My Story | Miracles in the Valley

Miracles in the ValleyThe healing process can prove slow and painful. Exhaustion dragged me down as I entered my sixth year with chronic pain. My determination waned along with my will to improve. A valley, though hard and fiery, can become in many ways a comfortable place to stay.

Ben and I dated seriously and knew that we would get engaged by the end of the year, though we kept our plans quiet. He was finishing his final year in the Institute of Ministry, so I left my beloved daycare job at Wolf Mountain to join him. I taught Junior High, did secretarial work, and took classes all while we happily dated. I also quietly sat undetermined to take the necessary steps for surgery.

Somewhere along the way, I finally picked up the slack and began making the calls to switch my insurance to my new county, hoping to acquire a primary doctor so my body could get on with physical healing.

On December 23rd of that year (2014), Ben proposed. My heart brimmed with dreams, and the planning began. Ben was my anchor and proved over and over that he really was the keeper of my heart. In the process of finding decor, making paper roses, and feeling beautiful in my simple (yet detailed wedding dress), my medical insurance finally updated me to my present county … in February!

Needing the surgery, wedding plans took a back seat while I tended to the medical hurdles. I hoped to accomplish it before our May 23rd wedding, but May approached quickly, and the hoops to jump through seemed endless. First, I had to have a series of doctor’s appointments in order for them to recommend me for surgery. Once they placed the request, the waiting game began.

Though simple in nature, the procedure still required the insurance company’s approval. As experience had taught me, a response could take a month if not longer. After that, we would need to schedule a surgery date, and then factor in healing time. It all seemed impossible to meet before our May 23rd wedding date. I needed a miracle!

Hope abounded and with it a renewed determination to heal. I made calls and worked hard to get the appointments as fast as possible. My first doctor’s appointment was scheduled for March 11, but I called the office every day to see if anyone had cancelled so I could have my appointment sooner. Finally, someone cancelled and I was schedule for March 3rd! Praise God!

After the multiple doctors’ appointments, I finally had a surgeon. I scheduled two appointments — the first so the surgeon could look at me and recommend surgery, and the second for the actual procedure. It would take a miracle to get this surgery less than week after the general appointment.

I prayed desperately for this desire of my heart, reigning in my wild pleas as I asked that it only be done if it was God’s timing. I would receive an answer on Monday or Tuesday. I was used to hearing a no, but I was convinced that God would give me a yes. Though I admit my confidence wavered, then flew back in with strength.

I let Monday go by without calling, because surely it would be Tuesday before we received an actual answer. Then Tuesday came … and I was not happy with what I heard. The request was faxed to my primary care doctor, but they never got it. My request for surgery hadn’t even crossed with the insurance company, and they would no doubt take days to approve the surgery. I was disappointed.

But this time, I wasn’t giving up! I picked up the phone and made calls back and forth between both the surgeon’s office and my primary doctor’s office. After things sorted out and my paperwork was submitted to the insurance company, I felt better. I had done everything on my part that could be done.

After all the calls on Tuesday, I stopped the work I was doing at the school and knelt to pray as I again begged God for surgery if it be His desire for me. Waiting wasn’t as difficult as I had made it in the past. God knew my needs, and He knew the timing with which those needs should be met.

I went to my IIM Tuesday class. Prayer requests were asked for, I gave mine, and we prayed that I would have surgery soon.

Minutes later, I was called with this news, “The insurance company went ahead and approved your surgery.” She kept on going, but I was amazed at God. The insurance company approved my surgery in less than 24 hrs! I cried in awe.

This is sunshine in the valley. This is healing in sight. This is wonder because my God is great.

Still in Awe,

Sierra Straightforward

I Do Not Say No Because I Like Saying Yes

Katrina Hunter Set Free (say-no-to-say-yesHannah’s Corner)

 Romans 7: 15, 18, 19  New International Version (NIV)

15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do…18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.

You know what it is and so does God.

It gives you that climax. It’s the thing that gets you excited.

God knows that He used to be that high. He used to be that thing for you that got you through. He used to be what helped you cope. But not anymore. You have other things and someone else to do that for you now.

It may not be the “typical sin” – but you know you have “this thing.”

“The thing”, as Paul the Apostle said – you do but don’t want to do. It’s the thing you would love saying no to – but don’t. Deep down, you like it and the feeling you get when you do it. Whether or not you should be doing it and whether or not you know it’s wrong isn’t the issue because you know you shouldn’t and you know it’s wrong.

Is it that friendship or some type of relationship that you know you should cut ties with, but yet you really don’t want to? You get something from that relationship you believe you need, yet it isn’t bearing the Godly fruit that it should. Or is it some other type of addiction that feeds your spirit and physical needs and you like the high it gives you, but now you really don’t want to do it anymore. You and God both know it’s doing more harm than good.
Could you be so bold and brave to admit to God and honestly say –

“I don’t say no to _______ because I like saying yes.”

But after admitting that you do it, what do you do?

Well, you can start by honestly admitting to God what you get from it. Therefore, you are likely to uncover the reason you still do it or entertain it. I’ve learned from dealing with addictions of all kinds that I focused so much on the problem that I didn’t deal with the root. I didn’t understand it at times, and then other times I tried too hard to understand it.

I did know this much – this door didn’t open by itself.
It was either opened by me or opened for me– and I walked through it.

I also tried to ignore the fact that my enjoying whatever I was doing was the reason I kept on doing it and always gave in. I felt trapped by my flesh or what I felt my flesh needed. I never stopped and attempted to close the doors.

I didn’t want to admit that I liked the attention, avoiding things, or getting my identity from something or someone. I didn’t want to admit that somewhere, my “it’ had become my high – my drug of choice. It became my craving when I used to crave God. My thing became what helped me make it through the days or weeks…and Lord – even years. When I dropped one, I picked up another. I didn’t say no because I liked what I got from my thing when I said yes…when I gave into it.

Here’s something else you can do. You can take a long look in the mirror and let reality hit you. Let it sink in. What do you see?  Do you see an addict or do you see a conqueror?  How long can you keep going like this? How long can you keep doing what you do?

Do you want to see someone different and wake up someone different or be the same person you were yesterday?

Ask God for the grace to carry out the good, as Paul says. Pray that God will give you a new heart that desires that He be your high and what gets you excited. Everything that those things gave you – ask God that He give them to you.

Then next time you are faced with your thing, I pray you will be able to say:
“I said no to ______________ because I don’t like saying yes.”

Justified=Just As If I Never Sinned

Starletjustified Ware Encouragement and Prayer

 At church a few Sundays ago, a man was ready to pray and he asked the question “do you know you are justified?”  He went on to define it: ‘just as if you never sinned?  He kept repeating the question and definition.  I was able to hear it over and over and ask myself: do you know this?

I have heard it before.  I accept it as truth (head) but do I believe it in my heart?  I am mulling it over and pondering.  While I was sitting at church, I prayed: “Father, I know it is true, help my unbelief.”

My transparent moment is I am working on living as if I believe completely that I am justified.  I thank God for his word especially in Romans because these verses made sense as to why I can believe.

Romans 3:24

Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

Romans 3:28

Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

Romans 4:2

If Abraham was justified by works, he has something to brag about—but not before God.

Romans 5:1

Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ

Romans 8:30

And those He predestined, He also called; and those He called, He also justified; and those He justified, He also glorified.

I pray you are encouraged like I am and use the verses to remind you of God’s marvelous love and grace.

Cruise Control

cruisecontrolWhat comes to mind when you ready the words “Cruise Control?”  Two completely different scenarios came to my mind.

First, I am so excited to be writing.  I had been cruising along life ‘wishing’ and talking about wanting to be a writer.  One day, I received an email from a friend who knew nothing about my desire to write.  Her email asked if I had ever considered writing.  I answered with a resounding ‘yes, only for the last 20+ years!’  She gave me details of the requirements like the deadlines and monthly topics and here I am a few months into my journey and I love her, this opportunity, and the satisfaction of encouraging others.

Although writing is exactly what I’ve wanted to do, I got into ‘cruise control mode’ after only a couple months.  I blamed ‘too many things on my plate,’ but laziness and lack of focus are the real deal.  I had to squash my excuses in order to be an encouragement to others!  Dream big!  Get your dreams out of the trash.  When I have failed and missed deadlines, my writing mentor has encouraged me by extending my deadline.  I thank God she is supportive,forgiving, and easy to work with.

Second and last was an actual ‘cruise’ that came to mind. I wanted to go with my husband so I booked the cruise in April and reserved our flights in May (2014). We wen on the cruise in January 2015 (last month)! It was so good to be on “cruise control” those five days and four nights. What a fabulous crew to take charge and allow us to be in ‘cruise control.’ I highly recommend going and letting someone else take care of you for a few days.

Cruise control can hinder/stop you or inspire/propel you forward.  I choose the latter.  How about you?

Starlet

 

For the “if” in Life

I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, that ye stir not up, nor awake my love, until he please.

Song of Solomon 8:4

fortheifinlife copy

Situation #1

I know a couple who dated quite a few years. She was a virgin when they married. They have been married several years but now she wonders “what if” I would have dated more than one person. What if I would have traveled like I wanted? What if I would have followed my past dreams ? Would I have married him? I am bored, depressed, sick and tired of arguing about being bored.

Situation #2

I told you all about my virginity being stripped away from me. I have ‘wondered’ if I would have waited till marriage to have sex. I’d like to think I would because sex was really the furthest thing from my mind all the way through high school. (OK, except the thought that went through my mind when I had my first French kiss. In my mind I asked, “If I have this much energy from a kiss, what kind of energy would sex give me?”)

You likely know of several other examples from family, friends, or your own story. Here is what I want to get across. God commanded that we not fornicate (sex without marriage/as singles) or commit adultery (sex outside of marriage). Since he said it, it is for our own good. He isn’t trying to stifle our ‘fun.’ He does want to save us the heartache that comes with premarital or extra-marital relations.

Let’s start this New Year out with pure hearts, minds, actions and goals. Some of mine are to be more like Christ and to do what he has called me to do in word and deed. I will be quicker to obey Him and follow after Him harder. What about you? Don’t fool me now. Write out your goals and dreams and make sure they are what He desires for you and go hard after them.

Till we meet again,

Starlet

 

Thankful God Loves Me Enough to Trust Me

Today, as I received my voting ballot, the man said “you are so joyful.” I thanked him. The lady next to him complimented my outfit. She said “your colors go together so well. You look so nice.” I thanked her. After voting, I handed my ballot to the same lady. I said goodbye to both of them and as I walked away, they were both smiling and he said, “not too many are so …” I didn’t catch the rest but I choose to believe it was another positive compliment.

Now, sitting here working, my lovely friend sends me a text saying “I know you will like this.” (see picture) I not only like it. I LOVE it! Thank you God for shining through me!starletwarepicfornov2014article

Matthew 5:16 “In the same way, let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.”

I sent “God’s got us ladies even when I’m flailing all about. :~)” to a couple sisters this morning. I absolutely love God and thank him ever so much for KNOWING, LOVING, CARING, PAYING ATTENTION TO ME and allowing me to be a participant in his plans to help encourage ‘my neighbors.’ He is giving me the desire of my heart. I have prayed “Lord, please let me be sweet.” I never thought it possible because I have such a deep voice, but God!

Since he wasn’t afraid to use ordinary, tossed aside, outcast people in the Bible, I won’t be afraid to let him use me in this current day where ever He chooses. Are you willing to allow him to live and shine through you?

“Some days are better than expected and other days are worse than expected, but God is consistent and loving through them all.”
Starlet

 

Thankful

starletwarequote4I am thankful for my mother who loves me so much. When I walk into Sorenson Golden Living, her eyes light up. She does this little dance that I join in. I hug and kiss her. Yesterday, I sat at the dinner table with her and let her talk while I ate up all the saltine crackers left there by other residents. She told me to go ahead and eat them because they would be tossed if left. I did.

We moved our conversation from the dining area to her room. She asked “is Brandon still living with that lady’s son?” I said no, he is with 3 other guys. She said “Brandon needs to come back home or if he is going to be away from home, he should live by himself.” I love this woman’s mind. She is so right. Needless to say, I called my Brandon and told him what his grandmother said. So thankful she is still here to contribute to my life and his. He agrees with her thoughts of living on his own.

To all those who no longer have your mom or dad here to love on, please know this wasn’t written to make to you sad. I wanted to share how we can be thankful for the things our parents instilled in us, taught us or would have taught us if they were in a better place.

God is the ultimate father and he knows our every need. Let him love you like no one else can.

Till we meet again, God bless.
Starlet

 

“Thanks” Giving

1 Thessalonians 5:18: 18 Give thanks in everything, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Give thanks in everything, really God? What about when my child/parent/sibling dies, my husband/wife cheats, my son/daughter has a baby out of wedlock, my car dies on the way to an interview, a health issue arises or I have no money? Yes, loved one, even then.

starletwarequote3

We have to allow our minds to be renewed (Romans 12:2) in order to give thanks in EVERYTHING. In the past, I would gladly accept the good but ask WHY when the bad came. I thank God I don’t have to have all the answers anymore. I trust God has the best in mind for me and he knows my future. I don’t get it right all the time but hallelujah, better.

This song by Don Moen came to mind as I write “give thanks with a grateful heart, give thanks to the holy one, give thanks because he’s given Jesus Christ, his son and now let the weak say I am strong, let the poor say I am rich because of what the Lord has done for us. Give thanks.” God set the precedence. We can rest in the fact he isn’t telling us to do anything he hasn’t already done well. He gave his one and only son to die for our sins. He is the ultimate in giving thanks in everything!

Thank you for reading again this week. I pray you are encouraged by this word. What are you thankful for? Tell me about it below or email me at Starlet@TakielaBynum.com.

God bless you,
Starlet

 

Starlet on Encouragement and Prayer

Depression, who knew how it affects a household? I certainly didn’t. I wasn’t prepared. I don’t know the statistics and I haven’t done any research. I can only offer my experience with family including most recently, my dear husband.

starletwarequote2In 1985, George started at the same restaurant I worked. He had recently returned from serving the USA in the Marine Corp. He was strong, handsome, hard-working, confident and friendly. I told my best friend George everything including what ‘J’ had done. He wanted to beat ‘J’ and report him. I didn’t choose that route. He supported my decision.

George and I dated about a year, no sex and no pressure from him for it. I remember telling him “I don’t want to have sex because I believe it would mess up our friendship.” He honored my decision. George wasn’t ready to commit after a year so I ended our relationship. He informed me years later he was devastated so he drank heavily, did a few different drugs and was very promiscuous.

Fast forward 20 years, we reconnect and marry after only six months. A month into our marriage, George confessed several devastating acts he had committed. I told him he needed to get help. When he went to the doctor, VA counselor, and Pastor, he was diagnosed with depression. He was prescribed an anti-depressant which has helped greatly.

These 7+ years have been rough but my George is still handsome, strong, confident, funny, hard-working and alive. We know we are not alone as many suffer from depression and are living great, prosperous, Godly lives. I love my dear husband and I even like him today. We continue to work on our relationship, communication skills, and becoming one.

At the Women of Faith conference this past weekend, I listened to their encouraging testimonies. I related most with the speaker who said she still takes medication for her depression. She is an author, speaker, mother and wife serving God proudly.

I pray you believe that God depression looses all power, under the authority of God.  There is hope for those hurting.

May you be encouraged because you are enough, 
Starlet

Two Times, Same Message

Proud to announce the new columnist at Leading Young Women to Hope! She is the IPD (Intercessory Prayer Director) of  the LYWH Ministry!

Introducing to some and presenting to others, Starlet Ware:

LYWH Starlet1I, Starlet Ware, declare over myself that I am emotionally well!  Most days I look totally together. I move through life praying for people, speaking kindly, and helping whomever I come in contact with. I can even counsel wisely. I love those days and interactions because I feel loved, needed, and used by God.

However, the days/moments I lash out and have temper tantrums are not productive, but at that moment, I don’t care. I want to scream at the top of my lungs, rant, wave my hands and lash out at whomever I believe has hurt me (usually my husband). Today, as I write this is one of those moments.

What was my journey to emotional wellness? Well, let me tell a little of my story.

I graduated from high school at 18 years of age, 1984. I went to work at a fast food restaurant owned by a family member. I happily worked, enjoyed my co-workers, and most customers. My mother came to have coffee daily. She’d sit and talk to us as we worked.

One day, my mother told me to “watch out for that man.” I didn’t know why but she emphasized it. I went on working. Time past and then the owner of the restaurant approached me and said “watch out for ‘J,’ he likes you.” Two times, same message. I couldn’t miss his over 6’ frame but I didn’t know what I was watching for.

Two occasions made me know why I was to ‘watch for him:’

  • Business was slow so we were told to clean, restock, and get ready for our next wave of customers. I ran downstairs to get supplies and as I ascended the stairs, ‘J’ descended. His large frame blocked the small stairwell. He embraced me and kissed me! I was stunned but continued upstairs and put the supplies away.
  • Days came and went. Another cleaning, restocking, and readying the place, I ran downstairs for supplies. I heard someone else descend while I was in the storage room. Arms loaded, I go to the door and find it locked. I call for help but realize ‘J’ is the one responsible. He came to the door, taunting me. I was irritated, frustrated, and wanted him to quit playing. He finally unlocked the door and as I went to go around him, he pulled me close with one arm and slid his other hand… well, you get the picture.

With two warnings and two different work incidents, my virginity was stripped away.

I wish I could say I reported him, told my mom or cousin. I did neither. I felt dirty. I went on having sex with him for about a year till I came to myself. I remember the breakthrough, freedom of no longer sinning against my body. Thank God for mind renewal.

Until age 38, I had only told one person in addition to the co-worker, about my experience. I will tell some more of my journey next week. Thank you so much for reading. I pray this has been an encouragement to you and may you be able to tell your story and get your emotional wellness every day. God bless you!

See You at the Pole 2014

lilbynumsseeyouatthepole2014“See You at the Pole” is an annual day of global student prayer. It’s where children in schools worldwide come together at the flagpole and pray usually about an hour before school starts. Hands down it is one of the most powerful teen movements I’ve encountered that’s student lead.

I’m not sure if you’ve heard about this worldwide event but as Christians and especially as parents, guardians, or loved ones of a student, you MUST get involved and support. If you can’t be at the poles at the designated time/date of the event, at least be in prayer at that time. We are quick to talk about this generation of children when they do something bad, instead let’s talk about it even more so, (not only) when they do something good but when they do something godly.

Today was the first time my husband, our youngest son, and I were able to participate in SYATP, however, our older two have been doing it for a few years now. God used our children to teach us, the parents, a valuable lesson and we’ve vowed to be involved with *See You at the Pole* from this day forward.seeyouatthepole2014lilbynums

Our youngest son shared with our entire family, his desire to participate in See You at the Pole. However, as he continued to talk about it, his body language and facial expressions conveyed something contrary to what he was saying. Initially, my husband and I couldn’t quite figure out what was going on with him. Finally, we began to ask him questions:

Husband and I: Son, are you okay?

Youngest Son: Yes, I’m okay.

Husband and I: Are you sure you want to be involved?

Youngest Son: Yes, I really want to do it…(his head dropped down).

Husband and I: What’s wrong? Is anything stopping you from wanting to do it?

Youngest Son: Well, it’s just that, I mean, I want to do See You at the Pole and pray at my school, but I’m afraid to do it.

Husband and I: Why are you afraid? You are great at praying! The best eleven year old prayer warrior we’ve seen!

Youngest Son: I’m afraid because may get into trouble. We are not allowed to pray at school. Plus, I’ll be the only one at the flagpole.

Next, before my husband and I could answer, our two other children chimed in on the conversation.

Older Son and Daughter: You won’t be alone baby brother. We’re coming with you. If you get in trouble, we’ll all get in trouble.

There were several lessons learned from this incident:

  • we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us
  • where two or three are gathered together in my name I will be in the midst of them
  • stand strong in the Lord and in the power of His might
  • without faith it is impossible to please God
  • love the Lord your God with all your heart
  • lean not to your own understanding, but in all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your path

I could go on and on. God is constantly watching over His word to perform it. He is definitely a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. I am truly grateful for orchestrated opportunities created by the Lord to instill godly wisdom from unorthodox methods – all for my/our benefit.

May we all unapologetically have faith in Him, until the day we see His face.

M.A.D. – The “My Adam” Deceit

hisherweddingsetSingle women – “I’m waiting on my Adam.

Engaged/Newly Married Women – “I’ve found my Adam.

This is the phrase I see trending on websites, blogs, social media and among ministries. I must admit that initially my thoughts were…”awe, that’s cute” and the moment the thought entered my mind the Lord lovingly nudged my heart. Later that night, I sought God and searched the scriptures (and vice versa), repeating this cycle for several days. Let me tell you young ladies the truth hurts sometimes, but nevertheless, not my will but His will be done.

May His will free you, in all things, Takiela.

Daughters of God, I love you. As your Father, the King, my plans for you are to give you hope and to prosper you. Even you, being born in sin and shaped in inequity give good gifts to your children, will I not do the same? Listen to Me sweetheart, do not adopt any principle that is not based on My Word, which is rooted and founded in Me. Do not lie to yourself by trusting what is worthless because you will get nothing in return (Job 15:31 NIV), whoever invests in lies will get lies plus interest due before the due date (Job 15:31and31 MSG). There is only one father of lies. I have come to set the captives free, I am the way, the truth, and the light. You must go through My Son to get to Me.

Do you know the story of Adam and the consequences of his decision? He listened to his wife and disobeyed Me (Genesis 3:17-19). Why would you refer to the husband you say I have blessed you with, as your “Adam” and if he is your “Adam” that makes you his…? Do you really want your husband to refer to you as his “Eve” the woman who caused sin to enter the world (Genesis 3:16)?

Daughters of the King, you should reflect no one outside of Me. Likewise, My sons should reflect no one outside of Me. I created mankind in My own image, in the image of Me, I created them, both the men and the women (Genesis 1:27). How can imperfection strive for imperfection, only I am He who is perfect, strive only for Me. I love you and have loved you with a limitless love that outlasts time. Return to your place of royalty in Me.

New School Prayer

It has been stated that this poem was written by a fifteen year old and I read someplace else that the student was twelve years old. I also read the writer of this poem has always been anonymous. Therefore I can’t give proper credit and thanks to the person who penned the words of this powerful poem. Without further ado…

NEW SCHOOL PRAYER

Now I lay me down in school

Where praying is against the rule

For this great nation under God

Finds mention of Him very odd.

If Scripture now the class recites,

It violates the Bill of Rights.

And anytime my head I bow

Becomes a Federal matter now.

Our hair can be purple, orange, or green,

That’s no offense; it’s a freedom scene…

The law is specific, the law is precise.

Prayers spoken aloud are a serious vice.

For praying in a public hall

Might offend someone with no faith at all…

In silence alone we must meditate,

God’s name is prohibited by the state.

We’re allowed to cuss and dress like freaks,

and pierce our noses, tongues, and cheeks…

They’ve outlawed guns, but FIRST the Bible.

To quote the Good Book makes me liable.

We can elect a pregnant Senior Queen,

And the ‘unwed daddy,’ our Senior King.

It’s ‘inappropriate’ to teach right from wrong,

We’re taught that such ‘judgements’ do not belong…

We can get our condoms and birth controls,

Study witchcraft, vampires and totem poles.

But the Ten Commandments are not allowed,

No word of God must reach this crowd.

It’s scary here I must confess,

When chaos reigns the school’s a mess.

So, Lord, this silent plea I make:

Should I be shot; My soul please take!

Amen

Power In Purity

The pornography epidemic is spreading like cancer on steroids. This plague is not confined by boundaries because it has touched many nations. It is not restricted by resources because there are outbreaks in every economic level from the ghettos of the cities, the condos of the suburbs, to the mansions along the shores. It is not limited by race because people of every shade can become its victims.

Each second $3,075.64 is being spent on pornography. The pornography industry is larger than the revenues of the top technology companies combined, including Microsoft, Google, Amazon, eBay, Yahoo!, Apple, Netflix, and EarthLink.

90% of children ages 8-16 years old admit to having viewed pornography online.

47% of Christians said that pornography is a major problem at home.

Like a drug, this addiction renders its victims helpless, destroying lives everywhere.

There is nothing sugar-coated or sweet about the damaging results of pornography and yielding to sexual temptation. Enticing images are constantly displayed on television, magazines, and on the Internet. Seductive visions are implanted in the minds of many by almost every form of technology known to mankind. In times past, “sex sells” was a term used figuratively, but now it has taken on a literal sense, and unfortunately, business is booming.

So how can we defend ourselves against the power of porn? With the power of purity of course.

Fight power with power. The power of porn is great but the power of God is the greatest. The only defense we have against the addiction of pornography and all sexual impurity is through God. We must arm ourselves with the word of God. Put on the entire armor of God. Making sure you have your loins girt about with truth, with breastplate of righteousness guarding your heart. Protect your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace. Next, take the shield of faith, that you may be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. Finally, take with you, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Pray without ceasing. To pray without ceasing doesn’t mean praying non-stop 24 hours per day. It means to pray in addition to the morning and bedtime prayers you pray. It means that quick silent prayer you pray when you don’t have time for eloquent words and the prayer poise. Prayers like, “Lord, help me,” “Jesus, I need you now,” or “God, I can’t do this alone.” These are what I like to call “rescue me” prayers, like the one Peter prayed when he began to sink on the water after Jesus called for Peter to join him.

Guard your spirit. Your eyes, ears, and nose are all portals to your soul. It’s easier to prevent junk from entering the portals to your soul than it is to get the junk out after it has entered. You’ve heard of preventative maintenance right? It’s the same concept. Prevent yourself from allowing sexually impure images, conversations, thoughts, etc. to enter your spirit. This means movies, books, songs, etc. will have some type of affect on you, if it provokes sexual arousal on any level, no matter how small, it’s probably not good for you spiritually. Be sensitive to your spirit and the Spirit of God too. It may not scream warnings to you, it may whisper them, be on alert.

Can I pray for you, your loved one or friend who maybe struggling in this area? Father in heaven, we glorify you and praise you! You are so awesome! I am interceding on my friend’s behalf because I know what it’s like to struggle. Please strengthen them, shower them with your love and mercy. Assure them that with you, anything is possible. In Jesus name I pray, amen.

Resources:

The Bible, New Living Translation Ephesians 6: 13-17

Something Else:

Dream BIG. Pray Hard. Expect God.