God is God

I have written and re-written this post in my head a hundred times, because I want to make sure it comes out right. I’m finally putting it on the page.

God is God. God is Sovereign and His ways are far superior to ours. And I think it is incredibly important that we ground our faith in Him and His supremacy, not in what He does or doesn’t do, what we want Him to do, or when He fulfills our wishes.

Sure, God helped David slay a giant.

He sent Jesus to reconcile us.

He loves us, and wants His best for us.

But we have seriously distorted what His best is. We want to define His best based on what we want, or think we need. But that’s not really how it’s supposed to be.

Maybe I have a scarcity mindset, but when I think of all of the stories of victory in the bible, I am always sharply reminded of Job. Job walked through a miserable time – he lost his health, wealth, and family. He was in utter ruins. And as he walked through that, he remembered that God is God. He didn’t know or understand why he had to walk through that and while not nearly to that degree of severity, many of the things I face, I don’t know why I’m facing them. Now, I know God didn’t do those things to Job, but He did allow those things to happen. I often think about the fact that the bible has several places that reference purity by fire (trial) like gold or silver are refined.

Oh my soul…how many times I’ve melted in the fire and come out on the other side having given up on God. Be patient with me Lord, please.

I do know that God is God. I am His, made in His image. He chose to create me, and breathe life into me, and that amazes me every day. He has blessed me with many good gifts. I’ve walked through times where I wasn’t getting what I wanted, I wasn’t where I wanted, things weren’t happening where I wanted, but through it all, God is God.

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Absolute Truth

I don’t believe we each choose our own morality. I don’t believe the truth changes from person to person. I believe in absolute truth. I believe that there is right, and wrong. I believe that the penalty for sin is death, and that the only escape from that penalty is accepting Jesus as ones Savior.

I don’t believe that all paths lead to a peaceful eternity. In fact, I believe that hell is a real place, where people will get a very rude awakening. I don’t believe God ever wanted us to be so darn complacent. We’ve turned the message of grace and love into a message that sounds like everything is right and acceptable.

Not everything is right. God wants us to live in obedience to Him, and what is expected of us is clearly lined out in the Bible. Now, even in knowing this, I will never fully achieve this. And I don’t expect you to, either. God doesn’t even expect this; in fact, He knows we can’t quite reach the mark, even though we can see it. So He sent Jesus.

He did not send Jesus so you could continue on a destructive path, with no concern for Him, others, or even yourself. Not even close! He sent His Son so you could cross the gap and experience Him in a close and intimate way. He sent His Son so you could have help in a time of need, comfort in a time of hurt, and forgiveness from sins.

That is not the end of the story though. God will correct us when we are wrong, His Spirit will convict us to make better choices and live better lives. And when we receive the conviction of the Holy Spirit, we best get our butts in gear and move along the path He is guiding us to.

I’ve heard so many people complain about hellfire and brimstone preaching (heck, I’ve even done it), but those preachers have a new respect in my eyes. They told (or tell) it like it is. They don’t give the false impression that all paths lead to a peaceful eternity. They acknowledge that hell is real, and this is eternity we are toying with, not just a year or two, or a decade or so. Eternity, folks. Forever.

My new prayer is for boldness in my speaking and my writing, and as I’m raising my kids. I pray that intimidation would have no place in our hearts or minds. I pray that we will proclaim the truth like it is, all the time.

Will you join me in this prayer?

 

Wives Love Your Husbands Well

So, on April 10, 2013 I posted to husbands that they should love their wives well. (You can read that post here.) Now, I feel like I should write to my fellow wives.

 

Hi Fellow Wives.

 

We are not off the hook in the “love them well” challenge. I guess, for wives, it should be “respect them well.” But nonetheless, we are examples to our husbands just like they are to us. This isn’t a thought I’ve heard anywhere, and I don’t know if it’s 100% on the mark, but I think it might be at the very least, worth considering.

 

What if our husbands form an idea about the church, based on us and our behavior? What if our selfishness or selflessness causes our husband to develop his ideas of the church?

 

Don’t stop reading yet, let this thought sink in, please.

 

Would your husband think the church is selfless, willing to work long hours to serve people, feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, reaching the lost? Up before dawn, not resting until well past dark? Using resources wisely? Spending both time and money on those that are in need?

 

Or…

 

Would your husband think of the church as self-serving and indulgent? Spending time and resources to make itself comfortable, to be fashionable, to be comfortable? Sleeping in late, going to bed early, and forgetting the needs of even the closest members?

 

I am evaluating my own heart, attitude and actions right now. I want to make sure that I am serving more than I am consuming. I know that many things in this life are connected to many other things. Like Christ is to the church as a husband is to a wife. If that means that a wife is to a husband like the church is to Christ, I want to do my part as a wife and as part of the church to serve both my husband and Christ.

 

This is not so easy all of the time though – I get the “I wants” and the “gimmees” and there are times when I want what I want. I get tired, too. I’m human. In a perfect world, none of this would occur, but this isn’t a perfect world.

 

I think that in a healthy marriage though, we can serve diligently, and our spouse can also recognize and lend a hand when we become overwhelmed. So wives, I challenge you to respect your husbands well, serve them, be a light to them, and be health to their bones.

 

A few verses, all NIV84:

 

Prov. 12:4 A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown, but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones.

Prov. 14:1 The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.

 

Prov. 17:22 A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

 

Prov. 21:9 Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.