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“Your cheeks are lovely with ornaments, your neck with strings of beads.” (Song of Songs 1:10 NASB)

We are eaves dropping on a bit of romance these days on SoS Saturday. We are listening in as the Shepherd King describes His maiden fair. Last week we heard Him tell her of how He loved her cheeks as they expressed the depth of her emotion and passion for Him.

Today we overhear His musings about her neck.

So how is it with our maiden? Anytime He is in the room, she turns to see Him, to look Him over, to see what He is doing and with whom He is talking.

Her neck is a compass turning her head—her attention—ever northward—toward her King.

The neck is our most vulnerable feature. Exposing your neck to another is a sign of trust and submission. I trust you not to exploit this weakness, and I submit to your will and ability to rule me.

There is a phrase used in the older translations of the Bible, which means obstinate—stiff-necked. It is a neck that is unbending, immovable, unyielding.

So, you see, when the Shepherd King speaks of the maiden's neck He speaks of her will and submission.

When Jesus looks at us, He considers our neck.

How is your neck? Are you quick to turn toward the sound of His voice? Are you moved by His call on your life? Do you drop those things that would offend Him when your conscience whispers “No”?

Or does Jesus have to battle to get your attention? Are you slow to turn from your own way? Does your heart cry out the anti-Gethsemane prayer – Not Your will but mine!

There is another lesson in the neck though.

Victory is in the turning.

Often, when we Christians do our spiritual accounting, we only count victory as having complete dominance over our sin. I am only victorious in a battle with sin when I no longer even think of committing it.

This could not be further from the truth.

God is pleased with the turn of our neck toward Him. He knows it is a process we must walk through. He understands the weakness of our flesh.

Hey—He throws a party the day you decide to follow Him, at your very first turning. And every turn you make in submission to Him, even a small turn, pleases Him.

He knows your current struggle and sees your desire to be free and follow Him in that area. He is cheering for you! He hurts with you when you fall and fail. He is there to draw you once again.

Don’t give up in your struggles to live a godly life. I promise He has not given up on you.

Hope that helps

See you next week.

Ben

There's power in singing scripture. It reinforces truth, and implants it in your soul.

Walk in truth today, and join me in this prayer:

benheadshot1Thanks for coming by today.

See you again soon.

Ben

As the 3rd installment in my look at “Thy will be done” (Matt 6:10) I wanted to run one more idea past you. Many time I hear Christians talk as though the fact that you are in a circumstance means that it is God’s will for your life.

This is actually a form of fatalism that can actually disable your ability to get out of your current situation. How so you ask?

Well, think about this for a minute. If you think you are in your current place because God has for-ordained it, you are much less likely to fight for a way out.

We have to stop getting our theology from Doris Day! [Tweet This]
[Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be) – more accurately Ray Evans who wrote the lyrics to this song Doris Day was famous for singing in the late 50’s.]

Christianity is not a system of fatalism, where God orchestrates every detail, and everything that ever happens, happens for a reason, and is intended for your long-term benefit. That is not what Romans 8:28 says, nor does 1 Thessalonians say be thankful for everything. Let’s look at what these verses actually say:

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28 NIV)

The promise above has to do with God’s ability to take every thing that life throws at you and mold those crazy ingredients into an amazing package. (like an amazing cosmic episode of “Chopped”)

Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:18 NIV)

Here again, the exhortation is not to be thankful for everything, but in everything.

I heard a preacher say once (I don’t know the name of the preacher, but what he said helped me a lot understanding God’s foreknowledge) that God knows the outcome of every possible choice you could ever make. This is why nothing ever takes Him by surprise, and yet you still have choice, and still have the ability to get outside of God’s will.

It is clear in scripture that not everything that happens is the will of God. Adam and Eve sinned – not God’s will – in fact it was exactly the opposite of God’s will. God had a plan in place, and solved the sin problem brilliantly. In fact, the outcome of the New Covenant is a better life for us than what Adam and Eve had in the Garden of Eden. [Tweet This]

Let that sink in for a minute. Do you realize that God’s intention for a born again, blood bought child of God is actually better than that of Adam and Eve. God is no longer meeting us in the cool of the day, He is living inside! This new covenant ROCKS!!!!!

I am starting to ramble – Back to the point.

Don’t live and pray like the crappy circumstances you are in are God’s plan for your life. Here are 3 steps to a better life for you.

  1. Get up close to God through His word, Prayer and Worship
  2. Let Him set fresh desires in your heart
  3. Start doing everything in your power to coöperate with what God shows you.

That’s it. Don’t just live with the circumstance you are in. Cooperate with God and connect with His will for your life. You may not find your circumstances change, but it sure will be better with God engaged.

Thanks for reading today.

Ben

Thy Will Be Done (Matt 6:10) Part 1

Can I know the will of God? This is a question I hear in one form or another all the time.

  • A teen trying to decide where to go to college
  • A 20 something trying to decide whether to get into a relationship, or how far to take one. “Is he the one?”
  • A woman choosing to leave a job to take another,
  • A man choosing to leave a job to pursue “full time” Christian work (as if there is any other kind of Christian work.)

There are 3 places in the Bible where we can see the will of God.

Lucas Cranach the Elder - Paradise (cropped)
  1. The first is the Garden of Eden, where things were just the way God intended. There was no sin, but more than that, God, Adam, and Eve were all in right relationship. When Jesus (ok – I am assuming Jesus since He is the one that most often takes human form, but perhaps it was the Father) and the lovely couple goes walking through the garden in the cool of the day. (This is the will of God on earth.)
  2. The glimpses we get of heaven must also be a demonstration of life in the will of God. We get some suggestions of how this will be, and I know there are men and women who have much greater revelation than me about what this will look like. I know one thing. Then I will know as I am known, then I will see Him and I will be like Him because I will see Him as He is. Then this part of me that struggles to keep me bound even after I have been set free, will no longer entangle me, and I will be in right relationship with the Father again. (This is the will of God in heaven.)
  3. Finally, and to my mind, the clearest and fullest look we get of a man living in the will of God is the Man, Christ Jesus. Jesus, the man who knew no sin, but came only to do the will of the Father, is the perfect expression of the will of God. There is much to say about Jesus and His perfect re-presenting of God’s will to us, but for today, all I want to point out is that Jesus was in perfect communion with the Father. His relationship with the Father could not be better. His first priority at all times was His connection with the Father. “I only do what I see the Father do,” “I only say what I hear the Father say.” “I have come to do Thy will.” (This is the will of God on earth as it is in heaven.)

My point today in this first pass at “Thy will be done” is that God’s will for your life is first and foremost about His relationship with you. [Tweet This] The details of what to do, who to date, where to work or go to school will all work out, if you have this ONE THING right. David said it this way in Psalm 27:4

One thing I have asked from the LORD, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the LORD, And to meditate in His temple.

This is the will of God for you!

Are you intentional about your relationship with the Lord, or just let it happen?

Today, make some time to walk with the Lord in the cool of the day.

Thanks for reading. In the next days we will look at some other aspects of the phrase “Thy will be done.” Come back again.

Ben

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