Tuesday, December 2, 2014
"On Fire": Be Sure You're Letting God Pick and You're Not Being a 'Pharisee Looker/Lover'
"For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven."---Matthew 5:20(NKJV)
"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it."---Matthew 13:45-46(NKJV)
"But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."---Matthew 6:33(NKJV)
"...for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit."---Romans 14:17(NKJV)
If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times before...
The Holy Spirit really is my favorite DJ. And this morning, a song came to my mind that I haven't thought about in...shoot, who knows how long:
Uh-huh. True R&B lovers will remember it the very moment that they click "play" (LOL). I believe it came to my remembrance because as I was praying for the "On Fire" gals the day before yesterday, there was a thought and then a revelation that I received. The thought was that there really are a lot of ladies who are just like the song says. They are waiting for someone to love them. However, at the same time, some of the wait is *their fault*; they are in their own way. They are being their very own customized "stumbling block" so-to-speak. I say that because this is what the Spirit (John 4:24) said to me:
Shellie, a lot of my daughters are no better than the Pharisees were when Christ was on the earth. They are so consumed with how they think their husband should come and what he should look like that they are going to end up having the very man that I have for them staring them right in the face---and they're not even going know it.
As I gave that some initial thought, I read an article entitled "Why Didn't the Pharisees Recognize Jesus?" One part of the article said this:
What a most humble witness John bears before the priests and Levites, since he quite aware who had come to the Earth in Christ. But what is that to the so worldly wise priesthood. They ignored John’s truest testimony, for they did not care for a humble, poor and unpretentious Messiah, but wanted one to whom everyone would succumb in fear and terror.
I Corinthians 2:14 tells us "But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." That said, the Pharisees we're looking for Yehoshua the Christ from a spiritual mindset. Therefore, they didn't want a humble and poor and unpretentious Savior. No, they had something totally different in mind when it came to Christ's arrival to how they believed he was going to live his life on this earth. And as a direct result, as much as I love (LOVE) the Jewish culture, there is something that they missed the ball on: they are still waiting for the One who already came. They missed out because they put their perspective ahead of God's objective.
And so yes, I totally get what God was saying to us in connection to that...
How many women are at a place of either *telling God* who their husband is or deciding that their man needs to come at a certain time and/or in a certain package based on their tastes and preferences (ones that are oftentimes more flesh than spirit-based) rather than being open to the person, and the journey towards that person, that God knows is best for them (his ways are not our ways, after all!-Isaiah 55:8-11)?
And that's why those verses are added up top...
It takes a desire to live righteously...
It takes being willing to give up all of what you think for all of what God already knows...
It takes putting the kingdom of God (which ultimately means God's will) first...
It takes finding the righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit...
For us to even be in the remote location of receiving God's best for us.
After all, marital covenant is of God. Therefore, it's something that is inside of the kingdom of God.
To add to all of that, a woman who penned an article entitled "Praying for God's Man" said this:
The Lord, of course, blesses us with our mates to bring a form of satisfaction to this life; He brings us one who can walk with us and help us along life’s journey, for He loves us through each other. Our marriage should be a symbolic picture of our relationship with Him—a union of growing into everlasting perfection and beauty that is only found as we “abide” in Him. The word “abide” means to take up residence or to remain stable and fixed. As long as we remain stable and our eyes fixed on Him, our marriages can grow to become the beautiful union that Christ intended for His beloveds. It is only as we cleanse our minds with the washing of the Word of God that we become like Him; and therefore our natures, being transformed, bring forth the fruit of the Spirit that enables our marriages to be nurtured and sustained.
We should understand that the natural marriage of love, security and happiness is symbolic of what Jesus Christ desires to give His bride. He desires to give His bride a marriage for all eternity that will far surpass all that we could ever desire in our earthly marriages. He wants to give us a love that far exceeds any love we could ever dream of—a relationship of forgiveness, understanding, love, patience, kindness, unselfishness, peace, joy unspeakable and faithfulness—a relationship where the Groom is totally enraptured with His bride. We cannot comprehend this type of marital bliss, but we get a sample of His love by reading the Song of Solomon (the Song of all Songs). This beautiful book so succinctly depicts Christ’s love for His bride and her love for Him.
“Love” is the key word. This love presents the passionate desire between man and woman or symbolically, Christ for His bride, and it celebrates the glorious potential of covenant marriage between us and our Maker. Song of Solomon also expresses the longing of the Bride to give herself totally to Jesus, her Groom. “He brought me to the banqueting house, and His banner over me was love. Sustain me with cakes of raisins; refresh me with apples, for I am lovesick….When I found the one I loved, I held Him and would not let Him go.” (Song of Solomon 2:4-5 and 3:4) One day the mystery of “The Bride of Christ” will be revealed, as we celebrate the “Wedding of the Lamb.”
But you say I have never married—what about me? I truly believe that if we have a desire to be married, the Lord has that special mate for each of us whose calling will complement our own. After all we do not give ourselves our godly desires, for the Lord says in Philippians 2:13, “for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” So if there is a desire, He placed it there, and we should pray for that one who will walk along side of us that we might be able to perform God’s call for our lives; and then we should stand—believing, trusting, waiting and thanking Him for His gift.
The wait may be long, but our greatest decision in life, next to our decision for salvation, is the choice we make concerning our lifetime mate; so we shouldn’t become impatient in waiting upon the Lord. Satan knows that if he can deceive you and cause you to marry outside of God’s perfect will, he will have succeeded in thwarting God’s plan—if not totally destroying His plan and call for your life. Never settle for God’s permissive will, as all eternity we will pay the price for that erroneous decision. In other words, you will be unable to fully run the race that the Lord has called you to if you settle for a mate who is not the chosen one of the Lord.
That's some good stuff and to that I'll add this: In my own journey, more and more I am learning that I don't need to be spending so much time *planning* when it comes to my husband that I am not *praying* for all of God's will (ALL OF GOD'S WILL-I John 5:14-15) concerning him. And I certainly don't need to prolong the process or worse, *miss the person*, because I have a "Pharisee mentality" about him. By thinking that if my love story is not the way *I think* it should be, then it's not going to happen. Thinking like that is causing me to miss out on what may *already be happening*.
So, no matter where you may be in your own love story right now, I encourage you to seek wisdom from God (James 1:5) about whether or not you are truly and purely intentional about letting God pick the man for you (so that he can bring you to that man-Genesis 2:22) or if you are out here like a Pharisee: missing God's best because you're caught up in...
Your wish list.
God made you. He knows what you like better than you do.
Keep that in mind and stay open.
God's doing some things. Even now.
It would be a shame if our lack of humility caused us to miss it. Eh hem, "him".