Life can be stressful and pressurizing. We’re all searching for ways to take the stress off and enjoy life the way it was intended to be enjoyed. In a previous post, I give 3 Ideas to Help Depressurize Your Life. This post digs into the first Idea, You be You. A couple of messages were shared at Capital City Church this past month that nail this idea on the head. I figure I’ll just let you check them out:
by Caleb Stewart
There is something about you that can only be discovered in faithful relationship with God. Check out this podcast and learn how even the way you spend time with God is unique to you.
by Eileen Wilder and Bethany Pisani
Here’s what you’ll learn:
1.) Ditch the mask. You’re amazing.
2.) Discover your strength zone.
3.) Be present and enjoy life.
4.) Communicate with your Creator.
What are some resources you’ve discovered that have helped you depressurize your life?
During my freshman year of college, I contemplated leaving DC and heading to Bible college. As usual, I tried to make the decision on my own without consulting anyone. I honestly didn’t know what I should do. I knew I had a calling to ministry, and Bible school seemed like the best way to move forward, but I felt unsettled. I prayed and fasted while trying to decide, but couldn’t find peace either way. Everything became foggy in my head. While praying one afternoon, I felt the Lord impress on my heart to talk to my Pastor and tell him that I wouldn’t leave DC without his blessing. That night, while at the Pastor’s house for a prayer meeting, I did exactly that.
What happened next surprised me. When I got in the car to drive away, I realized that I had a new clarity about the future. I was certain that God wanted me to stay in DC, and that I would be here for a long time. No more confusion, no lack of peace! I knew without a doubt that I was right where I was supposed to be. The interesting thing about this transformation was that my Pastor had said nothing to me! My seemingly random profession “I won’t leave DC without your blessing” surely warranted no more than his awkward response. Yet that conversation had straightened everything out for me. I went to sleep that night anticipating the future with an unassailable peace. Only months later would I understand what had happened in that moment. By positioning myself to honor my Pastor, I had left a place of isolation and entered what I can only describe as a kind of covering. On my own, I lived in a world of confusion and uncertainty. A lone ranger with no bearings, I was often influenced by passing whims. Through this interchange with my Pastor, I had stumbled into one of the benefits of practicing honor—having a spiritual covering.
John Bevere discusses the concept of spiritual covering in his book, Under Cover. Psalm 91 teaches: “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in Him I will trust.’” Under God’s covering, we’re protected. But Bevere asserts that we’re not truly under God’s covering unless we’re under the cover of His delegated authority. God has appointed certain people, like fathers, mothers, church leaders, and civil authorities, to cover us. When we run from those relationships, we run from God’s covering. (Romans 13:1) When we honor those relationships, we come under His protection.
Some Benefits of Being Undercover [Click to TWEET]
- Better Clarity for Decision-making (Proverbs 3:6)
- More Power over Temptation (James 4:7 / Psalm 91:3)
- Understanding and Empowerment for your Purpose (Ephesians 1:18-22)
- Greater Peace (2 Thessalonians 3:16)
- Healing (James 5:14-15)
- Protection from Danger (Psalm 91)
- Greater Insight in to God’s Word (Mark 4:11)
Have you noticed the difference of spiritual covering? What does it look like to you?
Check out this story from the Book of Genesis. Noah’s son, Ham, finds his father naked and drunk in his tent. Ham dishonored his father by telling his brothers, so that they could all make fun of Noah together. Ham’s brothers chose to honor their father and covered his body. They went so far as to make sure that they didn’t even see him, walking backwards with a blanket toward him. Clearly, this was not Noah’s shining moment. And while his actions that day were not worthy of honor, two of his sons purposed in their hearts to honor their father anyway. They even covered up their father’s moment of weakness and their eyes so they wouldn’t see it.
Scripture encourages you to value your parents, setting them up to be influences in your life, whether they deserve it or not! Seems crazy, right? But, God knows what He’s doing. He knows parents and teachers won’t be perfect, but He wants them valued anyway. With children of my own, I’m beginning to see how important this will be for their future. When I mess up, I’ll need them to be able to overlook it and still look to me for wisdom and guidance along the way. If they don’t, they’ll miss out on the good stuff I actually do have to offer them.
Three Misconceptions About Honor: (CLICK TO TWEET)
1.) Honor is For Minors: The commandment to honor does not expire with age. Fortunately, neither do the benefits. In fact, they grow richer as you grow older. You can initiate The Honor Cycle at any age by choosing to put value on other people.
2.) Honor is Earned: You don’t have to wait for a perfect person to earn your honor. Parents can be valued simply for being your parents, with no conditions. Withholding honor, even for legitimate concerns, only isolates you from the blessing that practicing honor brings.
3.) Honor is an Action: This is an important distinction. Honor is not an action. Honor is a decision of the heart. It will produce action, but at its core honor is simply choosing that someone else is valuable.
You and I aren’t perfect. Do we ever need people to overlook our failures and value us anyway?
There’s more to sex than mere skin on skin. Sex is as much spiritual mystery as physical fact. As written in Scripture, “The two become one.” Since we want to become spiritually one with the Master, we must not pursue the kind of sex that avoids commitment and intimacy, leaving us more lonely than ever – the kind of sex that can never “become one.”
There is a sense in which sexual sins are different from all others. In sexual sin we violate the sacredness of our own bodies, these bodies that were made for God-given and God-modeled love, for “becoming one” with another. Or didn’t you realize that your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit? Don’t you see that you can’t live however you please, squandering what God paid such a high price for? The physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you. God owns the whole works. So let people see God in and through your body.
Now, getting down to the questions you asked in your letter to me. First, Is it a good thing to have sexual relations? Certainly – but only within a certain context. It’s good for a man to have a wife, and for a woman to have a husband. Sexual drives are strong, but marriage is strong enough to contain them and provide for a balanced and fulfilling sexual life in a world of sexual disorder. The marriage bed must be a place of mutuality – the husband seeking to satisfy his wife, the wife seeking to satisfy her husband. Marriage is not a place to “stand up for your rights.” Marriage is a decision to serve the other, whether in bed or out.
1 Corinthians 6:16 – 7:4
What do you think?
I’m never shocked when I hear people struggle with the idea of honor. Because honor is primarily thought to be associated with actions instead of the heart, this generation has concluded that honor is simply obedience, speaking respectfully or withholding an opinion in deference to another. This kind of action-based honor has been demonstrated by previous generations. It looks like this:
- A kid who says “yes, sir” to his father, but despises him in his heart
- An employee who represses his ideas to avoid a confrontation with his boss
- A wife who submits to emotional abuse in reverence to her husband
- A cultist who blindly follows a leader to his death
These are people hiding behind cloaks of “honor”. This perverted idea of honor has been paraded as the real deal. And for the most part, nobody buys it anymore…and rightly so! A deceitful show of honor only leads to emotional hurt. It leaves you feeling powerless and often causes you to hurt others. You sense that this is not what true honor is about. As a result you may have fled in the opposite direction.
What do you think is the true nature of Honor?
Check out these posts for some of my ideas:
1.) What does Honor look like today?
2.) Should every generation start from scratch?
3.) How to have a better relationship with your parents
4.) I’m an adult now. Why should I listen to my parents?
5.) Young Adults – Are we up for the challenge?