Monday, April 25, 2011

The Proverbs 31 Journey: A Healthy Remaining

Meditation/Memory Verse: "Everything is permissible for me"-but not everything is beneficial...I will not be mastered by anything. ~ 1Cor 6:12

This week we complete our month of looking at the Proverbs 31 Woman's health-body, mind and soul. We have drawn from Lysa Terkeurst book Made to Crave: Satisfying Your Deepest Desires with God, not Food. She has given us so many valuable concepts that we can use for our body, our mind, and our spirit. And what better timing of this subject than around the Easter season and the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Combining Lysa's books with our Beth Moore Bible study at church: Jesus the One and Only and my writing here have convicted me even more to self-sacrifice and self-discipline so that I can be an intentional woman after God's own heart...a Proverbs 31 Woman for Him. Again, refresh yourself with this woman from Solomon's writing's Proverbs 31:10-31 (ASV).

We have looked at the affect of our cravings on our body, mind and spirit as we were made to crave God and we are made for victory! We have explored what it means to be spirit-living and the outcome self-discipline has on our body, mind and spirit. Last week we tied in how we are a temple made to honor God with our body, mind and spirit and we do that by giving God an undivided heart. So this week I will draw from Lysa, Beth and God's Word for our final topic-A Healthy Remaining.

Looking at our memory verse above and reflecting on what we have studied this month, what masters you? What takes up your time, your thoughts, your desires or cravings? Is is good for you? Is it driven by God or driven by the flesh? What gives you joy? Makes you or your day complete?

"Whatever it is, if we are really going to stop circling the mountain and head north towards lasting changes, we have to empty ourselves of the lie that other people or things can ever fill our hearts to the full. Then we have to deliberately and intentionally fill up on God's truths and stand secure in His love." (Lysa, pp. 114)

Too often we become a victim of what masters us. Food can become our master. Wine. Television. Fashions. Religion. Did I just say religion? Definitely. Can one be busy in the church but not busy with God? Sure. Many of us have worn those shoes at one time or another haven't we? Maybe food or drink is not a problem in your life. Praise God! Maybe ungodly things of the world have no place in your life and home. More power to Him! And maybe, just maybe you can say 2 Cor 2:14-15 (NIV):
But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.

That's a healthy remaining. To be master by Christ. Captive to everything and only those things that are from Him. A Proverbs 31 Woman is mastered by the Master and has a passionate relationship with Him.

" Your heart means more to Christ than anything. That your heart is utterly taken with Christ is more important than any amount of service you could render or rules you could keep. If Christ has your heart, He will have your obedience." (Beth, pp. 231)

We are to fill ourselves with the spiritual nourishments that we can only find from Gods Word and through prayer. We are to make God our greatest desire, our strongest craving...not that new house, not a new body, not a healthier bank account, though all those are good...they should not consume us. Has God convicted you to lose weight? Then do it. Your body is His temple. Have you been convicted to be financially debt free? Do it! But don't cut God out in the process. Honor him with your choices.

"Each day God can be the perfect portion of everything we need-every longing we have, every desperate desire our souls cry out for. " (Lysa, pp.133)

Instead of focusing on your weaknesses and the desires of your flesh, focus on the the truths of God and who you are in Him. The more you focus on an unwanted "something", the more it captures you. Sometimes we have to completely remove ourselves from certain situations or "somethings" to be free of their control. I am leaving you several scripture for you to focus on this week. Pick a verse for each day. Meditate on it. Pray it. Allow it to soak into the deepest parts of your body, mind and soul. Replace those "something" thoughts with one of these verses:

"Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.” ~ John 14:21 (NIV)

For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. ~ Col. 1:9-12 (NIV)

My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of
wisdom and knowledge. ~ Col 2:2-3

I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people. ~ Eph 1:17-18 (NIV)

So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. ~ Eph. 3:17-19 (NIV)

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! ~ 1 John 3:1 (NIV)

I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. ~ Rev. 3:8 (NIV)

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you". ~ John 15:9-12 (NIV)

Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” ~ Lam. 3:22-24

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. ~ Phil. 4:8 (NIV)

A healthy remaining...body, mind and spirit...yielded to His will, unsettled with those unhealthy cravings or "somethings", eternally ruined for God.

"...the messing of two lives, yours and Christ's, increasingly engulfing and igniting the whole heart, soul and mind and strength. God i more than anxious to give you a heart full of fire for His Son. Tell Him you want it more than blessing or your daily bread".. (Beth, pp.232)

A Healthy remaining. This is exactly what satan fears the most and the Proverbs 31 Woman knows this. She calls on Eph. 6:10-11 and is able to be "strong in the Lord and in His mighty power". She puts on "the full armor of God, so that [she] can take [her] stand against the devil’s schemes". Setting boundaries, equipping the body, mind and spirit to stand guard over her temple, making her choices a holy honoring for God.

"...the ultimate goal of this journey isn't about making me a smaller sized person but rather making me crave Jesus and His truths as the ultimate filler of my heart. We are to remain in this healthy perspective. Let His thoughts be our thoughts. Remain.Approach this world full of fellow incomplete people with the joy of Jesus. Remain. And see our skinny jeans as a fun reward, nothing more. Remain. And be led forth in peace because I've kept my happy tied only to Jesus. Remain." (Lysa, pp.125)

As we close out this Easter season, I am drawn to Luke 24 and the women who went to place the spices and perfume they had prepared for their Savior's body. Because they had to wait the Sabbath out, their emotions must have been put to the test. These woman came to Jesus (in some cases, Jesus came to them) with their "somethings" and He became their Something. In Matthew 28:9 when they encounter Jesus for the first time after His death how did they respond? "They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him".

I bet they didn't want to let go. A healthy remaining. That is how I want my response to be when I finally meet Him face-to-face...I want my heart to reflect that kind of love, that kind of honoring...knees that will no doubt buckle....dropping to the ground...clasping His feet and washing them with my tears...humbled...grateful for His grace...His love...eternally worshiping Him as my Something.

“Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” ~ Luke 24:32

Abba, Father, my Holy and Sovereign God, oh that my life, my choices would reflect a heart of a healthy remaining while here on this earth. Burn my heart with your desires and your will. Burn deep within my heart when I open your Word and when I pray to you. Help me to live intentionally for you and you only. Cover me with your Holy Spirit until I can literally clasp onto you as these women at your resurrection did. Be my Something. ~Amen

Believing Him~Pamela

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