Making provision for The Lord

Reading about the sheer amount of struggles so many, both unmarried and married are facing with food, immorality and other personal struggles, I couldn’t help but write this article. Not just for everyone else, but also for myself. Seeing people fall who seemed so secure in their walks with The Lord, is both saddening and humbling. If these giants of the Faith can be so shaken, I can be too.

In my discouragement, I had to look to what The Lord had provided us about this topic in The Bible, in the hopes that I could find a gem or two in The Word for now, and for the future. I believe I have…

In 2 Samuel 11, The Bible tells us it was time for the Kings to go out to battle, and King David chose to stay at home, instead of be with his troops in battle. Not only that, The Ark of The Covenant (The Presence of The Lord) went with them. He was laying on his bed one evening, when he decided to arise and go for a walk on the roof. As he was walking around, he noticed a woman (Bathsheba) bathing on her roof, and as he CONTINUED to look at her, he realised she was “beautiful to behold”. His mind then became so consumed by what he had seen, he in his curiosity asked about who she was, and when he found out, he sent people to bring her to him, full of intent for what he was about to do. He KNEW what he was doing was wrong, there is speculation that Bathsheba’s husband was even David’s friend. It was too late though. After providing provision for the flesh by his idleness, he then provided himself with yet further provision by “beholding” Bathsheba, and then continued to THINK about her.

Then he carried it out, he had an affair with Bathsheba, causing her ruin, and his own. She became pregnant, and when she told David of this, he tried to hide what he had done. He called for her husband Uriah to be sent home in order that he would sleep with his wife, and the baby would be thought to be his. The thing is, Uriah was a different sort of man to David. It would be wrong of him to take pleasure from his wife while his people were at war, and to take his focus from the purposes of The Lord. He was preparing mentally and physically for the battle he knew he would be sent back to, and nothing was going to get in his way.

So he chose to stay away from his wife, to not create provision for his flesh. It was likely he WANTED to go to his wife, at least to see her, to feel at home, but he knew the temptation to drink, and the temptation to take his wife would be strong. So he did not allow himself to go to her, and stayed with the Kings servants instead. When the King found out about it, he couldn’t understand it, but he had to try again. Uriah was invited to a banquet the King had set up, and the King made him drunk, hoping he would put his convictions aside and go to his wife anyway, but again he did not go.

So what does all this mean? From what I can see of this section of the story, King David chose not to do The Lords work, he stayed behind and became lazy. He then saw a woman naked, and instead of choosing to look away, indulged himself in beholding her from afar. He looked at what was not his to have, it was forbidden and he didn’t care. He indulged in his fantasy and curiosity, and refused to allow himself to be convicted in order that he might sin.

Uriah on the other hand had far more right to his wife, and yet he had such strong principles, and convictions, written in his heart, as well as such a strong sense of purpose and direction, he could not allow himself to even provide provision for his flesh. He knew The Lords plans and purposes for his life, and he would not be moved from that, even when tempted by the head of his earthly authorities.

He finished his life honoring and glorifying God. It took a lot of humbling for The King who was known as a man after Gods own heart to finally be convicted of his many sins. It took great repentance, but The Lord forgave him for what he had done, but for the rest of his life he was plagued by the consequences of his decisions, as was his entire family. What was once United became divided.

In his repentance, he had again become a man after Gods own heart, and The Lord blessed him. His relationship with God was restored, but what had happened on earth caused much pain and disorder for many generations.

Friends, I pray for you, as I pray for myself that you will take steps to be like Uriah. Ask GOD what His ultimate standard is. Ask GOD how you can serve Him in this area, and then follow Him tenaciously, and don’t let idleness catch you unawares. When temptation presents itself, don’t THINK about it, renew your mind, and focus on The Lord and what He sees instead of what you see. Stand strong in your convictions and principles, and in doing so bring glory to God. Remember that all God has given us we are stewards of not owners of. Everyone and everything are The Lords, and He calls us to honor all that is His. Especially each other. Don’t take what is and never will be yours to have, even a nibble destroys the apple. Try and make provision for The Lords work in your life rather than your own, or someone else’s. May The Lord bless us all as we endeavor to serve and love Him.

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“Today I am…”

I’ve been reading the book “When God Writes Your Love Story” again to brush up on my view of a Godly love story. In this book, one of the authors talks about her sister-in-law who was single well into her late 20’s. Her younger brother asked her if she thought she was called to singleness, and after pondering for a moment, her response was: “Today I am.”

This not only intrigued me, but it got me thinking about how Godly this response was… You see so many verses in The Bible call on us not to overthink about the future, but to focus on the present and Gods plans for us right at this moment. Some of these include:

Matthew 6:34 (ESV)

“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

James 4:13 (ESV)

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”

Isaiah 40:31 (ESV)

But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

Ecclesiastes 7:14 (ESV)

In the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity consider: God has made the one as well as the other, so that man may not find out anything that will be after him.

1 Corinthians 2:9-10

But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”— these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.

Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV)

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Psalm 119:105 (ESV)

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

It is truly incredible, because Krissy’s words are not just applicable in the situation of singleness, but whatever stage you are in at this moment, if it cannot change without The Lords intervention. The Lord is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path, a lamp holds very little light, only having enough illumination to show you where it is safe to take your next one or two steps. It is not for us to know Gods entire plan for our lives, and I suspect if we did, we would be too overwhelmed by it to even take the first step. Thankfully all The Lord requires of us is to walk. He shows us the way, and He makes the path safe for us to walk down. He holds the map, knows the final destination, and has grand plans for the journey along the way.

We just have to take every opportunity we can to serve Him throughout our day, because sometimes the illumination does not even reach past one full day. If we follow what The Lord says and focus only on the things of today, we can be content to say: “today I am…”

“Today I am single.”
“Today I am well.”
“Today I am going to follow my Lord.”

I encourage you all, as I encourage myself now that I’ve thought of this, to take one day as it comes, to be content with where God has placed you today, and serve Him as He provides the opportunities to serve Him on a moment by moment basis. To be available in your heart and mind to when He calls you say: “Here am I. Send me.”

May The Lord Bless you as you choose to embrace where God has you today.

A time of separation and no dating

Listening to Andy Stanley, my guy friend and I both realised that we need to spend some time reconnecting with God before we can pursue a future (that we both hope is together), with the man/woman God has for us. At the moment, the major block that is in our way of being together is time. We can’t be together for 2 years til he gets his residency here, and if we continue to be as close as we are now, there is no way we can be just friends by then.

We both believe time is our friend, and God has given it to us in this instance to seek Him. At this stage we have decided to part ways indefinitely, and if it’s The Lords will we will be together, He will bring us back together in His perfect timing.

Fight for me

You know, one of the crazy things in the life of a Christian single is the desire to honor your Mother and Father, and at the same time, when the need arises, choose something that they would not. There is such a strong pull towards obeying your parents because all of your life, you are trained that obedience is right, that your parents wisdom and advice should be heeded and acted upon.

Then comes the first time in your life when it is no longer easy to do this, and no assurance from The Lord that in a particular situation you should obey your parents. Your heart is torn in two directions, as is your mind, and you find yourself stuck, not knowing which way to turn. In some ways it would be the easiest option to just go and do what your parents ask and expect, and yet before God you don’t believe that their decision is the right one, but you are still concerned that you may be reading more into what God wants, than is truly there…

The situation I’m talking about right now is finding yourself totally and completely running the same path towards The Lord as someone else. Someone else of the opposite gender, and someone who is Godly, honorable, trustworthy, seeks God above all else including you, respectful of your parents, pushing you to honor your parents more, conducts the relationship without deceit, and desires God’s blessing and your parents; does not want to strip your parents of the position that God has put them in your life, and your ideas of ministry, and where you believe The Lord is leading you are the same. This person supports you, especially through tough situations like a Cancer diagnosis. Refuses to let you put pressure on your parents about you both, so that it doesn’t overwhelm your family in their trials. When they are humble about their walk with God, and not showy about where their at, their relationship with The Lord is strong, and their thoughts run deeply, and constantly on Him. When they have offered to help and support the whole family, and encouraging you to spend more time with your family. When they are not selfish, or possessive, but kind, and gentle. At the same time strong of character, possessing a great deal of self control, and a good measure of the fruits of the spirit.

They are all this and more, and yet your parents have concerns, concerns that do not worry you, concerns that you can see are easily overcome, or that you don’t mind plan B if the outcome is not what you hope for.

The problem is, your parents see this, and that scares them, and they begin fighting to keep you, worried they will lose you, not realizing they will never lose you. Their fighting for you begins to wear you down, makes you question whether or not you are wrong, because of the inbred desire in you to do everything they ask. The pressure mounts up, and you find it hard to function or to choose, you want to seek The Lord, to find peace in the situation, but whenever you find it, it is torn away again by the next conversation.

This is me right now. I’m being brutally raw and honest about where I stand. Part of me sees this from an outside perspective because it’s the only way I’m coping. It’s the battle between your parents dreams for you, and where you believe God wants you to be. You see I have always wanted that when I chose a man to spend the rest of my life with, that we would together bear ten-fold fruit for the kingdom. That I would be built up in The Lord by being with him, and he with me. I see this happening with the man that I have found now, and I have never been in such a close relationship with The Lord as I am right this moment.

If you’re the “me” in this situation, then I pray that The Lord will give you clear direction. That He will make your way easier, that you won’t be left to battle, but that you will be fought for.

If you’re the “guy” in this situation, then I beg you, if you believe that your “me” is the one, then fight for her! How can you do this? Don’t push her parents away, don’t avoid them, but still be considerate of their space. Encourage your “me” to honor her parents as my guy has been doing, to respect their place in her life as her protectors and stronghold. Talk to them yourself about their reservations, write them down, go and think and pray about them, and come back when you have answers and plans in place to ally their concerns. Talk to them about where you stand, how you feel about their daughter, and where you hope to see things going. Tell them how much time you are investing into seeking The Lord in the situation, and the revelations you receive as time goes on.

Tell them what you are doing to honor and cherish their daughter, and how much you respect them and desire their blessing. They fear the unknown, so keeping them up to date is really important… Finally, above all, don’t let your lady be in a situation where she feels torn in two different directions. Fight for her, because her parents are too, but let it be in a way that honors her, her parents, and gives them a peace that she means as much to you, as she does to them. That you are fighting with them for her good rather than against them. Then maybe they’ll entrust her heart to you.

Parents, we get it, you love us dearly and want the absolute best for your baby girl. We understand that you dream for Prince Charming for us more than we have dreamed of him ourselves our entire lives, we know that you hope never to lose us, but to gain a son. In this situation, if you handle things right, you will get what you ask. Mostly.

You taught us well what we are looking for in the man that will be our husband and the father of our children, and we ask that you trust us to make our own decisions in this. You have done your best to train us for this time, and we understand that this situation is new for all of us. We desire to honor you in this too despite how this can alter your personality in your fear, and how you can treat us the way you hoped you never would.

Although we desire to honor you, showing and in some cases, saying that you do not trust us to seek God and make the right decision in this area of our lives can be very hurtful and can push us away. Going to extremes and saying things like: I’m not proud of you, you obviously aren’t listening to God, you two will NEVER get our blessing etc. And expecting unquestioned obedience can be more hurtful than you know, and can push us away. If your baby girl lives at home, she can feel trapped by your judgement of her and her man, and may decide that she needs to prove her independence to you, and her worth by moving out. Undoubtedly you’ll blame her man for this, when really you may have unwittingly told her that she has to grow up, and she might actually obey you in that. Also, your daughter might be very open about where she is at with her guy to help with accountability, but please do not abuse this privilege. As an adult, your daughter does not have to confide in you, she does not have to tell you everything she does or says, and some things she may wish to keep to herself. Please respect your daughters boundaries with you, and don’t see them as deceit, but rather a fine balance between what she is ready to share with you; and don’t pressure her to tell you all when she may be working through something that to her is not black and white.

She really wants things to be easy, she does not want to choose someone you don’t want, but if she perceives that you haven’t given her man a chance from the beginning, she will fight for him. Basically, parents we ask for you to hold your tongue when in your hurt and fear you want to lash out. Try to trust that our choices are not a reflection on your parenting. You did a good job training us, now we ask that you trust us to have heard your advice all this time, and to choose what is right before God. We ask that you let go of the perfect dream man you envisioned for us, and truly seek to know the man that we bring to you, and ask God what HIS dream is for our man, and what HIS purpose is for your daughter. Sometimes, like in my situation, your daughter already is called to missions, and despite who she marries, and from where, she will be off serving The Lord anyway.

Please know that as we did when we were children, we can easily see the emotions that underly everything you say and do. We can easily see if you give the guy a chance or not, and if you don’t, we are less likely to listen to your counsel. Finally, know that we love you, respect you, deeply desire to honor you, and even more deeply hope that you will be the sort of parents who will try to keep their daughters hearts whole, and not divided. When you push too hard, you can push your daughter away, and into the arms of the man you don’t want her with. Only a daughter who knows this will cling to you and hold fast to you as well despite the pain in order to remain wise.

Proverbs 19:21
Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand

Mark 10:9
Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

We know that love is a choice, we know that God doesn’t often tell us exactly who we are to marry, but provides us with many good choices. Please look at the man your daughter has chosen and ask yourselves “why is she choosing this man?”. Try and see the man through God’s eyes and hers. Is he good for her? Does he encourage her to seek God and honor you? Is he pushing her boundaries? Is he bringing out the best in her? Does he support her in the tough times? Is he able to spiritually lead her? Is he encouraging her to be open with you, or to keep secrets? Does he cherish, value and adore her? Is he trustworthy? Has he left sin behind since following The Lord? What fruits of the spirit does The Lord bear through him? Is your daughter bringing out the best in him?

Please parents, we beg of you, ask these questions, and be honest with yourself if you have prejudice against a man. We ask you to give him a fresh start. We ask and pray that you would step back and look at this through God’s eyes. When you do this, we will see, and we will respect that and you for your mutual respect of us. May The Lord guide us all as we journey through these new phases of life.