Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Proverbs 29:18

Amplified Bible (AMP)
18Where there is no vision [no redemptive revelation of God], the people perish; but he who keeps the law [of God, which includes that of man]--blessed (happy, fortunate, and enviable) is he.(A)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Freedom from the Spirit of Anger

The other day I was listening to a sermon by S. M. Davis called "Freedom from the Spirit of Anger."  (The text of this sermon can be found here.)  When I began listening to it, I had in my mind that I was looking for ways to help my children in the area of their tempers.  I didn't realize how very convicting it would be for me.  I don't consider my self an angry person.  I am usually fairly calm, patient and don't lose my temper.  But sometimes I do, and oftentimes I am feeling irritated.  This is often directed toward my children and they know it.  I was very convicted that I have a spirit of anger within me.  Rev. Davis points out that there is no biblical justification for anger.

Psalm 37:8 says, "cease from anger and forsake wrath." Notice what this verse does not say. It does not say, "keep spiritual anger and forsake carnal anger."
Proverbs 19: 19 says, "A man of great wrath shall suffer punishment: for if thou deliver him, yet thou must do it again."
Proverbs 27: 4 says, "wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous." "Outrageous" means "like a downpour or a flood." It’s not possible to have a little bit of anger. Anger is a flood.
Ecclesiastes 7:9 says, "anger resteth in the bosom of fools."
Galatians 5: 19-20. "Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, etc." 

And "VICTORY IN THE AREA OF THE SPIRIT OTHERS SENSE COMING FROM YOU IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN VICTORY IN THE AREA OF ACTIONS OTHERS SEE YOU DOING."  I realize that I often spend entire days walking around with an attitude of mild irritation.  Let's face it, mothering is a challenge and child training can be frustrating.  However, my attitude of irritation has its roots in anger and self centeredness.  The worst thing is that I am teaching my children to also have a spirit of anger.  I am feeling so convicted by this.  The Holy Spirit and kindly been pointing out my anger to me the last couple of days.  So often I will be frustrated at something for something they did and have difficulty controlling my temper.  What they did would be very wrong and I would feel justified in my anger.  But there is no biblical justification for anger.

Through this I am brought to mind of Michelle Duggar.  I have always been impressed with the Duggar family.  One of the things that most impresses me is the sweet spirit of Michelle, the mom.  Childish tempers may fly and things get very chaotic, but manages to speak calmly and thoughtfully to her children.  As I listened to this sermon, I realized that she is a living, breathing example of someone who is so filled with the right Spirit, the Holy Spirit, that the spirit of anger has no place in her.  I am so grateful to be able to see that because I know that this is what God desired for me.  To live up to my full potential as God's girl, that spirit of anger within me must be shoved right out the door.  With God's help, it will be.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Mourning a Loss

This has been a difficult week for me. I shared last year a bit about our family's struggles to find a new church home. We have found a new church that didn't exactly match our list of wants, but it feels right. I know it is the place where God wants us right now. One of our concerns through this transition was harming the close friendships that we had at our former church. There are many there that we love like family. Many of them are part of a women's bible study that I have attended for seven years. We have laughed and cried together, and had the blessing of praying over each other's needs.

I decided to continue meeting with this group at our old church because of those friendships that I value so much. However, through a conversation with a friend from that study, my eyes were opened to the fact that there is bitterness and resentment towards me and another member who also left the church but still attends. This really wounds me because I thought those bonds of friendship were strong enough to weather this transition we were making. Now, I see that they are not. So, the question is, now that I know this, what do I do? During my morning bible study a couple of days ago, I was studying about obedience and submission to God. At that very moment, I got a very strong sensation that this is the time to step away from that bible study. As I tried to ignore this thought, I went back to reading about obedience and submission to God. [sigh] I knew the painful choice that I must make.

This morning is the first meeting of this bible study. I feel pretty sad. I am mourning the loss of those close bonds with those ladies. However I do not regret my choice. I know that bowing out gracefully was the best thing to do, for if I stayed, I may become a stumbling block to others faith. If my presence causes negative, ungodly feelings in others, then I should not be there.
These verses come to mind this morning:

"Everything is permissible"—but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible"—but not everything is constructive. Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God— even as I try to please everybody in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved. 1 Corinthians 10:23, 31-33

As I grow in my understanding of God, I am realizing that this life here on earth is not about me at all. Our human nature is selfish and is naturally focused on our own needs and wants. I think part of the process of sanctification (becoming more holy and Christlike) is understanding that obedience to God is first. That knocks my own desires down the priority list. So, in this particular instance, I have a bible study that fills a need in my life for Christian fellowship with other women, but in obedience God I am giving that up because my needs do not outweigh the fact that I may be a stumbling block to others in their relationship with God.

So, I sit here at home this morning lifting up those who are still there in prayer, looking to God to provide for my needs of fellowship. I have no doubts that He will. He always does provide.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Each child came to us directly from the presence of God and a parent's daily work is to lead the child back from whence she came --- back into the presence of God. To simply keep inviting the child into the transformative presence of God -- to live before Him ourselves.” Ann Voskamp (A Holy Experience)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I want to be a Wife of Valor

I am continuing my study of being a submissive wife to my husband, obedient to God.  The best description of a godly wife shows up in Proverbs 31:10-31.  It begins by saying that a "wife of noble character is hard to find."  Some translations say "virtuous" or "excellent."  The original Hebrew word used here is chayil. I find it odd that this word has been translated this way here because its definition is actually strength, might, efficiency, wealth, army.  In the King James Version of the bible, it is often translated as army, man of valor, forces, valiant, strength, riches, power, and might.  So, although "excellent", "virtuous" and "noble" do fit here, they seem like only part of the definition.  When we think of a godly, submissive wife, a picture of a mousy doormat comes to mind.  I don't believe a doormat would ever be described as chayil.  According to this, a godly wife is a force.  She is a woman of action that makes things happen. 

Listen to this description:

"The woman described here is of priceless value. She has physical strength, mental strength, moral strength and spiritual strength. Above all she loves God deeply and reverently. She is characterized in this section six ways, and I'll point them out to you as we just look together at the Scripture...six ways. Her character as a wife, her devotion as a homemaker, her generosity as a neighbor, her influence as a teacher, her effectiveness as a mother and her excellence as a person...the sum of all of that makes the excellent wife. And I might add that this is no woman in particular but this is the woman that every woman should seek to emulate. She is rare, look at verse 10, an excellent wife...by the way, the word excellent in Hebrew means force, a woman of force, a woman of substance, a woman of strength would be another way to characterize her. It's excellent in the sense of her strength spiritually, morally, mentally, physically. She is a woman of substances. She is a woman who has made a dent in society. She is one who makes a difference. There's a force about her life. This kind of wife, he says, who can find? Very rare. Hard to find this kind of woman."

What a wonderful picture to keep in the forefront of our minds as we strive to become the women/wives that God created us to be!  I am excited to study this further.  If you want to study with me, I am in Week #4 of "A Wife's Biblical Submission" (see right sidebar banner).  More specifically, I am here.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Submission vs. Obedience

Wives are called to submit to their own husbands.  This is commanded in Scripture.  (Ephesians 5:22, Ephesians 5:24, Colossians 3:18) I think it is hard for a modern day woman to know what that really means.  We have been raised in an age of feminism and the idea of submission is foreign.  We relate it to obedience.  Yes, it does look like obedience, but there is more to it.  There is the component of attitude.

God does not call us to robotically obey our husbands.  We are partners and helpers to them.  They can bounce ideas off of us and we discuss things.  The wife's opinion is just as important.  But ultimately, someone has to be in charge and make a decision.  God has set it up that way.  Jesus is the head over a man, and the man is head over his wife.  This provides a sense of order.  We, as wives, are called to defer to our husbands and submit to his God-given authority.  Not only are we to obey, but we need to do it with a good attitude.  Our husbands need to feel like we are on their team and not have to fight us at every turn.

So, today I will do an attitude check.  Am I cheerfully submitting to my husband?  When I do, I am ultimately submitting to my Lord.

What to study along with me?  Click the button on the right that say's, "A Wife's Biblical Submission."  I am working on week three.  God bless!