trading in the presence of God for the presence of nonsense on my timelines. I would wake up in the morning and the first thing I did, WAS NOT praise Him for waking me up another day, it was checking my Facebook and Instagram..  I would stop in the middle of prayer or bible reading when my phone went off, JUST to check a message. Before I went to bed, I wasn’t praying and pouring all my cares out onto Him for that day, instead I was scrolling my newsfeed and stalking folks. (don’t front, we all have done it at one point or another lol) The point is, my social media accounts DICTATED my actions. I could of easily justified it which is tried to, by saying how much I use social media to minister to people which I do.. But the bottom line is that I was spending WAY more time on Facebook than in the word of God ..

Continue reading “Who Or What Are You Bowing Down To?”