touch

Living Single Part II

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I watched a video the other day. I apologize that I’m unable to tell you the name of the man that responded to the above question, but I thought this was worth sharing.

Question: Why is it important to wait until marriage to have sex?

Answer: One day, I was looking at perfume bottles that were on the counter at the mall. Two labels were placed on those bottles. The bottles on top of the counter read ‘tester’ and ‘not for sale’. Anyone passing by could touch these bottles.

But the bottles that were for sale were in the display case. You could look at these bottles, but you couldn’t touch them. The reason why they were behind the counter was because the unwrapping of them was only for the people that were willing to pay the price.

When we don’t save ourselves for marriage, we become only testers and testers soon become empty after being used so many times.

God Doesn’t Want You to Miss a Thing

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One day, the angel appeared to Manoah’s wife. Before he announced what God was going to do for her, he told her about herself. You are barren (Judges 13:3). God wanted her to know that He knew her condition and that He had forgotten about her. The scriptures doesn’t mention whether it was her desire to have children or if she and her husband had prayed for a child. All I know is that God saw a need. He (Samson) shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines (vs 5).

To conceive a child seemed impossible. Manoah and his wife had tried for years, but what had been impossible with man was about to become possible with God. He was going to make it happen. There was a problem and God was going to create the solution for that problem.

The angel gave Samson’s mother two promises. First, he promised her that she would conceive. Then, he promised her that she would bear a son. Not everyone that becomes pregnant gives birth, but she was going to do both.

There is a need and the people in your home, on your job and in your community need someone who will pray on their behalf. They need someone who will choose to live holy. And God needs someone who will be consistent, faithful and who will do what He tells them to do.

The angel told Manoah’s wife what not to touch, eat or drink because of what she was carrying inside of her. I don’t think we carefully consider what we are carrying inside of us (the Spirit of God, the word of God, etc). If we did, we would make better choices.

But for the next nine months, she gave up some things. She put away some things. She stopped doing certain things so that the needs of the people would be met. You see, God wasn’t just giving her a son, but He was giving a deliverer to a people that He loved and called His Son (Exodus 4:22).

My prayer for every person who is reading this is that you will not MIS-carry, be MIS-led or MISS what God has for you or what He wants to do through you for His people.

The Right Touch

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I just don’t want someone who can touch my flesh, but I want someone who can touch my spirit also.

You Will See It When You Believe It

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God told Moses that He was going to use him to deliver His people. He also told him that He had given them favor, but the king of Egypt wasn’t going to let them go. It was going to take a mighty hand and wonders and then Pharaoh would let them go.

Moses did and said what God told him, but he returned to God without what God had promised. It was disappointing for him, but God wasn’t worried. He knew Pharaoh was going to let His children go.

There is something I’ve been desiring and the Lord said to me, It’s yours.

So, I went after what God said was mine.

But I just didn’t go after it. I went, knowing that I was going to receive the thing that God said He has given me.

I faced Pharaoh, but Pharaoh wouldn’t let it go.

So I went back to God because maybe I heard it wrong. Maybe it wasn’t Him, but I knew it was Him. Like Moses, I began to question what God said.

Why did you send me (Exodus 5:22)? Why get my hopes up like that?

But you know what God did? He just reminded me again, It is yours.

When the disciples told Thomas that they saw the Lord, Thomas told them that the only way he would believe them is if he could touch and see the print of nails in his hands.

Eight days later, Thomas saw the Lord and Jesus told him to touch him. The only reason why Thomas believed was because he could touch and see him, but God doesn’t deal with me the way Jesus did with Thomas. Maybe He did years ago when I first got saved, but now He wants me to grow up and to believe Him for what I have yet to see.

He doesn’t want me to worry like the disciples, who when they were in a storm, woke Jesus up from his rest. Instead, he wants me to rest in and with Him.

Pharaoh didn’t want to let the Israelites go, but God said he was going to and Moses had to believe God. No matter how many times Pharaoh told him no, the promise was still yes and amen.

Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed (John 20:29).

Touch Not

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touch: to attach oneself to; to leave a mark or impression on; to harm slightly by contact; to taint or blemish

The serpent asked Eve if it was true that God told them not to eat from any tree in the garden. The woman said, We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden, but of the fruit which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, You shall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it, lest you die (Gen 3:3). The serpent then told Eve that God lied. You shall not surely die.  For God knows that in the day you eat it, then your eyes shall be opened and you shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

The next time you sin, ask yourself, What am I missing that I would do that? – Pastor A. R. Bernard

The enemy wants you to think that you are missing something, but how can you be missing anything when God has given you all things that pertain to life and godliness?  Before God placed Adam and Eve in the garden, He placed everything they would ever need in the garden, but because Eve didn’t understand who she was and what she already had, she believed the lies. The serpent said something to her that made her look and it looked good.

We touch things every day. We touch doorknobs. We shake hands. We exchange money. Some of you reading this right now are holding your cell phone. Bacteria, germs and viruses live there. We can’t see them with our physical eyes, but they do exist. Unfortunately, there are things that we touch that can make us sick while there are other things that can kill us through contact or touch (flu virus, AIDS virus).

That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish (Ephesians 5:27).

The moment you touch what God told you not to touch or handle, that which is spiritual or that which you can’t see (demonic spirits) can attach itself to you and contaminate you. Just like germs and viruses, they have the ability to destroy or kill you.

When Adam and Eve disobeyed God, they were immediately driven out of the garden. They lost what God gave them and you and I can lose what God gave us through disobedience. Why can’t what ‘God has said’ be enough? Why do we touch what God told us not to touch?

Because we really don’t believe what He has said.

When I got involved with the wrong people or involved in the wrong things through deception, it affected my relationship with God. Before long, I wasn’t as close to Him as I should have been. I was hurt, disappointed and heartbroken. I lost my joy. I lost belief in God’s word. I became distant, feeling that I had disappointed God, that I had lost His love and that He no longer looked at me the same.  

So, learn from my mistakes. Be careful how you handle people, be careful what topics you touch on in conversation, and be careful of the relationships that you get involved in. Yes, God can restore what you lost, but there are some things that are easy to lose, but hard to get back.

If God says don’t go, then don’t go.  If God says don’t text them, then don’t text them. If God says leave it alone, then leave it alone.

Believe what God has said and…

Touch not.

Make Me Clean

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clean: free from contamination, free from guilt, separated from anything that makes one unclean

Before the priests could enter the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies, they had to wash their hands and feet in the outer court.  They had to appear before God clean.

I recently asked the Lord to make me clean and the reason why I asked Him to do this is because sometimes we engage in things that corrupts us (Exodus 32:7).  You may immediately think I’m talking about sexual sins, but sometimes it is our conversations that corrupts us.  Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace to the hearers  (Ephesians 4:29). 

Then, I began reading about lepers in the bible.  Leprosy is spread by direct contact and the reason why lepers were in the condition they were in was because of what or who they touched. But sometimes, leprosy was a result of indirect contact (no physical touch).  For example, Miriam became leprous when she ‘touched’ God’s servant, Moses, with her mouth by speaking against him. 

The Pharisees and scribes thought Jesus and his disciples were unclean because they didn’t practice the tradition of the elders, which was washing their hands before eating bread. In the tabernacle, you had to first wash yourself at the laver before you approached the table of showbread and according to Leviticus 24:9 and Matthew 12:4, it was lawful for priests to eat the shewbread. The Pharisees and scribes thought they were in the Holy Place and Holy of Holies because of what they knew, but they were still in the outer court because of Who they didn’t know and because of what was in their hearts. Jesus then explained to them that it wasn’t what was on the outside, but what was on the inside – in a man’s heart, that made him unclean.

For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defiles (make unclean) the man (Mark 7:21-23).

God doesn’t want us to be people that appear righteous to others outwardly, but full of hypocrisy and sin inwardly (Matthew 23:28).  For so long, we’ve been focused on what it looks like or what we look like – the outward appearance, but let God clean you in the inside first. If you only clean the outside of the cup, then it’s not really clean – and no one wants to drink from a dirty cup.

Not only did Jesus loved us, but he washed us from our sins in His own blood and He made us priests to God (Revelation 1:5-6). 

That he might present it (the church) to himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish (Ephesians 5:27).

I believe we all want to be healed from something, but the question is: Do you want to be clean?  Do you want to stop doing the things that made you sick, depressed, brokenhearted and unclean to begin with?  God doesn’t want us to be like the pig, who after it is washed, returns to the mud again (2 Peter 2:22).

I have asked the Lord to clean me, but I am also asking for His help to stay clean.

And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if you will, you can make clean (Matthew 8:2).

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me (Psalm 51:10).

How can a young person stay pure? By obeying your word (Psalm 119:9, NLT).

Wherefore come out from among them, and be separate, says the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing and I will receive you (2 Corinthians 6:17).