Dressing for the Eyes of God

closet of clothes

What if, during a Sunday morning service, a man came barging through the doors of our church and began to loudly use profanity! Of course, nobody would allow such an act in one of our services. While this example may seem a bit extreme, something takes place in many churches every week that can be just as much of a distraction from what God is wanting to accomplish in His service– a woman’s immodest dress.

Ladies, it is a sin to dress immodestly. And may God help us not to bring immodesty into the very meeting place where we gather together to win the lost and encourage one another in purity and godly living!

Satan is very deceptive. God gives us the truth and Satan contradicts His truth. God says that women should “adorn themselves in modest apparel” (1 Tim. 2:9). Satan then questions what immodest apparel really is. He also sets the world before us with example after example of terribly immodest apparel, so that the immodest apparel some choose doesn’t seem all that immodest any longer in comparison.

Some may ask, “What is the definition of modest clothing?” Here is a question for anyone struggling with that question– why are you struggling with this question? Are you trying to get as close to the line of sin as possible? Are you dressing to please the eyes of men or the eyes of God? If you are dressing to please God, then I don’t think this really becomes an issue any longer. The choice then automatically becomes one that is nowhere near the line of sin. Our dress standards will be right because we have a right view of God. We will wear nothing that has a question mark hanging over it.

Is a lady to blame for her immodest dress? Yes. But I believe there are others at whose feet the blame should be cast as well. If a wife (or daughter) who is dressing improperly has a husband (or father) who calls himself a Christian, as the leader of the home, he is the one who is accountable. While some women may not be completely aware of how men are affected by a woman’s immodesty, men are certainly aware of it! Men, be sure your wife and daughters are dressing for the eyes of God. Take the lead in your home. You will gain a new respect from her as she sees your love and concern for her, and for the work of the Lord.

Who else is to blame? With all due respect, I believe “aged” women in our churches are also to blame. God has set forth an important ministry in Titus 2, “The aged women likewise… That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste… that the word of God be not blasphemed.” Dear older saint, please remember that God has given you the responsibility of a teaching ministry to those younger women of your church. The next time you see someone in the church dressing inappropriately, instead of gossiping about her, maybe you should ask yourself if you are partly to blame, and then kindly and lovingly speak to her about it. There may be some who have never had a good example to follow and need you to help them. While some will not listen, you may be surprised who will.

This issue is a concern for many church leaders today. Most of God’s children are not intentionally trying to hinder the work of the Lord. Most Christian ladies do not put on a certain outfit with the intention of distracting a lost soul or placing a stumbling block before a fellow believer. But when we catch ourselves dressing for the eyes of men rather than God, we can become exactly what we never intended to be– a tool of Satan. Have a humble, godly attitude toward this serious issue, and make necessary changes in order to be an effective tool for God.

God loves you dear lady! Be a shining example of a beautiful daughter of the King. Let Him have His way with thee!

Waiting on God

waiting-on-god

All days eventually come! Do you remember waiting for a special day in your life that had not yet come, but was approaching, such as your wedding day or graduation day? An event may seem far off in the hazy future. (Especially in our younger years. I’ve just passed the 40 milestone and the years are speeding up!) We count down the days, hours, even minutes. But the day eventually does take place. All days eventually do come.

For unto you is born this day.
On a certain evening on a quiet hillside, a group of shepherds sat watching their sheep, doing the normal everyday things they had been doing for a long time, expecting nothing more than what they had always experienced. Suddenly startled by an angel, they heard the completely unexpected announcement that “unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the LORD.” Wow! THIS day! An event that God had promised, an event they had believed would one day come– the coming of the Jewish Messiah– had come! That very night, the day had come. The Savior was born! How exciting to have been present when the day of the first coming of the Savior finally came. The faith of the shepherds transformed into sight on that day.

Mine eyes have seen thy salvation.
Eight days after the Savior was born, Joseph and Mary brought the baby Jesus into the temple, to go through the processes of the Jewish law that were required of them. A man by the name of Simeon also came into the temple that day, directly led of the Holy Spirit. We are told that he was a just and devout man, with the Holy Spirit of God upon him. The Holy Spirit miraculously revealed to him that this baby was the Christ, the Savior that God had promised he would see with his own eyes before he died. Taking the baby up in his arms, he glorified God and said, “Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: for mine eyes have seen thy salvation.” The faith of Simeon was transformed into sight on that day.

Waiting.
Before the account of Simeon seeing the newly born Savior of the world, the Bible says in Luke 2:25 that Simeon had been, “waiting for the consolation of Israel”; for the coming of the Messiah. I wonder how long he had been waiting? We are not told how long it had been from the time God promised Simeon that he would see the Christ child until it came to pass. It appears he had been waiting a long time, and was toward the end of his life when his faith was made sight, since he stated that the Lord, having kept His promise, could now let him depart in peace. He had probably waited many years for this day.

What about those shepherds to whom the angels appeared? After going and seeing that which had been made known to them, they went about telling the news of what had happened and what they had seen, obviously overwhelmed with excitement! The Bible says, “And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.” But I have often thought, then what? What did the shepherds do then? After the night of excitement and amazement, then what? Well, they were back to, you guessed it, waiting. Again.

Joseph kept his little family in Bethlehem for two years, until God told him to take them by night and run to Egypt, as Herod was preparing to kill the babies of Bethlehem in his savage efforts to destroy this perceived threat to his rule. What would the shepherds have thought after this event? Was the child killed with all of the others in Bethlehem? Where did Joseph and Mary go? Time went by– a year, five years, ten years, thirty years– I think of how their faith must have been tested in what had been told to them.

Where is faith found? In the mountaintop experiences when we see God’s hand obviously at work? No. At least, not so much. Faith is found in waiting. God promises. We believe His promises. And we wait. Like Simeon and the shepherds, we wait for our faith to be made sight, no matter the circumstances of our lives. We don’t always understand the events that take place during our times of waiting on God. We don’t understand why God would take so long to keep His promises to us. We don’t like waiting! Especially not in America, where we are used to modern conveniences such as microwaves, fast cars, and instant information about anything we want at our fingertips.  “Have it your way right away.” But, it is in the process of waiting that God is working, and that is where our faith in Him is found. Our all-knowing God does things in ways that are not our ways, and His timetable is not ours. We must trust Him during the waiting. The Bible tells us in 2 Peter 3:8-10, “… one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack (delayed, tardy) concerning his promise … but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night…”

Waiting on God to keep His promises is nothing new with God and His relationship to His people. Think of Abraham, promised by God that he would be the father of many nations, yet had no child. And God didn’t give him a child until he and his wife were well past child bearing years– Abraham was over one hundred years old! For us, looking back, it’s easy to say, “They should have believed God.” But, can you imagine day after day, week after week, years turning into decades… “God? About this promise?”

God told Noah that a flood would come, and then gave him instructions on what to do to prepare. Noah simply obeyed in faith, and approximately one hundred and twenty years later, the flood came, just as God had said it would. Did you get that? One hundred and twenty years! There is no record that God told him when the flood would come. Maybe it was just after he and his sons finished building the ark, and maybe it was long after. The Bible says they simply went into the ark when the Lord told them to. I’m sure Noah’s faith was strong on day 1 of building the ark. He had just received a promise from God Himself! But what about on day 36,500?! Years becoming decades, and still no flood. Just faith, in the waiting.

What is it in your life that you are waiting on God for? What promises have you claimed from God’s Word that you believe God for? Be assured that though the battle goes on and the waiting may seem long, the promises are sure, and God is going to keep His word! Have faith in God like Simeon, Abraham, Noah, and countless others in this great cloud of witnesses who have gone before us. Though they had to wait, their faith was eventually made sight. Let us pick up our cross on this narrow road to which Jesus has called us, believing the promises He has made to us, serving Him as we wait on the fulfilling of His promises.

We live between the two comings of Jesus. We look back on His first coming, and we look forward to His second coming, believing when He says, “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” (John 14:1-3) As all days eventually do, one day this day will come. What joy will be in our hearts if we have lived in faith, preparing for the promises to be fulfilled, patiently waiting for our faith to be transformed into sight!

Personal Time With God

Praying hands on an open bible

God is working. And if you are a true child of God, bought by the precious blood of Jesus Christ, God Himself desires to have a close relationship with you. He also desires to use you and me for His great work. It is very hard for me to believe that God would use me for His work on this earth. But, it is the truth! We must remember though that it is His work, not ours. We must remember that we can do all things through Christ, but without Christ, we are nothing. Our first work each day should be to submit to the Lord in a spirit of meekness, allowing Him to use our mortal bodies for the work that only He can do through us. We must stay in tune with God, every single day.

In order for that to happen, we must spend time with Him every day. Of course we should talk to God anytime and anywhere, but what a help and beneficial discipline it is to have a regular time and place we dedicate every day to spending time alone with God, in communication with Him. This is vital to a truly effective and Spirit-filled life of enjoying the Lord, pleasing the Lord, and ministering to others.

1. When? A Regular Time. David, the one the Bible calls a man after God’s own heart, spoke much of  spending time with God in the morning. (Psalm 5:3; 59:16; 88:13; 143:8) The morning is the beginning of a new day. Your mind is rested and clear. Whatever time of day you choose, it is important that it be a regular time. We are creatures of habit, and having that special, regular time devoted to being with God is important in causing it to happen every day.

2. Where? A Regular Place. Is there a special place in your mind where you are physically located when you spend time in fellowship with God? If not, I encourage you to find such a place. Going to that same location each day helps in getting into the good habit of spending time with God. This will become a very sacred and special place to you.

3. How Often? Every Day! We fight spiritual battles every day. The enemy does not take a day off. Let’s arm ourselves daily.

4. What Do You Do? Read your Bible and let God speak to you through His Word. Pray and speak to Him. Sing and make melody in your heart to the Lord. Memorize Scripture. Be still. Shut the things of the world out for a few moments and let God speak to you.

May I encourage you to take time to turn off the cell phone, walk away from the computer screen, turn off the music, turn off the television, close your door, and communicate with God each day. Your personal time with Him is a time of replenishment, restoration, receiving orders, remembrance, and rest. Don’t neglect it!

Surround Yourself With Truth

Spiritual Warfare

Hey there, friend! Have you forgotten that you are in a battle today? No, I don’t mean with your spouse! I mean with the very devil himself. I mean with your sinful flesh that Satan likes to so easily “beset” you with. It is very easy to forget that we are fighting, every day, against lies from the enemy. We are in a war of truth against lies (John 8:44), and even now the devil wants you to believe his lies. He wants you to mess up. He wants to ruin your testimony and your good work for Him. He is seeking your destruction, ultimately because he hates the One you serve.

It is certainly not pleasant to think that there is one who constantly works to see your life, family, and testimony destroyed, but it is so very necessary in order to have the victory. And remember, victory for the Christian is promised! However, the individual who doesn’t even know he is in a battle is in a pretty pitiful position.

So how do we fight the devil’s lies in our lives? We need to recognize the lies for what they are, and then we need to fight back with the truth. What is the truth? Jesus is the Truth. (John 14:6) The Holy Spirit is the “Spirit of truth.” (John 16:13) The Word of God is the truth. (John 17:17) God and His Word are truth, and anything that contradicts God or what He has said is a lie. So the battle has been set and it is raging, whether you know it or not. The enemy is Satan. The battlefield is your mind. The enemy’s weapons are sin, deception, and lies. The Christian’s weapons are the Word of God and the shield of faith in the truth of God.

The enemy has a strategy;  so should the Christian. One way we can fight is to surround ourselves with truth.

Practical ways to surround yourself with truth:

1. Read God’s Word every day. Let it be the first thing you do when you get up and the last thing you do before you go to sleep. Keep your Bible beside your bed at night.

2. Be accountable to someone each day. It may be your spouse, a good friend, a parent, or a pastor. We need each other in this battle! Be accountable to someone specifically in the areas where you know the enemy can easily get to you.

3. Post verses everywhere you are. Throughout your house, at work, at school, even in your car– let the Word of God be physically seen everywhere! Place verses on the refrigerator, on the bathroom mirror, and as your computer password. Choose verses that are specific to lies you battle personally.

4. Memorize the word of God throughout the day. Carry verse cards in your pocket. Post verses on your social media pages. Keep it before you all day long.

5. Get rid of anything in your life that is ungodly and replace it with things that are godly. It has been said, you can’t prevent a bird from flying over your head but you can keep it from building a nest in your hair! Make no provision for the flesh. David said, “I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes.” (Psalm 101:3)

What other ways can you think of to surround yourself with truth?