This was a response to a dear brother in the Lord who wrote an article titled:
This brother wrote this with the most sincerest intentions and honesty as far as he understands, and part of the article is very true, but his understanding in God’s design for how we are to walk is in error. He actually is trying to justify his disobedience to the Lord and His Word, because he is deceived by the intentions of his fleshly heart. He thinks he has a ministry, and he may have such, but he is not walking according to the Lord’s Word on how believers are to govern themselves.
For an example, this dear brother, sends his wife out to work, so that he may stay home and take care of their two boys, and to be available to minister to believers, and write articles. The problem is that a man is to provide for the family while the wife stays home and cares for the children and the household. He has turned it around. His wife has suffered terribly from a sickness and was not able to work, but the Lord has provided means for him to stay afloat and provide for the family, and minister to his wife due to this disease which is now in remission, thank the Lord for that. But once he informed me that she was going to go out to work, I brought to his attention that this was NOT the will of the Lord, God’s word is clear on that issue and there is no way of getting around it. A man who is a follower of the Lord is to make sure the Lord is his first priority, then “if” he is married, then he is commanded to provide for the wife and the children FIRST, then “IF” he has a ministry that is last. Because the Lord desires NOT the family to suffer due to a ministry, and there is no biblical support otherwise. The Lord and one’s relationship is first, family second, and ministry will follow as the Lord should lead which will NOT contradict His Word! His wife has suffered sickness, he has had many states of depression, and his sons are not believers in the Lord.
The Lord will use many differing ways to get our attention, I know for I have suffered many majorly deep depressions in my life to the point of terrible despondency, but through each one of them, He has revealed why and brought healing, and which lead me to see my errors in HOW I was conducting myself in what I was believing, or not believing. This was the way the Lord brought “Chastisements” to me by using a mental anguish to bring me to the truth of a matter concerning obedience and His Ways. The Lord will also use sickness, but many times we don’t recognize these situations as a disciplinary action by the Lord to grab hold of our attention for some specific purpose. Most of the time we think it’s just the way of life on earth, getting sick, and most of the time it is, but many times it is sent from the Lord for a specific purpose, such as correction. In many circles they think it’s just an attack from the devil, which in some cases it can be, but most of the time it is not, and in other cases some may think it is a test, or a trial to test our faith and trust in Him, and that can also be true. It is up to us to seek the Lord with a sincere heart to find out the why, and that is where we as immature Christians can fail, but thank the Lord, His faithfulness to us is NOT based upon our faithfulness to Him.
Now on to my reply:
Pro 16:25 There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
Anything which is not followed in OBEDIENCE, be it through self-will, pride, lack of knowledge or wisdom, and our own ignorance will bring about “Suffering”,(sin is death) and we can and will suffer personal loss from wrong decisions whatever the reason. Especially if it is done through ignorance, which will mostly occur when we are “Babes in Christ”, and “if” this be the case the Lord’s mercies and understanding and faithfulness will bring us out of it, but once we have learned from the “errors” of our immaturity in understanding, then we will walk according to His Ways, and will have the grace to keep walking in His Upright ways.
God is a God of order, and He has made known His Ways especially in HOW we as believers need to conduct our lives according to His Word. For the ways of the Spirit is in His Truth. His ways can be overshadowed by our MISUNDERSTANDINGS in Rightly dividing the Word of the Lord.
As the Lord stated:
2Ti 2:13 If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.
2Ti 2:14 Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers.
2Ti 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
So we are to “STUDY” to show ourselves approved, why? So that we may walk uprightly in His Ways and speak to those who error from His Ways;
2Ti 2:24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,
2Ti 2:25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
2Ti 2:26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.
There are many examples of Godly men who erred in their decision making which led to suffering, once realizing their “sinful actions” were forgiven, but still suffered loss due to those actions, they will bring loss. Though forgiven and cleansed, once we have repented, we will sometimes still have to suffer the consequences.
The first major example which comes to mind is King David, and his actions to win Bathsheba, which caused the death of an upright man through the hands of David. Was it God’s will that this be done? Was the Lord the author of David’s lustful heart?
2Sa 11:27 And when the mourning was past, David sent and fetched her to his house, and she became his wife, and bare him a son. But the thing that David had done displeased the LORD.
That should bring about a resounding NO! David was out of God’s order in how he should have governed himself, but his fleshly and lustful heart, (which was a continual weakness) won out. Even though David eventually came to see how he not only sinned against his God, and lead a man to his death, and repented of it and was forgiven of the Lord, God’s judgement of righteousness had to be forthcoming. David SUFFERED loss from his sin, and others suffered along due to his disobedience, and violence and the sword was to be the way of life for him and his kingdom:
2Sa 12:9 Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon.
2Sa 12:10 Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife.
2Sa 12:11 Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun.
2Sa 12:12 For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun.
2Sa 12:13 And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die.
2Sa 12:14 Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die.
The Lord brought forth His Judgement so that ALL of Israel would see and take note, that He was a Just God and did not show favoritism towards anyone that sinned Against Him and His Ways!
And yet after all this King David to this day is known as a “man after God’s heart”.
Now another example is King Hezekiah:
2Ki 20:3 I beseech thee, O LORD, remember now how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight. And Hezekiah wept sore.
2Ki 20:4 And it came to pass, afore Isaiah was gone out into the middle court, that the word of the LORD came to him, saying,
2Ki 20:5 Turn again, and tell Hezekiah the captain of my people, Thus saith the LORD, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will heal thee: on the third day thou shalt go up unto the house of the LORD.
2Ki 20:6 And I will add unto thy days fifteen years; and I will deliver thee and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city for mine own sake, and for my servant David’s sake.
After the Lord granted him another 15 years, Hezekiah in his fleshly zeal did something very foolish and suffered the consequence of is actions and of which all of Israel did suffer:
2Ki 20:12 At that time Berodachbaladan, the son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and a present unto Hezekiah: for he had heard that Hezekiah had been sick.
2Ki 20:13 And Hezekiah hearkened unto them, and shewed them all the house of his precious things, the silver, and the gold, and the spices, and the precious ointment, and all the house of his armour, and all that was found in his treasures: there was nothing in his house, nor in all his dominion, that Hezekiah shewed them not.
2Ki 20:14 Then came Isaiah the prophet unto king Hezekiah, and said unto him, What said these men? and from whence came they unto thee? And Hezekiah said, They are come from a far country, even from Babylon.
2Ki 20:15 And he said, What have they seen in thine house? And Hezekiah answered, All the things that are in mine house have they seen: there is nothing among my treasures that I have not shewed them.
2Ki 20:16 And Isaiah said unto Hezekiah, Hear the word of the LORD.
2Ki 20:17 Behold, the days come, that all that is in thine house, and that which thy fathers have laid up in store unto this day, shall be carried into Babylon: nothing shall be left, saith the LORD.
2Ki 20:18 And of thy sons that shall issue from thee, which thou shalt beget, shall they take away; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.
2Ki 20:19 Then said Hezekiah unto Isaiah, Good is the word of the LORD which thou hast spoken. And he said, Is it not good, if peace and truth be in my days?
2Ki 20:20 And the rest of the acts of Hezekiah, and all his might, and how he made a pool, and a conduit, and brought water into the city, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?
2Ki 20:21 And Hezekiah slept with his fathers: and Manasseh his son reigned in his stead.
These are a couple of examples from the Old, and there are examples from the New Testament as well for our learning.
Paul wrote to the Corinthians warning them that there is a proper way to build upon the foundation of the Lord Jesus Christ and what He expects from His people and “if” they do not build properly upon that foundation they shall suffer loss:
1Co 3:10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
1Co 3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
1Co 3:12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
1Co 3:13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.
1Co 3:14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
1Co 3:15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
Here is an example of a believer who walked according to the sinful and fleshly desires of his lustful heart, and this man had to be chastised by being separated from the body, so that the Lord’s correction and repentance be granted unto this man. They failed to act until Paul got wind of it, and instructed them in PROPER Godly council how to deal with the situation:
1Co 5:1 It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife.
1Co 5:2 And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you.
1Co 5:3 For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed,
1Co 5:4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,
1Co 5:5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
1Co 5:6 Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?
1Co 5:7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:
1Co 5:8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
This man walked according to his own way possibly due to ignorance, and the members allowed it due to “Pride” and carnality, this was NOT according to God’s pattern of governing. Was the Lord the author of this man’s sin? Did the Lord guide him into working this unrighteousness? No, absolutely not.
Once the members acted according to God’s will in dealing with this sinful act, repentance was granted unto this man, and he was then returned unto them. His sin was forgiven and he was restored, and more than likely never practiced that evil again.
We are also warned that believers should NOT marry an unbeliever, “if” they do they will suffer the consequences, for the Lord desires us NOT to be unequally yoked, and to this day we see many so-called Christian marriages in shambles because they do NOT OBEY the Lord’s guidance in these matters. But there is always forgiveness and repentance granted once confessed, then we depend upon the Lord’s mercy and grace within that situation.
We are also warned that if a believer does not work and provided for himself and his family, that he should not eat, and that they are worse than the heathens!
Also fathers are warned that:
Eph 6:4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
How many Christian homes have suffered loss due to Christian father’s NOT being there for their children in the manner which the Lord has desired? Many walk after the council of their own fleshly hearts and human reasoning minds (these bring death) and therefore their children suffer from it, and many don’t desire to follow the Lord. (I’ve known the children to go into homosexuality) How many women who say they are Christian are working and not there for the family unit as God desires……many.
I’ve seen so many families whose fathers are supposedly “ministers of God’s word”, paying more attention to the sheep, and their ministries then their own families and their needs!
So if there be no discipline in following the Lord’s desires ALL will suffer loss in the natural as well in Spiritual rewards. And none of it is the Lord’s will.
And there will be regrets; we are to judge our actions and beliefs according to what the Lord’s Word instruct us, and where we aren’t willing due to “misunderstandings” or plain fleshly stubbornness and pride, there is hope “if” we sincerely seek His will and ways He will get us there for sure, without any doubting of His Faithfulness towards us His Children.
We are admonished to know the Lord’s Will according to His council, to know what is Right and Just in His eyes not our own as stated here:
Eph 5:6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.
Eph 5:7 Be not ye therefore partakers with them.
Eph 5:8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:
Eph 5:9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)
Eph 5:10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.
Eph 5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
Eph 5:12 For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.
Eph 5:13 But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.
Eph 5:14 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.
Eph 5:15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,
Eph 5:16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
Eph 5:17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
To do otherwise is disobedience, not ALL of our actions and decisions are of God’s will or plan, otherwise why would He need to chastise us for our good, which worketh Righteousness unto Holiness?
So in part, what you are stating in your discernment, is not correct, no person who follows Christ can walk their own walk, we are NOT an island unto ourselves. And the path you have walked does have error as I have walked in error, but by the Grace of God…..He has brought me out of it, and I have paid a price, some through ignorance and false teaching, which darkened my understanding, but once His chastisements came, I learned His Ways, and by His Grace, I have the desire to walk in them. And through that learning process I am able to share with you where you err.
In His Eternal Love……
Heb 12:10 For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.
Heb 12:11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.
Psa 30:2 O LORD my God, I cried unto thee, and thou hast healed me.
Psa 30:3 O LORD, thou hast brought up my soul from the grave: thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.Psa 30:4 Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.
Psa 30:5 For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.
I pray the Lord would like to teach to all His Ways, that He will give you the understanding and the willingness to obey by His Grace, and “if” you are not willing, He will make you willing.
The Lord bless you one and all.
In His Eternal Love….