How to Know that You Have Found the Right One


            Can we absolutely, biblically, know who that special person is whom we are supposed to marry? If you are like me, in my forties, you have probably made a nice share of mistakes in this area. We make mistakes because we focus on one thing and one thing only…physical attraction! No doubt that physical attraction is important; however, if that is our only criteria, we are setting ourselves up for future nightmares. I recommend you read my small article, The Power of Bad Relationships (https://angelcasiano.com/2011/03/06/the-power-of-bad-relationships/). For this articles sake, we are going to discover that the Bible is very clear on who to marry and who not to marry. The answer is found in Second Corinthians 6:14-16.

 

“Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said:

‘I will live with them
   and walk among them,
and I will be their God,
   and they will be my people.”

            Usually these verses are interpreted as a Christian not supposed to marry someone outside of the Christian Faith. However, as we look at these verses closely, we see a greater and deeper meaning. How many of you know how many so-called Christian Denominations we have? We have thousands with many different beliefs, doctrines, etc. In these verses, we find four key words: Common, Fellowship, Harmony and Agreement. The Bible tells us not to yoke ourselves together with people that we have nothing in common, we have no reason to fellowship with, we are not able to enjoy harmony with and we disagree with.  How do you know who that special one is; let’s break these words down:

  1. What do we have in Common? We don’t have to have everything in common, but we must share the same definition of what is righteous and what is wicked. “For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common?” As Christians, we are supposed to grow together in the knowledge of God and what is acceptable before Him.
  2. Do we enjoy our fellowship together? “Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?”  The word “fellowship” is defined as: “A sharing of common interests, goals, experiences, or views.” For Christians, it is imperative that both parties enjoy fellowship in the light; a transparent fellowship…a Christ-like fellowship. There must be something more than sex! We fellowship with the people we enjoy; the people we get to be ourselves with, the people that make us laugh, make us feel better about ourselves, etc. That special person will be one that you would love to fellowship with before and after sex; it is the person you enjoy to be with more than any other person in the world. Do you enjoy talking to this person?
  3. Do we find harmony in Jesus? “What harmony is there between Christ and Belial…” Jesus must be at the center of our relationships; plain and simple! He must be our Savior and He must be our Lord. Harmony is defined as a “friendly agreement.” This is a peaceful relationship; not that there will never be disagreement or difficult moments, but at the core of the relationship we are able to find harmony in Christ.
  4. Are we in agreement? “What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols?”  We must be in agreement in terms of what we worship! What are our interests? Are we both pursuing loving God?

 

            To find the “right one” may be a taunting and difficult task. Only God can answer that question. However, God did specify which people we should not marry. A kingdom divided amongst it is destined to crumble. Let us heed this word and be wise in choosing who we want to spend life on earth with. If this person is able to steal your relationship with God, then your future is evident. And so, for those who are in the process of sharing your life, I urge you to investigate, pray and make no hasty decisions; as I also ask that you pray for me in this stage of my life. I know by experience that not following this guideline will lead to detrimental consequences. May you have peace and joy in your home.

Lonely?


               It amazes me how many people in the Body of Christ are in complete denial of their need for that special someone. They tell themselves, “I don’t need anybody but Jesus!” “I am doing find alone.” “I have all the husband I need, in Jesus,” etc. Yet, their hearts are contradictory. They are indeed burning up in passion in their secret places! Beloved, unless you are a eunuch, you are lying to yourself and to others. In Matthew 19:11-12 Jesus tells us:

“Jesus replied, “Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. For there are eunuchs who were born that way, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others—and there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.”

            Now, if you choose to be a eunuch, then do so with sincerity. However, unless you are in one of the other two categories, being alone is not for you. We also have other groups that preach from the warm blankets of their homes, where every time they extend their hands, they are able to touch the flesh of their spouse yet; they want to tell us all about, the “All We Need is Jesus” sermon. Beloved, there is a cry in our hearts for something more than sex; we are crying out for intimacy. Genesis 2:18 tells us:

“The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”

            We must pause and think about this verse for a minute. Adam was walking with God; Adam was enjoying a relationship with God that we envy today. Adam was in a perfect place, with no worries, no cares and no fears…a totally perfect world! Nevertheless, God, not Adam; after establishing that all, so far, was good; established that it is not good for a man to be alone. At that moment, if the issue was just to have somebody to talk to, then why not create another man, or a friend, a sister, a brother, a son or a daughter? God gave a Adam a wife; a relationship so, strong that Jesus tells us in Matthew 19:5

“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh”

            This relationship is so, strong that it is one that will force us to leave the strong relationships that we know prior. We will leave our father, mother, sister and brother to unite ourselves with that very special person. Two people then will become one flesh! Have you seen people that are in love? They can’t stop touching each other; they are holding hands, kissing, looking at each other, etc. That is because God created us for that kind of intimacy. Many that have been married for a long time have the tendency to take these beautiful things for granted until they find themselves alone, then suddenly their sermons will start changing.

            Beloved, this is not about animalistic sex, a one night stand, etc. This is about the natural need that we have for intimacy. So yes, we can feel lonely without a wife/ husband. We can be lonely with a wife/husband. Even as we take care of our children, get involved in our jobs and even ministry; there is a part of us that feels lonely. It is time to get real: The world tells the single woman: “You need a man” and it tells man “You need to get some!” Both views are incomplete, but at least more sincere than many of our ridiculous statements. Unless you are a eunuch, you need intimacy; that is the Biblical way!

Why stay? What for?


 “…As surely as the LORD lives, who has delivered me out of every trouble…” (1 King 1:29)

            I heard a cry from the Father: “Trust Me.”

            “Remove my pain; I am terrified of my nightmares. My secret place is filled with death; regret and a deep sadness…help me Lord!” was all I could reply!

            I cannot say that I did trust Him; I wish I could stand today, giving an amazing testimony of faith and devotion to God. But the reality is that I did not trust my Father. I went for Ishmael-decisions and suffered devastating consequences.

            At the Mathews Bridge in Jacksonville, I found myself in the middle of the night. There is something about the dark hour of our souls, the place where hope is removed out of our minds, a place where we see no way out, no purpose, no reason for existing. The terrifying darkness of the St Johns River looked attractive to me that night as cars passed by; people totally unaware of the suicidal thoughts in my mind. Why stay? What for? All is turned up-side down; the woman of my youth stepped into eternity way, too soon for me; my new marriage was destroyed; my children were manifesting their pain in their own ways. I felt like it was all my fault and perhaps it was!

            Why stay? What for? Now, in my forties, I am able to see how worthless I truly was; how much I truly needed God…I saw the nastiness of my own heart! Decisions made out of God’s will always possess devastating consequences. Up to that point, I was convinced that my “desert” was over; that I was going to be able to laugh again, be excited about coming home again, be happy about ministry again…but that night, at the Matthews Breach in Jacksonville, was my wake-up call; the desert was not over; the agonizing heat of the desert was just getting started. Why stay? What for? But the voice of the Holy Spirit spoke with urgency: “Angel: I am not done with you!” How can that be? How can you not be done with me? Look at how far I’ve fallen? Those words were enough to keep me alive. The desert did not end there, but a couple years of more hell went by.

            Today, I see the stars and they are shinning more than ever; today, I see the beauty of the moon; I enjoy the dances of the sea, I can hear the songs of the birds; I can sing a new song to my Father. He is faithful, He restored my soul, and I am alive again. Such great love, I can’t comprehend, I can’t express; even with the blessing of knowing two languages! The desert is behind me; I don’t know if I will return one day, but I am stepping into the abundance of joy, the excitement of hope and the amazing feeling of purpose. I repented; God forgave me and it’s time to move on. This fight is not over; somebody better let the devil know that I am not done with him. I am coming forward in the name of Jesus; the giants can’t stand before me, the mountains will be casted into the sea. God is with me and if He is with me…who dare can stand against me. Why stay? What for? Turn the page and you will see!

Taking a Look at Failure


When I look at my life, I see so, many failures; as a matter fact, I can say without a doubt, that I am, indeed, a failure. Even now-a-days, I look at some of the things I have said and done and realize, more and more, that without God I am an absolute worthless and hopeless individual. John 15:5 tells us:

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing”.

            I have spent a great deal of my life trying to be perfect, to be the best, to perform, to impress in all I do. In the natural, I have been blessed with some God-given abilities, but they are just that, “God-given abilities.” Even when I don’t give Him the glory, to Him belongs all the glory.  We work hard to be the best, but many times, we are faced with the reality that we are not the best in all we do; at times we are not even in the first ten. Lately, I have been realizing how much of a failure I am; for all of those things I’ve done apart from giving Him glory and in my name are not even worth the dusk of our shoes in heaven.

            The “Christian life” is not about how successful we are, but about judging every possible decision we consider making, according to God’s ways and not our own. The world has a way to define, “success” that is very different from God’s. Beloved, if you are saved, pursuing the ways of the Lord and walking in His purpose, you are successful! The moment that we move away from the branches of God’s Kingdom, we are on our way to utter failure.

            The reality is that many times I don’t abide in God, but I abide in myself. I have seen how even as it seems like I am doing something; in reality, I am doing nothing. 2 Timothy 3:5 tells us:

“…having a form of godliness but denying its power.”

            Many of us are full of a form of Godliness; we know how to play the Christian role, to speak certain ways, say certain things, quote the right Scriptures, etc. But many of us deny God’s power when we turn around and insist on doing things our own ways. So, you face the temptation, you saw the escape, but you still went after the sin…it is there that the power of God is available for us, but we deny His power and go after what we want. We are then surprised that we were not able to resist! Beloved, that is the story of my life. The times that I have gone after what I liked and turned my back on God’s divine power to resist evil, I found myself failing over and over.  

            Is there, then, any hope? Yes! The hope is found in God’s love, the brutality of His discipline, His grace, His mercy, His power to restore, to break and equip us. He will get us to a point of true qualification to ministry. When you walk around with your perfect life, walk around like you are the last Coca-Cola in the desert; you are, indeed, worthless for the service of God’s people. When we get to the end of ourselves, when we get to the realization of how “nothing” we are and how “Everything” God is; we are ready to minister; to give, expecting nothing in return.

            Am I preaching a Gospel of failures? Are God’s people called to be a bunch of losers? Absolutely not! However, without God, we will experience failure after failure until we get to a point where we can surrender. The more I fail, the more I learn, the more I learn the more God works humility in me and kill my pride. The more this process happens, the more useful I become to Him as a vessel of clay. The more I learn to abide in His power and not in my abilities; the more He gets the glory, the more blessed I am and the more useful I am for the work of the ministry.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only Begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him…” (John, 3:16)

            To “believe in,” someone means to trust them. In all things, we must trust God; for mankind will always fail. Only through Jesus WILL we find true success. You may struggle and fail every day, but I urge you to trust in God in ALL things.

Hablemos de la Masturbación Segunda Parte


Conocemos el estandarte del mundo en cuanto a lo que es permitido sexualmente; si todavía no sabes lo que el mundo permite o no; ponle un ojo a la mayoría de las películas de Hollywood y estoy seguro de que aprenderás todo lo necesario sobre dicho estandarte.  En esta segunda parte discutiremos el estandarte de Dios y veremos claramente que no tenemos por qué tener dudas sobre cuán aprobada o no es la masturbación delante de Dios.

“Pero fornicación y toda impureza o avaricia, ni aun se nombre entre vosotros, como conviene a santos.” (Efesios 5:3) –Reina Valera 1995-

 

            Dios tan siquiera quiere que se hable de la idea de cometer actos de fornicación. Que ni se nombre, que ni se entretenga, que ni se considere, que ni se piense en semejantes actos. La fornicación ha sido una eficiente arma del diablo desde el principio. Ha sido la forma en la cual Satanás ha podido desviar los hijos de Dios de los caminos santos del Padre. La expresión “fornicación” en este pasaje, de acuerdo a la Biblia  King James es “Inmoralidad sexual”. Estos son actos sexuales hechos fuera de la moralidad Bíblica que Dios nos da. El Señor Jesús nos habló en Mateo 5:27-28 con estas palabras:

“Oísteis que fue dicho: “No cometerás adulterio”. Pero yo os digo que cualquiera que mira a una mujer para codiciarla, ya adulteró con ella en su corazón.”

 

            Cristo establece que el adulterio es una cuestión del corazón. Por lo tanto, lo que tú haces en tu corazón, aunque no se manifieste en nuestra dimensión de vida como realidad, en el estandarte de Dios es cometido ya. Si en tu corazón deseas a una mujer sexualmente, si no eres casado estas fornicando y si eres casado estás adulterando. ¿Cuántos nos declaramos culpables?

¿Cuál es la tragedia más grande de envolverse en el hábito de la masturbación? Si no escuchaste nada más en el clamor de este artículo; acuérdate de esto: La masturbación nos roba nuestra intimidad con Dios. La masturbación se hace en nuestros lugares secretos; lugares que le pertenecen a nuestro Padre. Si aún piensas que no hay nada malo con la masturbación; ¿Por qué no lo haces en público? No sé en otros países, mas aquí en los Estados Unidos el masturbarte públicamente te va a costar la cárcel de seguro. Si crees que no hay nada malo con la masturbación entonces ¿Por qué no lo haces delante de tus seres queridos, o en frente de la Iglesia, tus hijos y tus pastores?

Dios nos dio estos deseos sexuales; mas estableció que la única forma Bíblicamente justificable para satisfacer dichos deseos es en la unión  matrimonial. La masturbación viene a ser entonces pecado porque envuelve el corazón. ¿Qué pensamos cuando nos masturbamos? Primera de Corintios 7:3-5 nos dice:

“El marido debe cumplir con su mujer el deber conyugal, y asimismo la mujer con su marido. La mujer no tiene dominio sobre su propio cuerpo, sino el marido; ni tampoco tiene el marido dominio sobre su propio cuerpo, sino la mujer.No os neguéis el uno al otro, a no ser por algún tiempo de mutuo consentimiento, para ocuparos sosegadamente en la oración. Luego volved a juntaros en uno, para que no os tiente Satanás a causa de vuestra incontinencia.”

 

            Sexualmente hablando nosotros no tenemos dominio sobre nuestros propios cuerpo. En el matrimonio estamos llamados a amarnos, a no negarnos y estrujarnos en la cama como nos plazca. La masturbación es el ejercer un dominio sexual que no nos pertenece de acuerdo a las escrituras.

            Entonces, ¿Qué podemos hacer hombres como yo, que no tenemos esposa, para satisfacer nuestros deseos sexuales? La respuesta es Abstinencia sexual hasta que Dios nos de esa sierva que El tiene para nosotros. Lo mismo aplica para ti mujer de Dios. Esto es cosa dura para hacer; más bien cosa imposible sin la ayuda de Dios.

            Hoy día Dios me ha dado fuerzas para confrontar la inmoralidad sexual en mi vida; pero la batalla es sangrienta y no siempre he ganado. En Segunda de Pedro 1:3-4 la Biblia nos dice que es posible ganar esta y todas las batallas:

“Todas las cosas que pertenecen a la vida y a la piedad nos han sido dadas por su divino poder, mediante el conocimiento de aquel que nos llamó por su gloria y excelencia; por medio de estas cosas nos ha dado preciosas y grandísimas promesas, para que por ellas lleguéis a ser participantes de la naturaleza divina, habiendo huido de la corrupción que hay en el mundo a causa de las pasiones.”

 

            Hermanos y hermanas, existe un poder divino disponible para nosotros; un poder que ha huido la corrupción del mundo. Extiende tus manos a ese poder; Dios te dará   las fuerzas hasta que tu media naranja llegue.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hablemos de la Masturbación Primera Parte


Las estadísticas nos muestran que la industria de la pornografía cibernética en los Estados Unidos genera alrededor de 13.3 billones de dólares al año. En el mundo ese número aumenta a 97 billones de dólares. La pornografía infantil; la cual es ilegal, genera alrededor de 3 billones de dólares al año en este bendito país. De acuerdo a “Cristianity Today, Leadership Survey” en el año 2001 37% de los pastores entrevistados confesaron que la pornografía cibernética es algo con lo cual personalmente ellos batallan. En otras palabras, casi cuatro de cada diez pastores que se paran a predicar los domingos, visitan páginas pornográficas. Estos, mis queridos hermanos, son nuestros líderes espirituales. ¡El problema es serio y es real!

 

            Interesante por demás es la realidad de que Dios ha tratado conmigo muy fuertemente sobre el tema de la pureza sexual en estos años en los cuales me encuentro solo. Te escribo estas palabras no como alguien que se acuesta por las noches con una mujer hermosa que me sacia sexualmente, mas como uno divorciado de la intimidad.  Te escribo como uno con el cual Dios ha trabajado brutalmente, exigiendo de mí el darle mis lugares secretos. No siempre he sido exitoso; pero es mi corazón el serlo.

Dios me ha llamado a confiar en Él y a ser transparente. Con mucho respeto te digo que no me importa lo que digas o lo que pienses de mí. Yo quiero la libertad total y quiero disfrutar de una completa y rica relación con mi Cristo. Estos asuntos de inmoralidad sexual afectan directamente nuestra relación con Dios y otros seres queridos. He visto que mi transparencia a abierto puertas para que otros sean liberados y que por lo menos comiencen un dialogo respetuoso sobre estos temas.

            ¿Habrá algún lector hombre que no se haya masturbado? ¿Y qué de las mujeres con sus vibradores? De seguro que yo no puedo clamar semejante titulo. No les hablo pues a los hombres ni a las mujeres del mundo; sin Dios jamás podrán alcanzar la pureza sexual que Dios demanda para nuestras vidas. El mundo no ve nada malo con la masturbación. Nos dicen que es relajante, no le hace daño a nadie, no hay temor de enfermedades asociadas al sexo y para muchos, la masturbación es hasta necesaria. Ellos entonces tienen sus explicaciones científicas y justificaciones morales. Mas, ¿Qué nos dice la palabra? Mi artículo va dirigido al pueblo de Dios.

            El problema que tenemos es que, cristianos o no, nuestro apetito sexual es el mismo. Como hombre, a mí también me agrada la hermosura de la mujer, extraño el sentir las cosas que se sienten con una mujer en intimidad y mis tentaciones y retos no se disminuyen simplemente porque tengo el titulo de Ministro de Dios. Esta realidad nos lleva a otra realidad más profunda y lamentable. Muchos en el Cuerpo de Cristo han torcido la Palabra para acomodar el satisfacer sus deseos sexuales para hacerlo ver como algo aprobado por Dios. Han torcido y confundido a la Iglesia y tenemos muchos hombres y mujeres en cadenas, atrapados en la cárcel de la inmoralidad sexual.

            Por asunto de este artículo, solo voy a tratar el tema de la masturbación. Entonces, ¿Qué dice la Biblia sobre la masturbación? La respuesta es: “Directamente, la Biblia dice absolutamente nada sobre este tema.” Entonces, ¿deberíamos concluir que el masturbarse es aprobado por Dios? Continúa conmigo para la segunda parte y te daré la respuesta.

Continúa…