Purifying ourselves

“Look, I am coming soon, bringing my reward with me to repay all people according to their deeds. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” Blessed are those who wash th (1)

True religion, accepted by God, according to the bible, is keeping ourselves from being stained (or corrupted) by this world (James 1:27) . But there is a great deception (and a falling away from sound doctrine) that causes people to believe that everything isn’t necessarily a “Salvation issue”. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. God is concerned about EVERYTHING we say and do.

There are so many of us fighting for the things of this world (like makeup, “Fashion”, Beyonce’ etc.) when we should be fighting for eternal life. And you may think that the things you love are innocent but that’s the thing, you LOVE the things of the world! Period. And by the way, nothing of this world is innocent. If it isn’t specifically addressed in the bible, that’s because it falls under the categories of unclean or profane. And just in case your pastor never told you, no unclean thing (including a covetous idolater) will enter into the kingdom.

But nothing that defiles or profanes or is unwashed shall ever enter it, nor anyone who commits abominations (unclean, detestable, morally repugnant things) or practices falsehood, but only those whose names are recorded in the Lamb’s Book of Life.” (Revelation 21:27, AMPC)

So we’ve got to purify ourselves. Being holy isn’t optional (it’s a command!). I know people like to scoff at righteousness but all it means is living right, according to God’s standards. So let’s not be self righteous (having our own standards of what’s right or good enough) but obedient AND FAITHFUL in ALL things.

With nothing but love,

Brandi

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A few scriptures to consider:

(1 John 3:1-10, NLT ) “See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that we are God’s children because they don’t know him. Dear friends, we are already God’s children, but he has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is. And all who have this eager expectation will keep themselves pure, just as he is pure. Everyone who sins is breaking God’s law, for all sin is contrary to the law of God. And you know that Jesus came to take away our sins, and there is no sin in him. Anyone who continues to live in him will not sin. But anyone who keeps on sinning does not know him or understand who he is.  Dear children, don’t let anyone deceive you about this: When people do what is right, it shows that they are righteous, even as Christ is righteous. But when people keep on sinning, it shows that they belong to the devil, who has been sinning since the beginning. But the Son of God came to destroy the works of the devil. Those who have been born into God’s family do not make a practice of sinning, because God’s life is in them. So they can’t keep on sinning, because they are children of God. So now we can tell who are children of God and who are children of the devil. Anyone who does not live righteously and does not love other believers does not belong to God.

(James 4:4-8, AMP)  “You adulteresses [disloyal sinners—flirting with the world and breaking your vow to God]! Do you not know that being the world’s friend [that is, loving the things of the world] is being God’s enemy? So whoever chooses to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the Scripture says to no purpose that the [human] spirit which He has made to dwell in us lusts with envy? But He gives us more and more grace [through the power of the Holy Spirit to defy sin and live an obedient life that reflects both our faith and our gratitude for our salvation]. Therefore, it says, “God is opposed to the proud and haughty, but [continually] gives [the gift of] grace to the humble [who turn away from self-righteousness].” So submit to [the authority of] God. Resist the devil [stand firm against him] and he will flee from you. Come close to God [with a contrite heart] and He will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; and purify your [unfaithful] hearts, you double-minded [people].

(2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1, NLT) “Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers. How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness? What harmony can there be between Christ and the devil? How can a believer be a partner with an unbeliever? And what union can there be between God’s temple and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God said: “I will live in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they will be my people. Therefore, come out from among unbelievers, and separate yourselves from them, says the LordDon’t touch their filthy things, and I will welcome you. And I will be your Father, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” Because we have these promises, dear friends, let us cleanse ourselves from everything that can defile our body or spirit. And let us work toward complete holiness because we fear God.

Being a Glutton

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So now that I’ve proclaimed the simplicity of the gospel, I think it’s important that I also start sharing some of my own personal struggles. And although It’s embarrassing and shameful, I know that there is encouragement and power in our testimonies.

See I want ya’ll to know that I’m not just running my mouth on the internet. I am also working out my own salvation with fear and trembling. And so with all that being said, I’m going to start by confessing that I am a glutton.

Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” (James 5:16)

A glutton is someone who eats excessively and voraciously (in an insatiable manner). To me, being gluttonous depends on what we eat, when we eat, how much we eat, why we eat and how we see food. So even though I am a vegetarian, my restrictions from eating meat (personal conviction) and dairy products (due to breastfeeding) has caused me to want to gormandize. I mean, I think about food ALL of the time. Whether I’m thinking about eating it, cooking it or buying it (I love grocery shopping!). And I have become extremely health conscious over the years which in addition to food has become a form of idol worship. 

Now, all of this has just been revealed to me. I never knew I had a problem until I couldn’t control myself (or change my eating habits) as I began to see and feel my health deteriorating. And you may be thinking, “How can a vegetarian be unhealthy?” but a vegetarian is just someone who doesn’t eat meat. That doesn’t mean that they aren’t scarfing down Doritos and Little Debbie cupcakes! But anyway, God, in His love and kindness has given me the grace, wisdom and strength to overcome this if I will swiftly repent. So even though I am just beginning my process, I want to share what has been helping me in case any of you are also struggling.

1. I began to acknowledge gluttony as the SIN that it is

Overeating is just as bad as smoking and drinking (and fornicating!). It’s a lust of the flesh which always leads to death and destruction. It’s idolatry. And it is an addiction. And it will ruin your health just like the other things I just mentioned.

2. I’m praying and fasting

We need to petition God for help because we can’t do what’s good or right in our own strength. Self control is a fruit of the Spirit. And remember, our weapons of warfare are not carnal.

3. I’m slowly eliminating unhealthy foods from my diet

I’ve started by first eliminating unnecessary foods from my menu. The way to do this is to decide what you actually like to eat (that is real and nutritious!) and eat those same things everyday. For instance, I really like lemons, pears, avocados, romaine hearts, tomatoes and red onions so I just eat that. And whenever I start craving other things I just remind myself that I have sin to deal with therefore I ain’t got time to be picky or fancy! And I know that eating the same (or simple things) seems boring in this day and age but quite frankly, as Christians, we shouldn’t be caught up in the hype of food blogs and eating extravagant meals all day, everyday anyway (and especially not if we’re having problems!).

“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” (Matthew 6:31-33, NLT)

4. And in relation to the previous passage,  I take it one day at a time.

(continuing with Matthew Chapter 6, verse 34, NLT) “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”

Another thing I struggle with is perfectionism. It all starts with being unrealistic or a little bit too ambitious. So focusing on one day (or even one meal!) at a time has really helped me not to get discouraged or overwhelmed.

So I hope that this post has been helpful. If anything, I hope that it reminds you to pray for me. God has blessed us with so much beautiful, textured, aromatic, delicious and nutritious real food. And there’s no doubt in my mind that He intended for it to be pleasurable. But the problem is, we’ve gone to far! We’re either eating any and everything or we’ve made real food and good health idols. So let’s repent and get it together.

With love, Brandi

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Since I’m still nursing my daughter, I usually just fast until dinner. But juicing is another great way to bring your flesh into subjection.

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Kale, Spinach, Celery, Cucumbers, Apples and Lemons

 

 

 

Obsessing over demons and conspiracy theories

Do not participate in the worthless and unproductive deeds of darkness, but instead expose them [by exemplifying personal integrity, moral courage, and godly character];  for it is disgraceful even to mention the things that such people practice in secret. (Ephesians 5:11-12, AMP)

Now I purposely shared the amplified version because I think that in “exposing” evil or in being “enlightened” we can get a little too caught up and miss the whole memo.  YES, demons are real and things like population control and the New World Order are obviously not just theories. But as followers of Jesus Christ, revelation and understanding are given so that we can overcome. People of the world are also interested in these things but the difference is (or should be!) that we aren’t afraid or obsessed with these things. The entire world is under the trickery and wrath (TRIBULATION) of the devil. IT IS WRITTEN! Therefore we know these things ARE and WILL come to pass (happen).

So, the point of this post is just to remind you not to get lost in the rabbit holes. Studying demonic entities and governmental conspiracies (or ungodly celebrities etc.) is as Solomon would say, ALL VANITY. At the end of the day, these things are not edifying. And I know from personal experience that they produce more fear (and idolatry!) than anything.  So, if we must, let us simply expose these things by living out the gospel of Jesus Christ. Not by telling any and everyone who will listen to our fascinations. The bible says that it is a SHAME to even mention what these occultic people are doing.

And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.” (Ephesians 6:11-12)

So again, we need to just simply accept the truth about these things and move on. Not being ignorant of satan’s devices. And remembering that knowledge puffeth up but true wisdom (and understanding) will cause you to fear God and live right in the midst of it all. I hope you understand what I’m saying.

With nothing but love and lots of prayer,

Your sister, Brandi

Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” (Ephesians 6:11-13)

♥♥Side note: I created an additional page to the blog where I will be simply reading through the New Testament. If you’re interested, be sure to check that out. I would LOVE for you to join me!

“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17)

When desires become idols

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For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
(Matthew 6:21)

Writing this is bittersweet because I feel like I’m constantly dethroning idols that have infiltrated my heart. And publicly sharing my understanding of this will not only hold me accountable but leave me with no more  excuses.

See we can not seek (or love) God with all of our hearts, when part of it is seeking other things (including someone else). We have to beware of what we set our hearts on because even good and godly desires can become idols.

An idol is anything more important to us than delighting in or serving God (alone). They are our deepest longings. Whatever we are lusting after. Some common idols that I have personally worshiped were things like Control and perfectionism, Prestige (recognition and validation from this world), Beauty, Natural health and wellness, organic food etc. Beautiful homes, My children, My husband (and marriage in general), Entrepreneurship, Ministry, Happiness.. Just to name a few.  And what I’ve learned is that through convictions and restlessness, God frustrates my ideas making it nearly impossible for me to pursue my idols. This is how we know that (or when) a desire has become an idol.

If you (or I!) want something (or some things!) so bad that we begin to sin when we don’t get it (or to attain it), then we have a MAJOR problem and it’s called an idol.  Even if what you want is good! Because I’ve learned that in reality, what I personally desire is only as good as my patience and trust in God for it. If I can’t continue to love and to EXALT God in the meantime, and I become discontent and miserable then I  am not committed to (or delighting in) the Lord. In fact,  I am sinning because my affections, and appetite or cravings shouldn’t be on anything but Him, His Son and their coming kingdom.

Everything (and everybody!) will always be competing for our affections. Especially in this era of technology and consumerism. Now don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with genuinely wanting a house or a child. It’s not the end of the world, but will it be to you if you never get them? Becoming angry (especially toward the things of God ), frustrated, manipulative, covetous or full of self pity are all results of idolizing our desires. So is rebellion. I was notorious for seeking temporary comfort and relief from God’s chastising. In my pride I would turn to things like food, sleep, shopping, TV,  Social media etc. And I don’t know if it’s just me but it’s like I can not worship anything other than God. Of course it’s sin but it’s also tormenting spending all of my time, energy and money daydreaming about, planning for and longing after idols. And the worst part is that they don’t even truly satisfy! Once conquered, we’re always wanting MORE—Bigger or better!

Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied. (Proverbs  27:20)

So, I just wanted to share my thoughts with you . May we all just delight solely in the Lord in obedience and in hopes that He’ll find our hearts “empty” enough to start storing up His own perfect desires♥♥

Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. (Psalm 37:4-5)

Your sister,
Brandi