Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Here on planet Earth, we are confined to timelines. We cannot normally see what will happen beyond the moment we’re living in. If we see an acorn falling from a tree branch, we can safely predict it will hit the ground in less time than it takes to think it through. If it’s raining today, we can guess that it might be muddy out tomorrow. If we can’t sleep tonight, we’ll probably be dragging tomorrow. But God can cause events to work together in ways our finite brains can’t imagine, causing the impossible to become possible. We can’t live day to day assuming that we’ll know the outcome of everything. In the Bible God tells us that His thoughts and ways are higher than ours.
(For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:9 KJV)
The bottom line for any belief we hold, is that we choose to believe it. We choose to believe scientific facts, generally, based on what we’ve been taught – we don’t know any different, and when we don’t know a differing point of view, we tend to believe what we’ve been taught until it’s contested. I tend to believe that a sturdy looking chair will hold my weight, unless I see it buckle under someone else or feel it caving beneath me. If I chose to be suspect of everything around me, I would be labeled paranoid. For choosing to believe the Bible, many around the world are persecuted, even to the point of death. Why? If what we believe is a lie and of no threat to anyone, why persecute those of us that choose to believe the Bible? Again, graciously, I’ve been afforded the privilege of living in America, where, at least for the time being, we can still choose to believe what we will.
Friday, August 27, 2010
Then I have to ask myself why it is that I’ve been blessed, or fortunate enough to discover God’s truth, when so many in the world have never even heard the Name Jesus. Clearly God dictated that I be born in the year 1959, in Middle America and into a home that feared God. As I grew up, I questioned most everything, including God. But that’s okay, that’s how I learn, by investigating. I chose what I believed and from what I was taught and what I didn’t believe. I questioned and investigated further to discover why I made my choices the way I did. What I choose to believe is found in the Bible, what I chose to throw out were traditions, which in and of themselves may or may not have been good traditions, but were not found in God’s Word.
Predestination, is there anything to it? Yes, it’s referred to in the Bible. Honestly, I don’t know how it all fits in to the grand picture of life and eternity, though. I believe God knows the end from the beginning; He’s already seen it all. Does He know it because He’s seen it? Or has He ‘seen’ it because He wrote the script? I’m not really sure which way to argue that. I do believe that God is not confined by time like we are. And yet....
To be continued still....
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
It’s recently come to my attention that the percentage of people in the world that hold a biblical worldview is so tiny I gasped. I didn’t realize that I was in such a small minority. Only 4% of the people worldwide (according to the poll cited in the documentary I watched last night) claim to believe that man is created in God’s image with God given purpose. I imagine that even fewer actually believe that man lives in a fallen state until they come to the place where they recognize their need for redemption and gives their lives back to God to perfect.
To discover the foundation that God has laid for us to stand on, we need to go back to the basics of Christianity. Those basics that most of the world doesn’t recognize. The simple truths I’ve embraced for so long, that seem so far from the grasp of most humans on the planet. I’m forced to ask myself questions regarding why and/or how I can believe in a God that up to 96% of the world’s population disregards. In our society, majority rules – or rather it’s supposed to. This would dictate that my beliefs in God must not be founded and are wrong and useless. This would shake the foundation from beneath someone whose foundation is built on lies – or sandy ground. But I choose to stand. With God, we always have the choice to do things His way or our own way. He will never force us to do things His way, because He wants us to choose His ways out of love. When we’re forced to do things a certain way, they are seldom done out of love.
Then I have to ask myself why it is…
Part 8 coming soon!
Monday, August 23, 2010
We cannot fight everyone else’s battles and stand unwounded to fight our own. God has equipped me to fight my battles – though He may call you along to help me as I grow weary, but they are my battles to fight. He may call me alongside of you to provide an encouraging word at the right time, He may expect me to even take a bullet for you, but ultimately, the battles you’ll face are yours to fight. He never leaves us alone; He is constantly with us no matter what enemies we face or their strategies against us, because He lives inside of us and cannot leave us, by His own choosing.
So, where do we start? How do we build our foundation on God? Is it something that just ‘happens’?
Building your foundation is not an overnight undertaking. It’s something you have to be intentional about. Along the way, you’ll probably make mistakes, I know I have. But God is ever so patient with us. He sees our heart, He knows our intentions. He’ll provide road signs and assistance along the way. He’s paid too dear a cost to leave us alone to wander in the wilderness all by ourselves. He’s provided us with a map and instructions that far too many of us pay far too little attention to. The old jokes about men not wanting to stop and ask for directions when they’re lost are a perfect example of how God’s children try to get through life, thinking we can complete our missions without asking how God wants us to do it; thinking we can surely figure things out on our own.
Part 7 coming soon.....
Thursday, August 19, 2010
If something is worth holding on to, it’s worth fighting for. When we’ve been joined together in a holy union, before God and man – that union is worth fighting for. Not much pleases the enemy more than dividing what God has joined together.
Don’t look back to past marriages or failed relationships. Fight from where you are, for what you have now. Looking back upon our broken relationships may reveal flaws in ourselves we need to work on, but we cannot look back and feel guilt over what God has already forgiven. God casts our sins and failures into a Sea of Forgetfulness and doesn’t remember them anymore. When we repent (turn away from) the sins and mistakes of our past, God no longer sees those sins and failures because His Son Jesus stands in the way, saying, ‘Now she is mine, I’ve cleaned her slate, she gets to start out fresh and new today and every day she belongs to me. Her heart is one with mine, I’ve given her a new name and a new mission.’
When soldiers are in battle, they forge forward to gain ground. When the battle slows, they can tend to the wounded around them. Forge forward as the strong warrior called alongside your husband, tend to his wounds as well as to the wounds of others as the battle slows. But keep your eyes on the Master, follow the commands and leading of your ‘General’ and He will see to it you come through triumphant. There will be casualties of war, because there are those who will insist on fighting in the battles without establishing the true and firm foundation from which to wage war. And there will be those who try to fight someone else’s battles. God has equipped you to fight the battles He has already seen the enemy contrive against you.
To be continued again.....
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
As Christian women, as an ezer, there may be more than one man that you and I will be called alongside to battle with. You may need at some times to stand with your father, your sons, a brother or a friend. But after our commitments to God Himself, if we're married, our priority is to battle with and on behalf of our husband; the man God created for us to love and receive marital love from. Satan doesn’t like us being committed to that mission and plots ways to divide and conquer. Sadly, he’s often too successful.
Shifting back to the walls we erect and the doors we slam shut; too often they are doors through which the love for and from our husband is meant to flow. Sure, sex might be good. Sure, we may even spend time together on extracurricular activities and share a date night on a weekly basis. But what is the foundation of our relationship? Is the foundation one that Satan will succeed in shaking or crumbling like old clay? Our foundation has to be the Word of God to be a lasting and unbreakable foundation. When the foundation of a house is cracked, it’s very costly to repair – if the repairs can even be made. Contractors need to be especially careful when constructing the foundation of any building. When the foundation of our marriage begins to shake and crack, the cost of repairs can be extremely high, if not out of reach. An old scripture song tells us not to build our house on sandy land – not too close to the shore, but to build your house upon the Rock, so you have a firm foundation, not one that will shift with the tide. The Rock is Jesus Christ; God Himself.
The children of this world often achieve a self-contrived inner peace and relationships of harmony that rival those of the children of God. The divorce rates across the nation are the same whether yours is a Christian marriage or not. This should not be so. As Christian men and women we should be fighting for each other, not against each other. We should be fighting for what God has given us, not looking for something easier or what appears to be better on the surface.
To be continued again.....
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Any one we wish to receive love from is potentially in a very powerful place. We give them the keys to unlock the essence of what’s in our hearts, hoping to exchange with them the phenomenal source of life: love. But love is not always returned. Trust is often laughed at, behind our backs until the charade is revealed. Whether it’s a playground playmate that betrays our friendship or our first love that betrays our trust; the hurt our hearts suffer seems insurmountable. We learn to trust again, either out of hope or desperation. Someone comes along and sends out the signal that they can be trusted with our heart. Or someone comes into our life that challenges us to reach into their heart to love them. A knowing that there’s a place in them that needs to be caressed – and a place in us that needs to be filled.
I want to back up for just a moment to my opening greeting, which may have been puzzling. When God created man, He created us male and female. The female part was, in the original Hebrew, called the ezer. An ezer is one shaped to harmoniously fit together with the male part, but created to be his strong, warrior ally; the part of him that fights for him when he is weak or chooses not to battle himself. Together they can successfully bear the image of God and advance His kingdom. Nothing can frustrate our common enemy more, so he perpetually seeks to destroy the union between man and his ezers. To look at our society we find proof enough to see that the battle of the sexes rages forcefully.
We ezers often want independence and to tout superiority over the man instead of coming along side of man and stand in battle with him. Being fifty years old, I’ve encountered men along side of whom I would choose not to stand. But those are not the men that God has called me and created me to stand with. Through the years too, Satan has regularly lied to me and tried to tear me away from the man God created me to stand with. Praise be to God, Satan’s strategies, though powerful and hurt-filled, have not succeeded.
To be continued again....
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Lately I’ve had to face the fact that loving everyone isn’t quite as easy as I thought it would be. Up until this place in my life, I’ve found it quite simple to love most everyone that crossed my path, even those that cut across the paths of my life with sharp razor blades! I’ve not had to wrestle with forgiving most of the offenders in my life – just a few.
But the further into my life I allow a relative stranger venture, the more I find myself protecting my heart and putting up walls and closing doors that I’m meant to love through. Perhaps I plan on sliding my love through in an envelope under the doors, or tossing my love over the tall walls in note wrapped around a rock. I don’t think that’s the way it’s supposed to work, though love can be shown through what I write when it’s my only way to show it. I think love is supposed to be more ‘hands on’. I think I have to love the way I want to be loved, personally. If the object of my love is out of reach, letters, text messages and phone calls may be all I feel I have to reach out with. But written messages and even calls can be vague and my emotions might not be read correctly.
So now I work on tearing down the walls and opening the doors to those around me. I wouldn’t have thought the work to do so would be so hard, or the walls so high and the doors so tightly slammed shut.
When (not if) I open the doors, I’m allowing myself to be vulnerable, which is something many of us have vowed never to do again. By the time we escape childhood, most of us have been hurt enough to swear off the pain that can accompany loving and being loved.
To be continued again.....
Monday, August 9, 2010
Ezer - Part 1
What does ezer mean? We'll get to that.....
Ezer! Strong and loving friend; warrior in the battle to advance God’s kingdom, I love you and I thank God for you.
Called to the battle lines in the war that will see life as we know it come to an end, ushering in the kingdom of God on a level we can’t yet even comprehend, we grow weary quickly. Has God called us to battle without training us or giving us instructions or briefing us? It sure looks that way, especially when we don’t recognize His involvement and influence on every moment of our lives – every breath we take.
Oftentimes we’re thrust into the midst of a battle screaming, ‘Wait! No one told me we were at war!’ But what indeed do we think we’ve been in training for? All of life’s experiences to this point have not been pointless, random events taking place in a mass of matter and energy with no purpose. God’s been busy preparing us all for everything He knows we’ll face, especially for those events that will further His kingdom on Earth. Winning our lost loved ones souls for the cause of Christ is great and heavy in my heart and always on my mind. And clearly preaching at them is one method that appears to fall on deaf ears. Calling on the Spirit of God that lives within us, to love them through us is the greatest gift we can share with anyone, whether that’s a stranger on the street, a co-worker, a child, a parent or a spouse.
To be continued.....