Our Way or God's Way

Our Way or God's Way
Dr. Charles Stanley

Exodus 2:11-25

Whenever challenges come, there are two different ways to respond: God's way or our way. Moses is an example of a man who, on separate occasions, tried out both options. In today's passage, we see what happened when he took matters into his own hands. Although his motives were pure—namely, the relief of his peoples' suffering—his method was wrong. Moses made three mistakes.

1. He focused on the difficulty instead of on the Lord. How often have you and I done the same thing? The unfairness or pain of a situation grabs our attention and in our quest for a solution, we forget our all-powerful God.

2. He relied on his own strength and understanding. When a problem arises, the most natural response is to do what we can to make it right.

3. He acted impulsively rather than waiting on the Lord. If a situation seems urgent, fixing the problem as fast as possible becomes our top priority.

Our way can look so logical at the time, but let's consider how effective Moses was in achieving his goal. An Egyptian was killed, but the Hebrew people weren't liberated. Moses was misunderstood by those he tried to help, and his life took an unexpected detour into the desert for 40 long years.

We've all followed Moses' example at some point and suffered the consequences of self-reliance. But God didn't reject Moses and cancel His plans for him. Instead, He refined the future leader's character through trials and gave him another chance. Don't you think the Lord will do the same for us?

For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit www.intouch.org.

Lost that Lovin' Feeling?
Sharon Jaynes

Today's Truth
"Yet I hold this against you; You have forsaken your first love" (Revelation 2:4, NIV).

Friend To Friend
If you're married, what do you do when you've lost that loving' feelin'? Maybe you truly adored your husband in the beginning, but now you can't remember why. Maybe you honestly admired his finer qualities, but now you can't remember what they were. Maybe you appreciated his wonderful attributes, but now take them for granted. What do you do now?

Here's a statistic you might find interesting. According to an analysis of the National Survey of Families and Households, 86 percent of unhappily married people who stick it out find that, five years later, their marriages are happier. In fact, nearly 60 percent of those who rated their marriage as unhappy in the late 1980's, and who stayed married, rated their same marriage "very happy" or "quite happy" when re-interviewed five years later ( Linda J. Waite and Maggie Gallagher, The Case for Marriage (New York: Doubleday, 2000) 148). In comparison, those who divorced and remarried and divorced again at a rate of 60 percent (Judith Wallerstein and Julia A. Lewis, and Sandra Blakeslee, The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce, Hyperion, 2000) p295).

So, starting over may very well be the answer ... as long as it's with the same man.

In the book of Revelation in the Bible, God had this to say to the church at Ephesus. "Yet I hold this against you; You have forsaken your first love" (Revelation 2:4). Ephesus was one of the most loving churches in the New Testament and yet, somewhere along the way, they lost that initial thrill of knowing Christ. Their love for each other and for God had grown cold.

As I read God's lament, I whispered a prayer. "Oh Lord, how many of us women have forgotten our first love. We've forgotten the thrill we felt when we first met our husbands: the spine tingling chills when he walked into a room, the heart skipping flutter when he called on the phone, the tender wooing when we opened a letter penned by his hand, the electricity of sexual desire stirred with a kiss. Somewhere between taking out the garbage, paying the bills, running carpool, mowing the lawn, disciplining the kids, folding the laundry...somewhere among the mundane routine of life, we've lost that lovin' feelin'.

How do we get it back? God gave the church two simple steps for the Bride of Christ to renew her passion for her Beloved, and I believe we can apply the same principles to renewing our passion for the man of our dreams.

Remember and Return
Remember what drew you to your husband in the first place? Remember how you tried to please him, capture his heart, and win his affection? That may have been fifty pounds and a full head of hair ago, but that young man who longed to be adored, admired, and appreciated still lives within his heart. He wants to know if he still "has what it takes." Let him know that he does.

Everyone loves a love story. Tell your children the story of how you first met and fell in love. Remember special days such as your first date, your first kiss, or when you first realized he was the man you wanted to marry. Listen to a tape or watch a video of your wedding. Steve and I celebrate not only our wedding anniversary but also the day he asked me to marry him. I'm sure my son has tired of hearing the story time and time again, but he's never doubted that his parents are crazy about each other.

Let's Pray
Dear Lord, I so want to be a woman that is on fire for You. I want my spiritual passion to be ablaze and never cool. Likewise, I want my marriage to be a passionate example of Christ and the Church. Help me to always remember what drew me to my husband and show me ways to keep that love strong.

In Jesus' Name,


Now It's Your Turn
If you have kids, tell them the story of how you met and fell in love with your husband at the dinner table tonight.

If you aren't married, tell someone how you met Jesus Christ and gave your life to Him.

If you are married, write down what drew you to your husband initially.

If you are not married, write down what you long for in the man of your dreams.

More From The Girlfriends
February is the month of love and a wonderful time to contemplate our marriages. Do you want to become the woman of your husband's dreams? The woman who makes him sorry to leave in the morning and eager to come home at night? Then you'll want to read Becoming the Woman of His Dreams - Seven Qualities Every Man Longs For by Sharon Jaynes.

Girlfriends in God
P.O. Box 725
Matthews, NC 28106

Perfectionism Is a Thief
Pastor Adrian Rogers

"For He hath made Him to be sin for us, Who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him." 2 Corinthians 5:21

Did you know that your performance doesn't make you any more or less acceptable in God's eyes?

If you think that God is going to accept you on the basis of your quiet time, your Bible study, or your service, you will fall into a trap of never knowing if you've done enough. You'll never truly feel accepted.

Perfectionism is a thief. It promises rewards, but it steals both joy and satisfaction. Why? Because perfection is an unattainable goal! If you are a perfectionist, you've set an impossible goal for yourself, and therefore you will constantly be faced with frustration and failure.

Two things about you are true, without your "performance"—

You are forgiven in Christ.

You are righteous in Christ.

Are you a perfectionist? Ask the Holy Spirit to free you from the fear of failure. Now make a conscious decision that you can be less than perfect and still be loved by God.

For more from Love Worth Finding and Pastor Adrian Rogers, please visit www.lwf.org.

The Cross At the Crossways

See There!--God's signpost, standing at the ways
Which every man of his free will must go--
Up the steep hill --or down the winding ways--
One or the other every man must go.

He forces no man, each must choose his way,
And as he chooses so the end will be;
One went in front to point the Perfect Way.
One follows fears not where the end will be.

To every man there openeth
A Way, and Ways, and a Way,
And the High Soul climbs the High Way,
And the Low Soul gropes the Low,
And in between on the misty flats,
The rest drift to and fro.
But to every man there openeth
A High Way and a Low,
And every man decideth
The Way his soul shall go.

--John Ozenham

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