In Light of Eternity

 “But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none; And they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not;”

I Corinthians 7:29-30

God often says that HIS wisdom far exceeds man’s. That His ways are not our ways. That His thoughts, not ours. And in the light of Eternity, things are different than we see on Earth. Often we get caught up, distracted, with what we see around us. By the lives we daily live. Or, even by the expectations we hold.

Brethren, the time is short“. Our lives are like vapors, according to the book of James. They come and go very quickly. And we build so much of our dreams and hopes for happiness on that short vapor. How often we live for ourselves with little thought past that. Jesus says how we are to run a race. And he that would win, must run all.

 “It remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none;” This part of the verse really struck me recently. We, especially us young ladies, build so much of our hopes and dreams on marriage. We just do. We dream of it. Hope for it. Prepare for it. And when it doesn’t come when we expect, we fall into despair and imagine that the worst has happened- singleness forever. We anticipate our lives to be something…and we put a great deal of stake into it. And honestly, we were created to be a help-meet to men. Eve was made from Adam, for Adam. And God said it was good. We were created with the desire to be wanted, to be a partner in work, to build along side, to fulfill someone special, to nourish homes and raise children. And that’s okay. In fact, it is healthy. But, this natural desire must be put in and kept in check with what God asks us to do individually. What His will is for you, right where you are now. And what our goal should be as Christians, and as single Christian ladies. According to I Corinthians 7 here, marriage on earth compared to the eternity of heaven, is almost as if it hadn’t happened at all. Can you imagine? In heaven, there is no giving or taking of marriage. And even here on earth, the life we live is so short in comparison to what Christ says will be, it cannot even be compared to it. Does it matter that you ever get married on earth? I’d say it matters, not because it is the essential to happiness or earthly life, but because it matters how we spend the short life we have been given. That we were content in the will of God. So what is most important? What does the Lord say will matter into Eternity? Certainly not whether we marry or stay single. But, that we have done the will of God. Christ is our example. He came to do the will of His Father. For us, that could be in marriage. It could not be. But whether it is or isn’t matters little in weight of an eternal perspective.

And they that weep, as though they wept not.” Christ also says that weeping may last for the night, but joy cometh in the morning. Life can really hurt. People can really hurt us. Sometimes weeping is a small relief to the pain that we hold within our hearts. Sometimes we weep alone… even for a life time maybe. Suffering is as normal to the Christian, as is the joy of having Salvation itself. Christ commands us to expect it. And so we weep. But this too, in light of Eternity, is short and vanishing. We may weep here. But, someday, it will be as if we had not wept at all. That is amazing to me. The heartaches that seem to crush our world, change our lives, and estrange our paths, are not always remembered or as crucial as they often appear.

“And they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not.” Happiness too is fleeting. How deceived we often are into living for what we call “happiness”. No one wants to be miserable. We all want to get our own way. Human nature is never satisfied and incredibly self gratifying. But even when we do rejoice, when we do feel happy, or enjoy the preciousness of life, it is still NOTHING compared to Eternity. Having a good time is often so important to us… right now. Or, in the moment. But when compared to what is everlasting? It forces you to stop and think. 

“And they that buy, as though they possessed not.” Good thing you have your house paid for. Or that you own that car you’ve always wanted. Or maybe you made that really great career choice. (Okay, I’m being a little sarcastic.) Having a car is a blessing. Having your house paid for is smart. And a good career is practical. I’m not saying these things are wrong. But Christ says, in light of Eternity… it will be as if you never owned them at all. In our life span here, it seems extremely important. It’s what everyone works towards. But is it really? Jesus said, with food and raiment therewith to be content. We have far exceeding this. 

So, what matters in light of Eternity? What will never die? What is truly important and valuable? Not things. Not marriage. Not happiness. Not hardship. “Set your affections on things above, and not on things on the earth.” (Colossians 3) Here are just a few things…

God Himself. The Soul. People. Lives. Salvation. Knowing Jesus Christ. Serving the Lord. Rewards. Hell. The lost. Disobedience. Obedience. Serving others. Giving. The Word of God. Relationships. The Church. Time. And how we spent that time. 


“Thou Mighty Man of Valour”

I love the story of Gideon. (Judges 6-8) 

It is such a picture of God’s intention to use us for something, when we don’t feel very usable. 

It is an awesome example of how God often sees in us, something we do not see in ourselves. 

Gideon wasn’t a mighty man of valour. At least, not to our standards and certainly not to the standards he had for himself. (Judges 6:14-16)

But GOD called him, “thou mighty man of valour” in Judges 6:11-12. Gideon was hiding. He was threshing wheat in the most unsuspecting way possible, because of his enemies the Midianites. He wasn’t super courageous. He wasn’t super strong. In fact, he gives the Angel of the Lord a list of reasons why he shouldn’t be the man to lead in the deliverance of God’s people. But, that list didn’t matter. Why? Because GOD knew what He was doing and because GOD was the one doing it. God calls us by a “new name” in the book of Revelation. And here, God calls Gideon by what Gideon wouldn’t call himself. God calls him to something he wouldn’t have felt called or qualified for. And so the Lord does with you and with me. We know who we are. And we know that ‘in us is no good thing’. (Romans) How could we do what a holy, all-powerful God would do? We can’t. And if we are honest, we know we can’t. But what does God say? “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.” Romans 8:37

He holds the power source and we are promised that power (even a faith that moves mountains!) through Him. Gideon is filled with the Spirit. (v. 33-35) and what happens? He lays out a fleece. (More than one actually.) He obeys God. He tares down his father’s idols. He listens to God when the LORD told him to send MOST of the men willing to fight with him away. There were too many for GOD to get the glory. What did Gideon do to win victory? In men’s eyes… something very foolish. He blew a trumpet. He lit a lamp. And GOD delivered the people. “The sword of the LORD, and of Gideon”. (Judges 7:17-18)

God calls us to step out by faith. Not based on what we see in ourselves. Not limited to what we think we already know how to do. But based on a God who cannot fail. A God who cannot lie. A God who always wins victories.

It is said that courage isn’t the absence of fear, but rather the willingness to act in spite of that fear. Gideon was used of the Lord to win the victory against his enemies, because he had ENOUGH FAITH to allow God to OVERCOME his weakness. This is what the Lord want to do through us. To take Him at His word by FAITH and ACT on it.

This really encouraged me recently with some of the things God has asked me to do. Teaching is something I have never done before. But He’s opened the door for me to go to Fiji and teach ESL there. I know I’m going to feel nervous to the point of being sick when I stand in front of a room full of people who don’t speak the same language as me! Moving to a foreign country for a year without much of a plan past that, the unfamiliarity, the unknowns and lack of the same sense of security I’ve know all my life to this point, isn’t easy for me. I know my own weakness and inability. And so does the LORD. In fact, He knows those weaknesses better than I even do. But God also sees the invisible. Faith. He sees what He can do, if I’ll only choose to trust Him and step out on His word. This is a blessing. I might feel weak and doubtful and afraid, but God says “thou mighty man of valour”. And I can trust what HE says over what I feel or think. To God be the glory…for great things He HAS done and WILL do… if we would only trust Him by faith.

Jesus, Deliverer of my Soul

Satan’s attempt to devour, while Jesus delivered my soul

A personal testimony

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Satan is a roaring lion SEEKING whom he may DEVOUR. That’s what 1 Peter 5:8 says, but I don’t think we really believe it. At least, not until we’ve been targeted. What does the Bible tell us to do? To submit ourselves. To God. (James 4:7) To others. (1 Peter 5: 5-9) To humble ourselves. To resist. To standfast. To cast all our care upon Him. To be sober. To be vigilant.

Our hearts are so deceitfully wicked. We can be so self deceived as to where we are at, why we do things, and what we need. It’s truly scary when you realize it. And our only hope is Christ Jesus.

If I could describe the past few months of my life… I could probably sum it up by saying that Satan had me in his mouth and was running full speed with me. Seriously. He wanted me isolated and alone. I’m not trying to exaggerate to scare anyone. But what the Bible says about Satan and about spiritual warfare is real. It’s serious. It isn’t to be taken lightly. I felt like I was being devoured from the outside in. And the worst part is, I had no idea. I knew something was wrong. I knew I wasn’t happy. I knew I had lost my peace. I knew I needed help. I just didn’t know where to turn to. But for the grace of God!

I feel like David in Psalm 40:2, “He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.” Or Psalm 18:5-7,16-17: “The sorrows of hell compassed me about: the snares of death prevented me, In my distress I called upon the LORD, and I cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears. Then the earth shook and trembled; He sent from above, he took me, he drew me out of many waters. He delivered me from my strong enemy….”

What can a fierce lion do compared to the strength of my great Saviour? Nothing. All the ability Satan has to work or devour us, we give him willingly or unknowingly.

I just wanted to publicly thank and praise Him. He is good to the children of men. He is good to me. A burden has fallen away, and a load has been lifted. I can physically feel it, even though not much of my life circumstances have changed. :There’s peace again. There’s grace for others. There’s love. I can say with assurance, “nothing between my soul and the Saviour”. What a blessing it is! And I’d encourage you also, Christian, to keep submitting yourself and humbling yourself before God. That’s when He works. That’s when He delights to deliver us. That’s when Satan flees. He’s waiting to restore us again.

Also, I’m thankful for faithful brothers and sisters in Christ. Where would we be without the Church? Who pray fervently. Who follow the leading of God. Who love unconditionally. Who are willing to speak truth into my life. Who are willing to just “be there”, whose example is encouraging even when they don’t know what words to say.

“Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise thy name: the righteous shall compass me about; for thou shalt deal bountifully with me.” (Psalm 142:7)

Choosing to Fight

Choosing to Fight
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My natural tendency is to run. To hide. I don’t like facing up to difficult or uncomfortable situations. I never have. I generally flee from conflict. From hardness. From danger.

But, David wasn’t given this luxury. At least, he didn’t claim it. I suppose he could have if he had chosen to. (I Samuel 17)

Life has giants. It just does. They are there whether we ask for them or not. We might be like David, faithfully watching over his father’s sheep. Minding the business before us. But there was Goliath. And he was David’s enemy. He was David’s giant to overthrow. David could have hid. He could have run. But he didn’t. He chose to not only overthrow his enemy, but to also overthrow his fear. God was on his side. God enabled him to stand. To fight. To overcome.

Webster’s definition of a giant is this:

1 : “an imaginary person of great size and strength.”

2 : “a person or thing that is very large, successful, or powerful.”

Some giants are very real and standing right in front of us. Physical things. Circumstantial. Evil oppression. Wrong doings. Wounds. While other giants, are imaginary. I think this is why Christ Jesus told us, “Casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ”; These could be things of our mind. As simple as, a negative thought. A wrong thought. Depression. Feelings.

Giants come in all shapes and disguises. We all have them somewhere in our lives. Whether in our past, our present, or near future. But one thing is certain. A giant must be defeated. And it must be defeated completely. And it can only be defeated by being faced boldly. David would never have defeated Goliath by running away or staying outside the camp with the sheep. In the same way, you will never defeat your giant by running or delaying or hiding either. How often I have tried to do this. But we forfeit what is meant to be our victory! And others suffer for it. David, although surrounded by an army of fellow soldiers, stood before Goliath alone. He didn’t have a crowd behind him. At least, not one that was helping him. We must to be willing and ready to fight alone. Often our biggest enemy is discouragement, and often that comes from the people who are on our side of the camp. Like David’s brothers. But, praise God, we are given an infallible weapon! Faith. David said, “I come in the name of the LORD”. And that is the exact same name, to which we are promised, “every knee shall bow and every tongue confess”. When God tells you to slay a giant, He also gives you the weapon in order to defeat it. David couldn’t trust Saul’s armor. We cannot just depend on what others suggest we fight with. It doesn’t work. We go with God. And we go with what God gives us. We have nothing to fear from giants. We have all we need to stand strong. To stand confident. To stand ready. To stand victorious. We only have much to lose from ignoring them.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “There are two ways of dealing with adversity. One way, the easier, is to ignore it altogether. I have got about as far as that. The other and more difficult way is to face up to it and triumph over it. I can’t manage that yet, but I must learn to do it.”

Why are there Giants?

Why Are There Giants?

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Evil giants wouldn’t be so hard to slay except that we won’t. Why?

We go to church on Sunday: We are comfortable in our self-assigned row in church. We are content with outsourcing our Christianity to the qualified and “called”. The missionaries evangelize, the CPC worker saves the babies, the Pastor studies, and we pay them. We’re busy experiencing our Christianity instead of working out our religion.

Our unsaved neighbor likes us so much: We’ve over-valued the world’s perception of us and of Jesus. We are afraid of being perceived as judgmental or narrow-minded. We are afraid of Jesus coming across as too harsh. We’ve failed to demand justice to the point of accepting atrocities — all for a good presentation.

We are Purists: We Christians have started to sum up our duty as: giving the gospel. We’ve disengaged with our culture under the intention to remain pure and unspotted. Instead we have failed to take a stand and rebuke evil and consciously teach the nations, and practically visit the afflicted. The majority has used pietism as a cop-out for engaging in warfare. We have surrendered ourselves out of responsibility to act like a Christian.

We’re afraid of man: We buy into the dangerous thought that disobedience is rebellion. That God-given authority is unlimited. That passivity and conformity are spiritual. Agitation, reproof and judgement all become negative black words, and somehow love becomes an torpid blob of meaninglessness. We are so afraid to do something wrong, we do nothing. We fail to see our inaction condemns us. For inaction is a choice. Toleration of tyrants is an act of condoning tyrants. Living in fear is being a willing slave. And closing our ears to reason is willful ignorance.

There are giants because Christians refuse to defy them.

There’s a Difference

There is such a thing as being gracious and yet grieving. Being humble but acknowledging wrongs. Having mercy yet recognizing lost friendships. To let go of people who once were pillars of security, in a healthy way. To move on without reconciliation.

There’s such a thing as standing firm to your conviction without pride. To warn others of “Alexanders” (2 Tim. 4:14-18) without back-biting. To disagree with authorities without being a “victim”.

AND, there’s such a thing as condoning bad behavior and calling it grace. Ignoring wrongs and calling it mercy. Enabling and calling it submission. Internalizing grief and calling it forgiveness. Being bitter and saying “we just need time”. Rebelling and calling it justice.

There’s a difference. James 1

Warrior Brides

Warrior Brides

“Begone, foul dwimmerlaik, lord of carrion! Leave the dead in peace!”

A cold voice answered: “Come not between the Nazgul and his prey! Or he will not slay thee in thy turn. He will bear thee away to the houses of lamentation, beyond all darkness, where thy flesh shall be devoured, and thy shriveled mind shall be left naked to the Lidless Eye.”

A sword rang as it was drawn. “Do what you will; but I will hinder it, if I may.”

… “Thou fool. No living man may hinder me!”

… It seemed that Dernhelm [Eowyn] laughed, and the clear voice was like the ring of steel. “But no living man am I! You look upon a woman. Eowyn I am, Eomund’s daughter…Begone, if you be not deathless! For living or dark undead, I will smite you, if you touch him.”

Ladies, we are women warriors. It is imperative that we engage in the spiritual warfare around us. Men are not meant to be alone in this battle. It’s true, we are the weaker vessel, and God did create men to be our leaders, providers, protectors – but all the children of God are called to fight the principalities and rulers of darkness. (Eph. 6:12)

God has bestowed us with loyal fierceness for a reason. We are co-warriors.

All of us can attest to Satan’s enjoyment of attacking us Christians. I’m here to warn you that Satan will attack us women, not only to insure our inaction but as a means to stab our fellow warriors in the back. Especially our men.

Here is one thing that has been prevalent in my life and in my friends life. I hope with all my heart this is heartening and even helpful in staving off destruction.

Attacks in our relationships.

Sometimes it’s emotion driven. We are plagued by depression, anxiety, low self-worth, fear, etc. Over and over these emotions are used against us in our family relationships. Well-intentioned family may wonder (aloud) at the wisdom of our husbands. They share their concern and or counsel. They sew seeds of doubt, mist-trust or disrespect into our hearts. (By the way – we aren’t to reverence ANY men in our lives other than our husbands). Though well-meaning, they’ve overstepped their bounds. Who is responsible for letting them know that? We are. We tell them, kindly but firmly, that they can take their concerns to your man. No-one should be allowed to step between you and your husband. You’re his right hand, and together you’re a team. It’s sinful to sit behind his back and question him with your concerned family. (Honestly, if anyone approaches us about someone else we should send them to the person they have a problem with). And if we are the woman who goes to other people about their husbands we must quickly repent and acknowledge our sin. We are not only doing this couple a disfavor, we are attacking their marriage and are sinning and will be held responsible. It doesn’t matter if they are our best friend, our sister or our daughter.

We engage spiritual wickedness and our relationships will be attacked. We must recognize isolation, guilt, harbored hard feelings, etc. as an attack. We will be rendered useless in the battle and we may take our fellow soldiers out as well.

This being said; grief is appropriate. Acknowledging wounds is right. It’s okay to recognize that all the faces you sought friendship from are gone. It’s healthy to let go of people who once were pillars of security. We are allowed to flee spears. If reconciliation is impossible we’re righteous in “moving on” without them. Our part is to call upon God as our savior, cast our burden on Him and look to Him for wisdom and sustenance. If you have Ahithophel’s in your life: follow David’s example. (Ps.55).

But it’s not okay to allow someone’s injustice towards us to fester into back-biting, hard feelings, snide remarks, gossip and sleepless nights.

We are Christ’s bride. He is a Victor. And He has declared war on the world. We aren’t the damsel’s in distress here. We’re married to a warrior King. He has chosen to use and need us. Of course our men will fight for us and often stand between our enemies and us. This is noble and we should be thankful. If our men, (our husbands, boyfriends, fathers, brothers, brothers in Christ) have taken up spiritual arms, we should rejoice and thank God. So few are willing to be the men God created them to be. They are under severe attack from the world, the enemy, their spiritual leaders, and Christians friends. They stand on a lonely righteous battle field. We are either standing next to them or against them. There isn’t a neutral ground. If we are not encouraging, strengthening, or supporting them we are most certainly discouraging and tearing them down. We’ve joined enemy ranks when we are uncertain of them. When we offer criticism. When we cheer them on in “their thing”. Or when we distract them from their purpose. Or pout. When we think of spiritual warfare as being a “man thing”.

Christianity is not a passive religion.

Christianity is not a man’s religion.

All of us fight. All of us take dominion. All of us rule. All of us reign. All us are light. All of us minister to the afflicted. (Gen 1:26, Matt. 25:21, Rev. 22:5, 2 Cor. 4:5-6, James 1:27).

We are not helpless as women. We are not victims. We are meant to be courageous Jaels. What lies have we allowed in our lives to keep back our hammer and spike? Really – as yourself. What accusations of our men have we allowed to taint us against the battle? What disappointments, hurts, and injustices leave us useless and lifeless?

It is possible that these things are attacks. And it is most certain that they have been allowed in your life to move you into a active Christianity. True Christianity. A religion where we not only have a relationship with Christ as His bride, but where we practice our religion and work our our salvation as warriors.

Ladies, we have have an amazing and fulfilling calling as Warrior brides. Christ desires to train us how to be compassionate, willing to dies, merciful and bleeding; while also to put on his armor, cry the battle cries, pull our swords ad defy the enemies of darkness.

What does that mean practically? It means we will set aside nagging doubts and join our husband in his vision. It means we be willing to be made willing to love again. It means working at our friendships even when it’s uncomfortable. It means bringing our concerns before our God and refusing self-pity reign. It means doing something instead of just talking about it. It means sacrificing time, ease and reputation. It means actively looking for opportunities. Habitually sharing the gospel. Speaking for the voiceless. Ministering to our children or siblings. Praying. Committing our homes and lives to God alone. Prioritizing our life so we might be available to be used. Spending our money wisely. Questioning traditions. Allowing ourselves to be put in uncomfortable stretching experiences. In other words ACTING like Christians.

We live in a culture of death and sin. The enemy moves unchained. He seeks who He may devor. And how has God chosen to hinder him? The Beloved. That’s me. That’s you. He is that great in us. We were chosen to be women on purpose. He wants to use your femininity, beauty, strength, fierceness, to encourage those around you and to love your neighbor and to stand by your men.

If you are allowing people in your life to keep you from the battle, if you concede to their low expectations, if your generously refuse to be a warrior bride on someone else’s behalf: You are sinning. And you are enabling that person to sin. If you know what is right and refuse to do it, you will be held doubly accountable.

We are in a life-and-death battle. The spiritual life IS our life. It’s not a piece of life. It’s not optional. We are in a battle with an enemy who works 24/7 to destroy life. The Lord is our warrior and overcomer. He asks, even commands, that we join Him.

Will we be a Warrior Bride?