He Speaks

 “Or, God might get their attention through pain…”  Job 33:19a (MSG)

God has a hierarchy to many things, and not to be old fashion but that applies to marriages as well.  Why?  And what does that mean?  In any type of union, marriage, business, ministry, etc. there has to be one individual who has the final say so.  BUT, that one individual is also the one who is accountable for the results of making those decisions, and the one they are accountable to, is God.

In a marriage situation when the man steps into his role of leadership, and as the one who is accountable, his spouse is then under an umbrella of protection, EVEN if she disagrees with her husband.  But, when the woman tries to fulfill the role of the man, people get hurt!  I have witnessed this first hand.

In the course of one year, I had to go through two very hurtful situations.  In both cases, the husbands allowed their spouses to cause great pain in my life, and they wouldn’t say anything to them about how wrong they were.  You see, those husbands have allowed their wives to fill their roll. “Head of Household.”

I wound up praying for the couples and asked God to deal with the men and to speak to them.  There’s no reason why people should continue getting hurt, and then I distanced myself from them.  Later that year, I found out that both of those men were down while they were recovering from knee replacement surgery.  I wondered if God allowed that to happen attempting to get them on their one good knee to pray and seek him concerning how things are going in their marriage, in their life.

In any marriage, business, union, and especially ministry, if God has given you the keys to authority, then don’t give anyone else those keys.  Who you give them to is not the one who will stand before God and give an account for the results, you will.

This isn’t about equal rights, equality, or glass ceilings, but about order, accountability, and individuals not getting hurt.

If your ministry, union, business, or marriage is “Out of Order” and isn’t working then go to God and ask Him to show you.  God will speak.  He probably has been for many years, but you haven’t been listening.  Each time you get hurt and there is not instant healing, perhaps its God trying to get your attention through pain.

Copyright © 2021 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

A Foreign Language

Her parents just immigrated to America from India.  She was three years old, and didn’t know any English.  Now, a few months later, and being enrolled in a preschool she is learning a few words at a time.  But when one of her co-students said to her, “I don’t like you and I don’t want to play with you” the toddler simply smiled and used body language to invite her to swing with her on the tire.

When I heard this true story I realized the beauty of not being able to speak or understand the language of hate, or of racism.  To have the capacity to smile in the face of evil is a special gift.  I could learn from the little precious girl from India.

I think, no, I know Jesus had this special gift.  For when He was falsely accused, hated, spit upon, and betrayed He still managed to say, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

A worthy goal that will take lots of practice to perfect, but think of the message it sends to the one spouting toxic words.  A message of love. In any language!

Copyright © 2021 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Go

This past week, William Shatner boldly went where no other 90 year old had gone before.  When asked, “What do you want to do when you get there?”  Shatner replied, “Come back down!”

It got me to thinking, Am I where God wants me to be?  Have I gone where God has asked me to boldly go?  Being obedient to God’s calling can be challenging some times.  It may also offer opportunities to be scared.  I can’t announce it yet, but He has recently asked me to go do something that in the natural doesn’t make sense.  The few close friends I have told have been greatly surprised, and are probably secretly wondering if I am qualified.

But I am going.  I have found over the years that when I am obedient in an area I do not feel naturally comfortable that it is in those times I rely on God all the more.  I lean not to my own understanding.  As a result, I am happy that I obeyed.  I generally realize the task was easier than it first seemed in my mind.  And when made known to me, I am excited with the results of what God did through me.

God is speaking to some of you right now.  Reading this post has brought to your mind something God’s Spirit has whispered to your heart to go do.  It may not be to go to the mission field, but possibly go across the aisle in your office, or across the street.  Go.  Go boldly.  You don’t always get to know the results of your obedience this side of heaven, but you should go anyway.  Don’t judge the results by what your eyes see, or don’t see.  You are not responsible for the results.  You’re simply asked to be obedient.

You are to follow only God, your God, hold him in deep reverence, keep his commandments, listen obediently to what he says, serve him—hold on to him for dear life! Deu. 13:4 (MSG)

Copyright © 2021 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Where Does Real Wisdom Come From?

There have been times when I have sat in awe of some of the stuff that comes out of the mouths of the old.  I’m talking about those that are supposed to be smart, experienced, and relatively wise in their field.  I don’t want to name, names, but some are billionaires, politicians, and one was a renowned theoretical physicist who once said, “There is no God.”  Of course the Bible says that only a fool says there is no God. (Psalms 14:1)  So really old age, intelligence and certainly not money determines wisdom.  So where does real wisdom come from?

“I’m a young man,
    and you are all old and experienced.
That’s why I kept quiet
    and held back from joining the discussion.
I kept thinking, ‘Experience will tell.
    The longer you live, the wiser you become.’
But I see I was wrong—it’s God’s Spirit in a person,
    the breath of the Almighty One, that makes wise human insight possible.

The experts have no corner on wisdom;
    getting old doesn’t guarantee good sense. Job 32:6-9 (MSG)

Therefore, honestly, anyone who is filled with the Spirit of God can have wisdom.  Ask God questions.  Tell him you want understanding of people, and of situations.  God wants to tell us things.  He is just waiting for people, who will use the knowledge for his purposes to start asking.

I have found this profound truth to be quite useful, and helpful.  In a couple of cases where people, who I thought would be the very last people to hurt me, have and I didn’t understand how, or why.  I asked, and in one case I was directed to a TV minister for the answer that came in his message.  The other, the Spirit of God showed me instantly a picture of how a minister has surrounded himself with others who are deceived in the same manner as he is.  Now I know how to pray for these individuals.

Yes, you can learn some things from the old and experienced, if it aligns with the truth from God’s word, but you can also go to God directly and simply ask, but don’t act so surprised when He answers you.

Copyright © 2021 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Do You Need a Tune Up?

You know, perhaps the hard way, that every once in a while you have to take your car in for a tune up, or for maintenance.  New tires for traveling, new spark plugs so you don’t lose that fire, or the oil changed because it is dirty.

In a relationship with God, there are times when you need a tune up as well.  Most likely more often than your car.  You cannot simply start your relationship with God, and then simply turn on the cruise control.  You can’t take your foot off of the gas pedal and coast either.  You won’t make it over the next mountain if you do that.  It doesn’t work that way.  If you try, you will get stuck, or worse, breakdown.  Have you ever noticed that breakdowns don’t occur at good times?

Your local, or TV minister don’t tell you to pray, and read your Bible just for the heck of it!  They know that is the easiest way to stay finely tuned in your relationship with God.  Or one could say, in tune with God.  Walking in perfect step, harmony with him at his pace.

So above all, guard the affections of your heart,
    for they affect all that you are.
    Pay attention to the welfare of your innermost being,
    for from there flows the wellspring of life. Pro. 4:23 (TPT)

Copyright © 2021 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Discarded

Do you easily discard things?  Do you ever feel as though you have been discarded?  In America, many things are thrown out without a second thought.  We even have a phrase here of, “One man’s junk is another man’s treasure.”  Some people have even started making a living by going around and collecting items that have been placed by the curb.  They see that those items still have value.  They will take them to a shop, clean them up and resell them.

There can be lots of good reasons to throw something out.  It could truly be trash, or something that no longer fits, or an item that is no longer needed, or wanted.  And instead of taking the time to find that item a new home it is simply discarded.

But what if the item no longer wanted is a person?  “This isn’t working out.  I want a divorce.”  It seems these days that relationships are too easily discarded.  Instead of staying together and lovingly trying to find the real root of the problem(s) people just give up.  I suppose “working” on a marriage is too difficult or time consuming to some.  The issue could be this; one partner doesn’t see the value of the other.  That’s sad.

Every person has value.  Yes, it can be difficult to see at times, but it is there.  If you don’t see it then ask God to help you see it.  I have a relative who is so hateful and mean to others.  I admit I struggle to see their value, but I know it is there.  I do know they help out financially a young family, so maybe that is it.

When Jesus Christ walked the face of the earth the religious leaders of that day wanted to discard him.  Why?  He spoke of love, he introduced God, he healed the sick, and not only taught, but demonstrated a better way to live life.  When he grew in popularity they were “afraid” he would run them out of power and control of the masses.  So they schemed to discard of him.  Of course we know from the Bible that He got the last word.  By showing them that even though they did all within their power, God’s power is greater and he arose from the dead three days after they killed him.  They failed to see his value, or perhaps didn’t want to.

If you are feeling discarded today know this; you have value.  God has placed something inside of you that only you can give away for free in your own unique way.  Don’t believe those who have their own issues to overcome who show you hate, and please stop believing the lies of the devil!  He will put thoughts in your head that could cause you to discard your own life.  Don’t!  If there is no one else around who can see your value know that God does, because He loves you and placed inside you a gift, a treasure, a heart of love to give away.

Jesus heard them and answered, “People who are well do not need a doctor, but only those who are sick. I have not come to call respectable people, but outcasts.” Mark 2:17 (GNT)

Copyright © 2021 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Search Me?

23-24 Investigate my life, O God,
    find out everything about me;
Cross-examine and test me,
    get a clear picture of what I’m about;
See for yourself whether I’ve done anything wrong—
    then guide me on the road to eternal life. Ps. 139:23-24 (MSG)

It takes guts to pray the above prayer.  Most of us don’t want to face the truth of who we really are.  And in fact go great lengths at times to hide the darker side of ourselves, from others, and even from ourselves.  My pastor last Sunday challenged us to do just that.  To have God examine us and see if there was any wrong in us.  Whether deeds, motives, or actions.

There are some people that have such an intense time facing who they really are that they try their best to stay busy.  One guy I know said he is always looking for the next party.  The worst time for these people is when they are alone in the dark and they can’t sleep, their conscience begins to speak.  That is probably why these same people medicate themselves before going to bed so they do not have to listen to their inner voice.

That inner voice is doing its job.  It’s trying hard to get a person to face truth.  Truth they have done some things in life that were wrong and they are in need of having those things forgiven.  Another force at work is that of the Holy Spirit.  One of his jobs is to draw us to God via the forgiving power of Jesus.

If you find yourself in this situation the only thing to do is yield.  Give up trying to write your own religion and accept the relationship that God has already provided.  Say to God, “then guide me on the road to eternal life.”

Copyright © 2021 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.