Wanderlust: It Starts in the Stomach

Wanderlust by definition is the intense longing to travel. For the last 3 weeks, we’ve talked about the breastplate of righteousness and why it’s so important to wear it. It protects the innermost parts.
The Stomach–seat of appetites
What is appetite?
According to Webster, it’s an intense craving. A few synonyms are: hunger, greed, desire and yearning.
It’s imperative that we put on the breastplate of righteousness (Christ’s righteousness) to protect our stomach and the appetites it craves.
When we think of lust, our brains immediately bee-line to sex. And yes, sex and lust can go hand in hand, but there are so many other things that we lust after. It’s not the same for everyone.
Donna Pyle, in her Bible study–Your Strong Suit–says, the enemy knows our weaknesses. He can’t read our minds but he studies our behavior. That’s deep, people. And true.
For some of us, our lusts come in the form of food, material goods, shopping, keeping up with the Jones’, vehicles, electronic toys, attention, beauty, the need to be wanted, power and authority–yes, even in ministry, competition–to be a better mom than so and so, or baker, teacher, writer, speaker, etc…
I guarantee you there’s something you lust for, and if you do not protect your innermost part–your seat of appetites, you will wander.
And you will travel to places you need not go. Dangerous places.
The big question: How do we put on the breastplate and protect ourselves? 
We put on, by putting off, first.
Before we ever get to Ephesians 6: 10-18, the armor of God passage, we have to travel through some other important verses. These former verses teach us how to accomplish Ephesians 6:1-18.
“But that’s no life for you. You learned Christ! My assumption is that you have paid careful attention to him, been well instructed in the truth precisely as we have it in Jesus. Since, then, we do not have the excuse of ignorance, everything—and I do mean everything—connected with that old way of life has to go. It’s rotten through and through. Get rid of it! And then take on an entirely new way of life—a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces his character in you. ” Ephesians 4:21-24 MSG (emphasis mine)
In the NKJV, it says, “that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts…”
Great! We know what we have to put off. But it has to be conscious. You don’t just wake up and go about your day without purposefully praying and asking God for strength to help you be the new creature in Christ.
You’ll fail if you don’t consciously put off and put on. I promise you. You will. I’m living proof.
“Therefore, remember that at one time you were Gentiles (heathens) in the flesh, called Uncircumcision by those who called themselves Circumcision, [itself a [a]mere mark] in the flesh made by human hands.
    [Remember] that you were at that time separated (living apart) from Christ [excluded from all part in Him], utterly estranged and outlawed from the rights of Israel as a nation, and strangers with no share in the sacred compacts of the [Messianic] promise [with no knowledge of or right in God’s agreements, His covenants]. And you had no hope (no promise); you were in the world without God.
    But now in Christ Jesus, you who once were [so] far away, through (by, in) the blood of Christ have been brought near.” Ephesians 2:11-13 AMP (emphasis mine)
The key word: Remember
We wear invisible protective covering, but the enemy sees it clearly. In the color of crimson.
Remember you no longer walk as a child of darkness, but of light. (Eph. 5:8)
Remember you do not have to satisfy the wanderlust that urges you to travel places unbecoming a bride of Christ.
Remember you are protected. You have strength. You have covering.
Great verses to help you understand what is becoming and what is not can be found in Ephesians4:25-32 and chapter 5.
Our innermost parts are so close together, we have to be cautious. One dart pierces our heart and we become emotional, another punctures our lung and we cease praise, and the stomach stirs us up to listen to fickle emotions, ignore who we serve and go places that beckon to rob us of joy, peace, and true abundant living.
We must nail down those lusts every day. Galatians 5:24-25
“But it’s hard! I’m not seeing any benefits. I struggle! In fact, at this very moment my life is total mess. Complete disarray.”
Sweet one, you’ve been pierced in the seat of your emotions when you cry these things. And we all have. Be of good cheer, someone has fought for you!
“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season, we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” Galatians 6:9 (FACT)
“For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.” Galatians 6:7 (FACT)
Gear up, friends. In a world of “no you can’ts” The Holy One covers you with a shield made from His beauty, His love, His righteous blood and He says…
“Yes, you can!”
Do you notice when you don’t consciously remember to put off and put on, you lose a battle that day? Care to share an encouraging word with readers? Could be a life lesson, a scripture etc…
Join me today as I host Living By Grace! I encourage you to pop over there and share a favorite scripture you use to battle the fiery darts of the enemy!

Faith Readers Group Review: Save the Date by Jenny B. Jones

I’m not sure if it was the fresh baked chocolate cobbler or heart-shaped pumpkin, chocolate chip muffins, or the chocolate cake with drizzled chocolate icing that threw me off or the heavenly aroma of coffee, but I forgot to get a picture of our Faith Readers book club group–and we had a brand new member!

For the month of February, we read the romantic comedy, Save the Date by Jenny B. Jones

It was pretty funny as we sat around eating dessert and sipping coffee because no one had tons to say. Why? We were all in agreement! For once! 

Here’s some of the things that were said:

“I didn’t want to read this book. I’m not a fan of romance, but a few pages in, I was like, ‘hey, this book is really good’.” 

“I thought the comedy and the romance was a perfect blend.”

“My favorite part of the whole book? She was a size ten!”

We talked about who  we pictured playing the part in a movie, because this book could most definitely be right up there with some of the best romantic comedies

No one thought the girl on the cover fit their profile of Lucy, the main character, but after a long discussion and a second…or third piece of cake, it was agreed if Kate Hudson put on about 30 pounds she could play Lucy. 

Some more thoughts:

“I loved the scene when she was took off down the sidewalk in her pajamas and he drove along beside her.”

“I loved the prayer with the new quirky Christians, “like a gold card, Lord, like a gold card!

Serious Thoughts: 
“I loved when the Youth Pastor had the teenagers nail lies the enemy had been telling them to the cross. I think that’s a great idea. Lucy had been believing lies so long too.”

“I don’t know how I’d feel if I found out a lie about my family.”

We talked about forgiveness, lies the enemy tells us about who we are and what we can’t do. 

It wasn’t a simple, light-hearted read. The theme was deep, at times a tear-jerker, but the mix of relevant humor and fun gave us breathing room and things to laugh out loud about. Literally laugh out loud. 

Out of 5 stars, we rated it a 4! 
Here’s a peek:

Jenny B. Jones

“You are cordially invited to the wedding of the year with the most unlikely bride and groom. Save the date…and say your prayers. When funding for Lucy’s non-profit job is pulled, she is determined to find out why. Enter Alex Sinclair Enterprises–the primary donor to Lucy’s non-profit organizaiton. Both Lucy and Alex have something the other desperately wants. Alex has it all…except for the votes he needs to win his bid for Congress. Despite their mutual dislike, Alex makes Lucy a proposition: pose as his fiancee in return for the money she desperately needs. Bound to a man who isn’t quite what he seems, Lucy finds her heart–and her future–on the line. Save the Date is a spunky romance that will have readers laughing out loud as this dubious pair try to save their careers, their dreams…and maybe even a date. “
If your life were a movie, what kind would it be? Drama, action-adventure, romantic comedy, B movie? LOL Can’t wait to hear these answers!