Monday, April 29, 2013

Truth or Lie #16: The Greatest Freedom is Found through Submission

Truth:    The greatest freedom I can experience is found through submission to God-ordained authority.

Lie:        The greatest freedom I can experience is found through rejecting God-ordained authority.


I just spent time with a family with eight kids and a family with five.  Both parents of both families are the authority in those homes . . .not the children.

When the children were submitted to their God-ordained authority, there was freedom.

And they were a joy to be around.

Noah and Isaiah Small


Cassia and Micaiah Lang

Selahnna Lang


As adults, we find it harder to submit to God-ordained authority.

We want to choose, be in charge, have our way.

Live free.

But living free doesn’t mean we call all the shots, ignore wisdom, and carry burdens we’re way too small to carry.

Living free involves submission.

I had a professor in college who said he’d like to write a book, entitled “Why children laugh more than adults.”

Children live free.

                Free to let others decide.
                Free to let others be in charge.
                Free from the burdens that those in authority have been called by God to carry.
 

Sophia Lang

Sometimes it’s okay to be like a child.
               
                Children laugh.
                Children live free.
                Children inherently know there’s always someone more capable of being in charge.

No matter our position of authority or situation in life, there’s always Someone more capable of being in charge than we are.

Submit . . . and live free.


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This is Part 16 in a series, called “Truth or Lie,” based on the book, Lies Women Believe: and the Truth that Sets them Free, by Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

In the final chapter, Nancy highlights 22 freeing truths that are essential to our Christian lives.

Come back each Monday (or subscribe to Capacity Corner) as we look together at these 22 truths one-by-one.

Feel free to share your own thoughts below!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Truth or Lie #15: The Pathway to True Joy is to Relinquish Control



Truth:    The pathway to true joy is to relinquish control.

Lie:         I will only find true joy when I have what I want and have accomplished my own personal goals. 



I remember the moment like it was yesterday.

I was driving to work, upset about something. I couldn’t tell you now what it was. But something wasn’t right (or the way I wanted). And I was toying with thoughts that the way life was meant God’s kindness had run out.

Either that, or He had turned the other direction, and it was time for me to step in and take charge.

As these thoughts festered in my mind, I rounded a curve in the road. Suddenly, the mountain I head toward every day loomed in front of me.

Mt. Hood

It stood there like handwriting on the wall, as the Spirit brought this promise to mind: 
"For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed;
but my kindness shall not depart from thee." (Isaiah 54:10) 

Suddenly, I realized I wasn’t just doubting the kindness of God.

I was believing the lie that I knew how to be kinder to myself than God did.

I was believing the lie that to relinquish all control to my heavenly Father meant I would have to accept less than perfect, less than my greatest dreams, and, along with that, the joy that I was searching for in hopes and things.

As I gazed at the majestic beauty of the mountain in front of me, I found myself awed even more that God’s kindness to me would outlast that mountain.

He knew me before He created Mt. Hood.
He planned my days and loved me in them before I even began living them myself.
He will continue to love me when Mt. Hood is gone, and I find myself living in the place He’s preparing for me.

One day, the glimpses of His kindness now will be seen in the light of His riches. Only then will we realize those riches were being lavished on us all along—even in the days when they seemed to be absent.

Relinquishing control to a God as kind as He is means choosing to accept His ways, even when they don’t make sense. 

Relinquishing control means letting go of the joys we’re grasping for, so our hands are free to accept the greater joys that accompany submission to His choices.

When the dreams He has decided for us are fulfilled, we’ll be so caught up in the joy of His choice, we’ll wonder what we saw in the hopes we were planning for ourselves.

The truth is . . . the pathway to true joy is to relinquish control.

Relinquish control to a God kinder than we are.

Relinquish control to a God whose kindness will outlast time and eternity.


Related Post: MS and Broken Dreams: Bethany's Story (Guest Blog Post at Kimberly Rae's blog)

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This is Part 15 in a series, called “Truth or Lie,” based on the book, Lies Women Believe: and the Truth that Sets them Free, by Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

In the final chapter, Nancy highlights 22 freeing truths that are essential to our Christian lives.

Come back each Monday (or subscribe to Capacity Corner) as we look together at these 22 truths one-by-one.

Feel free to share your own thoughts below!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Truth or Lie #14: I Will Reap Whatever I Sow



Truth:    I will reap whatever I sow.

Lie:         It doesn’t matter what I bombard myself with.  I will live a godly life simply because I’m a Christian.


We had a light Winter here in Oregon--one day of snow and rarely a day of freezing weather.

So Spring surprised me this year.

Almost without warning, the tulips and daffodils showed their faces—proof that Spring really is here.

Proof that once upon a time, their bulbs were planted.


It’s the universal law of gardening--whether you're an amateur or a pro.

Whatever you plant, you will reap.

 
The same is true in the spiritual realm.

“He that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption;
but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” (Gal. 6:8)

It’s easy to think we can “plant” in our minds whatever we want, because we’re strong enough to make sure we won’t reap what we don’t want to reap.

We think, just by being a Christian, we will always act in a spiritual manner.

The truth is . . . we will reap whatever we sow (Galatians 6:7).

If we plant in our minds the good and Biblical, we will reap the good and Biblical.

If we bombard ourselves with the worldly, we will eventually reap the worldly.

It’s the law of gardening.

And it’s the truth about living in a manner worthy of who we are in Christ.

Tulips and daffodils don’t appear simply because it’s Spring.

And Biblical, godly living doesn’t happen simply because we're Christians.

God has given us “all things that pertain unto life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3) – His Word, prayer, God’s people, along with a host of other spiritual blessings.

What do you and I want to reap in our lives?

We answer that question by what we plant.


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This is Part 14 in a series, called “Truth or Lie,” based on the book, Lies Women Believe: and the Truth that Sets Them Free, by Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

In the final chapter, Nancy highlights 22 freeing truths that are essential to our Christian lives.

Come back each Monday (or subscribe to Capacity Corner) as we look together at these 22 truths one-by-one.

And feel free to share your own thoughts below!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Truth or Lie #13: I am Responsible Before God



Truth:    I am responsible before God for my behavior, responses, and choices.

Lie:         I’m not fully responsible for my actions. There are many people and factors to blame for who I am.

 
Life is full of choices.

Walk into a store, and you’re showered with decisions. 
Green? or Blue?
Healthy? or tastes good?
Well-made?  or cheap?
            Buy now?  or wait until later?

Get up in the morning, and all day, you’ll find yourself bombarded by choices.
                What should I wear?
                What do I fix for breakfast?
                What time should I leave the house?
                What should I listen to in the car?
                                And the list goes on . . . and on. . .

Seems life is stitched together by the threads of decisions.




Despite this fact, when it comes to who we are, we tend to hold others' choices responsible and not our own.

The good, we’ll credit to our well-made decisions.

The bad, we’ll blame what we had no control over.

We consider ourselves victims to that which we didn’t decide—circumstances of our birth and upbringing; actions of others toward us; and the list goes on.

We’ve each been influenced by a myriad of factors.

But influence is not the thread of life. Our own personal decisions have stitched our lives together.

The beautiful truth is . . . I am responsible before God for my behavior, responses, and choices.

I call this truth “beautiful,” because if I am to blame, by God’s grace, I can change; I can repent;  I can find forgiveness in the only One who justly took the responsibility of others.

I call this truth “beautiful,” because it means I’m not responsible for others’ actions or reactions—either toward me or before God.

I am only responsible for my own choices.

When we stand before God, we won’t be accompanied by anybody else. Our circumstances and all the factors that influenced our lives won’t come alongside to plead for us. They won’t even enter the picture.

You and I will stand before God responsible for ourselves alone.

And, thankfully, through Christ, we will stand there clothed in His righteousness.

Let’s not spend our days stitching together the fig leaves of blame and the actions of others.


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This is Part 13 in a series, called “Truth or Lie,” based on the book, Lies Women Believe: and the Truth that Sets Them Free by Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

In the final chapter, Nancy highlights 22 freeing truths that are essential to our Christian lives.

Come back each Monday (or subscribe to Capacity Corner) as we look together at these 22 truths one-by-one.

And feel free to share your own thoughts below!