Tag Archives: rules

Trying to stay upright

Pr. 4:13:  “Take firm hold of instruction, do not let go; keep her, for she is your life.”

Reading this verse today made me laugh.  I instantly saw myself holding onto the wall, trying not to fall.

Yes, I’m clumsy.  4 weeks ago I fractured my shin and have not been able to put any weight on my leg.  It has been interesting, to say the least, to do normal activities while balanced on 1 leg.  I rely heavily on walls, handles, furniture, other people, and my precarious sense of balance to keep me upright.

There have been several times when I have almost fallen.  During those times, I reach out for the nearest thing to keep me from falling and getting hurt.  I have taken firm hold of more than one handle.  I have firmly grasped at the wall more times than I can say in an effort to keep from landing on my face.  (or on my already broken leg)

Literally, I take firm hold of those stable things to save myself from destruction.

We are told in this verse to take firm hold of instruction, for she is our life.  God doesn’t give us rules and instructions because He’s some mean tyrant who wants us to be miserable.  He gives us instructions to save our lives, and to help us lives our lives be a bit less painful.

He says don’t lie because if you lie to your boss, you will be fired.  Also, if you are caught lying some people will never believe you even if you’re speaking the truth.  He says don’t commit adultery because if you do you will rip your family apart.  Your spouse will be devastated and your children’s family will be broken.

He tells us to care for our bodies (His temple) because drugs, alcohol, and gluttonous eating will wreak havoc on our insides and cause terrible damage to our health and our ability to function at our fullest potential.

There are many things that are of eternal significance in His instructions, as well.  Sometimes, while we know them, we kinda brush them off as last resort types of things.  I’m telling you from experience though, when you are falling, you need something firm to grab onto…and Fast!

Good intentions are not enough to keep us from falling and getting hurt.  We need a reason to live.  We need something to make us fight to stay upright.  We need instruction to give us the stability to carry on with our lives…the way God meant us to live them.

We will still get hurt once in a while, but when we are fighting for our life, or the eternal life of someone else, the firm grip we have on those instructions will be the difference between irreparable damage and merciful salvation.

Take firm hold of instruction.  This balancing act of life offers little support, but God is always there stable and faithful to keep us upright.

Relying on His strength,

jamie

Heed counsel that points to God

Pr. 12:15:  “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but he who heeds counsel is wise.”

Psalm 53:1 says, “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.'” Verse 2 says, “God looks down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there are any who understand, who seek God.”

There are many false teachings in the world, and if we don’t seek and heed wise counsel that helps us to understand more of God, we run the risk of becoming fools.

Being kind to our fellow man is a good thing, but understanding God helps us know that what our fellow men really need is to know the One true Living God.

Following rules is not necessarily a bad thing, but understanding God helps to understand that it is belief in Jesus Christ, and His grace that bring salvation.

Inner strength isn’t the thing on which we must build and rely, when the Lord, our Strength and our Shield, perfects His strength in our weaknesses.

Peace is something we all seek, but there is a peace that surpasses all understanding, that comes only from Christ Jesus.

Seeking God will bring more understanding of God, and will protect us from deceitful thoughts that teach a life lived outside of God.

We need seek Him to understand Him more and more.  We will be counted wise by the only One who really matters, and we will not suffer the fate of the fools.

Not only that, but we won’t have to live a life thinking it all rides on us.  Our understanding will allow us to know that we have a Helper who will guide us through all things.

In His care,

jamie

 

 

Be happy

Pr. 29:18:  “Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; but happy is he who keeps the law.”

Have you ever been in a class room when the teacher leaves?  The teacher asks the kids to sit quietly while he or she slips out, but the moment the teacher leaves the door, the kids go crazy.  Without someone governing them, they talk, get out of their seats, write on the board, play with things they’re not usually allowed to touch, fight, throw things, and more.  It can be pure chaos.  When the teacher walks back in, everyone sits back down and tries to act subdued.  The teacher brings the “vision” of the classroom back through the door.

That’s a funny example that makes me chuckle a bit.  What’s not as funny is the reality of this same scenario when it comes to life not guided by God’s vision.  Without God’s vision guiding our thoughts and decisions, we cast of restraint and do whatever feels right at the moment, or even what others say is right.  God’s vision is cast clearly in His Word and He has given us guidelines by which we can live that are set in place to protect us and keep us from suffering the consequences of bad decisions.

The Lord created us out of the love in His heart and He desires fellowship with us.  He did not create “rules” to hold us under His thumb and make us miserable.  He placed His vision before us to bring us into salvation and to guide us to bring others with us.  He clearly displayed His love for us on the cross, so that we understand what is most important in this life.  If it was important enough for God to send Jesus to die on the cross for our sins, then it is important enough for us to base our life on that sacrifice.

As I was reminded last night at VBS, Jesus performed miracles on this earth that weren’t always about healing or exorcism.  The Lord wants us to have life more abundantly, as evidenced in the feeding of the 5,000, the turning of water to wine, and the complete deliverance of the woman at the well.  The Lord loves us.  Our obedience to His Word isn’t about domination.  It is about us being obedient because of our love and respect for Him.  The result of us being obedient to the very things that protect us, is that we will then be happy.

Satan tries to distract us and get our eyes off God’s vision, promising freedom in the flesh, but Satan is a liar!  The flesh is never satisfied.  We can feed it for 60 years, and it will always want more.  God; on the other hand, God satisfies completely.  He fills us and then fills us again.  He continues to give more and more, as we hunger and thirst for Him.

When we get in line with the revelation of the Lord, and live a life that proves it, we will be truly free.  What sin actually brings is the bondage of guilt, shame, fear, brokenness, destroyed relationships, and consequences.  The Spirit of the Lord brings true freedom.  He gives us freedom and releases all bonds through mercy, grace, forgiveness, peace, and joy.  God already sent Jesus to set us free.  The proof of His love and His liberty was on the cross.  He cares for us and gave us access to His vision.  Let’s restrain ourselves within its bounds and experience true happiness.

Remember the cross,

jamie

 

Obedience simply protects us

Pr. 9:11:  “For by me your days will be multiplied, and years of life will be added to you.”

For the 1st time in 4 weeks my house is calm and quiet at 5:45 a.m.  4 weeks ago we brought a puppy into our family.  When we got up in the morning, he wanted to be up, too.  Our calm mornings turned to playful chaos, as he required much attention.

Yesterday, our puppy died.  This morning the house is silent.  There was much sadness and mourning yesterday, and some sadness and pain will remain for a while.

Last night as we comforted the kids before bed, I couldn’t help but begin writing my blog in my head.  My daughter was in charge of the puppy when the accident took place, and is therefore blaming herself for his death.  Her heart is very broken and she is carrying a heavy weight of guilt.

The fact of the matter is that the puppy was being disobedient.  Yesterday, while I typed my blog inside, my daughter took him outside to potty.  I heard a commotion and when I walked outside, I saw that he and his leash had gotten away from her and she was trying to get him to obey and come back to her.  He would not.  It was during the commotion caused by his disobedience that the accident took place.

It reminds me of us.  When we go places we shouldn’t, and do things we know we shouldn’t do, it causes commotion and sometimes we are harmed.  Lots of people have died doing something they knew they shouldn’t be doing.  I have been harmed more than once when making a decision to do something or go somewhere I knew I shouldn’t.

Sometimes we think that our actions are isolated to ourselves, but that is just not the case.  When we are disobedient, the effects reach others around us.  The puppy’s disobedience affected my daughter as she tried to take proper care of him.  The puppy’s disobedience affected me, as I tried to help her get him to obey.

And then the accident…I knew right away that he was not ok.  We rushed him to the hospital, but he died several hours later.  The entire situation set the course for our day.  It affected us, as we dropped everything and rushed him to the hospital.  It affected my husband, as he rushed over to be with us.  It affected my parents, whose hearts went out to us, as they rushed over to offer comfort.  It affected the family and friends we text for prayers, as their hearts were touched and they prayed for us all.  We spent 4 1/2 hours, and a good amount of money trying to support this puppy who had made a bad choice and was now in a life or death situation.  After he died, we spent the rest of the day mourning, burying, and comforting.  Our entire day was shaped by 1 act of disobedience.

Today my daughter will wake up with the same guilt and blame taunting her innocent mind.  Her world has changed forever…all because the puppy chose to disobey.

When we make a choice to do something we know we shouldn’t, it can bring us much harm, possibly even death; and admit it or not, it affects those around us.  We will never be perfect; however, we can do our best to understand that most disciplines are for our own good.

Our parents didn’t give us rules to make us having boring lives.  They were striving to protect us from harm.  The Lord, likewise, doesn’t say, “thou shalt not steal” to make sure we can’t have what we want.  He is trying to protect us, and those around us, from the consequences of coveting and stealing.

Honoring our parents brings long life.  Dishonoring them can set a course in motion like the one our puppy set forth yesterday.  It’s all about keeping us wise and keeping us safe.  God love us dearly and wants the very best for us.  He gives us all that we need, and more, to have a whole life.  If we would just stop fighting, struggling, and rebelling against Him, we, and those around us, would all benefit.

A little long today, sorry, but I felt the application was worth noting.  I pray the Holy Spirit will turn my plethora of words into something inspiring.

Listening for the Holy Spirit’s to lead me onto right paths today, and praying you’ll do the same,

jamie