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Part 1 – The redefinition of words to create something else to control and be offended by.

Feminist. You probably have strong feelings when you hear/read this word. What image comes to mind when you think about a feminist? Chances are, this word conjures up either the image of a social justice warrior, fighting to defend the rights of the oppressed women of America, or a fat and ugly free-bleeder who eats men for breakfast. Whatever your opinion in this, I want you to know two things:

  1. I support women’s rights to equality (not that women are the same as men, but should have equal opportunities.)
  2. I do not call myself a feminist.

feminazis

The Redefining of Words

There are many reasons why I do not call myself a feminist, but one that has been on my mind recently (and is fairly easy to address) is that modern feminism relies strongly on the redefining of words and manipulation to encourage young women to view all their problems as a result of oppression and misogyny and not due to any other factors.

Some words that have been modified recently:

  • Friendzoned – I do not know who decided that this word was somehow an attack on women, but it is not. The word itself simply describes when a person (typically a man) has invested time/money/emotion into a girl and has discovered that the girl is only interested in friendship. It is my personal opinion that women tend to invest more in relationships with men that they do not intend to become romantic (“just friends”) than men tend to. A girl might simply think that the guy who stays up late texting her, goes to the mall with her, listens to her cry, and buys her snacks, is just doing what any other friend would do. In my experience, guys do not tend to do things like this for a girl unless they are at least mildly interested in her, and if they start out that way, they will at some time be interested in a relationship, even if he never admits it. Girls, on the other hand, tend to like to talk and can be very comfortable investing time and energy into a friendship with a boy they have no intention of having a romantic relationship with. There is nothing wrong with these tendencies. Girls should try to be more considerate and realize that they may, in fact, be unintentionally signaling to a guy that they are interested when thay are not.

  Somehow, modern feminists have come to the conclusion that a guy saying he was “freindzoned” means that somehow the woman owes him something. What? No. Just no. The concept of wooing a woman may be foreign to Americans, but the idea is that you spend time with someone and do nice things for them in an attempt to get them to like you, not to say that they owe you anything! If you are reading this and thinking “Well, I had this one guy who was like, you need to sleep with me because I was there for you when you were sad!” etc. then that speaks VOLUMES to the type of man that YOU choose to spend time with. I have placed several interested men in the friend category (some without realizing they were interested) and not once have I had someone act as though they owed me anything. Could it be that they were upstanding and respectable guys? No! Never! Men are pigs! But really, if this happens to you, it might be that you lead them on (perhaps unintentionally) or that you make terrible friendship choices.

  • Slut – I saw this one described the other day as “attacking a woman for her right to say yes.” *blinkblink* Just because you have a right to say yes does not mean you aren’t a terrible person for saying yes to every guy who asks. Generally the term is used to describe women (and sometimes men) who are easy (as in, have had sexual interactions with multiple non-serious partners, willing to kiss any guy, etc.) OR who dress to show off far more skin on a regular basis than is generally considered socially acceptable. We live in a society where telling someone that they are wrong is taboo, and heaven forbid a young person ever have to feel shame for their actions.

    It’s like that Kaepernick guy; he has a right to sit for the anthem, but I also have a right to say he’s a dingbat for doing so.

  • Bossy – There is actually a campaign to ban the word bossy. Really. The website for this campaign says “When a little boy asserts himself, he’s called a “leader.” Yet when a little girl does the same, she risks being branded “bossy.” Words like bossy send a message: don’t raise your hand or speak up. By middle school, girls are less interested in leading than boys—a trend that continues into adulthood. Together we can encourage girls to lead.” Bull. Crap. I taught middle school and I have not experienced this phenomenon, it is quite the opposite, in reality. When leaving notes to substitutes, or appointing leaders in my classroom, I usually have to make sure that I have at least one boy on the list, because there is an abundance of girls who are able and willing to lead. I can think of maybe 7 or 8 boys (our of 180 students) who would volunteer to lead or do something. Usually only one in each class.

 The word bossy is defined as: “inclined to domineer (dictatorial), liking to order people around.” A LEADER does not simply tell people what to do; a leader leads by example, encourages and inspires those around them to follow their example, and generally takes the initiative to do something about a problem. A bossy person simply tells people what they should do, “We should play THIS game!” or “No, no, no! When I make my doll say this, you’re supposed to say…” or “Give me some of your candy.” Now, I know that this word is most often applied to girls and I am not entirely sure why, but here are some similar words boys get called: insolent, pushy, arrogant, domineering, aggressive, controlling, cocky, cocksure, high-and-mighty, patronizing, pretentious, pompous, and pig-headed. The connotation of the word bossy indicates that the person thinks they are smarter or they know better than others, and want everyone to do as they say. For a boy, in a world where girls tend to outshine them in the classroom from an early age, putting forth the effort to speak up and risk embarrassment takes a lot of courage. A student who leads and says, “I think this would be a good way to do X” is using their skills and trying to do the best they can, whereas a kid saying “No, we have to do it this way!” is bossy. There is a distinction. Banning the word “bossy” is not going to help a little girl’s self-esteem.

Do you know what would help women boost their self-esteem? If girls’ magazines were not strictly geared to looks, getting boyfriends, and being sexy/sexual. Instead, why not fill magazines with things like: how to be a good friend, how to dress in ways that flatter your body type, how to succeed in male-dominated careers (or tips on careers that might be difficult for women due to physical limitations), health care tips, what colors complement your skin tone, manners, easy and healthy recipes, tips on job interviews, crafts, tips for young mothers, how to be a good wife, how to spot a man who might not be good for you, quick/easy household organization tips, etc. As a youngun, I LOVED the American Girl magazine. It was great! There were stories, crafts, paper dolls, tips on manners and advice on how to handle tough situations. It was a wonderful resource; they also published tip books, stories about courageous girls (Felicity was my favorite), and had dolls for sale. Unfortunately, few magazines these days are like this.

Instead of redefining words, why not redefine our culture? How about we teach women to respect themselves; that they don’t have to wear five pounds of makeup, have sex, or show off their bodies to be beautiful. Or that it’s ok to say NO to a guy who is interested, and that not having a boyfriend at age 13 does not mean that there is something wrong with you. Or that just because you are waiting for marriage to have sex it does not make you a prude. Maybe we should honor those women who choose to be a stay-at-home-mom or housewife as much as we honor and respect those who choose to pursue a career. Perhaps we should stop insulting women who actually enjoy domestic activities like cooking, and at the same time encourage/empower those who are not great at those domestic activities so that they know they don’t have to be, and know that they have help if they want to learn.

When I was in middle school I was bullied badly. I was chubby, I was (and am) a Christian and did not do some of the things other kids did, I liked reading and nerdy things like Star Trek, and I did not dress like everyone else (partly because I could not afford it, partly because I was modest and not so interested in what was fashionable). I was made fun of for not having a boyfriend; kids would tease me and try to ask me who I liked, or who I would go out with. If my response was “I don’t know him” I was told “You get to know him, that’s what having a boyfriend is for.” I was called fat and ugly, and lost “friends” because I didn’t dress popularly. I even lost friends because I chose not to lie to my parents: I went to a friend’s house and she wanted to watch the movie Stigmata, something I knew I would not have been allowed to watch, but I also did not want to watch it anyway (still don’t). “Your parents won’t know” was the only response my friend gave to my objections. Our friendship pretty much ended that day. In college I was occasionally called a prude, mostly by guys who I was friends with where there was mutual interest, but not the compatibility necessary to justify starting a relationship. Just because two people are attracted to each other does not mean you MUST date, or that you would be good long-term, or that you need to make out. In the long run, I think I have gained respect because I did not have dozens of boyfriends (went on a few dates, though only one lead to a relationship), did not dress immodestly, and held to my standards. Have I made mistakes? You betcha. Many things I wish that I had not done, or had done differently. Did I sometimes compromise? A few times, and I regret it completely.

Changing the mindset of Americans will do far more for young girls than it will to change the words that we use to describe the mindset. The Bible definitely got it right: Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. Changing the words we use will not change the hearts of the people that use them.

Check out this article on 8 Ways Fascist Feminists are Ruining America’s Women.

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Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.” -Galations 6:7

My soul is so tired and weary of dealing with the God-mockers and the lukewarm. Those who claim the name of Christ yet act in as many ways unlike Christ as they possibly can. The people who aren’t simply making an human error, but are perpetuating a lifestyle of sin and essentially spitting on the throne of grace. People who claim Jesus as “ok with it”, but forget that he told the adulteress to “go and sin no more”. Those who talk about Christ’s forgiveness, but forget that he turned the tables on the merchants in the temple. People who say “don’t judge, or you will be judged” but forget that Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.”

The same Jesus who said “love your neighbor as yourself” is also the one who said “whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.” (Referring to teachers who led children astray.)

The same Jesus who forgave the prostitute, healed the lame, and said that we were to forgive repentant brothers seventy times seven times also said “be holy, as I am holy.”

Jesus never excused sin, never allowed for sin, or encouraged it. He forgave the sins of the repentant and gave them a way out! Of course, that is not enough for those who want to live sinfully without the fear of guilt or judgment. Someone once said that if an act (a sin) was excusable, then it didn’t need forgiveness! A sinful behavior might be explainable, understandable, or even anticipated, but it is unacceptable: sin is sin, and we must strive for perfection through the help of the Holy Spirit. What we’re saying when we intentionally sin and sin habitually is that God’s grace and mercy are worthless and that He is unworthy of our praise and respect. If you claim to follow the God of the universe, do not be surprised when something is expected of you, or when your sins are revealed. My God will not be mocked.

Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge His people.” – Hebrews 10:28-30

“But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.” -2 Peter 2

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Men are the stronger sex; they work, build, and provide for their families. They don’t cry. They don’t get overrun by “feelings” like women do. Men are tough; they are not sensitive and do not get emotionally hurt easily.

Or do they?

Something that I have observed over the years is that there is a little boy inside every grown man. I see it in my husband, I see it in my father, and I see it in many of my friends. The same things that delighted them as a boy, the same things that made them sad, still affect them on the inside, thought they may not show it. My husband delights in fixing things, taking things apart and seeing how they work and then putting them back together (he recently built a computer). From the stories I’ve heard of his childhood, this is something that he has always enjoyed. My father has always loved story-telling: the adventure, the struggle between good and evil, the hero persevering, etc. This shows even now in the things that he writes, and the stories that touch him.

My little brother (now a teenager) was always a very sensitive little boy. He would cry when characters on TV got hurt, and he didn’t like scary movies. He never tortured earthworms, or pulled the wings off of flies, or any of that. He was always considerate of other people and animal’s feelings. One year when he was 8, I had a bad birthday and I cried because no one in my family cared (it was a special birthday too), and I was going to have to make my own cake etc. all by myself. My brother made a card in the shape of an alien (complete with antennae) and wrote inside “greetings earthling, our leader wishes you a happy birthday” and stuck a dollar inside. That card was so very precious to me. I still have it, and the dollar he gave me, as a reminder of the sweet sensitivity of my eight-year-old brother.

The little boys I teach piano to also exhibit some sensitive traits. Very often, if they have a choice between Thomas the Tank engine and Littlest Petshop stickers, they’ll choose the pets! Between Buzz Lightyear and animals, they’ll go with the animals most of the time. Even when they pick the Toy Story stickers they want Ham or Rex or Bullseye more than the others. The sad thing is that many older men (and women) will tell these boys: don’t you want the rocket ship? Or will reprimand them for crying, or for enjoying something that might be a little “girly”.

This is important: the sensitivity of the little boy that you raise will dictate the kindness and courteousness of the man he will become.  That gentle little boy that you treat to respect others, to value life (even the life of a worm), to love his family, and to cry when he sees injustice and suffering will grow into a man who respects everyone, who fights to protect life, and will not stand for injustice. That little boy needs to be loved and nurtured so that he can grow into the type of man our society needs today. There is still a little boy inside of every man. If you look carefully, you may see him. But be careful not to frighten him away.

Here is what the Bible says about living peaceful lives:

1 Corinthians 13:11 – “Finally, brethren, rejoice, be made complete, be comforted, be like-minded, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.”

1 Thesselonians 5:12-18 – “But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction, and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Live in peace with one another. We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone. See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people.Rejoice always;pray without ceasing;in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

Proverbs 15:1 – “A gentle answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger.”

For more on this concept read John Eldredge’s “Wild at Heart”.

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So many problems could be avoided in life if we would simply tell the person that we’re upset with that there is something wrong. Most of the time in life it seems that someone is angry about something for months and the person they’re upset with doesn’t know until the thing explodes. Life could be even more simple if people would just forgive others in the first place. Unforgiveness and grudge holding is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. Furthermore, if the person we’re upset with doesn’t know that they have hurt you, how can they fix it? There are some people in my life, who are adults, who refuse to talk to me when something upsets them. It’s as if they expect me to read their minds! Don’t do this to your friends, family, children or your spouse. It’s childish behavior and it does not lead to reconciliation. Go to the person who has offended you, tell them why you are offended, and then choose to forgive them. It’s simple, it’s right, and it will bring you peace.

I leave you with a few verses on forgiveness:

The Bible tells us to forgive others. Not when we “feel” like it, not because we want to, but because He has forgiven us and He has commanded it. Jesus tells us that we should forgive an unlimited number of times (Matthew 18). We are told to “put up” with one another: Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. (Colossians 3:12-14)

We are told to forgive because we have been forgiven. 1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” And in Mark 11:24-25 “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” Luke 6:37 tells us “Forgive, and you will be forgiven.”

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What is commitment? Does anyone know these days? Here’s what the dictionary has to say about that.

1 a : an act of committing to a charge or trust: as (1) : a consignment to a penal or mental institution (2) : an act of referring a matter to a legislative committee b : mittimus
2 a : an agreement or pledge to do something in the future; especially : an engagement to assume a financial obligation at a future date

 b : something pledged
 c : the state or an instance of being obligated or emotionally impelled <a commitment to a cause>
A commitment does not have to be a signed formal contract (not that those last long in this century), it can be a spoken word, a written message, or a non-verbal understanding.
This week I’ve witnessed two acts of non-commitment. A friend left his wife because, as he said “she has issues she needs to work out”  (though he does too…) and another friend was cheated on for the second time. The first instance is sad because a husband (or wife) should be committed to their spouse no matter what.  In sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, for better or for worse, as long as you both shall live. ‘Til death do us part! Nowhere in this verbal agreement does it say, “I get to leave you because you have issues.” The second instance is sad because within days of saying “I want to be with you” to my friend, this guy was with another girl. After he had already been forgiven for cheating on my friend once, he was with another girl. What is wrong with these people?!
1 Corinthians 7:10-11: “But to the married I give instructions, not I, but the Lord, that the wife should not [d]leave her husband (but if she does leave, she must remain unmarried, or else be reconciled to her husband), and that the husband should not [e]divorce his wife.”
Malachi 2:13-16 tells us that God does not accept the offerings of those who are unfaithful to their spouses: Another thing you do: You flood the Lord’s altar with tears. You weep and wail because he no longer looks with favor on your offerings or accepts them with pleasure from your hands. 1You ask, “Why?” It is because the Lord is the witness between you and the wife of your youth. You have been unfaithful to her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant.

Has not the one God made you? You belong to him in body and spirit. And what does the one God seek? Godly offspring.[c] So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful to the wife of your youth. “The man who hates and divorces his wife,” says the Lord, the God of Israel, “does violence to the one he should protect,”[d] says the Lord Almighty. So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful. 

The Bible says that God hates divorce. Why? Because it tears apart something that he has designed to function as one unit. We were created to be married and partnered with someone for all our lives.

“Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.” (Matthew 19:4-6)

I know that ending a relationship is not nearly as serious as ending a marriage, but it has the same effect in this day and age. It used to be that people did not have an intimate emotional relationship until the point where they were engaged or married. In our society we have a serious intimate relationship before we are married, often with physical affection attached. When these relationships end abruptly, they can be just as painful as divorce (even if they’re less complicated legally).

All this is to say PUT ON YOUR BIG BOY PANTIES AND DEAL WITH IT!!!! When you commit to a relationship you are in it until you have a seriously good reason to end it. “I met another girl” is not a good reason, nor is “I’m bored” or “you gained weight” or “you aren’t as perfect as I thought you were.” If there’s a logical reason to end a relationship, be honest and just do it. If you’re married, just deal with it. Get counseling, talk to a pastor, and stick with it. There is NO good reason to end a marriage, even if you think there is one at the time. Deal with it.

Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord.For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body.But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her,so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,that He might present to Himself the church [q]in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of His body.For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she [r]respects her husband.” (Ephesians 5:22-33)

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An article I found on http://www.marrywell.org The website had lots of useful articles and other resources, maybe you should check it out! I originally shared the article on Facebook and then stumbled across it again today as I was sharing a new “note” on facebook (the poem “Creed”, by Steve Turner). Enjoy!

Growing in Biblical womanhood

by Candice Watters

 In our culture, it’s become accepted that men, by their nature, are brutes, jerks or buffoons, while women, by their nature are loyal, smart and admirable. Men, bad. Women, good. That’s the underlying worldview of the majority of the entertainment, education and even public policy (laws) that surround us. So it’s not surprising that even Christians believe men — even Christian men — have to become biblical while women who know Christ already are.

The reality for both male and female is that we were created different (Jesus said, “Haven’t you read … that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female’”), we are all sinners (“all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”), and we all have the potential to be redeemed (“whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life,” “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus”). Accepting Christ’s gift of redemption is a decision that begins the process of sanctification. It’s this process — this pilgrimage — that requires both male and female to actively work at becoming who God originally created us to be.

It’s not enough to have the body parts. Or even to be saved. That’s where it starts. But biblical femininity requires first, understanding what God designed woman to be and second, deciding to become that woman and living it out.

Several years ago I studied the Bible through a course called Five Aspects of Woman by Barbara Mouser. It not only answers the question — What is biblical womanhood? — but also gives lots of practical applications for being a biblical woman. Far from the stereotypical head-covered, docile, kitchen-bound caricature the media so loves to spoof, this is a serious study that embraces the complexity, creativity and beauty of God’s design.

 The Five Aspects, as described in the study, are:

 Mistress of the Domain (Genesis 1) — Woman, like man, is created in God’s image and has authority from God to rule, subdue and be productive. Because of sin, however, she both “abuses and abandons” her call to stewardship (characterized by manipulation, pride and domination, biblical example: Jezebel). As she is sanctified, she reclaims, with the help of the Holy Spirit, the areas of responsibility God has given her (her home, her studies, her work, her marriage, her children, etc.) to God’s glory (characterized by humility, hope and productivity, biblical example: the Shunammite woman).

 Helper-Completer (Genesis 2) — “Woman, from the man and for the man, completes him in his person and his work. As helper, she provides partnership in work, fellowship in body and spirit and membership in marriage.” In our spirituality, at the foot of the cross, man and woman are alike. Both are in need of a savior, both able to accept salvation and find fullness in Christ. But in our humanity, male and female are different. Under the curse of sin, we are competitors. Once redeemed, we are complementary: a man, by God’s design, needs help. A woman needs to give help. We fit together like pieces of a puzzle.

 Lifegiver (Genesis 3) — God created women uniquely to literally bring forth new life. The ability to bear children is the obvious mark of His design. Women are also designed to nurture (this includes married and single women). Marred by sin, women despise, neglect or smother their children. The extreme example being abortion. The redeemed woman “does all she can to alleviate the suffering of others … and eagerly seeks to have children, both physically and spiritually.”

 Lady of Wisdom (Proverbs 1-9, 31) — “Wisdom is the body of God’s creation principles.” In the book of Proverbs “she is personified as a woman.” As created by God, she is the “inviter and hostess, reprover and teacher, counselor, protectress, patron and friend.” In our fallen state, women model not wisdom, but folly. They deny Truth and do what feels right, rather than what is right (biblical examples: Eve, Delilah, Potiphar’s wife and the Proverbs woman of folly). Once redeemed, women can become wise by mastering skills and studying to develop their minds. Skillful and intellectual women are in a position to influence their world for God’s kingdom (biblical examples: Proverbs 31 wife; Ruth; Esther and the wise woman of Abel).

 Glory of Man (1 Corinthians 11, Ephesians 5) — As created, woman “glorifies her husband and her heavenly King with submission, adornment, purity and love. She emulates the Church’s membership, as her husband emulates Christ’s headship.” In her fallen state, woman makes her beauty an end in itself, leading ultimately to ugliness (shame, lust, pride and sexual perversion, for examples; see Isaiah 3 and Ezekiel 16). Once redeemed, a woman is free to use her beauty for the benefit of her heavenly father and when married, for her husband.

 Because this trait is so interdependent on created man, a godly woman must “find a man who commands her respect and wins her love; to please, be beautiful for, desired and cherished by such a man.”

As you can see, becoming godly is no less a process of learning and practice for women than it is for men. In summary, we must as men and women, strive for spiritual strength and maturity, “full of the basic virtues, if we are ever going to be a glory with the opposite sex…. Masculine authority does not limit [a woman’s] giftedness; rather it increases the effectiveness of [her] labors.”1

NOTE: Quoted material, other than Scripture verses, are taken from Barbara Mouser, Five Aspects of Woman, (Waxahachie: International Council for Gender Studies, 2002).

Copyright 2007 Candice Watters. All rights reserved. International copyright secured.

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“The Man Who Said ‘NO’”

Knowing God’s Will for Your Life, Part 1

  • Introduction: Have you discovered God’s will for your life?
  • Proposition: in Jonah 1:1-3 we will examine two facts concerning God’s will.

The word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh the great city and cry against it, for their wickedness has come up before Me.”  But Jonah rose up to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. So he went down to Joppa, found a ship which was going to Tarshish, paid the fare and went down into it to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.”

Jonah 1:1-3

  • Thoughts to consider:
    • Have I ever run away from or ignored God’s will for my life?

 

  1. We must DISCOVER it.

Discover: transitive verb

a : to make known or visible : expose b archaic : display

2 a : to obtain sight or knowledge of for the first time : find <discover the solution>4

  • We must actively seek to know his will.
  1. His will is revealed through His WORD.
  • The Bible is our instruction manual, we must read it to discover His will.
    • 2 Timothy 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.”
      • Some translations say “study to show thyself approved”, this means that we are to discern what behavior God approves of.
      • Psalm 119:105 – “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” (Read all of Psalm 119 for further information!) His Word will lead us in the right direction.
      • Eph 4:14 – Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.” (Read chapter for context)
      • If we only talk to God and don’t read His word we are like a broken radio circuit, always transmitting but never receiving.
      • James 1:22 – “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
      • General commands:The Word of God gives us principles that all Christians are to follow; these are the commands that all who claim to follow Him must obey and are not only for an individual. These are things that we do not have to pray about to find God’s will, it is clearly written for us to know.
        • Love God and love Man:
          •  28 One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating… he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” 29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.[c] 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’[d] 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[e] There is no commandment greater than these.”” Mark 12:28-31
          • Gracious speech:
            • “Let no [b]unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification [c]according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.” Ephesians 4:28
          • Forgive as you have been forgiven:
            •  “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven [x]you.” Ephesians 4:32
          • Be Holy, as He is Holy:
            •  “13 Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. 14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”[a] Peter 1:13-16
          •  Get rid of your old sins:
            • ”Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.[b] You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.”  Colossians 3:5-10
      • Concept: His will is not revealed through circumstances; you can be acting completely out of God’s will and still have positive circumstances.
        • When someone runs from God, Satan is more than happy to provide transportation and accommodation.
        • Example: Jonah just happened to find a ship bound for Tarshish; he could have believed it to be a sign from God that he should take that ship, when he clearly knew what God had commanded.
        • Sometimes that “peace” you feel about a decision can be false.
      • Thoughts to consider: How much of the Bible do you know is God’s will for your life?
  1. We all have a COMMISSION.
  • “And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 [e]Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you [f]always, even to the end of the age.””Matthew 28:18-20
    • This should read “as you are going, make disciples.” It’s a given that people will be going about their daily business. As we do this we should be making disciples. Start in your Jerusalem, in your home town, the places that you go daily.
    • It starts at home: make disciples and be witness to those around you.
      •   So we cared for you. Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well. Surely you remember, brothers and sisters, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you. 10 You are witnesses, and so is God, of how holy, righteous and blameless we were among you who believed. 11 For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, 12 encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.” 1 Thessalonians 2:8-12
        • By sharing your life and living according to God’s commands, you are a witness to those around you.
        • “Be prepared to kindly give an answer for the hope that is in you. But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.” 1 Peter 3:15-16
        • Romans 1:16 –  For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes…”
  1. We must OBEYit.
    1. Even when it is DIFFICULT.
  • It is often difficult to obey when the task is unpleasant:
    • Paul was beaten for preaching the Gospel. Acts 16:22, 2 Corinthians 6:3-10
    • Jonah was commanded to take a message to Nineveh, telling them that the wrath of God would come upon them if they did not repent (Jonah 3). Nineveh was the capital of the Assyrian empire, enemies of the Jews; Jonah did not want them to be saved, he wanted them to suffer and be destroyed. This would be as if a Jewish American were told during World War II that he needed to go to Nazi Germany to take a message to the Nazis so that they could repent and be saved.
    • Other difficult tasks: love your neighbor, ask forgiveness, give forgiveness, be holy.
      • Sometimes there are things we need to do that are difficult, like turn off that television show we shouldn’t watch (Psalm 101:3 “I will not look with approval on anything that is vile.”) or reach out to that person in need (James 1:27 “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”)
      • Role-specific commands.
        • God also has specific commands in the Bible that apply only to certain people. There are commands for husbands and wives, children, parents, unmarried women, leaders, pastors, etc. and there are general commands that all Christians must follow. (See the books of Ephesians, Colossians, 1 Timothy, 1 Corinthians, 1 Peter, Tutus 2,  and Proverbs 31 for some specific instructions regarding your station in life. )
        • Thought to consider: what is my specific role in life right now? Are there any specific commands for me in the Bible? Am I keeping them?
  1. Following instead of FLEEING.
  • Jonah went completely the opposite direction of what God told him to do.
    • Even if you do not run from His commands, inaction is still disobedience.
    • Circumstances seemed right for Jonah to do his will, instead of God’s.
    • It is best to be in God’s will now, to bring Him glory and follow His commands. God promises to bless those who follow His precepts. Psalm 103:17-18 “But from everlasting to everlasting
      the Lord’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children— with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.”

      • Noah’s family was spared – Genesis 6
      • Abraham was blessed – Genesis 18:17-19
      • Lot was saved – Genesis 19
      • God’s will does not go away if you ignore it, and whether you like the command does not change it.
        • There was a story of a woman who would throw sticks in the air every time she came to a fork in the road to determine which way to go. Upon observing her repeatedly throwing a large number of sticks in the air one day, a man asked her why she threw so many. She replied “I throw them until they land in the way I want to go!”
        • Thought to consider: Am I guilty of trying to conform God’s will to my desires?
      • The Lord will discipline those who are disobedient, as a father disciplines his child.
        • Jonah was swallowed by a great fish. Jonah 1:17
        • Solomon’s Kingdom was taken from him. 1 Kings 11:10-11
        • King David’s son died, other men slept with his wives, and his household was filled with calamity and violence. 2 Samuel 12:7-14
        • Moses was not allowed to enter the promised land. Deuteronomy.
        • Israelites forced to wander for 40 years.
  • Conclusion: Mold me and make me after THYwill.
    • Pray for God to show you His will for your life, and earnestly ask Him to change your heart and shape you according to his will.
    • In summary, 3 ways to know God’s will: 1. Read the Bible. 2. Pray. 3. Seek Godly counsel from mature believers.

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