silly mythsEven though the apostle Paul warns us in 1 Timothy 4:7, “Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths,” it’s easy to believe them. We can only guess what those irreverent, silly myths were in Ancient Rome, but I know for sure what some of them are today.

Here’s an irreverent, silly myth we believe today: the bigger the house you have, the more accomplished you must be. Have you heard that myth before? Or worse, do you believe it?

Or how about this: success is determined by how much I have, rather than by how much I don’t have. That’s an irreverent, silly myth!

Or have you ever thought that having a better set of cloths, a more expensive car, or the latest phone would add to your worth or make you more acceptable? That’s an irreverent, silly myth! As if some fabric or metal can make you more precious than you already are!

Here’s another one: the more money I have, the happier I’ll be. Did you know that that’s an irreverent, silly myth? It is!

Here’s a particularly devilish one: God thinks less of me when I sin and more of me when I manage to be good. That’s an irreverent, silly myth!

But what about this one: I am worthless. That’s a myth! Or this one: I am a lost cause. That’s completely irreverent AND a myth! Did you know that? Or this: I could never change. That’s a silly myth!

Well here’s the scary part: our natural, default mode is to believe these irreverent, silly myths. Just like it’s natural for an apple to fall from a tree because of gravity, it’s natural for us to believe in irreverent, silly myths.

That’s why the apostle Paul writes next: “Rather, train yourself for godliness.” If you’re going to be successful at fleeing the silly myths, you’re going to have to train yourself. It will be hard work to reverse the gravity of your fallen nature, but with the help of Jesus Christ, it’s possible.

And as you flee from these poisonous myths, you might as well flee all the way to the arms of Jesus, to hear him tell you what’s really true.

Sam is a husband, father, and pastor

Sam is a husband, father, and pastor

 

Emily Danielle Photography

Emily Danielle Photography

One of the most damaging things you can do to your faith is to limit God.  God does not respect the boundaries that our stubborn atheism places on him.  God does whatever he pleases, goes wherever he pleases, and knows whatever he pleases.  King David celebrates this in Psalm 139.

Here are 19 things from Psalm 139 that God does not “respect.” 

1. God doesn’t respect your private life.

“O Lord, you have searched me and known me!”

2. God doesn’t respect your schedule.

“You know when I sit down and when I rise up.”

3. God doesn’t respect your mind.

“You discern my thoughts from afar.”

4. God doesn’t respect your boundaries.

“You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways.”

5. God doesn’t respect your freedom of speech.

“Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it all together.”

6. God doesn’t respect your space bubble.

“You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me.”

7. God doesn’t respect your limitations. 

“Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it.”

8. God doesn’t respect your “me” time. 

“Where shall I go from your Spirit?  Or where shall I flee from your presence?  If I ascend to heaven, you are there!  If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!  If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.”

9. God doesn’t respect the conditions you’re in. 

“If I say, ‘Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,’ even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.”

10. God doesn’t respect your mother. 

“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.”

11. God doesn’t respect your low self-esteem. 

“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.”

12. God doesn’t respect your evolution. 

“My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.”

13. God doesn’t respect your materialism. 

“Your eyes saw my unformed substance.”

14. God doesn’t respect your fortune cookies.

“In your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.”

15. God doesn’t respect your math skills. 

“How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!  How vast is the sum of them!  If I would count them, they are more than the sand.”

16. God doesn’t respect your death. 

“I awake, and I am still with you.”

17. God doesn’t respect your penal system.

“Oh that you would slay the wicked, O God!  O men of blood, depart from me!  They speak against you with malicious intent; your enemies take your name in vain.  Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord?  And do I not loathe those who rise up against you? I hate them with complete hatred; I count them my enemies.

18. God doesn’t respect your desire not to be judged.

“Search me, O God, and know my heart!  Try me and know my thoughts!  And see if there be any grievous way in me”

19. God doesn’t respect your lifespan.

“And lead me in the way everlasting!”

❃❃❃

I am so thankful that God disrespects me enough not to leave me alone!  He knows me, is with me, and will lead me, even when I want to push him away.  He sustains me and gives me purpose, even when I doubt.  He thinks of me, even when I can’t stand the thought of myself.  He doesn’t respect the limitations that I place on him, nor the conditions I find myself in.  He can turn any trial into a triumph, any wall into a door.

If he wants to raise the dead or give me a second chance, then who’s to stop him? 

He lets me know that there is so much more to me than meets the eye.  I have a precious soul, which is the product of his creative genius.  He does what I fail to do.  He replaces dumb luck with loving providence, and trumps my lifespan with his eternity.  He doesn’t respect my boundaries, but continually eclipses them with his love.

You would think that since God knows so much about me, that he would give me what my corruption deserves.  But he doesn’t.  Instead, he gives me salvation.  “And lead me in the way everlasting!”  Jesus suffered and died for my sins to bring me back to God (1 Peter 3:18).  Only when I receive his grace can I have the kind of respect that I have been searching for.

Read this list over and over again, and rejoice in how God does not “respect” you.

❃❃❃

You can find more in Soul Tattoo: A Life and Spirit Bearing the Marks of God, available for preorder now.

Sam is a husband, father, and pastor

Sam is a husband, father, and pastor

sausage grinderClick the player below to learn now our culture is putting our kids into a GIANT SAUSAGE GRINDER.  We want every young person to hear this message, before it’s too late.  This was first heard nationwide on the Moody Radio Network.

fieldYou and I have no idea how to look at our lives. Ever since we left the Garden of Eden, everything has gotten smaller. We trust our sight, rather than God’s. And our vision is puny, to say the least. If we could only see us how God sees us.

I’ve found bone-chilling verses in the Bible about God’s control of all things. One of my favorites is in Isaiah, where God tells us that he holds us in his hand like a man holds an axe. He wields it how he wants, for the purpose that he wants. God is in complete control of all things.

Let’s say there are some people trapped on the top of a high mountain. They are miles up, in deadly conditions. Whoever goes to rescue them will be risking their life. Now let’s say that you are chosen to go up that mountain to rescue those people. What’s that saying about you? It says a lot!

If I choose you to go up that mountain, that means that out of all people, I believe you have what it takes. I believe in you more than I trust others. Whether you make it or not, you go with the confidence that someone thought you were worthy.

God is in control of all things. His hand is on your life, to use it however he pleases. If you find yourself climbing to the top of a hellish mountain, he is the one who sent you there.

But can you see the bigger picture? Please don’t miss it!

If you are up the mountain, it’s because God thought that you had what it took for the mission.

What mountain are you climbing right now? Do you know why? It’s ultimately because God chose you out of all people to climb that mountain. God looked at you and decided that you were the one for the job.

Are you on your hands and knees, scraping up to the top? God put you there and he believes in you. You are on his mission. You have what it takes, because you have him!

What’s your mountain? A disease? A bad relationship? A dysfunction? An addiction? A sin?

Loneliness? Lies? Poverty? Riches? Abuse? A bad job? Depression? Temptation?

Please pause right now, exhausted as you are, and know that God believes you have what it takes for the mountain you are on.

What are you called to do? You are called to keep climbing, in faith. That’s your mission. You might not see the top, but that’s not your mission. Your mission is to climb with faith in the One who put you on the face of the rock. You are to climb in such a way that expresses your single-minded devotion to the mission God has designed for you.

The sign of a successful climb is not necessarily reaching the top, but dying in the grip of God, as he wields you with wisdom in his hand.

God wouldn’t place you where he didn’t want to use you for his purposes. Don’t forget that.

Ever.

(Learn more in Soul Tattoo: A Life and Spirit Bearing the Marks of God, available for preorder now.)