Blog, in hot pursuit

The Path Downward

January 24, 2012

Week 2 – In Hot Pursuit

He stayed home when he should’ve been leading his troops in battle.  That was the first wrong move, not being where he should’ve been.  Instead of intense fighting on the battlefield—instead of running his race—King David was idling on the sidelines, walking along the rooftop . . . and then, gazing at a beautiful woman bathing.

What did he do next?  This is, after all, the man who famously trusted God when all Israel feared, who killed Goliath after letting him know, “the battle is the LORD’s” (1 Samuel 17:46-47).  This is the man who refused to kill King Saul, though Saul was seeking to kill him—whose conscience was so tender that it bothered him just to cut off the edge of Saul’s robe (1 Samuel 24:4-6).

So when the battle raged in David’s flesh, did he look to God to fight it?  When he learned that the woman was married to his own soldier, was his conscience tender?  Did he flee immorality as Joseph did with Potiphar’s wife?

No.  King David sent for the woman, Bathsheba, and slept with her.  And when she became pregnant and he couldn’t cover the sin, he compounded it by having her husband, Uriah, killed in battle.  He then took her as his own wife, and she bore him a son.

Perhaps at this point they appeared to be the picture-perfect family—the King, his beautiful wife, and their newborn.  Since several months had passed, maybe there would be no repercussion for sin.  But God is not mocked.  He saw it all, and “the thing that David had done was evil in the sight of the LORD” (2 Samuel 11:27).  God confronted David through His prophet, Nathan.  I’m struck by the clear heart of God in these words:

“Why have you despised the word of the LORD by doing evil in His sight?” 2 Samuel 12:9

“. . .you have despised Me . . .” 2 Samuel 12:10

Stop and thinkHave we focused so much on the grace of God that we’ve forgotten His view of sin?  Can you imagine God feeling that you have despised Him because of your sin?

David’s heart turned when he heard God’s words.  He said, “I have sinned against the LORD,” and immediately, the prophet conveyed this gracious message:   “The LORD also has taken away your sin . . .” (2 Sam. 12:13).  David was forgiven, but he and his family suffered severe consequences for years to come.

Read 2 Samuel 11 and 2 Samuel 12:1-25 for more detail of the above account.

Interestingly, it was King Solomon, son of David and Bathsheba, who later shared God’s wisdom and strong caution about the “adulteress.”  Read Proverbs 5:1-23 and Proverbs 7:7-27.

Stop and thinkHow does adultery appear at first?  What is its end?

If you’re on the path that leads to adultery, get off nowFlee.  It is a path that leads to death.  If you’re in an adulterous affair, get out now.

It’s not easy to throw aside the weight of sexual sin.  Comments from this week and last have been illuminating as blog sisters have openly shared the difficulty of breaking free.  One sister described sexual sin as being under the influence.  There’s no 12-step program, but as always, the Bible lights the way:

  1. Read Psalm 51 (penned by David after his adultery).  Own the sin as David did.  Ask the Lord to give you a godly sorrow that leads to repentance.  Pray as David did that God would create in you a clean heart.
  2. Flee—cut ties, giving no opportunity for your flesh to creep back;
  3. Confess your sin to someone you trust and ask for prayer and accountability;
  4. Immerse yourself in the Word daily; carry verses with you on post-it notes or index cards; get aggressive with renewing your mind.

God forgives, heals, and restores those who have been entangled in adultery.  Faithful and Cherished dealt with this important truth.  (The video on my Home page with Da’ T.R.U.T.H. and his wife are a beautiful example of such healing and restoration.)  If you’ve repented and turned from that sin, don’t allow the enemy to weigh you down in shame.  Run the race with endurance and don’t look back. 

Single women:  I’ve focused thus far on adultery, but sex between singles is sin as well.  In our day, celibacy is seen as weird.  Tim Tebow has been openly mocked for his conviction to abstain.  But the Word of God requires no less.

Read 1 Corinthians 6:18-20 and 1 Thessalonians 4:3-6.

If you are single and having sex, you are not in hot pursuit of Christ.

Hebrews 12:1 tells us to lay aside the weight and the sin so we can then “run with endurance.”  Again, it’s not easy, especially if that’s the lifestyle you’ve been living.  But God doesn’t issue commands in the hope that we’ll muster up the strength to obey them.  If you’re a believer, He has given you His Spirit to empower you to run with supernatural strength.  So throw off that weight and run with power.

There’s so much more I could say, but I know we will go wider and deeper in the comment section as we’ve been doing.  I’m already praying for God to minister to us there.  So let’s continue the dialogue.

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69 Comments

  • Reply Rhonda J. Smith January 25, 2012 at 5:49 am

    This has been an unusual week for me. So even though I got a chance to read Monday’s post I only skimmed some of your comments, sisters, and didn’t get to respond. This comment will be a combination of responses to Monday and today.

    Like LaKeisha, knowledge and desire for sex were awakened in me before God’s appointed time. At four an 8 year old simulated on me what obviously had been done to her. Seeing pornography in my home (my earliest memory is at 9)caused me to repeat the 8 year old’s pattern and be addicted to pornography until a decade ago; I am 42. This foundation led to several pre-marital illicit affairs (even a few years after I got saved at 26), thoughts of lesbianism, a venereal disease and even affairs in my mind early in my marriage.

    For years I kept silent about what happened to me and my own behaviors because of shame and guilt. After seeking God through prayer and His word and accountability from my husband I broke free from shame and guilt and eventually began to see my actions just as abhorrently as God does. Those were “pleasures of sin for a season” that I knew couldn’t last forever and pleasing God became more important to me (Hebrews 11:25). I began to embrace the fact that Jesus died to take away my shame and guilt and understood that the real shame was that my behavior was akin to spitting on His sacrifice (Isaiah 53); that shame drove me to honor my Lord in my mind and body. No affair in mind or body can please the Lord because, like you said Kim, “you are not in hot pursuit of Christ” in that state. I am praying for any sister who is at any point of sexual sin to be delivered and I hope that my sharing will spur you to “get off” the adulterous path or “get out” of an illicit relationship. May my words comfort you even as God, the Father of mercies, comforted me (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).

    • Reply Kim Cash Tate January 25, 2012 at 8:42 am

      Rhonda, you’ve shared bits and pieces of your story before, but I thank you for trusting us such that you would go even deeper. When the Lord moved me to touch on these issues this week, what was firmly in my heart and mind was that so many of us truly do keep silent about sexual issues. We don’t talk about what’s been done to us or what we’ve done ourselves. Shame is a powerful force. And as a result, we think, “It’s just me. No one else would understand.” Such lies the enemy feeds us. And those lies have been exposed this week as one sister after another has spoken of molestation, pornography, and sex outside of marriage, to name a few. I think it’s especially important that we, as women, talk openly about pornography. (Interestingly, the Holy Spirit moved me to edit my blog post, which I’d already published, to include pornography as one of the examples. But I had no idea so many would comment about the topic. God knew.) I remember seeing pornographic magazines when I was young (not in my own home), and it really does awaken things in you that shouldn’t be awakened. The enemy plants so many sexual seeds in us from so many sources. I remember an uncle telling me as a teen, “You’ll enjoy sex. It’ll hurt at first, but then it feels really good.” My mother was on the other end of the spectrum telling me to wait until marriage. But to this day, I remember my uncle’s comment (and I have a bad memory), so I know it was a seed that remained and affected my thinking. It helped lay the foundation you spoke about. Even though I wrote about my sexual past in my book, for some reason, it’s not as easy to do on the blog. I can distance myself from a book. I’m not there when someone is reading it. But I feel more exposed here, and people are reading that I’ll never know are reading. But as I’ve said all week, this is ministry. This is real. This is where people live. And our past is our past, which has been redeemed…PRAISE GOD. We “forget what’s behind” in terms of not allowing it to shame or guilt us; but at the same time, we share what’s behind in an effort to tell others of the glory and power of God. That’s what you’ve done. You’ve been REAL. And praise God that you would speak of thoughts of lesbianism. So many are plagued by this, especially today when the enemy is telling our girls that lesbianism is a safe way to stay pure. What? We need to expose the lies on every level.

      “Those were ‘pleasures of sin for a season’…” And as we break free from shame and guilt, as you touched on, we have to also be mindful that that season will revisit us in the form of thoughts and images. We have to be aggressive about casting them down. We have to constantly be renewed in our minds and not allow the enemy to take us back. I pull out Romans 6 in those times and rejoice that I have been “freed from sin.” “For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification” (Romans 6:19). And part of what we have to “present” is our minds, not allowing impurity to dwell there. Thank you, Jesus, for freedom! Bless you, Rhonda, for your transparency. I thank God for you, sis.

    • Reply Debbie January 25, 2012 at 8:56 am

      Rhonda, so glad you are walking free but vigilant and what a wonderful gift God gave you in a husband who was there, who extended God’s grace and ministered to you through this. That is love and better than anything illicit! You are an example of the wonder of God and and an encouragement to other Sisters! Bless you.

      Debbie

    • Reply LaKeisha Collins January 25, 2012 at 9:27 am

      Rhonda, I remember you once told me that we shared similar stories. Your comment made me feel as if I were reading my own story. Wow! I know someone will be blessed and encouraged by the sharing of your story.

      Being introduced to sex at 6 and pornography at 12 resulted to a 16 year addiction to pornography. Just like you, Rhonda, this led me to many pre-marital affairs, a venereal disease, and affairs in my mind early in my marriage.

      Early in my marriage, aside from the fact that things weren’t all that great, as a result of my past I had a sexual appetite that I felt my husband couldn’t fulfill. I would lust after random men and have affairs with them in my mind. In all honesty, I really wanted to act out those scenes that played over and over in my mind; my flesh craved it. It’s only the grace of God that kept me, even when I didn’t want to be kept. In my mind, the idea of an affair was extremely appealing, but again, God’s grace kept me.

      As you said, Kim, “It’s not easy to throw aside the weight of sexual sin” and the guilt and shame can be so crippling. But there’s nothing too hard for God, and He always provides a way of escape (1 Corinthians 10:13).

      As the spirit of the Lord began to tug on my heart, the thought of crucifying Jesus afresh every time I indulged in my fleshly desires became too much to bear. I knew I had to break free. It took MUCH praying, fasting, and meditating on God’s word for me to be loosed from that stronghold.

      We absolutely cannot be in hot pursuit of the Lord when we are caught up in pursuing the “hot” desires of the flesh.

      • Reply Kim Cash Tate January 25, 2012 at 10:39 am

        LaKeisha, I am struck as well by the similarities in your and Rhonda’s stories….which tells me that there are others who also have a similar story and are reading these posts. They are being greatly helped, especially in our current culture where pornography is so easy to access, even on our phones. I kid you not…JUST NOW…I got a notification that a woman was following me on Twitter and her profile description said, “I get to ____ on film” (she said the word). She was the second already this morning! I blocked both immediately, but one click and I would’ve seen graphic images. It’s EASY, and some may think this is a “safe” way to act out one’s impulses or desires. But whatever we sow, this we shall also reap. You and Rhonda have revealed the harvest that comes from sowing to the flesh in this manner.

        The other thing the two of you have illuminated which I know is huge is “affairs of the mind.” Even more so than pornography, this would seem to be “safe” ground. I’m not acting on anything; I’m just *thinking* about it. It provides an escape and it feels good. But I’m so thankful Jesus told us that sin begins in the heart, and that if we’re lusting after someone in our minds, that’s adultery. I often think of James 1:14-15 as well: “But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.” When we allow “affairs” to linger in our heads, we’re allowing lust to conceive. Only by God’s grace will it be stopped before it gives birth to sin. “It’s only the grace of God that kept me, even when I didn’t want to be kept”…when I read this, I nodded my head because I have thanked God for keeping me when I didn’t want to be kept, for protecting me when I wasn’t asking or wanting to be protected.

        “It took MUCH praying, fasting, and meditating on God’s word for me to be loosed from that stronghold”….we so need to get this. We so need to understand that this race is not easy. It takes effort as we’ve said. And part of that effort is breaking free from the things that have held us in bondage and fighting to keep our thoughts pure going forward. It helps me tremendously to be running this race with sisters in Christ like you all. Thank you, LaKeisha, for openly sharing the tremendous work God has done in your life and heart. Thank you for going deep.

  • Reply p January 25, 2012 at 7:55 am

    immediately i had thoughts of a man at my job who i had been kind of friendly(flirting same thing) with. i liked him in my MIND he seemed sweet MAN. I can’t win for losing. I wasnt even aware of it, how sneaky our own flesh, i mean it wasnt even like i said, hi i want to have coffee or im going out this this man and im single.it was hi can you help me with my computer. How dumb, it comes from loneliness and simply b/c he is nice and reminds me of an old friend. God spoke to me when i was reading and my flesh sunk. Becuase it was like man i can ‘t even have a friend or have attention as im writing it sounds pretty bad, but in my mind it wasnt even a thought until today. The thing is if you are single and the person you set affections on is not your husband or GONNA b your husband its still adultery. Even if its like you have in your mind im not going anywhere with this, its mind games, like you are stealing from someone everytime you give this person attention or worse you KNOW in your mind nothings going down but this other person gets the wrong idea and you cause them to stumble. this is why at work with the opposite sex things are very difficult. Perhaps why Paul says be ‘keepers at home’ The truth is I am not satisfied, i am not satisfied in my relationship to Christ, i am bitter aboutlies ive been told, I’m STARVING for something, perhaps this HOLE in my heart that has NEVER been filled with LOVE or COMPLETENESS or the life HE’s chosen for me i feel like is so far below my expectations and dreams that im looking for a thrill. I guess. I am not happy. I have angry towards a family member who i felt robbed from me and made my life a living hell. I dunno what it is.

    • Reply Kim Cash Tate January 25, 2012 at 8:48 am

      “I’m STARVING for something, perhaps this HOLE in my heart that has NEVER been filled with LOVE or COMPLETENESS or the life HE’s chosen for me”….that jumped out at me and spoke volumes. If you are starving, only One person can fill that need. Jesus and the woman at the well came to mind. She was in that same place, and He said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water shall thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life” (John 4:13-14). He is our Portion. He’s the One who satisfies our every need. No man will ever be to you all that you want him to be anyway. Only Jesus. Be filled by Him, first and foremost. Then you’ll be ready when HE sends you a mate.

    • Reply Debbie January 25, 2012 at 9:16 am

      P. Bless you. After reading your response I am a little confused too. We can’t know the whole situation, but from what you have shared I would go with what Kim has said. When we begin to find and grow in finding our satisfaction in Jesus he readies us for the right relationship of His choosing. If you are not married seeking Christ first and keeping that as a focus is priority…if you are married seeking Christ first and keeping that as a focus is priority — out of that will flow the character (as we pursue Christ) and responses we need to minister to and bless our mate in that relationship.

      P. if you are not married I cannot imagine Christ asking you to choose an abusive partner. If you are married you will be called to love with the love of Christ and extend grace and forgivness to your husband…HOWEVER, in both cases it is imparitive that you seek wise, wise counsel from a Godly source. Find a pastor or other godly person you can sit and pray with and go through scripture with on this…wisdom would dictate that you not place yourself in front of a moving train (or intentionaly in harms way by close contact in an abusive relationship) that may be presumption and “tests” God. Dear Sister, I would just urge you to seek out wise counsel on this from someone, “in person” that can talk this through with you and pray with you.

      Praying for you now.
      Debbie

      • Reply Debbie January 25, 2012 at 9:21 am

        P. I forgot to say, even if you are married to the abuser, extended love, grace and forgiveness does not mean that you put yourself in the way of physical harm. That does not help your abuser and help he needs!!!! You can extend love, grace and forgiveness by working through all of the bitterness and anger (and I am sure I would be bitter and angry…I have been for much less than being abused) with God and through prayer for your spouse and for your heart attitude. As well, you would be doing so by going for godly counsel to work through this and determine what your next steps should be.

      • Reply Kim Cash Tate January 25, 2012 at 10:54 am

        Awesome advice, Debbie. So glad you took the time to share it. I agree that the issues here seem vast and ongoing and it would be invaluable to have someone to talk to face-to-face who can provide godly counsel and pray. Praying right now for God to reveal who you should consult, P.

  • Reply p January 25, 2012 at 8:03 am

    i do know i feel like something is missing. And God wants me to accept a man who’s abusive and im like I dont want this type of man as my husband, can you please send me someone else. I really hated it i had to look for validation everywhere but at home, i was critcized, abused and treated like a stepchild, and now GOD wants me to embrace a family who i dont even like, and a man that i dont want, who’s rejected me. IT doesnt seem fair, why does hE get to WIN so to speak hE can treat me like crap and i just have to forgive him. i said before i can’t understand how women end up in affairs from this i understand. If the person that’s supposed to love you and care for you beats you up and treats you like a stepchild, its VERY hard to be obedient to the LORD and love this person even when THEY DONT EVEN DESERVE IT. I am TRYING TO FIND some SHREAD to keep hope alive because honestly i want to jump ship, i never wanted to be here to begin with. But this person over here who you THINK will b kind to you GOD says no. I dunno. pray for me.

    • Reply Kim Cash Tate January 25, 2012 at 8:51 am

      Read my response above. And in addition, I know you’re not married, so I’m not understanding why you are in this situation. I don’t know all the facts, but it seems clear that you need to leave that relationship and focus on the one and only relationship that can satisfy.

      • Reply Pam C. January 25, 2012 at 12:14 pm

        P. I am praying for you as well and praying that God will lead you to someone who can truly help you with your situation. I want you to know that “LOVE DOES NOT HURT”. Sending you a great big hug.

  • Reply Debbie January 25, 2012 at 9:34 am

    Kim, in “lo these many years” (36 x well you know) I’ve been on this earth, I’ve learned and keep having to learn a few things. One of those things is that married or not Christ is the only true satisfaction there is to be had. In fact, it is only out of finding satisfaction in YwHw that any other relationship has a hope of being good. Christ is the one who builds and grows and sustains and enables all others. Illicit sex of any kind, robs us of all that Christ has for us and what we think will fill us up and satisfy actually robs us and makes us feel empty. And by-the-way, I think that is true of ANYTHING we look to outside of Christ to fill us, to satisfy us, to give us identity or purpose.

    We have a God who loves us and who has given us the good gift of sex…but we experience it as a good gift only within the bonds of marriage and as a way of blessing one another in that marriage. God is not a cosmic kill joy (I repeat) He loves to see us have a good time — but a good time is only a good time within the parameters God ordained for it…outside it becomes a nightmare waiting to happen disguised as dream.

    I think you are touching on tough stuff Kim — but then this is what real life is made up of, right!
    For those who do not struggle right not with sexual temptation, odds are there is some temptation (ya think?) that tempts them and the same truths that apply to the sexual apply to everything else. As well, there is a lot of “talk” about this for men — but little with regard to women…for us though we look to others so much for validation and intimacy that it can be a very real temptation. We REALLY need to keep our hearts on Jesus and pursuing Him so that we are all filled up and not vulnerable to the ‘soft looks” the “understanding nod” the “gentle hand”. outside of God ordained boundaries.

    Bless you! Keep listening to HIM!!

    • Reply Debbie January 25, 2012 at 9:37 am

      I said “illicit sex” but you know, on reflection, it is really “illicit relationship” because an affair of the mind, or an emotional affair is also very destructive and puts us in bondage. It robs us of intimacy with Christ and our husbands.

      • Reply Mona January 25, 2012 at 12:52 pm

        Not that I am a follower by any means BUT I’m feeling lead to “care to share” just a little. As with the others that have shared a few things, I can honestly say sexual sin/illicit relationships have been apart of my past as well. The devil is soooo cunning. He knows what makes you tick and you have to be armed/waiting/ready for his attack. He is a slick one! I have had relationships that I NEVER thought I would EVER entertain or enjoy. JESUS!! Just typing this has me shaking my head like WHAT in the world was I thinking. I still can’t believe it at times. But I must admit I was a partaker of it and at first enjoyed the companionship. But let me say the enjoyment was very brief. Very! I struggled in my spirit something terrible but I still would let go of it totally. There was a tie was made weather wrong or right there was a tie. It wasn’t a highly sexual relationship it was more of an emotional one. And the fact that I never had anyone to show me so much attention/time/care/concern, I enjoyed it. Clearly I had to enjoy it that’s why it’s called a sin. Let’s face it, sin to the flesh is enjoyable. But oh let me say, so not worth the HIGH price I’ve had to pay/am paying (sad face). I knew better (here comes the guilt and shame- right here). See its different when you don’t KNOW, but when you KNOW better, yep you will pay. So let me just serve notice to you other single ladies, WHATEVER your entangled in that AINT of God LET IT GO NOW!!! You will pay some sort of price (peace of mind, health, issues with your kids, issues with your job etc.) and you don’t know what form the price will come as. Trust me, my whole world was touched. Not to the point of death (thank you Jesus) but to the point of un-necessary ISSUES that I now have to deal with as a result of “doing me”. All I’m saying (with out saying so much-sorry I’m not transparent as everyone else BUT trust for me to post ANYTHING is progress for me), no man, woman or THING is worth you compromising your personal relationship, walk, testimony or COMMUNIION with God.

        I can’t end my little two cents with out reassuring that there is hope! At the end of the day when you’re done doing you, struggling in the mess, THERE IS HOPE!!! You have to saturate yourself in the Lord! Jesus is our everything, our hope, our redeemer, our provider etc. Look to the Lord for your way out!!!

        Lord knows I’m praying for us all! Mona

        • Reply Kim Cash Tate January 25, 2012 at 4:19 pm

          Mona, so thankful you were led that way because I know it’s nothing but God, and it’s continued evidence of the work He’s undoubtedly doing in our hearts and the hearts of those who are reading. Someone will see something one or more of you has said and a light bulb will click on as to how they’re currently living or what the lies the enemy is currently spewing. As you said, “The devil is soooo cunning. He knows what makes you tick…” Oh, yes he does. He’s able to deliver a personalized scheme straight from hell for each one of us, one that fits exactly like a glove and appears oh, so good. “I have had relationships that I NEVER thought I would EVER entertain or enjoy”…this is why these discussions are so important. I don’t know a single Christian who’s gotten caught up in an illicit relationship who was LOOKING to get caught up or who would’ve ever envisioned such a thing, ever. That’s why the Bible says, “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” These stories of caution and warning help us stay “on the alert.”

          “Let’s face it, sin to the flesh is enjoyable”…straight talk. Yes, it is. And the flesh craves that enjoyment. When the enemy caters to the desires of our flesh (James 1), it takes divine power to resist (thank God He’s given it to us!). When that craving comes, we SO need to remember THIS….”You will pay some sort of price (peace of mind, health, issues with your kids, issues with your job etc.) and you don’t know what form the price will come as. Trust me, my whole world was touched.” Yes, yes, yes! When the Bible says it will lead to death, that “death” comes in those forms you named….often our peace and joy, and sometimes, death to marital relationships.

          “All I’m saying (with out saying so much-sorry I’m not transparent as everyone else BUT trust for me to post ANYTHING is progress for me)”….this is highly transparent in my view! You don’t have to tell every detail for us to “get it.” You’ve spoken of the sin and its consequences. And you’ve also spoken of the HOPE. This is so, so good. Praising God that you stepped out and posted for the benefit of us all. Bless you, sis. xoxo

    • Reply Kim Cash Tate January 25, 2012 at 1:54 pm

      Debbie, so much great wisdom here. And you are so right in this….”what we think will fill us up and satisfy actually robs us and makes us feel empty. And by-the-way, I think that is true of ANYTHING we look to outside of Christ.” AMEN! Also true that we all suffer from some kind of temptation. Last week we dealt with weights and sin in general. This week God moved me to hone in on sexual sin because it’s more pervasive than we think. And wow, the comments this week have borne that out. I’m SO thankful that we’ve been able to be real about this. I’ve been blessed tremendously. Oh, and another AMEN on the “illicit relationship” (not just sex) as destructive. Lord, help us to pursue You and find our satisfaction solely in You!

  • Reply Kara January 25, 2012 at 10:07 am

    Just yesterday I heard a sermon where the example of David and Bathsheba was used. The preacher also brought up the point that David was not where he was supposed to be, he was out of order. God is a God of order, confusion is not of God, so if you are in a confused state then there is big hint that you are not where God wants you to be.
    I know that I said I would share more, I still have to deal with the “image” that I have of how others see me. Yes, I am really nice and I do love the Lord, but if you knew my past, especially seeing that I grew up in a Christian household and was taught the Word of God…well I can’t help but judge my own self. Who would believe that as a child I and a family member had inappropriate touching going on…I often said “well he was older, he should’ve known better.” However, I knew at that age that it was wrong. My first serious boyfriend introduced me to pornography and masturbation. (God later delivered me, but once in awhile, when I am renewing my mind, the temptation will creep in.) At that time we would do everything but have intercourse. I still called myself a virgin.
    When I walked down the aisle, my husband-to-be and I had found out earlier in the week that I was pregnant, no one else knew. Although one person asked my Mom when was I due, (at the ceremony). When my daughter was born, I lied about the due date, later on my parents confronted me and I confessed that, yes, I was pregnant at the time of our wedding.
    I had three abortions prior to our wedding, I was so wrapped up in the a web of deceit that I denied that they were abortions to myself, all I did was have a shot and take a pill so that couldn’t be an abortion, right?
    This is why it is SO IMPORTANT to have your time with God, to make sure you are doing self checks on a daily basis. All the lessons I am learning now, oh how I wish I had learned them 15 years ago…Another thing that is missing is the those women in the church. Titus talked about them,
    “Teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good.
    Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.” Titus 2:3-5
    My parents were very protective of me, as their only daughter out of five children. However, there was not a lot of open talks about sex, only “don’t do it.” I have as a result made a promise that whatever my children ask, I will answer, with God’s principals being my foundation.
    So Kim, when you say, “It’s not easy to throw aside the weight of sexual sin.” I totally agree, but I am learning more and more when those thoughts come, “well they say nice things about you now but if they knew what you did..” and “you say you are against abortion but yet you had three” well I know it is time to take those thoughts captive and send them back right where they came from. I am not saying it’s easy but it is better then just sitting there and replaying them over and over in your mind until you work yourself into a state of heavy guilt and depression.
    I thank God that He did not give up on me, and did not take His Spirit away from me, I constantly thank God for His blood that He shed for me, even knowing that I would walk away from Him and His Word, He still loved me and He still does. So glad that salvation is not based on our own works but Him and Him alone!

    • Reply Kim Cash Tate January 25, 2012 at 1:48 pm

      Kara, my bff:)….(((((hugs)))). I know it wasn’t easy for you (or any of us) to reveal so much of your story. “Yes, I am really nice and I do love the Lord, but if you knew my past”…that “but” shouldn’t even be in that sentence. You are nice and you love the Lord, period. We ALL have a past. Some are struggling even now. And I’m so thankful that we get to love on one another and collectively praise God for the powerful work He’s done and continues to do in our lives. “I can’t help but judge my own self”….Kara, stop it. And I mean that in love. :) Honestly, I wish we were all together, curled up in our PJs at a slumber party, discussing the deep things of our hearts. I’m sure there is even more we would share, including tears, and even greater bonding that would take place. Right now, here on this blog, I can see clearly the hand of God on your life and how He’s used your past to form the person you are now. Because of your past, you’re able to minister to young women who are also not perfect (ha…who IS perfect?). I didn’t grow up in a Christian home, but I have a 13-year-old daughter who’s growing up in a Christian home and I’m taking to heart and learning from what you’ve shared. I do try to keep the communication channels open, and I’ve told her she can ask me whatever she wants…but your words have made that conviction go deeper.

      I pray that you are QUICK to take those accusing thoughts captive and send them back where they came from. Jesus wouldn’t have had to die on the cross if we were all perfect people who did everything right. He died for sinners, which is all of us. Our sins may differ, but “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” You are a trophy of His grace, and it only causes me to praise God more now that you’ve shared more of your story. “Another thing that is missing is the those women in the church. Titus talked about them…” The beautiful thing is these Titus 2 women can be anywhere God places them in our lives. I’m seeing a lot of Titus 2 women right here on this blog. What a beautiful work God is doing. So thankful for your testimony and for the love of God that’s so evident within you.

      • Reply Kara January 25, 2012 at 3:25 pm

        You are right Kim, there are Titus women right here on this blog! It’s funny because, I have been struggling all day since I shared that….”well now you have done it and people are probably thinking all kinds of stuff about you.” Thankfully, I am realizing where that thought and others are coming from.
        I do want to share my story and be an encouragement to others… I’m not sure how though. I also would like to serve as a big WARNING sign, so others can learn from my mistakes and avoid the consequences. Thanks for the encouragement BFF:)

        • Reply Tamara D. Davis January 25, 2012 at 3:30 pm

          I got your back Kara! If you ain’t (yes, I said ain’t) alright with nobody else but KimCT, you alright with me! LOL Go ‘head and get your praise on. I know I am today because I feel the heaviness TRYING to come on due to the topic at hand today. As we say in the south–you good people Kara.

          • Kim Cash Tate January 25, 2012 at 8:42 pm

            “I feel the heaviness TRYING to come on due to the topic at hand today”….another blog sister told me that too! I want you and everyone else to know that there are people praying for all of you who read this blog. The enemy can try to come against what God is doing here, but God is GREATER. Prayer is our mighty weapon!

          • Kara January 26, 2012 at 9:11 am

            Awww thank you so much Tamara! I know exactly what you mean, with getting your praise on! I started my day out with this song. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O2BhpYUCPmA&feature=youtube_gdata_player

        • Reply Kim Cash Tate January 25, 2012 at 4:04 pm

          “I have been struggling all day since I shared that”…and it’s funny because I’m always sensitive to that when people post something personal. I want to respond right away, but life is happening, and I can’t. (For example today, right after you posted, my daughter called from school and wasn’t feeling well so I had to go get her, then I had an appointment, etc.) I didn’t want you to think that I was sitting over here gasping like, “I can’t believe Kara said that!” Not at all. :) I just like to wait until I have a good bit of time to respond thoughtfully. And God will show you when, how, and with whom to share your story going forward. You started here, and you have helped more people than you’ll probably ever know.

          • Kara January 26, 2012 at 9:19 am

            Kim, thank you so much for your sensitivity but I most certainly understand. Sometimes it is easier to sit in self judgement then to think with the sense that God has given me:)

    • Reply Tamara D. Davis January 25, 2012 at 1:57 pm

      Good afternoon! Such rich discussion going on today! As I shared earlier this week, I hated anything to with sex, until I started rebelling in my late 20s because of the pain I was in. My sin led me to my third baby and a paternity issue. Never in a million years did I ever think I would be smack dab in the middle of not completely knowing who was the father of my child. Only my close friends knew of the issue. We didn’t confirm his paternity until he was six years old. Suddenly I was left with confronting a man who I barely knew while dealing with year long feelings of being used and abandoned. Since 2008 I’ve been celibate and proud of it. It took a lot of bumps in the road and whole lot more of God’s word, strength and grace to open my eyes to the joy of being free from fornication. People ask me how can I do it? Do I ever desire it? Well, I know where being out of order got me so I choose being “in order”. Uuuuh yes, I do desire it but I have a perfect understanding of it’s place—in marriage with my spouse. Too much is riding on my obedience and I thank God for His grace to continue to walk in the fullness of this blessing. I don’t take any shortcuts nor do I play around with tempting things, music, people, emails, text, movies, shows, NOTHING!!!

      I applaud each of you for sharing your stories and being open to ministry to continue to walk in freedom. To those still waking on condemnation of ANY kind I say this to you: Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. (There is your ax to cut down the thoughts of condemnation.) I also say this to you: 2 Corinthians 10:5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. Now that your gun is fully loaded to rebuke the enemy and his mind games, let’s go!

      PS. If you click my name, it’ll take to you to my blog site. Search the archives for “The Rise and Fall of Big Sunset”. It tells the tale of how I got caught up with sexual sin, the one that almost made me kill myself.

      • Reply Kara January 25, 2012 at 3:32 pm

        Thanks for your willingness to share also, Tamara. I can see that you are already are quite involved in ministering to others. God Bless You!

      • Reply Brenda January 25, 2012 at 7:46 pm

        Tamara,

        Thanks so much for sharing your story. Thanks to all the other blog family for being so transparent & open as well. This is my 2nd post to the blog. I had no idea that discoverying Kim’s books last fall would have me here – right where I need to be. Praise God for His divine order!!!

        I’m single & have tried to be celebate since I rededicated my life to Christ in 1996. However, I fallen “off the wagon” seems like every 2-4 years. To even go that long w/o sex is a miracle in my opinion because I literally craved sex. After my last “fall off the wagon” in 2008, I said “what’s the point”. I was tired of failing God & myself. I was tired of me & thought God had to be too. Spiritually, I threw in the towel.

        To make a long story short, a friend I confided in told me to do a study on grace and I did. God also led me to study the Israelites(His chosen people). They turned away & God delivered them over & over. However, we know the deliverance was not w/o consequence. Through that study I discovered/experiened the grace, mercy and love of God as never before. I’m amazed that He used one of the lowest times in my life to really show me Himself. I’m truly thankful for that. I’ve lost two “Christian” boyfriends because I finally said “no” to my flesh & chose to obey God. I know this is another subject but why does it seem that more Christian women try to abstain from sex than men? Are there any Christain men practing abstinence? It really hurt because I do long for the mate God has for me but I’m grateful God gave me strength to do what I have not done while in a relationship before.

        Though I deeply long for my husband, I’ve learned to allow Him to be my Husband in the meantime. He’s keeping me. I have to constantly stay in the word & be careful of what I feed my Spirit and just keep my focus on Him.

        I’m thankful for the encouragement & wisdom received from the blog family. Thank God for the courage He’s given me to participate as well because this is sooooooooo out of my character.

        • Reply Tamara Davis January 25, 2012 at 9:04 pm

          Hi Brenda! I’ve found that some men only want us to be Christian women when it’s convenient for them and vice versa. But see, what men quickly learned about me is that I am a for real-for real woman of God and I take my life and that of my children very seriously. On the other hand, I’ve met some Godly men who really were living a life for God so I KNOW they are out there. In the meantime, I’m enjoying my singleness and my babies. I praise God for my time of singleness because it’s been the best time of my life ever thus far.

          If a person walks away because of your dedication to Christ, never view it as a rejection of you. They are rejecting Him and it’s their loss. You’re special! You are highly qualified in the kingdom of God shuga!

        • Reply Kim Cash Tate January 25, 2012 at 9:33 pm

          Brenda, I had to immediately thank God when I read your last paragraph. It truly DOES take courage to jump in and share very personal matters. I know that I know that it’s only the Spirit of God at work in the very special blog family that’s been assembled here. The sisters are so loving and welcoming, and even more than that, they are REAL. That makes ALL the difference. To be honest, I’m glad you posed your question to Tamara, our resident “expert” on living single by the Spirit. :) I was saved at the beginning of my marriage. I can talk from experience about putting aside the shame of guilt of a sexual past, but in terms of abstinence and waiting as a single….thank God for Tamara. :) But I WILL say that I know single Christian males who are abstaining and waiting for the right Christian woman. They do exist. :) And I also say thank God that He showed you the true colors of those two guys you lost because you wouldn’t have sex. It’s one thing to have the desire; we’re human, and that’s understandable. But to walk away entirely because you wouldn’t sleep with them? Nope. That wasn’t who God had for you. I’m REJOICING that God met you at your low point and has been faithful in keeping you! What a praise. This may be soooooo out of character for you, but I’m soooooo glad that you stepped out and joined us. Praying for you on your journey! xoxo

    • Reply Kara January 25, 2012 at 3:27 pm

      I meant to say that, when I am NOT constantly renewing my mind, temptation will creep in. In my hurry to just get this out there are some grammatical mistakes,,,sorry.

  • Reply Mari Taylor January 25, 2012 at 11:53 am

    Whew, sisters. I am reading comments, crying and praising God all at the same time. I need to really pray a little more before responding generally. But know that I’m praying for you all. I posted this last week on the tail end of a post day (Weighty Matters) so I thought I would post it again because it fits so well with this topic.

    Okay I’m going to tell a bit of my business. I don’t think I’ll be judged here :) I wouldn’t normally do this but if we’re going to get something out of this study, we need to dig deep. And this is the “deep” I was in. I hope it helps someone else here.

    A few years ago I got caught up in some serious sin. And I’ll tell you, the Word became a burden to me, like a boulder around my neck. Going to church was difficult. Basically anywhere and anything where God could and DID shine a light on that sin became a noose around my neck. But still I persevered on in my sin.

    But one day, without any fanfare, I surrendered to the Holy Spirit’s promptings that I needed to “get home” to my Jesus. It was so freeing. When Kim talked about weight, I understood immediately. You don’t even realize you are being weighted down. You actually think you are “free”. That’s the lie we believe. That’s sin’s trick. It slaps handcuffs on you and tells you that they are your way to freedom.

    Now, I’ll tell you, sin is like a scorned lover. It has no intention of letting you go that easily. It took about a year or more before I was completely free. During that time instead of persevering TO sin, I persevered to NOT sin and to reconnect intimately and intensely with God. I had to pray a lot. A LOT. I had to read the Word regularly. I had verses posted everywhere. I had scripture cards I carried around with me so that whenever my mind would start to think about that sin, I could “renew it” with God’s truth. I had to get extreme in my measures. I had to make some major, MAJOR life changes to get free. When sin entangles you, sometimes you need to not just break that one or two links in the chain to get free. Sometimes you need to get out the chain saw, cut the whole thing up, throw it in the dumpster, pack your own bags and move clear across the world. And depending on what the sin is, moving could be quite literal. You have to have that clean break so that it’s not easy or even possible for you to re-engage in the sin.

    I look back now and say “I must have been out of my mind”. But in the next breath I praise God that He is able and willing to renew our minds and bring us back home to safety with Him.

    I don’t have “big” sin like that now but I still sin because I’m a flawed human being. I pray for God to shine His light on it, especially those things I might no realize are sin. I pray we all do the same. Nothing feels better than being transformed by God in big and small things.

    *****

    I want to add today that as we are sharing about our struggles and past or current sin/temptations, we need to draw even closer and dig even deeper into prayer and time with God. The enemy will use what God has intended for good to try to draw us back into his nonsense. I know because after I wrote the post above last week, the enemy came creeping around trying to tell me that surely I must miss the sin and wasn’t it fun, etc etc. Thank God I had several scripture verses right in front of me (ain’t God good) so I could just say “Begone satan!” and head right into God’s Word instead of back into the pit.

    I applaud us for going deep with this study and doing what God would have us do. But make no mistake, we need to “armor up” because the enemy is not happy about that and he is on the prowl for us.

    • Reply Tamara D. Davis January 25, 2012 at 2:00 pm

      Talk about it! You better speak it! Girl, you are so on it!

    • Reply Kim Cash Tate January 25, 2012 at 8:49 pm

      Mari, I am SO glad you posted this again because it’s so powerful. You have not only been open about the depths to which you found yourself in sin, but you’ve given concrete help for digging out. It’s not easy, but with God, all things are possible. It’s also an excellent warning to those who might be on the verge of deep sin to flee NOW because they see the ugly places it’ll take you. Thankful to God for your courage in sharing this. And I’m also thankful for your update. This is so real. OF COURSE the enemy will come against what’s happening here. OF COURSE he’ll tempt you after you’ve shared a powerful testimony of how God set you free. Praise God you were “armored up.” So appreciate this needed word that we must dig deeper in prayer in light of what God is doing here. Blessings to you, sis!

  • Reply Pam C. January 25, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    Hello ladies. Just catching up on the posts. All I can say is that I am truly touched and praying for everyone’s continued strength as we conquer some serious issues. After reading some of your testimonies, two wonderful songs come to mind that will truly minister to your soul…At Peace by Vicky Yohe and So Many Reasons by Vicky Yohe and Canton Jones. I heard the latter song on the radio the other night and had to park the car to listen and appreciate it. When I tell you I have soo many reasons to be thankful for, trust and believe. :-)

    • Reply Kim Cash Tate January 25, 2012 at 8:51 pm

      Hey Pam! Thanks so much for stopping by with encouragement and additional songs for our soundtrack! :) I will be checking these out. I love when a song is so good you have to park to listen and appreciate. :) So thankful for your prayers for everyone’s continued strength. That’s what we need!

      • Reply Mari Taylor January 25, 2012 at 10:12 pm

        Two more songs for the soundtrack.

  • Reply Candace January 25, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    Ohhh Kim, how many times have we reread this account and Psalm 51? It’s SO significant for SO many reasons.

    And during those months afterwards, you know that David probably put some distance in his usual very close communion with God. Just when we need God most, we usually pull back, and Satan throws a party! Sin seperates, and time widens the gulf. We’re wise to override the inclination and do the opposite: RUN to God, REPENT, RECEIVE all the goods to get us back on track, running our race again, in hot pursuit!

    We know Kim that attraction and arousal are the natural spontaneous God-given responses to physical beauty while lust takes it further to a deliberate act of the will. David was in the mood to go there, and quickly!

    Well before David saw Bathsheba, he let himself slip…slip…slip into a mind-set, a mood, making this great man of God more & more vulnerable to the path downward. Prowling like a lion, Satan didn’t miss a step down David’s slippery slope. He’s honed his craft at choosing an angle unique to our weaknesses, then finds a crack, and in subtle almost imperceptible ways, chips away.

    David was probably thinking at that moment, “I am king! The kingdom and EVERYTHING in it IS MINE for the taking!” Fueling it was probably boredom with the monotony of life—go to war, conquer, come home; repeat—David was LOOKING FOR a diversion, an “I…I…I DESERVE…” mentality had taken form.

    David had already let the temptation build, and when it gets to the gathering-speed point, it needs a HARD STOP: a quick REFOCUS of attention on something else because what we focus on increases, INTENSIFIES! Speaking the word OUT LOUD is a great example! Having verses at the ready puts bullets in our gun! Just resisting is FUTILE because it only intensifies our focus on the wrong thing and STRENGTHENS ITS ALLURE!!

    But David was having none of this!! HE WANTED IT to wash over him and take him! He JUMPED IN!!

    WHAT HAPPENED!??? We clearly see the picture through all the David passages: wrote all the Psalms which is probably the most-read, in communion with God daily in a close intimate relationship from very young, carries the title given to him by God himself, “a man after mine own heart,” WHAT HAPPENED!???

    How could David progress so far down the road of giving into temptation? How could he, OF ALL PEOPLE, fall for Satan’s oldest and most well-known tricks in the book; it’s like failing Satan 101?

    Instantly, Paul’s rant of warring in Romans 7 comes to mind, “For what I will to do, that I do not practice, but what I hate, that I do. But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me…For I DELIGHT in the law of God according to the INWARD man. (This is where David abides most of the time, walking in the spirit.) But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into CAPTIVITY…(This is where David has slid down below the spirit, into the natural.) O WRETCHED MAN THAT I AM!! WHO WILL DELIVER ME FROM THIS BODY OF DEATH!?”

    Paul, David’s peer regarding communion with God in the deeper life, battled this war until his death, as David did, as we all still do. NO ONE IS EXEMPT!!

    Even Solomon, another peer, who according to God is the wisest man that will EVER live, STILL took the path downward to worshipping false God’s. WHAT? They didn’t talk back like the great I AM so Solomon knew who the real deal was! He actually HEARD GOD and STILL followed others!! Wow…WHAT HAPPENED!???

    No matter how wise or foolish, mature or immature, close with God or on our way, walking 99% in the spirit or 99% in the flesh, no one is exempt until we cross over, transformed and sitting with God!

    So what do we do meantime? All the steps you’ve listed Kim!

    We stay on the OFFENSE: we substitute/replace wrong with right good-for-us choices, much like long-term successful dieters who DON’T RESIST (“I will not eat that plate of warm gooey just-out-of-the-oven chocolate chip cookies…”) BUT SUBSTITUTE leading to a real lifestyle change.

    We remain diligent daily, that as we brush our teeth and get dressed, we also get dressed in our spiritual clothes, the whole armor of God. As we eat our eggs and enchiladas, we also devour our spiritual food, the word, and we use it. We step out and walk in the spirit. No one is exempt.

    Great study Kim! Looking forward to reading all the blog fam comments!

    • Reply Kim Cash Tate January 25, 2012 at 8:58 pm

      It really is such a tale of two David’s when we think of the Psalm-writing, communing-wtih-God-in-the-fields David and the one on that rooftop. I agree that power in his position as king has a lot to do with the difference. “We know Kim that attraction and arousal are the natural spontaneous God-given responses to physical beauty while lust takes it further to a deliberate act of the will”….well stated! It’s that same old problem of looking too long at what’s forbidden, from Eve to David to…. God has given us very real examples of what will happen when we turn from Him…if we would only heed.

  • Reply Tamara D. Davis January 25, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    Sorry, I meant to post here:

    Good afternoon! Such rich discussion going on today! As I shared earlier this week, I hated anything to with sex, until I started rebelling in my late 20s because of the pain I was in. My sin led me to my third baby and a paternity issue. Never in a million years did I ever think I would be smack dab in the middle of not completely knowing who was the father of my child. Only my close friends knew of the issue. We didn’t confirm his paternity until he was six years old. Suddenly I was left with confronting a man who I barely knew while dealing with year long feelings of being used and abandoned. Since 2008 I’ve been celibate and proud of it. It took a lot of bumps in the road and whole lot more of God’s word, strength and grace to open my eyes to the joy of being free from fornication. People ask me how can I do it? Do I ever desire it? Well, I know where being out of order got me so I choose being “in order”. Uuuuh yes, I do desire it but I have a perfect understanding of it’s place—in marriage with my spouse. Too much is riding on my obedience and I thank God for His grace to continue to walk in the fullness of this blessing. I don’t take any shortcuts nor do I play around with tempting things, music, people, emails, text, movies, shows, NOTHING!!!

    I applaud each of you for sharing your stories and being open to ministry to continue to walk in freedom. To those still waking on condemnation of ANY kind I say this to you: Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. (There is your ax to cut down the thoughts of condemnation.) I also say this to you: 2 Corinthians 10:5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. Now that your gun is fully loaded to rebuke the enemy and his mind games, let’s go!

    • Reply Kim Cash Tate January 25, 2012 at 9:05 pm

      “Well, I know where being out of order got me so I choose being ‘in order'”….now THAT’S a mouthful. And that’s wisdom to actually learn from your past experiences and choose to do differently by the grace of God. Praise God for His faithfulness! I know you’ve shared this before but it still gets me excited. :) You went from having a paternity issue to now being celibate since 2008! Girl, God is awesome! “Too much is riding on my obedience”….ohhhh, that’s good. When we think of all the people in the close circles of our lives, our obedience (or lack of it) affects all of them. You are such a picture…and a smiling one at that…of God’s grace and beauty. Always thankful for how you let God use you!

      • Reply Tamara D. Davis January 26, 2012 at 10:04 am

        I’m thankful too Kim. In the middle of my mess, nobody could’ve ever told me that He’d be my life right now! I’m encouraged when I sit at the feet of Titus 2 women and when I hear the testimonies of other women. It tells me that God can do it for me too. I’m glad this blog is such a warm, open and loving environment that encourages sisters to open up and confess stuff in a SAFE place. I speak continued blessings on you Kim and every other woman here. I speak life and peace into the spirit of every woman here. May God continue to refill, refresh and restore each of us, in the name of Jeus.

  • Reply LaKeisha Collins January 25, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    I’m loving reading all of these beautiful testimonies of God’s amazing grace! This is real ministry happening right here.

    Bless all of you sisters for baring your souls today. The devil is defeated! Praise God!

    • Reply Kim Cash Tate January 25, 2012 at 9:07 pm

      This IS truly God’s amazing grace! It’s overflowing, and I’m praising too! Praying that souls are set free as a result of hearing these testimonies!

  • Reply Ciara Thompson January 25, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    The stories from today have truly touched me you all stories went through my mind all day. God is truly doing something awesome!! I’m truly learning through you all. I can’t go to the book store and buy a book on this. I’m so grateful for you all. This is definitely a learning experience.
    Ciara

    • Reply Kim Cash Tate January 25, 2012 at 9:17 pm

      “I can’t go to the book store and buy a book on this”…that pretty much says it all, Ciara. That’s why I’m thanking God that we are unedited and free to let the Lord use us as He will. I’m grateful too, for all of you. This has been quite a week, and it’s only Wednesday. :)

  • Reply Mari Taylor January 25, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    I was going to post something totally different…BUT GOD. Let me give you a little background on how our awesome God works. bear with me because in the beginning you’ll be thinking, “And this is pertinent how?”

    In December when my church had it’s last Wednesday night gathering of small groups before Christmas break we were informed that Wednesday nights were going to change. Our senior pastor was going to start a series called “Face to Face”. This is a series where he walks through the 4 Gospel Books teaches on the questions that Jesus posed. So men and women together for 15 min of worship, 15 minutes of his teaching and then small group time by gender.

    Now keep in mind that he’s going to word the question in modern day language.

    Fast Forward to tonight. The Question was “Do You Know Where You Will Flinch”. This stems out of John 14:36-38 where Jesus tells Peter he will deny Jesus three times. Flinching. Sinning. Denying. You get the gist now right?

    So I’m sitting in my seat going, “Are you kidding me?” But it gets better.

    The teaching in a nutshell was that this one question has three implied questions.
    1. Do you know that you WILL flinch?

  • Reply Mari Taylor January 25, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    Sorry hit enter by mistake :)

    We will flinch because we are still human and the sin nature lives in us. See John 15:5 and 1 John 1:8-10.

    2. Do you know WHY you flinch?
    See Romans 7:14-20 (I could have fallen on the floor because every post above this tells this story)

    To expound he says that the enemy tries to get you to believe you’re the only Christian who has committed this sin, the only one who can’t get “The Christian Life” right, that you don;t know how to be a Christian. He tries to isolate us so we will think we’re alone and he can further mess with our minds.

    3. Do you know what to do WHEN you flinch?
    A. Remember that “HAS MADE” and “BEING MADE” are simultaneously true. (See Hebrews 10:11-14)

    Basically, we HAVE BEEN MADE righteous and holy by Christ’s shed blood on the cross but in our everyday walking around life we are BEING MADE righteous and holy.

    B. Remember to draw near and not away from God (see Hebrews 10:19-23)

    Quite simply, God is our source of strength. We need to be near that source of strength to hold firm, stand tall and be Righteous and holy and NOT FLINCH.

    I cannot tell you, I just bowed my head and said “Thank you Lord that you love this blog family enough to orchestrate this series and my presence here to be able to share with these ladies”. Nothing I can say tonight could better minister than this.

    I love you all and many many blessings to you all!

    • Reply Kim Cash Tate January 25, 2012 at 10:27 pm

      “Do You Know Where You Will Flinch”….that is so deep! And this is deep too…”Do you know that you WILL flinch?” Isn’t that the point we’ve been making? Wow. That Message verse Ruthie posted on Monday comes to mind: “No one is immune.” What an absolute gift from God to give “us” (yes, I’m counting it as for all of us :)) this message tonight. “We need to be near that source of strength to hold firm, stand tall and be Righteous and holy and NOT FLINCH”…amen and amen. What a great cap to all these heartfelt comments. So glad you heard this message and then came and shared with your blog family!

    • Reply Tamara D. Davis January 26, 2012 at 9:52 am

      Now this right here: “To expound he says that the enemy tries to get you to believe you’re the only Christian who has committed this sin, the only one who can’t get “The Christian Life” right, that you don;t know how to be a Christian. He tries to isolate us so we will think we’re alone and he can further mess with our minds.” is SO true. When I was “under the influence” I was pulling away from everbody. In my session with my pastor’s wife, she said to me “The enemy wants to get you alone, so you can suffer in silence while he kills you off slowly and nobody will ever know what happened.” That statement forever changed my life. It helps me draw nearer to the one who looks lonely because an encouraging word can send them running back to Jesus!

      • Reply Mari Taylor January 26, 2012 at 10:51 am

        Tamara, You cannot know how I almost fell out flat on my face last night. Such a god word and so much in just a short period of time. It just felt like it was tailored for this group.

        The enemy is all about his tricks. Isolation is one of them. I think this why we’re exhorted to not forsake meeting together as Christians. In being transparent and praying for each other, we can really prevent the isolation the enemy needs to “put the nails in our coffins” so to speak.

  • Reply Pamela U. McKinney January 25, 2012 at 10:43 pm

    Wow. The parts of the study that highlight David were chiilling. I tried to imagine the scenes in my head, as I read through the paragraphs. The line would wrap around the World if those who have committed sexual sin were called to form a line. Sexual sin has far reaching consequences, and it would be a good thing if people would remember them. God created marriage, and sex within the walls of marriage (between a man and a woman) is the only place it should be.

    I have discovered that it is best to live as God has instructed us…this Culture turns its nose up at God, but His way is the Best way.

    My heart bleeds when I see so many of our young people (esp.) Sinning sexually, contracting diseases, getting pregnant and in many cases aborting the baby…all because we want to feed our flesh despite the high price. There is an old saying…’Sin will always take you further than you wanted to go, and cost you more than you wanted to pay.’

  • Reply Pamela U. McKinney January 25, 2012 at 10:49 pm

    S.orry, I hit the finish button and I wasn’t finished…

    We all have a past, we weren’t born saved…Christ forgives. God forgave David, and we too can be forgiven if we go to the Lord and repent.

    I could say so much more, but I will end here.

    Thanks for the lessons…

    Blessings.

    • Reply Kim Cash Tate January 26, 2012 at 2:20 pm

      Pam, I was imagining the scenes too as i read. I know you know how it is when you’ve read something several times but suddenly it seems fresh and now (love that the Bible is like that). Each step David took was vivid in my mind, especially as I thought about the exhortations we’re given in the NT about making no provision for our flesh, etc. “Sexual sin has far reaching consequences, and it would be a good thing if people would remember them”…I know a pastor who said that if temptation tries to knock on his door, he will play out all the devastating consequences in his mind of what would happen if he started down that road. Suddenly it’s easier to say, “No way.” “’Sin will always take you further than you wanted to go, and cost you more than you wanted to pay’”…and that’s a perfect example of a saying that is totally grounded in truth. I pray to be repulsed by sin, to see all the ugliness of it. Lord, let us not be deceived. Bless you, Pam, for your heart to pursue Christ. You’re another one of our singles who’s going hard for Christ. :)

  • Reply Kennisha Hill January 26, 2012 at 12:28 am

    This was such a timely word, Kim! I’m so touched by the comments here and will say a prayer for those who requested it.

    I personally know of the struggle that comes with sexual sin, having had my own testimony of it as a young woman. I wholeheartedly agree with every single thing Kim said above. If you’re single and in a sexual relationship, you are not operating in Christ-likeness nor are walking in pursuit of him. Standards are so crucial for our lives as believers and we have to live by the ones God set for us. Likewise in marriage– adultery starts in the mind and has to be stopped there! God is able to restore the mind and help us when we feel tempted.

    Rhonda shared such a beautiful testimony of how her husband helped during her restoration. That’s love, sis!!! Could have been a different story. God is awesome!

    I think a lot of times we forget that God wants to help us when we are weak. He wants us to totally rely on him when we are. I was just reading 2 Corinthians 12:19 “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

    I remember when I was single I tried on my own strength to stop and walk-away. And each time, I’d answer those late night calls to a guy who I KNEW was using me– and yet in my mind I pretended it was real love. My mind was twisted because I yearned for real love and knew it wasn’t my reality. It was when I stopped and honestly begged of God, “Lord, I can’t do this on my own. Please help me.” That’s when things started shifting in my life. I was honest about my obsession of sexual sin– confessed that thing to God and asked him to help me. And he did.

    I’m thankful for God’s grace in my life. I’ve had my share of sexually traumatic situations too and I know it’s nothing but the grace of God who brought healing and redemption. I sought him and he rescued me (Psalm 34:4).

    Awesome word, sis. Praying for you as you keep going with this important study!

    Love you!

    • Reply Kim Cash Tate January 26, 2012 at 4:22 pm

      Kennisha, I so appreciate that you’ve shared your story. I know you have such a heart for married and single women alike in following after the Lord. And often it’s our own experiences that God will use in helping us to minister to someone else. “I think a lot of times we forget that God wants to help us when we are weak”….it’s so crazy but it’s true! For some reason, when we’re weak, we can tend to think that we need to do right on our own. I love reminding myself that it’s okay to be weak….it’s actually best to be weak!….because when I’m weak God’s strength is perfected in me. I love that you were honest with God about your obsession. Like Adam and Eve, we can actually try to hide it. ;) But when we give it to Him and confess it, it’s so freeing. And that’s when His power helps us. So many of us understand what it’s like to be mired in sexual sin, and praise God that so many of us know the power of God to deliver! Thanks so much, sis, for your openness. Love you too!

  • Reply Heather January 26, 2012 at 9:12 am

    It is so amazing to read different people’s stories and what they have been able to overcome with God’s help. What a wonderful forum with such kind, loving women!

    • Reply Kim Cash Tate January 26, 2012 at 4:24 pm

      Heather, that’s the word that’s been going through my head all week as I’ve read these comments: AMAZING. What a testament to our Lord and Savior! And yes, what a blessing to be on this journey with these loving women.

  • Reply Lauren January 26, 2012 at 9:52 am

    I was reading this, I was thinking, “thank God I have not fallen victim to sexual sin since I have been married”. Well, I got to the comments and read about “affairs in the mind”! Yep! God is dealing with me, and I am thankful for this study, my heart is truly being searched, and made new!!

    • Reply Kim Cash Tate January 26, 2012 at 7:45 pm

      Lauren, that’s really something, isn’t it? I was commenting earlier this week about how God makes us sensitive to sin as we grow, and “affairs of the mind” become as egregious as actual physical affairs. And of course, Jesus said if we lust in our heart, it’s adultery. “…my heart is truly being searched, and made new!!”…mine too! I am so, so thankful that this study is speaking to you! Blessings, sis.

  • Reply Tamara D. Davis January 26, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    And as if on cue, I got a text from an ex trying to pull me back in with “you were on my mind today, I was thinking of you.” Well, I am not thinking of you or about you—delete w/o responding!!! (Now had this been 5 years ago, I would’ve answered that text…praise Jesus for strength *chair dancing*)

    • Reply Mari Taylor January 26, 2012 at 7:10 pm

      Tamara: This is just what i was talking about in my earlier post. The enemy is always trying to draw us back in. He better get to stepping with this group else he’s going to get a holy spanking! Amen?

      Glad you sent that nonsense packing :) Good job! Praising Jesus with you!

    • Reply Kim Cash Tate January 26, 2012 at 7:49 pm

      Girrrl, now you know! I knew the enemy would be coming against us, but that was right out the gate. Praise God that it was simply ANOTHER opportunity for you to glorify God in how far you’ve come and how much you’ve been set free! Ha….you didn’t even respond! He was probably like, “What happened to HER?” GOD happened to her!!! Praising Jesus with both of you!

      • Reply Tamara Davis January 26, 2012 at 7:59 pm

        I just have to SMH sometimes. Nah, can’t pull me back no more LOL but that doesn’t stop them from trying. A good male friend of mine hipped me to something: when a man is trying to get a woman back, he will always lead in with emotional. Couple that bit of info with Jesus, I ain’t to be played with!

  • Reply Geri January 28, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    Ladies, I have been so inundated with work and life that I have been unable to post this week, but today I was able to read them. I have been blessed by your post and I pray healing upon you all who have been hurt or broken.

    Kim, I am so thankful that God put this bible study in your heart and thankful for your obedience to pursue this study.

    At the age of five, I was sexually molested by a friend of my uncle’s who was 11. One day, I entered the kitchen where my grandmother was washing dishes and she asked what had I been doing. Not know any better, my reply was, “Playing the kissing game.” I told her everything. I’m not sure why, but in 1975, this “situation” was viewed differently in my household. My family looked upon what I told my grandmother as promiscuity. I was (for lack of a better word) spanked by my mother, my grandmother, and my grandfather (yes, the old-school beating). Needless to say that after that, I was afraid to “tell” my family anything.

    My biological father was absent in my life from two year-old until I was thirty-five. Needless to say, there were a lot of issues with security and self-worth. I was looking for the first person who said that they loved me and made me feel all the things that were missing in my life. I was self-destructing, because I never thought that I was worthy of love, because I always thought that my father did not love me. After all, he wasn’t there. I wanted someone to take care of me and make me feel safe. But God is so awesome. Although I’ve subjected myself to a lot of set ups, set backs, let downs, disappointments, I know that God has been “keeping” me safe. He has kept me through suicidal thoughts, anxiety attacks to the point of nearly suffering a nervous breakdown.

    I’m still growing, and it is such an honor to be a part of a beautiful family that God has put together

    • Reply Kim Cash Tate January 30, 2012 at 8:42 am

      Geri, I was so heartbroken reading this….first hearing that you were molested (SO many blog sisters molested…so much pain…)….and then that you were scolded for “promiscuity.” I can just see you as a little girl hurt and confused. And all the issues that resulted from not having a father. “I was self-destructing…” Yes, the enemy wanted to destroy you…BUT GOD. He is truly a God who KEEPS us! I praise Him for bringing you through such dark times and forming within you such a beautiful spirit. You are a blessing to so many. It’s an honor that you are a part of this blog family. Thank you so much for trusting us with your testimony. God is glorified through you. Love you, sis!

  • Reply Geri January 30, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    Thank you, Kim. It was terribly confusing as a child….But God. I am so thankful for His love and mercy.

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