A little fun with one of our favorite Classic Old School love songs by The O’Jays,”Forever Mine” and a quick grammatical reminder.
Music provides a soundtrack to our marriage of over 32 years. From my wife’s original music, to our shared love of music that shows itself in some way almost every day, MUSIC MAKES MARRIAGE MUCH SWEETER…
Think about this, God made all of us. We are all His creation. He gave us all strengths, abilities, talents, gifts and virtues to advance His kingdom and to sustain our lives…
2 Peter 1:3 (NKJV)
3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,
However, if we are born with innate strengths, we are also born with innate weaknesses, inabilities, and vices. No matter how hard we try, there are some things we just can’t do, or naturally can’t help without the help of God or one another.
I think God does this to create interdependence and balance among those created in His image.
Some people are physically stronger than others.
Some people are ‘smarter’ than others in certain areas, but everyone is ‘smart’ in something. For example, some people are great at math, but horrible and writing, and vice versa. (My wife was a math teacher, I used to tease her by saying, ‘get a respectable job’ because math is my weakness, while she’s not fond of writing, and concedes that it’s her weakness.)
Some people are not mechanically inclined and need help screwing in a light bulb, but may be a genius at technology.
Some people are unfortunately born disabled.
Some people naturally have a bad temper that was even evident when they were infants or toddlers. They didn’t ask for it…it’s a weakness.
Some people naturally have trouble managing money and resources, while others are excellent at it.
Some people are born naturally predisposed to get high blood pressure or even born with chronic ailments.
Some people naturally have trouble focusing, which limits their ability to learn.
Some people have an insatiable sexual appetite…like Solomon the son of David and wisest man to ever live (1 Kings 11:1).
Now, I know this is going to mess up some peoples’ theology, but I believe that some people did not ask to be or choose to be attracted to people of his or her own sex. Just because I don’t have that particular weakness, it’s wrong for me to declare, that someone else chose it. It’s a weakness they are ‘born with’; that is no different than a heterosexual person who’s unquenchable sexual desire leads them to be promiscuous…we are all born with weaknesses and lusts that we didn’t ask for (Psalm 51:5).
Some people are naturally flirts. Even then they are married the find that they continue to love attention that could lead to emotional and physical intimacy. It doesn’t automatically go away if they get married. It doesn’t mean they don’t want to be married. It doesn’t mean they don’t love their spouse. It just means that they have to depend on God with the help of His Holy Spirit to fight those weaknesses. As much as God can deliver us from our weaknesses, and lusts, He would much rather we deny our flesh out of love for Him and resist our weaknesses…
Matthew 16:24 (NKJV)
24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.
Some weaknesses may never go away, you have to overcome them just like Paul…
2 Corinthians 12:8-10 (NKJV)
8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. 9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness. ”Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
So, here’s the good news. God does not hold us hostage to the weaknesses that He gave us, He just expects us to be responsible with them, which in turn is designed to enhance our relationships with Him.
Whether it be physical, mental or even spiritual God has made provision for our weaknesses through faith and relationship in Him and through His Holy Spirit…
Romans 8:26 (NKJV)
26 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession [a]for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
When we deny the works of the flesh, which the enemy uses to exploit our weaknesses, we grow stronger and closer to God.
Galatians 5:16-21 (NKJV)
16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: [a]adultery, [b]fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, [c]murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
God is able snatch us out of the consequences of our bad decisions and weakness, for example someone who is very poor with managing money can be blessed with success beyond their ability or education…even if He connects them with the right people. Or, God is able to pair a person who is ‘sexually weak’ with a spouse strong enough to patiently see them through their weakness with which they sincerely struggle…sometimes for a lifetime. How are you the designated strong person in your various relationships?
But check this out, God is also able to deliver us from the temptation…
2 Peter 2:9 (NKJV)
9 then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment,
But, He would prefer that we resist the enemy and willingly put forth every effort to ‘set aside’ those weaknesses of both FLESH AND SPIRIT that can come between us and Him if we allow them.
2 Corinthians 7:1(NKJV)
7 Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
Hebrews 12:1 (NKJV)
12 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
He wants us to do this out of the same love for Him, as we want those we love to choose NOT to do things to hurt us. Not only because of the consequences of losing possibly relationship with us, but out of genuine love, concern and the desire not to hurt us.
God has equipped us to resist the enemy with a promise…
James 4:7 (NKJV)
7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
And, given us the tools and resources of prayer and His Holy Spirit to help us, even when we don’t know what to say (Romans 8:26).
God doesn’t hold us hostage to our weakness. He doesn’t condemn us for our weaknesses. He gives us power over them.
8 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who[a] do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be [b]carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the [c]carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. 8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. 10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
So be responsible with your weaknesses and lusts. Being born with them is not an excuse or necessarily a curse…
We’ve all been there in marriage, family, with friends or with an enemy…
You’re in a heated exchange…
An extremely contentious argument…
You’re going back and forth…
You walk away, or hang up, or get interrupted, or…
They make a point that leaves you speechless, or…
Your response, your ‘come back’ is just weak…
Then, 5, 10, 15 minutes or maybe even a day later the most awesome response pops up in your mind! “WHY DIDN’T I THINK OF THAT THEN” you think to yourself.
The moment is gone. It’s like a ruined punch line. You can’t go back, call back, or snap back, “Yeah, and another thing!” It’s too late! How can you bring it back up? Do you try to get the argument started again?
Maybe it’s God’s will that you couldn’t think of that response at the time.
Maybe it was God allowing you both the time to cool down…or just let it go.
Once words are released, they are impossible to take back, and can cause permanent damage to a marriage, relationship, friendship, employment, or in the case of enemies, could lead to retaliation.
Maybe God helped you hold it in. Maybe His Holy Spirit restrained you.
Pray about it.
If it’s a point that REALLY DOES need to be made, wait and talk about it when neither of you are angry.
Wait until it can be both said and received in love.
It comes so easily off our lips, but as spiritually noble as that sounds, there are some instances when you should not say, “I’ll pray for you”…
When you won’t do it…
How many times have you told someone you prayed for them, and whether you meant to or not, you didn’t do it. I find the best practice is to go ahead and pray right then and there.
When you don’t mean it…
How many times have you said I’ll pray for you because it was (SP) spiritually correct, but you never meant to do it. You weren’t being malicious, you just used it as a kind spiritual platitude…a nice cliché…it was right for the moment.
When you say it to belittle or insult someone…
Yep it happens, I have to admit that I have done it. Have you? When someone does something you don’t like, and it’s your way of saying, “I think you’re pitiful’.
An unbeliever or someone weaker in the faith could be offended when you say, “I’m praying for you”. It may only push them off and harden their heart. Use discernment.
God holds us accountable for every idle word we say…
Matthew 12:36 (NKJV)
36 But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment.
Especially if we are speaking or acting on His behalf or as intercessors…
Matthew 7:22-23 (NKJV)
22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
Never turn, “I’ll pray for you” into a lie an insult or empty words.
Update: Here’s a similar post from another blogger…
Never take for granted Yahweh’s precious gift of being justified by and through our Lord and Savior, Yeshua, Christ Jesus!
Remember, justification simply means being counted as or pronounced as righteous in spite of our sin and filth.
Acts 13:38-39 (NKJV)
38 Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins; 39 and byHim everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses.
Isaiah 64:6 (NKJV)
6 But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like [a]filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken us away.
This means that looking at us through the sacrifice of Christ and repentant hearts, God doesn’t see how nasty we are. He only sees His righteousness.
Think of it like this. Think of how nasty we as humans are at any given time. No matter how much we clean up or dress…
No matter how good we smell on the outside, at any given time during the day…on the inside our bodies have within them:
And other fluids that I won’t mention:-)
Yep, that’s nasty, but that’s us. All of us. No matter how rich, poor, influential or spiritual. When you see someone in their ‘SONday Best’, you can’t see the filth that is actually inside them. All you see is what is pleasing to the eye. All you smell is what is aromatic to the nose.
2 Corinthians 2:15 (NKJV)
we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved
and among those who are perishing.
So the next time you get dressed, take a shower or use the bathroom…
You know, getting rid of your NASTINESS…
Stop, and tell God “THANK YOU!” for His precious gift of justification.
One day an older widow was preparing roasted chickens for a fellowship dinner at her church. They LOVED her cooking at the church, so she was sending two roasted chickens by her grandson, and she was coming to church later.
As he got out of the car and walked across the parking lot…OOOPPPS!!!!, he dropped the chickens, they fell out of the pans and rolled across the asphalt!
He thought, “I can’t go back and tell my grandmother that I dropped those chickens.” He looked at them on the ground and noticed that the asphalt on the chickens looked like peppers and seasonings. Soooo, he put them pack in the pan, situated them nicely and took them in and presented them to the ladies in charge of the kitchen. Her grandson noticed them putting his grandmothers chickens back, separate from the other food. They loved her food so much that sometimes they would save it for themselves after everyone else had eaten.
Later that day, as he went through the buffet he noticed the fact that he didn’t see his grandmother’s chickens.
Hmmmmm. The people working in the kitchen must have saved those chickens he dropped that had rolled in the asphalt for themselves.
He thought, “Oh well if they got sick, it was their own ASPHALT!”