Sex before marriage

Before writing this, I thought that I will just cover some of my thoughts; finishing it I realise that there is so much more. I’ve taken some thoughts from others and added them to my opinion.

Let me be clear that God doesn’t set rules to punish us. He doesn’t feel good every time we break a rule. He doesn’t set them for his own amusement, but rather to help and protect us. I can sit here and confirm that everything that we do is of our own free will. You are physically able to have sex before marriage, just the same as you are physically able to smoke a joint in the UK. But does that mean that these things are right and healthy? No.

You see, when I was 17 years old, I took what I’m saying to you right now as a step of freedom. I thought ‘well it’s okay if I have sex outside of marriage or smoke dope or drink because in the end God won’t judge me’. But again, that isn’t why these commands are there… Let me explain.

When you have sex with someone, you give a part of yourself to that person. Think about it for a moment, why do you think it is easier to break up with someone that you haven’t had sex with? Having sex is personal, maybe for you it’s not. But it’s meant to be. We don’t see it as being an act of stealing something but when we take place in the sexual act outside of marriage, we steal someone else’s joy. Instead of being patient and kind, we are only interested in instant gratification of a sexual release. You see, sex was meant for two people to come together in private.

Now let’s talk about marriage…

When I say the word marriage what do you think of? Maybe it’s something you haven’t thought about because it’s something you don’t intend to have or maybe it’s just not your thing. Marriage is not for everyone. Maybe the idea of marriage is difficult for some, that’s also true.  Marriage is hard, it can be super tough and unexpected at times. But why do people get married and what are the motives behind it? Maybe you think you are marrying your soul mate or getting married will fulfil your purpose and ultimately make you happy. I believe that it’s God’s purpose to make you happy. Remember in the garden when God looked down on Adam and said, ‘Oh he looks sad, I think he needs a wife to give him purpose and satisfaction?’ No, he didn’t say that… instead he said, ‘It’s not good for man to be alone, I’ll make him a helper.’ Only God can give purpose and satisfaction. But we like to deny that and find it elsewhere. If you put your faith in your spouse to make you happy, it’ll only be a matter of time before they let you down.

As a Christian, one of the reasons to get married may be to edify each other, to support and share the gospel more effectively. Ever heard of the word Echad? It’s the word one in Hebrew. It means two becoming one. When two people come together in marriage it’s Echad. I like the picture of when the lines have been blurred into one.  

Marriage to me is a promise, it’s a covenant, it’s a symbol of unity. For me it’s more than a church and a day of testifying your love for another but it’s two lives committing their forever to following Christ together. Pushing each other towards the cross. Just as when you become a Christian you commit yourself to God, I believe marriage is two people coming together and committing their lives to each other and God.  It’s not something to take lightly, this is the rest of your life (on earth) you are talking about.

From a biblical point of view, sex outside of marriage ruins this bond that two people have when stood at the altar. If you have already been intimate with your partner or already live together, what does marriage mean to you? You could still agree with the commitment side of things, to never leave and always trust and be vulnerable. But if you are stood there completely in love and haven’t had sex. Marriage becomes a depth. It opens you up to more. You are both discovering something on your wedding day that is another gift from God.

In John Mark Comer’s book ‘Loveology’, he talks about love, sex, marriage and what’s right and wrong in male and female relationships from a biblical viewpoint. He finishes his chapter about sex in a very eye-opening way.

“Sin, at its root, is not trusting God.”

He talks you through the story of sin right in the beginning when there were two trees in the garden, one of life and of the knowledge of good and evil. Not only was Eve tempted but she was also deceived by the serpent as he tells her that God doesn’t care about her joy, that he’s mean and fickle. He says that we know better than God and we should do what we feel is right. Then like we’ve all done, Eve puts her trust in the serpent. “She thought he knew the path to joy better than God. And she was wrong. Not only that, but she missed out on life! See that’s the crazy part, we forget that in the garden there were two trees, the tree to the knowledge of good and evil and the tree of life… the tree to living forever. But she missed out all because of misplaced trust.”

“Do you trust God or the serpent? Do you trust your own moral compass or God’s wisdom?”

“The serpent says the best sex is found in short, risky, promiscuous relationships with beautiful people. God says the best sex is found when a man and women say, ‘Till death do us part.’”

“Do you trust that the way to Jesus is the best way to live?”

“Do you trust that what looks like freedom is actually slavery, and repressing your sexual desire may just be the best thing to ever happen to you?”

“Do you trust that God’s heart for you is good? That God’s heart for you is joy?”

“Because if you do, there’s a tree of life in the middle of the garden and you are invited to come and eat”.

In response we thank God for protecting, strengthening, and always wanting the best for us. Help us to not only focus and give thanks for your creation but to worship you, the creator of the everything!

Remember God’s promises

It’s normal to lose track, lose track of time, life and Jesus. Everybody goes off the track at some point in their lives, but the important thing is to find the path again and give thanks to God. Even when we are falling short of the glory of God, we can recognise it, although sometimes it takes a while for us to acknowledge it in our hearts and make a spiritual step back. But isn’t it glorious that even in those times, Jesus is standing, waiting for us? It reminds me of the prodigal son in Luke 15.  Verse 20 (NLT) says “And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him.” Even when we are off the track, Jesus sees us and is waiting for us to see him.

We are so quick to assume that Jesus isn’t there, that he doesn’t see us because all we can see is our mess. But it’s not Jesus who needs to look, it’s us that needs to look at him. Jesus is our Rock, he stays. Our life gets messy and tough and we end up falling away from him.

Sometimes when we forget to trust God, it’s when we see a blessing that we realise we’d forgotten. Faith isn’t based on our feelings. In saying that feelings are very important as a Christian because it’s truth that produces good feelings. Faith is made up of truth, it’s our faith that allows us to see the truth. Our faith isn’t based on our feelings, but without our feelings we wouldn’t be able to express our faith. But don’t give all the credit to your feelings because it’s your faith that draws you close to God!

I forget and I let my faith depend on my feelings. As a result, I’m not always close and honest to God; I might pray twice a day, but I forget that Jesus is my friend. He doesn’t want occasional chit chat, he wants a 24/7 honest and truthful relationship, and ironically, I want more too.

I’ve been in quarantine the past 14 days and if any of you have been there, you’ll know that it can be hard. It’s easy to make excuses ‘I can’t go for walks, so how can I find God?’ I’m so not busy to the point that I am busy ‘I just don’t have the time’. But I don’t hear God making excuses to come to us… In fact, he says the opposite: ‘Draw near to God and He will draw near to you’ (James 4:8). Also we have no excuses because the the Holy Spirit is with us always: ‘I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever – the Spirit of truth.’ (Jn 15)

I had a couple of good conversations with a friend a few weeks ago and each time we would end up talking about temporary happiness vs joy. I’ve spoken about this a lot in previous blogs, so I won’t be on the subject long. But I’m going to share some of our conversation with you.

You can’t have happiness and sadness together. But you can have joy and sadness because they are both on different levels. Happiness and sadness are both feelings that we can receive from the world, I mean we receive them from things we see; people, fun, partying, these are actions that take place and as we participate in those things, the feelings will be the result. However, other ‘fruits’ as the bible calls them like joy, peace, patience and self-control CANNOT always be found in the obvious. These can only come from God. Also, these are gifts that bless us and enable us to live life to the full in the world as Christians. The biggest of these is love and that’s the kind of love God shares with us. Therefore, we want to respond to God’s love by loving as he first loved us.

Following on from the verse I took from John 15 it says: ‘The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you’. That’s why it can be hard at times to live this out in the world around people who don’t understand. But we must persevere! Maybe we should embrace the times when we are struggling or feeling disconnected and see them as an opportunity to grow in the real fruits of the spirit, relying on God and not the things of this world or our feelings: ‘That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.  For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Cor 12:9-11

But if you are only focused on the giving back, the gifts and the fruits you will be in trouble. For it is the giver we worship not the gifts. We also need to count the blessings that are around us

It’s also important to remember that God is the giver and He’s at the top of the hierarchy, otherwise when we aren’t feeling the gifts or the fruits we will sob, but that’s not the point. He does a lot more than strengthen us, he gives us all the ability, the motivation, the courage and the power. We need Him, don’t distant yourself or find excuses when you aren’t feeling it. It’s at these times we need to proclaim his name loudly so our fear and shame can leave. Sometimes we need reminding to just sit in his presence!

Sex before marriage

Before writing this, I thought that I will just cover some of my thoughts; finishing it I realise that there is so much more. I’ve taken some thoughts from others and added them to my opinion. Let me be clear that God doesn’t set rules to punish us. He doesn’t feel good every time we …

Continue reading Sex before marriage

Perception

Similarly, to my previous blog ‘Don’t let your mind corrupt you’ our perception on people should change drastically when believing in God. Of course, if you were able to love and see others before then you should carry on doing so, if not more when knowing Christ. However, if you were very different to how …

Continue reading Perception

Perception

Similarly, to my previous blog ‘Don’t let your mind corrupt you’ our perception on people should change drastically when believing in God. Of course, if you were able to love and see others before then you should carry on doing so, if not more when knowing Christ. However, if you were very different to how you are now, and things were more difficult for you to see people as daughters and sons of Christ then now it will be a different picture for you (theoretically).

Anyway, life is difficult, and we aren’t perfect, neither is our perception about other people. If you are anything like me, you still find it difficult to see people as sons and daughters of the King. To put it straighter, let me share a small story.

A couple of days ago I went to the bar and I got talking to a group of guys that looked like they were hipster druggies. (even from this thought I was judging them). As I started to chat with one of them I was inviting God into our conversation, from the way he acted and the way he dressed I was praying for him to open up a conversation about God. I started to feel slightly ashamed and I knew I wanted to share Christ but I didn’t know how. As our convo got deeper I thought I had to make my story sound super dramatic in order for him to understand even a small part of who God is or what I was saying.

We should NEVER underestimate God. He uses our stories just as they are for his glory and we don’t need to do anything to them. We shouldn’t put pressure on ourselves to bring people to Christ. That is why Christ left his spirit. That’s his job. We are only to be used. God doesn’t ask us to change for that, He changes us.

I found out that he was born in a Christian home and studied philosophy but hadn’t yet made the decision to follow God himself. Knowing this I walked home feeling bad that I had to be fake, I felt horrible for judging him. We don’t know anyone and shouldn’t judge them for the way they look or act. Just start a conversation, be honest and you never know what will come from it. God is faithful, he is the one we put our trust in.

If we are Living our lives focused on Christ, surely we are saying that we want to live like him? Living his reflection out should show that we are loving and seeing people the way that he sees them. This doesn’t include prejudgments but rather prelovements. Pre-loving them and showing more love and care. It can be easy to see others weird or strange because they are different. What about turning our frowns upside down. Similarly turning our motives inside out. Asking ourselves questions like ‘Why do we see this person like this?’ ‘What is stopping you from showing a splinter of Jesus’s love to those who are different?’

I hope that this blog has encouraged you to think more about the things in your heart that you may have towards others. Or how you can draw closer to God to inspire others to do the same.

Blessings – Jess

Don’t let your mind corrupt you.

We live in such an influential society, don’t we? Do you know that if you go to a different culture, once you get there you will notice everyone believes and opinions but after a while you don’t tend to notice them anymore, why? Because their beliefs have become yours.

We take too much to heart and we let unimportant things get in the way of Jesus’ Truth. Paul clearly writes that nothing in all creation can separate us from the love of God. But yet we lose sight and we’re unable to see his love in the first place because we are too wrapped up in respecting and loving the people around that we believe our idols instead of our Father in heaven who created us.

We need to remember that we are created by God and not the world. We need to stop letting our eyes fix on earthly and worldly matters such as drinking and hanging around with friends all day and work and reline our heart to God. Let’s focus on the things of Heaven and see earth through Jesus’ eyes. (Colossians 3:2)

Yes, we live in a world of hurt, pain and brokenness and there are many people who aren’t believers of Christ and they don’t understand their true worth or know where they can feel truly satisfied. But we have a Father in Heaven who tells us not to have other idols, He says only to worship Him (2nd commandment)

It isn’t only the people around us who influence us, it is also the things we watch, the music we listen to and what we see on our phones and laptops. Social media pulls us away in an instant. Instead of picking up our bible or praying we say ‘Oh I’ll just have a look on Facebook or Instagram’ Before you know it bam! It’s been 2 hours and all you’ve done is scroll through people’s accounts being nosey or watching videos about food or fake news. All these things are a distraction and you are falling for it! We both know that praying or reading the Word or listening to some worship changes everything and is so much better for us. But still we are caught in the trap and we can’t seem to get out of it. Do we even realise that it is a trap?

We need to start living influential lives that will impact the world around us instead of following what everyone else is doing. Let’s stand up whilst the world is sitting. Let’s be the ‘different’ that God called us to be!

1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

Living the real life

Imagine living in Amsterdam with 25 other people the same age, working with them, going out with them, exploring this foreign land with them and having fun together.

Now that is what it was like for me; I arrived in Amsterdam on Sept 1st and left somewhere in March. Those 5 and a bit months changed my life.

When I got home, I loved life because Jesus was living in me and I finally understood what it meant to be free. But when I was working back at the hostel in Amsterdam, it was almost as if it was a different place altogether. I mean spiritually, people just believed and had so much faith. They acknowledged that heaven can be lived on earth through Jesus.

I was with 25 other people who had a desire to share the gospel and really reach out whatever the cost. It wasn’t a side passion or hobby, it was our main priority all that mattered was sharing the Truth.

Now that I’ve been home for over 2 months, things are starting to change.

Some days I feel alive and buzzed to go out and share the gospel, I wake up, I have a decent quiet time and I am close with God. But then some days, it’s like I’ve taken a trip into the past and I’m just living because my body is alive. It’s like I’ve forgotten everything God taught me.

Sometimes I live a lie thinking that I can change other people when I can’t even change myself.

 I get frustrated with people when they don’t put others first or really know what it is like to love others. Or when they think it matters how they act, what they wear and what they say. I get annoyed when people aren’t themselves because they don’t want to be vulnerable or look weak.

See it’s not so much the people I’m annoyed with, it’s more that I now experience a different type of living and I never want to leave. In my head I’m thinking that as soon as lockdown is over, I’m going back to Amsterdam because I don’t want to be around people that aren’t building me up.

I’ve realised that this might be the place for me after all. God taught me a lot about trusting him when I don’t feel like it, faith isn’t based on emotions. Also, that He is our everything. We don’t need anything else when we have Him. And He doesn’t change. He is always with us and He is always faithful.

God knows that there are things in my life that I struggle with, He has also taught me that in Him things are possible. I can’t tackle my problems on my own because that defeats the point that God is with me and that knowing HIM makes me free.

I don’t know what I’m going to do when lockdown is over, but frankly I don’t care because God’s plan is bigger than mine and I need to start trusting in Him than lying to myself, thinking I’m okay and trying to do things myself.

There are desires and temptations that sometimes I don’t manage to overcome. I really believe that in this time God will show me more than He ever has. I just have to trust that he will lead me through my weaknesses, I have to see that I’m the problem and God is the solution.

I don’t know if you know the book of Romans or not but honestly, I love it. Paul’s writing and wisdom is so real and on point. There’s so much spiritual depth and truth to this book. Bang on in the middle, Chapters 6,7 and 8 are so spiritually awakening.

When struggling with sinful desires being a Christian and knowing that wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom (2 Cor 3:17). These chapters remind us that there is spiritual warfare. And we must CHOOSE God in order to do good and live in love.

Chapter 7: 14-25:

So, the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin. I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. So, I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. (NLT)

See, it is our sinful nature trying to pull us away from God and towards the things that destroy us. In order to resist our temptations, we must recognise that every decision we make has spiritual consequences, either taking us closer to God or to the devil.

As for me I must let go of all control in every aspect of my life and let God do what only He can do. I must trust that His time and plans are better than mine. And keep focused to only live a life that is good, pleasing and giving glory to God.

Thirsty or satisfied?

Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again.  But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.” John 4:13-14

The reason why I don’t really care about just going to university and getting a decent payed job then starting a family is because all those things aren’t that important when you look at the bigger picture of life itself. I know the truth and I have been set free and I want you to be too!

Have you ever asked yourself if there is more to life? If you haven’t already then you will. We wonder if there is more, if living is working and having a bit of fun on the side then starting a family then dying? Surely there must be more. If you are yet to find the answer to this question, now you will.

We all try to find ‘life’ in one way or the other. Or should I say hope? We all look to something to move forward. To take us out of the trouble we are facing now. For some it might be starting a family or getting married or travelling. As you look forward you get excited and you know that where you are right now won’t be your forever.

But what happens when you reach that place and begin to have some of the same troubles or issues or even worse? What do you do then?

You can waste your life running away from problems and pretending to care or you can know what it really means to be alive.

I’ve always wanted to share Jesus with people but if you’d asked me a couple of years ago what was my priority, I wouldn’t have said Jesus. Then I went on a journey and I realised that living for Jesus is all that matters. Sometimes it’s hard to completely trust in God and lay all your own desires and wants down. But once you have experienced fire, real living, Holy Spirit living, you can’t walk away from that. To get to that point takes courage, real faith and surrender. I’m not just talking about in the parts where you want God to take over your life. But also, in the parts you want to keep. TRUST IN THE LORD WITH ALL YOUR HEART.

And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Ephesians 5:2

Similarly, to love. 1 Corinthians 16:14: “Do everything in love.” It doesn’t just say to love the things that are easy or the people that love you but to do everything in love and love everyone. Even the people that you don’t love. Or the things that you find hard to do.

But remember that we are to obey Jesus. The one who lived as a man, who felt what you feel, who went through suffering and pain. The one who was tempted in different ways. The one who died and was raised. The only one who knows what you are going through right now!

The most important thing is to remember that it isn’t just about us doing things. Being a Christian isn’t about trying to earn God’s love by our actions. Do you know that Christianity is the only religion that the King came to us in our weaknesses? First and foremost, you have to believe that Jesus is who he said he is and he came to die for YOU. 

I have been misrepresented by those who don’t know me. (John 8:41-44) I am not distant and angry but am the complete expression of love. (1 John 4:16) And it is my desire to lavish my love on you. (1 John 3:1) Simply because you are my child and I am your Father. (1 John 3:1) I offer you more than your earthly father ever could. (Matthew 7:11)

Heaven is here!

I promise I will cut down on using the phrase ‘in Amsterdam’ but I’m telling you that God taught me so much there and I just got to get it out there so you can understand a little of what I experienced and so you can crave God more. However, after a recent conversation with a friend (from Amsterdam) we learnt that God isn’t just the God who works in Amsterdam but he’s multi-cultural.

Anyway, the thing that I have noticed since being back is people’s lifestyles in realising that heaven is on earth. I don’t think people really realise it but once you give your life to Jesus. You completely change. Not just in the way that you think (Romans 12:2) but also everything you do shifts. You died to your old life, and you rose to life with Jesus Christ in a new body, a new way of living. Maybe you can agree, or maybe you are feeling a little confused.

Today I listened to a podcast which was very good, the thing the speaker said that stuck with me most was that Jesus didn’t die to make bad people good but instead he came to bring the dead to life. Don’t you realise that Jesus is your everything and without him you are nothing? Without him we are dead. We need to completely give ourselves to God in order to live out the life that he planned for us. That means giving up out own desires and pleasures. See it’s not just doing a couple of good deeds and going to church on a Sunday. Don’t be like the seed that falls on the rocky ground. Don’t just commit half of your life to God. Give him everything, like he has done for you! When it says ‘Do not lean on your own understanding’ What do you think that means? That you can live however you want? That you can prayer in the morning for good health and strength though the day and the go out during the night and burn yourself out? No that is defiantly leaning on your own understanding. Don’t you get it? If you aren’t completely leaning on him, in other words trusting in him, then are you really believing that he is who he says he is. He is a miracle worker.

Something that I did learn though was that Jesus gives his spirit for us to follow and know what is right and wrong and what to do during the day. We just have to ask, and he will show us the way and even if we don’t hear straight away or really know during the moment, he won’t cause bad things to happen to you. Wherever you choose to go. Jesus will be going with you. He won’t say to you because you choose to go to Africa instead of Greenland ‘oh I’m leaving now, you can do it on you own’.  No, he is your faithful father and he will always be with you because he loves you.

Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. Galatians 5:25

What is love?

Something that has been on my mind recently is love. Now I’m not talking about the romantic kind as some of you may be thinking. Instead I’m talking about the love that you share with your friends or family in some cases it’s also the same love that you share with your neighbours, also the people you pass on the street, the people you work with and the ones you live with. Some of you may argue with me here but who’s to say you can’t love all those people the same.

I’ve been pondering on what it actually means to love. In the bible it describes what it means. Christian or not I think you would agree with the answer;

Love is large and incredibly patient. Love is gentle and consistently kind to all. It refuses to be jealous when blessing comes to someone else. Love does not brag about one’s achievements nor inflate its own importance. Love does not traffic in shame and disrespect, nor selfishly seek its own honor. Love is not easily irritated or quick to take offense. Love joyfully celebrates honesty and finds no delight in what is wrong. Love is a safe place of shelter, for it never stops believing the best for others. Love never takes failure as defeat, for it never gives up. TPT

This is a slightly longer translation but if you read it slowly and think about loving like it says or reading it as if you were someone else and imagining being loved like that. If you are anything like me you’ll start to get a little emotional. Maybe because you haven’t felt love like that before or maybe you have and you are remembering the ones who gave you that love.

Until recently I would always long to be loved like this, to be treated in a way that didn’t mean that I had to do something or give something. I also really wanted to love others like that. But something would always trigger me. I’d start to get angry and that would blow me up and defeat what it means to love.

In the recent months I’ve realised that it is impossible to love like this without Jesus.

Before you love someone you have to be loved. Right? Thinking from a human perspective- that will never work because then no one will love first.

That is exactly where Jesus comes in. We love because he first loved us.

He loves us so much that is how it is possible for people to love. To really love. ‘Love doesn’t selfishly seek it’s own honour’ ‘it never stops believing the best for others’ Imagine no arguments, not having to hide anything because you know that whatever you say won’t separate the love because it is pure and it NEVER gives up. People cannot love like that. It is possible to be loved in a way that seems impossible. But this love is ONLY found in Jesus Christ.

Before you realise that, or maybe before you try to accept that, you will try and try and try to love like that but won’t be able to. Sooner or later you will get frustrated with the other person. You won’t be able to accept a decision they want to make, or they will open up to you and you will judge them. Maybe you will forgive each other and things will be fine after that, but that’s after that…

Knowing that you are loved by God is the most important thing. Actually it makes me upset that people don’t realise their value.

I see rejection just from going onto Instagram and seeing pictures of some of the happiest people showing them off for others to see and to in a way be jealous about. People are being damaged by society. It makes me really angry because people follow this system of unsatisfied living and they don’t know any differently. ‘you have to look good’ ‘show off your nice body and new clothes’ these are the lies we are told everyday and there are so many more. If you don’t live in this certain way then you won’t be liked. If only you knew that you don’t need people in order to be accepted and loved.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

Who’s in control?

Something that fascinates me is that we can’t control our lives. So many times we try to, or we think we can. But when natural disasters happen, we can’t control our lives then.

When we don’t believe there is a God, or even when we do and we put ourselves above him, saying that ‘I don’t need someone to control me or to be higher than I because I’m better’ or ‘I’m in control of my life’

See I realize that in my own life when I start to put myself as the king of my life, I start to compare myself with others, I start to compete, I begin to get aggressive and have anxiety. I start to have self-problems which I wouldn’t share with others because A) they won’t be able to help me anyway B) Everyone has their own problems

See- I start to put myself down, I lose my confidence and I start to focus my time on myself and how I can make myself happy. Some of you might be asking yourselves ‘Well that isn’t a problem. It is good to focus on yourself and your own happiness’

I disagree, Like I’ve said- when we focus on ourselves we begin to get aggressive, or we find we have confident issues or trust issues or mental health or other self problems ‘everyone has problems’ see maybe you don’t notice it as much because it’s who you are and it’s never been different.

I can challenge you by shifting your attention off yourself and onto God. Then these problems will begin to fade. There’s a good song called ‘Let you go’- Will Regan one of the lyrics is ‘Help me let you go, help me give up control of the God I’ve made you, when my fear has contained you.’

When we are so inwardly focused, we are only trying to look for happiness and we are tackling to find it, sometimes we think we’ve hit the jackpot but then the money starts to run out and we begin to get sad again. And what we tend to do is punish ourselves for the problems we have. Because after all if you aren’t happy then it is your own problem.

But believe me- not everything is your fault so don’t be too hard on yourself.

It is mind blowing and maybe you don’t really believe that when you start to even look for God that he can fulfill even some of your needs or takeaway some of your pain.

Before I came to know any of this was possible and actually believing there was a God I had a few self-confident and acceptant issues. I used to blame myself when people didn’t like who I was and I would always try to do my best for them to but when they didn’t I used to sit in my room and become upset. As much as my real friends and I would gossip about them and say that it wasn’t our fault it didn’t stop me from over thinking deep down.

This is just one example of an underlying ‘issue’ I had.

And all I did was shift my focus. I stopped thinking about how to get rid of my issues and I started having a little bit of faith. I realised that it had nothing to do with me and how I can control myself.

As I began to let go of the control, my life started to get better, I became joyful.

Seen as we can’t control this virus or what will happen to us relating to the governments decisions. Why not give up all control of yourself and maybe some of the things you are struggling with, give it to God and see your life completely transform. Maybe it sounds ridiculous. If you don’t choose to seek then carry on trying to control your happiness and carry on having problems with trust and anxiety. It’s your choice!

Let praise be a weapon that conquers ALL anxiety” ‘We praise you’- Matt Redman