“God, I’m So Lonely, I Think I’m Going To Die!”

Ever notice how you can be in a crowd of people but still feel lonely?lonely

America is a land of lonely people.  Statistics say that over half of all Americans are lonely, (AJC.com).

According to Lost Connections, (pg. 75), lonely people are also anxious, have low self-esteem, are pessimistic, and are afraid other people will dislike them.

Loneliness leads to depression.

But wait a minute!  Why are we so lonely when we live in a land with many other people?  Most of us have family, friends, neighbors.  So why?

Let’s define loneliness – again according to Lost Connections, (pg. 83) – Loneliness isn’t the physical absence of other people, but the sense that you’re not sharing anything that matters with anyone else.

God created us for community.  When God created Adam before He created Eve, He stated, “It’s not good for man to be alone”, (Genesis 2:18).

We were created to be creatures of joy but joy only comes from healthy community.  One of the elements of sustained joy in our lives is to have a multi-generational community, filled with the weak along with the strong – this is the description of a healthy community.

The key to overcoming our loneliness is connection – to God and people.  Because we have broken away from God, our families are also broken, thereby breaking the ability for our children to have deep, healthy relationships.

Our path away from loneliness begins with God – to make our relationship right with Him again and seek His healing touch on those areas of our emotions that hinder our relationships with Him then others.

Our lives were meant to be VERTICAL and HORIZONTAL.  We are meant to have healthy relationships with our creator God and others around us – deep meaningful relationships with those in our lives.  But for most of us, we really are not very good at having those deep meaningful relationships with others (horizontal) until we fix our relationship with God (vertical).  Our horizontal relationships are superficial at best.  We keep people at at handdistance and build a wall to keep them out.

But it’s time we stop drowning our loneliness in a bottle, or losing our self in drugs, or the internet – that’s a big one.  I was just reading about how people have become so addicted to the internet because of it’s false promise of connection with people.  FACEBOOK???  That’s about the most unface – book there is.  No real connection there.  The internet promises to fill the empty heart but it has proven to be an empty promise!

God promises in Joshua 1:8 –

Be strong and courageous!  Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

God also says in Acts 2:42 –

And they were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of break and to prayer. 

It’s time we get connected – in a healthy way.    With God first and then with others who are healthy for our emotional and spiritual well-being.

Father, I am so thankful You have invited me to fellowship with You through the blood of Jesus.  I accept Your invitation.  Teach me how to have a relationship with Someone I can’t see.  Now, lead me to a group of people I can have deep meaningful relationships with.  Give me courage to open my heart to others.  Help me to escape from my special form of avoidance (the bottle, drugs, TV, internet).  Bring a deep joy to my life that my soul so desperately needs.  Amen.

#lonelypeople  #verticalandhorizontal  #americansarelonely

References

Hari, Johann.  Lost Connections

Retrieved from:  https://www.ajc.com/news/health-med-fit-science/why-are-americans-lonely-massive-study-finds-nearly-half-feels-alone-young-adults-most-all/bbIKsU2Rr3qZI8WlukHfpK/

Stone Fortresses & Ice Castles

Remember the Lord of the Rings – “Let’s retreat to Minas Tirith!”  Or what about …

Ice Castles of some wicked witch!

Fortresses and castles are usually used as a place of protection from some invader. 

But what about fortresses and castles of the heart?  Places established for protection, we feel!

The heart says –

  • I’m afraid!
  • I feel a compulsion to do this!
  • I hate God.  It’s all His fault.
  • I feel like a wretch.  No one loves me!
  • The drugs make me feel better.

These all speak of fortresses and castles established in the heart and soul.  The Bible calls them “strongholds”.

Ephesians 4:27 – And do not give the devil an opportunity.

The Greek word for opportunity is “topos” which means it is a place or space marked off, an inhabited space such as a city, (Blue Letter Bible).

So how does Satan gain opportunities, or places particularly marked off spaces in our hearts?

The heart is wounded at some point in our life.  Someone hurts us.

And IF we do NOT deal with those emotions with a friend and/or God, give forgiveness and find freedom from the power of the incident, Satan takes advantage and MOVES IN!  He sets up a stronghold in our heart – a marked off place that is his.

A Helms Deep is established in our heart and soul.  (I’m not talking about possession.  But oppression.)

Satan establishes a base of operation within our heart for the purpose of gaining further control and diverting our lives, getting us off course.

This is not God’s will for us.

I encourage you to examine your heart today.  Do you have any areas of bitterness or unforgiveness?  What has this lack of resolution done to your life?

Decide today to forgive and release these people/persons to the Lord for His vengeance and move forward in your life.

Ephesians 4:30-31 – Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God , by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.  Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.  

Today, let Jesus help you to tear down the fortress in your heart and live as free.

#lordoftherings  #emotionalhealing  #emotionalfreedom  #strongholds  #heartandsoul

The Devil! Fishers of Men!

I know there are a lot of fishermen out there.  Standing in the river casting or sitting very quietly in a boatfishing – waiting, waiting for that NIBBLE on the line.  And suddenly…you’ve got ONE!  How exciting.  Then begins all the fish stories of how big you caught one. 

Jesus told us in Matthew 4:19 – Follow me and I will make you fisher of men.  

Wow!  Me a fishermen!  What does this mean?

We have to remember He was talking to a culture steeped in fish as a sustenance.  A culture that had fish quite often I’m sure for a meal or two through the week.  Everyone either fished and knew how to fish or they were wealthy enough to pay for someone to fish for them.

Fishing involves patience – to quietly wait for the perfect moment for a fish to get fooled by what they see and swim in the trap.

The good aspects of fishing for men is what Jesus is calling us to.  Patient, expectantly waiting for men/women to come to Him. Instead of a hook that will kill them – what we have to offer is life-giving and the only truth there is.

The Devil, however, is a true fishermen!  And fish for men and women he does do.  He prepares a very alluring LURE – something appealing to each of us as we are all different kinds of fish.  And inside is a HOOK.  A hook intended to trap us for the rest of our lives.  A hook that creates death.  Death not only in this life but the next.  

You think to yourself, “Well, fish get off the lure all the time!  So it’s ok.  I can quit when I want”.

Yes they do sometimes.  

But in life, this kind of lure feels good.  We WANT it – whatever it is.  Our brain has become wired to it and we need it to relax, feel good, feel safe.  

Look at Hebrews 3:13, (NASB) – But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called ‘today’ so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.  

The meaning of the word “deceit” implies luring someone in, seduction, lies.

Satan’s lures, draws people into something they didn’t expect.  

Then when they do become aware of how bad it is – by then they are also aware how they are “caught” and can’t get out.  

sad boysFor example – those who smoke.  Did they realize they might be dying of lung cancer or have COPD within 30-40 years?  Of course not.

All of sin has this kind of lure.  Seems attractive and desirable – like a shiny toy.  Then once you “Just DO IT”, you’re caught. 

Sin definitely has a deceitful nature to it.  It’s trickery to lure you in to death!

oxygen

What are you into that nags at you.  Maybe you want out but feel caught.

Jesus will help you get out if you turn to Him.   

His offer to join Him, is the only thing that brings us all true life and freedom!   

Come to Him today.  He is waiting.

#justdoit  #fishing  #fishersofmen  #bait  #lure  #alluring

A Fatherless Nation!

Conversation a friend had with a single mom –

“Well, I’m due in spring of next year.

Congratulations!  So happy for you.  What about the father?

He doesn’t want to be involved.  Don’t worry.  I can do it on my own!  I don’t need him”.

This scenario is repeated over and over in our culture today.  Mom’s who think their children don’t need their dad. Statistics say that over 20 million homes are without a dad in America today.  

Mom’s I have to tell you – YOUR KIDS NEED THEIR DAD!

The fatherlessness of our nation is reeking havoc on our families and individuals as seen in –

  • addictions
  • violence
  • crime
  • gangs
  • hopelessness
  • suicide
  • drugs
  • pornography

Why do we think we can go against the biology God created and not be negatively effected by it?  I’m telling you – everyday, everywhere, we are paying the price for our – independence from God and God’s ways.  

Sure, we can help a child grow up.  Every passing birthday, they get a little taller, a little bigger.  As they grow through their shoes, their clothes, their brains also grow and develop.

The brain of every child is defined by their experiences.  When a girl or a boy grow up without a good, healthy fatherly-role model in their home, this creates a FATHER-WOUND in the life of that child.fatherless boy

Boys need healthy fathers to learn how to be a healthy man – a man who knows how to be good man.  How to use his strength for good, not evil.  How to work hard with his hands in a productive way –

  • to care for his family,
  • to provide for them,
  • to protect women and
  • to not use them as tools for self-gratification, etc,

daughter and fatherGirls need their father

  • to give them courage to face the world,
  • to know how to be treated right by the men in their world,
  • to give them self-confidence,
  • to know how to battle their fears,
  • to give them direction and purpose in life, etc.

Fathers have great purpose.

Even though God longs to be a father to us all, I realize your children need a father with skin on.  I encourage you to reach out to an organization – a church, community organization, that has good healthy male role models for your child.

Women – we are just as responsible as men for the “fatherless state of our nation”.  After all, it takes two people to make a baby.  It’s too easy to blame men.  We have great power.  Let’s follow God’s patter for our sexuality.   It’s time we give God our sexuality because we are MESSING IT UP!   Listen to what God tells us in I Corinthians 6:18 – 

Flee sexual immorality.  Every other sin that a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.  

He goes on to tell us in vs. 19 – 

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?

How can we think we can call ourselves Christians, think we have a part in His Kingdom when we have held back from God one of the most important parts of ourselves – our sexuality? 

It’s time we change this and give our sexuality to God?  

Heavenly Calling With Earthly Skin!

“Moderna developing a combo booster shot for COVID and flu.”newspapers

“Biden to announce additional vaccine mandates.”

“Russia, China, and Iran step warily into the void left by American’s Afgan exit.”

These are current headlines.  Not unlike what we have been seeing for several months.  We’ve all been glued to some kind of news outlet you may follow.  Whether that be TV media or some email news.  We usually follow what we believe to be truth.

I don’t think it is presumptuous to state that we’ve all been grieved, concerned, and even scared about the things going on in our culture since January 2020.  It’s bad enough that we have been a part of a pandemic.  But just in the US, we’ve also seen crime get out of control.  As if crime rates weren’t bad enough, now statistics are reaching epidemic levels, due to failed policies of certain political leanings.

Yet we haven’t even mentioned the mental/emotional/ and spiritual toil this has had on people.  I have NO DOUBT if the statistics for the number of suicides, increase in drug/alcohol abuse, and physical abusive situations were known, it would FAR OUTSHINE any Covid situations.

In June of 2020, I read a report of a psychologist in Walnut Creek, CA.  He stated, he saw one year’s worth of suicides in just one month’s time.  And that was a year ago!

It is so easy to get not only caught up in all that is going on but CONSUMED with it all.  I know because I am queen of this distraction.

But I do believe, from Satan’s standpoint, if he can’t get you to be a part of the problem, he will just get us watching the problem.

Through it all, we must remember many things of God.  Such as, He is in control.  There is nothing that is going on, that He ultimately is not managing, using for His purposes.  Remember –

Psalms 24:1 – The earth is the Lord’s and all it contains, the World, and those who live in it.

Don’t get me wrong.  Jesus tells us repeatedly, we need to be alert as to what is going on so that we are not caught off guard by Satan’s tricks.

Matthew 24:42 – Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know what day your lord is coming.   AND –

Mark 13:33 – Watch out, stay alert; for you do now know when the appointed time is. 

However, we must remember our greatest purpose.  We have a heavenly calling to fulfill.  Hebrews 3:1, (NLT) states –

And so, dear brothers and sisters who belong to God and are partners with those called to heaven, think carefully about this Jesus who we declare to be God’s messenger and High Priest.

The Greek for “think carefully” is much more pointed.  It means to “fix our eyes upon”.

Yes, we do need to be alert to Satan’s tricks, deceptions, and lies to promote fear for the purpose of control, which are RAMPANT right now.  But the first and most important thing is to be about God’s kingdom work!  The only way to fulfill this is to remember our heavenly calling.

No matter if they are knocking down our door (as they are in other countries), we must –

Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness – Matthew 6:33

Father help us to fix our eyes on You and the calling You have for us as your partners in this great work of kingdom building.  Amen.

#moderna  #COVID  #kingdomwork  #kingdombuilding  #epidemic  #satanstricks

The LOST BOYS! – A fatherless nation!

“I don’t have anyone to talk to!”  says a young teen boy.

“All I do with my time is play video games”.sad boys

“The gang in my neighborhood wants me in”.

“I don’t know what is the point of living”!

“Sometimes I feel so angry, I hurt little animals.  Then I feel better!”

These are just some comments I’ve heard/read from young boys.  Here are some statistics – 

  1. Rates of depression have increased by 52% in young teens between 2005-2017.
  2. In 2019, 70% of teens reported anxiety and depression as a major problem
  3. For boys in particular, there have been a rise in suicides since 2000.  Rates have risen to 17.9 per 100,000
  4. Boys are 3-4 x’s likely to die of suicide than girls
  5. Boys feel increasing pressure to succeed in school and a growing reliance on technology leaving them feeling isolated and vulnerable 
  6. Boys may struggle more than girls but have fewer tools to cope with stressors, (https://www.edutopia.org/article/are-we-facing-mental-health-crisis-boys
  7. Boys struggle with their sexual identity when they lack a male role model

And this does not include the addictions which are so prevalent today and violence perpetrated by gangs.  In the most recent year, we have seen a rise of involvement in Antifa and BLM which are simply large organized gangs surrounding a cause.  

All of these statistics are simply SYMPTOMS of a deeper problem.  When you read all these articles about teen depression and suicide, all they do is quote things like –

  • they need to get help,
  • we need to make that help available,
  • we need to remove the stigmatism for boys so they feel comfortable in reaching out, etc.

Yes this is true…BUT… what we are NOT addressing is the root cause.  The cause being – 

Where are the fathers for the boys of our nation?  More than 20 million children live in a home today without a father.  

What has happened to us that we think we can live the way we want with no negative results?  

Fathers, where are you?  It is your job to teach your son to be a MAN – a good man!  Fathers teach their sons how to use their strength for GOOD, not evil as we see so many young men today.  

This must stop!  A fatherless nation is as much the men’s fault as it is the women’s.  After all, it takes a connection between a man AND a woman to make a child.  It is the fault of both men AND women.   

How we need to go back to God’s laws (guidelines). 

Basically – no sex till married and know who you are marrying – it’s pretty simple.  And if a child has been created father and sonbecause of your union – take responsibility!  Be a FATHER!

However, until our societal sickness is cured when and IF we ever turn back to God – God promises to be – 

A father of the fatherless and a judge for the widows is God in His holy habitation, (Psalms 68:5).  

If you are fatherless, God still longs to be your Father.  However, I realize it is a need to have a father with SKIN ON!  Reach out to an organization, a church or such, that will provide a healthy role model for the FATHERLESS!

Father God, thank you for being a perfect Father to us all.  Help all the fatherless to know You long to hold them, heal the father-wound of the soul.  Call them back to you.  Amen.

 

Stuck in the Muck!

Had a bad feeling about this trip.  “Lord is something going to happen?” 

I prayed and prayed for God’s protection for ourselves and our vehicles.  Our son was following behind.  

“Lord is something going to happen to him?”

“Lord, please protect our bodies.  Who cares about the vehicles.  Just let us arrive safely”.

Feelings of foreboding overshadowed.  We traveled, check tires at each stop.  Checked the weather we were traveling into.  Talked with our son following behind.  Nothing can be seen that was concerning.  

We prayed, “Lord cover us”.

Then….we arrived home!  And I heard in my spirit the Lord say to me – “REJOICE!”  And Rejoice I did!  

Since that time, I believe the Lord has taught me that Rejoicing must be the overshadowing emotion amidst any distress.  

Then I read in one of my joy books, that we can rejoice even in adversity.  That JOY is a supra-emotion.  It presides OVER all the negative.

That even when we are in the midst of fear, anger, sadness, despair, we CAN REJOICE because He is still working.  We can have fear-joy, anger-joy, sadness-joy, and EVEN despair-joy.  Only GOD can do that in our hearts.

As I look at our society and all the unprecedented things going on today that have NEVER occurred in USA – medical fascism, people losing their rights, and freedom – I feel anger, sadness, despair, and fear.  BUT I choose to REJOICE!

Why?  Because He is at work and my life is His.  This too shall pass – whether I’m in heaven or on Earth, it will pass.

The verse in James 1:2 makes more sense – Consider it all joy my brethren, when you encounter various trials….

When we keep our eyes on Him in our trials, we can experience His joy because – 

Psalms 25:15 – My eyes are continually toward the Lord; for He will pluck my feet out of the net.

 God is so good to pull our feet out of the muck of life if we keep our eyes on Him so that we can REJOICE  no matter what is going on!

Rejoice!  God is at work.  Strive not to sink into the despair of life.  Find Him in your despair and REJOICE!

Signs and Wonders! Where?

Have you ever asked yourself, “Why don’t we see the miracles of Jesus’ day today in our day?”

Some scholars have decided the miracles Jesus did were only for that day.  I COMPLETELY DISAGREE!

Listen to the writer of Hebrews in 2:4 –

God also testifying with them, both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will.  

According the commentators, the word “testifying” is a legal term.  In other words, God has entered the court room and “testified” to the validity of this great salvation He has given.

The proof or evidence given of His testimony is found in the miracles, signs, and wonders that were exhibited.

Jesus confirmed this when John the Baptist was taken into custody.  I’m sure John had many troubling concerns and possibly questions and doubts.  He sent his disciples to Jesus asking this question in Matthew 11:3 –

“Are you the Expected One, or shall we look for someone else?”

Jesus replied in vs. 3&4 –

“Go and report to John what you hear and see:  the blind receive sight and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them”.  

In other words the evidence of who He is was exhibited in His miracles.

It makes me wonder, why don’t we see miracles in the American church today?

I hear of many miracles in churches in other countries.  Healings as testimony of the power of God as a way to bring people to Jesus – is very common.

I do know miracles occur.  I have seen many including my own son who was given no hope of survival after his horrific car accident.  I believe when God’s people cry out to Him, not matter where we are, He is present and hears our prayers.

Yet, I am concerned as to why we don’t see the number and level of miracles in our country as we do in other countries?

Could it be because of a level of faithless in the recipients and even in God’s people as well?

Even Jesus met with resistance due to unbelief, (Matthew  13:58).

The only unbelief should only be on the receivers end, NOT on God’s people.  The Lord longs to work in and through us and is waiting on our willingness to be His hands and feet.   All we have to do is RESPOND to the people He puts in our path.

You see, we have “Westerners eyes”.  We are way to science driven.  And our faith has a tendency to be in science rather than God the Creator.

Is it possible that we look at people and situations and have already decided – “IMPOSSIBLE”!  We don’t even give God a chance.  We must step out in faith – in the impossible realm to open the door for God to work.

Let’s step out.  Ask God to put the impossible in front of us and choose to be His hands and feet.  Just touch and pray.  The miracle is up to Him.  First we must believe in Him and His desire to use us to touch others and make the IMPOSSIBLE possible – but only through Him.

Mark 9:24 – Lord, I believe, help my unbelief.

#miracles  #theimpossible  #unbelief  #believingtheimpossible

Signs of Low Joy Culture!

Ever wonder how a serial killer becomes a killer?  Yes!  I think about odd unexpected things sometimes.  Yet interestingly it is a very good and important question to ask.

In the last several decades I have lived, I have seen multiple serial killers come and go – fortunately to prison.  Another interesting thing is that if you look at a list of serial killers in the USA, most of them have come and gone in the last 50 years of our country.  Hmmmm….

If you study this list, you will see there was a significant increase in the number of serial killers in the US starting in the 70s.  So a good question to ask is what happened in the 60s?

When a killer is upper most in the news, many ask this very question – “Why would anyone do such horrible and cruel things to another human being?”

Secularists of course have secular answers.  Such as they were born with something wrong in their brains.  I’m no scientist but I can say with confidence – WRONG!

Serial killers are not born to be killers – they are MADE.  Usually they are unintentionally made to be what they are by how they are raised.

Serial killers among other familial issues are created from low joy dynamics in the home.  This leads to the breakdown of the family.  The USA became a factory for family breakdown starting in the 60s.

Most of us know the sexual revolution happened in the 60s.  This was the era when men and women threw off authority to God and man and sought their own way in life.  Of course, this led to the breakdown of the family due to much turmoil, hurt and pain which bred rebellion – and among many other things – serial killers became increasingly abundant.

We are all created in God’s image.  And as such, we are all created to be creatures of joy.  So what happens in the brain when we are raised in low joy homes?

According to Dr. Jim Wilder in his book I highly recommend – Joy Starts Here, there are 3 things that happen when we have low joy –

  1. Addictions
  2. Relational difficulties
  3. Mental/emotional problems

We are a culture of low joy as seen in the level of societal problems we hear of in the news and all around us.  These 3 things are being lived out everyday.

father sonSince joy is what we are deprived of that creates this mess, then joy is the solution.  David says in Psalms 16:11 –

You will make known to me the way of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.  

Joy is described here as being found in the presence of God.  Joy is God’s will for us.  Yet full and lasting joy can only be found in and through Him.

Seek His presence.  Seek His face and find His joy.

Pray for the healing of our nation.  Yet I know healing will never come until there is repentance of our sins as a nation.  Repentance begins with one at a time.  Spread the word.

You Are as Healthy as Your Secrets!

Secrets!  Movies are made about them.  Stories written!  Intrigue!  Even the word “intrigue” sounds fun and exciting!secrets

However, when we apply the idea of secrets to our lives????  That is another idea.  

Secrets refer to something kept hidden…in the dark…unknown…

Satan likes the darkness.  This is his realm.  This is where he does all his work.  Even if we are talking about a secret PAST sin that you committed and feel guilt and remorse over it.  Satan still dwells there simply because it is HIDDEN and UNCONFESSED.  

But…once it is confessed, don’t you feel some relief?  Like popping this giant balloon in your heart.

Forgive the graphic – but it almost feels like you need to vomit.  You don’t want to vomit.  Most people hate it.  BUT…once you do, you feel so much better.  (You can tell I’m a nurse!)

God has something to say to us about our secret sins in Psalms 51:6 – 

Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being; and in the hidden part, You will make me know wisdom.

There are 2 things here – 

  1. The “hidden part” the Hebrew word here is used to describe something people would do in the past.  Stop up water resources for your enemy.  They would dam up the river.  
  2.  Notice the words “innermost being”.  This refers to the deepest part of us.  Our heart, mind, and soul.

What this verse is saying – God desires we give Him COMPLETE access to our deepest part of us.  That we be completely vulnerable before Him.  This is the ONLY way to truly have a relationship with Him.

vomittingBecause when we keep things hidden from God (we think they are hidden), we are damming up a part of our lives.  Stopped up.  Needing to vomit – and refusing to do so, makes us SICK!

We may look good on the outside, but the sickness within will ALWAYS come out eventually.  Truth can only be hidden for a time.  

…You desire TRUTH in the innermost being…

Honesty, integrity, holiness, righteousness, honor – all these adjectives are descriptive of the TRUTH God desires within our deepest part of us.  

We are only as healthy as our secrets.  If you are living with secrets, confess to the Lord the things He already knows.  Then find a trustworthy person to confess to as well, for accountability.

Confession is spiritual vomitting.  You’ll feel so much better, cleaned from within after it’s all over with.  

I John 1:9 – If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

#thetruthisoutthere  #confession  #confessionisgoodforthesoul  #freedom  #secrets

 

 

 

Testing Your Metal!

Ever see any old shows or movies?  Particularly old westerns when someone is giving a coin and he bites on it?  What is he doing?  bite a coin

In the days of the gold rush, sometimes they would gold plate coins – making them look like pure gold but they weren’t.  So people would bite on the coins to check for authenticity.  Gold is softer, so when bit, it would bend as opposed to other metals.

Biting the coins was a way to prove their purity or authenticity.

God has given us a test as well – a way to prove to ourselves, to God, and to the world that we are also pure and authentic.  What is that way?

According to Romans 12:2 – it is our transformation.

And do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

Notice the word “prove”.  The meaning of the word in Greek is – test, scrutinize, examine to see whether a thing be genuine or not.

Wow!  According to this verse, our transformation and a renewed mind are the evidences that what we claim to be – Christians, if we are genuine followers or not.  Or giving lip service to ourselves and to God.

So it seems necessary for us to self evaluate or better yet – allow the Holy Spirit to evaluate us.

Philippians 2:12b – …work out your salvation with fear and trembling.

True transformation can only happen by the Holy Spirit.  But our part is to give Him time and opportunity to change usprayer to look more like Jesus everyday.  Are you giving Him time to transform you?