Understanding God

understanding GodWe all know there are many misconceptions of God.

Some act like God is a genie in a bottle… send that prayer on up and demand that it be answered and if it’s not they become angry and disillusioned. God answers our prayers always!  But His answers are not always what we think we want.  He answers our prayers according to His will.  “And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.” 1 John 5:14-15

Some believe God is all love. That as long as they love everyone and try to do good everything is good, .  They love everyone, they believe that everyone is equal. God sees our works but it’s our faith in Jesus is what He’s looking for, our willingness to take up our cross and follow in Jesus’ steps.  “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV

Some believe God is mean, looking for every little error so that He can crack the whip and discipline us. We are His children and when we stray it’s always going down paths that aren’t good for us therefore, He must discipline us.  “For he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.” Romans 13:4 ESV

God is a sovereign, just and loving Ruler over everything!  There is nothing that is not under God.  Chapter Two of The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace helps us to understand God and ourselves.  By understanding we can see how to trust God to protect us and why we need to be protected.

God has a ministry for each of us.

Eve was created for Adam to be a helper, not a leader to Adam.  God created you to be a helper to your husband. Though we are all created to glorify God, we must also glorify our husbands in the way God wants us to.

I have a difficult time with this.  For years, I was the leader in my home ~ I did it all from working outside the home, to cleaning, to raising my children.  So when this man came along, this traditional man, who wanted me to stay home and care for him and our home…I wasn’t quite so sure.  For me it meant “giving” him all the power!  What if this marriage didn’t work?  How was going to take care of myself?  Would this mean Hubs was completely in charge of everything?

God’s wisdom is perfect and we can trust that He knows what’s best for us.  Though Hubs is not perfect (who is?) God has chosen to put me, the wife, under him. 1 Corinthians 11:3 ESV, tells us, “But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God.”  It doesn’t get much clearer than that.  I’ve come to understand that Hubs does not have absolute authority over me, God does.

We all know that there is a lot of talk about “submission”.  It’s seen as a weakness, people laugh about the women who claim to be submissive to their husbands.  God has convicted me that it’s not “submission” but “protection”.  Okay, so maybe you think you don’t need protection, neither did I!  As I read on in the chapter I came to understand that I did.  Martha says, “God’s protection covers you by means of the authority structure God has set up for you. His plan was devised from His perfectly pure heart of love.  You may never comprehend all the reasons why God does what He does, but you can trust He knows better than you what you really need.  Keep in mind that you will never be what God wants you to be until you place yourself under God’s plan by coming under the authority of your husband.”

The Christian wife’s good works have eternal worth.

Our ministry to our husbands is profitable. “For while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” 1 Timothy 4:8 ESV.  When God calls us to do something and we obey we will be a treasure to God.  “Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine;” Exodus 19:5 ESV.  When I think about this, I come to understand that by submitting to my husband, to doing good things for him and our home I am obeying God and His laws.

The Christian wife does not have to be afraid.

God knows what is right and He has shown us through His word.  So why should we be afraid to do the right thing?  There are many reasons to fear being under your husband, I know I had many!  Yet, when I think about the real reason, I realize just how selfish I am!  It all comes down to wanting my own way.  I’d always had things my way.  I ran my home ~ my way.  I raised my children ~ my way.  Now, I have a husband and I still wanted it my way!  That’s not what God wants…Ephesians 5:31 tells us, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”  We are no longer ourselves but one with our husbands.  This is a difficult concept … the world tells us we are separate, that everything is about us. God’s ways are different.  God sees marriage as two becoming one.  So everything that one of the halves does affects the other half.  Every decision, every desire, every thought affects the other.  Huge concept, I know!  I want you to take time to think about this one… to think about how you are affects your husband.  Be honest.

The focus of the Christian wife is to be on God rather than herself.

Our focus is to be about God’s business, to focus on the work He has put before us.  Martha tells us, “If Jesus had reacted in a selfish way, we would have no hope.  There would be no Savior for anyone.  If you take your eyes off Jesus and react in a selfish way, you will be miserable trying to fulfill your God-intended role.”  This stuck me big time!  Yes, I maintain the home but there are many times when I rush through it grumbling the entire time.  Why?Because I’m selfish!  I feel put upon… picking up after everyone, scrubbing toilets, cooking, etc.  When I’m feeling that way, it’s all about me… why am I the one that has to do this?  Can’t anyone do for themselves?  I forget just who I’m doing this for.  My focus is off the truth.  I’m doing it because God has called me to do this for Him.  To glorify Him.  I’ve begun to concentrate on the blessings rather than the chore.  Though I hate to cook I’ve come to realize that the food I’m preparing is a blessing from God.  When I clean a toilet, I thank God for having one!  Each thing, is a blessing from God because nothing comes without Him.  As I go about my tasks each day, I put on praise music (loud!) and thank God for all He has blessed us with.  It makes a difference!  Your heart expands and your feel joyful rather than put upon.

A Christian wife does not have to sin.

“We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin.” Romans 6:6-7 ESV.  We all know we continue to sin, but since we have been crucified with Christ we are free to think and do the right things, with God’s grace.  It’s our free will, our choice.  God cares about everything you go through, good and bad, He understands all of it.  He wants us to do what’s right.  He wants us to follow His perfect plan for our lives.  I know, when I try to do it my way, on my own all I see is problems.  My feelings are all over the place.  My thoughts are about me, my needs, the things I think I want. God wants us to have joy, and He wants us to be completely fulfilled.  He wants so much for us.  It doesn’t just come though, we need to actively pursue this, we have to want it as much as He wants it for us.

Do you want all that God has for you?

I would love to hear your thoughts, your feelings…

“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” Hebrews 10:24 – 25 ESV.