Facing That One Thing You Hope God Doesn't Ask You to Do [Podcast #3]

This podcast is the first in a series called How to Be Happy. Through the series you will be guided through a sequence of steps to help you process all the desires and fears in your heart and understand how to find deep and lasting happiness in Jesus.

Here is the first step: make a list of answers to the following questions:

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As we create our lists, we will ask ourselves if we trust God's plan for our lives. And we will face that one (or two or five) things we hope God won't ask us to do.

Bold as a Lion!

“The wicked flee when no one pursues,but the righteous are bold as a lion.” Prov 28:1

Evil people are often paranoid. Unfortunately, many Christians are as well. Fear is quite unbecoming in a believer because it is contradictory to his identity. Fear is the basic sin of unbelief.

The righteous are bold! What is it about righteousness that requires an absence of fear? A righteous person understands what is important. He understands that pleasing God and doing right is much more important than pleasing others or self. He also has a deep confidence that righteousness is ultimately best for himself and others anyway. That is what it takes to be righteous. That is also what it takes to be bold, to do what is right in the face of hatred and self denial.

Jesus Freak

One of the greatest obstacles of following Jesus with total abandon is our love of the approval of men.

Nevertheless many even of the rulers believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they were not confessing Him, for fear that they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the approval of men rather than the approval of God. John 12:42-43 (NASB)

We cannot seek both the approval of men and of God. We cannot be people pleasers and God pleasers. I was asking myself some hard questions yesterday: Do I fear people? Do I love their approval? Am I consumed with what they think of me? I want to follow Jesus no matter what people think. Jesus said His disciples would be hated because they are not of the world (John 15:18-19). Have I followed Him with such abandon that I am hated?

The Lord is my light and my salvation- whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life- of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1 (NIV)

[Originally posted March 9, 2005]

Genesis 19: Lot the Loser

Lot was a despicable man. When begging the men of Sodom not to ask for his angelic guests, he offered his own virgin daughter for them to have their way! He reasoned that he was responsible for the men since they “have come under the shelter of my roof.” Are his daughters not even more so under the shelter of his roof? What a gross failure to value, love, and protect his daughters. I would hate to think how he cared for them each day if he would do this. It seems that men should fight and sacrifice to protect their women and children. Then, in the face of grave warnings, Lot lingered in the city. He clearly had allowed his heart to be poisoned by the flesh and sin of the city. He had trouble pulling away. The fact that he dwelt here at all is an obvious statement about his judgment. His wife also had been hooked, evidenced by her disregard for the warning not to look back.

After escaping with only his two daughters, Lot lived in fear. His fear was first revealed when he asked the men not to make him go to the hills. Ultimately, though, fear drove him out of the city to live in a cave. To live in fear is not just cowardly, but a revelation of Lot's lack of relationship with and trust in the Lord.

The scheming of his daughters, in addition to the heart of his wife, also reveals the quality of Lot and how he had failed to teach them the ways of God and his care for them. The abhorrence of Lot is finally emphasized by the ease with which his daughters were able to get him drunk and sleep with him.

Lot was a selfish, cowardly, irresponsible, foolish, fleshly, gullible, undisciplined man. And although I despise him, I pity him. Most of all, I am shaken by the fact that we all have the capacity to come to such a condition. May I entrust myself to God and obey and trust him. May I bravely teach, care for, and protect my family. May I maintain a heart of purity and a disciplined mind and body. May I be alert to evil, danger, and temptation.