Sermon June 4, 2011:Before there’s a we, there’s a me (part 1)

Posted in Women
[Lilian Gutierrez (right)]
  • Presenter: Lilian Gutierrez
  • Date: June 4, 2011
  • Location: Congregación León de Judá Boston MA

The worship song that we were singing is one of the words that the Lord is always giving me, no matter where I go or what I’m doing, the Lord is always speaking that same word to my life: “They that wait upon the Lord shall be renewed, they shall mount up with the wings of an eagle, they shall run and not grow weary, they shall walk and not faint,” and as we’re waiting on becoming a we, as we’re building up the me, we’re waiting on the Lord, and he will give us new strength.

You know, the eagle is such a beautiful creature, and has attributes that no other creature has. If you look at the wings of an eagle and has such potential, once the eagle opens its wings and it starts to soar, it keeps going till it reaches its destination. And that’s what the Lord tells his people: “Them that wait on me will be able to lift up their wings, they’re going to soar and they are not going to stop till they make it to their destination.”

So, we’re not going to give up while we’re half way there, or a quarter way there, or 99% there, we’re going to keep going till we are 100% where the Lord wants us to be.

And another characteristic that the wing has is that the wings of an eagle can fly higher and higher the stronger the storm. So the stronger the tribulation you go through, the stronger the try you have to go through, the bigger the problem that you have, the more difficult your children become, the more difficult your husband is, the higher you’re going to go because every storm is going to give you the push to go higher and fly above your problems.

So we’ll fly in the problem, but we’ll fly over the problem because we will be renewed. And there’s something else about the wings of an eagle. At the tip of the wing the eagle has five feathers, so when there’s no wind to help it fly, the eagle starts moving the little five feathers.

You know, five represents grace and by grace we start praising God and God gives us the strength to rise above the circumstances and keep soaring till we get to the other side. Sometimes, there isn’t a worship leader that is anointed or a team that’s anointed or musicians that are anointed, so you have to make your own praise and worship.

Sometimes at home by yourself, when you’re crying tears, when your heart is broken, you have to make your own praise and worship service and God will strengthen you right there in your home, in your circumstance and you will keep soaring to the other side.

There’s another thing that’s interesting about the eagle. Its claws are made to choke its enemy to death. Jesus said the devil is a liar and a father of lies and he loves to tell us lies to get us weak. But the Lord will give us the strength to lift up our hands, to open our mouth, to take our stand in Christ Jesus, to know that you’re a complete person and drown out the enemy’s lies so that you could be who God has called you to be.

And another thing about the eagle is that it has two eyelids, so when an enemy is chasing the eagle, the eagle looks for the sun and what he does is he flies right into the sun and when he get too close to the sun that the rays are burning him, he closes one pair of eyelids and he leaves the other one open to see where he’s going. But the enemy is blinded and has to stop chasing. And that’s exactly what the Lord wants us to do.

When life gets tough, when the enemy tries to destroy you, when the circumstances of life are about to choke you to death, you have to look to the sun of God and keep looking onto him, keep your eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of your faith, and the enemy will have to let go of you because he cannot resist the glory of God. So we to find where Jesus is and wherever he is, that’s where we’re going to go.

Because we’re going to lift like the wings of an eagle and we’re going to fly till we reach our destination and the devil has to let go. Out! He’s got to go, get back, Jack, he’s got to go, because he who waits on the Lord shall be renewed. Whether you’re young or old, single or married, rich or poor, white or black, tall or short, fat or skinny, rich or poor, smart or not so smart, married, divorced, triple, children, no children, when you wait upon the God he will renew your strength and you will soar with the wings of an eagle. Amen, because you’re complete in Christ Jesus, and we will make it to the destination mar, because that’s where God wants us to go. Amen.

So, this morning we talking about building me, me, me, and now it’s not that you want to be selfish but you want to be complete. Remember, complete means putting a patch, no more leaks. I don’t want to leak any more. That’s one of the good things about going through menopause, no more leaks. Alleluia! No more tampons. Oh glory to God! I can wear a white skirt any time I want. No more leaks. Amen.

Spiritually, emotionally, no more leaks. God does not want his people leaking because he has patched us up and made us complete in him. We have to build up the me so that if we become a we, then that we can complement us, can balance us out, and then we learn how to share and how give, and how to give a couple, how to be a family, so we must be completed and built up in the me. Amen.

Now, this afternoon we’re going to deal with the we, so let’s go back to Corinthians, because the Corinthian church had a lot of problems with marriage and singleness, and sexuality, fornication. First Corinthians, going back to 7 and we’re starting back at verse 1 and we’re going to go down to verse 9, and when you get there you can say, Praise God, praise the Lord I am complete. I’m a complete woman, I’m going to soar like the eagle. I’m going to lift up my wings and get to the other destination, and God is going to give me the strength to do it.

So, starting back in verse 1, First Corinthians. Remember they had written to Paul, somebody wrote to Paul, there are different interpretations, different views, I’m not going to go there, but Paul got a letter that there was trouble in the Corinthian church. Remember they came out of a background of temple worship, where to worship the Greek gods you had to have sex with other people in the temple. The women would shave their heads and be bald and the would have sex with everybody that came in. that’s why Paul said, “Now that you’re Christian, let your hair grow and even put a veil on it just to make sure that you no longer are bald prostitutes.”

So, this is the kind of background that the Corinthians had, similar to the background that we have these days, because the world says it’s ok to do your own thing, do what you want to do, whoever you want to do it with, whatever you want to do. All the single ladies, bum, bum bum. So, that’s where we come out of too.

So, Paul starts in verse 1, and he says: “Concerning the things you wrote me about it is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, to avoid fornication let every man have a wife and let every woman have her own husband. Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence, likewise the wife unto the husband. The wife has no power over her own body but the husband, and likewise the husband has no power over his own body but the wife. Defraud ye not one another except to be with consent for a time that you may give yourselves to praying and fasting. And come together again that Satan tempt you not for your inconsistency.”

And unfortunately within couples sex becomes a little toy, sometimes women will hold out just in spite. Sometimes people, married couples, and this is true, those of you who are married, they use sex as a weapon. In other words, you’re not nice to me, you don’t buy me that dress, no, honey, nothing. And husbands do the same with their wives. Or, I have a headache, don’t touch me, don’t touch me.

And Paul is saying, this is what the devil takes advantage of couples sometimes, because they use sex against each other. The only time they should do it with consent is because they’re going to have a time of praying and fasting, to build up their spiritual lives. But then they should get back together again, so the devil doesn’t get in there and mess up your relationship.

Verse 6: “But I speak despite permission not of a commandment, for I wished that all men were even as I myself. But every man has his proper gift of God, one after this manner, one after another manner, I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, it’s good for them if they abide even as I am, but if they cannot contain let them marry for it is better to marry than to burn.”

So, he said, some have the gift of celibacy, but some practice abstinence and they remain single and that’s good, come on. Dignify, acceptable an option. You don’t have to get married if you don’t want to, you don’t have to get married until later one your life if you want to wait till later on in life, but if you want to get married then get married, it’s good. And it’s better that you than burn, because if you burn for too long and you don’t deal with that burning, you might get into some trouble. Pastor Mitchel was talking about that earlier by getting into sexual relationships that are not healthy, and as she shared when you get into a sexual relationship you become one with that person. That’s what certain theologians call soul ties, because you become one with that person and the whole past and all the baggage they have. So you have to be careful who you become one with because you’re taking on that person and everything they represent. And of course you know the blood of Christ has the power to erase anything and everything, but that’s why we need to proceed with caution so we don’t end up in a big mess.

Now, my question is who is a single? Years past when you said a single person everybody understood what that meant. These days because of a whole different culture and society, when you say single you’re talking about a lot of different people. As a matter of fact there are six categories of single people.

Category number one: somebody who’s never been married, has no children, and of course that person would like to have the perfect spouse. He’s looking for the perfect marriage and the perfect children, and the perfect towels and everything, idealist. The kind of a little bit of lala land. So that’s the first group.

The second group: singles who were never married, but had the experience of cohabitation, living with somebody. So, that kind of single has already had a taste of what married life might be like. So, they deal with a little bit more of reality. Sometimes they come with a little bit of baggage of hurt feelings and bad experiences. So that’s a different kind of a single.

Category number 3: people who are single now but are divorced. Now, the question is, are they divorced once, twice, you know, these days people have multiple divorces, and people from that group of course come with some negative experiences from past marriages. And as I said to you, in the church and outside of the church, the statistic say that almost 60% of marriages end up in divorce. So this is a big group of people. And many of them are looking to remarry and if they’re not careful, guess what happen? They marry the same kind of person again. Some people fall into patterns and they can make the same mistake over and over and over again. So that’s that group of people.

Category number 4: singles who are separated from their spouses, they’re not divorced but they are legally divorced. So, they have some issues too. Is this separation short term or long term? Are they going to get divorced eventually? Are they going to have reconciliation? So, there’s a lot of insecurity within that group. They’re not sure what’s going to happen in the future and they shouldn’t really be looking for anybody else because they’re still legally married. Sometimes they act like they’re not, they think like they’re not, but they’re still legally married.

Category number 5: another group of singles in the church: widows or widowers. The question is, have they been widows or widowers a short time or a long time? Are they still grieving over the past spouse? Are there unresolved feelings that they still have and had for their spouse? And sometimes they’re tied to the past and the past spouse.

Category number 6: this is the biggest group of single people in the world and in the church, and I’m sure if I ask you, you’ll all know what it is. This is the group of single parents. This is the fastest growing group in this world because of all the divorces that are taking place, and of course single parents have certain issues that they need to deal with. Do they have sole custody of the children? Do they have joint custody of the children? Do they just have visitation rights? Is there no contact with the children at all? So, they have issues sometimes that involve anger and resentment and hurt feelings. But many of them are looking to remarry.

Now, here’s the thing when you’re starting a relationship within any of these categories, if you meet someone and you don’t have any children, they don’t have any children, then you’re starting a new family, but if you meet someone and you have children or they have children, or you both have children, then you have what the world says it is a growing group of families, the blended family, meaning that your children and his children have to blend together. And you know what happens if children that you’ve had come together with children that this person has had, there’s a lot of dynamics that take place. So you have to deal with the jealousy, with the sibling rivalry, competition, so there’re a lot of issues at hand.

So, when you say I am looking to become a we, there’s a lot that you have to considerer. It’s not as easy as pastor Meche said, it’s not as easy as it looks, on the contrary, and the days that we’re living in now it’s even more difficult than it was in the past.

As I said, with my parents, I look at my parents, my mother, it’s an interesting scenario, my mother was raised in the church. She was part of the youth ministry and yet she married my father who was divorced twice and had a son from his second marriage, so of course she had a lot of trouble with her parents, a lot of trouble with the people in the church, but she went ahead and married my father anyway.

Well, it wasn’t easy. First of all, dealing with two ex wives. That’s another thing, when you marry somebody who’s been married before, you’re not just taking on a man, you’re not just taking his children, you’re taking on his ex wife. And you know what I’m talking about, with the attitudes, and the problems, and the calling the house, and emergencies, and all kinds of contention.

So, my mother had to deal, a single woman who had never been married, no children, she had to deal with my father’s ex marriages, and with his son from his second marriage. The good thing about my father, even though he was not serving the Lord he never got on my mother’s way. He respected my mother, he gave her all the freedom she wanted. She could go to church seven nights a week, she could invite people from the church to the house every night, as a matter of fact my father would buy bustello and cookies and cake, and bread, as they’d give them something to eat [inaudible].

So he was a part of our Christian world in that sense, but he never went to church with her. But my mother is a woman of prayer and God is the God of grace, so God took her mistake and he turned it around. It took 32 years, but my father came to the Lord and then they would serve the Lord together. And that was a beautiful time together, but it took 32 years of prayer and fasting and waiting on the Lord.

And my sister and I, we used to joke and say, “If you had to do it all over, would you do it again?” and she doesn’t want to hurt our feelings, she knows we love our father, but she doesn’t give us a quick answer. She kind of, “Well, I think I would think about it.” but praise God, my father came to the Lord and as I said he just passed away in February, but it was difficult and it was difficult to have a half brother from that second marriage, so there were some dynamics that my mother had to deal with, because my father had to send child support. My father would visit him on the weekends or bring him to our house on the weekends.

So, there are a lot of issues, my sisters. So those of you who’re looking to become a we, remember it’s going to be a hard we. It’s going to take a lot of work. It’s not going to be easy. If you think you’re praying now as a single, you’re going to pray harder as a married woman. Because it’s like Paul said, there’s more to deal with, that’s why Paul said I wish all of you were like me, single, then you wouldn’t have to worry about a thing.

You get up in the morning, wash your face, brush your teeth, comb your hair, and go an praise the Lord. But when you’re married and there are children in the house, you have to worry about breakfast, the school, and clothes, and the ironing, and all of the stuff that goes with it. It’s beautiful but it takes work. Remember the honeymoon is very short and life can be very long. So, enjoy the honeymoon. Amen.

Now, Paul does say, it’s better to marry than to burn. You know what I told you this morning, if you really find yourself burning, take a cold shower or sit in a cold tub. As a matter of fact dump a couple of bags of ice, freeze it, put it on hold and exercise abstinence, self control. Keep yourself a complete pure woman of God.

Now, some people ask, does God choose the mate or do you choose the mate? And if you look in Scripture there were times that God chose the mate. Remember when Abraham wanted a wife for his son Isaac, he sent the servant, the servant asked the Lord for a sign, he got the sign and God chose Rebecca.

Now, remember Jacob. Jacob went to Laban’s house, and he took a look at Rachel and he said, “She’s mine, honey.” That’s the one he chose. He had to work hard for her because his father threw the cross-eyed daughter in there. That’s what Scripture said. The Scripture said that Leah had weak eyes and that her eyes were… she was cross-eyed. He had to take her too, because that was the culture, the custom of the day. So Jacob chose but it cost him quite a bit.

But God gives you the free will, the mind, the intelligence, the prayer, the power of the spirit, to choose someone. There’s just one biblical criteria for choosing a mate, and right again in Corinthians, chapter 6 it says, what? Be not unequally yoked.

Now, we use that a lot for marriage, don’t choose somebody that’s not a believer. But that term unequally yoked was used for every kind of relationship, be it a business relationship, an educational relationship, a political relationship, the saying at the time was don’t be unequally yoked. In other words, don’t tie yourself with someone who is not at your level, because I you don’t have certain things in common and there are major differences between you, you’re going to have some trouble.

Of course we know that the main criteria is that the man be a Christian but there’s more to the man than just being a Christian. What are his likes and dislikes? What are his strengths and weaknesses? What is his background? And that’s one of the things we tell people, do your homework. Even though the person is a Christian, what is their background?

I’ll tell you the truth about myself. Several years back somebody showed up at my church not with horns and not with a tail, and not with a fork, but with a piece suit and a beautiful moustache and a deep voice that I loved. And he knew how to say praise the Lord, and he knew how to sing and worship, and he was so spiritual. So Miss Reverend Gutierrez lost her vision for a minute and I was very impressed at what I saw on the outside. So I did start a relationship with this person, but my senior pastor called to his office one day and he said, “Honey, I have to talk to you. do your homework.”

Now, that sort of shocked me because I was impressed with what I saw on the outside. So he was trying to tell me, “There’s something behind that.” And at first I resisted a little, I thought he was just being, you know, the jealous spiritual father that he was, and I thought maybe he didn’t want me to have a boyfriend. But in prayer the Lord started letting me see certain things and so I started doing my homework and asking questions and I found out that the brother had three or four ex wives, 5 or 6 children in these wives, never paid a penny of child support and as spiritual as he was.

So, if like the Lord went… wake up! Wake up! And I praise God that I woke up at time. But I almost made a big mistake that could have cost me, not just my personal life, but ministry and this is the most important thing to me. I don’t want to give this up for anybody, nobody is worth the things of the Lord.

This gifting of God is not compared to anybody in any way. So, we have to be careful. And of course, one of the main things we have to be careful about is this whole vision of love. And if I ask you, what is love? We let ourselves go by what the world says. Back at the 60s, 70s there were lot of love songs. You know, there was a “Love is a many splendor thing”, or “Where can I begin to tell the story of how great a love begins”. So, all these romantic songs. The Beatles said, “All you need is love, love, love is all you need.” [inaudible] said “Love, love will keep us together” oh, my God you can tell my background, Jesus, help me Father.

But this is the culture that I grew up in, in my younger years. Love was just a lot of songs and movies about romance, and you know, Cinderella met the prince and she put on the slipper, and the princess kissed the frog and it turned into a prince. I kissed so many frogs and nobody turned into a prince.

And you know, there were sayings back in the 60s, 70s, like love is the feeling that you feel, that when you feel it you have the feeling that you never felt before. That’s what the world thinks that love is. But that’s not love, that’s just infatuation, and most often that’s lust, it’s lust. And that’s why I said we have to protect our eyes and our ears, that everything we hear and everything we see, because if feeds lust, infatuation, romance. It’s not true love, my sisters.

Because true love takes a lot of work and it has a lot to do with this up here, not so much this here that changes from day to day. And again, Paul had to deal with the issue of love and in First Corintians 13, what scholars call the hymn to love and if you look at chapter 13, from verses 4 to 7, Paul tells us what love really us and he’s dealing with the love of God, which is the true love, agape. It’s not eros. Eros is [inaudible] sexuality, that’s a different kind of love. It’s not filia. Filia is the love of friendship, your family, your friends. But Paul is talking about agape love, real true love, the love that will last for 63 years. This is the love that my parents had for each other. This is what helped them stay together 63 years. And this is what Paul says:

“Love suffers long.” Or some versions say, “Love is patient, love is kind. Love does not envy. Love is charitable. Love is not puffed up. Love does not behave unseeingly. Love does not seek its own, it’s not easily provoked. Love does not think evil. It does not rejoice in iniquity, it rejoices in the truth. Love bears all things, it believes all things, it hopes in all things and it endures all things.”

When there’s true love, agape love, then you can overlook the difference of your spouse. You can be patient with their weaknesses. You can forgive them when they do things you don’t like. You can stay when there’s a crisis. You can be supportive when they need your support. So, true love takes work, my sisters. True love is not a feeling that you feel when you never had a feeling that you never felt before. True love will last and it takes work. And you have to think about it, and you have to observe it, and you have to analyze it, you have to work with it and figure it out. You don’t let your emotions take you on a joy ride. So true love is what the Bible shares and teaches in First Corinthians 13.

Now, another issue, not just love, is the area of communication. Most of us have a lot of trouble with communication because communication involves sharing who and what you are and sometimes it’s hard to communicate certain things. So a lot of us keep our communication very basic and that’s okay at the beginning of a relationship, but as you become involved with someone and you’re developing a we, the communication has to grow.

So, you can’t just have little conversations, “Oh, how are you? How do you feel today?” Or just recording facts, “Looked what happened in Missouri, and look what happened in California.” But you have to start opening up and sharing who you really are. And of course we need to do that cautiously and progressively.

As I shared this morning, you can’t meet somebody and open up and share everything with everybody. We have to go slowly and share, and as you’re sharing the person will react to who you are. They’ll either react verbally or non verbally. So, when you meet someone and you spend a little time getting to know them and you start sharing some of your thoughts and your ideas, their body language will tell you if they accept it or reject it.

So, when you’re sharing some of your true emotions and person sits like this, that’s telling you, “I’m really not interested.” Or sometimes you get hmm, and sometimes if they ask you to repeat back what you just said, they had clue. They’re not even listening, because there’s no real good communication going on. And so sometimes you meet somebody and you’re sharing things and you feel, “Oh, we got along so well, we have so much in common, God put us together, we have so many things alike, we love so many of the same things,” in fact you’re in two different pages.

Because communication can be quite tricky, and it’s something that was supposed to develop progressively and cautiously. And of course the more we go on with somebody you get to know them, the more of the personal, intimate things are starting to be shared. And I will tell you, ladies, unless you’re absolutely, 100% sure that this person is going to become your spouse, that you’re going to become a we, be careful how much you share, because once you’ve shared something you cannot take it back. If that relationship ends and if it ends in a very negative way you’re at a risk for a lot of trouble.

And it’s happened to many young ladies in our church who got too involved too soon. They shared too much and when it didn’t work out, then they were embarrassed and shamed before the other brothers who heard certain things. So, we have to proceed with caution and communication has to grow and develop.

Another thing that we have to work on, after love and communication, and this is very difficult for most of us, is trust. It’s very difficult to trust people these days. As a matter of fact Scripture even says Psalm 118: “it’s better to put your trust in the Lord than to put it in any man.”

And trust means that you’re depending and putting your faith in someone else. And like communication trust should be developed progressively and cautiously. And one of the questions we had before us, how do we know this person is for us? Well, when you’re growing and working on trust, then there are certain things that you need to observe and experience and again, within a small group and within a larger group, and one thing is reliability. Is that person dependable? Does that person keep his word? Does he say, “I’ll be there at six” and shows up at 8:30? And then he says, “Oh, I didn’t know it was late.”

Well, you have to look at that, because if he’s late once or twice, he’s going to continue being late a whole more than that. So, if you’re willing to deal with somebody that doesn’t keep their word, but if that’s a problem for you, then you need to make note of that.

Another thing you have to look for in a person is integrity. Integrity means the whole person, like we shared this morning, being a complete me. Is that person a complete man? Is he complete in himself? Or is he looking for a mother? Is he looking for a sister? Is he looking just for a lover? What is he looking for?

So, you have to observe his integrity. What is his character? How does he deal with people one on one? How does he deal with people in a group? Is he friendly? Is he dry and serious? Is he part of a group, or is he sort of background in a group? What is his personality like? Because sometimes we get married thinking we’re going to change somebody. I’m here to tell you something my friends, you cannot change anybody. On the contrary, as time goes on, people get worse in their ways. It’s like the sister shared this morning, we get more and more settled in who we are.

So, you’re not going to change the person. If you’re willing to accept them the way they are, my mother accepted my father. My father was a home buddy, he was quiet, he didn’t like going out. My mother accepted that. My mother was talkative and friendly and always going out, my father accepted that. So that it worked out for them. He let her be herself, she let him be himself and it wasn’t a problem for them.

Could you tolerate that? You have to consider these things. So when that love goes away then you’re dealing with somebody that’s going to get on your nerves. You have to look at these things.

Another area, decision making. Can that person make decisions? You know, there are some people, what do you think? I don’t know. Can you make a decision? I don’t know. Well, what do you think about this? I don’t know. Some people can’t make decisions. I, personally, have trouble with people like that because I like making decisions. So, I don’t have a lot of patience for people that can’t make decisions. But it might not bother you. so, if you meet someone like that and it doesn’t bother you, amen. Better to marry than to burn.

But look at this person, how do they make decisions. Are they impulsive? Are they too slow? Do they have to think about it too much? Or maybe they don’t think about it at all, they just say yes or no quickly, without thinking.

And one last area for trust, is confidentiality. Can you trust this person with a secret? Can you trust this person to open up and tell him who you really are? Can you trust that this person even if you do break up will not go and spread your whole life to the whole church, to the whole group? And you’ll find that out as you proceed with caution.

You see, wisdom will tell you, share a little bit and you’ll find out if he’s going to spread that or not. You know, sometimes you share something with somebody and you say, keep this to yourself, don’t tell anybody. And before you know it somebody comes to you and says, “Oh, by the way I heard that you said such and such.”

So, you already know that that person cannot be trusted and I’m here to tell you, if you can’t trust him in the little you cannot trust him in a whole lot. If you can’t trust him with the little superficial details, then you cannot trust that person with intimate realities. So, proceed with caution.

And as Christian people, as Christian women, there should be stages to your development. First you should have a friendship with that person, because in friendship you’re going to see certain things in that person’s personality. And if you get to dating, let me give you some advice, my sisters, keep your dating within the context of a group. Stay away with just dating you and him alone.

You do not need to go to his apartment to see his new television. If you wants you to hear the new CD put it in the car. And even in the car you don’t need to park in a nice dark spot. Because like I told you this morning a little bit of touching here, and a little bit of touching there and before you know it you’re touching everywhere. So, we have to be careful.

And it’s the same thing with the kissing. Because people come and sometimes I have to do with grown women, I’m talking about women that are 40s and 50s, who’ve been married and divorced and they come and they ask, “Is it ok if we kiss?” trouble, trouble, trouble. And I tell them, everything starts with a little kiss. You don’t jump into bed day 1, usually, you’re start with a little bit of kissing and a little bit of hugging, and a little bit of touching, and before you know cuchiquí, cuchicu. Okay?

So, that’s the danger, that’s why as a Christian woman, dating, friendship, it has to be slow, progressive, keep it within a group situation. It’s harder to have sex with somebody if you’re in front of another couple, well, some people don’t have trouble, but anyway, you don’t do certain things when there are other people around. So that’s a safety measure. Invite another couple or even another single, just have somebody else there.

And then your next stage should be courtship. Courtship, you’re already maybe selecting this person, you’re thinking this person might be it, things are getting a little bit more serious now, and then you open up a little bit more, more risk taking, you share a little bit more and always proceeding with caution.

And the last stage of a Christian woman, should be the engagement. The engagement, this is already a public statement that this is going to become a we, that your me is becoming a we. And even within engagement, be careful. Because sometimes the guy will say something like, “Well, we’re engaged, we can have a little cuchi cuchi, because we’re getting married in two months.” No, no, no, until we walk down that isle, no cuchi cuchi, nothing, nothing, nothing until we walk down that isle.

And let me tell you this, ladies, until you walk down that isle and you say, “I do” you still have time to get out of there. Like I said, don’t wake up like my friend, on your honeymoon morning and look at the man and say, “What a mistake!”

And many people have done that, they feel like they’re engaged and it’s too late, the invitations went out, it’s never too late until you say, “I do.” And you want to know something? Even after you say “I do” it’s not official until the minister signs the line. So, I do tell couples, until I sign you still can get out of this. You can still get out. Because sometimes at the very end you will see some thing that might become a problem in the future. It’s better to get out now than to end up in divorce court.

I know the world has a whole different mentality. I told you about my friend that I call ‘maleta and go’. My friend and that’s her attitude, ‘if it doesn’t work, I’m out of here’. That’s her attitude. It’s not good, I pack the bag and go. That’s not the attitude of a Christian person. The attitude of a Christian person is ‘I have to think about this, I have to pray on this, I have to ask the Lord for wisdom about this. I have to go very slowly, very carefully, because once I say ‘I do’ my ‘I do’ has to be for all of eternity.

Just like God calls us to himself and he never lets us go. That’s why Scripture says that God hates divorce, because the man and the woman coming together represent the marriage between Jesus and his church and when that breaks up it represents a break between God and his people. That’s why God hates divorce.

There are cases where you have to get a divorce, there are cases where God himself would tell you, ‘Give them the paper right now’ but God really hates divorce. Because the breaking of a unity is a sad thing, especially when there are children involved.

One of my cousins divorced his wife after 35 years of marriage. He went with another woman, his two sons were grown married men, they sat in my house, two grown men, married, one of them already had two daughters, and when they talked about the break up of their parents they cried like two little boys. They were so hurt that their parents broke up, and those are the victims in a divorce, it’s the children.

And you know what that tells to the child? Just like your mom and your dad split, God can leave you too. So sometimes that translates into problems with your relationship with God. That’s what Jesus was telling the Samaritan woman, “I’m not like the men that you had, I’m not like the man you have right now, I’m not going to use you or abuse you, I’m not going to leave you, I’m going to give you what you need. And as a matter of fact when you come to me, I’m going to give you water that’s going to satisfy your thirst and you’ll never have to come to get water from the well again. Because the world will leave you thirsty, your husband is going to leave you thirsty, your children will leave you thirsty, your family and friends are going to leave you thirsty, but Jesus can satisfy your thirst.”

That’s why I love that song that we sang, I want more of you, because the more I have of you, the more satisfied I’m going to feel, because the only one who can satisfy my thirst, be it a single woman or a married woman, children or no children, young or old, the only one who can satisfy my thirst is the Lord Jesus Christ.

In John 7 it talks about the feasts of tabernacle. At the feat of tabernacle the last day of the feast the priest stood at the temple and poured out a pitcher of water representing God visiting his people. And Scripture says on the seventh day of the feast of tabernacle, Jesus stood at the temple and he took the pitcher of water and he poured it out and he said, “Anyone who has thirst come on to me to drink, because the water I have to give you will spring up into eternal life.”

In other words, the only one who can satisfy your thirst is my very presence. And God is even here right now. Whatever you need, whatever thirst you have, come to me and drink because I’ve got what you need. It’s not in a person, it’s not in a home, it’s not in a job, it’s not in education, it’s only found in me. Taste and see that the Lord is good. Taste, drink, that the Lord is good. And the water he gives will well up rivers of living water. There’s a river of living water. There’s a river that flows up, it quenches your thirst. It’s only found in Jesus Christ.

If you ever become a we, good for you. like the Jewish folks say, “mussletuf” but if you never become a we in Jesus Christ you’re a completed me. You are a woman of dignity, and your satisfaction is in Jesus Christ. What you need he’s got it. And he says, ‘Come and get it because I’m here to give it to you.’

Rivers of living water that will flow up deep within you will satisfy your thirst, husband or no husband, children or no children, there’s a river of life flowing deep within me and it brings joy to my soul, it makes me complete and it gives me strength to go on.

Remember we started saying, “They who wait upon the Lord shall be renewed. They shall mount up with the wings of the eagle, they shall run and not grow weary, they shall walk and not faint, because the Lord will give them the strength and Lord wants us to lift up the wings of the eagle, not a chicken. You know what the chicken does? The chicken flaps. Some birds flap. No, no, no, you know what I love about the eagle? The eagle doesn’t flap, the eagle soars.

In other words, what the eagle is saying, this is a hard storm coming up but I’m going to get over that storm. This is a hard crisis I’m facing, but somehow I’m going to make it to the other side. My children are on drugs, they’re all messed up, but one day I’m going to see them in the house of God.

The doctor told me I have three months to live but I know to the best doctor in the whole world. My finances aren’t what they should be, the economy is in a mess, but I serve a God that says, “Silver and gold is mine, the cattle on a thousand hills belongs to me”, so I’m going to soar like the eagle. I shall be renewed. I will get to the other side because I’m a whole complete woman in Christ Jesus. I’m a woman of dignity. God patched me up, he closed every leak I had and there’s nothing leaking. Amen.

And whatever God puts in, I’m going to keep it in and I’m not going to let it go. Because if I never become a we I am a me. I am a me. I’m going to say like you’re in the Bronx, I am a me, I am a complete me because God has put me together so whether I ever become a we or not, I am a me. You are a me, married or not. Amen. And we will lift up the wings of the eagle, we will soar to the other side. And remember, the stronger the storm the higher it goes.

And if there’s no wind to give him strength, then he makes his own strength and his own wind, so you got to praise him all by yourself. If there is no worship leader then you worship him all by your self.

You know, some of my best times, believe or not, have been in the shower. Somehow in the shower I just start singing and I get so happy. The first time it happened I felt so ashamed because I was naked but then I realized he created this body, so he can look at it. so, some of my best worship times are when I’m in the shower. I don’t know what happens to me in the shower, I just start to sing and even as I’m washing, I just sense God saying like “Muévete, muévete.”. you know, like God saying, “Mueve la colita, mueve la colita”.

Anyway, I just feel the presence God when I’m just worship, when I’m making my own praise and worship. I can soar like the eagle. I can make it to the other side because I’m a completed woman in Christ. Amen. There’s nothing.

God asked the prophet, “Is there anything impossible for me?” I love when God asks the question, because you know what? When God asks a question he’s got the answer. So, when God asked him, “Is there anything impossible for me?” what God was really doing was saying, “Jeremiah, there’s nothing impossible for me. There’s nothing I can’t do. There is no child I can’t save. There’s no husband I can’t turn around. There’s no marriage I can’t heal. There’s no mind I can’t restore. There’s no heart that I can’t put back together. There’s no home that I can’t visit.

So, we’re going to soar like the eagle. Amen. They who wait upon… stand with me, I wish we could sing that. Can we sing that again? We can do it a capella. Come on, we can do it a capella. Praise the Lord. We’re going to soar. Close your eyes and just picture yourself in your spirit soaring like the eagle. Come on lift up the wings of the eagle, and you’re not going to stop until you make it to your destination. You’re not going to give up until you become the woman God wants you to be. You’re going to soar like the eagle. Come on, no matter what’s happening in your house, no matter what you’re going through, God will give you the strength.

So, lift up the wings of the eagle and you will fly to the destination because you are a complete woman in Christ Jesus. So God is going to come for us. Come on, close your eyes, right there, right where you are.

Presentation delivered by Lilian Gutierrez June 4, 2011 at Congregación León de Judá Oir | Ver (100K) | Ver (400K)

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