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But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit. 1 Corinthians 6:17

“One with him in Spirit”

Think for a moment what that really means. Some of us are lucky enough to have a Soul Mate. Soul Mates aren’t the same as lovers, although soul mates can be your lover as well. You know what it’s like if you have one. It’s the person who starts the sentence you were going to start. They know what’s wrong before you can tell them. Soul mates cry with you, laugh with you, know when to talk, and when you need quiet; hug you when you need a hug and give you space when you need some room.

Soul Mates validate your feelings but will never let you destroy yourself emotionally, physically or spiritually if they can help it. And if you refuse to listen and continue on your slippery slope? When you reach the bottom, very likely, your Soul Mate will be the only one there to greet you. And they will. With hugs.

Here’s the real beauty behind the idea of a Soul Mate. The best Soul Mate you will ever have is the only one who can ultimately guard your soul and that’s Jesus.

The unfortunate thing is that who Jesus is has been clouded by religion. For far too long we’ve been told that Jesus won’t love us if we do this activity or make that choice. He hates those who get divorced. He hates those with sexual orientations outside the mainstream. He hates those who put everything else in front of church, or Bible study, or Prayer, or…(everyone has their list).

One of the most troubling ones I’ve heard is one I believed myself for years. “Jesus gets disappointed with you when you sin. You hurt him by your actions, your words, your thoughts.” The truth of the matter is, there is some truth to that. Anyone who is a Soul Mate knows what it’s like when we see this person whom we love dearly make decisions we know are self-destructive. But a true Soul Mate never condemns and always seeks to build up.

That’s the Jesus that reached out to the woman at the well who’d been married five times and was ‘living in sin’ with man number six. That’s the Jesus that saved the life of the woman caught in adultery. That’s the Jesus that, on a regular basis, sought out the people society rejected. That same Jesus still seeks you out today. Why? Because that’s what Soul Mates do.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I’m not worthy of our friendship. Frankly, I would never trust someone like me. Thank you for loving me, forgiving me, understanding me and waiting for me to see your light. Thank you for being my Soul Mate. In your name, Amen.


He was hated and rejected; his life was filled with sorrow and terrible suffering. No one wanted to look at him. We despised him and said, “He is a nobody!” Isaiah 53:3 (CEV)

Loneliness and rejection are evil twins. Together they rob us of our feeling of security and self-confidence. They team up with weapons that destroy our ability to love others, love God and perhaps most importantly, love ourselves.

There are times in each of our lives when we feel the scorn of rejected love; times when loneliness envelopes us like some dark cloud. Those feelings of rejection may be the result of our own doing, our own greed, our own self-centeredness, our own demanding personality.

The evil twins may attack us through the abusive actions of other people as well. Broken relationships are the weapon of choice for the twins. Struggles in the work place, or at school make us dread having to get up in the morning. The battle for our health leaves us weary. Even our own family members may abandon us for a variety of reasons leaving us full of despair.

The good news is that you are not alone. Regardless of the attacks on your soul, you are not rejected. Men may reject you, but there is one who knows rejection like none other and he will never reject you. He will never leave you alone.

His name is Jesus of Nazareth. No one in all of time has ever been as rejected as he was (and is). He left his father in heaven to walk among men. These were the very people that he created for the purpose of having a vibrant, passionate love relationship with. Yet few really loved him in the beginning and in the end, even those closest to him, those who pledged undying love, left him to die alone.

Jesus knew rejection. Jesus knew loneliness. Even his own father was forced to turn his back on him because of the sin he bore; our sin that he took in our place. Jesus most haunting words were some of the last he spoke before he died, “My God, My God! Why have you too forsaken me?” Everyone else had rejected him in his hour of deepest need, and now even his dad had turned his head.

To this day, his name turns people away. Talk about God and you are a person of faith; talk about Jesus and you are a religious fanatic. It’s okay to be ‘spiritual’ but claim there is only one way to peace with God and you are intolerant. Believing in heaven is full of hope, but talk of hell and eternal damnation is cruel and harsh.

I’ll say it again. You are not alone. You are not rejected by everyone. The one person who knows rejection better than anyone has not rejected you regardless of what you have done. The one who has experienced ultimate loneliness will never leave you alone. He’s waiting with open arms to hear your story, to see your heart and to comfort you in your deepest need.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus there are times when I get so caught up in ‘religion’ or ‘spirituality’ that I forget the relationship. There are times when the feelings of loneliness and rejection overwhelm me. Thank you for accepting me as I am. Thank you for never leaving me, even when I walk away from you. Amen.


5/19/2012

I pray that the Lord will listen when you are in trouble, and that the God of Jacob will keep you safe. Psalm 20:1 (CEV)

There are times in our lives when we feel completely alone and overwhelmed with the battle before us. The uncertainty of the future and the rugged trail of the present seem to keep us from making any headway at all on the journey.

Sometimes, in the midst of the turmoil, there are no easy answers. Sometimes when life seems at its lowest, there are no clearly defined routes to victory; no words of comfort. During those times it’s nice just to have someone to listen to us. We don’t need solutions (although they’d be nice). We don’t need sympathy or advice. We’d just like to know we are heard. We’d just like to be assured that our thoughts, the deep feelings of the heart are being listened to without judgment.

Other times, listening isn’t enough. We need a defender. We need someone who will come to our aid and fight the battle for us. Our strength is gone, our will to continue is waning, and our hope of victory is dim.

It’s as though the battles we fight are two-fold. One the one hand attacks come from within, from the depths of our very soul. Doubts about our faith seep like cancer into the very sinew of our being. Questions of our worth and value linger in the corners of our minds. Accusations and our past haunt us.

On the other hand, we are in danger physically. Financial woes keep us trapped. Family and relational stress weaken out resolve to even try to reconcile. Health and old age remind us that some of our dreams are no longer accessible.

It’s during these times that the God of Jacob comes to our aid. Jacob, the man who wrestled with God and refused to give up until he was blessed. His blessing carried with it a limp for the rest of his life. A reminder that his battle was huge, but he won. A reminder that his God was a God you could get down and wrestle with over the issues of life.

Jacob, the man who approached a brother that tried to kill him. Jacob was vastly outnumbered. Esau was powerful and heavily armed. Jacobs’s strength that day wasn’t his own; it was the strength of his God.

The Psalmist reminds us in his prayer that we have a God that will listen to our deepest longings and struggles. We are loved passionately by a God who honors those of us who would dare ‘wrestle with him’ into the dark hours of the night. We are protected by a God who put his very life on a cross to guarantee our eternal protection.

Today, whatever trial you face, may you know that the God of Jacob is with you to listen, to protect and most of all to forgive.

PRAYER: Lord I thank you today that you listen to me in my hour of need. I praise you for the protection you offer in my time of physical and emotional danger. Help me to be ever aware of your presence today as I travel this journey. Amen.


I say this because I know what I am planning for you,” says the Lord. “I have good plans for you, not plans to hurt you. I will give you hope and a good future. Jeremiah 29:11 (NCV)

Imagine what it must have been like for those who read the Prophet Jeremiah’s letter. They had been ripped out ofJerusalemand lost everything they had. The lost their homes, their jobs, their identity. Some had lost family members. They were strangers in a foreign land, forced to live among enemies.

While they were told their captivity would end and God would restore them, some died never seeing their belovedJerusalemagain. Others were born in captivity and died knowing nothing but a life of slavery. The onlyJerusalemthey knew was from stories from the elders. They lived and died as captives in a foreign land. Some were born late in the captivity and ‘return toJerusalem’, butJerusalemwasn’t really their home. As Hebrews the only life they knew was the life lived inBabylon. They ‘returned’ to a home that was based on their heritage, not necessarily their heart.

You may be going through a time in your life right now when you feel like one of the captives. Everything that was familiar and ‘safe’ has been ripped from your hands. You feel like a foreigner in a place that doesn’t understand your morals, your way of thinking or your heritage.

Once you knew “Jerusalem” in your heart. You walked close to God, felt his presence, enjoyed the company of his people but then the road of life took and unexpected turn. Now you long for the presence of God in your life like it once was, but things have changed and many of those changes are out of your control.

Perhaps you feel as one born into captivity. The things the rest of society consider ‘normal’ don’t match the standards God has told you to follow. You long for the ‘Jerusalem’ others have talked about; but still, there is nervousness about the future. You know God will be there, but the unknown concerns you.

God’s tells us he has a plan for our lives and it’s a good plan. He KNOWS his plans for you but he doesn’t always tell us what those plans are. He only promises that his plans for you are good, offer hope, and will come to pass in his time. There will be times when we feel like a captive, like an alien in a land where no one understands us, but during those times we can rely on the promise that God’s plans for us are good.

So, what do we do in the meantime? What action does God expect from us while we are in captivity? Jeremiah 29:7 says “Also do good things for the city where I sent you as captives. Pray to the Lord for the city where you are living, because if good things happen in the city, good things will happen to you also.”

There it is! The answer to how we should live as captives. Not worried; not angry; not demanding the right to live according to our heritage; not moaning and lamenting our plight. Nope. Just the opposite. While we are here in this foreign land we are to make our corner of the world the best we can make it because when good things happen to those around us, life will be easier for all of us.

PRAYER: Lord, I ask that while I am ‘captive’ in this foreign land, you would keep my attitude positive and my eyes on the promise of your deliverance. May the things I do today make my world a better place because I know your ultimate plans for me are good. Amen.

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