Posted by: Heather | November 14, 2008

can’t get it off of my mind

2Ti 1:12 and therefore I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am sure that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me.

In my last post I said I haven’t figured out if I would fight. Then I posted this verse. Paul did not fight back. Jesus did not fight back. – But isn’t that wimpy? Wouldn’t that be embarrassing?

WEELLL . . . Paul said he suffers for the gospel in the power of God, the same God who abolished death, and introduced immortality and life eternal. (that is what preceeds the “therefore” in verse 12) Because he suffers for the gospel in the power of God, he is not ashamed. In addition, he knows in whom he has trusted everything. And is convinced (means he did not always think this) that God is able to keep everything Paul has been entrusted with until the Day.

Now get this: (my mind has been going around in this circle all day, and I can hardly contain myself I am so excited about it)

Paul has given everything to God. God in turn has made Paul responsible for certain things. Now since God has entrusted them to Paul, but God is forever trustworthy, and Paul has (and continues to) trust God with everything, Then God will keep Paul’s responsibilities until the Day. It is like this. I am an hourly leadman on a production team. I have a production supervisor. I am on the production floor working for the supervisor. The owner does not ask me about production. If there is a problem, he asks my supervisor. My supervisor holds me accountable, but He is the one responsible that it gets done. Before he allows me to fail, he will step in and help me succeed. This is because it reflects on him. Now my supervisor is limited. He is not all knowing, and does not know the future. He does not know everything about me. He has limited resources. However, God is not encumbered by such frailties. If He has entrusted me with something, then He will supervise it – and it will be accomplished with or without me.

Now let’s apply this to the dream I had about my daughter. God told me in effect, – be careful here, this was my dream, not scripture, and I don’t want to appear to be saying “thus saith the Lord” this was my imagination at work – anyhow, in my dream God said “she is with me, I wouldn’t be doing this if it wasn’t necessary” If God saw fit for one of my children to be taken, than God is still responsible for all that I have entrusted with him, even if he has taken it away from me.

Read the phrase again in that light:
“for I know whom I have believed, and I am sure that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me.”

Isn’t that exciting?!

Now I will admit that I sincerely hope this has been an academic exercise. I am not looking forward to having to use what I have realized. But as I struggled with the thoughts about “what would I do if, and what is the right thing to do if . . .” and asked God for guidance, he has given me peace and comfort. I still don’t know if I would fight. What I know is who is in charge. (if he gives me the order to fight, I am on the winning side. If he gives me the order to stand down, He is responsible to care for those I cannot protect – make sense?)

Craig

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Responses

  1. I was thinking of Job, and how God allowed everything to be taken from him–no explanation other than “I’m God”.He has His reasons, even if we don’t ‘get’ them.Trusting Him can be so hard sometimes. What you wrote makes sense, and is a good reminder for a mom (uh….ME) who tends to think exactly backward of this. My thinking goes something like “I’m not doing “my” job properly if I’m not sufficiently ‘concerned'” 😛

  2. I have been thinking on this “fighting” issue a lot this last week with talks of persecution and a civilian security force under Obama. Who know if that will happen, but it is certain that we are only fortunate to be in a free country without persecution, and I don’t think it will last much longer. At any rate, I am with you, when it comes to persecution of faith, I don’t think I would fight. God is in control and will break the chains and open prison doors when he chooses. It is a hard when putting your family in the scenario, but I am convinced that we will do best by loving our enemies.

  3. Okay, as a mom I am very opinionated about this “fighting” issue. It’s the mother-bear syndrome. Someone threatens your kids and you let loose!Now, that being said, this post got me to thinking about fighting.Jesus tells us to turn the other cheek. That seems pretty clear.Going back to Moses era:The midwives lied to Pharaoh about the Hebrew babies. They protected them.Moses mother hid him and did not allow the Egyptains to kill her child. She protected him.Mary and Joseph fled to protect Jesus.In my mind, all of these people “fought” to protect these babies. I know there are hundreds more examples. I was noticing *how* they fought. They did not harm anyone and the part that sruck me the most was that none of them fought for themselves. They were all fighting to protect babies. Even Jesus fought. We look at Scripture and say how he never fought and he turned the other cheek but I guess I see it differently. I see that He fought for us. He did not fight for himself, that’s true. He allowed us to put him on that cross but all the while he was fighting for us. For our Salvation, our eternal life, our souls. He was fighting Satan in the ONLY effective way. And He won! =)I guess what I’m saying is, I don’t think it’s a question of *if* we fight but *how* we fight. I do not think that God would frown on us protecting our families but he may frown on us killing or hurting others to do it.

  4. As I said, I don’t have the answer about whether or not to fight. Let me be clear, the struggle in my mind at the time was basically about the senerio of the government coming into my house to take my child. Now in that case, would I literally get out my 44mag and defend them to the death?Answer, I don’t know. This was as I struggled with the idea of 1 Pet 2 where it says “honor all men, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.” In that instruction, how do I find room to shoot at a government official while honoring the king?As I thought about that, (all around the world it actually happens to followers of Christ) I realized that I have always thought that the difference between our country and others was that we have the right to keep and bear arms, so if worse came to worse I would use that right. But 1 Pet 2 doesn’t square with that. However, what I realized (while i didn’t get my question answered) was that personally I was ultimateley trusting in my own ability to defend my family, rather than God’s ability to take care of them. Make sense?Not attempting to say whether or not I would ever fight to defend my family. I was struggling with the specific question of how that could be done while honoring an oppressive government. (not that we have one, just what if . . )Craig

  5. Heidi,I hadn’t thought of it the way you put it. Have to ponder that more . . Yes, he did win didn’t he. Pretty awesome isn’t it.The three words in my dream that hit home were, “she’s with me” . . . And then to find later that 2 Tim 1:12 said the same thing without me knowing it. Sort of confirmation that God was teaching me, not just my wierd immagination running wild while I slept.Such a heavy event for me, and I am still processing it. May be for a long time.I sure appreciate your input.Thanks, CraigP.S. I would die for my children, I know that. That would be the easy choice. However, what if God called me to stand by and watch, and live through it? Would I be strong enough to obey if that was the instruction? The choice I remember making in my dream as they took her was that I immediately realized I was so outnumbered that my death wouldn’t change the outcome. Then I thought being taken would be traumatic enough, she didn’t need to deal with my death, too. One thing I realized long ago in my vivid dreams is that I just don’t know what I would really do in this situation or that situation until it actually happened. Then I remember wondering if that would translate into real life, and found later it does. I remember the first dream I had where someone hurt my child terribly. I would have thought that my first reation would be to go tear the offender limb from limb. But that wasn’t it. It actually didn’t occur to me. My child needed me and was hurt, that was all that mattered. I didn’t have the capacity to concentrate on anything but getting her the help she needed. (separate dream – different time) I wondered after the fact if it would really be that way, and then when Dad was arrested, I realized that my energy all went toward helping Dad. The accuser didn’t even cross my mind for more than a week, and honestly, I never had a desire to do anything to him. I knew that would just hurt Mom an Dad more, and that was the last thing I wanted. Dad and Mom needed help, and that took all of my attention and energy.

  6. Haha! I can identify with “mother bear syndrome”! and its perfectly natural. I also have noted in the Bible that there are times when civil disobedience (the Egyptian midwives, Rahab) and lying (are either approved (same instances) or ignored by God as far as actually punishing the liar (what’s up with Abraham telling people that Sarah is his sister–and everyone else suffers?) Or murder? (The OT woman who drove the tent peg through the guy’s temple comes to mind) We can find instances where people broke one or another of the Ten Commandments as they yet obeyed the one command that Jesus said is most important: To love God above all else. Their actions reflected their obedience to God’s desire, even though they had to “break the law” or disobey earthly authority to do so. I think this is a perfect example of why simple “lawkeeping” is not an appropriate way to follow God as a Christian. We need to actually be listening to and interacting with HIM rather than going down a checklist of do’s and don’ts so we can smugly tell ourselves we are “good” people.And only in a secure, living, Christ centered relationship would a person who is arrested, or otherwise confronted by enemies be able to obey these instructions:Luke 12:11-12 And when they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not be anxious how or what you are to answer or what you are to say; for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.” I would extend the meaning to “do not worry what we will ‘do'”, as well 🙂“However, what if God called me to stand by and watch, and live through it? Would I be strong enough to obey if that was the instruction?”A valid question. Heidi also makes a valid point concerning “fighting”. I have to say, I have read of people around the world who are being martyred today. The early church would have most likely been in a similar situation. And these people still meet secretly (against the law) in order to worship the Lord together and help each other…I haven’t yet found a place in the Bible that would indicate this is wrong. Man’s law is still subject to God’s will, but sometimes it is God’s will for Christians (even children) to suffer. It happens today as authorities raid Christian homes and meetings and physically restrained parents helplessly weep as their children are tortured and killed before them. Or the parents are hauled off to prison,, where they no longer have the ability to protect their little ones. “Passively” resisting evil by keeping a low profile as parents try to protect their children appears to be acceptable in many instances. But it isn’t the same as when Peter snatched up a sword and lopped off that guy’s ear when Jesus was arrested. Not only was Peter chastised for this, but Jesus even healed the fellow!Jesus fought, but not on an earthly level. In fact, for a time, it appeared He had lost the battle as He died on the cross. To all the people observing it LOOKED as thought evil people had succeeded. But Jesus triumphed. Not by resisting the evil people who were being used by Satan in an attempted to overthrow God’s throne…But rather He fought in the spiritual realm–He resisted the devil’s temptation, He subjected Himself to God’s plan of salvation.I think it would be good to remember that even though evil people are bing used to carry out Satans wishes, they are NOT the true enemies and Jesus came to heal and set free the prisoners of deception. He fought, but not in the way we normally would think of as fighting. Our greatest weapons are prayer–for wisdom during troubled times–for the salvation of those who would harm us–for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. And Love. This is the example He set for and commanded us to follow…Exactly HOW this is to be done will be between an individual and God as He will direct each person differently. The important part is to be listening for the instructions. As to whether anyone is going to be “strong enough” to endure through persecution, I would say “ABSOLUTELY NOT” No one is strong enough to stand by helplessly as their family is taken, beaten, murdered or otherwise abused. But we aren’t called to be “strong”. Or “smart”, as Luke pointed out.2Corinthians 12:10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities; for when I am weak, then I am strong. That is God’s job.Heather

  7. Say, do I get the prize for longest, most rambly comment? 😀

  8. Wow, that’t what i get when i begin blogging about an idea that is still in the “festering” stage when I haven’t settled on a position yet. The prize? There was a prize? Man, I miss all the good stuff!Craig


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