Dabar [theme]

He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou find refuge: His truth is a shield and buckler
Psalms 91:4

Be it ours,when we cannot see the face of God, to trust under the shadow of His wings. C.H. Spugeon

Monday, February 19, 2007

Stress Revisited

2 Kings 17:14, "However, they did not listen, but stiffened their neck like their fathers, who did not believe in the Lord their God."
Nehemiah 9:29, " ... and testified against them, that you might bring them, back to your law. Yet they acted proudly, and did not heed your commandments, but sinned against your judgements, which if a man does, he shall live by them. And they shrugged their shoulders, stiffened their necks, and would not hear."
Proverbs 21:29, " A wicked man hardens his face, but as for the upright, He establishes his way."
I had the opportunity to teach on the subject of stress, this after a most tiresome and trouble-filled week. To add insult to injury, Sunday morning my printer decided that my Sunday School lesson was not worthy of its attention and so deemed it unprintable. My handwriting suffered for the extra burden.
In all these things, to which I was not prepared to answer to on Sunday morning, I found myself wanting. It appears in the matter of my handling of stress, I sin. My failure to properly deal with issues, (those things that break the constancy of life) is a reflection on my beliefs about God and His provisional love and care for me. I have spoken and written of my faith and my residing confidence that God has my best interests at heart in every situation and circumstance in which He places me and so an hypocrisy is exposed.
"What does God require of me?" - from one of my favorite verses - not to be defiant, not to give up understanding of the times, not to shoulder a yoke out of despite and stubbornness, not to stiffen my neck and harden my heart through failure to accept from God an interruption in my orchestrated life. My week was about everything evidencing an unyielding to God's intersections and the signage. If this past week was a test, I failed.
As I look at the aforementioned verses, I see a man described by his actions, actions for which the consequence is less than desirable. The facing of judgement, the destruction or depleting of integrity, the dishonouring of God, the testing of the patience of God, the unbelief (apostasy?) are all aspects of the life of such a man.
How do I answer this dilemma? What steps do I take to ensure my acceptance of God's will, compliantly?
God continually called His people to turn, to be penitent, to repent from their previous sins.
2 Chronicles 7:14"... if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear them from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land."
May I stand in awe and sin not, may I fear the displeasure of my Lord, may I hope in His grace and mercy, and walk in His commandments.


Anonymous said...

Thanks John, for being so honest with us in your struggles this past week. So you feel you blew the test on how to handle stress? Glad to see you're human!It's always amazing as we get more sensitive to what the Lord desires and how we desire to walk more like Christ, we are so aware of our weakness in those very areas which we are striving to conquer. Can't help but feel like Paul in Romans 7:15-24 But remember his praise in the end - Thanks be to God- through Jesus Christ our Lord! He continues over and over in us again.Then in Rom 8:1 Therefore ,there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

So there is a new week ahead, and we'll be praying that in the stresses that will come, again you will offer your life as an offering to God - in everything you do this week (let's start with today) and He will continue to work His life out in you - from the inside out (Rom 12:1,2) That's your homework!!
:) Jill

Ron Baker said...

Stress is never all we want it to be -- which is basically nice, gentle and friendly! I guess I've been working on the stress of accepting that God is leading even when my plans don't work out. And then, when my plans don't work, am I humble enough to ask what are his plans? And can I be satisfied that he knows what he is doing?

Shawn said...

Hey, found your blog, and thought it was great, it was refreshing to read! Thanks, it's nice to read something without having to overt my eyes, lol!