Archive for August, 2008

From my very earliest days as a Christian I understood the value of obedience to God. Over the years I have come to understand it to an even greater degree.

I have been guilty of playing that oh so familiar Christian game – I can’t hear you God, lalalalala. You know the one? That when you are asking God for guidance on a particular issue and He’s showing you what to do, but then you pretend that you’re not sure if it’s Him or not, so you go ahead and do what you wanted to in the first place. Of course, feeling very spiritual about the whole thing because you did ask God.

And how about the almost laughable number of times we have sung “I surrender all” or “Where He leads me I will follow” only to go about our lives as though we are perfectly entitled to make decisions based solely on our own desires, with no thought of asking God because surely He wants us to be happy, right?

I would never dream of telling God that my Yes had conditions. But my actions tell Him. Loudly. It is not the servant who says yes who is obedient, but the one who lives yes.

Several years ago I was at a retreat and in an intense moment in the worship service the worship leader said, “God wants you to sign on the dotted line.” That phrase impacted me so powerfully that I’ve not forgotten it. No conditions, no limitations. Just obedience. What a radical idea. I’m thinking that’s probably what the Lord has intended from His people all along.

For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. 1 Corinthians 6:20


CONCLUSION: It is time to find the joy of unconditional obedience

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At first I felt sure this wouldn’t apply to me. But this was actually the most painful question for me to face. The issue at hand goes beyong the physical act. It includes how I present myself before a world of men who are in covenant with other women.

Our society is beauty conscious.  Actually beauty obsessed might be a better word.  For women, the message we receive from all varieties of media is that to be happy we must be beautiful.  This is not good news to those of us who aren’t beautiful.  So we spend hundreds and thousands of dollars on hair care, makeup, clothing and whatever else we can find to improve our appearance.

We learn how to use our appearance to our advantage and how to feel better about ourselves by attracting the attention of men.  The right kind of look from a man can boost an insecure woman’s self esteem for days.  But it’s all innocent, of course.  And if I have dressed in a way to provoke a look, even possibly a lustful look – well, there’s no harm in a man looking, right?

I would have never thought of it as flirting with adultery until I considered this behavior in light of these words of Jesus:

“You have heard that it was said to those of old, You shall not commit adultery. But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Matthew 5:27-28


If a man’s heart is filled with lust and he looks upon me with lust, he is merely following the evil desires of his heart.  But if I have purposefully presented myself in a way that provokes lust in a man’s heart, I have become an accomplice in his heart adultery.  I have aided him in dishonoring the covenant with his wife.  I have become guilty.

And as hideous as this behavior is, how much worse when we bring it into the church and cause our brothers to stumble. 

Must we continue to chase after the world’s standard of beauty?  Have we not yet learned that if we want to truly beautify ourselves all that is necessary is to put on the Lord Jesus Christ?  He is the only truly beautiful One.

May God help us all, as women of God, to focus on the beauty of a meek and gentle spirit which God values rather than the fading, temporary beauty that this world applauds.

CONCLUSION:  Modesty – a God honoring and covenant honoring virtue I need to cultivate

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