I’m at a loss

“And further, submit to one another out of reverance for Christ. For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church. As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything. for husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up His life for her…In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself.”  Ephesians 5:21-25, 28.

My husband and I minister to couples both inside and outside our church. We have seen them at their best and their worst. We have been witness to God’s restoration miracle  and the devil’s irreparable attacks. Lately, I have seen more of these horrific attacks. While I know God is still a God of miracles, it appears as though Satan has achieved such a stronghold on people and they are willing to be his puppets.  I say “willing” because we know the exits when the father of lies comes calling.  God gives us the outs we need, however, we have to walk through those exits into His arms.  We are sinners and sin is fun (for a while) and therefore we stay and wallow in the muck and mire that threaten to drag us under.

I have friends that are neck deep in mud. One willingly, one not. My heart aches and breaks for both of them. While one seeks God, one seeks Satan. While one seeks wise Christian counsel, the other seeks worldly advice with devastating consequences.

Just as there is no such thing as a victimless crime, there is no such thing as sin that does not have far reaching affects. Men and women who are willing to walk away from their marriages, leave behind a devastated spouse; children who blame themselves, friends wondering how they missed the signs, a church family whose faith is rocked and others who may begin to question God. I bear witness to all of this.

What would happen if husbands and wives took Ephesians 5 a little more seriously? Maybe we would stop looking at ourselves and begin to see our spouses as the blessing and gift from God that they are. We are sinners.  We are sinful, selfish beings saved by an unconditionally loving God. If we turn to Him, He will guide our paths. We have to look beyond ourselves, beyond our own selfish desires and to Him.

To be a true follower of Jesus Christ, you have to be fully surrendered to God! ~ Allistair Begg

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Just like God

Proverbs 3:6

…in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

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My husband and I enjoy hiking.  On Saturday mornings when I don’t go into work, we drive to Piestewa Park and hike on one of the many scenic routes that Arizona has to offer.  On a recent, non-working, Saturday, I attempted to wake up my college age daughter to go with us.  She was very comfortable in her bed so it was just my husband and me.  My daughter’s parting words to me…”don’t be a whiner baby.”  In other words, enjoy yourself and stop complaining about the climb. All throughout the hike my daughter’s words echoed in my brain.  I maintained a positive attitude and also did not whine.  Yes, I had to stop and catch my breath or allow my legs a small reprieve, but I did not whine.  While on the most challenging portion of the hike, I noticed something.  My husband would lead the way and encourage me to follow him.  He was able to navigate the easier ways to climb, with the more sturdy footholds and less chance to slide or fall.  Not once did he complain or use disparaging words to try to “motivate” me. He was just there with his hand out to me in assistance when the climb was steep.  If he heard rocks begin to slip underneath me his hand would extend and he would grab me.  When we reached the peak of our climb, we stopped for an extended water and rest break.  Looking around at God’s Creation, I realized all the physical exertion and shortness of breath had been worth it.  We had persevered and eventually conquered.  It was an amazing feeling.  I even heard the Rocky victory theme in my head.

That’s when it dawned on me. It is this way with God. He choses which path He has for us.  He attempts to lead us down the path He has for us and what do we do, we complain. We whine when it gets difficult and perhaps we even fight Him every step of the way.  He is there with His hand outstretched waiting for us to take ahold of it so He can guide and direct us.  He keeps us on the sturdy path, we often choose the path that looks easier but may be misleading.  Our own paths are created by sinners. God’s path is created from perfection. On our road the dirt and rocks we tread upon are built from our own desires and we are a selfish people. We do not see what lies ahead.  Although God’s path may be rock filled, we may slip, we may fall, He is there with us. He sees what’s ahead. He consistently reaches out His Hand and will catch us when we fall and guide us through the steep climbs and narrow passageways.

Where is He directing you?  What path has He laid out before you?  Are you going down your own path or His?  It may be time for you to change directions and allow God to lead.  His ways may not be our own, however, the best place for you to be is in the Will of God! Stop complaining and enjoy the view!IMG_0899[1]