Friday, February 13, 2015

To obey or not obey?

     (If your like me you are already tired of hearing about a movie that doesn't interest you. So this is my humble opinion on a topic of our culture. I just feel the need to express what has been rumbling around in my head and heart over this topic.)
  So there is a movie coming to a theater near you, it has been a conversation starter.  Although I am not sure the conversation always ends up good. I'm sure you know which movie I am talking about so I won't advertise it here. As always I am stirred to share my heart, and that is why I am writing today, as it has been a very long time since the last time I put thought to Blogger. I hope that my words come across with love. I have struggled with how to show a lost world the love of Christ, for me it is often about encouraging my fellow Believers in their walk. Consider this an encouragement.

     I am a little amazed over the way Christians are acting, and talking about this movie .Because they seem to be all over the place. There seems to be a lot of finger pointing and a lot of opinion on both sides but not much discussion. And I may be accused of the same, but hey, this is my blog. ;-) Talking about a topic goes much further than finger pointing and judgment. Let me start off by saying that I have not read the book, nor do I plan to. I also do not plan on seeing this movie. Ever. I will explain why I have made this choice and why I hope to encourage you to also chose this stance if you follow Christ. I had of a period of my life where my worth was wrapped up in sex and beauty. I believe that many women have also struggled with this sense of worth, although it may not have played out the way mine did. I am thankful to no longer be there, but it still tints the way that I view things. It is also a way that the enemy of my soul will attack, if I am not on guard all the time.

     This is where the post seems to take a strange turn, but stick with me. 

     Our church has been doing a study called The Blessed Life, by Pastor Robert Morris. It is a study about tithing and our heart condition. I really encourage you to watch videos or read his book, in a group. Tithing is a difficult topic to teach on, for years tithing was used as the church needs money, give us your money but God's plan was much different that just give me your money. Because of our different history's with tithing the discussions get very interesting. If God is not first in our lives He does not get the first of anything, correct? I am involved in 2 small groups talking about this topic. One is a couples group and another is a ladies group. And honestly I would be part of more if I could make it work, because I see that through discussion and truth, are lives being changed, strongholds being broken, and thought lives being reordered. Praise the Lord!!! Mine included! I have loved talking about this topic and listening to others thoughts on the subject. We don't always agree, but are able to voice our opinions with out judgment as we each wrestle this out with God.

     Here is where the two connect. The one thing I feel impressed on me over and over is this, I am to 1-Trust God and 2- Obey God. That's it. Trust and Obey...wait isn't there a song out there that I remember singing as a kid? Trust and obey for there's no other way, to be happy in Jesus than to trust and obey.
     Anyway, now that the song is in your head... when I hear the different sides of this movie I am drawn to ask myself what does the Bible say about this topic? I am often drawn to Ephesians. I know I have used these verses before, about fleeing from sin. But what about this...
     Ephesians 5:3(NIV) But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.

     I am pretty sure that verse does't say this...if you are a mature follower and have all your sin issues under control you can go see, read, touch, smell things that have a hint of sexual immorality, especially if the couple gets married at the end. You'll be holy. (This would be true of ANY sin issues that we individually struggle with.)

     No, it says there "must not be even a hint of sexual immorality". That right there is enough to stop me from watching some shows on TV that I might find entertaining, reading romance novels even if they are geared toward Christian women. I make mistakes, I watch/listen to things that have "even a hint of sexual immorality" in them. I have lived a life of sexual immorality, but now that I want to chose to obey God in my actions, deeds and thought life. I am trying to listen to what He says concerning the things in my life. This is written in the Bible. I am not saying to you "I have a message from the Lord, new decree..." No this is Paul encouraging Christ followers to live a life that is proper for God's holy people.

There is more...

     Ephesians 5:8(NIV) For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness,righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord. 11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13 But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light.

     If I want to take the lessons that I am learning about tithing and putting God first in my heart and life my actions in EVERY other aspect of my life need to be a reflection of the Light. I am no longer a child of the dark, but I am a child of the Light!

     In my small little corner of the world, I want my light to shine as brightly as I can. I want to walk as closely as I can to the holy life Jesus died to give me. I fail Him daily, but in this I want to make Him say, "That's my girl.". I have struggled with this "mommy porn". I have to be careful what I see and read, as we all do. I have an over active imagination at times I've had to reel in from time to time. And when I am intimate with my husband, I want to be with him. Not thinking about something "great" that I read and how that worked for them, because just like with "regular" porn, intimacy becomes unsatisfying and will not live up to our expectations. When I compare my real life to someone else's best, even if it is made up, it is set up or disappointment. God designed intimacy to be great between a husband and wife. Anything outside of that becomes a sin problem.

     Can I trust that the Bible includes verses like Paul's in Ephesians because God knows what is best for me and my marriage? Can I trust that if God made sure to include a topic into the Bible that I should at least try and knowingly make steps to obey? Why obey God?

     God sees every option and choice in my life, why would I not take His thoughts on the subject into consideration? He is my Creator, my Redeemer, my Lord.

     Be careful what you allow, you can not serve two masters, or you will hate one and love the other. This is a slippery slope of a topic. I know.

     Here is another thought for you. I recently heard of a missionary who said that people from outside of the USA think that because America is a Christian nation that Hollywood represents Christ and Christians. What?!? That struck a very deep cord within me. I do not stand with most of the stuff coming out of Hollywood and would say that Hollywood doesn't represent me or what I believe. This just adds to the long list of things that the world believes "Christians" stand for.

     I am not judging you if you are a Christian and go to see the movie, that is for sure between you and God. I will still love you, a movie doesn't change who you are. I am just asking you to ask some of these same questions I have asked myself and examine the heart behind the matter.

 Will I choose to obey or not to obey?  Life or death?  Blessing or cursing?

     Deuteronomy 30:19 (NKJV) 19 I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live;

     Today and for the rest of my life I choose to take steps to always obey. I am willing to examine my heart and see why I am hesitant to follow God when He is very clear on a subject, any subject. It is a constant growth, one that I am willing to go through to draw closer to God. I am willing to allow others to point out a sin issue I may not be aware of, to draw closer to God. 

Check out The Blessed Life study or Pastor Robert Morris click