Ministry Material

They only were hearing it said, “He who used to persecute us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.” And they glorified God because of me.
Galatians 1:23‭-‬24 ESV

Paul–the great missionary who penned many of the New Testament letters–was there at the stoning of Stephen. Yet he wasn’t there as a supporter of Stephen; he was the condoner of Stephen’s execution. Yes, Paul, the one who was greatly persecuted time and time again for declaring the message of the Gospel was once an opponent of that very same Gospel. And not just an opponent; he relentlessly pursued the followers of Jesus with the intent to destroy them.

But then God.

I love this part: but then God. Yes, God got a hold of Paul’s heart…and his life was never the same.

We have probably all heard of Paul’s great conversion, how God appeared to him on the road to Damascus. How God guided him to Ananias, who in turn spoke God’s words to Paul.

Again, if you have spent any time in the New Testament letters, you have heard the story. And do you know why we have all heard of it? Because Paul was not ashamed of where he came from; He was proud of what God had done.

In his letters Paul repeatedly reminds the early churches of his past. Yet he doesn’t recall his past with a woe is me, I am so ashamed of what I have done and could never forgive myself, mentality. He doesn’t share only when forced to do so–but instead he shares openly and often.

Why? Paul new his past was part of his testimony. Paul new God had plans to use that past to spread the Gospel. The above verse from Galatians reveals this. Even before people met Paul in person, they had heard about what God has done in his life and glorified God.

So here’s the lesson for today: Don’t look at your past as a source of shame and regret. See it as God sees it: evidence of His grace and ministry material. Yes, be not ashamed of things you have said and done before, but rather be encouraged knowing God can and will use that past to draw others to Himself.

If you allow Him to do so.

I encourage you today: allow Him to do so. Be willing today to share what God has done in your life. Be willing to share the mistskes you have made in the past. Your testimony may be the very thing God uses to provide hope to the one who has found himself where you once were. Or your testimony may be the very thing that keeps someone from landing where you once were.  When we allow God to use all aspects of our lives, even the far from perfect ones, the possibilities are endless.

We all make mistakes. We all have a past. So instead of being chained by it. Instead of hiding from it. Let’s ask God to use it–use it for His glory. Let’s pray that when people hear our story they don’t see all we have done but how far we have come. May they, as those who heard of Paul, glorify God because of us.

 

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Faith to See it All

In recent days I’ve been reading and praying through The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson as well as using a journal that accompanies it. This morning God brought to mind the following story…

A very religious man was once caught in rising floodwaters. He climbed onto the roof of his house and trusted God to rescue him. A neighbour came by in a canoe and said, “The waters will soon be above your house. Hop in and we’ll paddle to safety.”

“No thanks” replied the religious man. “I’ve prayed to God and I’m sure he will save me”

A short time later the police came by in a boat. “The waters will soon be above your house. Hop in and we’ll take you to safety.”

“No thanks” replied the religious man. “I’ve prayed to God and I’m sure he will save me”

A little time later a rescue services helicopter hovered overhead, let down a rope ladder and said. “The waters will soon be above your house. Climb the ladder and we’ll fly you to safety.”

“No thanks” replied the religious man. “I’ve prayed to God and I’m sure he will save me”

All this time the floodwaters continued to rise, until soon they reached above the roof and the religious man drowned. When he arrived at heaven he demanded an audience with God. Ushered into God’s throne room he said, “Lord, why am I here in heaven? I prayed for you to save me, I trusted you to save me from that flood.”

“Yes you did my child” replied the Lord. “And I sent you a canoe, a boat and a helicopter. But you never got in.”

Here’s what God reminded me through this story: the way God answers our prayers is as limitless as His power to answer them. 

The prophet Isaiah declares:

For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.

If God’s ways are beyond what our finite minds can fully fathom, then the way He answers our prayers will not always match the way we think He will answer our prayers. The answer may arise from the most unexpected circumstances. The answer may be well outside that tiny box we placed Him in. That little opening in front of us we want to ignore because it doesn’t match our expectations may be the very door that opens the floodgates to the deepest longings of our heart.

Ephesians 3:20 does not promise God is only able to do exactly what we ask in the way we ask it. No, God is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think. He can drop the 3 million dollars we need in our lap in an instant, or he can provide the 3 million dollars one small donation at a time. He could also require us to do a little legwork and apply for grants or scholarships and host fundraisers. Being active in the pursuit of what we are praying for is not a lack of faith; it is a willingness to understand that God answers prayer in more ways than we could ever imagine.

Therefore, I encourage you today to take God out of the box you may have put him in.  Then ask Him for the eyes to recognize the little and unusual ways He is answering your prayers. Remember, faith is not just the ability to believe God can provide the big, it is also the willingness to realize that God can answer the big through the little as well. Yes, God has the power to answer your big dreams in the blink of an eye, but He also has the power to answer them one step at a time. So join me today in praying for the faith to recognize not just the big and the small ways God answers prayer but the unusual and unexpected ways He answers them as well.

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Ephesians 3:20‭-‬21

Love to the Fourth

so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Ephesians 3:18‭-‬19 ESV

Let’s talk about math for a moment.  If I had a box and wanted to figure out how much room it had inside, I’d measure its volume, for knowing the volume of an object helps me know how much space I can fill.  The simple formula for finding the volume of a cube (aka a box) is length times width times height, or l x w x h.

Since length is one dimension, width is another, and height is another, a box is considered a 3-dimensional object.  I’m sure this makes sense, since we live in a 3-dimensional world.

But have you ever seen a depiction of  a 4-dimensional cube?  I say depiction because we cannot actually SEE a 4-dimensional object because we live in a 3-dimensional world.  One way to think about a 4-dimensional cube (or a Tesseract as it is called in Geometry) is that a tesseract is to a cube as a cube is to a square.

Look at the image below (copied from here) The figure for number 4 is the tesseract. As you can see, it takes a cube to the next level.

So how does this relate to the Bible?  Re-read with me verses 18-19 from the top of the post (emphasis mine): may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

How many measurements does Paul give when praying for our understanding of God’s love?  FOUR!  God’s love has breadth (width), length, height, and depth.  This means God’s love isn’t merely 3-dimensional; God’s love is at the least four. Yes, God’s love takes love to the next level. This also means God’s love is not something we can easily visualize and understand while living in a 3-dimensional world.  We will never fully grasp the true volume of God’s love for us.  The width, length, height, and depth of God’s love for each of us is immeasurable and infinitely greater than we could ever imagine.

So I encourage you today, don’t put God in a box (pun intended).  Don’t put God’s love in a box either.  His love for you goes beyond your 3-dimensional understanding.  His love goes beyond what your finite mind could ever comprehend.  God’s love goes beyond what what you can see with your eyes and feel with your hands. God’s love for you is as deep as it is high and as long as it is wide.  And God’s love for you will never run dry.

Therefore rest in this today: God loves you. He loves you more than you will ever know–more than you could ever comprehend. God loves you. He loves beyond measure and has plans for you beyond compare.

God loves you.

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Ephesians 3:20‭-‬21 ESV

 

Pursue Love

Pursue love…
1 Corinthians 14:1 ESV

Love–the love God calls us to is not natural. It doesn’t come easily. It is not passive. It is not stagnant. It is living, breathing, and in a perpetual state of motion. And we must pursue it. We must chase after it and never stop chasing it. Even if we think we’ve caught it. For the moment we think we have overtaken love–that we have somehow conquered it–if we back off from our pursuit–if we stop doing and saying the very things we did and said before we thought we caught it–we will lose it.

Let’s not get comfortable today. Let’s not sit back and think love is a destination. Love is journey. It’s a choice. It’s a moment by moment decision to be patient and kind, to not envy or boast, to not be arrogant or rude, to not insist on our own way, to not be irritable or resentful, to not rejoice in evil but rejoice in the truth. When we choose to pursue love, we are choosing to bear all things, believe all things, hope all things, and endure all things.

And when we screw up (for none of us is perfect; we will all say and do things contradictory to love), we must not stop pursuing. We must get up, dust ourselves off, and continue forward. Because I will say it again: love is not passive. It’s active. It’s alive. And it never ends.

So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:13 ESV

Seize the Day of Waiting

Seize the day, seize whatever you can
‘Cause life slips away just like hourglass sand…Lyrics to “Seize the Day” by Carolyn Arends

Wait for the Lord ; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord !
Psalms 27:14 ESV

Seize! Wait! Although these two concepts may appear contradictory at first, in God’s kingdom, they are highly compatible. And both necessary.

When I take my kids to the pool, I keep my daughter from the deep end–not because I want to ruin her fun, but because I know she does not have the swimming skills required for staying afloat. So until she is a stronger swimmer, my daughter gets the most out of the shallow end. She seizes the moment while awaiting the future. And I love watching her do so. I love watching her seize the day of waiting.

Unfortunately, however, when it comes to our walk with the Lord, it seems often that when we have to wait for something, we begin the cycle of trying to figure out the why we have to wait and the how we could possibly stop the waiting. We look for shorter ways to get where we want to go. We mumble under our breath at those who appear to have found the fast track to what we deem as success. We spend all our time and energy trying to escape the wait.

Yet instead of spending our wait looking around at what other people are doing and trying to find a way to get to where we want to go, we really need to focus on where we are. We need to be in the moment. We must seize the wait.

Think about it. Who has God placed in your life right now? What is God teaching you right now? What responsibilities do you hold right now?

Sieze them! Minister to those currently in your circle of influence. Hold tightly to your Heavenly Father’s hand as you learn all you can. Do all you do knowing you work not for man but for God.

As you wait for God to illuminate the next step, fully explore the one you’re on. Take the time to pray, to read and to study God’s Word. Learn and do all you can while on this current step, because once you go to the next one, you cannot go back and redo this one.

No, I’m not saying to busy yourself with useless endeavors just to pass the time until God calls you to the next step. What I am saying is to look around you and take advantage of all the opportunities God has graciously provided for you right now. Is there someone you need to talk to you? Is there someone you need to spend time with? Are there lessons to be learned? Or maybe God is asking you to take advantage of the rest now available to you. Whatever it is God has been whispering in your ear during this season of waiting, I encourage you to seize it. Take it for all it’s worth. Make the most of it. Because soon enough today will become yesterday, and you won’t get another chance. So seize today.  Seize it. Seize whatever you can. Because life slips away just like hourglass sand. Seize the day.

Growing Through the Wait

It’s been over a month since I have posted anything here. I’ve thought about it several times, yet the go ahead has yet to accompany my desire. What is the go ahead? God’s leading.  God’s Spirit speaking to my spirit the peace to move forward.

It’s not that I haven’t been writing, for I have been. I have drafted several devotional entries based on Scripture I have been reading. And I have posted a couple of things on Facebook. But in general, this summer has been one of soaking, of filling, and of rest. God has been speaking, and I have been listening. But that’s the extent of what I believe He has wanted me to do in recent weeks.

God wants me to seek right now.  To wait. To watch. So I do. Habakkuk didn’t begin writing the vision before God spoke it. He stood in position and waited. He waited for what God would say.

Therefore, I too, wait. I watch. I willfully choose soaking over sharing.

Is it easy? Not always. For I am a doer–a doer with a dream. Nevertheless, to move forward when God says, “Be still,” would be costly–it would be price I am not willing to pay.

So I wait. I watch. I listen.  And if God is calling you to wait, to watch, and to listen, then I encourage you to do the same.  Be still knowing He is God. Watch, wait, and listen knowing He will speak–knowing you will once again hear God whisper, “Go,” into your ear. But until then, cease striving. Cease trying to do what God has not asked you to do.

Instead, soak. Let His love wash over you. Let the stillness calm your soul. Let His peace that transcends all understanding flood your entire being. Keep being faithful. Keep seeking. Keep searching. Keep looking, listening, and learning knowing He who promises is faithful.  You will “do” again, my friend. You will. And I will post again. But it will be when it’s time. His time. Not mine.

I close with this. A seed buried in the ground requires light, water, food, and time. Give it what it needs, and it will blossom. Deprive it of any of its needs, and it will die. Don’t allow your time growing beneath the surface to discourage you. Rather, keep reading and studying God’s Word, keep praying without ceasing, and keep waiting for what He will say. Allow God to work in the soil of your heart. For one day soon, you will see that sprout. You will break through that soil and grow into a beautiful flower–a hearty flower with deep roots–able to withstand even the fiercest of storms.

All because you waited. You watched. You didn’t rush what God wanted for you. You took the time to cultivate the good soil. And God Himself promises it is the good soil He will use to produce the harvest–a harvest a hundred times better than you could ever do on your own.

So I encourage you to wait, my friend. Wait on the Lord. Wait for the Lord ; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord! (Psalms 27:14 ESV)

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
Galatians 6:9 ESV

Power to Prevail

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.  The prayer of a righteous man has great power to prevail.
(James 5:16)

Have you ever served in ministry without being there?  I have.  I didn’t help set up.  I didn’t help with crafts or drama or meals.  I didn’t even attend the event; I was actually not even in the area.  But I served. I served in a powerful way.  I served in prayer.  Yes, prayer.  I may not have been physically present at the outreach, but my prayers were heard by the One in control of it.  And I know He honored them as well.

Oftentimes we don’t give prayer enough credit; we know we should pray (and we do pray over meals, at bedtime, and during “important” times), but we don’t always believe our prayers have much of an impact. We think of prayer as passive—as something we offer up when things go awry or  when “there’s nothing else I can do.”

But prayer is powerful–very powerful.  Prayer has great power to prevail.  Do you know what “prevail” means?  It means more powerful than the opposing forces.  This means whatever opposes us–fear, doubt, sickness, uncertainty, failure–no matter how seemingly impossible a situation looms before us this very moment–the prayer of a righteous man has great power to prevail.  Not just power; great power. The prayer of righteous man is more powerful than whatever or whoever is opposing him.

Now before you allow the enemy to whisper in your ear, “Well, you’re not righteous, so your prayer has no power,” let me remind you of something very important: we can come boldly before the throne of grace because of what Jesus did for us on the cross.  By tearing in two that wall of separation and by clothing us in His righteousness, Jesus also equipped us with the ultimate defensive and offensive weapon:  prayer.  We can talk with God, cry out to God, worship God, and ask God anything and everything in prayer. And we can do so knowing God hears and God answers, for according to 1 John 5:14-15, “This is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.

Although in essence prayer is simply talking to God, there is nothing “simple” about it. Prayer is active, prayer is effective, and prayer is powerful.  It is also a privilege.  We must never lose sight of the honor it is to have access to the One who rules the universe.  The God of all creation–the very One who created each of us–the holy, righteous, omniscient, omnipotent God of all–has granted us access to Him through prayer.  And not only does He provide access; He answers!

Read with me what James reminds his readers right after telling them about the power of prayer: Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit (James 5:17-18).  This means, in the same way Elijah as a child of God (which you are in Christ Jesus) asked of God, expected God, and saw God move through prayer, so too you can approach God in prayer expecting mighty things–expecting to prevail

No, I’m not saying God is the great vending machine in the sky.  You can’t put your prayers in like money, press your selection, and wait for Him to deliver.  But I am saying that when you seek Him in prayer with a heart that longs to hear His voice and see His will, you can expect Him to move.  You can know the prayer of a righteous man has great power to prevail.

Therefore, let me encourage you today in a few ways.  First of all, don’t limit prayer.  Pray to God daily.  Talk with Him about everything; He’s always listening.  He wants to hear from you.  There is great power in His presence; and when you pray, you are in His presence.  Second, don’t be afraid to pray.  Pray for people you know. Pray for people you don’t.  Pray as you’re walking, driving, riding–in whatever you are doing, pray.  Pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17).  God hears every prayer you pray; and He answers as well.  And finally, if you are facing a struggle today, pray with confidence.  Pray knowing you are accessing God–the God of all who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above anything you could ever ask or think. Pray for that person you long to come to know the Lord.  Pray for that job you so desperately need.  Pray for the child who has gone astray or the husband who needs healing.  Pray.  And as you pray, know.  Know that the prayer of a righteous man (which you are) has great power to prevail.  Yes. Great. Power. To. Prevail.

Patiently Waiting

The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief…
2 Peter 3:9‭-‬10 ESV

Motivation. It’s the driving force behind everything we say and do as well as everything we do not say and do not do. Great motivation can can propel a person into marvelous feats of strength, endurance, and success. Lack of motivation will stunt the growth of its owner. The right motivation will often guide us into good, while the wrong motivation will often cause harm to us or to others.

No one acts without a motive, even if it is as simple as eating because we’re hungry. Furthermore, the how and the why behind everything we say and do, although it may be hidden from those around us most of the time, is always in view of our omniscient God. Yes, God knows the thoughts and intents of our hearts. Nothing is hidden from Him.

Nevertheless, we do not always know God’s thoughts and intents. As finite beings, our view of the events of this life is limited. We are not privy to the thoughts and intentions of those around us, and we are definitely unable to grasp the infinite wisdom of our God and our Lord. This is what makes passages like the one above so special, for it gives us a glimpse into God’s intentions.

Typically, when someone is slow in doing something, it is either because he is unmotivated, unable, or unskilled. My kids are slow in picking up their toys. A student will be slow in completing work he does not understand.  A new employee will be slow as he learns all the new procedures.

Yet human slow and God slow are not the same. God is not slow because He’s unable or unwilling; He’s slow because He’s patient. Yes, God is patiently waiting. He’s providing the time and opportunity necessary for all to have the chance to choose Him, for what God doesn’t want is that anyone should go to Hell. God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. So He’s waiting. That’s His motive. It’s not that he can’t move but that he won’t move until it’s time. Yet when the time comes, it will come as a thief–purposeful, surprising, and efficient.

God is the great promise keeper. This means Christ is returning. He will come back. He is just not doing it on our timetable–because His love longs for all to choose Him. Yes, all.

Therefore, let this encourage you today. First, be reminded that God always keeps His promises. Always. What God has promised will come to pass, so no matter what your current life situation may look like, you never have to wonder if God will do what He says He will do. You may just have to patiently wait for the when. Second, be ready for His return. He is coming. There is no doubt about that.  So be ready and redeem the time. Speak the truth. Share the truth. Be a willing vessel God can use to reach those He’s patiently waiting to call His own.

God is not slow, my friend; He’s patient. And He’s always on time. So run to Him today. Run to Him and then be still. Be still and know He is God. He will be exalted. He will come back. He will come through. He’s just waiting—patiently waiting because He loves you.

 

Put It Away

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator Colossians 3:1‭-‬10 ESV

If you have kids, then you have toys. Lots of toys. You have trains, you have blocks, you have dolls, art supplies, puzzles, games, and a variety of gadgets. And if you have all of the above, you’ve also probably tripped over and stepped on them multiple times because, well, not many kids naturally clean up their things on their own. They must be told to do so. This is why “Put it all away,” is a common direction in my household.  “Put the Legos back on the Lego table.” “Put the markers back in the marker drawer.” “Put those dirty clothes in the laundry basket.” “Put the toys back in the appropriate bins.” “Put it all away!”

And it is this daily reminder to put it all away that came to mind as I read the above passage from Colossians 3. In the passage Paul reminds us we must put away what we no longer need: we must put away the old self with all of its sinful desires.

If you are in Christ, you are a new creation. The old has gone; the new has come. Yet even though the new has come, we as believers often forget to or neglect to put the old away. We no longer want those sinful qualities, but we also don’t take the time to put them all away either. And what happens when the unused and unwanted things are left out?  We trip over them, others get hurt by them, or we become stressed at the sight of the clutter.

So like Paul, I exhort you today to put away the old you–put away the person you were before knowing Jesus. You are not the same person anymore. You are now hidden with Christ in God. You no longer need those worldly traits, for those behaviors and attitudes no longer fit who you are.

Who you are is a child of the King. So get rid of the rags you once wore. Let them go. Put them all away. Stop holding on to what you will never and should never wear again.

Jesus paid the ultimate sacrifice so you could be clean. He purchased you a whole new wardrobe–He clothed you with righteousness. Therefore, as Paul encourages us all, set your mind on what’s above, where Christ is, today. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:2-3). For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit (Romans 8:5). Therefore today and every day, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh (Galatians 5:16).

Do It Afraid

as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.
1 Peter 3:6 ESV

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.
Ephesians 5:22 ESV

And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, “She is my sister.” And Abimelech king of Gerar sent and took Sarah.
Genesis 20:2

I couldn’t imagine being in Sarah’s position as she walked out the events we read about in Genesis 20.  I wonder if she was thinking back to the events in Egypt.  They had been traveling because of a famine.  As they had entered Egypt, Abraham, afraid of the people, had Sarah tell everyone she was his sister, not his wife. Talk about a backhanded compliment!  “Honey, you are the most beautiful woman on earth–so beautiful my life is in danger because of you!  Now lie for me so that they don’t kill me.”  Not sure we could find that one on a Hallmark card.

Yet regardless how that conversation may have sounded at the time, Abraham’s plan had eventually backfired.  And now in Genesis 20, Sarah is again faced with a similar situation.   As they enter Gerar, Abraham proclaims Sarah as his sister, and Sarah goes along with it.  She doesn’t contradict him in front of Abimelech.  She doesn’t cry out, “Oh no you don’t, Abe!  I’m not going through this again!  No way am I going to let everyone believe I’m not your wife!  I may be physically beautiful, but in no way am I going to submit to your foolish schemes!”  If she had been thinking it (which I doubt she was), she didn’t speak it. Genesis 20:5 states she specifically responded with “He is my brother.”

Yes, Sarah was willing to be subject to Abraham’s authority, even if the outcome was filled with uncertainty.

And it is this situation that came to mind as I read 1 Peter 3 the other day.  In the section regarding how wives must behave, Peter explains we are to be submissive like Sarah: we are to be submissive even when it is frightening. Yes, even when it is frightening.

Now I must insert here that I am in no way implying we are to submit to abuse.  God does not call us to abuse.  If you are in an abusive situation, please remove yourself from it and get help.

What I am talking about is fear of the unknown, fear of what may happen, and fear of what others may think.  We are not to be afraid of the possible outcomes of submitting to our husbands.  Instead we must trust God’s ability to guide and to protect us with every step.  I am sure Sarah was a bit fearful as King Abimelech brought her into his home as his wife.  The what ifs had to be overwhelming.  Nevertheless, amidst the memories of the past and the uncertainty of the future, Sarah trusted that God knew her heart and God would protect her.  And God did.  God spoke to Abimelech in a dream and prevented the unspeakable from happening.

I am sure you know God calls us to scary places sometimes.  When He does, it is not our responsibility to know how it will all turn out; it is our responsibility to obey His call while trusting in His sovereignty.  In the same way,  we as wives are called to submit to our husbands as to the Lord, even when doing so is frightening.   No, we don’t have to be door mats, but we must be willing to be subject to their authority.  We must be willing to honor our husband’s God-given authority.  We must be willing to follow our husband’s lead knowing God has our backs.  We must go forth each day knowing our protection doesn’t depend upon our ability to call the shots; it resides in our willingness to submit.  As Proverbs 3:25-26 encourages us, “Do not be afraid of sudden terror or of the ruin of the wicked, when it comes, for the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught.”  In other words, we must trust in God’s sovereignty and protection as we follow God’s command to submit to our husbands as to Him.

I’m not sure what situation you may be faced with today.  Maybe your husband, in your opinion, isn’t making wise choices.  Maybe your husband wants to take a risk you believe unwise.  Maybe your husband feels called to something that requires you to walk way outside of your comfort zone.  Is a move in your future?  Are finances being stretched? Or is there something you desire to do that your husband does not want you to do? Whatever it is that may have you afraid or asking why this morning, I encourage you to go before God and surrender.  Surrender your fears.  Surrender your misgivings.  And then obey what God calls you to do.  Obey God’s voice.  And when God calls you to submit, then submit.  Submit to your husband as to God, even if doing so his scary.  For as you do, you can know that God sees your heart.  God sees your faithfulness.  And the God who sees in secret will one day reward you openly.

Keep on keeping on my friend.  Keep believing. Keep trusting.  Keep obeying.  Keep running the race that it set before you with diligence.  Keep serving our Savior in everything you say and do, even in submission, knowing that one day it will all be worth it as you hear your Savior say, “Well done, good and faithful servant…Come and share your master’s happiness!” (Matthew 5:23).