Internet Adultery

adulteryadultery_2adultery1Internet Adultery

Internet Adultery
Over the years, I have endeavored to walk in not only practical holiness, but purity of heart.
With respect to women, I have endeavored to keep ministerial boundaries, never ministering to someone of the opposite sex, unless my wife was present.
Yet, this new venue of ministry, Social Media, is exciting in that it allows us to reach many more people with the truth of the Word of God, quickly, and to develop on-line gospel relationships that have had tremendous impact for the kingdom of God!
Billy Graham used to instruct young ministers, regarding personal integrity, simply: Don’t touch the girls, (or guys, for you ladies) the gold, or the glory.
I remember, back in the days when I was single, running a ‘big-brothers’ club in a subsidized housing project. As a single young man, employed, who was obviously a role model for children, it was almost as natural as breathing, to get hit on by single mom’s, who were desperate for adult companionship, and a husband. Rather, that become brutal with them, and join the ‘He man women haters club’, I cried out to God for help, wisdom, and purity of heart.
James 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
This is the verse, we would use to get us out into the streets, to practically help, wherever possible. Notice, if you will, how this reads:
1. Want to be pure and undefiled before God our Father? (Emphatically, YES!)
2. Here’s what you need to do, go visit the fatherless and widow.
3. Where do you go visit them? Right in the middle of their mess, ‘in their distress’. It is implied here that we would become part of their solution, that we would do something to alleviate their suffering. This might be simply in taking the children fishing, swimming, or bike riding, while the mom gets a well needed rest, or simply goes out with the girls.
4. Here is the trick: remain unspotted from the world. That means: no flirting with the girls, staying clear of the alcohol/drug and often criminal culture that exists in some of these communities. Holiness of conduct and purity of heart, are the only thing that kept us, as people did everything in their power to try and get us in involved in some of their schemes. Many nights of anguished prayer, and countless hours listening to the audio Bible, to remain cleansed, renewed, and washed by the water of the Word, to stay mentally, emotionally, and spiritually clean from some very challenging ministry sessions.
During this time, God graciously delivered me from my traditional, flirtatious ways with women, granting me the ability to see all women as sisters, mothers, aunts, and grandmothers, treating them with honor, with no games.
Back in the days of youth ministry, we used to instruct singles, regarding purity of heart, that not only was sex outside of marriage sin, but that Jesus said: Mt 5:28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
This meant nor pornography, or sexual innuendos, or flirtatious behavior.
I remember making the statement: If you, in your conduct and conversations, awaken desires in a member of the opposite sex, that can only be legitimately fulfilled in a marriage relationship, it is sin to you, and you need to take it to the cross.
Yet, on Social Media, we see this type of conduct, all the time. People without shame, or boundaries, openly making provocative comments, that definitely incite romantic passions, publically, or in private messages, over the internet.
A good friend of mine, is fighting for his marriage.
In marriage counseling, he heard an alarming statistic: That 8 or 9, or every 10 divorces, brought Facebook posts, or copies of their unfaithful spouses Tweets, to court as evidence. Seems that folks had been having affairs, and keeping them going, using Social Media.
Seems this new rise in Social Media adultery, is not new to my world. Here are a couple of articles on it, that are well written:
Online Affairs Are Emotional Adultery

Finding a Lost Lover on the Internet: Easy to do, but Dangerous if You’re Married

http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/healing_library/confrontation/internet.asp
I too, have been guilty, of this. In allowing women, other than my wife, access to my heart, at a level that should have only been available to my wife. To me, it is sin.
I think of the scene in the movie, ‘Fireproof’, where the guy smashes his computer because of his pornography addiction.
I am not into porn, I hate it. If you are, get out of it, it’s destroying you.
Yet, like my good friend, rather than deal with brutally difficult issues in my own marriage, I have carried on ‘spiritual’ conversations on Facebook and Twitter, at a level of intimacy, that should have been reserved only for my wife.
My good friend, deleted all of his Facebook and Twitter accounts, and blocked certain people from his phone and texts.
So, there is only one way of freedom for me, and that is to include my wife, on all of my accounts, and conversations on Social Media. Joint accounts, that keep me accountable for every word I post, or comment I make.
You know, many have said, that ‘Wisdom is the principal thing, and in all your getting get wisdom’. That is Biblical, but not totally accurate. The actual verse reads:Pr 4:5 Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth.
Pr 4:7 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.
In all of your wisdom, get understanding.
Apart from Jesus, Solomon is recorded as being the wisest king that ever lived.
Yet, he blew it, in having many wives:1Ki 11:3 And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart.
1Ki 11:4 For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father.
Here is understanding. Wisdom did not keep his leadership pure, nor on track with God. Purity of heart, and faithfulness to one wife, would have.
Mal 2:14 Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the LORD hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant.
Mal 2:15 And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth.
My ministry to folks over Social Media will continue, but my wife will be reading every prayer request, post, and comment, that comes back from the teachings posted.
My marriage may not be perfect, but I will remain faithful to it, in the brutally hard times, as well as the good ones.
I pray you do the same:
Let’s Pray:
‘Father, I raise up a cry for marriages, families, husbands, wives and children. I ask Sir, that you deliver us from our lusts, the seductions that would creep in, and destroy our homes. Forgive us, where we have erred in this, and purify our hearts, minds, and relationships, from ungodly entanglements, and adulterous affairs, whether physical, or merely emotional. I ask this, knowing I am heard, for I ask in Your name Lord Jesus, AMEN!’

Life in the Potters Hands…

Life in the Potters Hands...

The Potters House

Jer 18:1 ¶ The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying,
2 Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words.
3 Then I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels.
4 And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.

I know, every time that someone hears the name ‘Potter’s House’ we think of the incredible bishop TD Jakes! As much as we love the bishop, we see here, that he received the name of his ministry, from the Word of God.
potter
Today, as I read through these passages, I had an interesting thought occur to me:

Could it be that as God desires to promote, increase, and use us more, that there can be times, where the vessel that we once were, must be destroyed, in order that something greater can be formed, more beautiful, bigger, more exquisitely designed, for a more noble purpose?

Hear the prayer of king David in his distress:

Ps 31:12 I am forgotten as a dead man out of mind: I am like a broken vessel.

Sure sounds like our verse out of Jeremiah doesn’t it?
broken
The vessel was marred, so it was shattered, and remade into something greater….

Read through this psalm.

Could it be that this is exactly what God did here with David?

He was shattered in his sin and in his trial, yet after pouring out his heart to God, he ends by saying:

31:24 Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.

He shall strengthen your heart….

Well, I am spiritual, but practical. I always look for purpose in any given process. Could it be, that when we find ourselves shattered at the feet of a Holy and loving God, that it was because the vessel, our heart, was marred, and God, who only wants good for our lives, and the lives of those we are called to serve, rebuilds us after each shattering, stronger, with larger capacity for Him, for service, for life….
broken vessel
As I go through life, I find there is often a process at work in my life.

Yes, from His love, joy, life, I get to serve my fellow man, and this is a privilege and honor.
Serve
Yet, I did not grow up in church, discipled under the Word of God, and the Bible is clear:

Ro 14:23 And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

So, I do certain things, that seem good in my eyes.

Learned behaviors and actions learned in my family, in school, in the workplace, that seemed to work during the time I was in those circumstances, yet that have formed, in my soul, belief systems.

Where these belief systems are based upon the Word of God, they come in to the kingdom of God when I receive Jesus, and bear eternal fruit.

However, many, many of the things I have believed were not Scriptural, and therefore, have become ‘high things that exalt themselves against the knowledge of God’
cast
I cry out, year after year, for revival, to be pure in heart, to be holy in word and deed before God, and He answers….

Ro 9:21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?
diamond
How I walk with Him, and cry out for Him, will affect what kind of vessel I become.

1Th 4:4 That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;

2Ti 2:21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.
instruments
I must purge myself with the Word of God. He will change me, as I cry out for it, but He does not give what is holy to the dogs…

So, I go into this hurting world, with the love of Jesus, proclaiming the gospel, yet humbly…

As I get to know people, I learn to listen, learn, and see God at work in their world and culture and sometimes, I find myself shattered.

breaks it
Usually, because I discover people so broken, that I have no way of helping them, other than the power of God, and this, is a good place to be in prayer…Blessed are the poor in Spirit, for to these, come the kingdom…

Yet, there is another kind of brokenness, the topic of this meditation. The one that God Himself brings, the one that comes, when He, in His infinite wisdom, love, and holiness, shatters us to recreate something more glorious, fit for the master’s use.

In construction we have basically three categories: commercial, residential, and remodel (which can be either commercial or residential).

Ps 11:3 If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?

There is a saying in construction: ‘You can’t build on broken bricks.’

To build anything right, the foundation must be solid, level, and able to bear the load of whatever we plan to build upon it.

In any case, the dirt work must be done first, before a foundation can be laid:

1Co 3:10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
1Co 3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
1Co 3:12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.
14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
16 ¶ Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

So, we cry out to God, and we are moving in His gifts, His anointing, seeking Him daily, and are being transformed, into the likeness of Jesus.

Ro 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

Then, for almost no apparent reason, we find ourselves shattered.

Construction has begun on our personal temple…
God builds
We thought we were in faith, and we were, but that very faith drove us into the heart of our holy God, and He, in His mercy, sees the very foundations of our belief system, our lies, our treacherous ways, our scheming, prideful, and fearful ways, and in His courts, we, the vessel, the temple of the Holy Spirit, is marred….

Yet, He loves us!

So, we are shattered.

In a remodel, the demolition comes first. The architect or builder has a plan for a greater structure that may include moving some load bearing walls, expansion requires greater foundation, and in comes the dirt crew again…

Dust, dirt, workmen, and noise, shatter our serenity, but God Himself is at work, making a temple that will survive the fire!

Smash! And we realize we were terrified of certain things, until His perfect love appears and destroys our deepest fear!

Crash! We realize that we have believed lies. That perhaps mom and dad were wrong on some things. That everything we learned in school was not all true.

Bam! Suddenly abortion is no longer a personal choice, but murder before God. Evolution, so carefully learned in our hearts and minds, meets the Creator of all life, and bam, this idol falls.

Situational ethics, meet the rock solid standards of the Word, and our lying, manipulative, sneaky ways, become purity of heart, a clear conscious, an eye that is single, a confidence and boldness that is unshakable. We can look anyone in the eye, for we have nothing to hide…

And gently, the master potter, places us again on the wheel, wet, pliable, formable, and a new vessel is formed….

His loving hands make again, a thing of beauty!

“But now, O Lord, You are our Father; we are the clay, and You our potter; and all we are the work of Your hand.” (Isaiah 64:8)
potter Isaiah
His hands are gentle….

2Sa 22:36 Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy gentleness hath made me great.

This is my life these days.

I have been from rags to riches, to brokenness again, yet I know the potter, and embrace the wheel, for what comes off the wheel, will face the fire, and come forth unmarred, strong, and fit for the master’s use…

It’s all about harvest; God is making me, and many of you, into threshing instruments, vessels of honor that will contain His glory, power, and anointing necessary to reap this generation…
Harvest1
Let’s pray:
“Father, I know you. Each time and season you purge me, move from faith to faith, strength to strength, and glory to glory. Thank you for purging, breaking, and reforming me, more like Jesus, that you can entrust to me more responsibility, wisdom, strength, and grace to reach this generation. Please do not hold back! Make me all I need to be! In Your name I pray Lord Jesus, Amen.”