to glorify God... one thought at a time

to glorify God... one thought at a time

Monday, August 12, 2013

Sunblock (part 3)

I cannot believe this summer is passing by so quickly.  The smell of sunblock seems to be replaced by the smell of sharpened pencils, but that won't stop us.  We are gonna keep on walking through this lesson.  So we left off with SPF.  I mentioned before that we will use the acronym SPF to mean Submit, Prepare, and Fix.  So let's jump in and get going, starting off with a woman's favorite word...the S word, submit.  This word has been twisted more times than a licorice stick.  We hear it and we cringe.  The sad part is, that the word can be quite beautiful.  The word is defined as to yield or surrender oneself to the will or authority of another.  The bible speaks of this word many times.

James 4 speaks on submitting to God.  This is the basis of submission.  Remember our definition?  We are to surrender ourselves to the will or authority of God first and foremost.  Why do we need to submit and what are we submitting to?  Psalm 111:10 reads "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom". The fear that David is speaking on is not being scared, it is respect for the power and authority of God.  To have the knowledge that God is Sovereign over every square inch of our lives as well as knowing that He will judge our every move we make one day, should put a little fear and utter respect in our hearts.  So if we fear the Lord by respecting Him with all that we are, then we need to express that respect with some other forms of submission that has been assigned to us.

We need to be in submission to local and government authority.  We can't break the rules just because we think it's right.  We do not have to like the people placed over us by any means, but we must respect their authority.  Daniel 2:21 says that God sets up kings and deposes them.  This means that He even allows some bad leaders in our lives and you guessed it, we must submit to their authority (Romans 13). We must also submit to the leadership of our bosses at work, our church, and our marriage (Ephesians 5).   Romans 13 says that if we rebel against leadership, we rebel against God.

Submission is also something we must do in our circumstances.  So many people I know are living in unfair circumstances.  They are hurting and it is hard to watch.  Wether it is health related, financial, or relational, it's difficult to comprehend and we just feel helpless.  But remember when we went through the beginning of the book of Daniel, for him, submission to God meant being taken captive.  Daniel never stopped living for God and that brought some heavy circumstances in his life as well, but he trusted God in those circumstances and respected His authority, admitting that God knew best.

There is a story in the bible that speaks so clearly to me on this issue.  I have been intensely studying it for quite some time now.  In Mark 5:25-34, there is a woman who has been bleeding for twelve years.  It states that she has tried many doctors leaving her hopeless and penniless.  She is basically at her wits end.  She hears stories about this Jesus who is traveling from town to town and decides that she will go and see him.  The problem is that she is bleeding.  In those times, a bleeding woman is deemed unclean.  To top that one, anyone who comes into contact with her would be considered unclean as well.  Ok, so a lot of you reading this have most likely not experienced this endless bleeding physically, but can I pry a little?  How many of us are bleeding as we speak?  Are you bleeding the loss of a child?  How about the death of a marriage?  Could you be bleeding a serious financial strain or just the desire to be loved?  We are all bleeding something and some of us, more than one thing.

This woman traveled far and long to get to see Jesus.  When she caught up with Him, He was just leaving to help a friend's daughter.  The people were swarming Him by the masses.  Verse 5:28 says For she said, "If I touch even his garments, I will be made well."  So, in faith, she reached out and touched His robe.  Verse 29 says that immediately the flow dries up.  Can you imagine?  All that time, and that quick, it's gone.  So that's it, she's healed.  It's time to go shopping for some white capris now right?  Wrong, Jesus begins to speak.  In verse 30, Jesus says "who touched my garments?"  The men around Him were like seriously?  Theres a bazillion people here, your never gonna figure this one out.  Of course I am paraphrasing here.  Jesus asks again because He perceives that power has gone out through Him.  At this point, this woman has a decision to make.  She is healed, she can just go home or does she choose to humble herself before Him knowing that she could be killed for being in public while bleeding.  She chooses the latter and my favorite response comes next "Daughter, your faith has made you well.  Go in peace. Your suffering is over." Mark 5:34 NLT

Ok, so let me just show you what God has taught me through this.  First, we aren't always going to like what we submit to.  Second, the bible speaks of blood as a sign for sin.  Except for Jesus who bled to take away our sin.  So this woman had to submit, not only to her disease of profuse bleeding, but also to her sin, which was greater.  She could have left once the blood stopped and gone home forgiven.  But if she would have gone, she would not have gone home healed.  By answering Jesus' call "who touched me?" she surrendered all she had suffered to the One who knows all.  She humbled herself to bow before her King, in doing so saying "Only you are Sovereign.  You know all and allow all in my life.  I am sorry for feeling sorry for myself and for trying to fix it, spending all of my money to play god in my own life."  Paraphrasing again :)  She took the circumstance of her life and placed it on the mere fringe of Jesus' garment.  In doing so stating that she trusts His Sovereignty in her life.  And in the blink of an eye, she was healed.

This is the epitome of faith.  One of our pastors spoke today on faith.  It was a powerful message and I encourage you to listen to it at www.lakeridgechurch.com, if you click on media, choose the message for August 11th and prepare to be convicted :)  He said FAITH as an acronym could be "Forsaking All In Trusting Him".  Forsaking all, meaning everything we are, want, expect, hurt from, fear, love, live for....all to trust Him.  I don't know about you but that is a tough one.  God has had me in a classroom lately, and frankly I have been knocking at the door asking Him to change my schedule.  This class is too hard, but I realized through the encouragement of a good friend that this class is necessary and if I keep my eyes on the teacher, I will pass this class.  So I join each of you in this lesson.  God does not want us to expect ease, in fact, the word tells us that no servant is greater than his master (John 15:20 and John 13:16) and if you have a clue what Jesus suffered, than we are in for no picnic.  

I pray that you will join me in this journey to healing, let's pray:

"Dear heavenly Father, we thank You for being Sovereign.  We thank You for the lessons that You teach us, no matter how painful they are.  Lord, we thank You for being with us in our circumstances.  I pray for each person reading this that they may know how big You truly are.  Lord, that You can take over a decade of bleeding and heal it with a fringe of garment.  We thank You for being so personal that You care about everything that we think about.  We thank You that we don't have to question what is too small for God, because You are all and over all.  Nothing is too small for You nor too great for You.  We thank You God for loving us, right were we are.  Wether we are standing in a puddle of sin or feeling the freedom of forgiveness, You love us just the same.  We praise You and thank You in the name of Your Son, Jesus ~ Amen"