Posted by: pmarkrobb | June 9, 2013

all your senses

Recently, my Wednesday morning group was given an interesting assignment, while studying the book of Colossians.  We were to read chapter 3, and the handout for that week focused primarily on verses 18-21.  You may not immediately recognize them being given just their chapter and verse reference, but it will likely only take a few words for you to begin reciting them by heart.

v. 18   Wives, submit yourselves
v. 19   Husbands, love your wives
v. 20   Children, obey your parents
v. 21   Fathers, do not embitter your children

You’ve probably read or heard sermons on these verses countless times before.  Maybe you’ve even heard them preached at you countless times before.  As familiar as they were to me, the assignment drove me to a far deeper place of understanding and personal application.

The simple instructions on the handout read … “Following the verse, write what this means to you from your perspective.”  I decided rather quickly that I was going to take a slightly different approach in honoring the assignment.  For each verse, I would get quiet with God, ask Him what He meant for me to hear and then transcribe His response in the lines provided.  I wanted to truly listen and have the Word literally speak into my life.  I have read and “studied” scripture before, but this practice of listening felt new.  It was a sacred time in conversation with God, and He answered the desire of my heart in a meaningful way.

As I write this morning, I am standing at the threshold of the anniversary of one of the most mysterious days of my life.  Twenty-two years ago on the 8th of June, I promised to have and hold my dear, sweet Kristyn til’ death do us part.  In the years since, I have come to appreciate that day as one of great mystery.  Two becoming one, giving her a token of my love and affection, saying “I do” … how could I possibly have understood all those things; how was I possibly ready; did I have any idea what I was saying?!  It has been an amazing journey with her, and the words I am about to share in answer to that Wednesday morning assignment are products of that journey.  What a mysterious and precious gift I was given and I’ll have and hold until death does us part.

If my assignment answers contain any truth, or are of any profit in your own life, that is solely the work of the Spirit.  I share them with you not to elevate them or myself or offer them as answers for you.  I simply desire to share the heart of one who is on a journey … as a husband, as a father, as a son, and as a child of God.

Verse 18, “Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.

Mark, you have a grave responsibility.  I have just asked something of Kristyn that is likely a thing which neither of you fully understand.  Be careful, but I also believe this is way easier and far more rewarding than what you have the ability to discern now.  Abide in Me, so that your will is displaced by Mine.  Submission is an issue of posture and of the will, not of authority, so neither of you should be fixed on it as such.  There can only be one head, that much is true, but being of one will, especially when it is Mine, is possible, and profitable, and joyful.  Kristyn’s obedience in this is of great reward to you both and to My kingdom.  Recognize that obedience, celebrate her for it, and take care that neither of you ever use it for their own gain.

Verse 19, “Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.

Mark, do this one thing for me.  Try always to remember and acknowledge that Kristyn is first and always, a daughter of mine.  Life, and the enemy, would rather you view her as a woman, your wife, your best friend, a daughter of an earthly father and mother, a sister, an aunt, and a great many other things.  These define your union with her as an earthly and worldly thing, and it is first and always not an earthly and worldly thing.  There is great mystery in your union; live your life exploring that.  Never demand that you be first in her life, and never elevate her to that position in yours.  Ask me to help you love her the way that I love you.  Stay close enough to observe if she is in the Word and if she is talking regularly with Me.  Encourage her in that.  Engage her in the truth of Me, and how that works itself out in her life as your wife, and your lives as parents.  There is so much in your lives that can distract you from all this.  She is my daughter, and I have given her to you to be a help in that.  Ask me to help you love her like I love you.

Verse 20, “Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.

Spencer and Connor, obedience is essential.  It’s not meant to be a restriction, that’s an effective lie that Satan has created.  If I gave you glasses that allowed you to see the world as I intended it to be, you would see your parents obeying Me, and you obeying them.  I have given them the most precious earthly gift in you and the great responsibility of raising you to love and obey Me.  It may not seem this way to you, but you do that (obey Me) when you love and obey them.  I expect you to not always want to, and sometimes for it to be painful to, but please know that obedience is essential.  It’s not just a big lesson that will pay off later, obeying brings good things now.  You might be tempted to think that doing your own thing will make you happy, but that is also one of Satan’s lies.  I’ve promised in the Bible that I’ll bless you if you obey, and I always keep my promises.  That goes for you too, Mark.

Verse 21, “Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.

Mark, cast your burdens on Me so they don’t show up in how you respond to your boys.  Mark, depend on My sufficiency when you’re tempted to dig down and persevere in your own strength.  Mark, stop for two seconds and test the wisdom you are about to share with your boys to discern if it came from Me.  Failure in these things, even in the best of moments, will produce undesirable fruit.  Failure in these things, at the worst of moments, will turn your boy’s hearts from me and from you.  Look into their faces in that moment and you will see the word that is translated here as “discouraged.”  Look into your own heart in those moments, and tell me that you aren’t discouraged also.  Mark, pray for your boys every day and every time they come to mind.  Keep your heart close to mine.  Cultivate the soil of your spirit, feed it my Word.  Be mindful and intentional in these things and you will stand ready to meet the moments your boys need My counsel, correction, or encouragement in the form of their earthly father.

At Journey onWord, it is our strong desire that you be in the Word.  We believe Hebrews 4:12 … that the Word of God is alive and active, that it penetrates and judges.  We believe Isaiah 55:11 … that the Word goes out from the mouth of God, and does not return to Him empty, that it accomplishes His purpose in our lives.  Read the Word, but don’t stop with only that sense; experience it with all your senses. Listen, and allow the Word to speak into your life.  Let the Word touch the very sacred center of who He created you to be.  Smell the fragrance as you live out its Truth in the lives of others.  Taste and see that it is good!

yeam2012


Responses

  1. Mark,

    I know I have said this many times, but I do not grow tired of repeating it, so that you may know that it is more than just a feeling, but a bonding from our Savior; I love you brother!

    Through the Holy Spirit, you have helped me to do more than read, understand, and apply His Word. You have helped me to FEEL His Word and to appreciate the poetry and love behind the words.

    Thank you brother for your love and friendship and for SEEKING God’s kingdom and not just hoping to stumble upon it.

    13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the road is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who go through it. 14 How narrow is the gate and difficult the road that leads to life, and few find it. -Matthew 7:13-14

    When I say SEEKING above, I am referring to the very end of verse 14, “…few find it.” I believe this verse is not a mystery, but is often overlooked. We all should be “seeking” this difficult road that leads to the narrow gate, or else you will not find it.

    Peace,
    Scott


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