Stop Chasing Butterflies

I receive many questions from people who want to know how can they tell if someone is the one for them. We’ve made a YouTube video about the concept of “the one” and wrote a blog about knowing how you can tell if they’re the one for you, you should check it out if you haven’t already. However, it confuses me when someone says they’re with someone who’s amazing and loves God, treats them right, but something is missing.
“Well…. what’s missing?”
“I don’t know. I just don’t have those butterflies I’d expect to have.”

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9)

Can I tell you something that you know, but can easily forget? Your feelings will destroy you. Your feelings will have you running back to relationships that God delivered you out of. Your feelings will have you running back to abusive relationships, because you’re focused on memories instead of reality. Your feelings will have you thinking it’s okay to to let your flesh take control, but you know in your heart what God is telling you to do.
DO NOT ALLOW SOCIAL MEDIA, FRIENDS OR TELEVISION TO TELL YOU WHAT TRUE LOVE IS.
If you want to know true love, look at the Bible’s definition of it (1 Corinthians 13). Too many expect life to be like Love and Basketball or The Notebook. All of these Disney and movie fantasies will have you ignoring your blessing that you’re praying about. Many people want a godly relationship, but when they have a godly person in their lives that’ll correct them when they’re falling or lukewarm, they take it as judgement. So you want a godly relationship, but you don’t want God? Some people claim they want true love, but they really just want someone they can post on social media. Just because all of your friends are dating or married, that doesn’t mean God is telling you to do the same.
Don’t get me wrong, I love being married, but I honestly believe many of us don’t understand that marriage is way more than we think. We have to understand that marriage is a ministry as well and God has to prepare us for it. I honestly believe our motives are what causes us to have our blessings delayed (read more about that here).

“(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)” 2 Corinthians 5:7

I’ve learned that we live in a generation of people that are driven by emotions (see Provers 30:12). We disregard the word of God, and we go by opinions instead of scripture. We don’t like correction, because our feelings are placed higher than God at times.

“There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness.” (Proverbs‬ ‭30:12‬)

There are days when my marriage isn’t all sunshine and roses. I absolutely love my wife and our marriage is great (she said so as well, so don’t think I’m being dramatic lol). However, that does NOT mean we are happy every single waking moment of the day. There are some days when it’s like she can’t wait to hug me, and there are some times when I’m sure her hands just want to hug my neck. If we go by those days when there are no “butterflies”, we’d foolishly think God didn’t bring us together. When we don’t feel those “butterflies”, does that mean it’s time to jump ship? No. It’s time to keep cultivating our love so it doesn’t die out.
Does that mean I’m telling you to settle? NO, PLEASE DON’T SETTLE. I get butterflies when I’m around my wife still. But you have to understand feelings should not dictate your future. Pray regarding that person. If God gives you peace regarding them and He gives you confirmation to keeping the relationship, then don’t give up on them just because you don’t feel happy all the time.
Grace and peace.

No Lust November

Welcome to the first day of #NoLustNovember! Everyone is familiar with “No Shave November”, but I wanted to do a weird twist on it and give Christians something they can relate to. This is a challenge for everyone to jump in on. I’ll be checking for this hashtag on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and talking to you all so we all can hold one another accountable. 
Before you go any further, I have a blog on “Fighting Lust” that you can read here if you haven’t already. 

“There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness.” (Proverbs‬ ‭30:12‬)


One of the most dangerous things a believer can do is assume that they have it all together. The Bible says to be careful when you think you’re standing firm because that is when you’ll fall (1 Corinthians 10:12).
Many Christians are under the impression that they cannot fall into sexual temptation. I used to be one of those. I would wonder how are people being so gullible and consistently falling into the same sin, but I realized with my own struggles that it wasn’t something as simple as I assumed. Then there are other Christians that believe they cannot break that cycle over their lives, but that’s because they aren’t properly following God and establishing boundaries. Understand this, falling into sexual sin is common. I am not saying this to justify anyone’s sinful lifestyle. I am saying that so you can know as a reader that you can overcome in Jesus’ name and you don’t have to keep hiding your weakness. God’s strength is made perfect in your weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).
Be willing to let go. 






But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. (Matthew 5:28-29)


When you talk about overcoming lust, many people target the symptoms rather than the real issue. So they’ll be willing to stop watching a certain show, but they won’t end the relationship. Or they will end the relationship, but they’ll still check up on the person. Sometimes we even overcome and then turn back to our filth. What I have realized is, Jesus isn’t a passive God. Jesus was so drastic in His teaching that many didn’t like Him and many turned away. If we aren’t willing to cut off what stimulates lust, are we tired of that lifestyle? No, we enjoy it but we don’t want its consequences. Sin never satisfies, it only pushes you to go further and further away from the presence of God. Are you disgusted with your sin yet? Ask God to remove those desires. Stop entertaining those desires and watch that sinful desire begin to fade out of your life. 
Be willing to examine your heart and take spiritual inventory. Some people shouldn’t still be in your life. Some shows shouldn’t still be on your tv. Some social media accounts should’ve been unfollowed months ago. Are you willing to let go of your past life to embrace what God has for you?




“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” (‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭2:9‬)


What are you going to choose today? Your porn or Jesus? Your fornicating/adulterous relationship or Jesus? Your ungodly friendships or Jesus? Your music that corrupts your heart or Jesus? Your feelings or Jesus? Your lust or Jesus? Your pride or Jesus? 





“For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.” (Jeremiah‬ ‭2:13‬)


This scripture shows us that we as the people of God can easily backslide and choose things that can’t satisfy. The woman who met Jesus at the well was searching for Jesus, but she didn’t know it. No man could satisfy. She went from man to man and still never found true love until she met Jesus. That’s you and I. Searching for something to satisfy, and I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to choose lust anymore. 
So what do you say…….Challenge accepted? 
This journey is for everyone, but I don’t expect everyone to participate. If you desire more of God and less of that sinful cycle, then let’s get this party started! Jesus satisfies, trust me. Let’s not turn back. Forget what you did before starting this and let’s go back to the cross and the plan of God. 
What I need you to do!
1. Post a picture everyday with the hashtag #NoLustNovember so we can be engaged together! 
2. Post a verse, prayer, or your journal talking about what God is sharing with you on this challenge. 
3. Don’t judge anyone, just grow! 
4. Don’t quit WHEN you make a mistake. Not if! 
Grace and peace. 

Words

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. – Plato
As Christians, we have the opportunity to show someone Christ without even mentioning His name. We have grown accustomed to saying “I’m Christian” instead of being Christian. A major way to show the world the love of God is by our words. We should not say things that will cause people to sin or go against the church. Our words should always be graceful, beneficial, and kind to the hearer (Colossians 4:6). Words are very impacting. You can be nice to someone for years, but they’ll never forget the one time you did them wrong. You may be forgiven, but you cannot take back your words. So to avoid the hurt, just learn to limit your words and speak to people respectfully.
 

Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut. (Proverbs 10:19)

 
Before you speak, ask yourself:
1. Is this true?
2. Is this helpful?
3. Will they be offended?
4. If it needs to be said, does it have to be said now?
5. Even if I’m right, how can I say this without a judgmental approach?
“Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Whoever made that up was very clever, but that is definitely far from the truth. Many of us today struggle with insecurities because of things once said about us. Called names and ridiculed, and in return leaving many scars. If that is you, I will definitely like to encourage you and let you know that you are good enough, you are beautiful, and Jesus thinks you are to die for. Never let someone’s opinion of you change your reality. God did not make a mistake. Before you speak, think about what you are saying. You want your actions to point people to God, not to insult anyone. The bible says it is almost impossible to reach a person that was previously offended (Proverbs 18:19). You do not understand someone’s battle, so just use your mouth to keep them in prayer.
Here’s a challenge for you! This week, choose one of these 2 ways to impact/uplift someone with your words:
 
1 – Use your words to share Jesus.
If you love Jesus, why not share Him? Yes, the Bible says they will know us by our love, but how can someone come to salvation if you don’t share the gospel (Romans 10:14)? Talk about Jesus as often as you can. Please don’t be awkward though.
Friend at work: “Hey, would you like to come to lunch with us?”
You: “I can’t, but Jesus loves you. Let me know when you have a minute to discuss salvation and your eternal dwelling place.”
Just please don’t. But pray that God will open a door for you to share your faith, your testimony and share His goodness.
 
2 – Encourage someone.
Everyone loves to hear kind words, and many of us have a friend that is just always kind. But have you ever reached out to them and just said, “Hey, I appreciate you. You’re a great friend, praying for you. Have a blessed day.”? Be willing to reach out. I know you would rather someone reach out to you, but this is a way to treat your neighbor the way Jesus expects.
You know that they struggle with sin? Pray for them. Try to help them back up, don’t look down on them for their weakness. Use your words to assure them that God is able to deliver and keep them.
 
 
I encourage every reader to listen to an amazing song by Hawk Nelson, it is called “Words”. Your words have power. Use your words to bring life and not to tear others down.
 

Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. (Proverbs 18:21)

 
Grace and peace.

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.

Dead Christians

We buy more books, join more ministries, and we follow cool Christians on social networks. We find everything to occupy our time with, other than the will of God. Many seek to go higher but they have yet to decide to leave behind the world. Some even spend hours in Church, but when it comes to personal sacrifice and devotion to God, they aren’t up for that. I realize now is because the most Christians in the Church are still alive. Now many may read that statement and either overlook it, or call me a false teacher, but before you call it hogwash, think about it. Has God ever once encouraged us to live in our flesh or has He commanded us to die to it? We often seek revival but live in rebellion. God won’t work miracles until we fear Him again.

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Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. (Colossians 3:5 ESV)

….I die daily. (I Corinthians 15:31)

For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. Romans 8:5-8

Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. (1 Peter 1:16)

Five ways to know you’re still alive to your flesh:

1. You lack interest in Godly things.

You can tell where a person’s heart is based on what they are passionate about. It’s a problem if I can tweet about God all day but cannot spend time with Him alone off of a social network. something is wrong if I only remember God exists is Sunday during service, but I ignore Him throughout my week. It’s a problem if I can pursue a woman, but cannot pursue His presence. something is not adding up if I can shout after my favorite team scores or wins, but I am quiet in church or I cannot at least say “thank you” for many blessings”.

2. You are your own boss.

There is no such thing as “I do what I want, when I want, or how I want.” A Christian says “God, your will, on your timing, and for your glory.” We cannot think we call the shots, God is our Lord. Serving Him gives more freedom then being a slave to sin or selfish pursuits. The Bible also shows that Jesus didn’t argue or fight when accused, it says we are to hold our peace and let God fight for us (Exodus 14:14). Quit trying to be right all of the time, and leave things in the hand of God.

3. Your priorities are out-of-order:

If we rather hang out with friends or watch television than spend time with Jesus, we have to change something. If we rather check our texts instead of His Text (The Bible), something is out-of-order. If I can watch a movie for hours or a game for hours and I think God better be happy with my two-minute prayers throughout the day, then I need to repent.

4. If I’m not in obedience to the Word.

“No one is perfect” is an ungodly excuse from the pit of Hell that seeks to ensnare us believers into complacency. The devil wants us to give God less than what He deserves and say, “Thank God for grace”. Don’t be fooled, grace saves but it also changes. The Word of God is our mirror that we need to look into and have God clean us up and chisel us into His image. We cannot treat God’s Word like a magazine, skimming to what we like and what is convenient. All of it is to be obeyed, applied, and taken to heart.

5. My friends aren’t seeking God.

Don’t get me wrong, we will all hang around unbelievers, and we will be related to them, but if the relationships you are closest to you are pointing you towards sin, something is wrong. Don’t seek to be like the world, stand out and be the light (Romans 12:2). Your friends can determine your outcome, choose wisely (Proverbs 13:20).

A generation is rising that wants the power of God without being in submission to God. Before honor is humility. Remember this, the God of the Old Testament is the same God in the New Testament. The bible tells us that Jesus is still the same (Hebrews 13:8), so why do we think He’s comfortable with sin now? Yes, He has always been merciful, but that never made Him happy that we are comfortable in sin. He said, if you love me you will keep my commandments (John 14:15). God wants our obedience, not our excuses. You may not be perfect, but God wants you to die daily to your carnal nature so your spirit can become conformed to His image (Romans 8:29). Maybe you will never be perfect, maybe you won’t reach maturity for years, but will you at least try to please God with your life and not just your mouth? I don’t want to simply say I’m a Christian or believer, but I want to live the way the apostles did in the Bible. My God is still the same, I have more resources than they did, I am probably younger than they were, and I cannot make it simply seem as though God is retired and the world will never experience true Christianity. I have personally seen miracles with my own eyes and ears: cancer healed in many at my church, financial breakthroughs, lawsuits and jail time canceled, and more but I don’t want to sound like I’m boasting. My point is this, I want it to happen more in my life and I would love for it to happen in yours as well, so I draw this question to you: Are you willing to die so that Christ can finally take complete control over your life?

“If Jesus isn’t Lord of all, He isn’t Lord at all.”

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)

– Tovares Grey

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Who's to Blame?

The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good. (Psalms 14:1)
We go throughout our daily lives and run into many people that are atheists. Some of them wouldn’t bother going to your church even if you told them about miracles, they just don’t want to believe and says it’s all our imagination. Are they wrong? Well of course, but can you blame them for shutting us out? Besides the fact that the devil blinds the eyes of people so they won’t see truth (2 Corinthians 4:4), is there any other reason that people just refuse to believe there is a God?
Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. (Colossians 4:5)
Paul gives Christians an instruction, not a suggestion, to walk wisely before people without wisdom (fools – atheists). Why? To redeem, buy back, the time we have already wasted. Paul knew that those walking wisely could have an impact on those watching them, which is why he said to walk wisely. One way and the main way to walk wisely is in the fear of The Lord, in obedience to the Word of God. So my question to you is this, how are you walking? Are you living a consecrated, set apart, life? Or are you listening to the same music/tv/movies as the world? Are you going to the same parties? Laughing at the same sinful and lustful jokes? Do you look any differently then people in the world? And even if you don’t appear to look sinful and you’ve managed to look like you love Jesus, does your heart show it? Are you dressing modestly and having perverted thoughts? Are you smiling in public and gossiping/backbiting in private? Are we in love with Jesus or are we Christian atheists?
Christian atheist: Believing in God but living as though He doesn’t exist
This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. (Matthew 15:8)
Do atheists not believe in Jesus Christ or do they not believe in Christians?.. You see, I think we could be more effective in soul winning if we didn’t look like the people that were actually lost. I think we could have less people backsliding if we showed them love the way God loves us. If we were more merciful on those who made mistakes, maybe people wouldn’t be ashamed and try to hide their struggles. Maybe if we didn’t argue and complain so much people would actually believe God was a provider. You see, we complain as if God is a genie. God provides for our need, not our greed. I’m not pointing fingers, I’m guilty of all types of sin. I’m just well aware that we have to do better if we want to win more souls to the Kingdom. Think about it. People may not read the Bible, but they will read you
There would be much less atheists in the world if there were more “Christians” who actually lived the way God intended. Do people see Jesus when they see you?
God bless. 
– Tovares Grey
(Remember this: No matter how much you love Jesus and how much you persuade people, you cannot save anyone. Only God can draw them. And no matter how much you try, you can’t convince everyone to turn to Jesus, so don’t worry if rejected.)

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Daily Declarations

Studies show that most people must hear something around 7 times in order for them to retain it, and some people say it takes around 21 days of repeating something to form a habit. I wouldn’t call people foolish, it just simply takes awhile to train our minds to operate a certain way. We must understand that no one is born good or bad, we become that way because of our daily actions. The devil wasn’t always evil, but when his thoughts got evil, his lifestyle became evil.
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: (1 Peter 2:9)
It’s time for us to see ourselves the way God sees us. Stop defining yourself by your situation or your weakness. You say you’re weak, but God says to declare that you are strong (Joel 3:10). You say you’re ugly, insignificant or nothing to be admired, but God’s Word says you’re wonderfully made (Psalms 139:14).
Arguably, the best boxer of all time is Muhammad Ali (I’m sure he’d beat your favorite fighter). One of his methods of winning was not necessarily his quick jabs and hook shots, it was actually his mouth! Yes, it was his mouth that won most of his fights! He would always say something catchy like: “I float like a butterfly and sting like a bee. You can’t beat the greatest because I am Muhammad Ali.”, or “his hands can’t hit what his eyes can’t see.” Some may say that has nothing to do with boxing, but actually it has a lot to do with it. Ali would torment his opponents with his annoying lines, and before the fight he has already beaten them in their minds. Ali would have them swinging out of anger, and they would tire out extremely early. Ali even told some guys which round he was planning to knock them out in. Some say he was too prideful, that may be true, but I say Ali was extremely wise.
I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin. (Romans 7:25)
If you could understand that, please understand this: the battle is won in your mind. If you think you can succeed and you keep telling yourself you can, then you will. If you think you will fail, and walk with a defeated mind, then you will lose. Ali didn’t just annoy his opponents, he made himself more confident knowing that he doesn’t even have to swing a punch but his opponent is mentally defeated! I pray that us as believers learn from this man! It is time to wake up everyday and look the devil in the face and say “you can throw your weapons at me, but they won’t prosper”, “you can tempt me with pornography, but I am not looking”, and you can even say “nice blow, but now that I’m more dependent on Jesus, you can come with your best shot and I am not falling down again!”, “I know what the doctor sees, but my God is bigger than any disease!” Too many of us want to win the battle, but we walk around as if we don’t have power from God. Wake up, walk in your authority!
But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. (Isaiah 43:1)
Anyone who doesn’t know their worth, will easily allow themselves to be defined and labeled by people. People that have no clue of their purpose usually become lost in the crowd and never fulfill their purpose on this earth. That does not have to be you if you choose to seek God through His Word. When you seek Him, you will understand who you are, Whose you are, and why you are here. When you begin to say “I am…(something)…”, you attract whatever it is you say and you will eventually be that by your faith. So please, be careful what you speak over yourself and others.
Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. (Proverbs 18:21)
Remember, it’s not what they call you, it’s what you answer to. When people say hateful things and you get angry, part of you may think it’s true. Someone can call me a thief all they want, but I won’t feel guilty or upset since I do not steal. Too many of us live for man’s acceptance, but in return we will die from their rejection. Their isolation will destroy us mentally, emotionally and even spiritually. That is why we must all know that our worth and significance is in Jesus. Do not think it is in a person, because if they were ever to walk away, die, divorce you or you just grow apart, that means part of you will never be complete. Our value is in Jesus.
This may be crazy to some of you, but I want to challenge you to write down 5 things (on paper, phone wallpaper, iPad, or anywhere you will see it again like on your refrigerator) that God says about you and I want you to repeat them in the morning, night, in the car, or whenever you have time. If you are a person that is sick, make sure one of your 5 is, “I am healed”. Try this for one week and have faith, watch your situation begin to line up with God’s Word.
My list of daily declarations (Just 5):
1. I am the head and not the tail.
2. I am no slave to sin, I am loosed because of Jesus.
3. My family will be saved.
4. I am a lender, not a borrower.
5. I am a carrier of God and I will spread His Word.
– Tovares Grey

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Are You Insane?

Are you Insane?
There are a few things I’ve learned from being a child, playing sports, and just life itself. Those who work harder get better results. Students and children who obey their parents and teachers tend to be on their good side and can usually ask for whatever they want and get it. That should make sense to us why Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:15), and previously just told the disciples, “If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. (John 14:14). There’s a direct correlation between obedience and favor. When we obey God, He is always willing to work things out for us. Even as an athlete, I remember the first time lifting weights and I could barely handle anything in that weight room. However, I noticed that the more dedication I gave it, was the stronger I became. Not just me, but those who are Olympic medalists today. They train vigorously in order to be able to compete and be some of the greatest to ever run.
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. – Albert Einstein
The problem in today’s church, is that most of us are insane! We expect to make disciples, but won’t invite anyone to church. We expect to be used by God but spend no time with Him outside of the church building. We attend church camps, conferences or revivals and get on a “spiritual high” for a couple months if we are lucky, and then go back to the same lifestyle. Why? Most likely they didn’t plan to apply what they learned, just wanted to hear a nice message to make them get excited. Some of us even stopped caring whether or not our worship was in spirit and in truth, and now we are more concerned about not messing up our new outfit or shoes.
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. (John 15:4)
We have Jesus as our example of how to live on earth. Jesus prayed for hours, sometimes He would pray alone or at “inconvenient places” (Luke 5:16). When Jesus finished those long hours of prayer and fasting, he could cast out a demon with just one word. When Jesus finished praying He was able to heal, deliver and change lives. Now let me ask you this: if you aren’t willing to dedicate more of your life to God, why do you expect God to use you? If Jesus humbled Himself and relied on His Father daily, why won’t we learn to be more dependent on God’s presence and power? Abraham said to God he didn’t want to go anywhere without God’s spirit guiding him (Exodus 33). Are we really that crazy to think we can do anything by ourselves? Am I that insane to fight a spiritual battle against the devil with carnal weapons (Ephesians 6:12)? If Jesus defeated the devil with the Word of God (Matthew 4:1-11), why would I be insane enough to not study my bible and expect to overcome? God has our back, but God cannot defend us if we don’t even have a relationship with Him.
You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. (1 Corinthians 10:21)
A major problem in today’s church is that we don’t believe God called us to sacrifice things we love. We find scriptures to justify anything we want to do. God wants to change our lives through His Word, not have us twist His Word to fit our lifestyles. Many say “I want to be like Jesus”, but listen to artists and watch movies/shows that go against His Word. No one can say that after watching pornography, listening to all these filthy, perverted and materialistic shows or artists that they just feel the urge to worship God. Let’s not fool ourselves. Artists can say “I want you to go to Hell with me” on a nice beat and people are so foolish that they’ll set it as their ringtone. We have to understand the agenda of the devil (2 Corinthians 2:11). Whatever you put inside of you will come out. You can’t listen to garbage and expect to produce something pleasing to God. Jesus said you will speak what’s in your heart (Matthew 12:34). Are we that insane to believe what we listen to doesn’t affect us?
Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. (1 Corinthians 15:33)
We cannot admire and look up to people that contradict the lives we are called to live. If you’re aiming to be a Virtuous, Proverbs 31 woman, you cannot spend your time looking up to Beyonce, Nikki Minaj, Rihanna, etc. They may be “good” people, but they contradict the life God has called you to live. Men aiming to walk upright and walk the way Jesus did cannot be looking up to men like Chris Brown, Jay-Z, or even president Obama. These men blatantly go against our God and His Word. Whoever you spend the most time with, you will act like. That’s why many of us have traits like our parents, friends and family members, because we spend so much time with them. So if we want to live Godly, why should we feed ourselves junk? If you want to be virtuous, why do you admire women who promote lust, sexual behavior and are promiscuous? It’s time to cut the excuses, “only God can judge me”, “no one is perfect”, etc. We must understand that God doesn’t want our excuses, He just wants our obedience and faithfulness.
Shall we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he? (1 Corinthians 10:22)
Who do you want to be like? Do you want to be more like Christ or the crowd? Are you still conforming to the world? Trying to see how much you can sin and still be saved. Have you really given your life to God? Or do you think because you pray, read your bible and attend church then you’re good to go? God doesn’t want the same tired ritual. No one will marry a man or woman that claims to love them and goes out and sleeps around. That’s just disrespectful isn’t it? Well that’s what you and I do to God every single time we sin. We claim we love Him but we rather watch Scandal and sports, rather than read His Word. We claim that we have faith and God answers prayer, but yet we pray for five minutes and text for hours. We rather take pictures for Instagram and tweet all day, rather than doing something productive. Do you want to be like Jesus or be popular? Jesus didn’t seek fame, He took the role of a servant. If we want to do great things for God we have to be servants, not try to be served.
Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. (Matthew 16:24-25)
I pray for every reader that we will quit being insane. Insanity is living a lukewarm life and saying grace covers everything. Of course God’s grace outweighs sin, but it is no license to sin. Insanity is not praying and expecting a change. Insanity is being a part-time Christian and expecting full-time benefits. Are you insane? If so, go to Dr. Jesus and allow Him to work on you.
God doesn’t want me to visit Him on Sunday, He wants my heart daily.
– Tovares Grey

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God is Listening

One thing that every Christian must do, even though we sometimes avoid it, is to pray. Some pray for hours, some for minutes, some none at all. I understand in prayer you may be wondering, “okay so ummm, I don’t hear God and I’m done talking so I’ll just get up now”. Many of us won’t say those words, but our actions show it. We all must know that prayer is a dialogue, not a monologue. Sometimes we have to sit and wait on God to speak. We must learn to listen and not just speak in prayer.
Prayer is not fulfilling a religious duty, but it is seeking guidance from God. Lack of prayer shows that you have it all figured out and do not necessarily need God to guide you. We need to develop a passion for prayer. Many seek the pulpit and popularity, but only those who pray will ultimately have a connection to God. Ministry without prayer is useless. Jesus prayed for hours, sometimes all night, and it was all because He understood He was nothing without His Father’s strength to guide Him. Jesus was dependent of His Father to do anything, we must develop that same mindset that we must seek God before anything (John 15:4). Jesus worked miracles in seconds. Was it because He was God in flesh (John 1:14)? No, but because He consistently separated Himself to pray (Luke 5:16).
One of the most discouraging things to go through is to know that God is able to do something, but to be in a state where you don’t see any results. God says He is a healer, but you are sick (Isaiah 53:5). God promises to provide your needs, but you aren’t able to provide or meet certain requirements (Philippians 4:19). There are many different situations that you will find yourself in that will tempt you to question God. Never forget that God is bigger than your problems, and everything you go through is for your good and for God’s glory (Romans 8:28). Righteous people go through much problems, but God will deliver (Psalms 34:19).
Why pray?
– Prayer shows that we need God’s direction (Proverbs 3:5-6).
– God is sovereign, but He gave man authority on the earth. Therefore, He cannot work for us if we do not ask Him to (John 14:14).
– We do not understand some things, but God can give us knowledge (James 1:5).
We talk to people we love often. We do it to get to know more of them, why not talk to your Creator often? (Isaiah 55:6)
God wants to hear from you. We cannot always depend on others to pray for us, we need our own relationship (Luke 13:27).
Prayer is essential, not optional. You may feel as though nothing is happening yet, but you just have to be persistent (Luke 18:1-8). God loves to hear from you, will you give Him a few more minutes, hours, or maybe even your life?
“To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.” – Martin Luther King
Pray without ceasing. (1 Thessalonians 5:17)

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Who Gets More Time?

The easiest way to tell what a person loves is by checking where they spend the most time, money, and their talents. Everyone may not believe in God, but everyone worships. Some worship Jesus, while others worship other gods, their boyfriend/girlfriend or spouse, their car, homes, education, music artists and actors, models, or social networks. Sad to say, but many of us worship ourselves. Of course none of us bow down to these things or people (at least I hope not), but we worship them because we dedicate most of our time to them rather than to God. Am I saying God wants us to wake up and pray/read our bible until we fall asleep? No, but He surely shouldn’t have to compete to be in our schedule. God wants to be in control of our entire life not a part of our life.
So let me propose a question to you: who or what do you worship? Please don’t just say “God, duh. Next question.” Rather, please examine your busy schedule and see if it is centered around God. Let God be the most important part of your day or get the most devotion. Of course we all have things to do like work, school, take care of family, etc. but that’s no excuse to give God a few minutes of a day that He did not even have to give us. We should start trying to spend more time with God than with our television. That person you love may be great, but they do not deserve more time than the Man who thought you were to die for, Jesus! We often go through our “busy schedule” and find time to squeeze in the mall, phones, social networks, gossip, sin, gym, and then we give God the five minute prayer before a meal or bed (even though we are already half asleep).
O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; (Psalms 63:1)
By no means am I saying that “my priorities are set, I spend time with God for hours and I am perfect”. I am doing my best to give Him more time, as we all should. When we look at this previous verse we must understand what David was really trying to convey. David was in a literal wilderness! When in those types of conditions you’re without proper nutrition, any friends around, etc. Take Jesus for an example, after fasting in the wilderness, He was very hungry after (Matthew 4:2). However, despite David’s condition, he said he wanted more of God. David had an hunger for God, knowing that more of God was all that matters. He did not care about himself, but his mind was on getting more from God. Even though David committed adultery, he was considered as “a man after God’s heart” (Acts 13:22). It is not about your mistake, it is about your willingness to get up and seek God again. David was in constant pursuit of making God his number one priority.
Here are a few questions that I want us to read and answer truthfully. Do not be in denial, God knows the REAL you.
– Do we care more about winning souls to Christ or about our followers on social networks?
– Are we focused on living a life acceptable to God or one that conforms to society and makes us not looked weird or called “too holy”?
– Are we giving more to God with our tithes and offering than we do to the mall?
– Are we giving God leftovers or our best?
– Are we serving God with gladness or out of guilt, obligation, and fear of Hell?
– Do we know more lyrics than we know scriptures?
– Do we reach for our phone or bible when we get up?
– Do we pray for others or talk about them?
– Do we shout louder in praise or over a sporting event?
– Is Instagram more interesting than prayer?
There are so many questions that we can ask ourselves, but this is not to make us feel guilty, ashamed, or even say “you don’t earn salvation, you accept it”. This is about us willing to boldly forsake our worldly ways and pursue Christ. After all, God does not want most of our life, He wants us completely surrendered to Him. What can God do with someone who only wants to worship Him in a church setting? God cannot use a cyber Christian, God wants full time obedience. Worship the Creator, not His creation. People and things should never get more time and appreciation than God. Be grateful for everything you have, but do not make God feel as though you no longer care about Him. Jesus died for us, we should live for Him. Jesus did not die for us to go to church on Sunday and live like He doesn’t exist the rest of the week. What are you hungry for? Fame? Money? Love? Respect? None of that matters if you gain it and lose your soul (Matthew 16:25). Seek God now while you can, our days are limited. Let’s stop wasting it focused on the wrong things.
Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near. (Isaiah 55:6)
– Tovares Grey

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