As 2018 approaches, I reflect on this past year personally and outwardly. My experiences, my confessions, my attitude and actions are having me pause spiritually. I see it in my daily writing in my journals as I question my entire life’s past, the world as it is currently evolving, and yes, even questioning God’s Word at times.
Many aspects of my and my scripture reading are causing me to embark on an intense spiritual journey in 2018 and the beginning of a spiritual memoir. I don’t know where the journey will take me in 2018, or beyond for that matter. But nonetheless, I feel God, as He usually does and continues to do with me is tapping me on the shoulder and oftentimes urgently, is nudging me out of my comfort zone. Let me be honest. God did not nudge me in 2017, I will say He pushed me and He is continuing to push me until I complete this exploration.I’ll be exploring God’s Word and some points I take issue like the following passages from Ephesians, 1 Corinthians and Timothy.
Mutual submission – Ephesians 5:21-33
Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is about the exalted relationship between Christ and the church revealing lessons regarding the church, personal righteousness, earthly relationships, and the Christian’s relationship with God.
“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ… each one of you must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”
No doubt. I do.
Master-Servant Attitudes – Ephesians 6:5-9
“Obey our earthly (authorities) with respect, fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free.”
Okay, Lord. I have a problem with the current presidential administration. While I serve wholeheartedly my employer and local authorities, and I do pay all my taxes; I take issue with what I see as the current administration’s seeking to harm the less fortunate with increased taxes and taking away healthcare and access to communication and media while lining the pockets of the wealthy. How shall I respond? What am I supposed to do?
Women not to lead – 1 Corinthians 14:33b-36*
Paul is addressing the particular problems Christians are facing in the pagan city of Corinth and the issue of fellowship with pagans.”
“As in all the congregations of the Lord’s people, women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but are in submission, as the law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for its disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church. Or did the word of God originate with you? Or are you the only people is has reached?”
The role of women – 1 Timothy 2:9,10*
In Paul’s letter to Timothy, a young evangelist, on matters of church organization and conduct, particularly the role of women, qualification of church leaders, widows and Christian attitudes.
“A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man, she must be quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. But women will be saved through childbearing – if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.”
*Scriptures readings were taken from The Daily Bible, In Chronological Order 365 Daily Readings, New International Version, Harvey House Publishers, Copyright 1984
How does that world view in the time of Paul and Timothy apply to today’s world view? Because, Lord, I cannot abide by what Paul is instructing Timothy. Because it is the very act of submission since I was a child that innocence, dignity and feelings of worth have been taken by people I expected to act otherwise. The word, submission is a tough one for me.
Let me be clear
Lord, there is nothing that can come between me and You. I’m just asking questions.
“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.”
So, I ask you, Lord…
What’s up with all this? Help me to understand.
Gracious Lord, it is beyond my comprehension that nothing can separate me from your love. That Jesus Christ was born to love me… love me, who questions… yet dies to make an opening for a way to eternal life with you. I am grateful that you love what you see in me to help me to understand my role here on earth. May this spiritual memoir, this journey bring glory to you. Amen
May I pray for you?
My extended prayer is that you will continue to read along in 2018. Whatever your journey, I know God is here with us and I am praying for you.
Blessings on your day,
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