Saturday, September 18, 2010

Pardon Me...I have a camel stuck in my throat.

God is teaching me so much. So much in His Word, in being a mom, in relationships, in ministry, in marriage. One of the main things He is teaching me is to NOT BE A PHARISEE. You see the Pharisees loved God's Word but they didn't love people and they didn't walk in love. They loved God's Word but they didn't love the God of the Word. They became prideful. They became impossible slave drivers that pushed "the law" or rules on people which became a weight impossible to bear.
Listen to what Jesus says to a group of Pharisees 2,000 years ago (and what He said to me this morning!):
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices–mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law–justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel." Matt 23:24
What in the world is that talking about?
Jesus is showing them their sin through this humorous picture of a gnat (which could not be swallowed because it was not bled properly in accord with kosher regulations), but swallowing a whole camel instead. The Pharisees would yell and scream and jump up and down about a gnat with blood in it while swallowing a "camel-sized" sin.
That can be a real pitfall for me and for all of us as we all have a little tiny Pharisee in us who is trying to get out. That little tiny Pharisee will rear his ugly head in our hearts at the most inopportune time.
For example, what do we do when we want our husbands to read their Bibles more? We start nagging and piling this huge weight of guilt on our husbands backs that just beats them down. The last thing in the world they WANT to do is open their Bibles and read. All the while the camel stuck in our throat says, "If only he read his Bible like I do. I do everything around here. I am sick and tired of serving him. I want someone to serve me." Whoa... I just choked on a gnat while swallowing a camel! The Pharsitical mom says, "Boys, read your Bible! Say your verses! Don't talk to your brother like that!" when in reality, her heart is far far from God and she can't remember the last time she sat down out of love and relationship to read her Bible instead of obligation or duty.
We aren't to use God's Word as a weapon that wounds people but as a life-giving drink of water!
If we aren't "dancing" with Christ in a love relationship, then we will quickly turn into really hateful, ugly girls who claim to love God and His Word while a big fat camel is choking the life out of us.
Most of the time, as women, our mouths can get us in BIG trouble. I know that my tongue is the greatest tool of the enemy to destroy me and everyone around me.
"The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit."
Prov 18:21
Guess where these words are overflowing from?
"For out of the overflow of THE HEART the mouth speaks."
Matt 12:34
Are we to be false teaching sniffers or people lovers? PEOPLE lovers. Love, grace, and mercy TRUMP ALL. If we are not walking in love, we are just a loud clanging symbol. It doesn't matter if we are defending God's Word while we destroy all the people around us! The girl I refuse to be reads and studies God's Word in order to store Bible truth in her brain so she can parade her learning and defeat all who contradict her views. She has just bowed down to a cute little idol with the words "TRUTH" written on it's head. I don't want to be more known for what I stand against than for what I stand for. That is another TRAP of the enemy that I can fall right into. I don't want to be that girl. That girl is ugly and no one is drawn to Jesus Christ through her. Everything about Christ is beautiful. A haughty and arrogant attitude can be hidden behind the mask of "being Biblical". Hatred of false doctrine must be fueled by love for Christ, not because you want to win an argument. 99% of the time, if you win an argument, you lose a soul. Our energy needs to be spent on repenting of our daily sins, not sniffing out false teachings. I hope my last post didn't come across out of balance. I am BIG on knowing the Truth. I LOVE God's Word with my whole heart. I am lost without it. It teaches me, leads me, shows me, comforts me, changes me, rocks my little world, scolds me, helps me, permeates me & feeds my hungry soul.
God has called me to teach it and to teach girls to fall in love with it.
That is a gift that was given to me at salvation that I cherish.
"Our responsibility is never to oppose the truth, but to stand for the truth at all times."
2 Cor 13:8
"Knowing God's Word is about knowing a Person, the Almighty, awesome God of the universe who is too holy to be looked upon and so gracious that He did not spare His Son a torturous death so that we can have eternal life."
"Let it help you in temptation, encourage you in dark places, and give you strength when you feel weak. Let it be so gratifying to your soul that all temptations lose their flavor! Let it permeate your mind, run through your blood, protect your thoughts, and influence your decisions."
Seth Kniep (Knowing God's Word)
YES!! Girls. Get in the Word of God and start reading and meditating.
It isn't complicated. It just takes time.
That breathing Book will make us more like Jesus so we can be good representatives of Him!
I am leaving an impression everywhere I go! I want to show the world the beauty of Jesus Christ that I KNOW because I see it every day. His grace, His love, His mercy.
When we leave a room, what does it smell like?
"But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him."
2 Cor 2:14
I KNOW I have left a lot of rooms stinky when I left due to my love of truth getting out of balance. "The fragrance of the knowledge of Christ" DOESN'T STINK.
As lovers of God's Word, we MUST walk in love.
Remember my last post. The enemy is crafty. He knows how to wedge us in to places where only LOVE can get us out.
"And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God."
Mic 6:8

I need to end this post while I go have a camelectomy.


maryanne420 said...

Oh Stephanie! This really spoke volumes to me. I so needed to read this. Thank you.

Your friend from California,

Mary Anne

Ellen said...

WOW! No matter how many times this happens - and it happens a lot! I still stand in amazement at how gently but firmly God corrects me! You have no idea how much this post has helped me see what God had been speaking to me yesterday and this morning - funny though - I kept trying to relate what I was reading in His Word to the rest of my family - when in fact - it was intended for ME!

I stand humbled and corrected... and next in line for a camelectomy!
Thanks Stephanie!!


Anonymous said...

Sometimes I think you jump inside my head, rattle around in there for a little bit, and then emerge again to make perfect sense of what God has been trying to teach me all along (the husband-reading-Bible-quote was aimed directly at me-thank you very much!) I needed a big 'ol piece of humble pie; I only wish I would have read this earlier! Thanks, Steph!

Becky said...

Life is so busy today, but whenever I see a new post from you I take the time to read it and am so glad I did. Thank you for reminding me of God and what I need to take the time to do every day!