Week 26

Connecting to God for Enablement: The Inconvenient Choice

Our service to others, when it is enabled, is easy. That’s because redemption is God’s plan - so we can trust him to do it, exactly as he as promised. Our part in God’s redemptive plan is to remain connected to him (John 15:1-8).

This connection to him, however, is the hard part. Although God has a strategy for motivating us to connect (his goodness to us, and when that fails, the sufferings of our poor choices), still we must make the choice to open the door in order to receive. Opening the door to the flow of God’s Life into us sometimes is not convenient. We must stop. We must also stay. Taking time for eating and exercising, also for quiet time and connection to resources, is resisted by our fallen, too-busy human nature – making it a hard choice for us, especially at first. 

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12F29

GracePoint: Support for Taking Care about Choices during Critical Times

Wholistic health is absolutely God's will for us (Romans 8:11). But it

• is the "sowing and reaping" outcome of the choices we make,
• begins within the inner being (the soul), and
• is not imposed. We must open the door of our lives to receive the provisions that support it.

This is the meaning of James 5:15: "The prayer offered in faith (obedience to receive his provisions in creation, community, and especially Christ) will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up."

For this reason grace counseling provides support to counselees for:

• scheduling their day, beginning with the first 2-3 hours of their morning to include in their lives the choices (quiet time, diet, and exercise) which establish them in health – this so that they can “go (live out their day) in the strength of the Lord,” as the Psalmist said;
• turn off the tv for an extended period of time, at least for several months with the consideration that they are right now in intensive care and that some of the choices they are making now (which they may be able to make later) will, at this critical time, only delay/hinder the healing they need; and
• go to bed the same time every night before 10.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12F28

GracePoint: Counseling Support for Wives to Focus First on Their Own Health

Our counseling makes it clear to wives that, if they attempt to “jump around” to please their husbands, they will be disappointed with the outcome. That’s because men, by default disposition of their fallen human nature, are users (and sometimes control freaks). This means, whatever a wife does to meet her husband’s user needs today will not meet those needs in the same way tomorrow. Like a drug or anything else a man uses to meet his pain relief needs (including food and entertainment), enough is never enough. In time, he builds tolerance, becomes bored, and needs something different. This is the reason husbands disrespect/mistreat their wives.

So we encourage wives to focus first on their own heath, not on their husbands’ happiness. This focus begins with her evaluating the level of support she is receiving from her husband. If he is self-absorbed and not an advocate for her health, she should “serve notice” to him that God is calling her to health, that she is growing in her commitment to make wise choices and in her understanding to connect to resources that support her, and that she does not want to live the rest of her life with a man who does not understand or embrace God’s role for the husband in the home.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12F27

The Diminishing Role of Teachers

The role of teachers is to guide and support us for making the initial steps in our spiritual journey. For example, they identify for us the book God gave (The Scripture) through which he communicates Truth to us. They also provide a living visual to model their message by giving witness and testimony to the change God makes in our lives.

But, at some point, for each new Truth, as we are introduced to it and increased in it, the work of the teacher is diminished as the Holy Spirit becomes our Teacher.  

We understand this from the account given about John the Baptist. The Bible says he was “sent ahead of” Christ as a witness to point others to him (John 3:28). But when John saw Christ one day, he said, “Behold the Lamb of God!” Upon hearing this, John’s disciples left to follow Christ. Later, John said, “Christ must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30).

“But you have received the Holy Spirit, and he lives within you, so you don't need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spirit teaches you everything you need to know, and what he teaches is true.” – 1 John 2:27 (NLT)

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12F26

God’s Special Care to Teach the Concept of Grace

Much of what we understand and believe to be true and find to be helpful was taught to us by trusted teachers. It was not the Holy Spirit who taught us math or grammar or chemistry or vocational skills or how to hit a baseball or directions to a destination across town; men did.

But what we believe about

• God (particularly his relationship to us and our relationship to him),
• ourselves (our need for God),
• Heaven (how to go there), and
• holiness (how to manifest Christ in the world)

was not taught to us by man; it was taught to us by the Holy Spirit through his Word. This means, God took special care for our most critical information needs - that he taught it to us himself, so that it was not left to the teaching of man.

”… but God has revealed (Truth) to us by his Spirit.” – 1 Corinthians 2:10

“I did not receive (Truth) from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.” – Galatians 1:12

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12F25
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