Dreamer!

Dreamer guyJoseph’s brothers said to one another… Look, here comes the Dreamer now… let’s kill him, and throw him into a pit and we’ll say that some evil beast devoured him; that will take care of him and his dreams! (See Genesis 37:19-20).

Envy, rejection, hatred, these all find their place in the human heart. If we look back we can usually find the entry point, often it results because of an offense committed by another against us, offense occurs and we are wounded… the perfect place for our enemy to build his fortress. Indeed, here we have the story of Joseph whose father favored him over the other boys and gave him a special coat. The favored boy wore that beautiful, colorful coat, and the brothers grew in their hatred toward him because they saw the favor their father, Israel (formerly Jacob) placed upon this dearly beloved child that he fathered in his old age. Add to this, God had given the boy the ability to interpret dreams.

WheatYouthful Joseph had several dreams, and in naivety perhaps, he shared them with his elder brothers and it angered them, and “they hated him even more for his dreams and words.” “Who does he think he is!” they thought. “We will not bow down to him—ever!” Little did they know what lay ahead (Genesis 50:18).

Joseph was a dreamer that God used mightily in His Kingdom. One of Joseph’s great qualities was that he was given these dreams and the ability to interpret them, yet he did not aspire to greatness in a proud and domineering way. He seemed to live out the verse we find in Micah 6:8 (NKJV) ” He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you: to do justly (righteousness), to love mercy (loving-kindness), and to walk humbly with your God.” How do I know this? Read his story in Genesis chapters 37-50 and you will see.

So what about you, Dreamer? You have vision and purpose given to you by God; have others despised or rejected you because of your response to the Father’s call? Well, you’re not alone. To be sure, there will always be people who misunderstand God’s purpose in someone else’s life; we’ve all misjudged others. So how do we walk in a manner that does not exacerbate this condition but rather facilitates loving-kindness toward someone who is treating us wrongly? The verse from Micah 6:8 is a good foundation to work from. When we surrender every situation to the Holy Spirit for guidance and step out of God’s way, by living under His control through obedience, He now has the freedom to use our lives powerfully – just as He did with Joseph! Read his story and see how the many twists and turns were a demonstration of his faithfulness to God and how that provided eventual freedom for him!

Battles within and without are a part of the Christian life. Before we step into God’s Kingdom by way of the new birth experience (See John Chapter 3) we have battles within our heart and for which there seems to be no way out. Many around us are living under carnival demonsthe torment and fear of demonic powers. Once a door is opened to this dark world, spiritual reality comes to life. Relief can only come from this tormenting world if we choose to step out of the old and enter a new realm with God. Once there, we enter another fray; deciding daily to let go and let God be our Source of life. Those who’ve done this realize there was a huge battle involving the spiritual realm of letting go and becoming new in Christ. Prior to giving ourselves over to God, we belonged to self and were influenced by the “Principalities and powers of this world.” Ephesians 6:12 says, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Now that we are “walking in the Light” (I John 1:7) we gain a whole new perspective on who appears to be our enemies, and who actually is.

Jesus warned his followers of many things, including the posture some may take against us when we live for His Kingdom and no longer for ourselves. Rejection, hatred, and even death for some will accompany those who make God their supreme ruler and King. Human control over others is a powerful motivator in mankind. When a person has control over another and that is threatened somehow, there will be a response.

When you decide to come to Christ and surrender your life to Him, you will face persecution (2 Timothy 3:12). It takes on various forms and all of us who have made this choice soon experience the consequences of choosing the Kingdom of God over others. Our life changes from what we have known and trusted in; you become an alien of sorts, someone just passing through (Hebrews 11:13) and the world no longer has a grip upon you. Those around you may not like this. Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. 25 For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? 26 For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.” (Luke 9:23-26)

Idols are powerful things in our hearts that have a grip or hold upon us, yet often we do not realize they are even there. So when Jesus talks about “hating” something or someone, he is referring to the principle of having some supreme idol in place of Him as the King of our heart; loving someone or something more than God. For example, where Jesus tells us to hate someone or lets us know that we will be hated by some people we need to understand what He is saying.
Luke 14:26 (ESV) “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.”
Matthew 10:22 (ESV) “And you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.”
John 15:18-21 (ESV) “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. But all these things they will do to you on account of my name because they do not know him who sent me.”

Some will view you as Joseph’s brothers did him. “Who do YOU think you are!” they thought, as Joseph was given dreams about the future. Perhaps it wasn’t wise of Joseph to actually tell the brother’s what God was showing him at the time (Genesis 37:5). It fueled their angry and hate-filled hearts toward him. They ended up rejecting him and selling him as a slave into Egypt.

Remember that Jesus himself was scorned, despised, and rejected.
Matthew 13:54-58 (ESV) And coming to his hometown he taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished, and said, “Where did this man get this wisdom and these mighty works? Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? And are not all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?” And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his own household.” And he did not do many mighty works there, because of their unbelief.love-3388646_640

Matthew 6:24 (ESV) “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” One of the fears family members place before new believers are that they are going to be required to give all their money away! I’m reminded by this scripture that money is such a huge idol in people’s lives, so naturally, they go there first. In reality, God doesn’t need our money; although he does say we will be blessed if we give cheerfully. Rather he uses money as an indicator for us to determine our heart-change toward Him. When we love Him, giving becomes a pleasure and joy to us and it’s a tangible way of measuring our love for Him and others we may give to.

Giving and serving becomes a way of life for believers. I’m amazed at how much Psychicmoney people spend on themselves! Take for example someone rescued out of a self-centered, worldly life; they (or their family perhaps) didn’t mind when they spent money on unnecessary clothing, sports-idols, fine-dining, alcohol, movies (mostly geared toward sex and violence), fine-coffees, psychic readings, endless therapy, drugs, or social and religious causes. Yet once delivered from the world of sin and self, they realize there is a greater purpose then self-pleasure. So when they begin to give time, energy, or money to God, there’s great concern now that their “addicted” toAlcohol party God! “Whoa!” they say, “You are getting way too serious about this God-stuff. Hold-on… what are you doing!” The hedonistic habits of the world (popularity, sexual pleasure, distinguished career, upscale drugs, fine alcohol) are encouraged by many families over-committed service to God. It’s amazing how when we surrender our lives to God and give, we become a threat to those who will not.

Remember, in dealing with offense and rejection from others — a posture of humility is always good. Humility does not mean victimization, it means you know that God is in control of your life and therefore you can walk in a way that does not exalt self; it’s placing your human strength (and natural pride) under the control of God. Another way to view humility is strength given by God to those who find their confidence in Him. Stand strong, therefore, and be of good courage, God is teaching you how to dream and live for His glory!

Photo Credit: Canva, Pixabay

 

Our Offended World…

We offend God by our sin against Him, yet we fight as though we are righteous and are owed something. ~ N.D. The Pride of Man, America – June 2020

How are you responding? In reaction with raised blood pressure? Fear for what lay ahead? Or are you finding the peace of God that passes all understanding? (Philippians 4:7)

There are two Kingdoms…

Do you know that you can have peace in the midst of this storm? The possibility exists for those who place their trust in God. First, you have to surrender to Christ and allow the Holy Spirit to come and take up residence in your soul. Next, you’ll need to fill your heart (mind) with God’s Word so the Holy Spirit can rivet Truth to your soul (mind, will, emotions). Then allow the Kingdom of God to govern your life primarily, keeping the two kingdoms in their proper place. If you do not know your way through the Bible, or understand the two Kingdoms use a search app like OPEN BIBLE as a good way to search the scripture; you simply type in “peace” or whatever you’re looking for and you’ll find it there.

Let these days of offense be a new beginning in how you view life. God has the whole world in His Hands. Yet, He is looking for people who will respond to Him by interceding prayerfully and acting on His behalf in our world; every life is precious to Him. Will you? You can be a part of the solution, a hidden or visible part, a leavening part. Like the effects of yeast in making bread your life can be great in His Kingdom, by becoming a servant in it.

Remember, God uses marred vessels, none is righteous but God, yet we strive to live according to His standards. David in Israel, Dr. M. L. King and others, are examples of flawed people that lead righteous causes, attempting to bring civil justice to evils against ethnic groups. (Note: I use ethnic groups, because we are all One Race, One Blood –counter to Darwin’s theory of evolution.) Please do not be a casualty of this world’s Kingdom; in Caesar’s battles. Yes act, but only in accordance with God’s will. Read the Manual, the Rule Book, and see where you fit in and then respond.

God works through faith, fear comes from the enemy… and Satan is having tremendous victory in the souls of many through fear and anger. Don’t be one of his casualties, rather be a warrior for God’s Kingdom (Ephesians 6).

Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them. Psalm 119:165 (KJV). 

 Justice for the innocent…

Whatever case comes to you from your brethren who dwell in their cities, whether of bloodshed or offenses against law or commandment, against statutes or ordinances, you shall warn them, lest they trespass against the Lord and wrath come upon you and your brethren. Do this, and you will not be guilty. 2 Chronicles 19:10 (Note: it is helpful to read the entire chapter to see that the fear of God is where justice begins. Romans 13 tells us that God has given government to keep peace and punish evildoers. And it is God’s desire that men’s hearts are governed by Him so they, in turn, will attempt to govern honestly.)

Humility, repentance and prayer….

If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NKJV)

We offend God by our sin against Him, yet we fight as though we are righteous and are owed something.

Photo Credit: Google Images-scripture pic created by Nancy Demary.

Are you Offended?

Offended 9Do you realize that Jesus spoke about offenses because He knew it would be a major obstacle for each one of us, and what we do with an offense will determine the strongholds we allow in our life? Someone experiencing turmoil in their soul will have a trail of crumbs leading to an offense.

Our Attitude, the posture of our heart, is so important when it comes to how we interact with others. Our thoughts, determine how we respond to what comes our way. On any given day we can become offended, it all depends on what’s happening in our soul.

Everyday Offenses
We all have the opportunity to react to people who rub us the wrong way or treat us disrespectfully. If we are not careful, we can develop an offended spirit; everything someone says offends us, we take it personally and allow it to turn over and over again in our minds. This is the playground of our enemy; Satan loves to bring suspicion, fear, and pride into our hearts. A freeing place to live is learning to recognize that you can control your thoughts, and what you will allow to control you. Jesus said, “offenses will come but woe unto those through whom they come.” (Matthew 18:7)

Contempt
Have you been dealt with contemptuously? Homes with addiction are breeding grounds for contempt. Lying is a given, abuse is common, scapegoats are necessary – they are created to handle the blame and feelings of shame. The large elephant consuming the space, time, and poor relational health is ignored with hopes that it will just leave; but it won’t.Offended 3

John and Julie Gottman have done extensive work over four decades on divorce prediction and marital stability, they list contempt as one of the ‘Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” in determining factors in marriage failure.

Contempt is not easily understood, and it comes forth in various ways. Disrespect, scoffing, sarcasm, an attitude of indifference or accusation, are traits of a contemptuous heart (Matthew 12:34).

 Dan Allender’s book The Wounded Heart gives a good understanding of what contempt is in Chapter 3. He points out: “… contempt serves a person entrapped there in four ways: It diminishes our shame, it deadens our longings, it makes us feel in control, and it distorts the real problem. Contempt is complex and often hard to see. It sometimes masquerades as conviction; other times is seems like righteous indignation.” 

Overcoming OffenseSOLUTIONS
STEP 1: Forgiveness – An important step in being successful in dealing with offense is to be able to forgive those who have offended you. It is a journey, and the power of God’s Word at work in your heart is crucial (Hebrews 4:12). His Word has the power to reveal what you need to see and it will retrain your brain to think rightly and help you to avoid remaining a victim of the circumstance.

Unless you can arrive in a steady place of forgiveness, letting go of the offense, and building good guardrails you will not be able to proceed to step 2 properly. “Forgiveness gives me boundaries because it unhooks me from the hurtful person, and then I can act responsibly and wisely. If I am not forgiving them, I am still in a destructive relationship with them…” – Dr. Henry Cloud

STEP 2: Truth in Love
People who treat others with contempt should be confronted about what they are doing. Share specifically what it is that you are seeing. In order for someone to work on themselves they need a clear picture of what you perceive the problem to be. This gives them the choice to take corrective action or not.

Offended 8When someone treats you with contempt it is your responsibility to set boundaries, and be prepared for the possible consequences. When someone has been accustomed to scapegoating or blaming another and you are no longer available for that, this new approach will likely anger them. Your willingness to confront an issue will be very difficult for them to receive.

If you plan to confront someone about their contempt toward you, it is wise to have a support group, Counselingaccessible pastor or counselor, and prayer team in place for emotional support before doing so. To go through the process of confrontation is very difficult and you can easily become overwhelmed and want to give up because of the anger, accusations and rejection you will suffer.

Along with the ensuing attack from those you confront, you will also face a tremendous battle from Hell. Satan does not want people freed from offense – that is his trap and deceptive way of holding them captive. This is why before confronting sin, you need to examine yourself so as to be free of these things yourself, walking in the Light (I John 1:7) and having your heart cleansed by Christ. Our attempt must be in a Christ-like manner even though we fall short of His precise actions, do not let that keep you from bringing clarity and potential healing into your situation. Be sure to pray also, as God may soften their heart and they could receive your words of truth in love and with grace change.

STEP 3: Reconciliation May Not Happen

fenceBy ridding offense from your heart, you place yourself in a position to relate in a healthy way. Family relationships are for a lifetime and worth the effort but it may take time to see change occur. These are the most difficult because of the history and pain involved, and some will choose not to let it go. Patience, caring and love with boundaries are necessary to endure with stability and strength in God, while each one works out their own heart issues (Philippians 2:12-13).

Is Someone offended at Christ in you?

In John chapters 14, 15, 16, and 17, Jesus has intimate discourse with his beloved disciples (place yourself there as you read). Among other things, Jesus tells His disciples that He is sharing these things so that they will not be offended when someone hates them because of Him.

Jesus went on to tell them they would face persecution and have trouble in this world because they chose to follow Him. Not only did the religious leaders of the day treat believers in Christ with contempt, but the Roman authorities wanted to kill them; their lives were under constant threat. Family members also betrayed them because of fear, some because they did not want to obey Christ’s teaching. Some were simply offended with God. Jesus tells us in Matthew 24:10 that many shall be offended and shall betray one another and shall hate one another.

For you, it may be that your family rejects you because of your walk with Christ. Your obedience and love for God will be tested and it will determine your ability to stand for Christ and His testimony of life within you. When our family becomes an idol over God, then God cannot be Supreme (Luke 14:26). Your family may want to control your level of commitment to God and despise you for choosing Him over them. Fear is a big motivator when it comes to our family members. At times, your godly zeal exposes them to their own hearts of indifference toward God. The reasons are not as important as your response to their behavior. Often times people get caught in between an offended person and another party. Someone can react to a concern you express in genuine care, and you may find yourself being falsely accused. Don’t cower with the fear of man and their spin on your situation, stand firm and remember Jesus said this would happen. Receive encouragement by reading these chapters in John; read them over and over for a week or two and see how differently you end up thinking.

person-731467__340[1]When you are experiencing a contemptuous attitude, withdrawing for a season until there is time for reflection, and the Holy Spirit to work, can be helpful. When I think wrongly or say something inappropriate to someone, the Holy Spirit is faithful to convict me and I attempt to make it right with them. Be discerning here as well, because you can over-apologize and diminish the work of the Holy Spirit. If you have spoken truth in love, then stand upon that. Do not waiver due to fear and false guilt but be firmly committed to a godly solution. This is why God’s Word and good counsel is so important for each of us.

What you give your mind to does affect your brain and your actions, or reactions. Do you need faith? Read God’s Word and get yourself into a position of faith and obedience to God. Psalm 119:165 says Great peace have those who love your law, and nothing shall offend them. Let this be your goal as you commend your soul (mind, will and emotions) to God.

Recommended Reading:
A great book on handling offense is, The Bait of Satan, by John Bevere. The book is loaded with biblical principles to help mature us in this area.

Photo Credit: Google Images, Pixabay

Dreamer!

Dreamer guyJoseph’s brothers said to one another… Look, here comes the Dreamer now… let’s kill him, and throw him into a pit and we’ll say that some evil beast devoured him; that will take care of him and his dreams! (See Genesis 37:19-20).

Envy, rejection, hatred, these all find their place in the human heart. If we look back we can usually find the entry point, often it results because of an offense committed by another against us, offense occurs and we are wounded… the perfect place for our enemy to build his fortress. Indeed, here we have the story of Joseph whose father favored him over the other boys and gave him a special coat. The favored boy wore that beautiful, colorful coat, and the brothers grew in their hatred toward him because they saw the favor their father, Israel (formerly Jacob) placed upon this dearly beloved child that he fathered in his old age. Add to this, God had given the boy the ability to interpret dreams.

WheatYouthful Joseph had several dreams, and in naivety perhaps, he shared them with his elder brothers and it angered them and “they hated him even more for his dreams and words.” “Who does he think he is!” they thought. “We will not bow down to him—ever!” Little did they know what lay ahead (Genesis 50:18).

Joseph was a dreamer that God used mightily in His Kingdom. One of Joseph’s great qualities was that he was given these dreams and the ability to interpret them, yet he did not aspire to greatness in a proud and domineering way. He seemed to live out the verse we find in Micah 6:8 (NKJV) ” He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you: to do justly (righteousness), to love mercy (loving-kindness), and to walk humbly with your God.” How do I know this? Read his story in Genesis chapters 37-50 and you will see.

So what about you, Dreamer? You have vision and purpose given to you by God; have others despised or rejected you because of your response to the Father’s call? Well, you’re not alone. To be sure, there will always be people who misunderstand God’s purpose in someone else’s life; we’ve all misjudged others. So how do we walk in a manner that does not exacerbate this condition but rather facilitates loving-kindness toward someone who is treating us wrongly? The verse from Micah 6:8 is a good foundation to work from. When we surrender every situation to the Holy Spirit for guidance and step out of God’s way, by living under His control through obedience, He now has the freedom to use our lives powerfully – just as He did with Joseph! Read his story and see how the many twists and turns were a demonstration of his faithfulness to God and how that provided eventual freedom for him!

Battles within and without are a part of the Christian life. Before we step into God’s Kingdom by way of the new birth experience (See John Chapter 3) we have battles within our heart and for which there seems to be no way out. Many around us are living under carnival demonsthe torment and fear of demonic powers. Once a door is opened to this dark world, spiritual reality comes to life. Relief can only come from this tormenting world if we choose to step out of the old and enter a new realm with God. Once there, we enter another fray; deciding daily to let go and let God be our Source of life. Those who’ve done this realize there was a huge battle involving the spiritual realm of letting go and becoming new in Christ. Prior to giving ourselves over to God, we belonged to self and were influenced by the “Principalities and powers of this world.” Ephesians 6:12 says, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Now that we are “walking in the Light” (I John 1:7) we gain a whole new perspective on who appears to be our enemies, and who actually is.

Jesus warned his followers of many things, including the posture some may take against us when we live for His Kingdom and no longer for ourselves. Rejection, hatred, and even death for some will accompany those who make God their supreme ruler and King. Human control over others is a powerful motivator in mankind. When a person has control over another and that is threatened somehow, there will be a response.

When you decide to come to Christ and surrender your life to Him, you will face persecution (2 Timothy 3:12). It takes on various forms and all of us who have made this choice soon experience the consequences of choosing the Kingdom of God over others. Our life changes from what we have known and trusted in; you become an alien of sorts, someone just passing through (Hebrews 11:13) and the world no longer has a grip upon you. Those around you may not like this. Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. 25 For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? 26 For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.” (Luke 9:23-26)

Idols are powerful things in our hearts that have a grip or hold upon us, yet often we do not realize they are even there. So when Jesus talks about “hating” something or someone, he is referring to the principle of having some supreme idol in place of Him as the King of our heart; loving someone or something more than God. For example, where Jesus tells us to hate someone or lets us know that we will be hated by some people we need to understand what He is saying.
Luke 14:26 (ESV) “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.”
Matthew 10:22 (ESV) “And you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.”
John 15:18-21 (ESV) “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me.”

Some will view you as Joseph’s brothers did him. “Who do YOU think you are!” they thought, as Joseph was given dreams about the future. Perhaps it wasn’t wise of Joseph to actually tell the brother’s what God was showing him at the time (Genesis 37:5). It fueled their angry and hate-filled hearts toward him. They ended up rejecting him and selling him as a slave into Egypt.

Remember that Jesus himself was scorned, despised and rejected.
Matthew 13:54-58 (ESV) And coming to his hometown he taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished, and said, “Where did this man get this wisdom and these mighty works? Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? And are not all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?” And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his own household.” And he did not do many mighty works there, because of their unbelief.love-3388646_640

Matthew 6:24 (ESV) “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” One of the fears family members place before new believers is that they are going to be required to give all their money away! I’m reminded by this scripture that money is such a huge idol in people’s lives, so naturally they go there first. In reality, God doesn’t need our money; although he does say we will be blessed if we give cheerfully. Rather he uses money as an indicator for us to determine our heart-change toward Him. When we love Him, giving becomes a pleasure and joy to us and it’s a tangible way of measuring our love for Him and others we may give to.

Giving and serving becomes a way of life for believers. I’m amazed at how much Psychicmoney people spend on themselves! Take for example someone rescued out of a self-centered, worldly life; they (or their family perhaps) didn’t mind when they spent money on unnecessary clothing, sports-idols, fine-dining, alcohol, movies (mostly geared toward sex and violence), fine-coffees, psychic readings, endless therapy, drugs, or social and religious causes. Yet once delivered from the world of sin and self, they realize there is a greater purpose then self-pleasure. So when they begin to give time, energy or money to God, there’s great concern now that their “addicted” toAlcohol party God! “Whoa!” they say, “You are getting way too serious about this God-stuff. Hold-on… what are you doing!” The hedonistic habits of the world (popularity, sexual pleasure, distinguished career, upscale drugs, fine alcohol) are encouraged by many families over committed service to God. It’s amazing how when we surrender our lives to God and give, we become a threat to those who will not.

Remember, in dealing with offense and rejection from others — a posture of humility is always good. Humility does not mean victimization, it means you know that God is in control of your life and therefore you can walk in a way that does not exalt self; it’s placing your human strength (and natural pride) under the control of God. Another way to view humility is strength given by God to those who find their confidence in Him. Stand strong, therefore, and be of good courage, God is teaching you how to dream and live for His glory!

Photo Credit: Canva, Pixabay

 

Fields of the Fatherless

Today is Father’s Day. A time to celebrate and think of the many blessings a father provides to his family, especially his children. But it is often a difficult day for those whose fathers have failed them.

BOUNDARIES

Remove not the boundary (landmark); and do not enter into the fields of the fatherless: For their redeemer is mighty; he shall plead their cause with thee. (Prov. 23:10-11)

God has placed boundaries everywhere for our peace and safety. He provides guidance so that we may choose to live fruitful and joyful lives. Harmony in relationship with Him as our Father and one another is His plan. Family is His design, and it’s beautiful.

TOUCH

I couldn’t help but think about those who are having a hard time “celebrating” their father today.  As my pastor was speaking about the value of people, he listed the ways we can value people, sharing a point about how important touch is. He illustrated the importance of babies receiving touch and how they thrive. He very specifically emphasized appropriate compared to inappropriate touch. The message was from Luke 13:10-17 how Jesus touched a woman with a spirit of infirmity and healed her. Jesus touched many women appropriately. Think about Mary washing his feet with her hair and the precious ointment she rubbed on his feet; he was receiving her genuine love and appreciation for Him; at a Pharisee’s house no less. Instead of pushing her away to save his reputation, He allowed her to touch him, appropriately, and He healed her soul. You can always reach out to Him!

Fathers who have physically abused, and/or touched their childrenperson-409127_1280 inappropriately, have placed a stumbling block in their way. Jesus talks about offenses in Luke chapter 17. He said they will come. But then in verse 2 He goes on to say that if someone offends (violates) a child, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea, rather than causing a child to stumble. Wow, that is severe! The violation of a child through sexual molestation is severe. It does not slide into the category of forgive and forget. It requires diligent effort on the part of the perpetrator to work toward godly sorrow that brings repentance.

FLEE!

Paul tells us in I Corinthians 6:18, “Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.” He is warning us about something significant here. Additionally, we are warned that fornicators (sexual activity outside of marriage) shall not inherit the Kingdom of God. Anyone engaging in sexual behavior beyond God’s permitted boundaries is playing with fire, in more ways than one. The sins we commit against ourselves through sexual immorality are devastating. We may not see it immediately, but the fallout will eventually come. We are warned numerous times to flee; get away from it. And incestuous sin often carries from one generation to the next [1], UNTIL someone decides to break the chain.

Sexual sin is the most devastating sin a family can suffer. It is manifest in many ways; and so many are suffering in our day. We are truly reaping the consequences of sexual freedom in our culture where little seems wrong anymore. I can remember back in the 80’s when a Christian radio commentator spoke about NAMBLA (North American Man Boy Love Association), we were appalled and could hardly believe it. Today there is still some semblance of community standards concerning this, but sexual sin has so overtaken the idolatrous hearts of men and women that we find many within the church struggling to understand the confusion and overcome sexual immorality. Remember, Satan is set against mankind to do one thing, to kill, steal and destroy. Jesus told us this in John 10:10 and that is why He offers us abundant overcoming life. It’s this Zoë life that empowers us to walk victoriously; Holy Spirit empowered life! So we are left to choose.

CHANGE

Wherever you may find yourself today, choose His life! Whether you are living in eyes-730750__480guilt because you have been violated as a “little one” and that sent you down a dark road of sexual temptation, know that you can recover. The bad dreams can end. The proclivity toward sexual fulfillment, outside of God’s boundaries, can be turned around. Recognize that the patterns you are shamefully finding yourself in can change. There is always hope in Christ, the divine Savior! The all-powerful God of heaven and earth offers you the power to overcome anything by the indwelling divine Holy Spirit! God’s Word is sharp and powerful and able to discern the thoughts and intents of your heart. And He offers you His Word as a solution to your heart problems. If you will dwell there, think upon Truth and believe it, you can change the way you think, act and feel. It’s His remedy. Seek out biblical counsel so you can be made new and become the victor that God designed you to be.

woman-164547__480Remember, you may have been a victim, but you can choose today to walk toward a victorious life.  God will take all of your dark places and bring light. He will give you the ability to walk in the light (I John 1:7). There is no better place to be.

YOU HAVE A GOOD FATHER

I pray that you will recognize that you do have a Heavenly Father who is faithful and does not desire you harm in anyway. He is the One who takes ALL things and can turn them around for His purposes (Romans 8:28). God wants to be glorified in your life. There is no greater joy than to walk in a way that brings glory to Him. Will you take the steps to begin walking in this way? Focus on thanking Him for what you can now, it will grow and you will become a rejoicing Christian, glorifying God and turning what Satan meant to destroy you with into a weapon formed against Him instead.[2]

Sins against you may have propelled you into the fatherless fields, along with countless others. But remember, you have a home and you have a Good, Good Father, never forget that.

[1] The Lord is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, forgiving iniquity and transgression, but he will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, to the third and the fourth generation.  Numbers 14:18 (ESV)

[2] Isaiah 54:14 In righteousness you shall be established; you shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear; and from terror, for it shall not come near you.  15 If anyone stirs up strife, it is not from me; whoever stirs up strife with you shall fall because of you. 16 Behold, I have created the smith who blows the fire of coals and produces a weapon for its purpose. I have also created the ravager to destroy; 17 no weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed, and you shall refute every tongue that rises against you in judgment. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord and their vindication from me, declares the Lord.”

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