Luke 8:54

"And he put them all out, and took her by the hand, and called, saying, Maid arise." Luke 8:54

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Quote of the Day

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"I like to picture the Lord handing me a platter at the beginning of each day. On it are the things he has chosen as best for me, and my prayer for daily bread is answered. My part is to receive whatever he gives. Guidance for a decision that need not be final until next Wednesday may require one small move or commitment today. I accept that and act on it without haggling with God because he has not yet granted me all the information I'm itching for. Perhaps patience is his gift of bread for today, or quietness, or the gift of uncertainty, that I may rest in his love, confident that when the time is ripe, the guidance will be clear.

...We can pray with perfect confidence, 'Deliver us from evil,' knowing that he may hurt us, but will never harm us."

~ Elizabeth Elliot

"Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth think hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me. The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands." Psalm 138:7-8

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

When Surrender is an Idol

Spiritual Lessons

When Surrender is an Idol 

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Truth: When Righteousness has His will, our own is often undone.

False: This proves that the undoing of our will is always righteous.

Many Christians have over-spiritualized surrender to the point that righteous action is sacrilegious. Surrender becomes what is holy, instead of God; even if it is an attempt at reverence. When the mindset of relinquishment has become a primary focus, it can lead to a sedentary practice (ie: anti-practice) of Christianity. Surrender is not to be idolized to the point of passivity. Giving up our will is a part of our faith, but it goes hand and hand with works.

When the totality of self -will-abandonment becomes the primary measure to one's spirituality, what is inevitably magnified? Self and abandonment. The Christian becomes obsessed with their crosses and trials, and their faith consists of a relationship to be experienced instead of a religion to practice. Faith should work – not merely experience.

The intentions are noble. Give our will to Jesus – give all for Jesus.
But we look at martyrs of old who really did give “their all” for Jesus. And they were brutally slaughtered not for their experience but for their righteous works and resistance to evil.

This “experience religion” and idolatry of surrender, breeds apathy. It seems spiritual to say “It's not us, we are abandoned, just Christ”, and understandably it's an attempt to give God all the glory, all the responsibility. But instead it leads to disobedience. A refusal to oppose evil. A tolerance of sin, a failure to be Christian. Idolatry of submission hurts people. It is sin. Our inaction is a tolerance of sin – which is evil. Our blind submission to men is dangerous and leads people astray. Our refusal to resist the tyranny that legalizes murder is wicked. We will be held accountable. We must repent. We must obey God.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Authority -- When He Says No II

Spiritual Lesson
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When He Says No II

Some of you may remember that a few years ago I did a post called "When He Says No". This was a post addressed to daughters uncertain of whether we should obey our fathers in certain circumstances. I feel my position has morphed over the last couple of years. I want to share with you this new insight, as well as declare how imperative it is for Christian women in their homes to understand their role as adult women in the father's house.

Our father's role.

If we are in our father's house our fathers are our earthly protectors, leaders, providers. (1 Timothy 5:8) . Our fathers are not our head. (1 Corinthians 11:3). Our husbands are. (Eph. 5:22, Col 3:18). If we do not have a husband, our head is Christ.

Our role as adult daughters.

As virtuous women we are co-laborers with our Christian brothers. We fight the same fight, press toward the same goals, share the same gospel, reach the same souls, and raise the same warriors. We women were made to co-rule, be fruitful, multiply, take dominion. Even as single women, we can serve and minister and encourage. (See why "Our Men Need Us).  The women in the bible are good examples to us of what godly womanhood looks like.

When our father asks us to stop doing something innocent.

There have been multiple times in my life where I went to my father for counsel, or my dad came to me, and he advised me to quit something I deemed innocent. How easy it is to stop a habit or hobby if proved destructive, but what about those harmless ones? What if we don't agree with his reasons?

I have found comfort in this – God often works through my Dad. It wasn't an accident that I am my father's daughter. He purposefully gave me my father as my protector. If my dad is seeking God's will, and he is striving to be the head, provider and protector God desires him to be, I can be confident that Jesus supplies him with the wisdom to know how to lead, provide and protect me.

But what if Dad is not seeking His will? What if his decision to take away something from me is based on a mere whim? What if my father is asking me to practice something against my convictions? What if he asks me to stop practicing my convictions? What then?

Here is where we Christian daughters grow uncertain. I honestly think this comes from lack of understanding in our position as adults, and also a misrepresentation of authority taught in the church.

Many times (even most of the time) I will choose to follow my Dad's advice. Even if I don't understand. I trust his judgment. Even if I have to sacrifice something I really love and enjoy. I trust my father. Not because he is my father, but because he is trustworthy. He not only would never want to hurt me, but he truly, selflessly, loves me. And he understands that I desire to honor him. He takes it seriously when he advises me not to do something. And when I honor him God has always worked something beautiful.

That being said, I used to believe that Dad's desires were ultimately God's desires. Otherwise God would not have allowed Dad to come to that conclusion, or ask of me such a hard thing. I also thought that God's faithfulness to me during those hard sacrifices were proof that He expected me to obey my father. God had "trusted" me with this "trial". And wasn't He big enough to work in my behalf? It seemed like the spiritual thing to do: Accept and obey. 
This simply isn't true.

Our fathers are our final authorities when we are children. This is why the Bible commands us to obey them when we are children. Of course as adults we are still to honor our parents. But honor doesn't always equal obedience. Just as disobedience is not always rebellion.

Admittedly, our fathers do have some type of authority over us as our leaders and protectors. Just as elders of the church do. Or our doctor would. Or the police officer. Our President. Our music teacher. All are “authorities” with differing amounts of authority in our life. As adults, the key is, it is limited authority. A command holds as much power as the authority who demands it. God demanding our obedience is different than if our piano teacher demanded it. Most understand this concept. But for some reason it is harder to conceive when it comes to our fathers.

We are fashioned to be led. (Genesis 2:18) It is an honor to be provided for. Cherished women are protected, and so we can welcome it. But we are not less because we are led. And we are not mindless subordinates. 

Under our father's roof we do have an obligation to abide by his decisions. It is his home and he is the head of his home. But he is still an earthly ruler. He has derived his authority from God. Only God's authority is unconditional. God's conditions to a ruler is that he “rule well” and that they obey Him. When they are contrary to God we are not to obey them. In fact, we may have to stand against them. This is how tyrants are defeated and resistance is justified.

The church does not have unlimited authority, the State does not have unlimited authority, and fathers do not have unlimited authority.

When Dad asks us to Stop doing a good thing

There were times in my life as a young child that Dad told me no, and I, unwavering, obeyed without question. Aside from when authorities ask something wrong of us, as children we must obey.

As I grew older my Dad would ask me not to do certain things. Even though an adult I misunderstood authority and obeyed, believing this was my duty. And I gave it up to the Lord and He brought about so much good in my life because it. And I am so thankful I listened to my father's good advice. Even though many times it was a major sacrifice. Did Jesus reward my actions because it was righteous to obey my authority? Or did he reward my faithfulness (in what I assumed was my duty)? I've heard over and over people try to prove that daughters (and even sons) should obey their fathers because Jesus knows best and He has blessed them for personally making that choice. I thought that way, and persuaded others with that idea as well. But, I've watched God use the all sorts of people, ways and means, that were less than perfect or right. I believe Jesus rewarded my faithfulness. I am convinced Jesus doesn't expect adults to totally submit to any authority outside of Christ. Not to doctors, professional educators, pastors, elders, men, government officials. Or fathers. Even when we submit to each other as siblings in Christ, it is not a total unquestioning surrender. The closest thing I see in the Bible to complete submission (other than Christ as our head) is the submission to our husbands. Probably because it is a picture of the Bride and Christ. But even in this, it is not quite comparable to Jesus' authority. Because He is ultimate. Autonomous. God. It is dangerous and unhealthy to give any man unconditional obedience.

Can God use our leaders and protectors to guide us? Yes. Absolutely. God has shut down “my way” on several occasions through my father's good advice. And I will be eternally thankful for it. Does it prove that God has constructed the father to be a head over his daughter? That we daughters must abide by our father's convictions and standards. No. It doesn't.

It has also been said that God is not limited or hindered by our authorities. He can move them as rivers of water. The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it withersoever he will. Proverbs 21:1 . Is this true? Yes! Is this proof that we can in good conscience completely obey our authorities' every command? Only if our authorities are to always be obeyed. No exceptions. The spiritual leaders commanded that the disciples stop preaching Jesus. Did the disciples stop and say “Well, God can change their hearts...we will pray for this and obey these leaders”? No. They obeyed God as their final authority.

In my last post I asked: “What if our father asks us to stop a good ministry?” My answer was based on the idea that our father's were our authorities. That they deserved total obedience. I encouraged that God doesn't need you to minister. “He chooses human vessels to do His work, but He doesn't need you personally in that area to minister to those souls. That specific work is not reliant on you. It's His power and His timing and you're His channel. If your God-given authority has taken you out of that ministry, God will raise up another channel in which to achieve His purpose. When a door is closed Jesus always opens up another one. He will show you which good works He wants to work through you.”

I no longer agree. In fact, I passionately disagree. God has chosen to use us. Of course he doesn't need us. He created the universe, He could make all men bow down and believe too, but He doesn't. Instead He chooses to use man, even though He also allows free will. God has called us personally to certain things. Sharing Christ, teaching nations, loving our neighbor, edifying the saints, etc. Of course His Kingdom is not dependent on us. But He has chosen His message to be reliant on mankind's obedience in spreading it. Of course nature, in it's own way, speaks His glory. But nature was not commanded to be Christ-like. You were. It is true we are simply an earthen vessel. But this is no excuse for our passivity; only proof of the excellency of His power when He uses us. We have no guarantee that God will raise up another channel in our place if we fail to obey. Even if we did, this is not a cop-out for disobedience. And we cannot chalk up all “closed doors” to Jesus' will. The gates of Hell prevent us, but we are to storm them, not assume it's not God's timing just because they're closed against us.

And it is certain that we are unable to fulfill every opportunity presented to us. But we do know the good works He expects of us. So we obey. It's not an option – because unlike human authority, He's our Creator, Savior, and there is none beside Him. He is our ultimate and final authority.

Are we morally obligated to obey our fathers? No. Should we honor them? Of course. Even if it's hard? Yes. Even if they are unbelievers? Yes. What about in our relationships? Are we to obey? What if Dad says no to a beau? We honor his decision. In whatever way that God leads us to do that. It might mean stopping the relationship and praying and fasting. If we value our father's opinion and he has “red flags” than it would be naive and foolish to not heed his advice. But as an adult, our head is Christ.

We will answer to Christ for our actions. Not our fathers. And when we enable our fathers false view of authority, (by submitting to their false authority) we are doing everyone involved a disfavor. If our father has asked us to do something ungodly, or to abstain from God's commandments, we are personally sinning, and sinning against our father. We are enabling them, providing them the opportunity, and condoning their sin. This is unhealthy and unrighteous. We can hold this conviction humbly, meekly, and with grace. Righteousness is not arrogance.

When is it okay to disobey?

God is our final authority. Not man. If an authority commands us to directly disobey God, or commands us not to do something that God specifically commanded us to do, we have the moral obligation to obey God over man. (Acts 5:9).

Many times in scripture we see God's children under authorities who had no relationship with God. What we see every time is these men or woman being faithful to their earthly authorities, serving them with respect. Think of Daniel, Joseph, and David. It wasn't until their authorities asked them to disobey God that they humbly refused obedience.

In godly humility and respect and in much prayer should we ever resist an authority. I have seen it done the right way – it can be done. And God is in it and rewards them. And I've seen it done incorrectly, and there was only sorrow and pain and evilness as a result.


We Christian daughters are universally weak on our understanding of authority. It is imperative that we learn, because as Christians we are meant to free mankind, not to be dominated and controlled by it. False view of authority leads to man-worship and stunted Christianity, as well as sinful behavior. Freedom from this false view will change our life, which always results in the changing of other lives. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Quote of the Day

"The real corrupters of society may be, not the corrupt, but those who have held back the righteous leaven, the salt that has lost its savor, the innocent who have not even the moral courage to show what they think of the effrontery of impurity, --- the serious, who yet timidly succumb before some loud-voiced scoffer, --- the heart trembling all over with religious sensibilities that yet suffer itself through false shame to be beaten down into outward and practical acquiescence by some rude and wordly nature."                    

J.H. Thom

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Love Enough To Let Go

Spiritual Lessons 

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Love Enough To Let Go

Dear sisters,

I wanted to encourage you. How many of you feel “in love” with someone, right now? How many of you have that someone love you back? And yet you both remain silent. You can't move forward for some reason or another?

Do you miss him sometimes? Do little things remind you of him....constantly? Do you sometimes sit still enough to hear the quiet...and he comes to mind?

It's okay. It's natural.

Just wanted to encourage you to be thankful to be his friend right now. To tell God so. Jesus has trusted you with this emotional journey. Thank Him for it. It is a blessing to be a godly man's friend. Even if you yearn for it to go further, be okay with where you're at. It's a privilege. Be a good friend. It may be the only thing you will ever be to this man. You might as well be faithful in it. Don't take advantage of it.

If he is a good man, he probably protects you, even from himself. He is pure and discreet and a gentleman. Even despite his own feelings. Thank the Lord for him.

Be careful for his sake. Purposefully be mindful of his feelings.
Don't be afraid to keep quiet, or to revise how you say something. Wait, listen. Tell Jesus first. Go beyond “just” appropriate. Be a sister.

If you love him, ask Jesus to teach you how to love him like He desires you to. Lift Him up before God and embrace selflessness. Desire his best. Recognize he is God's son. Love him enough to let go. Maybe someday God will grant the desire of your heart. But for now, be willing to give up the dream. That is the beginning of truly loving him. You'll be so thankful that you did.

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