Wednesday, September 21, 2011

are your laces tied tightly in His truth?

Well, yesterday was certainly an interesting day at The Devoted Woman, because yesterday I knew the Holy Spirit was pushing me to repost a blog God had given me pertaining to divorce. Without rehashing this topic again, I will say that divorce is a controversial topic within many Christian circles. Many who profess Jesus as their Savior have still chosen the path of divorce, or have experienced the repercussions of divorce in their lives. Sadly, it has become a commonality in our society and age.

That said, yesterday I knew going into the blog that we would be under attack. I knew that our position would be challenged for quoting God's Word on such a volatile issue. So, I began my morning in prayer, trusting in His care and guidance, and preparing my heart for the tidal wave of emotions that my inbox would inevitably receive from our readers.

All this proved true. For I received many emails filled with anger and hatred in addition to several notes offering me support and encouragement. I received stories outlining the lives of women (and men) from all walks of life, dealing with all kinds of difficulties, and deciding for/against the decision to divorce. Many felt compelled to explain their life experiences and/or rationalize their decisions. Many expressed rage and defensiveness. Many wanted to debate over the truths of scripture and why God's Word did or did not prove relevant to their life. But what comment came up the most was a quote taken from Jesus words in Matthew 7:1-2, "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."

I prayed over these words yesterday, taking each person's feedback seriously. I asked God to search me and know my heart - exposing any sin on this (or any) matter. For, of course, I do not wish to enter into a discussion under pretenses measured by my own self righteousness. That would be foolish. I understand completely that without Jesus, I am nothing. I agree with the spiritual ramifications that Christ spoke of in Matthew 7 and whole-heartily acknowledge that my corrupt and sinful human nature is hopeless without His guidance. Yes, I prayed over this scripture yesterday and walked away with a clean conscience. For I was assured that the lesson I shared in our blog was reflective of His Word. I know that the truth under question by some audience members is still, indeed, TRUTH spoken from my Master's lips. And I am confident that His holy institution of marriage should be upheld rather than discarded. I know that God is clear on this... He hates divorce. He always has and always will promote restoration in relationships. So whether you agree or disagree with His stance, as a servant of Jesus, please know that we at DW choose to lovingly promote God's unchanging truth without apology. I ask that you respect this choice (as it is biblical) and assure you that my intentions to share His Word are unselfish in motive.

(Pause and breathe.) Lord... I pray that you give me Your wisdom to address this next topic that you have put on my heart. Let me speak as Jesus would. Let me love others in these words.

"Judge not, that ye be not judged (KJV)..." We like to throw that one out in defense when someone speaks up against a sinful behavior and backs it up with scripture, don't we? For simply put, mankind wants to be right. We hate to be opposed. We resent when our character is questioned under the microscope of God's Word. Sure, we acknowledge our nature is tainted by corruption, but we don't like to be beat over the head with solid reproof and correction, do we? No, that is too raw. That takes out the wiggle room in our gray, lukewarm lives. That contradicts our rationalization for self preservation.

No, rather than pausing to hear and receive God's truth... rather than responding in repentance and obedience... rather than seeking to follow His way boldly and without exception - when challenged, we can easily become defensive and angry. Then, in an effort to save face, we turn ourselves into "victims" and redirect the focus back onto our "accuser" by denying their credibility, by questioning their understanding, by rejecting their love.

As a result of yesterday's email "bombings", my husband and I were discussing how some Christians do not know how to lovingly and respectfully confront one another with biblical correction. Some have not learned to test their hearts against scripture to insure that we each are in fellowship with God's Word (and each other) with pertinence to the foundations He has established. Sure, it is a given that people won't always agree while living on this side of heaven. But we still must care enough to share with one another... to do the work and seek after His kingdom while relying on His Spirit to show us the righteousness He has planned for our lives.

I fear that too often we try to keep reproof and correction on the down-low and maintain a numbness and politically correctness at the forefront of our faith. This approach results in us sweeping the harder issues under the rug and readopting the acceptance of popular sins as excusable behavior. Why? Because it is uncomfortable to address divorce... or lying, or gossip, or homosexuality. It is uncomfortable to bring up the remorse of abuse, or infidelity, or apathy... or any other sin for that matter. Even more, it is uncomfortable to admit that we may have shared ownership, enablement, or possibly even initiation of such sins. So instead, we keep up "holy" appearances and speak Christianese while maintaining a generic undertone that God will always forgive. God will make it all o.k. in the end. And while it is true that God uses all things for His ultimate good and glory, it is dangerous to live outside the honesty of His perfect will. It is folly to ignore the eternal voice of our Creator and avoid all reproof. For when we willingly walk outside any portion of God's solution for a full, redeemed life, we venture with our shoes unlaced into territories where Satan thrives. We look backward to the false security of our corruption rather than forward to His assurance, newness and peace. This is what trips us up in sin and selfishness. This is what stops us from growing deeper spiritually.

As believers, we are to boldly proclaim what God's Word says about sin as well as be willing to humbly own up and repent of our own transgression. We are not to respond in hatred to what God has said. We are not to react in resentment, defensiveness, or anger against others because we don't like hearing that The Master's authority should win out over our own. No, everything that is brought to us biblically must be considered... and considered pure joy at that. For God cares enough to correct His children. And He will greatly bless those that love Him in obedience and humility.

In this race of life, it is a blessing to succeed spiritually right out of Salvation's gate rather than stumble because we didn't follow God's simple instruction to tie our shoes. So, when we are encouraged as believers in 2 Timothy 4:2 to "Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage - with great patience and careful instruction," we must do so without apology. We must share our faith with one another and avoid intimidation tactics against those who step up to what is godly. We must never default to promoting man's agenda because we desire selfish comforts or waveless waters. Most of all, we must love one another as Jesus loves each of us. We must remember that His authority always overrules our own. For He has the authority to judge our faithfulness. Because of this, we must always promote His way as the ONLY way. For the path to His kingdom is narrow enough. So, we should do all that we can to help one another avoid stumbling along the way.

Yesterday, I spoke up against one topic: divorce. I did so with James 5:19-20 in mind. "My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins." Although I cannot change anyone's past and I do not claim to know the details of anyone's future while on earth, I am certain that God will forgive us when we repent and turn from evil. He will bless us when we follow His ways over our own.

Regardless of your situation... regardless of what you have lived through... regardless of the choices you have made by your own will or by obeying His will... please stop and listen when God speaks in the form of correction and reproof. Receive His Words when a fellow-believer shares something in love or when He brings truths to the table via scripture or other means. Stop and think about your emotional/physical motivation when someone challenges you about your spiritual choices. Above all, I exhort you to seek God first... His kingdom... His righteousness. For His way is the only way to live fully!

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6)

My hope is that every DW comes to know God intimately rather than coasting along in their faith generically. My wish is that we each can openly love Him with our whole heart, soul, and mind without having to rationalize or make excuses about how we have chosen to live. For our choice should always default to holiness. So, let's motivate one another to seek after what is holy and simply choose Jesus' Way. Let's resolve to stay true to His truth without apology or waiver. Let's lay our comfort level on His altar and live out every trial He gives us in accordance to God's gracious, eternal plan. This is how Christ sacrificed for us. He endured every abuse, every trial, every temptation to the cross because He loved us more than His own comfort. Then he rose again to free us each from our sin. Let's love like Jesus and endure this short moment on earth in joyful obedience and humble sacrifice to His Word. His is the only Way. His foundations are certain. His institutions are sound. His kingdom is FOREVER AND EVER! So, enjoy His blessed richness and live fully while running forward... while running with your spiritual laces tied and your feet secure... while running safely and wisely home into the arms of the King.

I love you all. XOX! ~Victoria

Blessings in Jesus Name.
Blog Posting Written By Victoria Anderson

15 comments:

  1. AMEN! Thanks for sharing! You've said it all! God bless, with love and understanding!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you for sharing - thank you for your courage even when what you are sharing is unpopular with what many want to hear. Thank you for listening to the Holy Spirit and being obedient to His leading. I wish you just lived next door! Thanks-

    ReplyDelete
  3. I loved your post yesterday and I thoroughly enjoyed reading the refereshing truths of your post today. Holy Ghost!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. stephanie castilloWednesday, May 05, 2010

    you are doing a great job delivering God's truth.I pray a sheild of protection around you.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Victoria...how do you know that divorce is not one way that GOD offers some a way to restore relationships and healing in their lives...while GOD may despise or "hate" divorce, he also does not want his children to be abused and stay in an abusive situation, most especially, where there are children involved. I believe that the retaliation you were feeling yesterday was not so much that you are being judgemental but that you are not looking deep enough at thos involved in this situation as individual children of GOD with individual and uniqe circumstances in their lives. Of cousre, as a catholic you know that we humans are not able or equipped to judge what is a sin and who is a sinner because of the fact that only the person and GOD knows what constituted the action, what the intent was... and in the end only you know who is the ultimate judge..keep up the good work though because while I don't agree with you on all accounts there is much truth in what you are saying and you are right ....it is his truth adn only we can discern his truth by having our own personal relationship with him...in my daily prayers I ask that all who walk this earth find that relationship...Peace and Blessings always!

    ReplyDelete
  6. To the last post... first, here is what I stated in yesterday's post regarding abusiveness in marriage... "Now, depending on circumstances that involve an individual's safety, a separation based on prayer and trust (with the hope of God being able to restore and renew) may be a necessary course of action in a complex marital trauma... and it may even run the course of one's lifetime. But divorce? No. Not when God clearly hates it. Not when God is blessing our lives with a holy trial to become MORE like Him! Rather than running away, consider such testing as PURE JOY...

    Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. (James 1:2-5)"...

    I have a little more to say in my 2nd post following this...

    ReplyDelete
  7. Second, regaring your comment about the Catholic viewpoint... I do not claim the Catholic denominational viewpoint. My issue concerning any church and its practices is always the question, “Is this Biblical?” If a teaching is Biblical (taken in context), it should be embraced. If it is not, it should be rejected. God is more interested in whether a we are doing His will and obeying His Word than whether it can trace a line of succession back to Jesus’ apostles. Jesus was very concerned about abandoning the Word of God to follow the traditions of men (Mark 7:7). Traditions are not inherently invalid… as there are some good and valuable traditions. But our faith must be centered around God's doctrine - then our practices and traditions regarding His Word are Biblical.

    How then does the Roman Catholic Church compare with the teachings of the Word of God?

    Salvation: The Roman Catholic Church teaches that salvation is by baptismal regeneration and is maintained through the Catholic sacraments unless a willful act of sin is committed that breaks the state of sanctifying grace. The Bible teaches that we are saved by grace which is received through simple faith (Ephesians 2:8-9), and that good works are the result of a change of the heart wrought in salvation (Ephesians 2:10; 2 Corinthians 5:17) and the fruit of that new life in Christ (John 15).

    Assurance of salvation: The Roman Catholic Church teaches that salvation cannot be guaranteed or assured. 1 John 5:13 states that the letter of 1 John was written for the purpose of assuring believers of the CERTAINTY of their salvation.

    Good Works: The Roman Catholic Church states that Christians are saved by meritorious works (beginning with baptism) and that salvation is maintained by good works (receiving the sacraments, confession of sin to a priest, etc.) The Bible states that Christians are saved by grace through faith, totally apart from works (Titus 3:5; Ephesians 2:8-9; Galatians 3:10-11; Romans 3:19-24).

    Baptism: In the New Testament baptism is ALWAYS practiced AFTER saving faith in Christ. Baptism is not the means of salvation; it is faith in the Gospel that saves (1 Corinthians 1:14-18; Romans 10:13-17). The Roman Catholic Church teaches baptismal regeneration of infants, a practice never found in Scripture. The only possible hint of infant baptism in the Bible that the Roman Catholic Church can point to is that the whole household of the Philippian jailer was baptized in Acts 16:33. However, the context nowhere mentions infants. Acts 16:31 declares that salvation is by faith. Paul spoke to all of the household in verse 32, and the whole household believed (verse 34). This passage only supports the baptism of those who have already believed, not of infants.

    More still to follow...

    ReplyDelete
  8. Prayer: The Roman Catholic Church teaches Catholics to not only pray to God, but also to petition Mary and the saints for their prayers. Contrary to this, we are taught in Scripture to only pray to God (Matthew 6:9; Luke 18:1-7).

    Priesthood: The Roman Catholic Church teaches that there is a distinction between the clergy and the “lay people,” whereas the New Testament teaches the priesthood of all believers (1 Peter 2:9).

    Sacraments: The Roman Catholic Church teaches that a believer is infused with grace upon reception of the sacraments. Such teaching is nowhere found in Scripture.

    Confession: The Roman Catholic Church teaches that unless a believer is hindered, the only way to receive the forgiveness of sins is by confessing them to a priest. Contrary to this, Scripture teaches that confession of sins is to be made to God (1 John 1:9).

    Mary: The Roman Catholic Church teaches, among other things, that Mary is the Queen of Heaven, a perpetual virgin, and the co-redemptress who ascended into heaven. In Scripture, she is portrayed as an obedient, believing servant of God, who became the mother of Jesus. None of the other attributes mentioned by the Roman Catholic Church have any basis in the Bible. The idea of Mary being the co-redemptress and another mediator between God and man is not only extra-biblical (found only outside of Scripture), but is also unbiblical (contrary to Scripture). Acts 4:12 declares that Jesus is the only redeemer. 1 Timothy 2:5 proclaims that Jesus is the only mediator between God and men.

    Many other examples could be given. These issues alone clearly identify the Catholic Church as being unbiblical. Every Christian denomination has traditions and practices that are not explicitly based on Scripture. That is why Scripture must be the standard of Christian faith and practice. The Word of God is always true and reliable. The same cannot be said of church tradition. Our guideline is to be: “What does Scripture say?” (Romans 4:3; Galatians 4:30; Acts 17:11). 2 Timothy 3:16-17 declares, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

    OK, that's enough food for thought. Thanks for your comments. God Bless YOU!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Amen and Amen!!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Although I am now going through the final stages of my divorce, I do agree with you Victoria as you are only sharing His word. I have never experienced anything more painful in all of my life and I have been through a lot. I wish more than anything, with all my heart that there was something that could have been done to prevent my divorce. However he unfortunately chose to give up on our marriage and family, we have a young daughter, almost two now. He commited various forms of adultry, was dishonest, and completely withheld any affection even throughout my pregnancy. I can not tell you how many times I cried and begged for him not to give up on us and he showed absolutely no sympathy at all, with a detached, cold as ice look on his face every time. He had made up his mind soon after we got married that we grew apart and he just shut down. He also told me we were not compatible and he is not husband material. I wanted to do whatever it took to save our marriage and he chose to walk away. I have learned how crucial it is for a marriage to be Christ centered and be equally yoked, which we were obviously not. So he was a non believer and adulterer that walked away and the only thing that has given the slightest bit of peace is the scripture where God has told me to be at peace under both of those circumstances. I have prayed and begged for God to work a miracle in our marriage but he never came back to me so it is out of my hands now. I have to let go and let God. I have to trust that this is somehow a part of His plan. As devastating as it has been, I now have the greatest blessing my life has ever known and that is my daughter, and I have renewed and strengthened my relationship to God. I have finally come back home to Him and I do not ever want to leave again. I am now more open to doing His will, instead of my own, than ever before. Thank you for being bold in your faith. I get a lot out of your articles. They are the only thing worth reading in my newsfeed! God bless.:)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Wow..Victoria..you are a wealth of Biblical Knowledge...I am humbled by your ability to qoute so much scripture..you are also an awesome writer but what I do see lacking in your gifts is the ability to understand that the Bible while it's GOD's word is also man written and ALL religion and belief is based on faith that the word is true as well as what we know historically. We must have faith in all things when it comes to our understanding of GOD. It's his perfect plan for us. Never to know all and see all but to put it into his hands and only his! I urge you to be careful not to base your preaching and counselling ONLY on the written word of GOD for you might be missing the most important messages that he speaks to you within your heart! There is a perfect balance which is difficult to acheive but I believe it's attainable if we want it and work at it ...Pray on it ..I will also pray for you! Also, while it is good to study and memorize the Bible, it is more important to understand and study it's origin! If you do that, you will find that the Roman Catholic faith is based on the true word of GOD, Jesus and the disciples over 2000 years ago and that all other Christian religions today are religions designed by picking, choosing and deleting from the original word of GOD to fit and conform to their needs and comfort level at the time of origin. Historically, and history is often hard to dispute, proves this fact. Also, the fact that Mary WAS the mother of Jesus chosen by GOD... She is prayed too not in place of GOD/Jesus but to intercede on our behalf because she while on earth had influence on Jesus as her son here on earth. You see it in the Cana miracle and in other places throughout the Bible. She represents the true and Selfless YES to GOD. Same as for the Saints...they too were given a special role by GOD and saccrificed much, therefore they are prayed to, not in place of but to intercede...to help us live better lives as GOD would want us to as they have by example in their own lives...there is a Saint for EVERY instance in life. Also, while Jesus walked the earth, Compassionate and caring for all, he also did not accept when he was being abused and treated poorly by those that were supposed to love and honor him..i.e. his show of anger in the Temple...if we as humans are living our lives poorly and causing hurt to others around us, then isn't it up to us to let them know that what they are doing is wrong so that they can change and be happier better people. GOD does not teach us sacrific and compassion because he wants us to stand still and take that abuse, he teaches us this so that we use our free will(how beautiful a gift is free will) to live the life that he so desparately wants for each and every one of us.. A life that is free of abuse and desparation...so that we can be the child of GOD that he wants us to be. So that we are strong to care for our children and strong to do his work to care for and nurture others. Divorce is a man made thing...not a GOD made thing...many who are divorced have better relationships than when they were married...there is healing and peace in that which only comes from our Lord. It also shows the children of divorce that there is healing and peace and still love between their parents! I also see that the vow which 2 people take before GOD remains intact because the vow is for better for worse, richer or poorer til death to you part...if there is a continuation of that vow even though there is no longer a marraige, then I believe there is no divorce!! Do we really know what GOD meant when he used the word Divorce..I believe it means when you abandon yourself from someone or something. That would, I believe, be something GOD would hate! Good Luck and GOD Bless you in all you do..we are all so perfectly always struggling to know and love him that is our journey here on earth as we make our way to him!!

    ReplyDelete
  12. To the Anonymous post from May 6th with a daughter in her final stages of divorce. It sounds as though you have done a great deal of discernment which is something that GOD always asks of us in any life situtation..to discern his word! And he expects us to use our free will and make our decsions as best we can based on his word. It seems to me that you have been given HIS Grace to move forward with your life to be a healthy and happy child of GOD. Also as this Mother's day approaches, to be a strong and awesome Mom to your daughter...enriching her life as well. The miracle did come that you prayed for...it always does! Just not in the form that we might have expected...sometimes even better!! Peace and happiness to you and your daughter and always pray that he keeps the both of you close to him! Good things will always come of it if you do!

    ReplyDelete
  13. To the commentor above, I believe that the Bible is the infallible Word of God. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (KJV) says, "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." To place our faith in "all things" as put above is not accurate. For all things in our world are tainted by sin and corruption. Yes, God can use things to teach us, however, Satan can also use things to deceive us. "Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light." (2 Corinthians 11:14) Because of this, everything must be measured under the scrutiny of scripture. Secondly, regarding intercessors... the word says in 1 Timothy 2:5, "For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus." We do not need Mary or other saints to intercede for us in anything. Jesus is our mediator. "And he (Jesus)who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will." (Romans 8:27) Respectfully, in accordance with what scripture teaches, I cannot subscribe to your statements above or approve of divorce as God's will. Lastly, knowing the traditions and backgrounds of varying denominations proves helpful, but it is not to be the basis in which we place our faith. Jesus is the basis. His word is eternal regardless of who the earthly writer may have been..."Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet's own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit" (1 Peter 1:20-21)

    I encourage you to pray over this matter further and ask God to show you His truth within His Word. Thank you for your comment. God bless.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Victoria...You can not subscribe to divorce as GODs will because you are focusing on an act, a word instead of the outcome which if there is healing and love in that outcome, then I think it can only be that of GOD. It would make no sense that it was of Satan??? Again, like any other life experience, you could not relate until you have lived it!! I appreciate you taking the time to respond to my commments. I really have nothing further to say but that I am appreciative that although we do not share the same viewpoints and/or interpretation of the word, GOD has still made us Sister's in Christ who I believe truly love the Lord and live our lives daily to live by his word! I do pray, as this Mother's Day approaches that our blessed Mother make herself known to you and touch your life and your heart!! You are missing out on a most awesome relationship and experience! GOD Bless and if this pertains to you ...A most Happy and Blessed Mother's Day!!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thank you for your comments again. I must point out that whatever my experience in any circumstance does not change the absolute Word of God. It doesn't matter if the topic is divorce, lying, stealing, murder, love, joy, peace patience... What God says is truth - forever. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. What I think is irrelevant... for I am a sinner. For truth, God's word is ALL that matters. To debate against it, or to make up your own rules apart from it, is foolishness. I am happy to discuss anything in depth that is outlined in His Holy Word as it is my authority in all matters. God bless you.

    ReplyDelete

Copyright © | All Rights Reserved

All articles and content posted to this website are protected by the copyright laws of the United States (17 U.S.C. 101 et seq.) and similar laws in other countries. No part of this website may be used in whole or in part without prior written consent of Victoria Anderson.

© Copyright | All Rights Reserved Victoria Anderson | The Devoted Woman

Translate This Page...