Rest for your restlessness

Lately I have had zero solid sleep, tossing and turning, neck ache and back ache, every hour I look at the clock..ENOUGH ALREADY! I cry out to the Lord asking him to give me sound sleep and for two weeks my prayers were not answered.

And then it happened, God gave me scriptures and spoke through sermons on rest. I’m sure you all know them;

Matthew 11:28-30 ESV

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Exodus 33:14 ESV

And he said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

Psalm 127:2 ESV

It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.

Psalm 91:1 ESV

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.

These are just a couple of verses but there are actually over 100 referring to entering God’s rest or peace. If I can be honest with you, I have not been in the Word this past month as much as I usually am and it was evident. God presented me these scriptures and reminded me “Courtney, you have to abide in me and you will be at rest”. I didn’t realize it at the time but my mind was on overdrive thinking about circumstances going on in my life while I was trying to sleep. In the middle of the night I’d be trying to put the puzzle pieces together. Enough was enough. Right when God showed me what I needed to do, I jumped into Word before bedtime and really meditated on it and sure enough I fell into a deep sleep. Praise God! If you are restless there is nothing that’ll cure it except spending time with our comforter, Jesus Christ.

Sex and Lust, the overlooked addiction of this world.

As I sat on the couch watching a 1950’s romance movie, I thought to myself I am so happy this is a clean movie. There wasn’t any bad language or sexual connotations, no making out or groping, it was just a guy who fell in love with a woman and they shared respectful boundaries. The love story was so beautiful and pure, it literally made me cry. At the end of it all I said, “that’s what I want”!
My love stories have never been beautiful, in fact, they were completely horrible, and I believe that’s because there were never boundaries. Boundaries set the tone of respect, it lets people know how you expect to be treated and what you won’t tolerate. My mom always told me that you teach people how to treat you. The truth is that I never knew how to treat myself, I created a false worthiness through sex and being desired. Sadly, I feel like more than half the women in this world do the exact same thing.
There has been a big blindfold placed over the eyes of this world that obstructs us from seeing the destructive results of lust and sexual immorality. Sex is obnoxiously in our face daily, with commercials, billboards, tv shows, the internet, ads, radio, and out in public. That expression “sex sells” couldn’t be more true and we are all falling victim to it. We have been brainwashed to accept even the most filthiest things as “normal”. We start acting on desire and lust instead of having any kind of self-control, and we can get anything we want instantaneously.
We have now entered Fantasyland. No this is not a park at Disney World but instead is a deep and dark pit that leads to the end of relationships and humanity. When one becomes so addicted to the world of perversion they will go to great lengths to satisfy their desires. It’s just like a drug addiction, it always gets worse. People wonder how an adult can molest a child or why a spouse would cheat, it’s because it goes beyond that one single act. The seed was planted and it started as just seeing nude pictures, then watching videos, then going to strip clubs, and the temptation continued to grow. So to speak, the bad dog continued to be fed in them instead of the good dog.
We have ignored the “red flags” and as a result there are dysfunctional homes, infidelity, divorce, children are repeating observed behavior, pregnancy in teens is more prevalent, human trafficking is racking up in the millions, more abortions, more sexually transmitted diseases, more rape, solicitation of women, mental issues and lack of self-worth. And that’s the problem my friends, we don’t think about the repercussions or consequences of our instant gratification. Look around, be aware of these things going on, and do not pass off the “little things” because they too evolve. The agenda of evil is very sneaky, it is disguised as something good or funny but your intuition says it’s wrong. Turn the tv channel when things get inappropriate, set browser restrictions, don’t let temptation rule over you but take control of it.
In closing, my prayer is that where Satan tries to creep in and destroy families and lives, and tries to pervert the purity man is called to, that God’s power severs the chains of addiction, and that his great love covers the heart of every person. May we walk in righteousness and the abundance of his mercy every day. Amen.