Posts Tagged ‘Religion and Spirituality’

The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man is he who listens to counsel.” ~ Proverbs 12:15

Most men are long rangers, says Ronnie Roque, founder of Who me be a leader, the word counsel is like a slap in the face to them.”

What is it that keeps a fool from being wise?

His way is right in his own eyes. He thinks he is in the right in everything he does, and therefore asks no advice, because he does not apprehend he needs it. He is confident he knows the way, and cannot miss it, and therefore never inquires the way. The rule he goes by is to do that which is right in his own eyes, to walk in the way of his heart. He makes his will his law. He is a fool that is governed by his eye, and not by his conscience.

What it is that keeps a wise man from being a fool?

He is willing to be advised, desires to have counsel given him, and heeds and gives attention to counsel—what has been said, being reserved and restrained in manner when it comes to his own judgment and having a value for the direction of those that are wise and good. He is wise (it is a sign he is so, and he is likely to continue so) whose ear is always open to good advice.

To learn more about a wise man please watch Ronnie’s Youtube video.”

Excerpts taken and revised from Matthew Henry Commentator.

In this video Ronnie talks about fear being another cause of the failure of men when they fail to make the tough decisions. A lot of times we are fearful because we want to be liked by the world and we fear rejection. We also would rather not make any decision at all  than to make a wrong one. This is when our fear can set us up for failure and stifle us as leaders.

 

In this video Ronnie talks about the danger of letting things slide. Failure come in many different ways. One way is being passive. This passivity leads us to falling as men and the ones that suffer are our families. Men, I want to challenge you to have the guts to make the hard choice to do what is right for the benefit of the kingdom and your family.  But first you need to know the difference: if you never know what wrong is, then how will you know what is right?

 

If the fall of man were to have occurred in our times, one can hardly conceive of the consequences. I would imagine that the American Civil Liberties Union would immediately file-suit against God and in defense of Eve and her husband Adam. The suit would probably be pressed on the grounds of an illegal eviction, “and after all”, we would be told, this alleged sinful act was performed in the privacy of the Garden, and by two consenting adults. But most of all, we would be told that the crime and punishment were totally out of proportion. Could God really be serious in what that account claims to report? Because of a mere bite of some ‘forbidden fruit’, the man and woman are evicted and will sufer a lifetime of consequence? More than this, due to this one act, the whole world and all mankind continue to suffer the evils about us.

In the previous videos we talked about procrastination being a silent killer and what a wife should do if she has a procrastinating husband. In this final video we conclude that since procrastination is the act of willfully delaying that which needs to be done, then a wife should continue to pray for her husband and support him. She will need to remain within the structure of leadership within her family and not over-step her role, yet trust God to give her strength to continue to care for her family.

Procrastination is the act of willfully delaying the doing of something that should be done. In this video Ronnie talks about the affects that procrastination can have on your life and your family. Although the Bible does not specifically talk about procrastination, it does address the issue of delaying things that are necessary. Proverbs 15:19 warns us against laziness and being slothful. Colossians 3:23 says that whatever you do with all your heart to work for the Lord and not for men.

So, men if you find yourself being a procrastinator, remember that we all must give an account to God based on what He has entrusted to us.

 

This week we are going to take a look at the conclusion of Charles Swindoll’s message about mental barriers that prevent us from hearing the voice of God. Second Cor 5:17 says we are a new creature once we accept Jesus as Savior,  however, we still have our old nature and old habits dwelling within us. Thus far what we have learned about the mind is that it needs to be cleansed, renewed and strengthened in order for us to truly be men of God.

Charles Swindoll:

Along with the mental wall of habitual resistance, the humanistic reasonings that give it strength, and the proud, lofty reactions that keep the truths of Scripture at arm’s length, there are actual thoughts, techniques, and devices we employ that push away God’s Word and His promptings. Let me be specific.

Some of us have formed the habit of  getting even rather than overlooking wrongs done against us. So when we come across scriptural instruction that requires an alternate plan, our inner reaction is “No way!” When God’s counsel encourages us to be generous, to release rather than to keep, we can think of half a dozen reasons it won’t work. It’s like having a “Murphy’s Law” mentality that is immediately ready to spring into action. This keeps us from deciding favorably toward God. That’s a mental barrier.

A vital point I don’t want you to miss is that we really have no reason whatsoever to keep serving our secular mentality. We have been freed. Gloriously freed!

Before salvation we had no hope. We were victims of all those impulses and defenses within us. But at the cross, our Savior and Lord defeated the enemy. He said, “It is finished,” and it was!! No longer does sin reign as victor. But, you see, our old nature doesn’t want us to believe that. It resists all messages that would give us freedom, “All renewed mind information is to be muffled,” commands the sinful nature within us. And with every effort, it puts up a wall, guards, towers, and thoughts to turn all such input away.

Do you realize what our old nature resists the most? It is revealed in 2 cor 10:5: “taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” When that happens, the “renewed mind” is in full operation….. and it is marvelous! At that moment, servanthood is neither irksome nor a thing to be feared. It flows freely.

When Jesus Christ truly takes charge of our minds, bringing our every thought captive to Him, we become spiritually invincible. We operate with supernatural power. We walk under God’s complete control.

 

Excerpted from “Improving Your Serve: The Art of Unselfish Living, pg 84-86, 1981 by Charles R. Swindoll.

One of the most tragic things we can do as a Christian is to let our thoughts go unchecked. Another thing I know from my own life is that a thought can hold you captive to the point that  you are unable to move forward in life. This is why the Bible tells us to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ in 2 Cor 10:5. The challenge I have for each man is to get up each day and examine your thoughts. This way you will not have to speculate on what God wants from you.

From Charles Swindoll:

As the Spirit of God attempts to communicate His truth to us, He runs up against the “wall” of our overall mental attitude, our natural mind-set. Along with the wall-like fortresses, we have natural, humanistic reasonings that give the wall additional strength.

I’m thinking of those defense mechanisms, rationalizations, and other thinking patterns that are habitual to us. In Romans 2:15 we read of two such “guards” – blaming and justifying.

As the Lord God pushes His truth to enter (and thus “renew”) our minds, our habitual reflex “guards” the entrance of such alien thoughts! This explains why there is often such a battle that rages when biblical truth is introduced into a mind that has been walled and guarded by years of secularized thinking. We defend the old rather that consider and accept the new.

This could have happened in your own mind when you read what the Scriptures teach on forgiveness. It also may occur when you read what the Bible teaches us to do when we have offended someone. More than likely, you found yourself resisting and defending. I certainly did when I first discovered those truths! We would much rather blame the other person than accept our responsibility. Our “speculations” work like that. They put up a guard against change, causing us to rationalize and justify our actions.

Accompanying the resistance of our internal wall and guards are “lofty things” that reinforce our defense system from within (2 cor 10:5). It’s the idea of a thing lifted up or exalted.

What comes to your mind right now? How about pride? And those things pride prompts: argumentation, an unteachable spirit, stubbornness, and refusal to change. Is that striking a nerve yet?

As the principles of the Scriptures are declared, our natural, unrenewed minds not only resist them, they ask, “Who needs that?” or “I’ve gotten along pretty good up ’til now.” These are the lofty things that are “raised up against the knowledge of God,” as Paul put it (2 Cor 10:5).

We need to destroy those things . . . . . before they destroy us.

Excerpted from “Improving Your Serve: The Art of Unselfish Living.” 1981, by Charles Swindoll

Proverbs 23:7 says: “For as a man thinks within himself, so he is.”

As I travel around to different places and talk to men from all walks of like, the one thing that is clear is that men don’t like to think about deep stuff such as God’s agenda for their home. We think more about things than we do about people. Proverbs 13:22 says a good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children. I think as men we need to be more about God’s business than our own.

Everyone that has visited this blog long enough knows that Chuck Swindoll is one of my favorite teachers and he has a three part devotion called “Mental Barriers to God’s Voice”, based on 2 Cor 10:1-7. As you read it, I would like you to think about what mental blocks you may have that are keeping you away from God.

Mental Barriers to God’s Voice, Part 1

When the world tries to squeeze us into its mold, God’s message gets muffled. Our minds pick up on the strong secular signals so easily that we subconsciously tune Him out. It comes naturally.

In ancient days, a city, in order to prosper, needed a security system to protect it from enemy attack. Of primary importance was a wall which restrained enemy troops from invading and which also served as a major means of defense in battle. Guards needed to be on constant watch from their sentinel posts on the wall. There needed to be towers within the city high enough for those inside to see over the wall. And finally, at the time of attack, men of military savvy and battle knowledge were needed to give orders and to direct the troops in the heat of combat from within the protection of those towers.

Paul drew a series of analogies from that familiar scene of his day… but remember, he’s not dealing with a city but rather with our minds. The passage in 2 Corinthians 10:1-7 sets forth a vivid description of the mental barriers that block out God’s directives and His counsel. Look closely. Paul uses four terms that we need to understand. If you have a pencil handy, circle each in your Bible:    fortresses….. speculations….. lofty things….. thought.

As the Spirit of God attempts to communicate His truth to us (biblical information on servanthood, for example), He runs up against our “wall,” our overall mental attitude, our natural mind-set. For some, it’s prejudice. With others, it’s limited thinking or a negative mentality. Whatever it is, it’s a huge mental barrier that resists divine input just as firmly as a massive stone wall once resisted invading troops.

We all have our fortresses. And occasionally we get downright obnoxious as we operate under the control of our “walled fortresses.” Need a good example?

A vagrant was looking for a handout in a picturesque old English village. Hungry almost to the point of fainting, he stopped by a pub bearing the classic name, “Inn of St. George and the Dragon.”

“Please ma’am, could you spare me a bite to eat?” he asked the lady who answered his knock at the kitchen door.

“A bite to eat?” she growled. “For a sorry, no-good bum – a foul-smelling beggar? No!” she snapped as  she almost slammed the door on his hand.

Halfway down the lane the tramp stopped, turned around, and eyed the words, “St. George and the Dragon”. He went back and knocked again on the kitchen door.

“Now what do you want?” the woman gruffed.

“Well, ma’am, if  St George is in, may I speak with him this time?”

It is undeniable the influence that Chuck Swindoll has had in my life. Approximately 18 years ago when I decided to turn my life completely over to God and submerse myself in His Word, I have regularly turned to The Bible Teaching Ministry of Charles Swindoll. His teaching is practical, biblically sound and continues to challenge me to grow.

At Who Me Be A Leader, we periodically like to highlight some of his teaching in hopes that it will also challenge you and encourage you and cause you to examine yourself. As we have always said, we believe a life unexamined is not a life worth living.

The Consequences of Sin are evident if you will read 2 Samuel 11:1-12:13.

Nathan didn’t come on his own; he was sent by God: “Then the Lord sent Nathan to David.” I think the most important word in that sentence is the first one, “then.” God’s timing is absolutely incredible.

When was he sent? Right after the act of adultery? No. Right after Bathsheba said, “I am pregnant”? No. Right after he murdered Uriah? No. Right after he married Uriah’s pregnant widow? No. Right after the birth of the baby? No. It’s believed by some Old Testament scholars that there was at least a twelve month interval that passed before Nathan paid that visit. God waited until just the right time. He let the grinding wheels of sin do their full work, and then He stepped in.

To be totally honest with you, there are times when I really question the timing of God. Times when I just don’t know why He’s so slow to carry out what I think He ought to do. But every time I have looked back in retrospect, I have seen how beautifully He worked out His plan, how perfectly it had come to pass. God not only does the right thing; He does the right thing at the right time.

In confronting someone in his sin, the timing is as important as the wording. Most importantly, you need to be sure that you are sent by God. Nathan was.

In his sin, David had despised the God he served. Now as a result of that sin, in days and years to some, David would experience grief within his own household.

Thus says the Lord, “Behold, I will raise up evil
against you from your own household; I will even take
your wives before your eyes and give them to your
companion, and he shall lie with your wives in broad
daylight. Indeed, you did it secretly, but I will do
this thing before all Israel, and under the sun.”
(2 Samuel 12:11-12)

Whew! Talk about the consequences of sin. David sits there with his mouth still open, leaning back, perhaps staring at the ceiling, listening to the voice of God from Nathan.

David, realizing he was absolutely guilty, admitted without hesitation, “I have sinned. I’ve sinned against the Lord.” With that admission, restoration began.

Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Great Days with the Great Lives(2005).

God sends different people into our lives for different reasons. Some to teach us, some to correct and some to reproof. Just as God sent Nathan to speak the truth to David, in love. He also sends people in to our lives for the same purpose. We need to not be quick to dismiss correction or get angry, but take time to examine yourself and receive this as it may be coming from God. Ask yourself, “Is what this person saying true and does it line up with God’s Word?” 1 John 1:9 says “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” It is then that our restoration begins.