July 17, 2008

I'm trying

To Michele-

"I feel no need to debate the quiverful issue but I do discuss & stand out in faith with I feel a Christian is misusing scripture for their own selfish desires."

What exactly are you trying to say here? I realize that more than likely you are not trying to say I'm being selfish, but what do you mean. It sounds to me like you think you know more than me are trying to set me straight on my misinterpretation of scripture.

"But listen when I tell you.....these are but things, nothing is more powerful than God himself. I do not doubt you are overwhelmed and have a lot on your plate. But you must ask yourself.....why does God not deliver me from this? We know your not being punished but your being ALLOWED to do through it. He is stretching you and you have to trust in HIM that He is the one who knows best for you. And I am not speaking in just terms of family size but in all things. Self desires are a slippery slope. Once we think we are entitled to do something we might question that might be out of favor from God, then we open ourselves up to that thought manifesting in our minds. Like I said, a slippery slope."

This is what I think. My daughter is delayed not because God made her that way. Satan tried to kill her in my womb. KILL HER! Because my husband and I had been praying all throughout the pregnancy and my church got behind me and prayed, her body did a 'self rescue' and instead of her dying in utero, she kept growing and was practically normal at birth. She wasn't perfect, but the diagnosis her doctor gave her is so rare she is a miracle- all the babies die!

God is not allowing me to go through something to stretch me. He has been training me and equipping me my whole life for this role. He must believe that I am able to handle it. However, my flesh gets stuck on how I feel, not what my spirit knows, and I fail at times. I don't believe for a minute His plan was for Leiah to be like this at all. His plan was for a perfectly made baby, but in this fallen world with a Destroyer on the prowl, things can happen. Yet, because we acknowledged Him and let our faith lead us, not our feelings, He has blessed us and she is doing well.

How is He glorified if we are sick, tired, poor, stressed and stretched beyond our limits? Because it forces us to draw closer to Him? We should be drawing closer to Him all the time- good and bad. It is Satan that is throwing this stuff on us. Jesus gave us the authority and tools to do what He did on the earth. It is up to us to fight. While He was on earth nothing bad happened to Him until He allowed it. Even the wind and sea obeyed His word.

And He said, "Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you." Luke 10:19

Don't you see? It is the enemy that wants you to believe that you have to go through trials and tribulations to keep you down. He wants you to believe that 'if it's God's will, then I'll get better or stay sick and die, or I'll prosper or be poor etc.' He wants to keep our hands tied so he can continue to wreak havoc on humanity and terrorize the world. His time is short and he is angry and wants to take every soul that he can with him.

"We are all sinners, no one is perfect. But I do believe God wants us to make an EFFORT to be Christ like..."

So are you saying that I don't want to make an effort to be like Jesus? How long have you read this blog? I admit I am not always acting like Jesus would. But I sure am trying real hard. I am not a sinner anymore. I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. I am a saint, not a sinner. That's over with- that person is dead and buried in the pool I live next to. (where I was baptized years ago) I am a new creation in Christ, I love Him with all my heart and endeavor daily to serve Him. I am human and flesh, I fail at times, I fall into the trap, but at least I realize it.

Dear Christians, please look into more about the authority that Jesus gave to you. You can calm the storms, you can lay hands on the sick, you an raise people from the dead because He is in you! You can be prosperous and happy and healthy and life can be wonderful. Just because Paul suffered a lot doesn't mean we have to. Jesus is our example and He never suffered until He gave Himself to be crucified. Don't limit yourself. He can do exceedingly abundantly above all we can ask or think. The biggest dream you can dream for yourself- He's already dreamed it bigger.

Regarding birth control, my husband and I have been searching it out, and for us we have no conviction that choosing to limit our family size is wrong. This is the scripture that we are looking at the most:

"Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are pure, but it is evil for the man who eats with offense.It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak. Do you have faith?[fn6] Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves. But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin." Acts 14:19-23

My husband and I are fine with drinking alcohol. We do not feel it is wrong to drink occasionally. However, another Christian may feel strongly convicted not to drink at all. If I am in their company, me choosing to drink would be a problem. It would make me look like a hypocrite to them and hurt their faith. If God told my husband and I that He wanted us to stop preventing pregnancy, and we did anyways, then we would be sinning. We haven't gotten that message from Him. We have been actively seeking His plan for us for years on this, so I think if He wanted us to stop then He would have made it more clear by now.

Discussion over :)

Michele, I am not mad at you or anything, I just don't really understand what you're trying to say. You talk to me as though you seem to know more than I do about these things, and maybe you do, but you aren't me and haven't walked my path or know my heart. I get it- yes we need to let go of our plans and allow God to work in us, got it. But His plan isn't the same for everyone.


Joy Comes in the Morning said...

Darling, what you and your husband agree to do or not to do is between you, your husband, and God. We must remember to always seek our own salvation. God will deal with everyone else. So I believe your more children decision and anything else isn't my business. I truly believe that you are desperatley seeking God. We are not perfect nor will we ever be here on earth. Just keep up the good fight and remember you don't have to explain or defend yourself to us in blog land. We love ya just the way you are:) Blessings.

Anonymous said...

Very well said.

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm I haven't really thought through the points you made about satan seeking to wreck havic on us as christians. I have to be honest and say that in our church we know the devil is out and seeking to get the christian down but I think we have lost or don't talk about satan so much. I know some people go to one extreme and blame satan even for their sins, I also know that some while they acknowledge him that he is very real just don't adress him so much either. So thank you very much for epxressing your points on those issues.

I think we all need to be careful and not be the holy spirit for another. What might be a sensative issue and a strong conviction and leading for one family about birth control or having a said number of kids may not be for another. So be it. Because there isn't chapter,verse or law in the number of kids God wants us to have we do have a mind that God has given to us to make descissions based on health issues and other aspects of our lives in our own family unit concerning the number of kids. God may lead one family to one descission and give the grace sufficiant fot ehm but lead another to another descssion.

I love the Lord and so does my hubby. We have made the descssion to stop at 4 (I had to have 4 c-sections and my health was the main reason why). It wasn't an easy descssion to make and the desire still remains in our hearts to have more but the descission to keep me healthy and not risk my life was clearly His will for us.

I respect those who do not feel lead to do limit the number of children, so please those out there repect those who do. You are not more holy because you choose one or the other. Your conviction as a family and God's leading has lead you to that descision and so is the same for ours. 3- or 4 kids is a quiverfull indeed. We understand how the world looks and thinks about children and this sadens us because we truly feel they are a blessing form the Lord indeed, such a blessing and reward however way you get them. Our descission had nothing to do with or wasn't influenced at all by our culture that looks upon children as a burden. It was prayed upon and made clear by god and he made us 9Hubby and I ) united in that descision. We do not regret this descission and thank God for those we spoke with who we saught councel about (Our pastors) who each had there different view based on his word on it but it was never given to us as a law or command but more of a leading for both couples and seeking God about our situation considering health concerns having already had 4 c-sections.

...just to add that not every woman heals the same on the inside and with ever c-section the risk is higher for complications. While some do beautifully with 4,5 or even 8 others do not.

Thanks for listening.

God bless!

*MichiganMomma* said...

I get a little confused with some of what you say - but I don't think that really has anything to do with birth control or having babies.

I *do* believe the Lord is stretching me, molding me to be more like Jesus. I believe many of the trials I go through (whether it be a stressful day with many little ones, or financial woes, or difficult people I interact with, or something more serious) are allowed by God, or at least USED by God, to help me in my transformation/regeneration (not sure of the exact term). These struggles force me to examine myself, deep within. They allow me to see the REAL me, what bubbles to the surface when my buttons are pushed. I can look at myself and see where the Lord really wants to work in my life even more!

Also, you said:
"How is He glorified if we are sick, tired, poor, stressed and stretched beyond our limits?"

I absolutely believe the Lord can be glorified while we go through these types of struggles. I pray He is glorified through them. Only when I get stretched beyond myself do I turn full-face to God and cry out. If I am happy-go-lucky, I tend to think "what a great job *I'm* doing" - instead of turning to Him. And if I am put into a poor, struggling, stretching situation, I can glorify Him by how I respond ~ when I turn to Him, I am showing the world who is in control and how I don't have to worry or figure it out myself. God has me in His Hands!

Again, not really sure how this affects the baby-talk ~ except I *do* see some of the struggles of having many children, the lack of energy, the emotional drain, etc. as ways the Lord is helping mold me more like His Son. Yes, it's tiring and frustrating ~ but I have faith God will bring me through no matter what. I pray others will see HIM when struggles arise, see HIM in the way we respond.

Does that make sense? Am I way off base here? Or were you going in a totally different direction? I just think God can use your faith, even in the face of daunting circumstances (like many young babies), to glorify HIM! Awesome~

Anonymous said...

I can't help but ponder why, with such warm invitation, you encourage 'dialogue' (my take), only to then give what seems a Scripture lesson on 'why' other's are wrong? Keep blinders on; keep to your own home; stop defending yourself and praise the Lord. Live quietly. Using your thoughts, without fully explaining them to open conversation, to come back and basically point out the 'error of other's ways' according to your interpretation isn't exactly what Titus 2 is all about. At least, I don't think so..... Am I wrong?

Anonymous said...

It all boils down to .... sovereignty. God is sovereign. He is not limited by birth control, twenty years of education, no education, a fat paycheck, poverty, riches, etc. If He desires for you to have 20 children, He will put that desire in your heart ~ if you're seeking above all to serve Him (which you are).

It was MY desire to have a whole bunch of kids... however, I am barren. I adopted twice, we prayed for more but God didn't provide the funds or the opportunity for any more adoptions to happen. God's will is, for us personally at this time, to have only two.

If God in His sovereignty, wants me to reach out to poor people, He may make me poor to accomplish this task more effectively. If He wants me to reach out to the rich, or have money to give to the poor... He may make me wealthy. He may make me poor and then yet poorer still by asking me to give my last "widow's mite" to bring glory to Him. He might make me a billionaire and ask me to give it all away, or to keep it and invest it wisely to be able to give generously to whomever He asks me to.

It's all about Him ~ and not about us. He created us for His glory. We cannot know what He intends specifically for our lives to be. Some in the body are feet, some are eyes, some are kneecaps~ some are closed wombs!

Saying to someone that we should all have as many kids as we can pop out is like taking God's sovereignty away. If He wants you to have more... you will want to have more... you will get pregnant no matter what you try to do. The gifts He gives to us are varied. To some He gives many children, to others He gives none. It's the bigger picture here, and having tons of children is not a sign that you are walking closely in His will at all. Some well-meaning but prideful Christian women wear their children as a spiritual badge of honor... "Look how many kids I have. Look how I have sacrificed. I have more than you so God loves me more and I am obviously closer to His will than you are." If God has led you and your husband to not have any more children, and you have truly sought Him in this, then His plans are being laid out before you day by day. He has something else in mind for your lives.

Let's look at it this way... Marriage is an honor ~ a gift ~ a blessing ~ but not all are called to marry. Can you say Paul? He would have been out of God's will had he married. Look what happened to Abraham and Sarah and a host of others who tried to fill their quiver out of God's will.

As long as you seek His will, PERIOD, nothing can or will happen that He hasn't preordained from the beginning of time!!

Trust His sovereignty! Seek His will above all. He will make His "specific" plans for your life apparent only for the day in which His grace has been measured to bear it.

Blessings to you as you seek Him,

Anonymous said...

You are far wize beyond your years. God Bless you.

His Tender Mercies said...

Dear Christians, please look into more about the authority that Jesus gave to you. You can calm the storms, you can lay hands on the sick, you an raise people from the dead because He is in you! You can be prosperous and happy and healthy and life can be wonderful. Just because Paul suffered a lot doesn't mean we have to. Jesus is our example and He never suffered until He gave Himself to be crucified. Don't limit yourself. He can do exceedingly abundantly above all we can ask or think. The biggest dream you can dream for yourself- He's already dreamed it bigger.

We have 5 children but we didn't have 5 children because we are quiverfull minded....we planned the pregnancies....God blessed us with them.

Yes, I agree that it is up to you and your husband through seeking God on what to do regarding another pregnancy...no body elses business or decision to make for you. I've had difficult pregnancies. It holds us back...we don't repeat that again.

However,& please don't be offended by my asking : )but your above comment confused me. Wouldn't the same thinking apply to another pregnancy? Of all people, Paul understood the authority God gave him. He was a very faithful man but he still suffered greatly. If I only had half of the understanding of spiritual things and faith Paul had : ) I'm far from having the Godly character he had. So what would make me so special that God wouldn't allow me to suffer?
The Thorn in Paul's flesh was from Satan. He asked God to take it away 3 times...God did not. It was there to keep him humble & reliant on God. The Lord said, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness" 2 Corithians 12:9.

My Life With Boys said...

Hmmm...I wonder why this issue has caused so much controversy. Really, it's not worth all the fuss. God might impress on some people's hearts to have a boat load of children where as for some of us he hasn't. It's as easy and as simple as that. Really...sheesh! I'm just sayin'.... ;)

Michele said...

I had no intention of stirring up a debate. Everything was written in love. Everyone else had a comment, I was adding my own. I can see it was unwanted. And maybe on like minded comments were desired. My fault completely.
And to be perfectly clear, the only thing I was trying to do was to make you understand that God wants you to trust Him completely. We aren't talking about birth control or family size here like I said before. I am talking about application of scripture within one's life and a honest connection with God.....being a servant's heart.
As for suffering, rather than debate it I will just point out numberous scripture to show my point....
1 Thessalonians 3:3-4
1 Pet 2:19-21
That is one of my favorites because it says that God commends those who suffer for Him.
1 Pet 4:12-19
Peter even says to us here, don't be surprised that your suffering as it what is meant to be.
As for God knowing and letting us suffer, He knows everything before it happens....
Eph 1:11
"In him we were also chosen,[a] having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will,"
And I could go on. But I won't. I will refrain from commenting my opinions here. Though I hope you don't mind if I continue to read.
God Bless,

Anneatheart said...

Michele- no please comment if you wish. I know that more than likely you weren't trying to condemn me, but the wording of what you said made me feel that way. We do not agree on the suffering thing, but you are more than welcome to comment ok?

I am planning to do more about what I believe on the suffering issue separate from the birth control thing, so we can discuss that more later. God bless.

Michigan Lori- we really don't disagree all that much about birth control. In the last week three of my blog 'friends' have found out they are pregnant and one just had the baby. I am somewhat jealous because I wish I could too- the circumstances just seem impossible. I am a quiverfull wannabe- the reality is it ain't happeing for awhile. And yes you can drink the liver drink while pregnant- as long as your bowels are moving at least once a day your body will flush it out. Hey, I saw a big pregnant lady smoking the other day- don't think you have much to worry about.

Patricia said...

I have read your blog a few times and was specifically blessed by the articles you left up about modest dressing. They have solidified what the Lord began in my heart a year ago. Thank you for posting that.

But that aside, at the same time I also read your comments about quiverfull about a week ago. I was just curious and it's an issue I'm dealing with as well. I just had my 4th child. Anyway, recently I met a couple who is quiverfull and they gave me a book called "A full quiver" by Rick and Jan Hess (you can find it here at http://store.iblp.org/products/FQ/). It's not at all what I expected.

I have been thinking about your posts for a few days and couldn't stop thinking that I should tell you about this book to help you in your search. It's a wonderful book, and it's made me really have a clearer picture of the purpose God has for children. These authors seem to really know, by heavy scripture study, what God's purposes are for marriage, family planning, and raising godly children. They really have an eternal vision and are able to look beyond their own situations and see God's big picture for us as a nation as well as an eternal perspective. Anyway, I hope you are able to get the book and hope it blesses you as much as it blessed me.

By the way, I read today's post, and I just wanted to leave you with this (just insert your children's names into this!): Psalm 139:13-16 "For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb. 14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. 15 My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. 16 Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them."


Katy said...

It makes me sad to think that children=suffering, and that in order to please God (through works) we must force our bodies to do something that it is no longer healthy for us to do.