There are times in our lives we are faced with this dilemma. We are so self-driven that we want to do things our way on our time. But our ways often contradicts God’s ways.
Many times in the Bible we see where the children of God went against God’s will and saw the outcome. This blog is a continuation of “Get out of the Boat” as I am going to talk about Jonah again.
Like Jonah, God is calling us to a place. A place that may seem scary, hard and not a road we want to go down. We must chose will we obey the will of God or will we do our own thing. If you are faced with things coming at you from every side, your version of the storm Jonah and the crew members faced, maybe just maybe you are running from God.
God called Jonah to go to Nineveh, a city full of wickedness. That had to be scary for Jonah. How can one man cry out against a city of great wickedness? Jonah didn’t realize that God was going with him. He thought to go to Tarshish. God called him to go to Nineveh, but he said I’m going to Tarshish. If God called us to go somewhere, He will not use us if we choose to go somewhere else or stay where we are. We must take action and go when and where God calls us.
Eventually Jonah made his way to Nineveh and he was used to turn Nineveh from their wickedness.
We have to make difficult decisions in this life and what should be the easiest is sometimes the most difficult decision of all. Setting our flesh aside and saying as Jesus did in the Garden of Gethsemane. Nevertheless not mine will but thine.
When we come to the fork in the road where it’s our will or God’s, when we choose our will, we are in for a bumpy ride. We are faced with a curvy road, with many dead ends, caution signs and warnings to turn around. Where God’s road is straight. Even when we choose our own will over God’s, there is still an expected end. If we head the warnings, we will in fact turn around, cry out to God for forgiveness and find our way back in His will.
Why must we think we know better than God? Why not choose His will in the first place. I’m not saying choosing His will won’t come with any trials or roadblocks, because let’s face it, the devil wants us out of the will of God, but the difference is God is guiding us through and over the roadblocks.
I was listening to Grateful by Hezekiah Walker the other day. You know in the spirit of Thanksgiving. We have a lot to be thankful for especially this year. If 2020 didn’t do anything else for me, it taught me to appreciate things more. The freedom to go out and eat, to go to the store without a mask, the freedom to go to church, and relationships with friends and family. I’m grateful for this season, because a new season is coming and I will cherish the things I’ve taken for granted in the past.
With that said, listening to this song, looking at the word Grateful, got me to thinking that swapping the “a”, “e” and the “t”, you get greatful. I know that is not a word, but it is for the purpose of this post.
We are grateful to a Great God. He is full of love, kindness, mercy, grace, power and forgiveness to name a few things. So yes I’m throwing all my grammar and spelling lessons out the window, because I am indeed Grateful to a Greatful God.
I hope everyone had a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!
I had the privilege of giving the devotional last month at Ladies meeting. I want to share what I spoke on. Job’s wife is a touchy subject to speak on, because everyone has an opinion about her. Here is what was placed in my heart concerning Job’s wife.
We’ve all read the book of Job. We all know about Job’s loss and suffering. And we all know about Job’s wife. A nameless woman who as Misti’s (president of Ladies auxiliary) devotion states gives love a bad name. She got a bad reputation. But, I believe she was misunderstood.
So let’s start by taking a refresher course on just who Job was. I will be reading Job 1:1-3
1 There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.
2 And there were born unto him seven sons and three daughters.
3 His substance also was seven thousand sheep, and three thousand camels, and five hundred yoke of oxen, and five hundred she asses, and a very great household; so that this man was the greatest of all the men of the east.
We see that Job was a perfect and upright man before God. He was the greatest in all the East. To put it in laymen’s terms, He was wealthy. He was very blessed by God. Job’s wife had grown accustomed to a certain lifestyle. Whatever she wanted was in her reach. She had 10 children she loved dearly. She didn’t have to worry about a thing. All her needs were met as well as those of her family. She had servants. Probably didn’t have to lift a finger to clean or cook. Ladies, she had it made.
Now imagine for a moment this was your life. Your husband feared God and was the greatest in all the land. You have riches, children you love, servants. You wanted that outfit, lobster dinner or fancy car, you got it. You don’t have to worry about a thing. You have servants to cook, clean, even do your errands. How sweet it is to know that God has blessed your husband and because of his faithfulness to God your family is taken care of.
Now imagine, in a moment all of it was taken away: Your livelihood, food or at least the high quality food you are used to and your fancy cars. Now how are you going to maintain your lifestyle? No more servants to keep house for you, no transportation; your life of luxury wiped away in an instance. And to make matters worse, your children are killed, not one, but all of them at once. You’re trying to make sense of it, when your husband is stricken with illness. Imagine this is your reality, because it was Job’s wife reality.
In all of this, Job never sinned or charged God foolishly. His wife, was a different story.
Let’s look at Job 2:9-Then said his wife, “Dost thou still retain thine integrity? Curse God and die”
Job’s wife is known for these 10 words. She is not mentioned prior or after these words. Just 10 words, but those words are how people form an opinion about her. (Be careful how you speak, because people are listening and forming an opinion about you) Most of us (and I’m guilty as well) question her faith. Give her bad rep. How can she tell Job to curse God and die? Why didn’t she support her husband? The devil must be in her. It’s easy for us to judge standing on the outside looking in. We don’t know the depth of her pain.
That’s why I asked you to imagine living the lifestyle as this nameless woman did. Going to church every Sunday, giving in tithes, general and special offerings, being obedient to God. Following your husband as he follows Christ. The Bible doesn’t give any indication of Job’s wife’s relationship with God, but it stands to reason she had one.
1St Peter 3:5-7-
For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands:
Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.
Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.
If they weren’t living this model, Job’s prayers would be hindered. He wouldn’t have the status he had. They knew their roles in their marriage. Women are meant to be the weaker vessel. I know we don’t like to hear it. But thank God for the strength of our husbands. For the single women, there is strength in your man of God.
(I am reading between the lines. As I picture the dialogue plays out between Job and his wife in verses 9-10)
Job’s wife being the weaker vessel, she watched as one by one the things she loved being taken away. She had to endure the deaths of all her children. She didn’t understand why it was happening, but with each thing being stripped from her, she broke. She was barely holding on by a thread, because she had Job. Then he is stricken with boils. She can only think, “Is he going to die next?” How much loss can one woman take before it’s too much to bear? She was hurt, broken and afraid and so she went to her husband with tears in her eyes and asked, “Job, look around you. Don’t you see what we’ve lost? Look what is happening to you. In all of this, do you still retain your integrity? She was confused and questioning how he could hold on to his principles. Inside she was pleading for him to help her. Then she looked at him, saw the boils on his body, moments before she saw him scraping them, she gave up and instructed him Curse God and die. She was expecting Job to be taken from her like everything else. She was broken, she couldn’t make sense of it. That’s all she could say. Note: she did not say “I curse God”, just that Job should. Job was the perfect and upright man and if God could do this to you, Job, just curse him. Now I know that isn’t the right attitude to have, but can we judge her not being in her shoes. We can say we won’t do that. There’s no way that I will ever allow myself to fall that low. I’m sure she may have thought the same thing….until her substance was gone, until her children were killed and until she feared she may lose her husband as well. She was saying if you’re going to die, do it now. Don’t give me hope you may live.
Job being the man of God he was understood her plight. He didn’t yell at her or chastise her angrily as some would have you believe.
Job 2:10- But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.
He probably took her in his arms to offer what comfort he could and rebuked her lovingly. “Thou speakest as one of the foolish women do. Shall God bless us with good and not evil?” He never called her a fool. He was saying “Dear, don’t be foolish. I know it’s hard but as we received the blessings of God, we must also endure the evil.” He was being the strength she needed. I can imagine that being salve to her broken spirit.
At the end of Job, his fortune is restored and his children. It doesn’t say he received a new wife to bear these children. Why, because Job didn’t leave his wife for what she said and God didn’t take her from Job. This nameless woman was there dealing with the same losses as her husband the best she could. God knew that they were strong enough together to get through their ordeal. God knows what we need. God knew what Job’s wife response would be. He also knew what she would need to get through the loss.
I believe some would say, Satan didn’t touch Job’s wife, because he thought he had her where he wanted. To be Job’s undoing. I would venture to say, God kept her to help her husband to endure. We don’t know what happened before or after she spoke those ten little words. But they got through it together as a husband and wife should.
On a side note. One can wonder why Job’s wife responded the way she did. Where was her faith, her focus. My revelation to that is this….
During this time in her life, Job’s wife responded the way she did, because her focus was on the things of this world, not God. She got caught up with what she lost, she forgot to trust God in what He would restore. It’s important that we keep our focus on God in all things.
Thanks for allowing me to share my thoughts with you!
Warning!!!! This is a photo dump. And I don’t usually put myself in the picture, but I figured why not. I did get to take that walk at my favorite place to take in the scenery. I hope you enjoy the view as much as I did.
My husband had a conversation recently. He was talking about being comfortable in the boat. He said, “God will get you out of the boat.” I was reminded of Jonah. (Jonah 1 KJV) We’ve heard the story of Jonah from our youth. God told him to go to Nineveh, but he decided to go his on way to Tarshish. God sent a storm to rock the boat. When we don’t follow God’s plan, it doesn’t only affect us, but others around us. The only way the storm ceased was when Jonah got out the boat.
If your life is in shambles right now, you’re prayers aren’t being answered or you seem stagnate in your walk with God, maybe it’s time to consider if you are operating outside the will of God. Did He instruct you to go there, but you decided to stay where you are or go somewhere else? Did He ask you to do something, but you’ve been sitting on your hands? Maybe it’s time to get out of the boat and go in the direction God is leading you.
We’ve heard it said time and time again, this year has been a hard year. When the clock turned 12 midnight and it ceased to be 2019, we all had big plans for 2020. Three months into the new year and bam….our plans have changed.
Okay I prefaced this blog with that paragraph to say this….I have found myself appreciating things more. And now that fall is upon us, I have found a new appreciation for the colors of fall. The leaves have called to me. They seem more vivid.
The colors of the trees brought a sense of calmness to me, something akin to being on the beach. Maybe God was giving me what I was missing not being able to go to Florida this year. Anyway, I wanted to do a post titled the Colors of fall and go to my favorite park and capture the scenery. Well that’s been done so I decided against it.
But one day I was on the way home and caught glimpse of some trees that made me think. The color of their leaves, was a color I never associated with fall. I never to my knowledge saw leaves of that color. I made a point to drive that way again and take a picture. It is the picture at the beginning of this post. Purple leaves is new to me. And they are pretty to say the least. A dark plum color. Love them.
I will just post some pictures of some trees showcasing the vibrant fall colors that got me rethinking my position on fall. Its not that I dislike fall, I just don’t like the weather or what comes after…winter.
Above is my rendition of fall. I’ve kept up with my new hobby and seem to be getting better.
Notice at the beginning of this blog I said I found a new appreciation for the colors of fall. I was sad to see summer go and most definitely isn’t ready for the cold weather that fall has presented thus far. But I found the good part. God’s masterpiece being painted right before our eyes.
2020 what can I say? Nothing has changed, but everything’s changed. That saying doesn’t appear true. How can nothing change, yet everything change. This year I still have a job, I still attend church, I still have a home, food, what I was doing last year, I still do this year. Albeit had to work a modified schedule, church was held over Zoom. The same, but different.
The one thing that didn’t stay the same was my vacations. I would say I did have a vacation in March since my job was shut down for a week. Stayed home which I would have typically done for Spring break with the kids.
Our family vacation in July was canceled due to not being able to travel to Florida. Heartbreak.
This month, this week actually my husband and I would be preparing for our cruise. That was canceled. So we were planning a trip to Savannah GA and Tybee Island. Because this girl hasn’t been to a beach all year. And she needs to feel the sand beneath her feet, smell the ocean air and experience the feel of the ocean breeze as it takes her worries away. Back to reality. We decided to Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge instead. So its mountains instead of the beach.
I’ve been and the mountains are beautiful and I’m sure I will enjoy myself, but there won’t be the relaxing aspect of sitting at the beach and doing nothing but listen to the waves slap the shore.
Did I mention we will have our youngest daughter and our niece. Since our family vacation was canceled, we decided…okay I decided this would be for the family instead of the two of us. Well my oldest two children had things come up and couldn’t make it.
So what was supposed to be my husband and I cruising on the ocean, its us plus two spending time in the mountains.
But when life gives you lemons, you make a lemon blender pie and enjoy!
And the king loved Esther above all the women, and she obtained grace and favour in his sight more than all the virgins; so that he set the royal crown upon her head, and made her queen instead of Vashti. Esther 2:17
There were many candidates to be the future queen. Candidates that my have had a better pedigree than Esther. But Esther was chosen queen.
We don’t know why we are chosen for a position over another more experienced person. At the time Esther was chosen to be queen, there was an enemy planning the destruction of all the Jews.
Esther was asked for help by Mordecai. But Esther sent word back to Mordecai that for one to go into the king uninvited is death. Mordecai reply was:
For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this? Esther 4:14
We know from reading the book of Esther that Esther did what needed to be done. She trusted God and went unto the king uninvited and in doing so he lowered he scepter and she saved her people from destruction.
God knows what the enemy’s plan is and He always sets His people up to be victorious over the enemy.
The year 2020 has been hit with it’s fair share of attacks; a pandemic, riots in the name of racial injustice, crimes against police. I know not all police officers are good, but there are more good than bad, an impeachment of US president, wildfires, hurricanes and murder hornets.
What is the roll of the church in all this? Many of us wait for our “purpose” to be revealed to us or God’s will to be done in our lives. Maybe just maybe we were called to the kingdom “for such a time as this”.
Now more than ever the enemy is roaming and setting up plans to destroy God’s people.
Unlike the days of Esther, we can go to the King uninvited and not fear death. The King of Kings is ready and willing to save as many as will obey His word and plan of salvation.
We must reach as many as we can in this season, pulling from the darkness and leading them to God’s marvelous light.
If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that the coming of the Lord is soon approaching, we must be ready. We must share the gospel of Jesus Christ with everyone we meet, because who knows whether we have come to the kingdom of God for such a time as this.
11 And it came to pass, after the year was expired, at the time when kings go forth to battle, that David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the children of Ammon, and besieged Rabbah. But David tarried still at Jerusalem.
2 And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king’s house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon.
3 And David sent and enquired after the woman. And one said, Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?
4 And David sent messengers, and took her; and she came in unto him, and he lay with her; for she was purified from her uncleanness: and she returned unto her house.
5 And the woman conceived, and sent and told David, and said, I am with child.
6 And David sent to Joab, saying, Send me Uriah the Hittite. And Joab sent Uriah to David.
7 And when Uriah was come unto him, David demanded of him how Joab did, and how the people did, and how the war prospered.
8 And David said to Uriah, Go down to thy house, and wash thy feet. And Uriah departed out of the king’s house, and there followed him a mess of meat from the king.
9 But Uriah slept at the door of the king’s house with all the servants of his lord, and went not down to his house.
10 And when they had told David, saying, Uriah went not down unto his house, David said unto Uriah, Camest thou not from thy journey? why then didst thou not go down unto thine house?
11 And Uriah said unto David, The ark, and Israel, and Judah, abide in tents; and my lord Joab, and the servants of my lord, are encamped in the open fields; shall I then go into mine house, to eat and to drink, and to lie with my wife? as thou livest, and as thy soul liveth, I will not do this thing.
12 And David said to Uriah, Tarry here to day also, and to morrow I will let thee depart. So Uriah abode in Jerusalem that day, and the morrow.
13 And when David had called him, he did eat and drink before him; and he made him drunk: and at even he went out to lie on his bed with the servants of his lord, but went not down to his house.
14 And it came to pass in the morning, that David wrote a letter to Joab, and sent it by the hand of Uriah.
15 And he wrote in the letter, saying, Set ye Uriah in the forefront of the hottest battle, and retire ye from him, that he may be smitten, and die.
16 And it came to pass, when Joab observed the city, that he assigned Uriah unto a place where he knew that valiant men were.
17 And the men of the city went out, and fought with Joab: and there fell some of the people of the servants of David; and Uriah the Hittite died also.
I know that’s a lot of scripture, but it needed to be said to set up this post. Now King David stayed back from battle and lusted after another man’s wife. He acted upon his lust and ended up getting Bathsheba pregnant. Trying to cover up his sin, he called her husband back from battle. But Uriah was a man of honor. He could not enjoy being home while his fellow soldiers were on the battlefield. He would not go into his wife. This displeased David and so as a final measure to cover his sin, he wrote a letter to Joab telling him to put Uriah in the hottest battle and leave him there alone. He gave the letter to Uriah and instructed him to deliver it to Joab.
Uriah being the honorable man he was took the letter and went back to the battle not knowing what he held in his hand. For all he knew he was just carrying just another letter to Joab asking about updates on the battle. While unbeknownst to him, he was in fact delivering his own death sentence.
Sometimes we are Uriah, not knowing what we hold in our hands when in fact we are holding the very thing that will kill us. I’m not talking about a physical death, but a spiritual death. We flirt with the world, with temptation trying to see how close we can get without getting burned. The enemy will tell you, “It’s okay. Just try a little. It won’t hurt.” And you pick up that thing that is enticing you, but at what cost. We come to expect this behavior from our enemies. But David was Uriah’s king. A king that was supposed to have his subject’s best interest in mind. A king that should have been on the battlefield with his soldiers. But we see what happens when we let our guard down. David got complacent and instead of picking up his sword, he picked up idleness and let sin creep in. The Bible is our sword, our weapon against the devil. We must be prayed up for the enemy we face is not flesh and blood. And through the word of God is how we will defeat him. We trust those that have rule over us, whether it be President, Governor, Boss, Pastors, or friends. They have the best interest of this country, state, job, church or your friendship at heart. But people can stray in their beliefs or fall short on their word. Everything given to you by those we trust may not be in our best interest. In fact it could lead to the death of your ministry. Be cautious who you lend your ear to and your confidence, because although intentions maybe good, it will have you delivering your death sentence. People don’t like to admit their wrongs toward you, and will try to cover it up. Try to trick you into believing a thing that is not true. When that doesn’t work, they will hand you something that may seem harmless to you, but it could be the very thing that will kill you. Uriah held just a piece of paper in his hand.
1And Moses answered and said, But, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice: for they will say, The LORD hath not appeared unto thee.
2And the LORD said unto him, What is that in thine hand? And he said, A rod.
3And he said, Cast it on the ground. And he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from before it.
4And the LORD said unto Moses, Put forth thine hand, and take it by the tail. And he put forth his hand, and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand:
The above scriptures takes place after Moses saw the burning bush and God told him to go back to Egypt to free the Hebrews. Verse 2 is key. The Lord asks Moses, What’s in your hand? In this instance Moses held the key to what is used to free the Hebrews. So we see that we could hold the key to death or life in our hands. So I will leave you with this,