How to doom a kingdom, part II (We serve a powerful God)

Of course, Micaiah doesn’t say anything good about Ahab, just as the latter is accustomed to. He then goes on to report one of the most amazing as well as terrifying visions of the old testament:

I saw the Lord sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing beside him on his right hand and on his left;and the Lord said, ‘Who will entice Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead?’ And one said one thing, and another said another.Then a spirit came forward and stood before the Lord, saying, ‘I will entice him.’And the Lord said to him, ‘By what means?’ And he said, ‘I will go out, and will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ And he said, ‘You are to entice him, and you shall succeed; go out and do so.’Now therefore behold, the Lord has put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these your prophets; the Lord has declared disaster for you.” (vs. 19-23)

God’s sovereignty is a motivation for discipleship

This passage may be an eye-opener to some. It shows our Lord from a perspective that we don’t necessarily come to think of naturally. This is a God who intervenes in his creation. A God who decides by his sole will because he answers to no one. People take offense on this, but God is sovereign over his creation. This story is a great example of how God decides of the fate of people, in a way. One must not forget that Ahab also brought this on himself. After all, it was he who decided to sin for all of his life, to marry Jezbel, to hate the Lord and ignore the warning of his prophet. We have a great example of the way in which God’s will and human choice interact with each other here. It seems that God always gets his way without breaking the will of anyone. The knowledge of this fact should make us seek his glory and rejoice in him, because in the end, he will give us what we really want!

The ensuing battle (Ahab obviously ignores the warning) is almost comical. The king tries to escape his fate – or rather, divine providence – by disguising himself. Being the coward that he is, he even tells Jehoshaphat not to disguise himself in the hopes that he will be killed in his place. However, God opens the eyes of the Syrians and they see that he isn’t the king of Israel, ignoring him. As always, God preserves the faithful!
Now God shows that he always gets his will:  But a certain man drew his bow at random and struck the king of Israel between the scale armor and the breastplate. (v 34) One man fires a random arrow and hits the king at the small area where he is vulnerable! No one can defeat the will of God, under any circumstances!

With this knowledge, we are left to say If God is for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:31 Being aware that nothing can stop God and that he cares for the faithful really helps me in my daily life. Let us stand strong and fight the good fight trusting our Lord, the Lord of hosts! Let us seek his kingdom knowing that he will provide us with everything we need. Let us seek his glory, for he will reward it!

How to doom a kingdom, part I (We serve a powerful God)

One of the passages I read today is one of the most interesting ones in the Bible, in my opinion. This is because it gives a tiny little bit of insight into the doings of our God, in a similar fashion to the books of Job or Revelation. I am always fascinated when I can see a little of God’s glory and supremacy like that!

The text is in 1 Kings 22:1-40. A few quick words on the setting: Jehoshaphat reigns in Judah. One of the better kings in history, he lives for the Lord (He walked in all the way of Asa his father. He did not turn aside from it, doing what was right in the sight of the Lord. v. 43a). He also married family of Ahab, who reigned over Israel.This is one of the most evil kings in the history of God’s people. He pretty much always did the opposite of what God had ordained. (There was none who sold himself to do what was evil in the sight of the Lord like Ahab, whom Jezebel his wife incited.He acted very abominably in going after idols, as the Amorites had done, whom the Lord cast out before the people of Israel. Chapter 21:25f)

The first part of this text can teach us a few very important things that apply in manhood, leadership, worship, life, and everything else important. Continue reading

The weight of the world – Leave everything behind!

Again, this is based on Paul Washers sermon on biblical manhood.

If you look at the fake fantasy of the world, or you won’t be satisfied by the beauty of God’s creation! Nor will you be happy with your wife… You get to the point where you are so bombarded by fiction that the real thing won’t bring you any joy! The false prophet isn’t only mormon or jehovas witness, it’s wall street and marketing!

“In our own home, we don’t have cable, we don’t have anything! We can selectively watch things.”  Spongebob would have been considered grotesque, viral, disgusting a few years ago – now, it’s for children. Same thing here. In my home, we have an LCD screen, and we watch stuff from a Raspberry Pi , or a laptop. No ads, no movies we don’t wanna see, no waste of time. You can watch so many things that you lose discernment for what is good and you become animalistic.

Even good things can be bad. Don’t let good movies replace the time you spend reading to your children! When books will replace multimedia in the home, you will see a transformation in your home! Not just christian books, any good books! Nothing can replace the social interaction of a father reading to his sons. This will build relationship, and the sons will learn a lot more from it than just the content of the book!
You see, Christianity goes really, really deep. It’s not about going to church on Sundays and not doing a few things, it changes everything! You don’t have to become a road scholar to change this, it’s simple things like reading with your children! Or else, the media will get you!

Avoid people who do not fear the Lord. Do not hang around with people who do not resemble the scripture. Do you hate the works of the world? Flee them! They shall not cling to you!

 2 Timothy 2:16-21

Even ungodly speech will affect us to the point where it will lead us into ungodliness! “Everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness.” (2 Timothy 2:19)
You want to be used of the Lord? Take inventory of your life. Separate yourself from the wicked things. Like and athlete, follow Hebrews 12:1-2. Leave anything that is wicked and wrong behind. If you really want to reach your goal, it has to be your only goal! Everything you do will have to bring you closer to your goal. If it doesn’t, stop it!

Do not learn a new truth in one evening and impose it upon your home. That’s legalistic and may turn into a dictatorship.

  1. Test the truth in the scripture.
  2. Study to find out what you can apply.
  3. Apply it in your life.
  4. Talk it over with your family.

Most of the things called “christian” in America today are not christian. Are you ready to set yourself apart, and be used of the Lord?

What now? – Steps to godly manhood

Here we go with the next part of the sermon!I’m going to look at what we can do to become godly men.

First of all, men must dominate themselves through scripture and the holy spirit.
We must avoid evil influences. Avoid the media and godless conversations like the plague. Like God told Cain, sin waits around the corner like a wild beast. You ought to fear. There is a certain thing about fear that’s very healthy: realising that you are not superman and that if you fall over, you leave a wife, and children, and a church.
If you are single and wanna live your life, go ahead. But if you are a man and have a woman, fear about the destruction of your soul, her soul, and the souls of your children.

Set yourself apart from the world!

Avoid evil influences. As Romans 12:2 says, we should not conform to this world. No unequal yokes. This doesn’t only apply to courting and marriage, but also to the way we spend our time, and who we spend it with. If you have ungodly friends, or spend time on television and multimedia, you will be influenced by that!

Flee lust.
2 Timothy 2:22
We need to reject the lust within, and actively! pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace.

We fight the devil, but we flee youthful lust. Something in our flesh is worse than the devil himself! Do not put yourself in a situation where you are to be tested.
Most teenagers have already had romantic sexual experiences.
Do not be alone with a person of the opposite sex that you are attracted to. And do not put your children into that situation. Where did you learn that it’s time to date with 16? From the world! If you put two people of the opposite sex together, they will fall. This is one of the reasons why I decided to follow the principles of courtship. You can find that post in November 2012.
“My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge.” The church is destroyed because we don’t turn to the scriptures for matters of family. We conform to the world in every possible way because we think that we need to be like them to be relevant, to “be a light” as they say. But this is completely unbiblical! You see:
“that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.” (Philippians 2:15.16)
We are a light in the world when we are not conformed to it, but separated! Do you want to be preached the bible, or live a pagan life with a few christian elements?

Train your children so that the only suitor they will accept is a godly one.
Do not be involved with other men who do not care about the things of God – I don’t care how much you read the bible, you will be influenced. Protect the eyes!

Psalm 101:3 & Job 31:1

In our perverse culture, even the women are now attracted to the opposite sex through the eyes. Like the psalmist, we should protect our eyes, and therefore our minds! Our Prayer should be Psalm 19:14 – “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.”

Let us not stain ourselves with one drop of unclean things! This holds for any form of entertainment (movies etc.) and friendships!
If a movie has only one dirty scene, don’t watch it!

If we really want to be godly men, we should “put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.” (Romans 13:14) Do we really fight to achieve this?

1 Corinthians 16:13.14 – What a man is like

“Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.” (1 Corinthians 16:13.14)

Paul Washer elaborated many of his points on this verse; so will I.

As culture moves further and further away from scripture, it moves further away from the institutions of scripture. That’s why we have such a mixture of masculinity and femininity today. We have lost what it means to be a man, and to be a women. We need to go back to scripture and learn what family should look like, what we should teach our sons.

What does it mean to be a man?
A man is on the alert. He is a watchman in the fallen world. He knows that he must guard the things he has been appointed stewardship to by the Lord. He does not have the luxury to let his chest fall. He stands firm in his faith. He knows what he believes, and he acts on that knowledge. He will stand steadfast and protect his family, come hell or high water.
He does not make the woman take responsibilities in church that they shouldn’t have to take. He takes responsibilities, he teaches.
Acting like men doesn’t mean act like bullies, or stick the chest out. But be strong, and act in love. A man loves God, loves 1 woman, loves his children, and loves the people of God. He always acts in love no matter what sacrifices this means for him. He pours his life into his family. When he comes home from work, he teaches and he serves.
He’s through with playing games, because he doesn’t have the time.

This is just getting started. I will follow this post up with more detail on the way we should live. It’s time to grow up. Let’s become the men we are supposed to be. Let’s work!

Where are the men? – The unbiblical principle of adolescence

This is an important matter if you haven’t heard of it yet. Paul Washer mentions it in many of his sermons because it’s so relevant.

The fact is that our society lacks men. Few generations ago, boys would work hard and grow up to become men around 12, or maybe 15. They worked, built homes, loved wives. One of Paul Washers examples is the movie “Master and Commander” in which young men aged around 15 lead the charge from a british vessel onto a french one during the Napoleonic wars. The famous Jonathan Edwards graduated from Yale at 17 – he began college at 13. What happened to our society? How did we get to the point where 15-year olds play games and 16-year olds go to the mall?

The loss of manhood in our society was caused by the changes of the ’60 and ’70, when our culture decided that feminists and homosexuals knew more about education and family than every culture that has ever existed on the face of the earth. They introduced something called adolescence, something that doesn’t exist in scripture – nor any culture prior to ours until as little as 40 years ago, for that matter. With adolescence, boys get the privileges of men without assuming the responsibilities of men. The result? They never grow up! And now, we have 40 year olds that don’t have time to take care of their wives, or to teach and train their children, because they are busy playing games with their friends!

We should strive to introduce our sons to manhood as soon as they can walk. We need to train them to become godly men according to scripture. This is what the church needs most, now.

Courtship – how my relationship life will look like from now on

After spending a lot of time with prayer, in the word, and with Flo, I now know very concretely how I should (and will) behave. I’ll try to break it down for you in an understandable way.

Courtship, not dating

As was already visible from my previous posts, I learned that courtship was the way to go before The LORD. Anything else would be foolish, at the very least. What this means:

  • I will not begin a relationship before I can assume responsibility for her:
    1. Spiritual Leadership in Scripture
    2. Ephesians 5 – Give Life for Her – Protect her and care for her – for good or for ill
    3. Economic care
  • Then, I will go trough her father, so as to protect her from being confronted by a man.
  • I will aim for engagement without waiting for an unnecessarily long time.

Healthy distance – too bad for you, flesh

Following Titus 2:7, I will stay clear of her. This means that

  • I’ll keep the distance of a large study bible between us.
  • I’ll only hug her on greetings and farewells or special occasions.
  • I won’t, EVER, be alone with her.

I hope these resolutions are understandable to you. All I can do now is keeping a distance, getting to now her better by watching her, and growing in holiness and godly manhood. Hopefully, I’ll be able to talk to her dad within 4 years or so.

Status

Hey everyone,

I am back from my holidays to France, so I will start posting sermon notes and stuff I didn’t  publish yet. I will start reading 2 books, so more content on that will come within the next 2 weeks.

Future Men, and Her Hand In Marriage, by Douglas WilsonThey talk about Manhood, and courtship in the modern world.

A dating sermon – Paul Washer

Another awesome sermon, I listened to this one on Tuesday ( 2 days ago)
Again, my full notes are available.

I will quickly sum up a few of the most important points.

Requirements for (any) relationship:

  1. Spiritual Leadership in Scripture
  2. Ephesians 5 – Give Life for Her – Protect her and care for her – stay with her if she needs you
  3. Economic care

Interest in Girls: Signal to start preparing → assume responsibility – Manhood (NOT SIGNAL FOR STARTING)

If clothing is a frame for your face, it is from God.
If clothing is a frame for your body, it is sensual, and God hates it.

If you spend enough time alone with a girl you are attracted to, you will fallFlee from youthful lusts! They are more dangerous than the devil!

 

please listen to the sermon and read my full notes if you are interested in this topic.