The Best way to Overcome Barriers to Intimacy with God

Hi y’all! Thanks for coming back to my blog and If your’e new, welcome! Today I will be covering part 2 of where I left off from last weeks topic “3 barriers to intimacy with God.” This week I will be discussing the best way to overcome those barriers. Let’s jump right in!

Last week I gave 3 examples of barriers that prevent us from experiencing intimacy with God which were a hurt heart, mistaken identity & cherished sin. Now for this blog entry, I did consider structuring it to reflect solutions to each one of these 3 barriers, but now while writing on it, my heart has settled on speaking about the one best way to negate barriers to intimacy with God.

intimacy with God
desiringgod.org

To sum it up, in order to overcome barriers you must first withdraw yourself from outside people, events and things, quite yourself before God and commune with him. As simple as that. The scriptures make it clear when it says “Come boldly before the throne of grace” (Hebrews 4:16). And the reason it says to come boldly is because you are the righteousness of Christ. God is more than willing to take you back (read about the prodigal son in Luke 15). If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us (1 John 1:9). See, the barriers discussed above are all summarized into the mindsets of guilt and shame, which prevent us from living our best life within God’s presence.

The scriptures remind us to be transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2). In order to do that you have to intentionally desire the word of God and commune with him through prayer and worship. This is not to satisfy a religious call, but rather to genuinely cultivate and grow relationship with Jesus. Rectify you motives in all things and lay it down before the altar so that God has room to move in your life without your walls being up towards him. He wants a relationship with you, do not let anything stand in the way of that. Let him in. Let yourself enjoy the freedom that comes through him who embodies it. Trust me, it’s so worth it!!!

Next week I plan to make a video on the word of God and why it plays a significant role in a Christian’s walk with Christ.

See you all next week, happy New Year & stay blessed! ❤

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The Habit of Forgiving: 3 Simple Rules to Forgiveness

~To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was none other than yourself~

By Lewis B. Smedes

Forgiveness is not a form of weakness, although it may feel that way in the process. The objective of forgiveness is more so to grant you peace of mind and personal well-being than to benefit the other person or permit their actions. Forgiveness means to forego the impulse to hold grudges, act with hatred towards another person and miserably stalk them on social media hoping they one day end up in an accident or even more likely, get hit by a meteor so you can lavish yourself in their misery. In fact, this kind of longing for another person’s demise shows them that they have the power to invoke reactions from you and they will see themselves superior to you.

retrieved from: https://askgramps.org

Therefore set yourself apart and allow yourself to forgive. Altogether the hope of wishing someone ill is unhealthy to you alone because you are leaving room for jealousy, anger and ill will. These kinds of feelings won’t do any harm to the other person. It is actually quite similar to drinking poison hoping for the other person to suffer the consequences. I know that many times (probably most times) forgiveness is very difficult especially when betrayal is from your own friends and family. I understand this feeling all too well so I put together my own rules on how to forgive and Here they are!

 

  1. Empathize
retrieved from: https://medium.com/cylinderproject/how-to-actually-empathize-8198e7800166

You may think I’m crazy to say that you, the victim, should empathize with the person who has only been inflicting pain and grief towards you. It’s very humbling to look outside of yourself and veer into the mind of another person; placing yourself into their shoes. Many times, when you do this, you get a better understanding of the person’s intention and in many cases, their intention really isn’t about you or to hurt you. They may just be immature or aren’t sensitive to the pain they are causing you through their behaviors. Other times they could be struggling with something internally and trying to pull you as a victim into their own pain. The longer you know someone, the better you can determine their lifestyle and personality. They may have been brought up in a less privileged home or had issues in their life that shaped them to be where they are now. This does not mean you excuse their actions, rather it means you should try and not take them too personally. The act of seeing the situation through their eyes is selfless since it takes your mind away from yourself in order to consider where the other person is in their life. Imagine if you did someone wrong and instead of lunging at you, they take a moment to conclude the situation with understanding and forgiveness. It would make you jump for joy especially when you know you don’t deserve it.

Having a friend do this for us or us doing this for a friend helps us get a glimpse of just how immense the forgiveness God granted to us is. He carried the cross for our sins and was crucified in the most gruesome way but even amongst all of that, instead of casting us down, because in fact he still was God, he said “forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Like Christ we should study the word of God and pray to develop a heart of forgiveness and show how much we truly love others and ourselves.

  1. Heal

Take a step back, analyze the situation, ask yourself what could have been done better as opposed to identifying the stupid one, or the one at fault who deserves to be punished. Just like in my previous post on grieving and letting go, allow yourself to know and feel the hurt you currently feel then let it go. Recognize its pain but then you must eventually get to a place where you can ask yourself this question: Now What? It’s a question that pushes your mind from being reactive to being proactive and searching out solutions to heal yourself from the psychological, mental and/or physical damage that was caused.

retrieved from: https://lcmi.org/ministries/healing-the-heart/

Furthermore, another beneficial part of healing requires some separation from the individual(s) to let off some steam. It gives you perspective on what steps to take next and provides ample time for you to recollect yourself and focus on things that progress you forwards. Find scriptures of forgiveness from the word of God in your bible or online and meditate on them. So much that they become similar to song lyrics that get stuck in your head (this is actually how I memorize verses, through songs and tunes cause they stick better). Leave the pain in God’s hands and he will guide you through the tough time of forgiving.

  1. Revenge… but not really

Lastly take revenge! Grab their toothbrush and use it to wipe the sides of the toilet bowl…said no true God fearing individual ever! Ok, so Revenge is sweet but it really only gives you short term satisfaction. Anger will continue to well up between the 2 of you, especially if someones breath starts smelling like literal shit (ok never do this its so unhygienic). If anything pray and ask God to show you how to forgive with grace. I remember a time when I was so mad at someone in my family that it humbled me to my knees and I had to ask God in that moment why our relationship had gotten so bad. I felt a strong inclination to forgive the person and tears began to well up in my eyes as I felt the burden rising from my chest. I remembered that it was not my battle, God had already redeemed me at the cross but for now I must grow myself to work better with this person. I then had a deeper appreciation towards Gods forgiveness and patience in my own life.

http://www.opnlttr.com/letter/revenge

A lesson I learned was to take all painful incidents as opportunities to build my faith because it is the best investment I could do for myself. Never linger on ways to get back at the other person, simply improve in yourself and your faith and God will work with the rest. God said that revenge is his so place your trust in him. Ultimately I also believe that success in its own way is the best revenge. Place your energy into making the best out of your circumstance and building yourself in Christ’s likeness. By doing this you will have spiritual success which has many byproducts like financial stability, wealth, wisdom, patience and more!

 

Thank you for reading this weeks blog! comment down below your thoughts or share your experiences on having to forgive someone or maybe even someone forgiving you. Like, comment, and subscribe to receive notifications for future posts. in the meantime enjoy your week, stay blessed and continue to learn, grow and prosper! ❤ 

S -E- X: Oh, So Keeping Yourself for Marriage isn’t wrong??? + 3 Ways this can be achieved

Just a disclaimer, my views on this topic will be heavily fueled by my religious affiliation to Christianity. This means that I will be referencing the bible often so if you got a problem with it, feel free to skedaddle. Also if you are one of the Kenyan papa’s, mama’s or elders who feel that this topic is ‘improper’ feel free to talk to me afterwards but leave your fimbo’s and slippers at home (its winter anyways).

The idea of sex, at least in my household, is often an unspoken, forbidden topic to address. The unfortunate thing about it is that sex, in a lustful manner, is hyper-advertised everywhere in our society. If you don’t learn about how sex is defined in the bible, then the world will gladly teach you their understanding of it. Our hyper-sexualized environment sends out a message of lust; that sex in nature is about immediate gratification with little discernment. As I mention this, you may be playing out a steamy scene from a recent movie or T.V. show you watched where a man whisked a woman away from the club, back to his apartment after their first encounter only to end up waking up tangled in bed sheets with no further objectives. These kinds of encounters are common in cinema but often leaves a void of unhappiness and unfulfillment because honestly, it’s a really shallow way of relating to others. This is not the way God designed how sex and marriage should look like.

My objective for this post is to write on why it is ok to keep yourself pure or celibate in honour of marriage and 3 ways on how this can be achieved.

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Why wait or hold off from sex until marriage?

As youths and young adults we are introduced to the concept of sex early.  However, your understanding of it may not be aligned with its original intent, which is best derived from God himself because duh, he’s the all-knowing creator of it. As twisted as it has become, sex is honestly a great thing absent of sin when done right. Hold onto your seats I’m about to preach! The bible defines sex or the idea of sex as a man leaving his parents and uniting himself to his WIFE (note it doesn’t say girlfriend or side chick, it says wife; get her a ring and issa wife). The world of course portrays sex as a regular activity which everyone participates in with no harm to it. The truth is there may not be any immediate consequences (if you’re lucky) but there may be emotional and psychological damage during the process.

You will end up giving a piece of yourself to the individual you are being intimate with whether you know It or not. You are at your most vulnerable during sex because it is an act of trust with some level of expectations or feelings of entitlement afterwards. For example, you could feel entitled to loyalty from the person you sleep with but that person won’t act loyal since they don’t have a reason for it. Marriage binds 2 people together with a promise. God intended thorough commitment and respect to underlie the purpose of marriage, this way your emotions, psychological, and physical health stay intact and protected.

1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 states that it is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God. Since you are the child of the most-high God, made in his own image and crafted in his likeness, you are also expected to know him through having a relationship with him. You no longer belong to yourself, you are bought with the precious blood of Christ so you are encouraged to abide in his will which is set out only to benefit you. Imagine, your faithful God wouldn’t just stop at sacrificing his beloved son to help you enter heaven but also to give you the option to follow him, choose life, protect yourself and achieve success as you power through life. It is truly a selfless amazing act isn’t it?

Even if you are not a Christian, the principle of abstaining from sex until marriage has more benefits than not. The reasons outlined above still apply to you if you want to protect yourself from the consequences that arise from sex before marriage. In addition, abstinence helps lower the risks of contracting an STI and helps you focus more on the person’s qualities and things like whether or not they’re actually a good fit for you.

Lastly, please do not beat yourself up if you are no longer pure. This is not a post on condemnation. The bible says in 1 John 1:9 if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. We are not our mistakes or even our past choices, if you know better you do better. God actually considers you ‘pure’ through the light of Jesus Christ so you dont have to carry that burden any further from here on out. In fact, your sins were forgiven before you were even born! Live life now like you are living for Christ, its the only way you can walk guilt free and still enjoy the pleasures of life within the structure God designed for it! ❤

If you seek more encouragement with celibacy, click here to Devon Franklin and Meagan Good’s testimony on why they chose marriage before sex while working in Hollywood.

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If you are young and interested in dating but want to save yourself for marriage, here are 3 ways to prevent falling into the temptation of sex before saying “I do.”

  1. Know the difference between someone who respects your decision and someone who doesn’t

I think the best way to say this is to just be equally yoked in a relationship, this way you already have similar foundations and values and can understand each others requirements better. Your partner should be able to respect you and vice versa for wanting to save yourself for marriage. Ladies, a guy who respects your decision shows it by asking how he can be the most helpful in this regard, and encourage you to let him know if he is crossing any lines or making things difficult for you. He will also accept your explanation without further questioning or making you feel guilty/pressured about it. Be with someone who encourages you to be who you are, stand by what you believe in and optimally loves God as much if not more than you do! (Kudos to those of you who are with a partner like this already, may God direct and bless your paths). If that person does not respect or encourage your decision, it is better for them to be alone 🙂

Click here for the link to 5 things man needs before woman by the one and only Dr. Myles Munroe (mind blowing)

  1. Have confidence in stating your boundaries

Don’t wait until you are in a horizontal position to inform your partner about your boundaries and expectations. Instead, if you are serious about entering into a relationship with someone, you need to express your beliefs on sex, intimacy and marriage as soon as possible (first 3 dates if possible). Remember that you are dating with intention, not just for fun and short lived pleasure. Do not be ashamed to talk about your faith either, some people are Christians but are ashamed of losing their partner because of their belief in Christ. Matthew 10:32-33 states ‘So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.’ I dont know about you but I would much rather be acknowledged by Jesus than a person. Now whether you are a man or woman, part of defining the relationship is being clear about your expectations, that way you give them the freedom to walk away and not feel like their time was wasted. Having someone who waits till it is too late or changes their minds about a relationship later is really frustrating. It’s better to get a clear understanding from the beginning so you dont feel played, used, or that your time was wasted! trust me I’ve been in a situation like this in a platonic relationship and its the last time I will let someone take advantage of my precious time.

  1. Find appropriate ways to show your partner that you love them

Love isn’t just summed up in sex, there are so many other ways to show your love to your partner. For example, you could cancel something in your schedule that you value to make room to see them, this can make your partner feel  important in your life. You could also give them words of affirmation and show real support for them in their choices. You could lend a hand and offer your time or understanding of something to benefit them so they feel appreciated. There are different love languages that people respond to. Figuring out what love language your partner speaks helps veer the relationship away from sex and more towards investing and growing each other. This goes both ways, it’s a mutual relationship so both parties should feel appreciated otherwise there would need to be some changes made in order to enhance the health of the relationship. So be creative and find ways to please your partner making them feel lucky to have you.  

 

Thank you for reading this weeks blog post! Feel free to comment your thoughts down below on how it made you feel? Are you more confident now approaching this topic and has it encouraged you to define the relationship before getting too deep into it? Come back next week where my new suggested topic will be on betrayal and forgiveness. I apologize for not posting every Wednesday as I would have liked to originally. It’s harder than I thought and I recognize that a group of you check my blog on Wednesdays for a new post. I will try my best to post once a week but I cant promise that it will be on one day. Therefore if you just subscribe, you will be notified of new posts when they arrive instead of expecting it on one particular day. Either way, Thank you for your commitment to my blog. I love you guys and God bless!