Have you had a time in your life when you were waiting on the Lord and you decided that you could take matters in your own hands to speed things up a little bit? After doing this you saw that, instead of making things better, you made things worse. Now, you regret the fact that you didn't wait on the Lord. I think that all of us, if we spoke truthfully, would have to admit that we have been guilty of the same thing. Think about it...how many times have you opened up your mouth and said things that you regretted later? Perhaps, you reacted to a circumstance before you really had enough time to think it through. Maybe you got so angry at somebody that you actually verbalized your anger and hurt that other person. Later on, you realized that the person really wasn't saying what you thought they were saying. The Bible tells us, in the book of James, to be "swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath" (James 1:19). Good fruit is rarely produced in moments of anger.
The fact of the matter is that we all need patience. Patience is the fruit that is produced by the Spirit of God. As we go through our trials and our mess ups it is something that we have great need of. I don't know that there is any better story in the Bible that demonstrates the tragedy that impatience brings to a person's life than the story of Peter in the garden of Gethsemane the night that Jesus was taken. You can read about it in John 18 and Luke 22:49-50. Peter, through his impatience, was the first one to tell Jesus that he would never leave him; that others might, but that he would not leave him. When the solders came into the garden, Jesus asked them, "Whom seek ye?" When they said Jesus of Nazareth Jesus, by saying "I am he," found the solders and the temple police knocked to the ground by His words. The power that was released hit them so hard and fast that they were on their backs before they knew what had happened. While these soldiers were still flat on their backs, Peter decided to take matters into his own hands. Maybe he thought that it was an opportunity to show courage, but what he did was wrong. It is the perfect picture of someone being impatient and acting before thinking a thing through. So, you need to think before you move. He pulled out his sword and swings for the head of the high priest servant. He missed the head, but he didn't miss entirely. He cut off the servant's ear. This last action of Peter put him in great jeopardy. Had it not been for Jesus, Peter's actions would have landed him in jail or worse.
_It appears as though we are in the midst of a marital season. A lot of young couples are getting married. Most of the time that is a good thing; however some who find themselves a bridesmaid and not a bride can find themselves being troubled or depressed because of their marital status. If you find yourself in a situation like this, the worst thing to do is to become jealous of the person that is getting married. This message is for all of us who are waiting on God's promise to be fulfilled in our life. Whether you're waiting for a spouse, financial independence, a job, house, car, etc. remember that God is not a man that He should lie. No matter what you are waiting on in life, make sure that it is a promise made from God and not one that you or someone else has dreamed up for you.
I find that there are a lot of people who say that God has said something when in actuality He hasn't said anything at all. All of these things are good things, and I believe that God would desire for us to have them; however we must possess our souls with patience. As we are waiting on the manifestation of the things that God has promised, don't compromise your convictions while waiting. I have seen so many times that a person wanted a thing so bad that they were willing to compromise their convictions. They got the thing, but lost it later on. Said another way, they got what they wanted, but they lost what they had. The truth of the matter is that when God blesses us with something, the Bible says that it maketh rich and addeth no sorrow.
I have spoken on numerous occassions of wanting something so bad that I convinced myself that this was the thing that God wanted me to have, or that God was telling me to get that particular thing. Upon receiving (the car, for example), I praised God for it because I convinced myself that it was God. Later on, I found out that it couldn't have been God because it was never a blessing to me. It gave me trouble after trouble.
God's desire for me, and all Christians, is to rejoice with them that rejoice. I find that in doing that it combats the spirit of jealousy that resides in all of us. So, instead of withdrawing get involved and help that person who seems like they are getting what you have been wanting and see how God blesses you in the process.
As I said in the last blog, there are two types of pain: physical, a needful pain because it is oftentimes is an indicator that something is wrong physically and needs your immediate attention, and emotional pain. I believe that emotional pain is the mother of all pain and more difficult to heal. It may take a physical wound a few weeks to heal, depending on the severity of that wound, but an emotional wound can and often does last a lifetime. One of the reasons for this lifelong wound is that society as a whole tries to cover up emotional pain. Society uses band-aids like using alcohol, using drugs, shopping, changing relationships, or moving to another city. None of these things will work.
Emotional pain has been around since the beginning. It existed in the first family. The reason for Cain's killing of Abel goes back to him feeling rejection. The feelings of rejection are strong. For a lot of us, we grew up in dysfunctional families because perhaps our parents grew up in dysfunctional families. The process has repeated itself over and over again. It is true that emotionally hurting people hurt people emotionally.
This actually goes all the way back to Lucifer becoming jealous of God's ability to rule. And it is not all about that, but jealousy and envy are a type of emotional pain. They can cause outbursts of angry words, violent behavior, physical illness and even death. Emotional pain has destroyed lives, ruined marriages, torn families apart, stifled productivity in the workplace, and put nations against each other. Emotional pain is a major source of destruction. It costs both physically and financially. In fact, antidepressants are some of the most widely prescribed medications on the market today. Though they can be helpful at times, they are not able to deal with the root of the problem. The loss to society is great; the band-aids don't work.
One of the biggest causes of emotional pain is relationships gone awry. This can leave a person scarred for life when not dealt with properly. When rejected by someone we desperately want to be accepted by it can alter your life if allowed. Rejection is one of the most common causes of emotional pain and it can kill. I think that a lot of the emotional pain that we live with can be eliminated if we would just be honest with ourselves, tell ourselves the truth, and then speak it to others without anger. Healing comes through transparency at the right time and in the right way. When we cover up, we can never be healed from something. This is why most of us experience a lifetime of pain.
Continue with us in our next blog.
I have found that the secret of staying in love can be summed up in one potent word: Intimacy. You won't find the word intimacy in the Bible at all. Instead, it speaks of oneness in marriage; a oneness that has been designed to meet our needs of companionship and completion, and to relieve the loneliness that is part of being a human being. Since this is precisely what intimacy does, we can view it as the vehicle that carries out God's plan to bless us in marriage.
Oneness has a deeper significance and intimacy a higher purpose. Oneness contains such depth of meaning that the Word calls it a great mystery. Scripture informs us of two amazing things about this oneness. First, the husband-wife relationship is designed to reflect God's image. In marriage, neither the husband nor the wife can do this alone. It takes two together united as one to reflect God's nature. Second, the New Testament reveals something even more mysterious. God has chosen the one flesh union of husband and wife to depict and paint the picture of the intimate closeness and permanent love relationship of the Lord Jesus Christ and His church. So, intimacy in marriage becomes the expression of the oneness that reflects God's image and Christ's love to the world around us. I believe that it is a vital part of our witness to a lost generation and to our own children.
When we consider intimacy in this light, it acquires a new sense of urgency. We stop asking ourselves what is in this intimate relationship for me to enjoy and begin to ponder what is there in the intimacy of our marriage for God's glory.
Today I want to write about a principle of intimate relationships found in Genesis 2:18. Because God said that it is not good for man to be alone we need to recognize the factors that cause failure in relationships and discover the steps to make your marriage a success. It's important that you must first understand a person's need or your spouse's need for love and oneness.
1. Every person has a need for love and relationships.
a. Marriage statistics confirm a need to love and a need to be loved. Nine out of ten Americans get married at some point in their lives.
b. God created in mankind a need for relationships. Love or relationships are a central part of the Bible. The scripture places great importance on loving God and on loving others as well. In Mark 12:30-31, Jesus elevated the command to love God and others above all other commands by saying, "There is no greater commandment than these". The apostle Paul reinforced this by telling us that Christian relationships are not an option but are mandatory (1 Cor 12:18-21). God is very serious about the importance of love and relationships. I am convinced that we cannot accomplish His purpose for our lives or meet our own needs without loving other people.
c. God identifies this relational need in scripture as oneness. Spiritual oneness in relationships can be defined as being in agreement with God, with His purposes, and with one another. When we are not submitted to God and are not one in marriage, we block a major avenue through which God meets our desperate need for love.
2. People attempt to meet their need for love and oneness in a couple of different ways, but only one will succeed. After 35 years of marriage, I realize why so few marriages really succeed. The simple answer is that there are two kinds of relationships. One based on God's plans for relationships and one based on man's plan for relationships. Only the ones designed by God truly succeed.
a. The natural human relationship. No one gets married to destroy his or her mate. I don't believe that is what people have in mind, but that is what is happening across our country and around the world. Divorce statistics are staggering. Over a million divorces take place in this nation each year. Each spouse develops a natural human plan for marital happiness. The couples' separate plans are based on unique personalities and the personal differences of each partner including different family influences, role models, books, and yes, I hate to say it, different church experiences. Because their plans for marriage happiness are different, conflict usually results. Most of our plans have a familiar flaw: a focus on the spouse's performance. Each spouse has a certain expectation. Each believes, "I will be happy when my spouse does what I want him or her to do". When one spouse focuses on the other's performance it usually leads to the destruction of the relationship.
b. The relationship that is based on faith in God. This relationship is opposite to natural human relationships in two significant ways.
1. It is not natural at all, it is supernatural. You can only learn about this kind of relationship from God through His word.
2. The faith relationship does not focus on the human performance of one spouse, but on God's promises and faithfulness. This kind of relationship involves God as the glue of the relationship.
Pastor Earl Goings shares his thoughts on everyday concerns.
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