Saturday, April 28, 2012

Surrender to God

"Dear Lord, I'm on my knees again. I come to You because You understand. I've tried so hard, but I just can't change myself. That's why I know I need your hand. So here I am, this is my plea. My only hope is Your love for me. I'm reaching out so desperately. Take my hand, take all of me...."

How can a person not be moved by that song?

Can you surrender to God?

It is so difficult to truly surrender to God. We humans find it difficult to give up control of the remote. How can we be expected to give up control of our entire lives?

James 4:8 tells us to "Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you." The first step in surrender to God is being close to God. It takes trust to surrender, and it takes a relationship to build trust. How close are you to God?

Psalm 143:10 says, "
Teach me to do your will, for you are my God." Part of building a relationship with God is to learn His Word...and then follow it. "Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says." James 1:22 reminds us of that.

Humble Yourself

"Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up."
hum·ble verb (used with object)
to lower in condition, importance, or dignity; abase.
to destroy the independence, power, or will of.
to make meek: to humble one's heart.

James 4:10 is simply saying that when we stop trying so hard to be in control and allow God to be the head of our lives, then He will take care of us.

Like Words from DUG on Facebook

Part of surrender to God is also resisting evil. Resist what is wrong. Sometimes what is right is not what is easy, and we can fall into the trap of doing what is wrong for convenience. James 4:7 tells us to "Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."

"No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear (be capable of). But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure (hold out against) it." 1 Corinthians 10:13 encourages us that we will not face a temptation that we are not humanly able to resist. However, do not confuse that with the common saying that God will not give us more than we can handle (manage or deal with on your own). That is not part of surrender to God.  That is us thinking that we do not need Him.


"My son, give me your heart, and let your eyes observe my ways."  Proverbs 23:26

Give me your heart.  Really think about those words.  Is this simple or difficult for you?  Why?

Let your eyes observe my ways...and then be like that.  The more that we observe His ways and be like Him, the easier that surrendering to Him will become.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Stripper Pole at Church?

A friend of mine posted an article over at Taber's Truths about a story that he had read at The Christian Post about a pastor who chose to use a stripper pole as a prop for his upcoming sermon series about intimacy in marriage. My friend got riled up about this, and it got me thinking. Do I agree with my friend that this was nothing more than a classless display by a preacher who is letting today's culture dictate how he runs his church? I am not sure.

Ohio Pastor Puts Stripper Pole Next to Pulpit

With a bed and a stripper pole next to his pulpit, a pastor in Ohio is all set to begin a series of sermons on sex and relationships beginning Sunday.

Ready to start a new sermon series called "Battle of the Sexes," Pastor Mike Scruggs at the Light of Word Ministries in White Oak, Ohio, has put a stripper pole, video games and sports equipment on one side of the pulpit, representing what men desire. On the other side, he has set up a bed with candies, teddy bears, roses and a bottle of wine to depict what women want.

On all Sundays in April, Scruggs will share about best practices in bedroom, keeping intimacy alive and the need to build and maintain trust. "Right now we're having single people having too much sex and married people not having enough sex," he told Fox19.

Scruggs admits some could get offended by his message. "We push the envelope, that's true," he said.


Is This Wrong?

Some people might be thinking, "Gasp! A stripper pole in God's house?! That is horrifying!" Some people might be thinking, "It is probably not an actual stripper pole. It is simply a prop. I mean, it is not like the preacher is going to have dancers up there twirling at church." What do I think? I fall somewhere in the middle.

I want to think that the pastor has good intentions. Given that he is displaying "guy's guys stuff" on one side and "fluffy-girly-romance stuff" on the other side, it is clear to me that he is trying to make a point about how each gender desires for what they consider ideal situations or things, possibly rather than desiring for their spouse directly. Realistically, sexy and provocative are what many men desire.

You may be thinking, "...but a stripper pole at church?!"

You can say anything that you want about how sin, lust, adultery, etc., are wrong. However, they are all out there, and it is a part of life. Lust is a very successful sin, for that matter. Our own pastor said recently that he cannot even going to the mall for clothes with his small children without seeing "sex" everywhere trying to sell something to the public.

Sexy is out in public because it works.

Every human is a sinner by nature...and should it not be every Christian church's desire to reach those people (everyone) and encourage them to make better choices? In this case, I believe the choice is to love and desire your husband or wife and not to go looking for satisfaction in other places.

Yes, it may be that standing a pole at the front of the building is a bit extreme and could be for shock value. However, if the media attention caused by that shock value brings in one man, or one woman, or one couple, who may not have come otherwise, if they wind up hearing God's Word and having it speak to them, and if it does something positive for themselves or for their marriage, then was it worth it?

What do you think?