The Adulteress

Image result for adulteress

The Adulteress

I love to read through Proverbs, but when I get to those chapters about the adulteress, and how to avoid her, I get a little bored. ¬†After all, I am not ever going to visit an adulteress, nor do I have plans to ever be an adulteress! ūüôā ¬†So, how do I apply that portion of scripture to my life?

Proverbs 5:20 says Why be captivated by an adulteress?  Why waste time with a promiscuous stranger?

As I pondered on the above scriptures, it occurred to me that while we, as women, would never visit an adulteress, we can commit spiritual adultery.

There is so much in the world that tries to get our attention. ¬†The new reality TV shows, secular books, the talk shows, soap operas, the malls, the idea of “keeping up with the Jones’s,” the Internet, and even adult toys and gadgets. ¬†There is always something out there to tempt us to get our focus off of where we should be focusing.

I Jn. 2:15 says that we shouldn’t love the world or anything in the world. ¬†If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. ¬†Wow! ¬†That’s a tough one to think that if we love the world too much, God’s love isn’t even in us. ¬†I’m not sure that I like that scripture!

It’s just too easy to get caught up in worldly things. ¬†I remember right after becoming a mother, it was too easy to turn on Maury or Montel or Jenny Jones while I was sitting there nursing Rachel. ¬†I missed adult conversation. ¬†I had worked full time for many years, and suddenly, I was home with an infant who couldn’t converse with me beyond crying. ¬†It was so easy to fall into the trap of letting the TV entertain. ¬†Thank God, I quickly realized the effect those shows were having on me, and I switched to Christian TV, if any. ¬†The atmosphere in the home was so different — so alive, instead of making me feel like I was drowning emotionally.

I’ve had a struggle with using the computer too. ¬†We have only had it for about 6 or 7 months. ¬†It’s so nice¬†to be able to keep in touch with friends and relatives on a daily basis. ¬†While that is good, it’s not so good when I begin, by my actions, to tell the Lord that I would rather be online than in His Word.

I even began going into Christian chatrooms, and found to my dismay, that many of them were “Christian” in name only. ¬†There was still a lot of filth in there. ¬†Sure, I could use the ignore button, but my¬†eyes had already taken in what was said, and transferred it to my spirit. ¬†I began to think of what Job said in chapter 31:1 about making a covenant with his eyes not to look lustfully upon a woman. ¬†I made a¬†covenant with my eyes that I wouldn’t even visit the chatrooms because it was defiling my spirit. ¬†Not only that, while I was in a chatroom, I wasn’t spending quality time with my daughter. ¬†We had gotten away from playing games together. ¬†Now that I am back on track, I really look forward to those times of the day when we can sit down and play games together.

Another area where we can struggle is in our choice of books to read. ¬†There are many secular books out there that look interesting. ¬†Some of them even relate to where many of us are right now — parenting. ¬†But again, if you look at Ps. 1:1, it says that the man who doesn’t walk in the counsel (advice) of the ungodly is blessed. ¬†Well, a secular book on parenting may have a few good ideas, but the fact remains that most of what is in the book is advice which is ungodly counsel.

Ps. 119:15-16 says that I meditate on your precepts, consider your ways, delight in your decrees, and won’t neglect your word.  NIV  How often do we neglect the Word, and if honest, we have to admit that we really had no good excuse for doing it?
119:18 “Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.” ¬†NIV
When I open the Word, this is often a prayer which I pray for myself.  I want to see those hidden treasures in the Word because they are LIFE for me!
119:31 ¬†“I hold fast to your statutes, O Lord.” ¬†NIV ¬†How can we hold fast to His statutes if we don’t stay in¬†the Word enough to even learn them?
119:58 ¬†“I have sought your face with all my heart.” ¬†NIV ¬†Hmmmm, have I really done that?
119:72 ¬†“The law from your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold.” ¬†NIV ¬†By our actions, can anyone tell that this is how we really feel about the Word?
119:92 ¬†“If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction.” ¬†Verse 111 says that¬†God’s statutes are the joy of my heart. ¬†Do we really delight in the Word? ¬†If we do, then it’s a joy to read the Word.
119:131 ¬†“I open my mouth and pant, longing for your commands.” ¬†NIV ¬†When you haven’t spent your daily quiet time with God, is your relationship with Him so close that your spirit can actually pant for Him and His presence?
119:171 ¬†“May my lips overflow with praise, for you teach me your decrees.” ¬†NIV
119:172 ¬†“May my tongue sing of your word for all your commands are righteous.”

Father, may You show us wonderful, hidden treasures of wisdom and knowledge in Your Word each time we read it.  Let those quiet times with You become such a joyous treasure that our spirits will pant to be in those intimate moments with You.  As we have many things which require our attention every day, help us to keep our focus and our minds on You, knowing that You will keep us in perfect peace as we fix our minds on You.  Amen.
© 2003, Stacy R Miller

Escaping the Yoke of the Swindler

This message is FABULOUS!!!  It really helps explain why our churches today are so dry and not sensing the power of God.

Terrorist Attack

Image result for terrorist attack

Terrorist Attacks

When we hear the term ‘terrorists,’ most of us will think back to the terrifying events of September 11, 2001.¬† We weren’t doing anything to warrant such a vicious and unexpected attack, and it became very clear in the days following the attack that it was a very strategic one.¬† It was carefully planned to have the utmost impact.

I remember discussing the idea of starting this Internet ministry with a dear friend.¬† I was wanting her thoughts and any wisdom she had to share.¬† Her husband quickly mentioned that I should be on guard against attacks of the enemy.¬† After much prayer and input from other close confidantes, I launched this ministry and was amazed at how fast it took off and began to flourish.¬† I kept watching for an attack, yet none seemed to be coming.¬† Finally, I became lax about being watchful for the enemy’s attacks.¬† Satan caught my laxness and launched a vicious attack against me and my family.¬† A spiritual terrorist had invaded my home, and I was completely unprepared for the war in which I found myself fighting.

It started slowly — we discovered those nasty carpenter ants had invaded our home.¬† Shortly after we began treating that, a tornado went directly over our home.¬† Thankfully, it didn’t touch down until it has passed over us.¬† I breathed a sigh of relief and my heart was turned to praising God over and over for His watchful care and protection.

Suddenly, within a period of about three weeks, Rachel developed a chronic cough that not only was untreatable with codeine, but we discovered after two sleepless nights that codeine was a stimulant to her system, rather than a suppressant.¬† My husband has faced a myriad of problems with his job — nothing really big, but rather, those little things that tend to nag at you, destroying your sense of peace and order.¬† Nevertheless, it’s been quite trying for all of us.¬† Then the car had some major repairs.¬† When I went to pick up the car, it never even made it home!¬† Thus, more costly repairs followed the very next day.

The ‘straw that broke the camel’s back’ for me was Mother’s Day weekend.¬† That is a very emotional weekend for me, being that I miscarried my first baby only a few weeks before Mother’s Day.¬† Even with as thankful as I am to have Rachel, there will always be the memory of my first Mother’s Day, spent with a heart that was grieving, dreams that had been shattered.¬† This same weekend, Dean made some¬†critical comments to me that really wounded me.¬† I was an emotional wreck¬†anyway (but he didn’t realize that), and then when adding to my fragile state-of-mind that words of affirmation is my primary love language, you can understand why his words were so hurtful.¬† Anyone who thrives on words of affirmation is crushed when someone is critical of them.¬† Any criticisms must be spoken gently, and with much love.¬† Instead of having an enjoyable weekend, I spent the entire day crying.

Not realizing that a spiritual terrorist attack was underway, I began to listen to the lies of the enemy.¬† I’m sure that many of you have heard these kinds of lies coming from Satan:
–You have no business teaching other women when it’s obvious your husband isn’t happy with the way you are taking care of things here.
— And to think that you were thinking of yourself as one who is becoming a Proverbs 31 lady!¬† You’re not even close!
—¬†Who are you to teach others about submission when¬†your husband thinks you do a terrible job in that area?
— You do a poor job of showing biblical love to your family, yet you think you have something to do teach others!¬† Get real — you can’t do ANYTHING right!
— You are a¬†terrible housekeeper, a terrible mother, a terrible wife, a terrible Christian!¬† Who are trying to kid?

In actuality, my¬†husband’s words had absolutely nothing to do with being loving, submissive, caring, or with the ministry to which God has called me.¬† His words had nothing do with the kind of wife and mother I am.¬† Satan had taken one little hurtful comment from my husband and twisted it to unleash an awful terrorist attack upon my thinking.

Thankfully, the Lord spoke to me and asked me what I knew about my husband’s character.¬† Here are some of the things He asked me:
— Is he usually a cruel man?
— Is he rude to me or others?
— Did he have a habit of belittling me or others?
— Would he ever purposely say something that he knew would deeply hurt me?
— If he knew that I was grieving over the miscarriage, would he have spoken something that could have hurt me so badly?¬† The answer to all of these questions was ‘NO!’

Next,¬†the Lord gently reminded me that I had recently mailed out the devotions about how He’d set me free from a violent temper.¬† He reminded me of the many responses I received after writing about my own struggles.¬† Suddenly, I realized that without even knowing what I was doing, I had launched a terrorist attack on the forces of hell, and now they were fighting back.¬† It became crystal clear to me why¬†on Mother’s Day weekend my husband spoke something that hurt me so badly.¬† Satan saw my frame of mind, and he used my husband’s words to try to get me to give up on everything.¬† What better way to attack a woman whose desire is to be a virtuous, godly, submissive, loving, and respectful wife?¬† What better way than to attack a stay-at-home mom — attack her in a way that makes her feel that she can’t do anything right, and that even her own husband doesn’t appreciate her!
Stay-at-home moms expect that the world won’t value or appreciate them for the sacrifices they make, or for the job they do in raising up a godly generation.¬† What we don’t expect is to hear criticisms (valid or not) from our husband!

The Lord had given me a clear picture of Satan’s terrorist attack against me. (II Cor. 2:11) Now it was my turn to stand against those schemes. (Eph. 6:11) I quickly went to Psalm 91 and declared every promise there for my household.¬† I began to pray more strategic prayers, using missiles filled with the blood of Jesus to stop the scud missiles of spiritual darkness in the heavenly realms. (Eph. 6:12) I began to mentally put on the armor of God (Eph. 6:13), being especially mindful of the helmet of salvation to protect my thinking — making sure that my thoughts lined up to the truth, and not thinking upon those things which came from the Father of Lies. (Jn. 8:44)

I wish that I could tell you that this terrorist attack from Satan was over.¬† Unfortunately, we are still dealing with attacks, even in a physical sense.¬† Rachel had a pinched nerve in her neck just last week, not to mention several stomachaches.¬† I have been hit physically in a couple of ways recently.¬† The onslaught does continue, but I’m using my greatest weapons — prayer, quoting the Word, and fighting back through the power and authority I’ve been given through Jesus Christ.

So, here’s a breakdown of how to handle it when we are hit with a terrorist attack:
1.¬† Don’t ever quit being on guard against the enemy for yourself, or for your family.
2.¬† Realize that Mother’s Day is a great weekend for Satan to attack you.¬† Satan doesn’t want you to realize the impact you have on your children and your husband!¬† If you have times of the year that are exceptionally emotional times for you, warn your family ahead of time that you may be especially emotional.¬† Ask them to try to be mindful of your raw emotions, and to grant some extra grace to you during those times.
3.¬† When something happens between you and your husband, don’t listen to all of that twisted conversation that comes directly from Satan.¬† Rather, repeat to yourself what you know to be true about your husband.
4.  Speak the Word over yourself and your family on a consistent basis.  It will help to alleviate those terrorist attacks, and the attacks that do still come will be lessened if you are filled up with the Word of God.
5.¬† Talk to a trusted friend who can help pray you through.¬† Keep in mind – I’m not talking about calling her up and ‘husband bashing.’¬† I’m talking about mentioning some of the concerns you have, listening for some insights from her, and agreeing in prayer together.
6.¬† Ask God what He is trying to teach you when you go through spiritual attacks and trials.¬† This pleases God to know that you aren’t so consumed with your problems that you can’t keep looking for Him to show you some awesome lessons.¬† Then, wait in expectation to see how He answers you!¬† I can personally testify to being in total awe of some of the things God has shown me when I have asked Him what He’s trying to teach me.¬† In fact, this message was born out of that kind of prayer.

Sister, are you dressed for war?
© 2004, Stacy R. Miller

When to keep your mouth shut

Image

Teething

Image result for teething

Teething

When my daughter started to cut teeth, I remember how she constantly wanted to chew on something.  Since I was nursing her at the time, I ended up being the one bitten on a couple of occasions!  Somehow, chewing on something comforted her and helped to ease her discomfort.

When we study the Word, God wants us to meditate on it. (Psalm 1:2; 119:97)  It could be likened to teething.  Just as Rachel wanted to constantly chew on something, so should I desire to constantly chew on God’s Word, digesting it.

Another thing I noticed when Rachel was teething is that she drooled a lot.  I was constantly changing her bibs because she kept soaking them.  Now that we have tasted and seen the Lord is good, we should drool for the Word. (Psalm 34:8)  We should crave the Word even more than we crave our favorite dessert. (I Peter 2:2-3)

If you no longer feel like you are ‚Äėteething‚Äô or ‚Äėdrooling‚Äô for God‚Äôs Word, ask God to open your eyes to see wonderful things in His Word. (Psalm 119:18)¬† Ask Him to consume your soul with longing for His Word. (Psalm 119:20) Before you know it, you will be running in the paths of His commands. (Psalm 119:32) You will begin to delight in reading and meditating on His truths. (Psalm 119:24)

© 2006, Stacy R. Miller

I’m a Little Teapot

Image result for i'm a little teapot

I’m a Little Teapot

Have you ever sung the song “I’m a Little Teapot” with your children?¬† It’s a fun one for young children because they enjoy doing the motions to them.¬† Besides that, they’re just downright cute when they do their little songs!

Many times, we are like the teapot.¬† We get all steamed up and we ‘tip’ over to the side of our flesh, quickly finding ourselves being ‘poured out’ in a very ungodly fashion.¬† Our mouths spew forth some damaging words to those around us.¬†¬†Some of us may even fall into the habit of throwing things when we get all steamed up.

As I’ve watched America’s Funniest Home Videos, I’ve seen numerous clips of babies who have projectile vomiting.¬† While we laugh at those video clips,¬†it’s no laughing matter when the ‘projectile vomiting’ comes in the form of¬†nasty words from our lips.¬† Just as vomit has a very nasty stench to it, our words can be filled with just as much stench because they are filled with acid — words which ‘burn’ those who are around us.

Jesus tells us in Matthew 26:41 that we should watch and pray so that we won’t fall into temptation.¬† Sometimes the temptation we face may be keeping our tongue from sinning.¬† In I Timothy 4:16, we see that if we watch our life and doctrine closely, persevering in them, we will not only save ourselves, but also our hearers.¬† Could it be that we could save our hearers from hearing some ungodly words spewing forth, if we carefully watch our lives and how we conduct ourselves when we are under pressure?

We can’t neglect the impact of doing daily devotions with the Lord.¬† Psalm 119:11 tells us that we should hide God’s Word in our hearts so that we might not sin against Him.¬† I have found that the more I devour the Word, the more control I seem to have over my emotions.¬† I’m still not perfect, by any stretch of the imagination, but at least I seem to have a better grip on my emotions, my words, my thoughts, and my actions — or should I say my ‘reactions’?¬† God’s Word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path.¬†(Ps. 119:105) When we stay in that light, it’s harder to go down the darkened path because we see the light, and we follow it more closely.

Paul sheds some light for us in Romans 7:20 when he tells us that if we do what we don’t want to do, it is no longer us that is doing it, but SIN that is living IN us.¬† In verses 24-25, he realizes what a wretched man of sin he is, wondering who is going to deliver him from this body of death.¬† He quickly declares that it is Jesus Christ who delivers us!¬† In Galatians 5:24, he admonishes us to realize that if we belong to Christ, we must crucify that awful sin nature with all of its passions and desires.¬† The next verse admonishes us to keep in step with the Spirit.

It’s a good idea to let the Holy Spirit become a muzzle for our mouths.¬† Psalm 39:1-2 tells us that we should watch our ways and keep our tongue from sinning.¬† The key is letting the Holy Spirit be our helper in this area.¬† After all, James makes it very clear that no man can tame the tongue. (Jas. 3:8)¬†If we look at Luke 1:37, we find that with God ALL things are possible.¬† You see, there IS hope for those of us who struggle in this area!
© 2004, Stacy R Miller

Talking to Yourself

Image result for talking to yourself

Talking to Yourself

Many times, when we are faced with trials of various kinds, we find ourselves listening to our ‘self’ speaking.¬† What I mean is that we speak from our emotions, our fears, our doubts, and our questions.¬† Instead of listening to our ‘self’ speak, we need to start speaking to our ‘self.’

David spoke to himself on occasion.¬† In Psalm 42:5, he asked himself, “Why are you downcast, O my soul?¬† Why so disturbed within me?¬† Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.”¬†(NIV)

In Psalm 103:1-2, David is again talking to himself.¬† He says,¬†“Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.¬† Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.”¬†(NIV) He begins to recite to himself the many things which God has done, choosing to encourage his ‘self’ rather than listen to his ‘self.’

While fleeing from Saul, David wrote Psalm 57.¬† He mentions how he has been in the midst of ravenous lions that have dug a pit for him.¬† He is obviously feeling very low and lonely.¬† Yet, in spite of how his ‘self’ felt, he declares in verses 7-8 that his heart is steadfast and that he is going to sing and make music.¬† He speaks to his ‘self,’ saying, “Awake, my soul!”¬† He knew that he needed to speak out loud to awaken his ‘self’ which was dealing with a great sense of despair.¬† He ends this psalm in exultant praise to the Lord, edifying his ‘self’ in the process.

One way to encourage ourselves is to pray for God to help us in making the words of our mouth and the meditations of our hearts to be pleasing before Him.¬†(Ps. 19:14) Anytime that we are speaking that which edifies our Lord, we will be edifying our ‘self.’

In Psalm 66, David sets a great example of how to remind our ‘self’ of past victories that God has brought forth in our own lives.¬† It helps to keep a journal to jot down those victories so that when our ‘self’ is trying to speak negatively to us, we can pull out our journal of past victories, and speak back to our ‘self.’

Ephesians 5:19 admonishes us to sing and make music in our heart to the Lord.¬† Many times, for it to truly get it into our heart, we need to be singing it to our ‘self.’¬† In singing it to our ‘self,’ we conquer the negative that our ‘self’ will try to bring forth.

What about you?¬† Do you need to start speaking to your ‘self’?
© 2004, Stacy R Miller

Previous Older Entries