And on the flip side…sometimes we are unknowingly asking for a stone instead of bread and a serpent instead of a fish. That is why some of our prayers are answered with a no. How many of you would give your kids something that would hurt them just because they requested it? If even you know to keep bad things out of the hands of your child, how much more does your Father know to do the same for you?
Ok, so, my bible study this morning is over David and Bathsheba. Now, for those that aren’t familiar…David saw Bathsheba bathing and lusted for her. Bathsheba was already married to a very loyal soldier of David’s named Uriah. David had an affair with Bathsheba anyway which resulted in pregnancy. David then went on to cover up his sin a few unsuccesful times but did finally succeed by sending Uriah into battle to be killed and then taking Bathsheba as his wife. Of course, his cover up only lasted so long because you can’t hide anything from God. God sent prophet Nathan to speak to him about it.
Ok, to the point of this post. In the Enduring Word bible study guide it breaks down the parable that Nathan used to talk to David about his sin. It was about a man with a huge flock stealing from a man with one ewe. This signified David, who had been so greatly blessed, stealing from Uriah. Adultry is the act of stealing from a spouse. But not only adultry, in the sense of sleeping with a married person, is considered theft. Nakedness is made for a spouse. So, when one watches porn or nakedness on tv…in essense he/she is stealing something that belongs to someone else, even if that person isn’t married at the time. Now, let’s look at premarital sex. This world has made that acceptable, but God’s word says it is a form of adultry. God made our nakedness to belong to our spouse. So, when we give that away prematurely we are giving something away that belongs to someone else. And on the flip side…taking something that belongs to someone else. I have seen in my own life where doing this has caused major issues. Not just my life either. I didn’t hold my body as something special to give to my future husband. I didn’t respect it in that way. It has run its toll in my life, my kids lives and many others that my path has crossed. I felt some pretty big conviction on this. Not condemnation, I can’t change my past. But I can make a better future. I can respect another’s body even if they aren’t respecting it themselves. I can be more mindful of what I watch. Even including how men are portrayed. I know this may sound like old school, prude like thinking. But think about how this world has desensitized us to what the bible teaches. Your body belongs to your spouse and until you are married it belongs to God. I once heard a preacher say that until you are married, the person you are dating is your brother or sister in Christ. How would you treat your brother or sister? Kindof makes you think “ewww” but it gets the point across.
Had David turned away quickly with respect of Bathsheba’s body not being his to look at then so much turmoil could have been avoided. That first sin escalated very quickly. We cant change our past, but what decisions can we make in obedience to God’s word that will change our future? You never know where that “little sin” may end up taking you, but you always know where God’s word will take you.
I ask in prayer; “Let me see You tonight.”
You say; “Blessed are the ones that believe without sight.”
I say; “I have my doubts. My faith feels blind.”
You say; “This mustard seed will grow. All these doubts will unwind.”
I say; “I know I am weak. I want to believe with great might!”
You say; “Continue doubting your doubts and you’ll start seeing My light.”
I say; “My heart wanders just as much as my mind.”
You say; “Call out to Me and both of those I will find.”
I say; “What if I’m not enough? Please, don’t leave me behind!”
You say; “I have never left you. You are the one I came to find.”
I just heard something that really got me: self destruction is a result of self obsession. What a way to put it in the most simple terms. Obsession with your mistakes, obsession with your problems, obsession with self criticism. We have all either done it or know someone that is doing it. Sometimes our problems feel like they are all our own. That is why my response is usually “you are not alone in that.” Because God speaking that to me time and time again is what brings me out of self destructing. Sometimes we allow ourselves to be singled out. We make ourselves a victim of the world. Sometimes we feel like we are one of those that dont deserve better. And we punish ourselves. God shows me more everyday to stop doing that. To love myself the way He does. He made me. He made you. We are not mistakes and we do not need to focus so much on ourselves that we dont notice a whole world that needs us. We dont need to be so intent on punishing ourselves that we never move into accepting the characteristics of Christ. We dont need to accept a victim role that holds us back from healing when He has proclaimed us victorious over all evil. Because we are His children. Because He made us for purpose. Step out of yourself and see where you are needed. Step into the bible and see where your thoughts need to be transformed. That truth is your weapon. Study it, train with it, and find your endurance in it.
1 John 3:1 – See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are!
Isaiah 61:1 & 3 – He has sent me to…bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.
Even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
My bible study this morning was in Proverbs 11. As I studied verse 3: “the integrity of the upright shall guide them: but all the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them.” I looked into the enduring word bible study and read their definition of integrity: “living a trustworthy life without shame or secrets.” I know what it is like to want to hide something. I have done it for years with my eating. Raise your hand if you have ever eaten a whole box of cookies and hid the container deep in the trash so no one would know. 🙋♀️ Maybe a mistake was made at work and everyone knows it but doesnt know who did it and you do everything in your power to hide that it was you. Or maybe you said something bad about someone and it got back to them and you do everything you can to jusitfy or lie about what you really said. Why do we do this? Shame. We are ashamed of ourselves. Shame comes in many forms. Embarrassment, depression, or hatefulness. There is a cure for that. The bible instructs us to live with integrity. Secrets are kept in the dark. When you bring them from dark to the light then healing of shame begins. We are also instructed to be humble. We all make mistakes. Be humble enough to live with integrity and shine light on what you did instead of putting so much energy into hiding it in the dark. “No, the cookies didnt mysteriously disappear and the kids didnt eat them. I ate the whole bag and threw them in the trash. I need help to pray over this.” “It was me that made that mistake and this is what I plan to do to make sure I dont do that again. If you have any other ideas I would like to hear them as well.” “Yes, I did get caught up in gossiping and it was about you. Im sorry about what I said and I pray you will forgive me and we can work through this. Im so sorry I hurt you.” Living a life of integrity doesnt mean you wont make mistakes. It means you own up to your mistakes and find ways to make it right. Mistakes have literally been made by the most important people in the bible from the beginning of time. Remember good ol Adam and Eve trying to hide in the garden like God didnt know where they were? Of course He knew, but like Adam and Eve, He wants us to bring it to the light willingly. Here it is Lord. I did it. Please help me correct it. And He will. Everytime.
Proverbs 10:27 states “The fear of the LORD prolongs days; but the years of the wicked shall be shortened.” I read that thinking to myself, so what about the Christian people that died young? What about the elderly that never gave their life to God and lived evil as ever? As I pondered these questions my thoughts went to my life before I started living for God. I was living but I wasn’t living with the true fear (awe, respect, admiration) of the Lord and His love for me. That was SO many years that I missed out on seeing the blessings that living with respect for the Lord provides. The earlier in our lives that we reach that respect for the Lord is prolonged years that we have on earth to live for Him and see the blessings from doing so. On the other hand, the longer we remain in our wicked ways then that is a shortened time we have on earth of living with respect for our Lord and seeing the blessings from doing so. A man decides to receive the Lord on his death bed has done a wise thing for sure, but didn’t get to see any life with the blessings of his time on earth living for God. His time on earth living for God is short. It isn’t about the duration of your time on earth, but the duration of your time on earth seeing the blessings of a God feared life. And for those that have tasted that life, you know exactly what the man on his death bed missed out on. Those that haven’t tasted that life…what are you waiting on? Time is short! Start living your life for Him today and I promise you will not regret a day of it!