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

Is It All Bad Or Is It Good In Disguise

When the car breaks down or we lose a job or a relationship ends we look at those things as bad. The problem with that is that we are looking at them through our eyes. In our way of thinking. God tells us in Isaiah 55:8-9 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways…For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.”

Let’s chew on that verse for a bit. It is not only telling us that we do not think or behave like God, but that we are no where close to His ways or thoughts. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways…”, that’s quite a comparison. Mankind has no idea how high the heavens are. They appear to expand forever one universe and galaxy after another. This is how different God’s ways and thoughts are from ours, so different that our minds can’t even comprehend the vastness of them.

But He does promise to give us wisdom if we ask, so that we might understand what He chooses to reveal to us.

In God’s economy a broken down car when you don’t have the money to fix it may be an opportunity to grow in trusting God. He may surprise you with unexpected funds at just the right time or the blessing of someone to fix it out of the kindness of their heart.

In God’s economy everything works together for good. It may not come right away or in your timing but that would be your way not God’s way. Even though He may tarry He is never late.

The lost job, as unsettling as that is is an opportunity for a better job or the start of a new career or as it was with my father an opportunity to retire early even if that wasn’t his choice. Though it was not my father’s choice to retire early with health problems or mine to leave the work force and become disabled long before I was 40, God took care of my dad and continues to take care of me. It has been a walk of faith and trusting God. What I thought at first was a crisis has freed me to be a blessing to others in whatever way God shows me.

If it is a relationship that is ending believe me when I say I feel your pain. Twenty Two years ago when I was going through my divorce I thought my life was over and the world was coming to an end. I had gone from my father’s house to living with my husband. What did I know about being single? How would I ever survive? Because of my stubbornness it took me a long time to get to the point of being okay alone and learning how to rely on and trust God for my needs. He met those needs in a myriad of ways, sometimes through people, sometimes I had to truly cling to Him alone. Looking back the pain and suffering that came from the end of that relationship has matured me into the woman of God I am today. Stable in my relationship with my LORD and whole as an individual that has something to offer another individual should God choose.

So you see what seemed horrible, unthinkable, and beyond my abilities to cope turned out to be the very tool God used to draw me closer to Him and to mature me, to grow my faith and trust and reliance on Him and for that I am eternally grateful.

Would I have chosen the divorce? Never! Am I grateful for what God brought out of that situation? Yes, yes a thousand times yes!

I have even seen God use death for good. When my dad died at his celebration of life the gospel was shared and that next Sunday three new people where going to that church. One of them being my dad’s wife my stepmom whom I always called mom. She did not only start going to church but the Holy Spirit lit a fire in her soul. She would invite us kids to join her or more honestly highly encourage lovingly to come with her. It did my heart well after praying for so long for her.

I honestly don’t know anything no matter how painful it is that God can’t use it for good.

Precious ones if you are in the midst of a painful time please don’t misunderstand me and think that I take your pain lightly or flippantly. Finding the good in things varies, with my divorce I was a broken woman for a very long time. When my dad and stepmom died they had both been sick for a long time and in a great deal of pain, so I was comforted by the thought that they were no longer in pain and rejoicing with Jesus. Don’t get me wrong I have my days when I miss one or both of them terribly. Its then that I talk to God and talk to them as if they can hear me from heaven. I know God hears me and that gives me comfort and talking to my parents gives me comfort also.

When things start going wrong ask God to be able to see His ways and understand His thoughts. Then ask Him to help you to trust Him to get you through it. You’ll be a much healthier and happier person if you do. “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed sprit dries up the bones.” (Proverbs 17:22) You see if you have a cheerful heart it’s good  medicine, thus it stands to reason that you will be healthier. As one who fights depression I can attest to the fact that “a crushed spirit dries up the bones”. It feels like you’re withering away.

Joy – A Woman After God’s Own Heart

You Were Created To Be Loved!

When God created the heavens and the earth and the animals He then said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness” Genesis 1:26a  God was looking for someone with whom He could be in relationship.  We were made for relationship. Man had been created in God’s image. God is a triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit each in intimately connected to the other. Since we are created in God’s image we also need intimacy. God wants to have that intimate relationship with us.

In the garden before the fall of man, man had a relationship with God that was intimate.  (Genesis 3:3-9) For man to have been afraid of the sound of God walking in the garden, he must have been familiar with the sound for it to cause fear.

God created mankind to be in relationship with Him. But sin destroyed that. But our God is a merciful God. He is never without a backup plan. This rebellion was of no surprise to God. He’s  backup plan, Jesus Christ, was already worked out it was just going to come in His timing.

That offering took place on the cross by Jesus Christ.  You see God did not lie when He said anyone that ate of that tree would die.  The penalty for sin, which is what eating that fruit was – sin, is death.  God is a just God. All sin is equal in His eyes.  Holy can not look on unholy and sin makes us unholy no matter how big or small it is.

But God is also a loving Father that wants the very best for His children and longs to have relationship and longs to shower us with love.  He didn’t want us to die in our sin apart from Him.

So as a Holy Judge He accepted what Christ offered to do.  Jesus said, “Father (Your Honor) I’ll pay their penalty. I will die that they may live. Let them go and let me pay the price.”  So that is what Jesus did on that cross so long ago.  He died on the cross in place of you and me.  Now if He had just died that wouldn’t have been enough but He rose from the dead and now sits on the right hand of God.  When someone accepts what He did for them and asks forgiveness of their sins and repents of those sins.  Repents means turns away from.  Then Christ tells the Father that one is one of mine.

Once that is done the relationship we were created for.  That ache in your heart that can’t be filled with anything in this world; not a mate, children, riches, drugs, sex, food, anything that you may try.  That ache in your heart was put there by God so that you would come to Him.  He longs for you.  He wants to be there in the dead of night when no one else is there to be cried out to and soothe and comfort you.  He wants to be there during your joys and hear all about them.  He longs for your worship and for you to be still to listen to His voice as He speaks to you.

He’s the father of the prodigal son standing expectantly, looking down the road, hoping fervently to see you coming to Him.

He’ll knock on your door seeking fellowship with you, but He’s a gentleman and will never force Himself upon you.  It’s you, with your free choice, that must open the door of your heart to start the relationship.  He loves you that much! He puts it in your hands and leaves it to you.  Whether you choose to accept His gift of love is up to you.

Joy – A Woman After God’s Own Heart