All girls have a deep-rooted desire to feel valuable/loved/beautiful. In fact, you can always trace a girl’s behavior back to this single need and how it’s being met – no matter what her age or belief system is.
When it comes to Christian females, many are aware that only the Lord can adequately secure their self-worth, but at the same time they have no idea how to engage with that. Consider this two-part process: Head knowledge lays the necessary foundation…then bonding with Him in the heart is where she flourishes.
Jesus died and rose from the dead to rescue sinful women (and men) so that sinners who accept His gift of salvation (“Christ-in-me”) could be a part of a holy kingdom (“me-in-Christ”).
- The new “me-in-Christ” condition says that a girl is forgiven…saved…loved…has hope…walks in grace…is made righteous…is royalty as a daughter of the King…has purpose…is given security…is fully accepted by Him…and is at peace with God. (Rom. 6:11, 8:1 28, 38; 1 Cor. 1:2; 1:30; 2 Cor. 5:17; Eph. 2:14; Col. 1:22)
- The new “Christ-in-me” status describes Christ working His power… purity…love…patience…self-control…steadiness…faith…prayers…and peace in her. (Jn. 15:4-5; Rom. 7:6, 8:27; Gal. 5:22; Col. 1:27; James 3:17)
Once a girl fully faces the reality about her need for Christ and what He did for her (the foundation is now secure) – she will begin to pay attention to the lover of her soul. And that (bond) changes everything. (Song of Solomon 3:1)
Jen’s Keeping Room Tips:
- Let Him lead. Whether you’re absorbing this message for yourself, or preparing to teach it to the young girls in your life, this Living Man is the leader for this process. The world has literally hypnotized girls into believing society and people determine their worth; but the world is not in charge of His girls. When He is the One wooing a girl to Him, she will finally know what it’s like to live a life feeling valuable. (Psalm 45:11b; Song of Solomon 1:4)
- Don’t write Him off. Girls today have a tendency to take more seriously a guy’s affirmation of their beauty than the Lord’s. But the girl in Song of Solomon 2:3-5 would never be so indifferent to the Lord’s love that is spoken over her in beautiful passages such as Song of Solomon 1:15 and 4:1-16, and Psalm 45:11a. This girl from the past knows something most modern girls do not. And she’s better off for it too. Dive deep into the spiritual meaning of Song of Solomon and Psalm 45, and be loved and made worthy.
- Cherish the relationship. This belonging to Jesus Christ does more for a girl’s identity, existence, purpose, and productivity than any other relationship, acceptance, or job ever could. Abandon false, worthless lovers and draw close to this Man as He makes you into the special, beautiful girl you’ve always dreamed of being. (Psalm 45:13-15; Song of Solomon 6:3; 7:11-13)
You quote verses such as “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” but you don’t really feel any more capable than normal.
You pray and pray, but your problems haven’t changed.
You have sought godly counsel, but no advice has made a real difference in how you handle things.
Why do pastors, teachers, counselors, leaders, etc. talk about God’s power as if you know how to get it, when you don’t?
Jen’s Keeping Room Tips:
*It’s okay. You’re closer than you think. The key to receiving supernatural power at work in you is: to surrender. And surrender involves just 3 crucial action steps.
- Position yourself to receive conviction from the Holy Spirit about your wrongdoings, recognizing your status as human and not divine.
- Decide you want to repent by foregoing all concern about anything wrong anyone else is doing, and commit to your change only.
- Obey God’s instructions.
*It’s Biblical. Take a look at Micah chapter 3, especially contrasting verses 1-7 with verse 8 to see what unrepentance and repentance looks like. Study Acts 3 and James 5:16 to see how Peter and Paul link power with repentance. Learn from Paul’s deference to God on the throne in 1 Cor. 2:1-5 and his teaching on the importance of humble submission in 2 Cor. 13:2-4.
*And the result of true surrender? Miraculous. You will be enabled to do things that would have been impossible before. And you’ll feel closer to the Lord, too.
*Once you taste the power of God at work, you too will be encouraging others to surrender.
You’re snuggled in your warm bed and can’t help but hit snooze a few more times…or you’re finally home and just want to curl up with your favorite show…or there’s too much going on to pray or read your Bible right now.
This is nothing new and you’re not the only one. Solomon’s bride did the same thing. And when she couldn’t resist her Beloved’s cries any longer and became ready to receive Him, it was too late. He had gone. (Song of Solomon 5:2-6)
Similarly, when you have put Jesus off for many days and nights in a row, you too may feel that He is gone when you finally get around to spending time with Him. You can devise a plan for damage control when that happens, and even better, you can establish a strategy so that it will happen as little as possible.
Jen’s Keeping Room Tips:
1. Identify the style of relationship you have with God.
Do you relate to Him intellectually? (If so, you may need a good collection of theology books and various Bible translations). Do not be stiff-necked, but yield yourselves to the Lord and come to His sanctuary. (2 Chron. 30:8)
Do you relate to Him emotionally? (If so, you may want to own a pretty journal collection and develop extensive worship playlists). My beloved speaks and says to me, “Arise my love, my beautiful one, and come away.” (Song of Solomon 2:10)
Do you connect with Him as a nature-lover, by being outdoors and through adventures? (If so, you may want to download some good Bible apps and sermon podcasts for on the go). Jesus replied, “I tell you, if these (people) keep silent, the stones will cry out (in praise).” (Luke 19:40)
Are you a traditionalist? (If so, you may want to establish some daily rituals in order to structure your time of worship). He told them to celebrate these days with feasting and gladness and by giving gifts of food to each other and presents to the poor. This would commemorate a time when the Jews gained relief from their enemies, when their sorrow was turned to gladness, and their mourning to joy. (Esther 9:22)
Are you highly relational? (If so, you may want to join with multiple prayer partners and Bible study groups to be with Him alongside others). He went to the house where many were gathered together and were praying. (Acts 12:12)
Are you artistic? (If so, you may want to purposely spend time with God through art, music, and the senses, or even create a type of beautiful “God studio”). I am about to build a house for the Name of the Lord my God and dedicate to Him a temple for the Lord and a royal palace for Himself. (2 Chron. 2:4, 12)
2. Connect your learning style to your worship style.
Would the visual set-up of: a prayer center, Christian coloring book, Bible reading chair, candles, journaling Bible with your favorite pens, highlighters, Washi tape etc. draw you to a daily time of devotion?
Or is it better to have audio sermons, Biblical truth recordings, and praise music and hymns at the ready so that you can engage through listening on a consistent basis?
Or perhaps a multi-sensory, tactile experience with your favorite hot beverage, Bible story puzzle, or long hike outdoors is the best time for you to pray and meditate on Scripture?
Look to and praise the Perfection of Beauty according to His excellent greatness…with dance…with loud clashing cymbals…let everything that has breath praise the Lord! (Ps.50:2; 150:2, 4, 5, 6; Heb. 12:2)
3. After you’ve been apart for a while, give the process time.
Determine which habits will most likely work for you so that you won’t end up in this dry, empty place as often anymore. Daniel got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before His God. (Daniel 6:10)
The Divine is mysterious, but being in relationship with Him doesn’t have to be. Consider the following quotes from various familiar believers in Christ, and use them as a checklist to measure your personal closeness with Him.
___“I have more energy, power, strength, and competency than ever before.”
___“He teaches me lessons that make me a better person.”
___“He helps me understand how His Kingdom works.”
___“I have an awareness of His presence with me close by.”
___“He is the best solution to my loneliness that I’ve ever found.”
___“I’ve experienced His friendship in times of great need.”
___“His wisdom helps me make good decisions.”
___“I recognize instructions as coming from Him and I actually want to obey.”
___“My prayers fascinate me because He gives me the ideas for what to pray.”
___“I hear from Him in a way that feels right (but doesn’t contradict the Bible).”
___“He speaks to me through specific Bible verses that improve my entire day.”
___“I can even find joy and peace in challenging times.
___“I don’t mind confessing my sins because feeling forgiven is so worth it.”
___“My load feels lighter and I have less stress.”
___”My relationships have all improved because He gives me more patience and self-control.
___“Reading my Bible has become the best part of my day.”
___ “I can accept disappointments because He always shows me something better.”
___“I have fun with Him.”
___“I like who I am better now.”
___”I like other people better now.”
Jen’s Keeping Room Tips:
You can experience all of those same benefits, too.
*Study Paul’s personal relationship with Him. Clearly Paul had something special with Jesus for him to have said: “I consider everything to be garbage compared to the greatness of knowing Jesus my Lord and progressively becoming more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him.” (Phil. 3:7-10 (paraphrased); see also: Acts 20:24, 1 Cor. 4:3; 2 Cor. 6:10; 2 Cor. 11:30, 12:9; Phil. 1:23)
*Spend time with someone you know who seems to have encountered Jesus in a personal way and try out some of their habits.
*Ask yourself what you would do if you wanted to grow closer to someone in your life (such as spending time with them and getting to know them) and then do those same things with Jesus.
*Tell Him you’re ready for Him to help you have this kind of relationship with Him.
*When you read your Bible, pray, go to church, and listen to Christian radio, do so with a new awareness and purpose of encouraging your spirit to connect with His Spirit for a close bond.
*Set goals for prioritizing this most important relationship you can ever have.
*Be prepared to enjoy this companionship!
*Be ready to become the best version of you that you’ve ever been!
God has used Perimeter Church Worship Leader and Grammy award-winning singer/songwriter Laura Story’s marriage to Martin Elvington to bring attention to the full story of His Word, His story, and His truth. As told in her book, “When God Doesn’t Fix It, Lessons you Never wanted to Learn, Truths you can’t Live Without,” Martin is Laura’s dream come true – just not the dream she created.
Early in their story when Martin began demonstrating atypical behavior, Laura cried out, “God, you’ve got to help me. Something has to change!”
After they received the diagnosis for Martin’s brain tumor, her thought was, “In the future, the brain tumor will be a great story to tell of how God brought us through it all, and we will all live happily ever after.”
The night before the surgery to remove Martin’s tumor, Laura fought against the temptation to think God owed them, to “remind God of all the good things Martin and I have done for Him.”
As complications from the tumor and surgery grew from short-term to long-term, Laura began to see the powerlessness that she and even the doctors had to fix Martin’s health. And she began to see a new perspective about God, too. “Jesus came to heal, but He doesn’t always fix the broken things I want fixed.”
Living with the lasting effects of her husband’s brain tumor surgery and knowing that her happily-ever-after didn’t come in a nice, neat package, Laura admitted, “joy came when I took tentative steps in God’s direction.”
Full of doubts and uncertainty, Laura was not afraid to ask Him “Why?” But He turned her questions to “How?” “How might God use this for His glory?”
One of God’s many answers to Laura was to use her music to reveal His faithfulness to her listeners. She began to wonder, “What if the worst thing I have to offer – my broken story – is really the best thing I have to offer? I learned that when I was willing to share my story, God used it to heal others emotionally, physically, and spiritually. And that’s what healed me.”
Once Laura put her dreams into God’s hands, she had to learn to trust Him. “I learned that God could, and would, provide for my deepest longings. It just might look different than if I had been in control.”
Laura wanted to blame the problems in her life on her husband’s disability, but she humbly realized, “the biggest problem in our marriage was our sin. Martin’s disability offers me more chances to get it right (or wrong) than most other people get in their marriage. To be better in our brokenness isn’t to remove the brokenness; it’s to remove the selfishness, pride, impatience, or other sinful behaviors we blame on the brokenness. Martin did not have a brain tumor so I would learn how to be more patient. But God can use our circumstances to teach us to have patience and a thousand other things that make our marriage stronger than it would be without our trials.”
Laura and Martin have accepted their hard story because they have learned that, “even if our situation may not get better, we can get better. Despite our brokenness, we wouldn’t want it any other way, for it is through our brokenness that God is the hero of our story.”
Keeping Room Tips:
“When God Doesn’t Fix It” is recommended to you by The Keeping Room because Laura and Martin’s story models true healthy living and reflects and expands upon Scripture: “If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer…And…the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” (2 Cor. 1:6; Rom. 8:18)
If your heart is longing for a committed love relationship, there may be other parts of your being that are not ready. There are times God keeps you from a romantic relationship or holds back potential spouses from one another not to torture you, but to draw each of you towards Him while He purposefully works in you individually. “Those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] shall change, and renew their strength and power.” (Is. 40:31a, Amp)
Keeping Room Tips: To help you find contentment and to know how to live out your singleness well, use the following Goals-list/Check-list.
_____ I have learned what it means to be still and rest in the Lord. I am allowing Him to continually cultivate patience in me.
_____ I have a working Bible study plan/Bible reading routine that fits my personality and lifestyle.
_____ My relationship with Jesus is one where I invest time and closeness, and receive His love for me and employ His power in me. More and more, I am understanding how He is enough.
_____ My prayer life is filled with rich variety – incorporating times of thanksgiving, confession, intercession, praise, listening, meditation, and Scripture. I ask Him to put the right desires in my heart when it comes to singleness and future romance.
_____ I regularly enjoy looking for the Creator to reveal Himself to me through His Word and through creation.
_____ I understand that God knows what I need better than I do, and I recognize the temptation to turn to things and to people to meet my longings, in place of God. I regularly investigate my life for such idols because I know they dishonor God; steal my joy, peace, and influence; and they can damage my relationships.
_____ I have a plan in place to help me cope with my vulnerabilities (loneliness; sexual desire; being with other couples; going to weddings; being pressured by peers; feeling self-pity; having doubts; thinking negative thoughts; etc.). And I have a plan in place to heal from the past so that I can overcome bitterness, hurt, anger, and un-forgiveness, etc.
_____ I have learned to turn to Him to give me the amount of provision, security, and adventure that I desire.
_____ I am more preoccupied with where Jesus is calling me to serve others than doubting God’s plan for my love life.
_____ I recognize that the media and marketers are constantly trying to make me believe that I’m nothing more than a hot package of hormones. Instead, I live like I’m free from that degrading limitation (because thanks to Him I am).
_____ My personal development includes all of me (not just my sexuality), and I care about my growth in all areas. (emotions; thoughts; fruits of the Spirit; obedience; character; aptitude; education; work ethic; heart; weaknesses; relationships with friends and family; physical health; loving and giving; purity and holiness; etc.)
_____ I have reached a place of peace where I can accept my singleness as a good thing. I believe my singleness is a gift from God – for today, possibly for tomorrow, and for a small number of people, maybe even for always. Therefore, I place my singleness in His hands one day at a time.
_____ When I see others who are facing loneliness, I care for them and encourage them to remember that the God who is love is always with them and never leaves them.
_____ Others are seeing me do singleness well because of His Spirit in me, and this brings Him glory.
_____ I am willing to operate within these singleness goals until the Lord says it’s time to move to the next season of my life.
“Don’t be wishing you were someplace else or with someone else. Where you are right now is God’s place for you. Live and obey and love and believe right there. God, not your marital status, defines your life.” (1 Cor. 7:17, Msg)