Friday, September 12, 2014

Am I Seeking Men's Favor or God's?

Christians who stand true to God's Word and teach it unashamedly, get "rocks" thrown at them from all sides, even the church at times. It can get very discouraging. However, we must ask ourselves; who are we serving, men or God? Are we truly a bond servant of Christ? Cabinetman was discouraged when he decided to stop blogging, so thejoyfilledwife wrote a beautiful comment that should greatly encourage ALL of you in your desire to please God rather than men ~

Satan is a master manipulator who strives to twist even the most pure and loving displays of marriage and cause others — even believers — to view it through a worldly lens. They cry “abuse!” when there is strength, “dictator!” when there is leadership, and “rape!” when there is selfless and joyful giving in the marriage bed. Satan will always seek to destroy that which is built upon the Rock because He knows that all other ground is sinking sand. When the rains come down and the floods come up, every foundation will be exposed for what it truly is.

I am a devoted follower of the Word and even I, at times, feel that certain commands seem unfair. But you know what? Should the clay ask the potter, “Why did you make me a vase instead of a cup?” Or should we ask a holy, mighty, sovereign, all-knowing God why He doesn’t do things our way? The problem is that we are so full of pride that we actually believe, most of the time, that we know better than He does. Woe to our sinful hearts!

If most people knew the kind of behavior I chose to submit to in order to help my husband’s heart turn toward repentance and restoration, most would call me pathetic. According to our world’s standards, I would be considered a weak woman. But God’s ways are not man’s ways, and I can tell you that, having walked through the trenches beside my husband and successfully come out the other side, it takes a lot more strength to submit under unfavorable conditions for the greater good than it does to give up or step up and try and take control. If I had done either, I believe my husband would have dug a deeper pit, rather than been moved to repent and be delivered.

I know that most women would not have chosen to do what I did…or what you and your wife or Ken and Lori choose to do daily. Obedience is one of the hardest steps in a believer’s life and it’s an act that the world can’t wrap it’s head around. Nothing creates more hostility and anger than obedience to God’s Word. If we aren’t a significant target of the enemy then we simply aren’t set apart from the world enough. 

You see, my dear brother in Christ…in spite of the backlash, rebellion, and accusations others may throw at us for our obedience to the Word of God, we know that this is the secret to true joy in life. For even if we were to receive everything we desire and choose never to submit to anything that violates our emotional conscience or standard of fairness, we will find ourselves nothing more than bitter and contentious toward others…especially those who are willing to put fairness and feelings aside in exchange for God’s agenda.

Those of us who seem to face battles daily for our decision to follow Christ and His commands for our lives find ourselves weary at times, wondering if any of these accusations have merit. And because we desire that we should not only speak Truth, but live it out, it is only right that we should ask that God search our hearts and cleanse any impurities or selfishness that He may find. That is humility, friend…and Jesus was full of just that.

Bless you for being willing to examine your heart so that you may come back stronger, knowing where you stand with your wife, with your family, and with God. That is servant leadership, my friend, and what a powerful example that is to each and every one of us of how we should live as well. May we each have the courage to follow in kind.

For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? 
Or am I striving to please men? 
If I were still trying to please men,
 I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.
Galatians 1:10