December 2016 Newsletter - "Purity & Intimacy" by Dayton & Krista Thomas
Hey Family! This is Dayton and Krista. Many things have happened in the last few months for us, and we would like to share what Yah has been speaking to us about purity and intimacy. Krista and I grew up in Baptist and Non-Denominational churches. Actually, we met at a youth group and started dating as teenagers. For the both of us, parents and pastors taught us that sexual intimacy is a “no-no” until marriage, after which all is free game. I remember briefly adopting an attitude as a young man in high school that all I had to do was hold out until marriage and then I could do whatever I wanted with my wife. I speak for both of us when I say that we just wanted this seemingly endless battle to end.
What we really needed was deliverance from the bonds of lust. The last two years that we have spent studying the revealed Word of Yah with Forerunner Ministries International has brought many victories into our lives, and this was one of them. We began to understand the nature of spiritual warfare and the strategies of the enemy. We could now see spiritual authority and understand our own authority in Christ. We watched the knowledge and wisdom of the Word transform our hearts and minds. There was a radical transformation in our character from when we first started dating five years ago until our marriage just a couple weeks ago.
In our former church’s youth group, we learned about boundaries in dating relationships and things not to do. But when we became a couple, we didn’t walk that way. We entertained many different sins and bad habits that were contrary to the Word. In the midst of this, we both cried out to the Father, and He answered us. He opened up many things to us about purity, communication, teamwork, and walking out a relationship that was honoring to the Lord. We weren’t just taught these things -- as we walked after Yahweh, He truly gave us wisdom in areas that we were once very weak in. Through fasting, prayer, and most importantly, revelatory teaching, we walked into a much more serious commitment to Yah and to ministry.
The more the Lord transformed our character with the Word, the more we realized that many examples of the Christian marriage we had seen and things we had been previously taught were not rising to the level of true commitment and unity that Yah was calling us into. We then had to shift our perspectives and focus in order to align with the truth the Lord was revealing. It seemed like we were going a way that nobody else had gone before. It felt as if we were walking into uncharted territory. As one of my brothers told us, “You guys have to go behind the veil and get the revelations for the rest of us.”
During the past two months of engagement and marriage, one of the biggest areas that the Lord has revealed Himself to us is purity and intimacy. Many times in the books of Leviticus and Deuteronomy, Yahweh requires us to be holy because He is holy. Yeshua came teaching the same in Matthew 5. The first Apostles followed suit: 1 Peter 1:13-16 says, “Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, ‘BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.’” Purity and holiness is not a new concept, but it was what the Lord was revealing to us.
Early church father Clement of Alexandria conceptualized what the Lord impressed on both our hearts to search after. “For the marriage of other people is an agreement for indulgence; but that of philosophers leads to that agreement which is in accordance with reason, bidding wives adorn themselves not in outward appearance, but in character; and enjoining husbands not to treat their wedded wives as mistresses, making corporeal wantonness their aim; but to take advantage of marriage for help in the whole of life, and for the best self-restraint.” Clement of Alexandria. The Stromata, or Miscellanies. Book II. Chap. XXIII. – “On Marriage.”
Not too long ago we read another early church father talking about fornication within a marriage. This idea was foreign to us, so we explored it. We had always been taught that fornication is intercourse outside of marriage. Fornication is condemned, but matrimony is blessed. How is it possible to commit fornication with your wife? The Lord began to reveal some things about the intentions of the heart. Yeshua taught that adultery and murder happen in a man’s heart regardless if it becomes a natural action. Anything in your mind or in your life that is motivated by the spirit of lust is sin. We believe this is true fornication. The flesh motivates any intercourse outside of marriage. It must be true then that if a spirit of lust motivates you, even if you are married, it is fornication to Yahweh. A ring on your finger does not justify lust and indulgence, and a marriage certificate does not change your heart.
The Lord brought us through deliverance. I realized that I was now looking at my wife with new eyes and a new heart. I did not see her though the lens of lust; that was not my motivation any longer. I was looking at her with purity and love. As Clement said, for many people, marriage is an agreement for indulgence in the desires of the flesh. We must kill the desires of our flesh and circumcise our hearts. We must walk by faith and allow the Spirit to lead us in all things.
The Lord is speaking to us about the purity of intimacy in marriage, but more importantly, with Him. It starts with us allowing Him to change the way we see things. In order to grow with the Father, we must allow him to challenge our perspective and transform our mind. The Lord desires a pure intimacy with us where we are focused solely on knowing and pleasing Him. In a marriage, as two become one flesh, there’s no more room for self. Likewise to be united with our Father, we must also die to our old natures. Galatians 2:20 says, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
We give our Father all the glory for transforming our minds and hearts, and we pray that everyone, couples and singles, married or dating, will have the bonds of lust broken from their hearts to enter into pure intimacy with our Heavenly Father and with one another. Intercourse is only one level of intimacy, and there are many more in the realm of the spirit. Let us pursue Yahweh together in truth and love!
Blessings and Shalom, Dayton and Krista Thomas