I am so excited and challenged personally with this year’s study, THE WAY OF WISDOM: CHOICES WITH A GOSPEL MINDSET. This first study is very sobering. As I prepared, it not only stepped on my toes, but my heart. My sinful heart tends to rationalize and justify that thinking and acting like the world in which we live is okay, even encouraged. But God has challenged me to grow in my knowledge of Him, and I have to choose whether or not to display His growth through my actions and my words – the choice to be obedient to Him. That was my losing battle for many years. As I stated in my bio, I consider myself to be a late bloomer in my faith journey. My foundation was built on sand, and I was straddling my rebellious, complacent, unstable, pride-filled fence where I was neither truly committed to God nor willing to let go of Him completely. As a result, my “fence” collapsed many times because my foundation was not firm. I obeyed God some of the time when it fitted with my agenda; when it was comfortable; when I wasn’t distracted with decorating or exercising and….the list is endless! (Hey, decorating and exercising are great in themselves). Too often my obedience depended on who I was with, or being in crisis and needing an answer from God.
Girls, when we obey “some of the time” it is essentially disobedience. When we say no to God, Satan wants to separate us from God’s best by offering worldly perspectives. Satan wants us to deny the power of God in Christ. I spent many years of my life in a mediocre state doing exactly that. Some probably wondered if I was even a Christian! After many painful years of disobedience and its consequences, I realized I would never find freedom if I remained stubborn and divided in my heart. Through God’s amazing love, grace, and faithfulness, I find that I am growing in Christ with greater consistency. His power is enabling me to have the courage to “be different.” I have not arrived by any stroke of the imagination. No. But my losing battle from years ago is moving forward. I look forward to the time when I get to heaven and am fully restored to Christ.
The apostle John warned us of Satan’s strategic plan for us to think and to act like the world: 1 John 2:15, 16
“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world – the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and boasting of what he has and does – comes not from the Father but from the world.”
Jesus confronts us with Himself in our study this month. He who became obedient even to death on a cross sets before us the radical choice between obedience and disobedience. He calls us to cast aside those rationalizing thoughts and actions of the flesh which ignore God’s whispers to us. Jesus calls us to embrace Him with an unconditional commitment of mind, will, and life to his teaching. It is not of this world; it is counter-cultural.
Dear sisters, I pray that as you study and ponder The Way of Wisdom: Choices, you will come to delight in being fully obedient to the Name above all Names that is worthy of all your praise; all your life.
So, sister, is your choice settled?