Glad you found us! This site has one objective: to help you win the spiritual battle for purity, in every sense of the word. Society encourages us to throw away our virtue; the message sent out by the media is: "everyone's doing it!" We are here to prove that statement wrong! Come in, read some encouraging testimonies, chat with others who strive to remain pure, and reaffirm your belief that purity, sexual and otherwise, is not only possible, but totally worth it!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Don't Move Until You See It...

chess photo: CHESS chess4.jpg

Joshua 3:3-4     "When you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, and the priests, the Levites, bearing it, then you shall set out from your place and go after it.  Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure.  Do not come near it, that you may know the way by which you must go, for you have not passed this way before (NKJV)."


Well, it's been quite a while since our last post, but we're back!  Thanks for taking the time to read, I pray that you will be blessed.

In my personal life, God has been calling me down new paths.  He's also been challenging my way of thinking.  Being a person who likes to plan and prepare, this has been quite a growing experience, because it's not natural to me.  I am a planner.  I like things planned out as far in advance as possible.  If it were up to me, I'd plan my life from cradle to grave.  My preference is to know what potential problems lie ahead, and to be prepared for them.

When I come to a fork in the road, I tend to get anxious.  My desire is to follow the path God has for me, but I'd like to know which path that is, now!  Unfortunately, that's not how God works most of the time, and therein lies my struggle.  Sometimes, in my quest to "figure it out,"  I am tempted to take action before I have all the information.

When Joshua was preparing to take the children of Israel across the Jordan river, his soldiers spoke the words above to the people.  They were to get ready to cross, have everything packed up, but they were not to set out until they saw the ark of the covenant, (which represented the presence of God) move.  Only when they saw God move were they to take a step.  Then, even after they followed Him, there was to be distance between the people and the ark.  Why?  because you have not passed this way before. 

Then, in verse 5, Joshua says to the people, "Sanctify yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you."  What a promise!  The reward for waiting was that God would work miracles among and through the people.  

So my word of encouragement to you (and to me) is this:  be patient.  Don't move until you see God move, no matter what it is you are waiting for.  Only in God's time and in God's way will your efforts be blessed.  Don't waste time trying to figure things out on your own, and don't sit there and fret.  It causes nothing but harm.  There are things that seem to important in the eyes of the world, but in reality, they aren't.  The world might be telling you to hurry, but God isn't.  

While you're sitting at the fork, waiting for the go ahead, sanctify yourself.  Set yourself apart for God's special work.  Spend time in prayer, get plugged into His word, and make a point to praise Him.  Prepare yourself for God's use.  Just like the children of Israel, God is planning to use us in mighty ways for His glory, but we must be careful to keep our eyes on Him.  He knows the way, we do not.  



Be blessed this week while you wait!

If you are struggling and need prayer support, feel free to contact us at:  requests@armedandvirtuous.org  our prayer partners will be glad to lift you up.  


Monday, January 13, 2014

Time For a Name Change?



Genesis 32:28 And He said, "Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel; for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed (NKJV)."

Our last devotional post discussed how easily we give away the blessings of God in exchange for something virtually worthless, like beans. 

Thank the Lord that the story doesn't have to end there!  Although the devil would like us to think otherwise, the truth is, God is always willing to forgive us.  By His grace, He can help us move forward, and give us a bright future, even after making mistakes. 

We see this aspect of God, oddly enough, in the life of the one who did the cheating in our previous story; namely, Jacob.  Even though God had promised that Jacob would be the one to lead the family, Jacob seemed bent on grasping power by his own means.  First, he took advantage of his brother, Esau when he was weak and "bought" his birthright (Gen. 25:29-34).  Then, when it came time for Isaac to give the paternal blessing, Jacob stole that from Esau as well (Gen. 27:1-29).

Obviously, Esau resented his brother.  In fact, the Bible says that he "hated" Jacob, and plotted to kill him after their father passed away.  Jacob was forced into exile to save his life.  He went to live with his uncle, Laban for many years.  While he was there, he became victim of deceit, as his uncle tricked him into marrying the wrong woman, coerced him into working many extra years to marry the woman he loved, and changed the agreement regarding Jacob's salary ten times while they worked together.

Finally, the Lord told Jacob to return home to his family.  Jacob was terrified of Esau's response to his return, so he sent messengers ahead of him with a gift.  He also divided all his flocks, servants, and family into two companies, so that if Esau attacked one group, the other might escape.

After sending all that he loved ahead of him, Jacob spent the night alone in his camp.  The Bible says that "a Man wrestled with him until the breaking of day. (Gen.32:24)"  (This "Man" was God!)  As the morning came, God crippled Jacob, and yet he continued to wrestle with Him.  Finally God said, "Let me go, for the day breaks."  But Jacob responded, "I will not let You go unless You bless me!"

God asked, "What is your name?"
He said, "Jacob."
God answered, "Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel; for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed."

In other words, Jacob came to the end of his rope.  All his life he had relied on his own devices, making things work by his own means, but he knew that reuniting with Esau was beyond his control.  He was facing the fact that he had dealt deceitfully with others, and  that he was living up to the name Jacob, which means deceiver, or liar.

He might have been physically wrestling with God that night, but in actuality, he'd been wrestling against God's will most of his life.  When day broke, and God told him to let go, Jacob refused. He did so not  to disobey God, but because He knew that He needed God.  He refused to let go of the only One who could help him. He was falling completely upon the grace of God, and revealing how desperately he needed Him.

Then the point of forgiveness occurs:  When God asks Jacob his name, He's basically asking Jacob to admit his sin.  Jacob admits that he has lived as a liar.  He has hurt people through his lies, and now he is facing the consequences of those lies.  God's response?  He gives him a new name; a new identity!  "Your name shall no longer be Jacob, but Israel."  The name Israel, in the King James Version of the Bible, means "Prince with God."

God took Jacob's life of lies, and turned him into a prince.  If He can do that for Jacob, what can He do for you?  Is it time for a name change?  Would you like to live a different life than the one you've built for yourself?  All it takes is admitting to God that you've messed up.  God will forgive you, give you a new identity, and make you one of His children.  There is nothing too ugly for God to forgive.  There is no name, no reputation you've built for yourself, that God cannot change.  So, come to Him, wrestle with Him, come to the end of yourself, and discover the name God has for you!



If you're looking for a relationship with God, you might want to check out our Find Your True Love page.




If you have any prayer needs, please feel free to contact our prayer partners at:  requests@armedandvirtuous.org