What’s Eating You?

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What’s Eating You?

Have you ever heard someone ask, “What’s eating you?”  Often times, it’s easy to discern when someone is really upset over something.  But, there are times when we are pretty good at putting on masks, and trying to cover how we feel about things.  We may even think that we can hide these things deep in our heart, where nothing can touch them, where nothing can see them.  There are two problems with that kind of thinking.  #1 God still sees it.  #2 The problem is still touching us — eating away at us, bit by bit.

What kinds of things can eat away at us?  There’s jealousy, envy, bitterness, anger, hurt, betrayals, and fear, just to name a few.  We may have held onto these feeling for so long that we feel as if we can never be rid of them.  In fact, we may not WANT to be rid of them.  Sometimes we have to forgive the one who offended us or violated us in order to be rid of these feelings.  We can mistakenly think that if we forgive the offender, we are saying that what they did to us was OK.  What forgiveness does is frees YOU, not the offender.  It is setting YOU free from those things which may have been eating away at you for many years.

In Proverbs 14:1 it tells us that a wise woman builds her house while a foolish woman will tear hers down.  There is one major difference between these two women.  Miss Foolish keeps her thoughts patterned after this world.  She will defend herself at all costs, always looking out for numero uno.  She will walk over others to get where she wants.  To protect those hidden places in her heart, she may resort to treating others with disdain.  While it may get her what her flesh desires, she doesn’t realize that it also leads her into further bondage, thus causing things to “eat away” at her.

The wise woman has trained herself to be godly.  (II Tim. 4:7)  She has made the choice not to follow after the ways of this world.  Instead, she is transformed by the renewing of her mind.  (Rom. 12:2)  She allows the Holy Spirit the freedom to renew her mind, and it has led her to a place of peace, contentment, and freedom.

So, what’s eating you?  The choice is yours:  Will you follow after Miss Foolish, or will you follow the path to wisdom?  Wisdom’s path may lead you to a freedom like you have never known before.

© 2003, Stacy R Miller

Finding the Will of God

Excellent message!  He shares a story of when God used an unsaved man to speak the will of God into his life.  Very cool!

What’s a Woman to Do?

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What’s a Woman to do?

You never read romantic poems or stories where it mentions anything about  cooking, doing the laundry, cleaning the toilet, or dusting the furniture.  We’ve all heard the term “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.”  There is an element of truth there.  If we aren’t careful to fix decent meals, then we may find that we are left to ourselves many evenings.  Maybe he’ll decide to go visit Mama.  After all, Mama cooked for him!

If you walked into the home of a woman whose house is so cluttered that you couldn’t walk across the floor without stepping on something, what would be your first impression?  Would it be respect for the lady of the house?  Would you be thinking about how you couldn’t wait to come back for another visit?  I should think not!  You would probably think the same thing that I would:  “GET ME OUTTA HERE!”

Why should our husbands be any different?  Why should he want to walk in a room where there should be a sign posted, with the warning “Enter at Your Own Risk”?

Please don’t think that I’m picking on those ladies who have preschoolers in the home.  I remember how hard it was to keep up with a busy toddler who wanted into everything.  Even with youngsters, you can start training them to pick up the toys about thirty minutes before Daddy is due home.

Keeping the house clean and orderly is a wonderful way to tell your husband that you appreciate and respect him.  Many of us go to great lengths to clean the house when we are expecting company.  Doesn’t the man of the house deserve the same honor?  Should he not be held in high esteem?  After all, he should be seen as much more important than company.  To help keep the home looking as if we are expecting company, we can do a little every day, then on the bigger cleaning days, the task doesn’t seem so overwhelming.

I met a woman years ago who had piles of clutter everywhere.  I’m talking about piles that were several inches high, and it FILLED the house.  In listening to this woman talk, I found that she was involved in various activities and ministries.  Through her conversation, you could easily tell that she felt that she was quite spiritual with all of her endeavors.  The sad thing is that she was being disobedient in the most important ministry which God gave her – being busy at home!  The one place where she should have concentrated her energies the most is the one that got the least attention!

In Titus 2:3-5, it never mentions that the older women should teach the younger women to be involved in various ministries outside the home.  What it does mention is that they are to train the ladies to love their husbands and children, and to be busy at home.  Don’t misunderstand my point here.  There is nothing wrong with being involved in ministry outside the home.  We should look for opportunities to minister to others, but it must start at home.  Our home is the one place on earth for which we are responsible.  Neglecting it to serve in other capacities may earn us the respect of outsiders, but we may lose the respect and admiration of those within our own household.  We may forfeit ever being able to see our children rise up and call us “blessed.”  We may forfeit ever hearing our husband praise us.  (Prov. 31:28)  I don’t want to risk losing the respect of my loved ones.  How about you?
© 2003, Stacy R Miller

A Thief in the Parking Lot

He uses a situation from his days as a police officer and puts a spiritual perspective to it.  Very good message, and he shares a funny story too!

 

The Other Side of the Storm

This is a fabulous message!  He has such a way of looking at simple things in scripture and adding a spiritual perspective to it.

What Masters You?

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What “Masters” You?

In I Cor. 6:12, Paul says that while everything is permissible for me, not everything is beneficial.  He goes on to say that while everything is permissible, he isn’t going to be mastered by anything.  When I read in II Pet. 2:19 that I am a slave to that which masters me, I feel the Holy Spirit stepping on my toes.  My question to you is, “What masters you?”

We aren’t to allow things to master us, but we are to master them!  It’s an issue of using self-control and setting boundaries for things.  Self-control refers to restraining our passions and appetites.  We live in a world that often does the opposite, giving into excess or being self-indulgent.

How many of us fall into the trap of eating when we are depressed, sad, stressed, mad, or bored.  Even when we are in a mood for celebrating, we find ourselves eating!  How often do we have an overwhelming craving for chocolate?  How many times do we hide the last piece of cake so that we can eat it when no one else is looking?  This would fall into the category of being self-indulgent.  Do we feel compelled to have caffeine first thing in the morning?  Do we keep running to the coffee pot for refills throughout the morning?  Are we lacking self-control?

Do we avidly search the library, looking for a new romance novel, needing it like a drug addict needs a fix?  Are we news junkies, always needing the TV turned on to a news channel?  Do we find ourselves adjusting our schedule so that we can watch Oprah or Dr. Phil?  Do we adjust our schedules so that we can read the Word or talk to Father?  Are we being self-indulgent in some areas, while lacking the self-control to spend time doing what really is important and of eternal value?

What about bargain hunting?  It’s never a bad thing to get a good value for your money, but when you don’t need the items that you got for a bargain, are you really getting a bargain or a bondage?  It’s not only wasting your time, your money, and your energy, but now it’s adding clutter to your life.

Prov. 25:28 tells us that a (wo)man who lacks self-control is like a city with broken down walls.  In the O.T. times, the walls were the security around the city.  They were a strong fortress, protecting the people from their enemies.  Self-control is our fortress.  If we walk in self-control, it will keep us safe from bondages and snares of the enemy.

In Ez. 26:7-14, it gives some descriptive words about the walls being broken down.  The results were a city that was ravaged, sieged, trampled upon, and their wealth and goods were plundered.  When we allow a passion for reading romance novels to master us, our homes can look ravaged because we have failed to be taking care of them.  When we don’t know when to stop shopping and stay home, our wealth is plundered.  When we don’t master our eating habits, all of that excess sugar in our bodies can leave us feeling as if we have been trampled upon.

In Ps. 119:37, it says to turn my eyes from worthless things.  We may need to pray this every day, just so that we stay focused on what is truly important.  It may help keep us from being mastered by things.

In. Ps. 16:6, it says that the boundaries have fallen for me in pleasant places.  We often need to set boundaries for ourselves.  The boundary may be to simply write down a list of what items we need, and pray for God to help us stay focused on getting only those items while we are shopping.  We may need to go out of our way to stay away from the mall.  It may be as simple as making a covenant to not look at the ads in the Sunday paper.  Those are a lure to the mall.  I know in my own life, I can be totally content with what I have, but if I pick up the flyers that are in the Sunday paper, I suddenly find about five things that I feel I must have.  I have learned to quit looking at them.

If you are struggling with being mastered in any areas, I want to encourage you with these words:  In Phil. 4:19 we see that God is able to meet ALL of our needs according to His riches in Christ Jesus.  If you have been mastered by something, then He promises in His Word that He is able to meet that need.  Jesus came to set the captives free. (Lk. 4:18)

© 2003, Stacy R. Miller

What is Your Sacrifice?

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What is Your Sacrifice?

The Bible tell us that the sacrifices of God are a broken spirit.  God won’t reject those who come with a broken and contrite heart.  Ps. 51:17  What pain do you have?  What brokenness do you carry within?  What of your past?  Are there things there that you absolutely despise?

Father desires that we lay it down at His feet, as a sacrifice to Him.  What you sacrifice to Him is something that no other person can give Him.  It’s yours alone.  Only YOU can give Him your brokenness, your pain, your past.  That makes it a very unique sacrifice.  And God says that He won’t despise that sacrifice from us.

He promises in Is. 61:2-3 that He will comfort those who are mourning, giving them beauty for their ashes.  He will grace you with a garment of praise instead of the heaviness which leaves you weary and worn.  Will it cost you to give this sacrifice to Him?  Oh yes!  It will cost you greatly, but think of the sacrifice which Jesus gave: His very life, and He did it for you.

Has your husband left you high and dry for one who years younger than you?  Has he left you because he claims that he couldn’t handle the stress anymore?  Have you been violated?  Jesus wants you to offer that brokenness and pain to Him.  He bore the shame of it for you, so why allow yourself to carry that heavy yoke any longer?

Were you date raped in your younger years, yet that awful experience continues to haunt you, even though you know it wasn’t your fault?  Have you been abused by one whom you trusted?  You are not responsible it.  You are not to be blamed!  You aren’t dirtied or devalued, as the devil would like to have you think.  No matter how you were treated, your perpetrator sinned against you and the Lord.

One of the hardest parts of being a victim of any similar circumstance is our response to what occurred.  We ALL have a sin nature, and Satan’s desire is to snare you through that very sin nature by getting you to cater to it.  He is a master deceiver, and he can get us so ensnared that we may find ourselves with an unconscious unwillingness to be healed from the pain of the past.  When we allow this to happen, we can be like the people in Jer. 30:12-15 who had an incurable wound, who could have no healing for their sores because their iniquity was so great.  One of those incurable wounds can start with the seed of bitterness and unforgiveness.  It grows within us, day by day.  Before we know it, we are bound in spiritual chains that will only be broken by a mighty deliverance from the Lord.

Satan can’t trap us with an opened door, but if we take on a ‘victim’s mentality,’ we put ourselves on very shaky ground, possibly opening a door for him.  Many years ago, I discovered that I had unintentionally opened a door to the enemy of my soul.  I struggled with chronic colitis for several years.  My victim’s mentality was to blame the colitis on the stress of my job.  In coming through the deliverance process, Father clearly told me one day to NEVER make that comment again.  He informed me that the colitis was not a result of the stress of my job, but rather MY reaction to the stress of my job.  That was very humbling to see that it was ME who opened the doorway to the enemy, allowing him to reek havoc with my body.  I didn’t intend to open the door for Satan, but the Lord showed me where I had willingly done so through that root of bitterness.  What an awful path it led me on, and it lasted for years.  It was so bad that I was on three different kinds of medicine, two of which were pain killers.  I even had to take the heating pad to work with me several times a week, just because the pain in my abdomen was so great, not to mention the many visits to the doctor, having an upper GI done, as well as a colonoscopy.  As a newlywed, I found that chronic colitis was also interrupting the intimate side of my marriage.

You see, our ‘natural’ response when we have been victimized may be to blame others, to feel that we need to be in control of everything, and at all costs.  But notice that I used the word ‘natural.’  As Christians, we are not to be following after that ‘natural’ man anymore.  Rom. 12:1-2 tells us that we are to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice (sacrificing all of those past hurts), to God.  We aren’t to be conforming to this world anymore (meaning that we quit playing the blame-game.)  God desires to be a restorer to us when we have been victimized and abused.  But when we spend so much time and precious energy on blaming others and being so overly self-focused, we are blocking the restoration that God desires to bring.

Father, help me to search my heart to see if there is more brokenness there that You desire for me to offer to You.  Help me to discover where there might be more shame, so that I can offer it to You, allowing You to carry that burden for me, allowing me to find that Your yoke is easy and Your burden is light.  Amen.
© 2003, Stacy R Miller

The Sacrifice, Part 2

In continuing our study on our sacrifices, I want to ask:  Were you abused?  Jesus bore your grief from that abuse.  Are you sorrowing over a betrayal from the one who vowed before God to be faithful to you?  Jesus carried that sorrow for you.  Do you still feel like you will never get over the pain or betrayal?  With God ALL things are possible.  Mt. 19:26  In all of your weakness, His strength is made perfect.  II Cor. 12:9  Do you still carry guilt over losing your virginity before marriage?  Is. 53 tells us that He was pierced for that transgression.  For all of those sins which try to nag at your, pulling you two steps backward for every single step forward, Jesus was crushed for them ALL!  Do you hear me, dear sister?  I said that Jesus was crushed for them ALL!  He took the chastisement for our peace, and by His stripes, we are healed and restored.  No amount of guilt, shame, remorse, or blaming will fix it.  It is a finished work.  So if you are struggling in this area, I pray that God will enable you to be still and know that He is GOD! Ps. 46:10

If you still feel so dirty, like God couldn’t possibly love you, let the words from Zeph. 3:17-18 encourage you.  God takes great delight in you, and He is mighty to save you.  He longs to quiet you with His love, and He wants you to know that He rejoices over you with singing.  Yes, sister, it doesn’t matter what your past holds, He loves you.  He even tells us in Is. 41:9-10 that He hasn’t rejected us, but chosen us!  So don’t fear Him.  He is here to help, to heal, to hold you.  In Is. 57:18, He tells us that He will heal us and guide us, and that He will restore comfort to us.

My sister, don’t think that I’m trying to downplay the pain which you may be carrying.  I am not going to negate that your life may be wracked with torment from things of the past.  Your life may still be in shambles because of someone else’s sin against you.  I write this to you so that you don’t allow your soul to become entwined in shackles.

I will never forget reading about Lisa Beamer, whose husband was on United Airlines flight 93 on Sept. 11, 2001.  She knows that it was someone else’s sin who took her husband from her.  It was because of someone else’s sin that her daughter will never know her daddy.  Lisa could have blamed the government, but instead, she has been a great example of one who has a confident assurance that her life is in God’s hands. She is confident that even her husband’s life was securely in God’s hands, even in the face of evil, just moments before he was transferred from earth to glory.

Know that your life is in God’s hands as well.  He has not forgotten you, nor forsaken you.  He died for all of the pain and grief that you currently carry.  He is waiting patiently, lovingly, for you to hand those over to Him, giving Him your sacrifice — a sacrifice that no one else can possibly give Him.  He wants to give you that garment of praise for your current spirit of heaviness.  What sacrifice do you have to offer the Master today?
© 2003, Stacy R Miller

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