Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Proverbs 31 Journey: A Healthy Honoring

Meditation/Memory verse: "Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God." ~ 2 Cor 7:1

Last weeks journey of the Proverbs 31 woman demonstrated a woman who masters self-control by way of the Holy Spirit. In return, she is able to live a self disciplined life. I was challenged greatly with this spirit control living this past week. I have been out of town for a business trip. We were fed so much much...
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. ~ Ps. 73:26 (NIV)

I may have failed in some of my food choices (I stayed away from the pastries but that sauce on my salmon had to be high calorie) but God remained my hearts desired. I so loved meditating on Romans 8 this past week. I continue to pray "Grow me Lord...grow me into a spirit controlled woman! Help me crave You more." This journey remains on-going! No doubt it was for the Proverbs 31 woman.

So we continue to look at the Proverbs 31 woman from Solomon's writings. Go here and refresh yourself on her characteristics as recorded in the Amplified version. What do you think motivated the Proverbs 31 woman as recorded in this Proverb? What motivated her to be these things?

As we explore even more about this woman who was Made to Crave God more, we will draw from what Lysa writes in her book. From her chapter on exercise, Lysa took us to a passage in Haggai one that I would like to look at a little closer. It was the first time for me to read these words in the context of spirit living that honors our body, mind and soul:

2 “This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: The people are saying, ‘The time has not yet come to rebuild the house of the Lord.’”

3 Then the Lord sent this message through the prophet Haggai: 4 “Why are you living in luxurious houses while my house lies in ruins? 5 This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: Look at what’s happening to you! 6 You have planted much but harvest little. You eat but are not satisfied. You drink but are still thirsty. You put on clothes but cannot keep warm. Your wages disappear as though you were putting them in pockets filled with holes!

7 “This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: Look at what’s happening to you! 8 Now go up into the hills, bring down timber, and rebuild my house. Then I will take pleasure in it and be honored, says the Lord.

Now God was talking about His temple, a place of worship His people was rebuilding after they had been in exile. They started to build it with the best of intentions but eventually they lost their enthusiasm and starting falling away from their focus. Is that not a picture of how we can be when it comes the the health of our body, mind and soul?

We want to lose weight and so we start exercising and then something else robs our time and we no longer find we have a relationship with that treadmill or that daily run...

We wake up just a little bit earlier to spend time alone in the quietness of the morning so we can clear our mind to do His will. Then we find something else controls our thoughts and we cut short that time of meditation or skip it all together...

We memorize scripture so we can yield to this spirit-filled living but suddenly you find you lost your enthusiasm to stay focused on these verses....

Can we not compare it to Paul's words and say the same words of God spoken in Haggai apply with our body, mind and spirit?

Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body. ~ 1 Cor. 6:19-20 (NIV)

As I write these words we have entered the Easter season...the incredible walk Jesus took to Calvary because God loved us so much. His love for us was so strong that He was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice to prove it...grace so undeserved on our part.

"Indeed, it's amazing how love can motivate us--especially when it's God's unreserved love matched with our undivided heart" (pp.95)"

So what is it about the Proverbs 31 Woman that motivates her? I think Lysa nailed it in her statement above..."our undivided heart"! Think about it. In all three of those situations I listed above, would the outcomes be the same if an undivided heart was involved? Of course not. So how do we capture this undivided heart? Where better to turn to than scripture...

Teach me your way, LORD, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name. I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever.~ Ps 86: 11-12 (NIV)

I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. ~ Ezekiel 11:19 (NIV)

These were his instructions to them: “You must always act in the fear of the Lord, with faithfulness and an undivided heart. ~ 2 Chron. 19:9 (NLT)

An undivided heart trust in God and desires more than anything else (food, material things, self-gratifications) to honor God with her actions, with her thoughts, with her body. Does this mean this women only wears a size six and is picture perfect in the eyes of others? No, what matters to her is how God sees her. She is a woman who relies on God in everything and finds that step-by-step, she is able to become as He created her to be. She prays daily for an undivided heart.

"Halfhearted efforts only produce mediocre results" (pp.87).

And so this week we journey to living a whole-hearted spirit-living life with an undivided heart.
As our memory verse above encourages us, we
"purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God."

"An undivided heart. That's what my whole journey in conquering my cravings was about. When it comes to my body, I can't live with divided loyalties. I can either be loyal to honoring the Lord with my body or loyal to my cravings and many excuses...I am made for more, I am made for victory" (pp. 91, 101)

An undivided heart perseveres resulting in victory, no matter where your weaknesses may be...your body, your mind, your soul or in all three.

"Life as a Christ follower will always be a learning process of depending less on our own strength and more on God's power." (pp. 106)

Because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. ~ James 1:3-4 (NIV)

An undivided heart goes to God to fill any emptiness or spaces of void in her life. She goes to Him for healing, for comfort and for peace.

"Only persevering with God will make us truly full, complete, not lacking anything." (pp.106)

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. ~ 2 Cor. 10:11-12 (NIV)

An undivided heart honors God.

So where do we go from here? This week lets walk each day mindful of Christ steps to Calvary. Lets live a life thankful for the love our God demonstrated through His son's blood. Read this journey each day as written by His disciples and ask God to help you live your minutes, your hours, with an undivided heart that honors Him. Display your love and gratefulness for His actions through a healthy honoring. Let His love motivate you.

Matt. 27:11-66 - Matthew 28
Mark 15 - Mark 16
Luke 22: 39 -71, Luke 23 & Luke 24
John 19 - 20

A healthy honoring, motivated by His love!! Make this week all about Him.

Believing Him~Pamela

No comments: