Monday, April 21, 2008

A Conversation with God

I'm grateful, but always humbled, when the Lord speaks loud and clear through his Word. It happened again this morning. I was reading in 2 Timothy 3 expecting to find a comforting word from Paul to his pastor friend and son in the faith. It started out that way. He began in verse 1 saying, "Realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come." Sounds encouraging enough, right? I can take that and apply it to my life, knowing that the struggles I face are to be expected and are not a surprise to God.

Then this dialogue with the Lord began:

God, through Paul continued, warning me, "Men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power."

"Yeah, there's a lot of that going on today, Lord. Those people need to confess their sin and change their behaviors by allowing the Holy Spirit to live and breathe through them in truth and authenticity," I replied.

"Avoid such men as these," God continued.

"You bet I will," I thought.

Watch carefully, because there are some "weak women" who are captivated by leaders [rather than the Christ those leaders claim to serve].

"You go, Paul," I thought. "I know so many women who are so agog about Bible study leaders like Beth Moore or Ann Lotz, that they miss the Jesus those women are serving. They're just groupies, not disciples."

Those weak women are "weighed down with sins..."

"Those poor women, in bondage to deceiving, dangerous behaviors," I lamented.

In their weakness, they are "
led on by various impulses." You can substitute the words 'emotions' or 'desires' here for the word "impulses," because they don't use reason or make Spirit-led, biblically based decisions.

"Oh...well...I guess I kinda do that sometimes; make decisions and say things based on how I feel. Does that really categorize me as a weak woman, Lord? Ouch. This was going so nicely."

Also, they are "always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth."

"Wait, do you mean all those journals and sermon notes piled in the closet? All those things I've learned from Godly instructors and personal Bible study but still fail to apply and implement in my life? Me? A weak woman?"

If the shoe fits... [that's not in 2 Timothy]

"Ok, so what do I do, now?"

Know that Christ was "crucified because of weakness, yet he lives because of the power of God. For though you also are weak... live with Him because of the power of God directed toward you" (2 Corinthians 13:4). Don't try to fix your weakness on your own. Let my power flow through you as it only can when you have a clean slate with me through confessed sin and repentance. And remember, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness" (2 Corinthians 12:9).

Ok, Lord. Here we go again. A fresh start for a new day.

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