Posts tagged Purity
Think Before You Drink

There are many topics that can cause a shift between believers. Though the Spirit is one, the personal convictions vary and differ among the Brethren. One of them is drinking.

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Before encountering Christ, I drank like a fish. Alcohol was definitely one of my vices as I indulged in underage drinking. From four Locos--to dry gin--to Everclear, baby girl swam like Nemo.

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10 days after turning 21, I got saved.

I got saved.

*ques harp*

My friends claimed that I was officially legal to drink, but my thirst for alcohol was severed and thrown into the pit of hell.

I wish this was the case for others. Some people drank before being saved and continue to do so after. Some drank liquor before being saved, but after Christ, stick with wine and/or a drink once in awhile. Some don’t make their convictions known to others but drink in the privacy of their homes. All in all, God sees the heart of all believers in regards to alcohol.

Recently, I began to accept that the body would remain in disagreement on this topic and that it was okay if the body differs on this, that each Believer was entitled to their own personal revelation and conviction from the Lord. Either way, I would not advocate for anyone who is a believer to not indulge in drinking. I can not expect you to take my personal convictions as your own, but do you mind hearing me out?

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Here are reasons why I would not advise one who is saved to drink


Out of season

When I say out of season, I do not mean it is out of season to still drink malt liquor just for a cheap buzz post-college. When I say out of season, I am referencing to Paul’s instruction to Timothy.

Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.
— 2nd Timothy 4:2

As believers and witnesses of Christ, we are called to do the will of the Father at all times. That means being a vessel when you are in and out the church. That means being an ambassador of Christ when you're around your community and when you are surrounded by unbelievers. That means being a light when all eyes are on you and when you are alone in the privacy of your own room.

However, being ready in and out of season can be hard to achieve if you are under the influence of alcohol. If your judgment and natural senses have deteriorated, how much more will your spiritual sense be impaired? This makes you ineffective to be used unless God wants to minister to other individuals with your decision to drink.
 


The Real Deal

The devil always tries to emulate the Kingdom. From love to happiness, the devil offers us cheap imitations of the real deal. And we often fail to take a closer look at the imitation and buy the illusion. Imitating the Holy Spirit is one of the devil’s tactic. His version of the Holy Spirit is drunkenness.

And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit
— Ephesians 5:18 NJKV

The word is clearly advising us to choose being filled with the Holy Spirit over being drunk with wine.

“But the word said “ ‘drunk’ with wine”

Yes. It does. Because that is the purpose of consuming alcohol. People think that you can drink alcohol without being lit, which I believe is partially false. You may not be “one olive away from a margarita,” but regardless you are impaired to some degree when you consume a substantial amount of alcohol. You are either under the influence or not. Just because you have built a tolerance to it, does not negate the fact that you under the influence of alcohol. You are not immune to intoxication.

Let’s be real. Do you “sort of’ have sex or do you actually have sex”? Imagine telling this to a significant other. No one will buy that you “sort of” had sex with another person. Either you did or you didn’t.


Can’t coexist

For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb.
— Luke 1:15 KJV

John, the Baptist, was destined to lead the way for the coming of the Lord. Before he was in his mother’s womb, his life had key guidelines to follow in order to ensure he accomplished his destiny and he became the man God desired him to be.  

John couldn’t partake in the manner of other men, for he carried destiny.

But let's see what the word had to say about this John.

Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
— Matthew 11:11 NJKV

If we have the same potential to be greater than John, the forerunner of Jesus, would alcohol enable us to do so or hinder us?

***

Now that I’ve presented my case and provided valid scriptures as evidence, you have to make the final verdict? What would it be?

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Falling For An Unbeliever

You meet an amazing person and just like that, you fall for them. They have everything you want and more. It seems like this person isn't even real.

Tall | Dark | Handsome

Fresh cut | Beard Connects | Nice Teeth

It happens. It's almost inevitable. We are soul beings so we are capable of having emotions. They have the whole package and you are sure you have found "the one." That is until one single factor comes and disqualifies them from being bae.
 

They are NOT saved.


In other words, they don't know the Lord. You guys aren't equally yoked. Not even “chill saved” or “newly saved.” It's okay. We’ve all been there. And may still even be there. #Guilty



Here is what you should know when you find yourself head over heels for an Unbeliever

1. Don't feed into it

It is so easy for us as humans to dream and imagine the future, especially when we found someone who captures our hearts. But that's it. They have captured our heart. Our deceitful hearts.

 

The heart is deceitful above all things And it is extremely sick; Who can understand it fully and know its secret motives?
— Jeremiah 17:9 AMP

 

Our emotions are valid, but we must also discern when they are not of God. Having feelings for an unbeliever can happen, but understand that God doesn't desire a relationship to be birthed from it. Don't have any hope or faith that this will end well. It's not God’s will for you two to end up together.

“Promise me, O women of Jerusalem, not to awaken love until the time is right.”
— Songs of Solomon 8:4 NLT

2. God isn't holding out

Many times when we like an unbeliever, it could be because there isn't another person similar to them in the Kingdom. God has you surrounded by many believers of the opposite sex. However, for some reason, a person that is “off-limits” is desirable in your eyes.

Sounds familiar?

Eve made the same mistake.

Adam and Eve were advised to eat of any tree in the garden of Eden, but the tree of good and evil. However, she saw the tree of good and evil and desired that, despite its possible consequences.


“The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too.”


‭Genesis‬ ‭3:6‬ ‭NLT‬‬


Unlike Eve, we must realize that God isn't trying to hold out on us. We have to be careful not to be led away by our desires. If we aren't cautious, this could be a threat to our walk with the Lord. He is actually protecting us from the dangers of being unequally yoked and possibly, backsliding.

3. Saved ones are the best ones!

I know it sucks, there isn't that many men that look like Idris Elba in the Kingdom. Trust me, I checked.

Jk. Not about checking, but about how saved men look. We can't let our eyes deceive us. Same thing applies to men in regards to women. Our attraction may have been initiated by appearance, but it's a Godly character that will anchor us. 

“Charm and grace are deceptive, and [superficial] beauty is vain, But a woman who fears the LORD [reverently worshiping, obeying, serving, and trusting Him with awe-filled respect], she shall be praised.”
— Proverbs 31:30 AMP

*applies to men as well*

Although God loves us all uniquely, He desires for His children to have equally yoked partners. So although your dream partner isn't in the Kingdom, God’s best for you is. And at the end of the day, God has never failed us. His judgment is always best.

Just be patient for everything to be beautiful in its time.

***

One day God will give us godly marriages, for those of us that desire to marry. Godly marriages that glorify the Father one day. Marriages that encompass His faithfulness towards us and reflects the love of Christ towards the Church. Until then, let's continue to kick it in The Friendzone. We got time to enjoy this season before it ends.

To The Born Again Virgin

I dedicated this blog post to a special sister. You are beautiful inside and out!

-Lamz


A few weeks ago, I got on Instagram and felt like every believer in the world was at #MeetTheBowmans Wedding—literally—my timeline was flooded with pictures and videos of the wedding. I sort of felt jealous. Not because this was the wedding of the year. I mean, it's not like I wanted a Vera Wang gown or bae to sing to me as I came down the aisle. I mean, no biggie. But would my wedding be gloried the same way as this despite the fact that I am not a Virgin?

*gasps*

Yes, church, I know.  

Being in a ministry filled with young adults, who were once living neck deep in sin, but never "went all the way," can have you feeling impure.

Their virginity is a consistent reminder that you are "experienced.” At times we can even feel too unworthy to be in a relationship with someone who is a virgin.

Also, you are sometimes reminded how impure you are when you have casual conversations with the brethren on relationships and someone shares that they prefer to marry a virgin, despite their own scandalous history. Ouch.

 

If that isn’t bad enough, you battle revisiting past memories that leave you feeling dirty all over again, while gagging over the fact that you even put yourself in those predicaments. It hurts, it’s painful. You have external forces coming against you, adding to the internal battle within your mind. It’s suffocating you from obtaining freedom. But I'm here to “Barnabas” you.

 


    Here is encouragement to the Born Again Virgin

1. You are not your past

You were once a sinner, who said “yes” to Jesus and “no” to sin. Your record of sin was erased clean, and God kept no record of it. So “who you slept with? how many times you had sex?” and everything in between was erased! So your past is just that: your past. You may remember it, but your Father in Heaven keeps no record of it. So why are you still letting it define you? Let it go. It has no power over you.

“Absolutely not! How can we who died to sin still live in it?”

‭‭Romans‬ ‭6:2‬ ‭HCSB‬‬

“For I will be merciful to their wrongdoing, and I will never again remember their sins.”

‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭8:12‬ ‭HCSB‬‬

 

By holding onto your past, you undermine what Jesus did on the cross. He came to see you free and it's time you walk in that freedom.

 

“For we know that our old self was crucified with Him in order that sin’s dominion over the body may be abolished, so that we may no longer be enslaved to sin, since a person who has died is freed from sin’s claims.”

‭‭Romans‬ ‭6:6-7‬ ‭HCSB‬‬

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come.”

‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭5:17‬ ‭HCSB‬‬

“It is for freedom, Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery,”

Galatians 5:1 NIV

2. You can be restored.

 

God is a healer. He raises the dead. He opens the eyes of the blind. He heals the lame to walk. He opens the womb of the barren. He cleansed the lady with the issue of blood. He woke up dry bones. Where am I going? He can and He will restore back your virginity.*


*DISCLAIMER: The focal point of this post is not to share the idea that you become a physical virgin again once you have had sex.  A virgin is described as a person who has not engaged in sexual intercourse. God can and will renew your mind, restore back your purity, and erase yourhistory; making you whole.  So after receiving salvation, you are seen as forgiven and pure because Jesus died for you. This however, does not equate being a physical virgin. Stating that you are one would be misleading and we don't condone lying.


3. You are pure because He is pure.

The world has the own definition of what purity is.

White, bright, and light.

But that’s the world, so how do we become pure?

“You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in Me, and I in you. Just as a branch is unable to produce fruit by itself unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in Me.”

‭‭John‬ ‭15:3-4‬ ‭HCSB‬‬

God has deemed you pure and declared it over you. Not as a verb, but as a noun. So that is not something your past can dictate, but more so has to do with your current state with and in God. Abide in Him, because outside of Him, you can’t be righteous, nor produce this fruit of righteousness: purity. So rest and trust in Him, where your true identity lies.

***

While you may not be recognized and applauded for fighting for your purity, there is a Father, who lives in your HOLY Temple, that is pleased and honored that you have made efforts to be set apart and practice abstinence. Now that’s something to glorify!


Organized Religion: Prelude

Organize, organize, organize me

If You have my heart then You have every part of me

What I hear, what I say, what I feel, what I see

If You have my heart then You have every part of me


Organized Religion: Prelude


One of the first core values, any believer should know, is to actively practice and pursue purity. But...it’s much easier thought than said publicly, yet much easier to say than actually do.

In the ensuing moments after I surrendered my life to Christ on July 7th, 2012 (read My Testimony), I began the innate pursuit for purity. On the ride home, I began deleting phone numbers and all types of music from phone; as soon as I got home, I went on etching out whatever current negativity I could from social media, and really just trying to orchestrate my life as holy and acceptable to God (Romans 12:1). The problem here was—I was trying.

There’s something about me trying, that may make God laugh (well if not Him , I at least get a chuckle). I say this because every time I attempt to do something out of my own will or desire, I don’t do it too well. Shoot even writing this post, I was failing at it until (at this exact moment) I invited Holy Spirit to join me in writing this ministration. Honestly though, if I was God, and I saw Jummy trying to do anything, I’d erupt in laughter; it’d be like a little ant frantically trying to pick up a grape. No seriously, I suck. Back to my point: after deleting what I thought were big no-no’s in my music playlist (Rage Against The Machines, Eminem, Asher Roth, etc.), and keeping a little Kanye, a little The Fray, and a little Flobots, I thought I was good in terms of music; shoot, I even imparted as much Mali Music and whatever few worship songs I could onto my phone. However, a problem remained: the ever present sorrows of Ye’, the emotional pangs of The Fray, and the liberal activist push by the Flobots were constantly fluxing in those first months of salvation for me. I’d have days where I’m all upbeat and praise-y, and then I hear “Heartless” (by either Ye’ or The Fray), and I would begin weaning the affection of my ex and once again, falling for lust and adultery. Why? Because I tried.

After adapting to wisdom, correction, and conviction, I eventually eliminated those passageways to my heart. I soon learned that everything left unguarded can and will become a tool for the enemy to infiltrate our hearts. Finding that out, as a young believer, really hurt—especially, when I had surrendered to God, my life, but not my heart.

Before we go on: STOP trying. It doesn't  work. And if it looks like it does, IT’S A FACADE (FASSSSADE!) Seriously, when we try to make ourselves righteous, pure, holy, acceptable, we fall short every time (Romans 3:23), and we nullify (Romans 10:3) what He’s already done (Romans 8; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 5:22-23; Ephesians 1:3; 2 Timothy 1:7; 2 Peter 1:3——you’re gonna wanna digest these). We've been equipped with everything required for us to live out Romans 12:1, so we no longer have to try (as they did in the Old Testament), we just do.


The actual point of this post is to pre-introduce you to a new challenge: the Organized Religion Challenge. The lyrics of Beautiful Eulogy’s “Organized Religion”, thoroughly generate the importance of maintaining purity in the five gates of our bodies that are influenced/influence that needed the most: ears, tongue, hands, eyes, and heart; the most pivotal, being the heart.

In this series, I actively choose to maintain purity in those five parts: I am dedicating five weeks, a week for each gate, to just do and actively live out purity. It may seem unnecessary, maybe even elementary, to public declare “I’m pursuing purity in things I hear/ the things I say/ the things I do with my hands/ the things I see/ and the things my heart thinks,” but I believe that just as you being water baptized declares “I BELIEVE IN JESUS CHRIST! AND I WANT TO LIVE FOR HIM,” me posting about this challenge, declares: I BELIEVE IN JESUS CHRIST! AND I’M GOING TO LIVE LIKE HE DID.

I don’t plan on trying to maintain purity, I’m just going to do it. I no longer want to try not to look at the voluptuous female, I just won’t. Why is this possible, you ask? Because “all good works begin from a place of rest, in relationship with the Father.” Every week I partake in this challenge, I’m actively choosing to rest in Christ (Matthew 11:28), knowing that I can do and will conquer all things through Him who strengthens and loves me (Philippians 4:13; Romans 8:37).

This challenge series is experimental in nature, as I hope to immediately adapt to this lifestyle of constant and active purity, not allowing for any crevice that the enemy can use to infiltrate me. But, to be sincerely honest, its been, and will continue to be hard, if I’m not locked on to Jesus (Hebrews 12:2; Matthew 6:22). So, my friends, I invite you on this journey—pray for me, keep me accountable, tune into the weekly summarizing posts, ask questions, and tackle your own Organized Religion Challenge.

Shalom,

JUM (1:2)