Sarah and Joel--Cambridge established 1209 ad
"Do not move the ancient boundary, Which your fathers have set. "
Sipping tea in the candlelight of the twilight of evening found me cherishing time with a dear friend who has had a godly influence on my life for many years. We were reflecting on the many ways we have observed more and more compromise in the lives of young Christians over the many decades of our lives. A weakening of the faith and of the faithful--too many stories of leaders compromising and Christians being yawningly boring, ineffectual and weak--it has become epic in our lives--and in the news.
“When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.” Genesis 3:6
Discernment is the ability to judge well between truth and vanity is reflected in the life of a mature believer. Discernment between good and evil and the willingness to obey whatever God requires is an evidence of one walking in the power of the Holy Spirit and following God's word. However, many do not even know what the word of God says anymore, so they follow online wisdom.
If a woman has time to spend on the internet but no time for prayer or the word of God, then she is not serious in her commitment to God, but she is serious in her commitment to facebook and blogs. As Jesus says, you can't serve two masters.
I am concerned about the extremes I see on the internet, and in life. Leaders in churches have questioned me on my teaching “conservative, old fashioned teaching about home and family and the training of children.”
God's word provides the wisdom, boundaries, and insight for each day of our lives. Boundaries and fences and hedges are established for the protection of a land or home, the definition of its realm and the measuring of it's place. When you remove fences and borders, all sorts of havoc reigns. Boundaries provide definition and security. Our culture calls out daily for the compromise and moving of boundaries in our lives. Without a depth of training in the Word, so many are caught up in the seemingly alluring messages—either to legalism and judgment or to compromise and compliance with less than Biblical ideals.
As I have said many times, in the absence of Biblical conviction, people go the way of culture.
When you don’t know what to think, you follow, like sheep, anyone whose voice is the loudest or most persuasive. Paul warned us that toward the end times, people would want to have their ears tickled with messages that pleased them. He said, “Nothing would be sacred.” II Tim 3
From the beginning, as with Eve, women have been seeking wisdom from another place, looking for answers to validate their whims and desires from the world. But even as it turned out disastrously for Eve, and all women who have followed lies throughout history, so it will be for women who listen, are allured by the voices of the world today. Do not be fooled!
To live a balanced life, between the false promises of a legalistic, behavior, rule-based life or the permissive, “it doesn’t matter---give yourself a break,” culture, we must be women who are seeking the heart of Jesus, the truth of scripture and the teachings of those who have lived a proven life.
Living in the tension of walking with freedom and holiness requires us to know our God, so that we can resist the voices that sway us one way or the other.
It would only make sense that the father of lies, Satan, would figure out a way to send out voices of confusion to distract and minimize the powerful message of Christ. But we must understand, messages are not necessarily true because they are accompanied by numbers of people, followings or attractiveness of delivery. We are not to measure holiness by popularity or numbers, but by the Christ-centered messages that call us to love and serve Him more as the days to His coming draw nearer.
Even as stop signs and red lights keep us from having wrecks with oncoming cars, so scripture is a boundary, a fence that shows us best how to live, and it protects us from foolish consequences. It is also an instruction book that shows us wisdom, how to live well, how to forge the battlegrounds of our lives with grace.
And so the boundaries and call of scriptural obedience in our lives provides training grounds and secure foundations for living the life God called us to live.
Throughout history, boundaries and fences and hedges are established for the protection of a land or home, the definition of it's realm and the measuring of it's place. When you remove fences and borders, all sorts of havoc reigns. Boundaries provide definition and security.
The key to living wisely is to know God’s word, to hear His voice through His word speaking to your heart as you walk with Him and then to obey.
In the weeks ahead, I will be writing a new series on Wisdom. It will be in the form of a Bible study each week, so that together we can focus on foundations of what wisdom means, the role it must play in our lives, and how to walk in the ways of wisdom.
A mature woman must learn how to discern the truth of the voices on the web, in books, on facebook, because not all voices are true and as with Eve, even beautiful voices can, like Satan's, destroy and lead to death. And if you are young in the Lord, or in life experience, you should wait to write about your convictions until you know they are sound, tried and true so that you can lead those who read your words to Him and show them seasoned wisdom.
We are warned over and over again, not to follow the ways of the world or walk in their paths. I pray this series will guide, encourage, give wisdom and help you build your resources of wisdom as you walk with God with those precious ones God has given to you as a stewardship.
Fences and gates and walls provide for life within and protect from dangers without. (Cambridge, England)
“They mingled with the nations, And learned their practices,
And served their idols, Which became a snare to them.” Psalm 106:33-36
Mingling with the voices of culture, and excusing our sin or habits of compromise will become a snare in our own lives. But those who seek God and walk in His ways will be secure.
What about you? Do you see the foolishness of believers in a world that is longing to find us wise and helpful? What do you think are the issues, problems, idols that are causing such compromise or harshness in contrast to the good ways of our God?
Now is the time to follow Him!
For further study:
1. Proverbs 16:16
"How much better to get wisdom than gold, and good judgment than silver!"
Where do you look for advice and wisdom? Is it a reliable source? Do you know the reality of the lives of the people you are following? Are they seasoned, wise, have lived a story worth following? What areas do you need to find discernment in regarding your philosophy of life, motherhood, marriage? How are you making God's word a priority every day? Plan it in your week.
2. James 1:5
"But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and [a]without reproach, and it will be given to him."
To hear God's voice requires time invested quietly with Him. How do you need to reorganize your priorities to make time each day to hear God's Word? What areas do you need to ask wisdom of God?
3. James 3:17 "But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere."
I especially love this verse. Pure. peace-loving, gentle, willing to yield--this is what the brother of Jesus said was a picture of wisdom. When we are trusting God, His fruit of wisdom will flow through the moments of our lives.
In what areas do you need to see wisdom grow? How are you growing in the qualities of wisdom mentioned above?
Make one area to focus on--to ask God to show you how to grow. I have really seen in my own life that when I read and ponder the character of Jesus, His ways, His love, His humility and the stories He told, it softens my heart and teaches me more how to live.