Boxed In?

This was something I began to write weeks ago and I chickened out of completing it.  Today however I’m spurred on to write – it’s a reflection, not a theory… just to get us thinking and opening more to the ways of God.

The more and more I read the Bible, the more and more I realise how rigid and legalistic I am.  In fact, I realise how much legalism misrepresents God.  There are a lot of ‘seemingly contradictory’ passages in the Bible – but this is so, because we have fitted God into a rigid box, with sides and rims that are not flexible.  Thus we misrepresent Him too.  He doesn’t have set formulas and set patterns so we make a liar out of Him with our man made laws and traditions – well we base them on God’s Word but it’s actually text out of context.

One area that has been mind boggling for me and of course much conviction of misrepresenting God is  in the area of choosing a partner.  Let me be frank before I go on any further.  I’m hesitant to write this reflection of late as we all have preconceived ideas and bases for judgment – when we see a particular type of people – say, a particular ethnicity or nationality or those who are dressed in a certain way etc we already assume that this person is like this or like that and we are adamant that is truth and nothing but the truth. This post is likely to topple the apple cart – but as I mentioned at the onset, this is only to get us thinking out of the box.

Over the years, God has been rebuking me of the prejudices I have been guarding myself with and proving me wrong.  Spending time with the hurting, hearing heart breaking stories as well as having exposure to different cultures in the East and the West has been an eye opener.  God uses all this to challenge and rebuke and to mould.

A godly man is important.  The gauge is not what he says or not the ministries he is involved in but rather one who increasingly displays the fruit of the Spirit from which ministries obviously follow.  I do believe that husband and wife are to be comparable helpers and I also believe that for the family unit to flow smoothly there has to be one person who ultimately makes the decision after brain storming and discussion, and that is Christ.  I believe that the man is the head of the wife like Christ is the head of the church – not as a domineering authoritarian but as one who loves the wife as his own body, who loves sacrificially as both are not two but one.  And to be comparable helpers, I do believe that there has to be compatibility on various levels – spiritual, emotional, intellectual, humour, interests etc.  Not 100% compatibility but at least somewhat where each one can freely share what’s going on with each other as there is understanding of what is being said.  Different wavelengths will end up crackling.

Solomon was the wisest man on the face of the earth.  Yet he had many foreign wives and concubines that he was finally led astray by them.  That warns us of the dangers of marrying a non believer – that we can miss out totally.

So there is the norm, or the general will for the path a believer takes.  Yet, we still recognise the fact that God is sovereign and He can deviate our steps a little from this ‘general’ path for His plan and for His glory.

Jephthah was an outcast as he was a prostitute’s son, he wasn’t accepted by society.  The background was held against him but God turned things around and put him as leader over the very people who rejected him.

Hosea was asked to marry an adulterous woman. Why?  So that God can reveal through that marriage the love that Christ has for us, His bride… Love that is forgiving and embracing despite our sins and errors as long as our hearts are repentant.

Samson wanted to marry a Philistine woman and said, “Get her for me; she is the right one for me”.  Naturally, the parents were not pleased with this and protested.

His parents did not know that this was from the LORD, who was seeking an occasion to confront the Philistines; for at that time they were ruling over Israel (Judges 14:4).

Mind you, this was so despite them being fully aware that Samson was called to begin the deliverance of Israel from the hands of the Philistines (Judges 13:5).

Tamara waited according to tradition for her husband’s youngest brother to grow up to marry him and have descendants by him.  Her father in law  Judah cheated her as he didn’t want to lose yet another son as he thought she was the cause for the deaths.  She tricked Judah and conceived, bearing a son of lineage.  How did God respond to that?  Was she rebuked or was this very son a part of the genealogy of Christ?

Those were some Old Testament examples of how God allowed situations that would have set our tongues gossiping or judging the people concerned.  Yet the Bible makes it clear as to how God intended the situation for a reason.

Now after the work of Christ on the cross, we are the temple of God, the Holy Spirit dwells in us.  We are to be born again in truth AND in Spirit, to be led by the Holy Spirit into His perfect plan.  Jesus likens that to the wind – we don’t know where the wind comes from and where it goes. A surrendered heart simply follows. His sheep know the voice of their master.  That leads us into His will discerning what is of Him, what is of the enemy / world and what is of the flesh .

Are you living within the constraints of preconceived notions, legalism, worldly trends etc or are you willing to step outside of the box into God’s arena of no limitations that span millions of Universes?

Let’s just pause before each decision and wait upon God, letting God intervene and His word be the lamp unto my feet… where the lamp lights only one step at a time… May we yield to His direction to fulfill His plan and glorify His Name!

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