Tag Archives: God

Thinking vs. Doing

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We have a little saying around our house that we use with our daughter Eleanor, “Obey right away without delay”. She has heard this so often, especially when she was in her three year old phase, that she could finish our sentence for us. We have been working very hard at teaching her the importance of obedience. We would explain to her why it was important to obey mommy and daddy, and we have had to teach her on occasion what results in disobedience.

Eleanor obviously still disobeys from time to time, but for the most part she is now a very obedient child. And the best part is that she’s respectfully obedient. Hopefully that will last to her teenage years ūüėČ

So my four year old has obedience down pretty good; hummmmm……….and then there’s me………

I like to call myself determined, my husband however would call me stubborn. And at times I guess I can be somewhat¬†stubborn in my obedience to God. Oh sure I give plenty of excuses, but my main ones are: what if that’s me and not God speaking; I will when ___________; let me just get the house cleaned first!

The first excuse is the main one I fall to quite often. I do not want to do anything God has not called me to do, but I have allowed myself to take that uncertainty of hearing from God and have allowed it to cancel out some of the things I know are from God. It took me three years to obey God in starting this very blog. Oh sure I tried to start it several times, but I faltered on my commitment.

My women’s group at church has been doing a study on Jonah. It’s called:¬†Jonah, Navigating a Life¬†Interrupted¬†by Priscilla Shirer. This is an awesome study if you’re looking for something to do with a group. This study has thrown the idea of disobedience in my face for the last four weeks. If you know anything about the story of Jonah then you know that he disobeyed God in going to Nineveh and therefore was swallowed up by a great fish and resided in the belly of that fish for three days.

Jonah 1:2 says, “Arise, go to Nineveh the great city and cry against it, for their wickedness has come up before me.”

Well Jonah did arise and go, but in the completely opposite direction from where God was sending him. Priscilla Shirer points out in her study that, “it’s easy for us to impersonate obedience.”

People are great at deceiving others and themselves. It’s easy to go to church, to talk about what God is showing you and asking you to do as if you’re trying to move in that direction. Others might buy it. And in some areas of disobedience it’s not that you’re hiding something, but maybe just not doing something God has put on your heart time and again. For example, God could be asking you to tell someone about Jesus, and you come up with excuse after excuse to disobey. We don’t label it as disobedience, oh no we put a much better feeling excuse on it like: I’m still growing in the Lord; God’s still working on me; I’m still praying over it.

Maybe your area of disobedience isn’t involved in discipling, maybe it’s giving up alcohol or quitting smoking, or breaking up with a guy, or putting up blocks on your internet. Whatever it is obedience can be VERY hard.

We can’t do these things on our own, that’s why God has put His Spirit in us to empower us!

We need to connect our hearts with God’s. We need to connect our minds with His truth. We need to give all the excuses and fears over to the one who can take them from us and give us back strength, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, kindness, faithfulness and self-control.

What is it that you have been disobeying God on? What has He been speaking to your heart about that you need to stand up and do? God is a god of second, third, twenty-fifth chances. Jonah knows that well. In Jonah 3:1 it says, “Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time”.

God is there waiting on you. Go to Him again in obedience.

God Bless! Have a great week!

The Armor of God (Fashionista Style)

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“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put o the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people” (Eph. 6:10-18).

Knowing how to wear and use the Armor of God can, in an illustrative use only, be related to knowing how to be stylish! The Armor of God is all connected, it’s not separate pieces but rather it’s connected through God’s word. Similarly, the things we wear seem separate, but they should be connected with such a flow that it creates a certain style, and each piece adds to it. So let’s break down this huge passage and look at each part of the Armor of God, and why not look at it through the eyes of Fall Fashion!

Belt of Truth:

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“Wearing the belt of truth means knowing the Truth (Jesus), reading the truth (the scriptures), and living the truth (a life of integrity). All three are essential” (Lawless pg. 86). The truth of who God is and what His words say and how we should live our lives needs to be the focus of who we are. Much like how an awesome belt can become the center-piece of an outfit, Christ needs to be the center-piece of who we are.

Breastplate of Righteousness

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An essential Fall piece is an awesome cardigan. I love cardigans! They are so versatile and perfect for the changing temperatures. When thinking about the Breastplate of Righteousness I was led to thinking about a wonderful cardigan. We can be righteous because God has given us His Righteousness! It is through Christ’s death on the cross that we may be cloaked in the Righteousness of God. But being made Righteous by God doesn’t mean we have no responsibility; God has called us to live righteously, to show the presence of God in our lives by making Godly choices. Much like this gorgeous cardigan pictured above, we are covered in the Righteousness of God, but we have to wear it around, allowing it to set the standards for in which we live.

The Gospel of Peace

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Great shoes can do so much for an outfit! They can totally kill or complete the look. In the Armor of God, the Gospel of Peace is connected in scripture to putting on sandals. Basically it’s saying we need to be ready with shoes on and everything, to share God’s word whenever an opportunity presents itself. I know when I am wearing an awesome pair of shoes I feel empowered, ready to take on whatever. We need that same tenacity in how we feel about sharing God’s word. First we need to make sure we are ready by knowing how. Do you know any scripture that you could use to lead another person to Christ? If not, look in Romans 3:23, 5:8, 10:9-10, 10:13, 10:17. And secondly, we need to be seeking out opportunities to tell others about Christ. I know it can be intimidating at first, but the Holy Spirit is there to empower us and give us the boldness to share God’s word; lean on God’s strength!

The Shield of Faith

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Okay so I connected the Shield of Faith to those awesome Fall purses that are calling my name! “Paul used the illustration of a shield to help us understand faith. In Paul’s day, Roman soldiers covered their shields with leather and soaked them in water to defend against the Enemy’s flaming arrows. They were to press forward in war, not allowing the Enemy’s attack to hinder their forward progress. Using that image, Paul called believers to take up the shield of faith, meaning we’re to trust the truths and promises of God’s word when the Enemy aims his arrows at us. Faith means we press on regardless of the opposition’s ferocity” (Lawless, pg. 89). I hold a lot of important stuff inside of my enormous purse, and the purse itself protects those things. Our Faith protect us when we are going through a storm in life. It’s what pushes us on. I have definitely used my purse to push myself through some annoying crowds in the past. You know what I’m talking about! That big ole’ purse and a halfway nice sounding “excuse me” has gotten us through some of the tightest of squeezes, and so has my Faith. It’s gotten me through sickness, fear, frustration and doubt.

The Helmet of Salvation

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The Helmet of Salvation is not talking about our “final salvation in Heaven but about having victory every day through Christ. It’s about conquering sin in the present tense” (Lawless pg. 90). The Armor of God term is Helmet not Trophy. If it were the trophy of salvation, then after we acquired it we would put it on display and walk away. That’s not how it works nor is it the intention of wearing a helmet of salvation. Like an awesome trendy hat, we have to choose to put it on. It is an act of intentionality. We are all sinners and fall short so we need to each day focus our attention on putting on our salvation in an effort to resist temptations. Hats of all sorts have become quite the trend; however, the average person will not wear a hat with every outfit…that would just be weird….but as a Christian it is essential to always wear our Helmet of Salvation.

Sword of the Spirit

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The Sword of the Spirit is the Word of God. I cannot replace it or even use something else to represent it. It is so important to know and have with us our Sword. It is both a defensive and of offensive weapon. By knowing God’s word we can call Satan out on his lies. At the same time, we can offer Truth and hope to a hurting world. You know a great place to carry this sword around in, is an awesome trendy purse! Take the word with you. Make it a part of your daily routine and wardrobe.

So there you have it! ¬†A Fashionista’s version of the Armor of God. I hope you all have a blessed week, and remember to check yourselves each day to make sure you are stylin’ that Armor of God!

Lawless, Chuck: Mentor:How Along-The -Way Discipleship Will Change Your Life