Idolizing Marriage

So you say that you want to be married. That’s fantastic! However, your desire may be delayed because of your motives. Why is our society so deceived into thinking that they can’t be happy until someone else comes along to give them worth? Marriage is so great, but it cannot complete. Good things cannot fill God’s role. Marriage is meant to be a blessing, but not your purpose on earth.
Okay, before I scare you away, let me get into the point of this blog!
There are so many people out there desiring marriage. That is so good, because marriage gives us an idea of just how much God loves us. Husbands are literally told to love their wives the way that Christ loves us. If that isn’t an indicator on how serious God takes marriage, I really don’t know what is. We are blessed with the gift of sex in marriage which gives pleasure and the ability to procreate. However, the problem arises when we want to be married more than we want Jesus. We seek a spouse before we seek the God who created us. Of course the all-knowing God could tell us who to pursue and who to stay away from, but we simply just hunger so much for the fairy tale love story that we forget all about God. Too many people are expecting a story like Love and Basketball, The Notebook or a Disney channel love story. I think many of us have the idea that marriage carries us into a happily ever after without problems, but is that the case? Every “romance” movie we watch, the movie ends with the highlights! The boy finally wins her heart. That pretty girl finally gives that guy a chance and they run off into pure bliss. The couple who broke up and moved on, somehow managed to run back into each other and fate would have it that their love is rekindled.
“It is definitely God’s will that I get my fairytale!” That’s just how it should be, right?
Wrong. Relationships don’t always go according to our plans….even if we love Jesus. Divorce rates are high just for the misconception many of us believe. You must know that no matter how awesome they are, they are still human. Perfection can only be found in Jesus, so do not hold an extra high standard for someone that cannot fill it. Marriages fail when God isn’t the center, but your idea of how marriage is. You both will have work to do, but you can’t grow if you two aren’t CHOOSING to forgive, love, cherish, respect and honor even when the feelings may fade.
Ever heard someone say they want a Godly spouse or someone following Jesus, but they aren’t even following Him wholeheartedly? That will never happen, you attract who you are not necessarily who you want. If you’re pursuing Jesus, then like-minded people will be drawn towards you; if you’re a lustful person, then that kind of person will be drawn to you. It is not God’s will for you to be with anyone holding on to the world. You two are going in opposite directions if they choose to remain lukewarm or unsaved. Keep your eyes on Jesus. Wait on someone you can pursue Jesus with. Wait for the type of person that will protect your purity and encourage you to seek Christ. So many want marriage so bad that they don’t take the time to evaluate themselves or the person they are with. God does not want us with anyone leading us away from Him. Love does not lead to sin. A Godly man/woman can commit to one person. Be careful of those wasting your time with their games. Do not say “I do” to someone who hasn’t said “I do” to Jesus. Committing to someone that doesn’t love God is only setting you up for a dead end relationship. If the two of you even last, you’ll still find yourself far away from God and that wasn’t your intention.
Are you getting yourself prepared for marriage, or do you just want a honeymoon, a ring and sex? Be careful of doing right things with wrong motives. Paul did say it’s better to marry than to burn with lust/passion (1 Corinthians 7:9), but keep this in mind: if sex is the only reason you are going into marriage, you’re not ready for it. Of course no one will be perfect before marriage, but be careful of jumping into it and you’re not ready for such a great commitment. It should be until “death do you part”, not until “looks fade and you run out of money”. Remember that it’s a lifetime commitment you are preparing for so do not rush into something you can’t handle. Guys, if you don’t want to commit then leave the girl alone. Stop trying to see how many hearts you can break before “settling down”. And vice versa, because some women string men along and try to get attention from him, but won’t give him the commitment that he desires. Divorce is only common because we are seeking guilt-free sex, a wedding celebration, someone to control and manipulate rather than a best-friend we can honor Christ and grow with.
Think about it, your heart is too valuable to just jump into marriage and you weren’t prepared for it. Rushing will lead our vulnerable hearts into sin, brokenness and wasted time. Choose today to be patient, wait on God to lead you and not our emotions that can easily change. His timing is perfect.
Grace and peace,
Tovares Grey

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.

Stumbled back into Lust? #NoLustNovember

Hey guys! Day 6, and I know some of you are absolutely amazing and you are just kicking your old lifestyle out and seeking Jesus like never before. However, I am realistic and I know this isn’t the case for all of us. Have you made a mistake since the month started? Have you looked at lustful images and didn’t turn away like you should have? Is that girl’s body still in your mind, bro? Is that handsome guy still playing with your mind and emotions, sis? Did that song, movie, or conversation stir lust back up into your heart? Did you go to their house again knowing it would lead to fornication?
 

Like a dog that returns to his vomit is a fool who repeats his folly. (Proverbs 26:11 ESV)

 
It’s crazy that we look at the men and women in the bible as being such perfect believers and that must have been the reason God used them, right? Wrong, God used them because they depended on His Spirit. God didn’t use them because they had it all figured out. Paul is someone I reference a lot, because he was a great example on how to live (other than Jesus). However Paul mentioned that he had a weakness he wanted God to remove. God told him “no”. He was telling Paul that His grace was sufficient for him and He would help him overcome his issues (see 2 Corinthians 12:7-10). However, I want to draw your attention to Romans 7 (read all of it when you can). Paul mentions that the things he wants to do, he doesn’t do, but yet he finds himself doing things he doesn’t plan to do (Romans 7:15). Sounds familiar? Yes, because that is all of us serving Christ. We want to live pure and righteous lives, but we don’t at times. We want to hate sin at times, but yet we find ourselves falling into sin. Not only do we fall into sin, but we fall into the same one we repented of 831 times at the altar. However, I love how chapter 8 begins, because it stops focusing on our failures and points us to the solution – Jesus and His grace. You are not condemned. You are His. Don’t stay in your mess when Jesus died to free you.
 

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)

 
I’m here to tell you that it is okay that you messed up. The only people who mess up are the ones who tried. You can only break a fast when you are fasting. You can only become weary when you have been fighting. Falling is inevitable, because you are human. But that is why we have the Holy Spirit, to guide us away from temptation and to restore us when we fall. Are your actions okay when you sin? Not at all. Is God pleased with your decision to turn back to your sin? No, He wasn’t pleased. But I am here to tell you that it is okay for you to get back up again. No way am I telling you to keep committing your sin, but you have to understand that God expects growth, but He is fully aware that we are human. There is grace for His children because we cannot do things on our own (Psalms 130:3). You don’t have to stay down just because you fell into the same mess. You can and you will overcome, in Jesus’ name. You won’t overcome on your own, but you will when you decide to turn away from those things and people that are toxic to your spiritual walk.
 

If thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared. (Psalms 130:3-4)

 
So for those who have fallen, and for those will fall tomorrow, please get back up again. Be sorrowful, be remorseful, be sincere in your repentance and get back up again. Take a break from social media if you must. Unfollow some accounts if you’re failing. End some relationships if you see the cycle is repeating and no boundaries are being followed. Because it is one thing for your relationship to make a mistake, but it is another when it is just not God’s will for your life (read more about that here). Please don’t quit, let’s keep growing!
Remember to stay engaged with us! How?
– By using the hashtag #NoLustNovember on your pictures, statuses or videos that you’ll use to encourage others.
– Sharing what God shared with you during your devotion.
– Sharing a quick video about overcoming lust or a testimony.
 
Pray Psalms 51 when you get the chance.
 
Grace and peace.

My Worth

No matter who you are, where you are from, your age, or your lifestyle you want to be loved and accepted. When God created us, He took deep thought into it. No two people on Earth are the same, so He must have obviously designed us all special. Twins even have different character traits.
One will go to great lengths to be loved or find acceptance. When someone is in a relationship or wants someone to notice them, you can bet that they will dress their best, act their best, and do everything in their power to attract the other person. Some people we would have never guessed that we would be friends with, but they changed something that made them seem more like-able or presentable. An example would be a nerdy kid that starts to smoke so he could fit in with the bad guys, or a insecure young lady who shows off her body to get attention from guys or get in popular circle.
In society today, we are given the impression that you either fit this category or you’re a nobody. I remember I once wore a pair of shoes to school (chuck Taylor’s), and I promise a few guys made fun of me. Literally, a weeks or months later, a famous rapper had them on and made a song about it, and the same guys who laughed at me, began to wear them. Now I’m sitting here thinking to myself, it is beyond crazy what people do to look cool or to “fit in”. I once was the loser, but now they are wearing the same thing as me.
Christians, please stop trying to fit in. God has called us to stand out. I notice so much how in church we can act, talk, dress, and do things like the world. Let me guarantee you this, the world is miserable. The world is driven back and forth by a new style, trend, song, economy, etc. every day. The only place one can find peace and stability is in Jesus Christ and His word, the bible. The world is like a ship without a sail or anchor, they go wherever the winds blow.
If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. (Colossians 3:1-3)
– Notice that it starts off with if. Only you who claim to be a Christian should do this.
– Affection: to interest oneself in, regard, savour, think (Greek). Your interests should be heavenly and should be pleasing God biblically, not on worldly things.
– You are dead. Dead = slain (Greek). I do not believe dead people care about Jordan’s, Nike, high heels, fancy jewelry. Nor do I believe they worry about music, followers on social networks and dating. God says that you should be dead with these simple things. Our focus shouldn’t be on things.
– Of course you’re human and must survive, but seek first the kingdom and God will provide these simple things that you need (See Matthew 6:33).
No one wants to be hated or be the oddball, I understand that. However, God said the world will hate you because you do not belong to them. They hated Jesus because He came and flipped the script on them, what makes you any better than your master?
– If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. (John 15:18-20)
– You do not belong to the world, so don’t try to fit in with them.
– The world doesn’t need you. Jesus died for you to be a light to this world. Stop walking in darkness and shine!
– It isn’t fair for me to be lost and you know the way, but instead of you showing the way, you walk around lost with me.
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. (Romans 12:2 NLT)
Your worth is not in:
• A man/woman nor husband/wife. They can die or dump you.
• Money: It can be stolen, lost, and it surely doesn’t come with you when you die.
• People’s opinions: They will get rid of you as soon as you do not meet the criteria or they find someone/something better.
• A degree: This doesn’t qualify you as a Christian. Many have degrees without jobs in their fields. A degree doesn’t stop the devil from attacking you.
• What you own: Health can be taken away from you. Clothes will run out if style and you’ll have to get more to “fit in”. A car doesn’t move without gas, therefore it shouldn’t be your god. A cell phone doesn’t determine your status or change the way God sees you.
• Your good works: You were saved by grace and you won’t make it without grace.
• Your gifts, talents, or anointing: Those are from God and He could strip you of everything if He wanted to.
• Your figure: We should be focused on pointing people to Jesus, not showing off our bodies. Many cause people to lust and stumble, do not be the reason your brother/sister falls into sin.
Your worth is in one place:
Jesus!
No person or thing should be placed before God. We must stop idolizing our technology. Some people don’t realize it but we worship ourselves and our possessions. The bible is our spiritual mirror. We should look in there and see where we line up and see what needs to be adjusted, but some look in natural mirrors more. Worrying more about their appearance than their spirit. We cannot go a day without our phone or a social network, but a day without our bible and prayer doesn’t make us uneasy. Your worth is only found in Christ, so let your affections and desires be found in Him!
Prayer:
Heavenly Father, I come to you because you alone are God. I recognize that I have neglected you in some areas of my life. Your word says that I am complete in You, so help me to know that I am accepted by You and I don’t need to go to other sources for validation. Even if the world rejects me, help me to always turn to You, because you’re all that I need. Help me to see the idols that I have set up in my life, even if I made my own self my god. Help me to place you back on top and keep you there. Lord I just want to be used by you, and to please you in every way. So keep me, and let Your will be done, not mine. In Jesus name, amen.
God bless,
Tovares Grey

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God's Love Breaks Spells

Witchcraft, fornication and adultery, stealing, lying, gossiping, gambling, drinking or smoking, clubbing, insecurities, and maybe even rejection. Almost everyone in the world has fell into one of these categories. Whether we have participated in the act, or were forced into the act. However, the truth remains that everyone, has committed a sin, they have also done things they are surely not proud of, and everyone is broken in some way.
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (Romans 3:23)
– Some use this as a scripture to justify their foolishness, I mean sin. However, this scripture is why we all need a savior, because we all have sinned.
– Sin is punishable by death, eternity in Hell. That’s why we all need Jesus!
– Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)
Sin is a disease that spreads like leprosy.
– It starts on the inside and then slowly comes out of us. Once it reaches on the outside it spreads, and can even be contagious.
– Sin begins in our heart, not when we commit the action. If we meditate on a sin, eventually the body will do what the mind wants.
Temptation isn’t a sin. It is a sin when we yield to it.
We tend to point fingers when tempted, but the truth is, it is our own fault. The devil doesn’t give anyone evil desires. The only power he has, is the ability to tempt you. However, you won’t be lured away unless that’s your weakness.
– If you like short and black, he won’t send a man/woman that is tall and red.
– If you don’t have a stealing problem, he cannot tempt you with that.
– The devil studies us, and it is sad that he knows us better than we know ourselves. That’s because people refuse to admit their struggles.
When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. (James 1:13-15)
We all have shortcomings, but that is a blessing.
– When we come to the realization that I can only overcome a sin when God helps me, then we will have a reason to pray.
– A thorn in our flesh will keep us humble. Knowing that we will fall unless we stay in the presence of God.
– If we all felt as though we were perfect, we wouldn’t want God.
Jesus came to set us free from the bondage of sin. Jesus knew it would be so hard for everyone to follow the law, and the law also made so many people self righteous.
The problem today is that people want to be saved from Hell, but not from sin.
– However, God doesn’t work that way.
Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, (2 Corinthians 6:17)
Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: (Hebrews 12:14)
Do not get me wrong, Jesus is a loving and forgiving God, but he cannot tolerate sin.
– No man can hold God’s hand and then with the other hold the devils hand.
– You must choose a side.
– Jesus isn’t a fan of Lukewarm Christians, Revelation 3:16.
– Holiness is a requirement, not a suggestion.
I am a living testimony that God delivers us from everything that we want to be delivered from.
– It is true that many of us give God part of our lives and then try to control the others.
– Saying things like, “God take away the suicidal thoughts”, but we do not want to give up pornography.
– God wants our entire being, all of our heart. Not just what we feel is convenient.
Speaking for myself, I wanted God to take away everything from me, but I honestly didn’t want to give up lust. He’s worked on me in many areas but that one I didn’t want Him to touch, but handle myself. I’ve done things I’m not proud of, but I thank God I’m still a virgin and He didn’t allow me to go too far. Now the closer I get to Him is the more I see the need to give that up. That along with anything else that doesn’t please Him.
Our problem is, we think we can change ourselves. People outside of church say they are going to get their act together and then come to church. That is impossible! God changes us by His spirit and His word, we cannot do it by ourselves. Stop trying to do God’s job and let Him mold you into the person He designed you to be.
People come to me and say that they believe being a Christian is boring.
– It surely is, if you do not have a connection to God.
– It definitely looks that way when you see Christians living lukewarm lives.
– It surely doesn’t attract people when they see you in the club, cursing and half naked on social networks, and singing on the choir in church.
– It surely does look that way when people complain about what they don’t have, instead of being grateful for what God has already done.
Christians, it is time to seek God like never before and let His love transform us from the inside out.
If we really understood the love of God, we wouldn’t live the way we do. We indulge in sin, but sin is deceitful. Feels good but sucks the life out of us slowly. Trying to impress and fit in, but in the end you still have a longing that cannot be fulfilled. That’s because the things or people of this world, cannot fill the void that is meant for God!
– Love for God causes us to obey Him.
– If ye love me, keep my commandments. (John 14:15)
Jesus’ love made Him die for our sins. Don’t let His death be in vain in your life.
Give up sin, accept real life. Life in Christ!
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
His love has broken every spell over my life and I’m grateful for that, will you allow Him to do the same for you?
– Tovares Grey

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Pornography & Masturbation: Is it Wrong?

Before anyone starts, let me ask for forgiveness. I know that some people think “pornography” and “masturbation” are curse words in the church.
I can count the amount of times I have been to a church service or a meeting where the speaker confronts pornography. Growing up in the church, I have come to realize that leaders will speak against fornication (premarital sex), adultery (being married and sleeping with someone other than your spouse), and homosexuality/lesbianism. These are surely touchy issues so I can somewhat understand why we avoid them. However, if we don’t teach the people about it, we cannot get mad when the world tells them about it.
Pornography is something for someone perverted, in some peoples opinion. However, it is just a sinful thing that the devil uses to trap and corrupt minds with. Many have watched it. If you haven’t then congratulations, but don’t kill those who have. Just know that you can be free from this sexual and mental addiction.
How is Pornography wrong?

  • It corrupts the mind of the viewer. You believe that what you see is fulfilling and want to go and try it out.
  • You no longer have God’s view of love, forgetting the true purpose for it. You see sex as a sport and no longer as a gift for husband and wife. Porn stars sleep with many different people all the time. The bible says when you sleep with someone, you become one with them. Now stop. If I sleep with 60 women, I am now causing so many different spirits to be in me. That sounds like confusion, not love.
  • Some may say, “I really love God, I am just trying to learn different ways to please my spouse”. I cannot say your motives are wrong, but the way you fulfill it is. God can show you ways to satisfy one another without leaving His will.
  • You’re telling God that you have a sexual desire that you had to resolve yourself, instead of waiting on your own spouse.

We must understand, we do not sin only if we have sex outside of God’s will. We messed up when we flirted with sin all the way up to the act. The little things matter, stay alert.
How is masturbation wrong?

  • Masturbation is the act of sexually pleasing yourself.
  • God has given every man and woman a sex drive. Some people feed their sex drives more than others. With things like: Love music, movies with sexual scenes, flirting, negative pictures, etc. Now you reach a point where you are really in “the mood” and don’t have someone, so you do it yourself. So you have fulfilled your spouses duty. Sin.
  • The urge to do this isn’t from God. God knows you want to be with a special someone, and He actually wants to give it to you (Psalms 37:4). So now you have an urge from either the devil or yourself. Nothing the devils sends us is good, and the bible says you cannot please God with a carnal mind. A worldly minded person cannot please God (Read Romans 8:1-8).
  • Fornication is a sin. So whether you do it to yourself or with someone you are not married to, you have just committed a sin.

If you struggle with it today, let me tell you something. There’s a better life in Christ. Being abstinent or celibate is a great feeling.
Your hands were made to glorify a Holy God. Your body is God’s temple. Don’t defile it because you were  “horny”. If you ever reach that mood, you know that God wants you to draw closer. Don’t be overpowered by these desires. God sees those who want to be married, but it is all on His timing. I beg you, throw away those movies, magazines, pictures, text messages, CDs. Live pure!
Don’t ever say it’s too hard. Doubt is an insult to God! He know and he cares, let him help you!
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:13 ESV)
Everyone is tempted! I’m sure the woman at the well with all those husbands could have tempted Jesus! He chose to spread the Gospel to her, not spread her legs! You can resist too!
God bless, stay pure. Stay focused. You can make it!

Tovares Grey