Feeling Unqualified?

There are many people in the church that absolutely love Jesus, but have some “issues” that prevent them from being confident in who they are. I pray that we get to the understanding that God didn’t pick us because He thought we were perfect. He understands your issues, but He wants your heart.
There is only so much the devil can do, but I know for sure he cannot silence the mouth of a believer that is focused on on the will of God. Job went through a storm and was determined to still trust God (Job 1:20-22). The Hebrew boys decided to not serve a false God despite being threatened to their death (Daniel 3:17-18). Paul and Silas were in prison and decided to still praise God (Acts 16:25). The list goes on with many people who didn’t allow their confidence in God to end.

“So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.” (Hebrews‬ ‭10:35-36‬ ‭NLT‬‬)

Even if our hearts will condemn us at times, the Bible tells us the solution to that feeling: “God is GREATER than our hearts” (1 John 3:20). You know that sin that you feel is to big for grace? It isn’t, God’s love outweigh our mistakes.
Let’s dive into a few scenarios that we all have fell into at some point.
1. You have a bad past that you don’t want to be “exposed”?
Many people don’t understand this simple concept, God is not like humans. God does not forgive some of our sins and keep track of the “big” ones, that is what we do at times. God is not saying “I forgive you on this condition”, but that is what people do. The church has to reach to a point when sinners, and even believers that have fell into sin, feel comfortable enough to come forward and seek healing (see James 5:16 and 1 John 1:8-10). And we also must come to the realization that God is a loving Father, not just a judge. Yes, sin should never be taken lightly, but understand that Jesus died for you on purpose. He knew when you’d fall, so don’t be ashamed of your past. Let your past be your testimony.

Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. (Isaiah 1:18)

2. You feel as though you don’t have the resources or capability.
I don’t know how your spiritual walk has been, but I know for a fact that sometimes I feel inadequate or simply unable to do what God has called me to do. It’s crazy that I’d think that because He’s the one doing the work, I’m just the vessel. We place so much on ourselves and we don’t even realize all that does is take the glory for ourselves. I pray that God will strip away any pride I may have so that I can do His work willingly and with passion, without fear of how it would turn out. 
Moses didn’t believe he could speak well enough (Exodus 4:10), but God used him. David committed adultery and caused innocent blood to be shed, yet God restored him and called him a man after His own heart (Acts13:22). Paul used to persecute the church. Peter denied Jesus (Matthew 26:70-74). Jonah was disobedient and God gave him another chance; the guy was even suicidal. Pause for a quick second! You can be a child of God and get tempted with those thoughts! Please don’t cave in to suicide, allow God to give you His peace. Your valley moments are when you need to trust God the most, not isolate yourself. As we were….. God can use you despite those things you struggle with. Paul said God gave him a thorn in his flesh to keep him humble (2 Corinthians 12:7-10). Jesus said He would NOT remove the thorn, because His grace was sufficient in our weakness. Quit expecting God to remove those desires and struggles all of the time. God does remove ungodly desires as we spend time with Him. Other times, God allows us to have struggles in our flesh because it FORCES US TO RELY ON HIM FOR STRENGTH. Use your weakness to your advantage, seek God constantly and wholeheartedly.
You lack nothing, use what God gave you. Don’t compare yourself to others, be who God called you to be. You aren’t behind in life, your goal is not to keep up with others, but to be in the will of God.

“Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.” (Zechariah‬ ‭4:6‬)

3. You are still in a sin that you know is wrong, but you don’t want to be delivered.
There is so much to say about this, but the truth is, you may already know it. You know God doesn’t want you out there in sin. You know sex outside of marriage is wrong. You know that stealing, partying, carnal lifestyle isn’t building you up, it’s simply making you numb to the voice of God. I won’t try to scare you straight, because I’m sure God is talking to you already if you’ve read this far. Please, just come home. I say this as a brother in Christ, we need you. There is no such thing as happiness outside of the will of God, it’s only temporary. There’s no peace outside of God’s will, only bondage and a constant need for more even though your flesh won’t be satisfied. Let go of that secret sin, you can’t grow with it.

“Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.”‭‭ (James‬ ‭4:8‬)

I’m convinced that since the devil can’t stop us from getting to Heaven, he will try to stop us from fully realizing Who we belong to. We have to understand that it doesn’t matter what insecurity or “issue” we have, God is faithful and will use us if we allow Him. God works on our willingness, not because of how “great” we are. You can make a difference today, will you allow God to work in your life?

Grace and peace,
Tovares Grey

Is Social Media changing how we view ourselves?

In the era of social media, it can be difficult sometimes not to get caught up in “image”. I once read somewhere that one of the reasons we find it hard to find happiness today is because we’re too busy comparing our behind the scenes to everyone else’s highlight reel. 
We have to realize that social media, 99% of the time, portrays only the good parts of the people’s lives who post. You rarely see the physically flawed or the emotionally unpleasant parts of who we are because social media allows us to filter everything if we want to. We can CONTOUR our lives to fit an acceptable self-image and HIGHLIGHT our achievements all while CONCEALING our imperfections. Reality becomes only partial because the full truths of who we are as individuals are limited by what we choose to post. And to judge anyone completely by what they post is to judge a book by just the cover because that’s just what social MEDIA is…JUST a COVER. A beautiful cover that could just be a beautiful LIE.

 “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.” (Matthew‬ ‭23:27‬)

We should never be caught up in making sure we outwardly fit a picture of beauty by society’s standard that we forget that true beauty radiates from within. It has less to do with our appearance/self-image and more to do with our character. That is why it’s wise to judge beauty by the word of God and not by an airbrushed reality of someone else’s social media page. What God really cares about is who we are on the inside. We are already beautiful to Him on the outside because we are fearfully and wonderfully made in His image.  
 

“Your beauty should not consist of outward things like elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold ornaments or fine clothes. Instead, it should consist of what is inside the HEART with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very valuable in God’s eyes.” -1 Peter 3-4 HCSB

 

“…For the Lord seeth not as a man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the HEART.” -1 Samuel 16:7 KJV

 
If what matters to God is our inward man, then it leaves me to wonder why so many of us make the mistake of getting so caught up in social image, especially for social media? I feel as though we have allowed our visions of beauty to be distorted by the media that our focus has become to emulate it for a like or a comment. However, no part of this is beneficial or productive. If we aren’t careful, what ends up happening is we find ourselves thriving off of the approval of others through those likes and comments believing that we must be truly beautiful when all the while we’re rotten inside. We were too busy focused on the wrong kind of attention that we neglected what was most important, how God sees us.  
 
Attention through follows, likes and comments only gives a false sense of validation. It never lasts because we need to constantly post the beautiful parts of ourselves and keep checking for those likes to get that same feeling of worth. Only a relationship with God truly validates us. We’re still worth it even with Him seeing and knowing the ugly parts of who we are. We need to redirect our focus to making sure we are pleasing and beautiful in His sight. Only then will we truly be beautiful.
– Safa Grey

You Can't get Everything You Want

Imagine being a parent to an unruly child. They say “thank you” when they get something, but they tend to create scenes or just rebel when they don’t get their way. For some of you, that may actually be your reality (or maybe you’ve seen those types of children before).
You cooked them dinner, but all they want is McDonald’s and Dairy Queen. You tell them to “wait until we get home because we are almost there”, then they get mad and start crying. They start asking “why do you hate me?” and make comments like “my friends mom buys him food all the time.” All you want to do is give them what’s best for them, but all they want is what seems good right now.
Children love candy and junk food…. until they’re at the dentist because of their cavities. Children love junk food and could eat it day and night, but they don’t realize they’ll eventually struggle with their weight, heart diseases, diabetes, etc. It’s easy for us to see it because we’ve been there or seen that story before. Yet, you love them so you cave every once in awhile and let them get what they want and try not to force them into the right path all of the time.
When that child grows up they won’t understand the value of cooked meals, because all they did was eat out. That child may not understand the value of hard work or saving, because all they did was complain until things went there way.
Now put yourself in that child’s place and see the parent as God.
That’s how most of our spiritual walks are going. God loves us and wants what is best for us, but we are chasing what we see and desire now.
“God I want to marry him/her”, and God is saying “no” only because He sees that wouldn’t keep you in His will. Some people we chase are full of lust, pride, sin, and may not even be seeking God. Some “blessings” we seek God for are probably curses, because they will turn our hearts against God. God knows when you seek Him for some things and you aren’t ready to handle them, you’ll make idols out of them. You don’t see that, all you see is “God has forgotten me and I’m tired of waiting…. I’ll just do my own thing.”
The Bible says to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, everything else that we need will be added later (Matthew 6:33). We also read that God doesn’t withhold anything from His children walking uprightly (Psalms 84:11). Understand that if you don’t have it yet, it’s simply not your season for it. Whatever God has for you can be delayed a little, but the devil cannot deny what God has for you.
Trust God when you don’t understand. God is always speaking to us, but there are times when we don’t know what God is doing and we simply have to trust Him. Don’t complain when things don’t go according to your plan, just pray for the grace to be patient for your answers.
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” (Proverbs‬ ‭3:5-6‬)
– Tovares Grey

Fighting Lust? 

I decided to make this blog due to receiving the same messages on a consistent basis. The type of sin you fight against may be different from others, but sin nonetheless is not something to take lightly. There is no “formula to holiness” outside of a relationship with Jesus, so I don’t want you to depend on me or another person for all of the answers. However, these are a few steps that have helped me and I’m sure that I can help a few of you if you read this prayerfully and allow God to speak to your situation directly.
Here are 5 practical ways to overcome your battle with lust:
1. Spend more time with God. 
Seek God desperately. You need Him when you feel strong, and you are definitely in need when you are feeling weak. The closer we are to Jesus is the easier it is for us to see when a relationship, tv show, song, etc. is lustful. The closer I am to Jesus is the easier it is for me to know when what I am doing is going against His word and His call to purity. Until we start spending more time with Jesus, we will always find ourselves seeking pleasure from things that will never satisfy (Jeremiah 2:13). We are complete in Jesus (Colossians 2:9-10).
If you read 2 Corinthians 12:7-10, you will see that even Paul had his own personal battles. We don’t know what his “thorn” was, but we see that he didn’t want it. He prayed to have that issue removed from His life and God literally told him “no”. You see, we always think our struggles/sicknesses/trials come to destroy us, but God sometimes sends them to humble us and to keep us depending on Him. If you struggle, you will see that God can deliver and you will be able to help others. Let your struggle drive you into prayer, not out of God’s will.

Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word. (Psalms 119:9)

2. Be accountable 
No wo/man is an island. Many believers fail to forget that there is strength in numbers and God loves us living in unity (Psalms 133:1). Someone must know that you are struggling. You cannot pretend to be strong. Pretending to have it all together is only going to stress you out and prevent you from living in God’s strength like you were designed to. It’s best to have a group of godly brothers and sisters that you aim to be like and are seeking Jesus like you are; let them correct you in love and you all can seek Jesus together (2 Timothy 2:22).
The person you’re dating isn’t the best option to have “guide you to purity”. I say that because, discipline is a key element when trying to live and think pure. If you find your self struggling with fornication, porn, masturbation, etc., you should start getting those things under control before dating anyone. If you are already dating, you have to understand boundaries are necessary to prevent yourself from falling into that same sin. 
To clarify, if you are married, your spouse should know about your struggles because they are supposed to be the ones praying for you. I’m just saying that a friend or leader that’s of the same gender may be easier to relate to and should be in all of our lives, because no one should have their spouse feeling like they married someone simply driven by hormones. Men can admit to spiritually strong males and have them guide them to purity. Women also can open up about some things they feel their husband may not understand as well as some female friends/leaders can. However, never find yourself confiding in people that will support your sin rather than encourage you out of it. Neither should you open up about your struggles to everyone. Some will judge you and some will use it as a way to make you feel inferior. So you have to be sure you’re confiding in people that are growing and care to see you grow. 

Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. (James 5:16)


3. Be more realistic
If you know that you’re having issues overcoming a struggle with pornography, why continue following social media sites that are provocative and sexual? Going back to that website for “a quick glance” will keep your mind in bondage, don’t fall for the lie that “everyone is doing it”. 
It makes no sense to ask God for freedom, and then your text messages are driven by lust. Why pray for a godly spouse and continue entertaining those people coming with sexual conversations and ungodly actions? I know firsthand that flirty conversations and certain pictures can lead your mind right outside of God’s presence. Don’t flirt with lust, it will burn you every single time. 
The devil clearly wants to destroy us, but we must understand that we are also our own biggest enemies. We have to put our flesh under subjection and train our bodies and minds to love God. It is not a natural inclination to seek Jesus, we have to be intentional when we want to grow. Galatians 5:16 tells us that when we are walking in God’s will, we won’t be able to indulge in those sins we would otherwise enjoy. 
Stop saying you’re going over his/her house alone to pray together. Nothing may happen, but you are asking for trouble by flirting with temptation. Stop saying it’s okay to indulge in just a “little” amount of sin and just repent after. Never abuse grace and think that’s still okay to God. Sin isn’t worth pursuing, true joy and peace is in the presence of God (Psalms 16:11). Stop telling yourself that sex will satisfy this time. Sex outside of marriage will give you a moment of pleasure and nothing but regret and guilt after. It can wait for marriage. 

You say, “I am allowed to do anything” —but not everything is good for you. You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is beneficial. (1 Corinthians 10:23 NLT)


4. Find good replacements 
People often “cut off” lustful relationships and ungodly habits, but turn right back to them. Do you know why? Because they never really had a plan to seek more of God. They just assumed that if I “stop this/that” it’ll draw me closer to God. While that is true, we still have to be intentional. Unless we replace our struggles with godly things such as time in the presence of God, worship music, or something like being active in church, we are going to eventually fall back into our old habits. 
Some things we have to cut off and replace. If you say, “I really need to let go of that sexual music, it keeps putting my emotions in a certain mood”, you have to change to something else. Maybe a worship song, a YouTube encouragement video or Christian podcast can help you. I know at times you may get bored when you think all you’re free to do is pray and read some scriptures, but there’s more to Christianity than following a dull script. And there are other believers that went through your struggle that you can learn from if you actually try to get that replacement in your life. I try to listen to more worship music, podcasts like Steven Furtick at Elevation Church or Joel Urshan from First Apostolic Church. There are many other options, just message me if you want to know more. 
Let’s be honest for a quick second here though, temptation is at an all time high when our minds aren’t focused on Jesus. Many of us make the drastic, and wise, decisions like cut off our lustful friendships, tv shows, social media accounts, etc., but what now? Do you really think that removing something from your life without replacing it will help you? I want you to read Luke 11:24-26 and understand that you must occupy your heart and mind with the things of God. If you are free from sin, but you don’t use your freedom to seek God, you are going to end up going back to those sins that you once found comfort in. 

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (Romans‬ ‭8:1‬)


5. Understand that you are a work in progress.
This point may be the most serious, because many people are dying emotionally by trying to gain a “certain level of spirituality”. You will never be good enough to deserve God’s love and you’ll never be bad enough to not deserve God’s love. The Bible does say that God wants us to be holy (1 Peter 1:16), and Jesus also mentioned being perfect (Matthew 5:48). However, many don’t understand that the translation for perfect is “mature”. God doesn’t expect perfection from you, but progression from you. Jesus loves us enough to meet us where we are, but He loves us too much to leave us there. You cannot be holy without the sacrifice Jesus made. All of your years of obedience and sacrifice is nothing if God didn’t decide to show mercy on us. Isaiah 64:6 describes our own efforts to righteousness as filthy rags (filthy rags: the rags used from a woman’s menstrual cycle). Gross. 
I know you want to do better, and I respect your efforts. God sees those efforts. By no means am I condoning anyone’s sin, because the Bible is clear on where a lifestyle of sin leads to. I’m simply saying that if you are wrestling with sin, at least that shows you’re trying to overcome. People that don’t wrestle with sin are either submitting to it, or delusional to the fact that we all are tempted by evil. Jesus was tempted, but He was the one without sin. 
Please read Jeremiah 18:1-6. Like I literally want you to stop reading this blog for 1 minute to see that verse and understand how good God is. God shows us that even though we are in His hands, we can get messed up. We get dirty. We fall short. We turn back to sin. However, we are in His hands and He is able to make something beautiful out of us and repair every broken piece within our hearts and minds. When God is finished with us, we will be better than ever expected, but God isn’t finished with us. While you’re here on earth, you still have a purpose to finish and God is still working on you. So instead of seeing how far you have to go, look at how far God has brought you. You will overcome, stop condemning yourself (1 John 3:20-21). 

Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. (1 Corinthians 10:12-13)


Grace and peace,
Tovares Grey

3 Tips to Getting Over an Ex

One of the most common questions/concerns I get in my inbox are typically along these lines: “I was dating someone for a few years and we just broke up…”, “How do I get over my ex?”, and the very frequent “I didn’t mind him/her saying let’s take a break to focus on God, but two weeks later they’re seeing someone else.” 
 
Getting over an ex is not easy, because there is no “on/off” switch to love or how we feel. However, there are a few tips to actually recovering from that breakup.  
 

Spend time with God. 


It will never make sense to me when someone says they can’t get over an ex, but they aren’t spending time with God. If you are spending all of your time reminiscing over pictures and going down memory lane, your heart will always be in that state of brokenness. In the presence of God, there is fulness of joy (Psalms 16:11), there is liberty (2 Corinthians 3:17), and there is peace (Isaiah 26:3). Of course the list goes on, there is so much we find by seeking God. 
Being in God’s presence places our lives into perspective. In Isaiah 6, the Bible shows us that the prophet Isaiah saw God in the year of the king’s death. Isaiah was a man of God, but in God’s presence realized just how unclean and lost he was without God. However, the part that gets to me is that he didn’t really see that much of God until someone died. Meaning, if the king was still alive, maybe he would’ve never noticed how big God really is. It wasn’t until king Uzziah was removed that Isaiah could have this experience. 
Sometimes God has to remove a person out of our lives for us to see Him for who He is. Sometimes we never notice that Jesus is the most important thing to happen to us until He is all we have left. Relationships easily becomes idols in our lives when we don’t keep things into proper perspective. 
Your worth is not in someone or something you can lose, your value is in Jesus Christ. Your identity is not in your ex, spouse, degree, etc., it is only found in Jesus. Until you learn to find purpose in Jesus, you’ll continue seeking it from others.  
“In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.” (‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭6:1‬)
 

Stop seeking closure/an apology. 


One of the worse things we can do is to only trust God when things go our way. Meaning, it is very easy to love God when He gives the desires of your heart, but will we still obey if He removes that person? To love is to be vulnerable. We trust someone and that gives them the power to hurt us. Is it God’s plan for us to be hurt? No. Is it God’s plan for you to get cheated on or abused? No, and it never will be. However, God allows things to work together for our good; it’s just a matter of will you trust Him?  
Does God restore broken relationships? YES! 
I’m currently engaged to be married, all glory to God because she’s pretty amazing, and I tried to pursue her once before around 2011. It didn’t work out. Thankfully, it didn’t end on bad terms. The timing was just off, so it didn’t happen. I’m glad it didn’t though because I was clueless on how to be in a serious relationship (it’s not even easy now), all of this is a learning experience that Jesus has to help us through. So God protected her from my immaturity, selfishness, etc. and allowed us both to just focus on His plan. She finished school and I ended up joining the military and finishing school here now. I wouldn’t say God didn’t open that door so we could get degrees first, but He didn’t let us get what we desired because His plans were better than ours. So I understand that God can mend broken relationships, just stay focused on Him and let Him do the mending, not your emotions. We should be sure God is the one who led us back to an ex, not loneliness. 
Does God restore all broken relationships? NO! 
Many people ask me daily, will God send back my ex (this is after mentioning a relationship that doesn’t appear to have had God as the focus), and all I can do is simply think is, “why do you even want them back?” Of course I wouldn’t say that, because we all sometimes are addicted to what’s destroying us. My point is, most times relationships end because they weren’t ever in God’s plan to begin with. If you tell me that they are only after sex, in my opinion, God didn’t send them. If they only want they can get from you, they don’t love you. If they’re willing to drop you whenever they’re bored or there is an argument, that was NEVER love to begin with. 
Sometimes you have to learn that some relationships are temporary and you only hurt yourself when you refuse to let go. We will outgrow some people that come into our lives, and that is okay. Some people only pretended to love God to get your attention, but you can’t become lukewarm to keep them. If you have to sin to get them, you’ll have to continue compromising to keep them. 
Why do we as humans hurt others? Not because we are cruel, but because of sin. So we have to show grace to those who hurt us, but we also have to realize when God is the one who delivered us from a relationship.  
 
“There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand.” (Proverbs‬ ‭19:21‬)

Stop checking on their every move.


I’m not saying you have to delete numbers and unfollow someone if you two stop dating, but you have to give yourself space to heal. Trying to figure out why they chose someone else will hurt you. Checking their page to see if they’re miserable shows you’re not healed. If they’re happy, you’ll only feel jealousy or anger. Unplug from social media, stop reminiscing daily and then just sit in God’s presence. They’re doing just fine, pray for them and move forward. 
Can you imagine how much we work against God when we pray, “God please give me the strength to get through this breakup”, then turn around and check your ex’s page (or their families so you can be more “discrete”)? We are basically slowing down what God wants to do. It is not God’s will for you to be bitter. 
“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” (‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭26:3‬)
If you took none of my advice, please hear this part: God will not remove anything from your life if He wasn’t protecting you, or giving you better. Trust God’s plan. Sometimes we orchestrate our own life and then bring it to God as if He should cosign to our emotional/spiritual downfall. God knows best, just learn to trust and obey. 
Grace and peace,
Tovares Grey

Marriage Mentality 

A few weeks ago I captioned this on a photo I shared of my fiancé and I on social media and this rings to be so very true.
“One thing I’ve learned about being in a serious relationship and soon to be marriage is that relationships will magnify all your character flaws and character imperfections and force you to deal with them. It’s up to you whether or not you choose to deal with them in a way that makes you a better spouse, a better person overall, and a better child of God. If you aren’t ready for that reality then I suggest you not get married. Marriage is supposed to glorify God when the two very different people work together and become one. And that “becoming one” will not be easy. It takes work, and a dedication that when your relationship/marriage is in a season of not being so sunny (because that time will come), you will weather through the storm. And Mr. Grey we’re not married yet but I’m ready to ride with you through every season this marriage will bring. As long as God is at the center of this relationship I know we’ll be just fine. I pray in advanced that we glorify God with this marriage. I already cover it under the blood of Jesus! But Im gonna stop before this turns into my wedding vows lol. I love you”
Proverbs 3:6 (KJV) In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
– Safa Walker
 

100 Days until Forever

Prelude
I think it’s important that as followers of Christ, we have some extent of transparency so that our experiences and the lessons we learn from them, can be used to encourage others to live for and to wait on God. The ultimate goal here is that He gets the glory through the story, but how can He if we keep our experiences to ourselves? So as Tovares and I, go on this journey in transition from singleness into the ministry of marriage, I’ll share what I’ve learned and have experienced so far in hopes that it will be a blessing to someone and also encourage you to wait on God.
For a backdrop on our journey together before you continue, feel free to visit our wedding website www.weddingwire.com/sailingwiththegreys
100 More Days till Forever
I still can’t believe I am getting married. Like when did this become my reality. Because it feels like one day I just closed my eyes, wasn’t looking for anyone, was solely focused on my education and my relationship with God and then I opened them to find a Godly man kneeling down in front of me asking if I would do him the honors of standing by his side for the rest of our lives. At least that’s how fast it felt like it happened. I wasn’t looking for him but he found me and I’m convinced that this was orchestrated by God…
Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD. Prov. 18:22
Stay tuned on our journey towards marriage, God bless 🙂

Broken, yet Victorious

“You are a failure”, “you’ll never get through it”, “why would Jesus love you and you keep falling for the same sins?”, “am I really saved?”
There are many thoughts that plague our minds during our brokenness, after failing, when speaking with people that show no grace, or when we feel like we took  two steps forward and ten steps back. A key thing to remember during our weakness is this: there is a difference between conviction and condemnation. Conviction: That is no good feeling, but it serves a good purpose (see Isaiah 1:18). That is God’s way of tugging at our hearts to say, “you’re slipping away, come home”, or “you know that didn’t please me, that was your old sinful nature, but meet me in prayer and let me clean you up”. Condemnation: This is no good feeling, and it is not from God. It’s not God’s will for any to perish (see 2 Peter 3:9). Jesus himself said he didn’t come to condemn, but to save us (see John 3:17). Condemnation is that voice when you hear “you will never get through this, just leave the church” or “God will never forgive you.

God will never be happy when we sin, and neither will he turn a blind to it, but He won’t simply cut you off for making a mistake. The bible shows that God is gracious, and only leaves us to do whatever we want when we clearly show Him we don’t want to listen (see Romans 1:20-32). The prodigal son is a clear example of how things are when we backslide. God is watching daily for us to return, but he won’t force us to come back. Yet, his love is displayed when He sees we made the effort to come back and He will run to meet us (see Luke 15:11-32).
Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. (James 4:8)

Habitual sin is not going to be tolerated under any circumstances. We all need Jesus to cleanse us from our deliberate and secret sins (see Psalm 19:12-14). We all know that we are human and have our weaknesses, which is why we must seek God for strength. God allows us to have these struggles so we must rely on His grace for strength (read 2 Corinthians 12:5-11). 

It is easy to think that because we are saved that we won’t have any issues, but that is far from the truth. Problems are guaranteed, but through Christ, victory is promised. That is why Paul says he can now be happy in his persecutions and areas of weakness, because we can use it to our advantage. If you didn’t have any issues, you would not see your need for Jesus. However, our shortcomings teach us to be more reliable in Christ, they force us to have to pray and read our bible more.
Many of you have allowed your struggles to become your identity, I know I have before, but God is able to free us. No sin outweighs grace. No demonic force is greater than the power of the Holy Spirit. Nothing can separate us from the love of God that was in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:35-39).
Declare this over yourself (or over that friend/family member you see slipping away):
My past does not define me. Sexual sin has no power over this child of God. I will not give anyone the power to break me or to show me who I am, my identity is in Jesus. My old habits are not leaving immediately, but in Jesus name I will kill those old habits daily as God molds me into His image. I am free, in Jesus name! I am new in Jesus! I am loved, accepted, and forgiven by the mercy and grace of God!

I'm Worth the Wait

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:9)
God does not see things the way that society does. God does not see things the way that we do. Many times we allow people or emotions to cloud our judgment, but we have to understand that there is no peace or clarity outside of the will of God. We can have a new relationship, but we won’t be happy without Jesus. We can look “beautiful” by society’s standard, but we won’t feel happy without knowing our worth is in Jesus. We can even be wealthy, which can buy anything our hearts desire, but it won’t give us peace or love.
Many people have recently been messaging me with dilemmas that are hard to understand. I say that because, many of us would not date a nonbeliever if we understood who we were in Christ and what His plan was for us. If we understood that hell is real (just like Heaven), we would invite people to Christ and be witnesses to more to souls rather than trying to “date them into a relationship with Jesus”. Some call it “missionary dating”, where you get the false impression that they will love you enough to attend church with you. My question is, where’s God in any of that? Dragging someone to church in order for them to get saved all so that we can marry them is a selfish desire that God may not honor (read James 4:2-3).
When tempted to give in to lust, remind yourself that God has something better for you.
Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. (Psalms 37:4)
When tempted to go back to the ex who only led you to sin, remind yourself that God wouldn’t free me if He wanted me to go back into sin.
Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. (Galatians 5:1)
When tempted to settle for just anyone saved or not just to not be lonely, remind yourself that God is never going to ignore His children.
For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. (Psalms 84:11)
When tempted to have sex before marriage, remind yourself that the marriage bed is honorable and sex can wait to be enjoyed the way that God intended. 
For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: (1 Thessalonians 4:3)
You are worth the wait. Your time is to be valued. Your body is to be respected. Your God is to be honored. Don’t feel ashamed if you are the only one doing it, but never forget…. You are worth the wait.

How do I Know If They're "the one"? 

How do I know God’s will for my life? Who does God want me to marry? Are they going to be attractive? Will they workout often? Are they spiritual? Is the person I’m with a blessing or a burden?
These are just a few of the random questions that plague our minds when we are single or are contemplating marriage. There is nothing wrong with taking great thought into marriage, the issue simply occurs when we allow our emotions or our friends to bring clarity rather than praying and waiting on Jesus to give us direction. You see, it’s nothing wrong with me being single, if I’m single and using my singleness to honor Jesus. Meaning I’m honoring God through my inward (thoughts and desires) and outward (actions, entertainment, dressing, etc.) purity. It’s also nothing wrong with being in a relationship if I’m using that relationship to glorify Jesus and not turning that person into an idol/besetting sin (see Hebrews 12:1).
“There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand.” (Proverbs‬ ‭19:21‬)
The majority of us want to be married, and I strongly believe it isn’t God’s will for anyone to be alone. By alone I do not mean “single”, I mean isolated and having a mindset that you can do everything by yourself. Desiring company, whether that simply being godly friends or a spouse that you can honor God with, is a good desire to have.
“Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?” (Galatians‬ ‭5:7‬)
Whoever we date/marry will influence our spiritual walk. Maybe you missed that so I’ll say it again for anyone who hates that fact, WHOEVER WE DATE/MARRY WILL INFLUENCE OUR SPIRITUAL WALK. Too often there are believers that feel it’s okay to date nonbelievers. While that is not the right thing to do biblically (2 Corinthians 6:14 and Amos 3:3), it really isn’t safe. We may feel as though we are leading them to Jesus, but why couldn’t we do that outside of dating? Isn’t witnessing God’s will for us? We are to win souls for the kingdom, not date people into a relationship with Jesus.
For those wondering how good looking their spouse will be…. Of course the person you marry will be attractive to you, God knows that you will see more than their spiritual walk. However, everyone who is attractive or is interested is not supposed to be an option for you. That six pack isn’t a strong enough foundation for marriage. Those curves may look nice, but they do not raise your children or determine if someone respects you.
You want to know how to tell whether someone is “God’s will” for you? Seek God for yourself! If you don’t know truth, a lie will always deceive you.
“All men/women are the same”.. You’ve heard it before, but the reason they’ll keep ending up with those types is because we haven’t surrounded ourselves with God. Evil can’t stand in God’s presence, so the more you seek Jesus is the more you’ll see Him weed out the bad influences in your life. We can study a lie so we know how to resist it, but then the enemy will bring another lie. It’s not enough to understand your enemy, you have to understand Jesus as well so that you can be alert against every possible attack/distraction coming in.
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:” (John‬ ‭10:27)
Just because we believe in Jesus does not mean we have a relationship with Him. God wants us to keep coming close to Him. We can’t be satisfied with where we are. The closer we get to Jesus is the further we are from distractions, and that’s definitely the easier way to recognize when something isn’t God’s will. If someone comes along trying to get you to do the opposite of what God is telling you, then it is no way that God wants you to be with them (see James 1:13-15).
Grace and peace.