Are We Willing To Hear A No or Say A No?

The messenger who went to call Micaiah said to him, Behold now the prophets unanimously declare good to the king.  Let your answer, I pray you, be like theirs, and say what is good.  But Micaiah said, As the Lord lives, I will speak what the Lord says to me.

– 1 Kings 22:13-14

How many times in life do we have the opportunity to stand up for God and we choose to become yes men instead?  Ready to give the populous the answer they crave, rather than the answer that they so desperately need?

Reading this passage I’m convicted at the conviction with which Micaiah remained true to God.  He was getting not just peer pressure but pressure from the king and his advisors to fall into line with everyone else.

Denying their request could have had horrible circumstances to it, but he shows no fear in his answer. “As the Lord lives, I will speak what the Lord says to me.”  No there is not a shred of fear or doubt or waving of what is the right thing to do. He is confident in his Lord and in the relationship he has with his Lord.  He hears His voice clearly and will not bow down to men but only to his Lord.

God was saying, “No!” to this people and Micaiah was the only one who was willing to listen to God and carry the message to the people whether they liked it or not.

Are we like the hard hearted people that Micaiah kept speaking to?  Unable to hear when God says, “No.”?  Or are our hearts open to the voice of God speaking to us and saying for our benefit, “No.”?

With a softened heart we are not only open to His no’s but His yes’s and not yet’s and maybes’.  When we have an open heart to His voice we have opportunity for relationship.  That is the sweetest thing of all!  With relationship we can handle the yes’s, not yet’s, maybes’ and no’s.  Even if He chooses not to tell us why we can trust in His goodness and faithfulness that whatever the answer it is for our best.

Are we unable to stand up to the peer pressure and say, “No.” when appropriate? Would Micaiah or the Lord be proud of our stance?  Did we stand up to the king and his advisors when they were wrong or did we cower?  As if we didn’t serve and have at our side the Master and Creator of the Universe, The Alpha, Omega, I AM, The Bright and Morning Star, King of Kings and Lord of Lords!  If He is for us who can be against us?

We must take courage when given the opportunity to share our hope and strength and courage and faith to step out on faith that the Holy Spirit will give us the words we need to touch the heart we are talking to.  After all this in not our work we are doing but God’s work and He will not let His work fail.  The only way it won’t work is if we don’t share.  Even then God will find someone else to share with that person.  But we will miss out on the blessings of sharing our faith with someone and possibly, just possibly even the blessing of introducing that person to Christ and being there as they commit their life to Christ.  Surely that’s a blessing that is too great to think about missing.

Joy – A Woman After God’s Own Heart!

Honor Your Body

“The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.  Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself?  Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute?  Never!  Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body?  For it is said, ‘The two will become one flesh.’  But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with him in spirit.

Flee from sexual immorality.  All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.  Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?  You are not your own; you were bought with a price. Therefore honor God with your body.”

1 Corinthians 6:13b-20

There was a time looking at verse 20 “you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.”  I thought that that was all inclusive.  Meaning if I had eating issues I was not honoring God with my body. But if you look in context of the scripture that is not what it is saying.

Let’s start at verse 12 and go to 13a:

“‘Everything is permissible for me’ – but not everything is beneficial.  ‘Everything is permissible for me’ – but I will not be mastered by anything.  ‘Food is for the stomach and the stomach is for food’ – but God will destroy them both.”

As far as food is concerned the question is not is it permissible but is it beneficial. I had allowed food to become my master and that is where the problem is.  Nothing should be master over me other than my Precious Lord.

So the question then came to me if eating right was no longer how I honored God with my body what was it?  I had to look at the scripture in context and then it became very simply to know what God wanted of His children.  He even says it. “Flee sexual immorality!”

I’ve been single for 22 years and I know that this isn’t always a popular topic in any community to talk about.  In the secular community it isn’t politically correct to talk about sexual immorality.  As a matter of fact it is believed that sexual freedom is a part of our constitutional rights.

But those of us that follow God’s law are called to a higher standard.  We are called to sexual purity.  There is no place for sex outside of marriage!  It is Biblical.  It breaks my heart when I hear of Christians struggling in this area.  Not to say that I haven’t in my past but we have the fruits of the Spirit to help us one being self-control.

From my experiences if I go beyond where I can remain pure in not just body but mind as well, I’m sunk and self-control is out the window.  So I had to look at where my boundaries are for dating, since this recently became part of my life.  What can I do that will keep me pure physically and mentally.

This took some rigorous honesty with myself.  Is holding hands okay?  Is having his arm around me okay?  Yes as long as it is above the waste.  Is hugging alright? Definitely!  Is cuddling alright?  I think so.  Is kissing on the lips alright?  For me this is where I had to stop.  Kisses are very sexual to me and my mind then runs wild and sometimes my body.  So should it be God’s will that will wait for the man I marry, on my wedding day.

And oh will it be worth it!  You see I want to be as pure as possible and I want to do my best to avoid any traps the enemy may try to put in my way.  I want to be pleasing to God.

I also know that once the physical starts the talking and friendship development starts to suffer if you start to get to hot and heavy too fast.  With the right man I’ll have a lifetime for that.  But to find the right man is the most important thing and I don’t want to eliminate the courtship of learning about each other as friends and caring for that person without sex getting in the way.

I know my ways may sound foreign to many of you but I’m confident of this that my desires to please God and honor Him will be blessed.

If your in a relationship do yourself and your partner a favor and talk about what are your boundaries.  Do yourself the greatest favor and before you get together pray and seek God to help you find what is the best set of boundaries for you.  Then you can come together and see if you can honor one another’s boundaries.

Joy – A Woman After God’s Own Heart!

That Amazing Tongue

It is amazing what the tongue can do.  With it we are able to enjoy the food we eat and distinguish between bad and enjoyable tastes. We can tell the difference between the sweetness of a strawberry and the sourness of spoiled milk.  We can also taste the subtleties of the various flavors put into a mouse.  Yes God made an amazing tool when He made the tongue.

It is also amazing what mankind has discovered he can do to it.  They pierce it.  Well I just leave it at piercing.  That seems odd enough for me.

The things that they can do with their tongue is pretty amazing from folding it to touching their nose to what this man did.

Yuck is all I can say! That’s not my idea of a kiss! But whatever.

But this most amazing instrument also has the ability bring forth wisdom or folly as mentioned in Proverbs 10.  The Bible commends those who are wise with their tongue but condemns those who are not, calling them a fool.

It is so easy to be unwise.  A little slip here and before I know it I’m gossiping, I’m sure your familiar with the problem.  A car cuts you off and in an instant you’re calling them a fool or worse.  Maybe you’re tired and have a headache when you come home so your curt with the ones you love.

What wisdom does the Bible have to say to strive for?

“Whoever conceals hatred with lying lips and spreads slander is a fool.”  Proverbs 10:18

“Sin is not ended by multiplying words, but the prudent hold their tongue.”  Proverbs 10:19

“The tongue of the righteous is choice silver, but the heart of the wicked is of little value.”  Proverbs 10:20

“The lips of the righteous nourish many, but fools die for lack of sense.”  Proverbs 10:21

How might we tame such a wild beast you may ask?  That only comes through the help of the Holy Spirit.  We have been given the fruit of the Spirit which are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, against such there is no law.  All we have to do is to mature in the fruit.

As the fruit of the tree depend on the tree to give it life and let the fruit mature to ripening so we must depend on the Holy Spirit until that day when we are called to Heaven and then the maturing or ripening will be done.

I’m not saying that it is easy to hold your tongue and change old behaviors but it is possible and it is vital to your Christian walk.  If we are to shine God’s glory our words must be in accordance with His Word.

Joy – A Woman After God’s Own Heart

Having The Mind Of Christ

“I see a different law in the parts of my body, waging war against the law of my mind.” Romans 7:23

“God will not release us from anything that has enslaved us until we’ve come to the mind of Christ in the matter.

Take the bondage of unforgiveness, for example.  When we want to be free from the burden of not forgiving, we want God simply to take that person out of our minds.  We want Him to wave a magic wand so we’ll never have to think about that person again.”

By Beth Moore in “Breaking Free Day by Day” (Devotional)

I have found this to be true in my life.  There have been people that I wish I could just forget them and the hurt that they have caused me.  But that is not God’s way.

“Who has known the Lord’s mind, that he may instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.”  1 Corinthians 2:16

What does that mean to have the mind of Christ.  Surely as this verse points out we are not in a position to instruct God.  So what does it mean?  It means that we now have a choice to make to think in our old fleshly way or to think as Christ would have us think.

Let me give you an example.  When my marriage fell apart, I was hurt, angry and depressed.  My husband had walked away from our vows and no number of therapists were going to get him to return.  Neither was any number of self-help books or my coaxing would change his desire to turn his back first on God and then on me.  I’m not saying I didn’t play a part in all of it.  I had put my husband in front of God.  Mistakenly thinking that I was being Biblically submissive.  I was gravely mistaken and now know that I had put my husband in the position of an idol.  Nothing comes before my relationship with God.  I’ve heard said, “That a woman’s heart should be so close to God that a man would have to go to God to find her.”  I just love that!

Anyway I needed to forgive my ex-husband and the flesh, angry and hurt by his decision wanted nothing to do with forgiveness.  Yes I would wish that God would make him just vacate my mind so I wouldn’t feel this pain anymore.  But that is not how God works.  In time the Holy Spirit did a work in my life and I came to realize that to turn his back on God he must be hurting somewhere.  You see I started to think with the mind of Christ instead of the flesh.  It got to the point that even after the divorce I found myself praying for him.  He is hurting and he is lost and it is my fervent prayer that he returns to God.  That is the mind of Christ, caring for someone that may be undeserving of your caring but then, we are all undeserving of God’s caring.

As Beth Moore puts it, we think in two different mental languages one is of the flesh and one the mind of Christ (Paraphrased).  God gives us a choice on which language to think in but with that choice comes consequences.  Which ever language you choose the flesh or Christ that is the language you will become fluent in.  I choose to practice the mind of Christ more and do all I can to put to death the flesh.  What do you choose?

Joy – A Woman After God’s Own Heart