Monday, April 28, 2014

Stop & Go, Part 1

This weekend I presented a lesson I called Stop and Go, about how we pursue relationships. I'll break it up into 2 parts for you, my loyal blog-fellows. I'll post the Stop portion today and the Go portion on Wednesday.
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So the whole idea is that we want to be Happily Ever After. As I said at the beginning, many people are after the Fairy Tale story and ending. But the Disney picture is not realistic. So the first step is realizing that we’ve been handed a distorted picture by Hollywood. I say that and realize that many of you know, with your heads, that it’s a lie. But we don’t always think with our heads, now do we?

We have been sold a belief that living with your heart is better. Put your heart into it. Follow your heart. It’s all about emotions with us. Even when it makes no sense, we say ‘the heart wants what it wants.’ We say things like this, as if it excuses us from considering truth.

I imagine that many of us assume reality is for other people. Somehow, everything will magically work out for us. Somehow, beyond all understanding, we will be given the American Dream on a silver platter. As if God wants nothing more than to give us everything we ever imagine, we live as if the Happily Ever After is our destination.

But what if God’s Happily Ever After looks different than our Happily Ever After? What if Hollywood is not just a liar, but a really bad pawn, used by one with preconceived bad intentions for our lives? What if the lie we’ve been sold is merely a big distraction meant to keep us busy and spending money? What if the Happily Ever After which God intends for us will mean a total change in direction?

The pursuit of what we really want and need will mean we have to stop chasing after that which only distracts. 
Stop and Go. Stop chasing the lie. Go pursue the truth!

STOP

If the world’s Happily Ever After is a big lie, then let’s stop spending our time, money and energy chasing after that which can’t be caught. Let’s stop dreaming of a fairy tale ending where the highest pleasures we can think of are a beautiful spouse and lots of money. Let’s stop thinking like the world. The pagans chase after these things (Matthew 6:32).

We are warned with many of God’s heroes in the Bible. Even the man after God’s own heart, King David, messed up his family pretty bad when he spent his energy chasing a woman who was not his wife.

The dysfunction continued with Solomon. It’d be easy for guys to look at this guy with 700 wives and 300 concubines and give each other high fives. Solomon’s got it going on, right? Wrong. How smart can you be to have 700 wives? Has nobody heard of the honey-do list? Seriously, it left Solomon not focused on God, as his wives led his heart astray. Let me read it straight out of scripture, in case you think I’m making this up.

King Solomon, however, loved many foreign women besides Pharaoh’s daughter—Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians and Hittites. 2 They were from nations about which the Lord had told the Israelites, “You must not intermarry with them, because they will surely turn your hearts after their gods.” Nevertheless, Solomon held fast to them in love. 3 He had seven hundred wives of royal birth and three hundred concubines, and his wives led him astray. 4 As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods,and his heart was not fully devoted to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his father had been. 5 He followed Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and Molek the detestable god of the Ammonites. 6 So Solomon did evil in the eyes of the Lord; he did not follow the Lordcompletely, as David his father had done.
7 On a hill east of Jerusalem, Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the detestable god of Moab, and for Molek the detestable god of the Ammonites. 8 He did the same for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and offered sacrifices to their gods. ~1 Kings 11:1-8

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