Defeating Loneliness

It is a Sunday afternoon and loneliness has been seducing me for roughly three hours now. It’s crazy that this happening because 1) I went to church today; like I was there with God’s people, feels and all 2) I knew I was supposed to write about loneliness next and while in church, God had started to tell me about what to write, so it’s really funny that now, all alone in my room I am feeling quite lonely.

I know that we all feel lonely from time to time, some of us more often than we care to admit so let’s talk about it.

Loneliness comes from a place of remote disconnect with those around us. This tells us that it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re alone, it just means that you feel alone, like nobody gets you. I think for girls and even older woman, this can be deeply personal and can go on for many many years unnoticed to the point where you start to think, it’s natural and should be embraced. This is not so.

First thing first, loneliness is a sign that you crave connection. And not just any connection, deep, real, resonating connection. I am not saying you need a boy/girlfriend (although you might) but on a more fundamental note, you need a friend, or two. So… Find a friend or two. I know, it’s not as easy as it is to just say it, but still the bible says

Proverbs 18:24New King James Version (NKJV)

A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

I’m probably the most unqualified person to talk about this cause I have like two friends but still when they are around or when I am speaking to them I don’t feel lonely. Get one friend like that and you will be less lonely. Don’t be afraid to get your feelings hurt etc. If it does happen, be like Paul,

…Forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead. (Phil 3:13)

Imagine all of the glorious things that lie ahead. God wants you to have good, strong relationships that bring you joy. Now that I think about it, I have quite an handful of friends, so many that I am starting to think I’m totally qualified to talked about this. Haha.

Another thing is, when you’re lonely, you’re most likely bored. Have you ever been in the middle of something important or tasking, then all of a sudden you realize you’re lonely? That seems ridiculous right? That’s because it is. Idleness brings with it negative thoughts and emotions. As such, you’d think we would avoid being idle, but on the contrary, we resolve to scrolling through social media when we are bored, which we don’t realize is also a form of idleness and might leave us worst off.

Go out. Take a walk. Go buy cake or a salad(?). Read a book. Do something you enjoy. Nap. Life is all about activity. It would be such a drag if we spent all our days just folding our hands now, wouldn’t it?

Loneliness means that you’re paying attention to all the wrong things, aka yourself. Don’t waste your loneliness, your time, obsessing over what could have been or what should be. Why not spend that time with God? Why not meditate on things God has spoken over you? Why not learn memory verses? The truth is before we have problems, God has already provided solutions. We are not alone. Read your Bible. Write down God’s promises. Take it personally. Pray in the spirit. Sing songs. Whatever you give your attention to, thrives. Choose within yourself that when lonely thoughts haunt you, you will fix your eyes on Jesus instead.

2 Corinthians 3:18 New International Version (NIV) And we all, who with unveiled faces reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

When we face the Son, all our shadows fall behind us. Everything finds it’s proper meaning in Christ, including you. See loneliness as an opportunities to spend time with Him and ultimately make him bigger, in so doing we find that loneliness becomes hollow and empty.

Let us also be reminded that just because we feel alone does not mean that we are, we are more surrounded than we can come to comprehend. The very deep connections that we seek are satisfied in God alone. We will be fine, if we stick with Him. He knows what we need and he is generous and kind to meet our needs, even emotionally. Remember He calls Himself the comforter. Although people can be a firm source of support, we do not rely solely on them because God has given us enough good sense to understand that they are only human too, plagued by limitations. We trust God to be there when all else fails and when it all comes together. He is the good Shepherd. He is here for the good and bad days. How sweet!

Love & love —O

What is Abstinence & How Do We Do It?

I know a lot of people think its not possible, it’s not worth it and there are a lot of different opinions on the subject of Abstinence. We will get into all those thoughts later but first lets just talk about what adstinence really is and why we should consider it at all, before we go into the how.

What is abstinence?

Abstinence in the context of our topic today is staying away from whatever God asks you to stay away from per time. I think that when we see something like this, the first thing that comes to our mind is but why is God trying to take something away from me? Doesn’t He want me to enjoy my life? Didn’t He give me these urges?

Song of Solomon 8:4 The Message (MSG)

Oh, let me warn you, sisters in Jerusalem:
Don’t excite love, don’t stir it up,
until the time is ripe—and you’re ready.

First of all, abstaining is for your own good. Don’t you think it is interesting that that verse is directed to sisters in Jerusalem, daughters of God? God knows us all too well, and seeks to do us good, to preserve our hearts and minds, to save us from deadly wounds. Sex is more than the merging of bodies, especially for us girls, it’s also an emotional thing and it can mess us up big time. Ask those who have done it or those who have spent years having sex with themselves through masturbation. Although they might not want to admit the truth to you, there is a cost for stirring up love before it’s time and there is a weight that tugs at their souls no matter how well they ignore or try to hide it.

True purity is a heart that is committed to God and his way because you believe His ways are best.

Tell me, if you trusted God enough to give him your life, why is this side of things so hard to give up? You need to understand that the Father knows you more than you know yourself and he has prepared all these gifts for you, but there’s a time for everything. It’s like giving a two year old a Bentley. Of course there will be accidents, of course the child might die. The level of maturity that qualifies us for intimacy on that level is marriage. That is where those things can bear the fruits they were meant to bear. If you go down that road now, you will only hurt yourself, not God, because remember God loves you forever, His ego is not bruised. It doesn’t matter what you do, He has promised to never leave you. But even so God doesn’t want you hurting. Purity has nothing to do with whether or not you are a virgin, it has to do with the condition of your heart. God want us to have real blessings that flow from a healthy heart.

Proverbs 4:23 New International Version (NIV)

Above all else, guard your heart,
for everything you do flows from it.

 

The world is a full of fake happiness, where everybody has plastic smiles but are falling apart inside. God wants us to live from the inside out, because those are the things that last and that are true.

Proverbs 10:22 King James Version (KJV)

The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.

Aren’t you just stunned by the goodness of God?

How To Abstain?

2 Timothy 2:22 English Standard Version (ESV) So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.

Make a decision.

Most of us overlook the point of coming to a decision on purity and standing by it. I always knew I was going to abstain, I always knew I wasn’t supposed to have sex before marriage but I never really made a conscious decision and that made me have gray areas because it wasn’t something that was settled within me already. I urge you to make a decision. If you are ready to take that stand now let’s make this declaration together;

I, (your full name) will keep myself pure. I will not engage in anything that will destroy me. I will not have sex before marriage. I will not have sex outside marriage. I will enjoy my life according to God’s plan and purpose. I will live a genuinely happy and fulfilled life. I will stay pure, all the days of my life, by the power of the Holy Spirit who lives in me and strengthens me.

Depend on the Holy Spirit.

Galatians 5:16 New International Version (NIV) 

So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.

Walk by the Spirit. The sons of God are led by the spirit of God (Romans 8:14). God speaks to you, you decide whether or not to listen. Yield to the loving nudges of the Father through the Spirit, don’t harden your heart. You know when the situation is getting too intense, you can sense it, so learn to take the cue and follow the Spirit. He has promised to never leave you. He has promised to be your ever present help in time of trouble, but God can only help you as much as you willing to receive.

Surround yourself with people of like mind.

It is always better to be surrounded by people of God, so that in your time of weaknesses they will be your strength. Friendship is a very powerful thing. Some of us are still standing and safe only because of the people we have in our lives, because they won’t just let us fall. Pray for divine relationships. Seek out relationships that support your stand and will help you see it through.

Delight in God.

John 14: 15

If you love me, you will keep my commandments.

When we read this we assume that Jesus is telling us that to prove our love for him we should keep His commandments, but that is not what Jesus is saying at all. A careful study of the passage shows that this is somewhat more of a promise, a fact even. Jesus uttered this statement when he was about to give us the promise of the Holy Spirit and how he (the Holy Spirit) will never leave us. Why did God think to tell us this before disclosing that the Holy Spirit would come? I believe it is because the Holy Spirit is the manifestation of fellowship, of a relationship, of intimacy, of a love affair and so if we abide in this love, how could we possibly not keep his commandments? It is merely a side effect of loving Him, of being with Him. We see this more clearly when we go further down to Chapter 15 and Jesus begins to teach about the Vine and the branches and how we cannot bear fruits except we are connected. I urge you to study this part of scripture. Two verses particularly stands out to me;

John 15:9-10 New Living Translation (NLT)

9 “I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. 10 When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.

Here we find the secret of consistency and joy in God. Only someone that is in love with God can obey Him and bear fruit. It is impossible to truly follow one you do not truly love or you don’t not believe truly loves you. Stay with him, stay in His love, and you will find that obeying His commandments and living according to His plans are but only side effects of coming to know Him.

In summary, How do you obey? You love. How to do you love? You obey.

Till next time, grace, peace and much love.